My Heresy IV at 168 hours w/ a change of tubes.


Wow, what speakers.

We've all seen the gushing reviews from Steve Huff and others on youtube and the forums. It seems today everything is given 5 A+'s in the reviewisphere these days even though  90% of what is reviewed s not even adaquit. Reading and viewing these over the top reviews about The Heresy IV's, I was skeptical, but the ridiculous replies rebuking these reviews by people that obviously had neither experience nor interest in the Heresy IV's made me say, hmmmmmm.

After two years in consideration I pulled the trigger. I purchased the Heresey IV'sfrom HiFi Heaven in Greenbay for $2,500 with free one day shipping. I turn my system on and let it running for 5 days straight. The speakers sounded quite nice but it was missing a soul. I was disappointed and thinking of the possibility of returning them, then I read the review on Stereonet. The reviewer described what I was hearing and had a solution. He switched from a 200 watt amp which I believe ran KT88"s to an e34 amp. He described the relationship between the amp and the speakers as being a meeting of soulmates and spoiler, this is what happened to me.

 

I am a Quicksilver guy. Ive been sucking on the Quicksilver tit since something like 1995 or so.....I think. For the last 10 years Ive been running MidMono's with......KT88's even though they were built with e34's in mind. I needed the juice for the speakers Ive been using for years. These speakers were Boston Acoustic Lynnfield Project VR950's. The 950's are either ignored or pooh poohed by many, but they are some very detailed lively speakers. During my years with the Bostons I had several extended demo sessions with other much more expensive speakers and although they were better certainly, they were not change my life better, surely not worth the high costs associated with the upgrades, so I kept the Bostons. The Bostons can be quite deep soundstage and sideways they can through percussion into the next room. The I believe the caps started to go bad and the voices within the soundstage started to wander; this is why I started looking for replacements.

So, Im using MidMonos, a Quicksilver 12AT7 preamp, a PSAudio DirectStream Sr., and 2012 Mac Mini as a NaAS and a HSU Sub used very sparingly. Again with the 88"s the Heresy IV's sounded, not bad but sterile and many pieces sounded like the had been taken apart and rearranged in wonky fashion, very odd indeed. The bass was generally not mushy, but undecided. The midrange could easily get cluttered. There was nothing to celebrate and started to miss the Bostons.

Pieces I loved and knew intimately were disassembled. Things like Peo Alfonsi's Amada or Alma, or Pietropaoli's Le Notte, Likewise, etc. Virtually everything in DSD. Bass-line segments would all of a sudden be pushed into the background in mid phrase and a guitar would jump out front a third louder that it should have been. I tried to tame this with my sub and speaker position to no affect. It was very weird. Even if other pieces sounded fine, they still lacked soul. The kind of soul that makes you smile uncontrollably. The sound was, wide yes, but not enveloping, it was like looking at a photograph taped to the wall. A nice pho, but not reality. The depth was only to the wall....all around disappointing. It reminded me of what almost every positive reviewer had said, "the speak is Fun." and it was, but I thought, I don't want Fun, I want it to sound like it's the most important thing in my life.

I was in a quandary. I thought maybe it is just break-in. I sold a beloved VPI Classic to fund my Direct Stream Sr. which sounded like absolute crap until after like 800 hours running 24hours a day, maybe 1,000 hours, I can't remember and then all of a sudden KA....BOOOOOM !!! Magic. The final software update, I believe is Windom is unbelievably great. I think they started with this software and purposely lessened the initial dozen or so versions so they could upgrade the DS Sr. in increments for several years, but I am a cynic. Anyway,  I figured the problem with the Heresy's was a burn-in issue so I would wait, but then again if I waited for the full 500 hours I would miss my return deadline........ 

Then I read the review by Rafael Todes

https://www.stereonet.com/reviews/klipsch-heresy-iv-floorstanding-loudspeaker-review 

I'm sure I'd read it before, maybe many times, but what he said didn't gel with me until I experienced his issues myself.

"I also found that changing my power amplifiers lessened the effect. I substituted another valve amplifier in my collection – a restored Marantz 8B running EL34s, and dating from 1962. This was one of the finest amplifiers of this period and would have been a regular partner for Klipsch loudspeakers back in the day. What a combination! Those sweet little EL34 power valves brought more air to the proceedings than the KT88s of the VAC, and I heard an energy and life to the recording that jumped right out at me. I’ve never heard the Marantz sound so good; it was as if it had found its life partner. The rhythmic tension was excellent, as it delivered fast and accurate transients with toe-tapping drive."

 

So I looked for my original Quicksilver e34's which I hadn't seen in a decade and most likely never will. I couldn't find them so I ordered a set of e34L's from Tube Depot three days ago. They came today. I figured another 24 hours to burn these in then I would start making the decision to return the Heresy's or not.

I knew they were arriving today so I turned the system off allowing the 88's to  cool. The tubes came and I plugged them in and started Alma by Alfonsi and.......

B.O.O.M. !!!! Immediately... Glorious beautiful gorgeous enveloping soulful sound covered me and every cubic micron of my room exploded in perfect sound. It was like getting punched in the face with joy and contentment. It was a revelation. Now I know what Steve Huff and Tode were on about.

 

Apparently it's not all recordings LOL, as Im writing this, Amada ended and Audirvana cued a FLAC of Al Demeola by random and it sounded like crap, so be warned. You can't have any weak links in the system. Keep in mind Amada was my reference.

 

What's all this mean?

It means these speakers are exactly what Steve Huff said they are. If you try them out and they don't change your life, there is something wrong with your system, not the speakers. If you're using SS, use a low watt tube rig and if you can, DSD.

 

T

128x128tonydennison

@tonydennison no worries, questioning things a bit more to come up with a solid gameplan is better than making four upgrade moves that could have been done in (1) one step. My response about getting things "checked out", if you had a good local tech (nearby) is looking for last pieces of anything that might be low hanging fruit. I went through this same ordeal helping a local co-worker buddy on his QS Linestage, tubes, caps, ground/transformer issues and all. He thought his sounded good too. After sending the unit back to Mike at QS, getting a ground/transformer matter resolved (made quieter), and rolling a few good input and driver tubes helped. He still uses the preamp today. It’s "good enough" now, for him.

if you are not hearing any faint buzz noise, or hiss, putting your ear very close to the speakers, could be just fine. i.e. don’t fix a problem that does not exist. The last four I was aware of had a small faint buzz. The ground issue needed to be addressed, fyi. You might not have that issue at all, that’s great!

re: CAPS,

Like I was sharing with you, the stock caps that Mike Sanders has custom made for his amps and some preamps are not bad at all. Some people like them a lot. Again, It really depends on what you want more/less of in the sound. Also went through some of this alongside @hilde45 and his local tech buddy did the upgrade+ on his former QS Linestage for him. He’s moved on to a custom 6SN7 linestage preamp now.

I was thrown when you said you want it "warm’", or "warmer" maybe, and later you confirmed you are already running EL34s (now) with stock caps now. To the point, its does not get too much warmer than this with stock QS MidMono amps and a totally stock QS Linestage - is what I was trying to say. That’s all.

@decooney 

 

Weird. I thought I replied to this last comment.

 

When I first received this AT7 it had the noise problems you mention. I sent it back to mike and he fixed whatever it was.

Seeing this discussion make me wish I hadnt sold my fullfunction GS pre. I wish I had thought of upgrading it instead of selling. I miss it greatly.

 

T

I came within minutes of calling HiFi Heaven for a return.

I bought a pair of Klipsch Heresy IV’s about 2 months ago - same price, fast shipping.

Got ‘em connected and placed correctly and…

they sounded awful. Thin. Harsh, remote, choked down soundstage like the effect of increasing eye relief from a rifle scope only auditory.

so I remembered to let them burn in.

 

24 hours of FM rock, another day of Pandora Jazz, sounded a little better, then I just let the radio play for a couple days, and *MAGIC*!

Warmer, fuller, wider-taller-deeper soundstage, less of the high-end shrillness (like a former female presidential wannabe) and no way I’d return them now.

 I was replacing 30-plus year old Walsh 4 speakers (drivers about 7 yrs new) and, while I can’t say the auditory “image” is identical, as “holographic,” bass is just as good, midrange better, highs crisp, clean like icicles off your gutter (you’ll poke your ears out).

but auditory memories only last a few minutes anyway so by the time I was enamored of these speakers, reconnecting the Walsh 4’s would have taken some getting used to as well.

 

 I did some frequency response tests down to 5 Hz which I could feel - and was pleasantly surprised. Low A (28.5 Hz) was loud enough to feel and hear without too much volume. This wasn’t expected as the Walsh 4’s could do 20 Hz but marginally and only with volume cranked up.

 

 I’m sure the experience with the Heresy speakers will get better in my new place where I’ll have room to spread them out a little more and adjust the room acoustically.