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For the first piece in our new gear series, we take a look at one of our all time favorite speakers, the Klipsch Heresy.
First introduced by the Klipsch speaker company as the center channel for the Klipschorn in 1957, the Heresy has for decades garnered a storied reputation among high-end audio enthusiasts. Made by hand in the US, this is a true high fidelity loudspeaker system.
At only 25 inches tall and weighing 25 pounds each, you can be easily fooled by their “compact” size. It would be a mistake, however, to underestimate the power that resides within; they pack in a full 12-inch fiber composite woofer, a one-inch compression tweeter and a two-inch, mid-range compression driver.
They deliver ample power thanks to the company’s signature horn-loaded construction, which is known for its dynamic range. They do what you want them to do without hesitation.
With the solid wood cabinet construction serving as a perfect amplification conduit, the Heresey looks beautiful. And with four wooden finishes (walnut, cherry, distressed oak or black), these units are sure to complement and blend in seamlessly with your listening surroundings.
Heresy speakers are super balanced with a mid-range so spectacular that the three-dimensional, hefty presence feels larger than life. They sound sweet at any volume. When played low, you can feel the delicacy and intimacy — that sense of being in the room with the instruments themselves. The music comes to life with clarity; it has an oomph that can make you feel like you’re actually within the music, even at quieter volumes.
The model also has a spectacular efficiency level of 99db sensitivity into 9ohms, resulting in a build that can be comfortably driven with amplification as low as five watts per channel. But up the volume and they can provide the wallop of a finely tuned muscle car and reach concert-level decibels.
The latest 4th generation Heresy IVs are spectacular for the price — at $3,000 a pair. They’ve recently been given a new and improved overhaul, bringing even more energy, lushness and presence than previous models. For those on a budget, we highly recommend tracking down a used Heresy I or II from the 70’s or 80’s, which you can typically find on eBay or craigslist for about $750 with a bit of patience. A few members of the ISC staff actually have these as the main speakers in their home listening setups.
Note: If you opt for a brand new pair, just remember that these speakers need to be broken in. High performance speakers require listening time for them to come into their own (kind of like a baseball glove). You’ll need at least 500 hours of listening in order to bring life to the bass driver and for the tweeter to soften up a little, as it will be tight and bright to start. Obviously, if you’re buying used this most likely won’t be an issue. Regardless, you’re in for a treat.