Review: Klipsch RF-7 Speaker

Category: Speakers

I like Patricia Barber, and use her recordings to test for
transparency. Def Leopard, and ACDC for the bass. I like the music to sound alive, with very good vocal presence, and not without transparency. I love bass, with good mid bass, along with good control and texture. These are still breaking in, but they were good after about an hour of playing. I had horns before this, and was waiting for the day when I could plunk down my money on these. I bought these from Good Guys, delivered, because of the lentgh of time in transit/risk, othrwise, just last month (25 days ago).
I have to have a horn, because I have listened to other speakers, and even though they can excel in certain areas, where horns may not, I feel I have to listen in to hear the sound, and with these, the music comes to you. You feel like you can reach out and touch individual instruments, almost.
The sound in comparison to my other set up, is different, but better in audiophile terms. Horns aren't for everybody, they can be bright, in your face, and sound off through certain frequencies. However, I seem to still have this teenage kid mentality, that can *easily* deal with it. These speakers can stand up to a Classe'product, and the Roksan Caspian cd excels with vocal presence, and transparency, considering the league the it is in. Together this set up, lands the singer, and instruments *right in my room*. The sound comes out of the speakers in a magical, very lively, and 3 dimensional/spatial quality that hardly any other speakers I have heard. The imaging of each individual instrument is so profound, that you feel that you can put your hand around it.

Associated gear
Classe CAP 100, Roksan Caspian cd, and a Luxman T 14 digital tuner.

Similar products
Other Klipsch, Infinity, and PSB. Also a pair of B&W 802 Naut.
I know exactly what you mean. Horns are not for everyone. I use to use a pair of KLF-20's some years ago for my 2 channel set up. I have since moved this to my dedicated HT room and added in a KLF-7 and 2 RS-7. I now use a pair of Joseph Audio RM-25's for my 2 channel set up. All I can tell you is if I had to use the Klipsch's again, I would need to stick a sock in the horns. My ears are still bleeding from the Klipsch's. It's all a matter of taste. Go and listen to the Joseph's. Then tell me what you think.
Good luck with the Klipsch's.

They are bright. Patricia Barber, Diana Krall, Eric clapton, or any audiophile type recordings don't come across
as bright, though.
I have read alot about different feelings, to do with audio
and don't any longer call my self an Audiophile, but am trying to be more an enthusiast. Some people have gone in 360* deg circles, owning some of the ultra high end speakers
like B&W Nautilus series, and felt there was something missing, and have come back to horns. It is here at Agon forum threads, Audio Review, and various other sites.
I don't altogether disagree with you though. I have been wrong many times, and leaning more to the neutral opens my eyes to many things I had once overlooked. I wish I could have the best of both worlds, but until something else comes along and zaps me like these, I will enjoy. Thanks Brian.
The Reference series is a very different set of Horns (A big change fom the KLF series !" . With warm equipment and good cabling these are a pleasure to listen...I have these for 6 months now and make time to spend in my "Music Room". These can handle classical to Rock with ease...
I would like to afford a tube source, as soon as I can, but school, etc., steers me away for a while. I have been looking at some tube cd players here (Agon), because I saw what a tube pre did for my freind's Klipschorns. It was like magic from top to bottom, with his MC 2200.
I have learned to understand these speakers better, as I listen to them more, and yes, they sound really, really nice. I am happy with them. I am glad some one finally put in a good word for these particular speakers.
Hello Greggie , and anyone eles looking into the klipsch rf-7s. Go to, I beleive issue # 19 ,[check with them]has a reveiw of the rf-7s driven by a David Berning tube micro amp.The reveiwer found a match made in heaven...out doing the s.e.t.amps he had on hand with the rf-7s, especially in the lower octives...
hi stiltskin. I just looked st the reviews at the klipsch
site under RF 7. I saw a review (issue #19) from that magazine. I don't know if they are the same, but it is good to hear that.
I just love the "alive" sound that comes from these speakers. I think I can live with these particular speakers
(none being perfect). There is a certain amount of enjoyment that I get from horns. My friend has a pair of Khorns, that also are nice, yet much different sounding.
I want to get something with tube sound and run it thru these, because of what tubes can sound like thru horns. Thanks for the info
I listened to many, many speakers before I chose the RF-7's.
After listening to so many, I knew when I first heard the RF-7's that it was for me! It's what I've been looking for all these years in sound, quality, clarity, 3D imaging, and WOW, right out at you like LIVE STAGE! What an impact, what a thrill! I listened to the Joseph Audio RM-25's and it wasn't for me. It lacked somewhat on the higher sounds than the RF-7, and just didn't have the impact for me as did the RF-7. The RF-7's almost feels like you are right there, LIVE hearing it. It's great. I love the horns! No, it isn't for everyone but that's ok..... we are all different and we won't all like the same things! :)
It's personal choice that makes you happy and that's all that counts. Happy RF-7ing!!!! I LOVE THEM. I have Four of them now.
While I have no experience with the newer Klipssch Horns, I have sold/owned/dealtwith the older stuff in the past. Last Klipsch's I owned was the SB1's/2's, driven by tube gear. Let me first say that I like what Horns can do in terms of pressence and dynamics onthewhole. For dirt cheep entry level speakers, these things sounded freaking fantastic on my tube gear!!! I used them on both a Scott 72b(?) and a Jolida 501 integrated. The sound was really too good for the money!...seriously! And before that, I'd sold/tore down my expensive system, including Sonus Electa Amators, Threshold SS amp, Pass Labs pre, etc!
The Klipsch's I was used to selling, before I picked up a couple pair of the SB series stuff being "disco'd" at a local chain store(Still available at Best Buy), were the older KLF series stuff, and next higher line up(not ref series with gold drives), the better one's. While I can't say I liked the KLF's so much, as they were a bit too warm and plain sounding(not harsh or bad though), I just found them a bit lacking in that "something special sound".
Anyway, I've always admired the benefits(as far as passive speakers go) of Horns, when executed proplery(note:Avantgarde horns, which are way refined, but beamy). Still, most have left me lacking for enthusiasm.
when I came across the SB's at a chain store, hooked to a receiver set up, I thought to myself, "I bet these would sound way better on tubes!" I was right. They sounded way too good...especially the SB1's!
While I didn't get to try the promising sounding SF3's, I thought these speakers were a great buy for a budget try. They simply worked marvelously on tubes.
I think some of the higher end and vintage line Klipsch stuff still would excell much better in terms of Dynamics at the very least. I'm sure the cheep drives have their limitations on the SB stuff you can pick up at "Best buy". But, I wouldn't mind hearing the above mentioned speakers.
Think I'll go check em out.
I'm in the above camp a bit, in that I've relaxed my stringent requirements a bit over the years, and like anything that's cheap yet sounds great!...basically overachieving. I too with audiohpile spekeakers would have more pressence, impact, and involvment for the likes of HT and rock and such. These are area's I've always thought traditional monitors could improve for home use. Yet, you're listening close up anyway, so it sometimes works ok, using high end that is.
I'd like to see more high end horn options, indeed.
Otherwise, my next project is to pick up some old SF electa amators/minima amators and try to pop in an electronic crossover, making em active! That might sound great. We'll see.
No one will ever change my mind about the Klipsch RF-7!
The RF-7 sounds great, has full force live stage sound
right at me and you do say WOW! When I first heard them
at "The Goodguys" I thought it can't be, they must have more
speakers on and sub woofers. I checked around as it was playing and only the RF-7 where playing and what punch, what
stereo fill in with great center stage force, true accurate imaging beauty. The sounds can start small and then all of the sudden come out right at you load, just like live stage, live band instruments do while watching, that it what I like about the horns. That sound can come out at you as needed to produce the sound like live. I checked around for speakers every where and asked many people opinions, I finally narrowed my search down to the Polk Audio RTi12 and was just about to buy them when I asked to listen to that more expensive Klipsch RF-7 over there.
OMG, when I heard it, it blow me back and stunned me on the sound. I told the sales guy I would be back in about 30 minutes and ran outside and called me husband and said, honey you need to get over here quick, leave work a little early so you can listen to these speakers I found that I like better than those Polk's we listened the other day, he said is it really that good, that better! I said yes it is, just get over here, they only have one set left in stock. Me husband got there and he was stunned too. He said you did good, I love em WOW, I guess we are going to
be paying $600.00 more than we thought from those Polk's. I said yes honey we are, and we got them. We love em.
We've been amazed at listening to our CD music how it makes us feel like we are there listening to it live. Those darn B&W speakers my husband had never sounded this good, so I gave those to good will and we have the RF-7 set up now.
I do think the RF-7 are a bit expensive, it should be solid wood for that price with no MDF. My husband says it's not really that expensive (I disagree) that he paid much more than that for the B&W speakers we had but I really find that hard to believe. Oh, those plastic feet on the RF-7 seem cheepy too, why not metal? These plastic feet are going to get brittle and break with age. The salesman said you have to be gentle when putting the speaker down because if you go down a little hard that they break right off. So be gentle so it doesn't break off.
I have Cerwin Vega D-9 and D-7 speakers, plus on another stereo set in another room, I have the Bose 901 speakers.
They have served me well over the years.

I heard the Klipsch RF-7 demo at GoodGuys too. WOW, WOW, WOW. It sounded live and really awesome. I wasn't even looking for speakers and I ended up bringing the RF-7 pair home. I compared them to my Cerwin Vega's and was amazed how close the Cerwin Vega's sounded close to the Klipsch RF-7. Overall, the Klipsch beats the sound quality a tad notch than the Cerwin Vega's. The Cerwin Vega's have more bass with that famous California mid hump that Cerwin Vega is famous for. The RF-7's also beat the Bose 901 too. The Bose 901 sound good but WOW, the RF-7 really gives a true like live performance that I like very much.

I'm very happy with my Klipsch RF-7's. Now I just need to sell my Cerwin Vega's and Bose 901 to help me pay for my new RF-7 purchase! Frankly, I can not understand how any one wouldn't love these Klipsch RF-7 speakers. How could they not but I am almost sure someone will have something negative to say about them being how some people are.
For me, I love them too, it's just right for me.
Let's put this in perspective a bit more for all listening/posting here...
...I've owned and sold Klipsch's for years. I've heard this speaker, as with most of the rest of the current Klipsch Refernce line as well...although I've not sold the current Ref Series. I'd like to say that with the pressence and dyamics and focus this speaker does have in a full range passive design, it offers great value, and sounds good. It's got better than average detail throughout (although not as good as some in the midrange or even bass to a lesser degree...though good when set up right), plenty of pressence and reinforcement up top with the horn, yes, good focus, pretty good imaging when you sit smack dab in between, and only modest coloration.
The speakers still are a little colored, shaded towards "warm sounding" of neutral. They don't have the detail throughout ultimately, as speakers with better drivers. yet the Horn and high sensitivity they offer does provide good detail and solid detail through most of the spectrum from upper mid on up.
The speakers aren't as pretty or "open" and airy as the better high end speakers on the market. And they don't have the neutrality of, say, a Thiel or Wilson, whatever.
The Klipsch's "can boogie" and "rock" though, as they play really loud effortlessly. This is also a huge plus for HT and rock fan's...especially if you're playing em full range.(play em as "small" for HT with large powered subs and you could extend the dynamics even more I pressume!).
Still. Make no mistake, these speakers aren't world beatters! They aren't Avantgard high end horns. Although they offer very good value to many midfi-consumers.
Actually, I prefer the neutrality of the Klipsch Synergy line from my experiences. The Synergy SF3's might just be a more neutral sounding speaker, from what I've briefly heard.
Although I haven't listened to either long enough to compare critically, considering detail, solid imaging, etc. However, my recollection was that the SF3's were more clear and transparent sounding, and they sounded great in the Best Buy set up I heard em in, playing with a more recent "Pink Floyd" concert DVD on em....Sitting down infront of those sounded very promising, and overall great!
The deal with these horns, as with most, is the sound falls off a bit, the more you get off axis! This helps greatly "on axis", but hampens listening "around the room/house!" So consider.
I'd like these speakers to sound better actually. 102 db w/1watt is very attractive, and has strong does the whole Horn things when set up correctly. I don't like coloration however, nore constricted soundstage, or slightly rolled off speakers mostly. If I'm spending that kind of bucks, I want a more well balanced speaker.
Again, I actually like the SF3's better in terms of Balance. And those are almost 100db sensitive also!
Anyway, Wish Klipsch would come out with some more ambitious horn offerings, with more refined sound/better drivers/parts and such. Oh well...nothingg perfect.
Exertfluffer, you will have to go and take a nice
listen to the Klipsch RF-7. I think you will
be quite surprised, amazed, and take quite a liking
to them. The RF-7's are getting better reviews
from the snob audio mags than any of their other
past products. Check it out!
I'll take a Klipsch heritage anyday over the RF-7. I wanted to ditch my heresies about a year or more a go which I originally bought in 1978 and my first instinct was to buy more Klipsch, but in an atrractive package to match the furniture. This was a commandment from the one who shall be obeyed (WAF). I heard the RF7s and was bitterly dissapointed they were even less tonally balanced than the Heresy even brighter if that could have possible and sounded like cheap plastic Cr#%p. I told my my wife I will find speakers. I ended up on a long journey into the death spiral of higher end equipment but still adore horns. I have them as part of my second system.
If you really want to hear good Klipsch listen to the stuff Paul W. Klipsch engineered- the heritage series, which is still made. I fufilled a teenage dream in getting La Scalas at one point during the last year from a local seller. They are not very refined in more ways than I care to consider but as a true loud speaker, emphasis on loud they work like nothing else.
The mass production stuff just doesn't hold a candle to the fuller (with the right amps) cleaner, more resolved sound of the older stuff. Treat yourself to a pair of heresies which can be bought cheaply. You'll be surprised by how refined they sound compared to the RF 7.
I will never give up my horns completely. But I did have the pleasure of listening to the Infinity IRS I which is an absurdly, large but delightful behemoth of a speaker system which could have converted me to another big sounding speaker.
I am afraid to disagree with you all but the RF7 made me think the new Klipsch is a very cheap sounding speaker I couldn't bring myself to buy them despite a High WAF. It was the speaker that ultimately sent me in a completely different direction in audio. I now have a tube amp rolled the the inputs to blackburn mullards and occasionally Telefunkens , drivers to grey glass VT 291s or Brimars or Sylvania and outputs to Tesla blue EL34s, a single player tube output CD player tube rolled tube mullard cv4004 a simple new Music Hall TT for vinyl and to top it all off medium cost Von Schweickert Audio all cone speaker with an ambient rear firing mid tweeter. Its really got a sweet tone and beautiful timbre and a soundstage a mile in every direction.
My horns still rock my Jelly Roll soul when I need a dose of something really loud ( more than I think I would at my advancing age) but have been vanquished to the basement. I am looking for some even bigger power amps for them later today in fact. The La Scalas sound better with big amps no matter what people say. I know the mantra about using little tube amps with them which I have tried and its true that some very pretty musical sound can be had with even EL84 based tubes (I am not so sure about 2 watt SETs) but they won't play their 15" inch woofers for you without the power to draw from. Sorry but trade in those RF7s for the real deal.
Barryd, I have heard the RF7's! They are pretty descent, not world beatters throughout! My assesment is pretty right on. I've been doing this for a very long time, have heard most all of it out there, sold most of it, owned a lot of it, and tinkered with too much of it!
Personally, I think the older more expensive Klipsch line was better, when I sold it back in 95 at a local AV chain store. Can't remember the series above the KG5.5 and such though. What were they called?...cabinetes were beefier, build overall much stouter, and sound was less colored from my recollection. Anybody remember the series above the KG series?
Goofy! It is obvious that you have never tried a 2a3 set 2-3 watt amp on you lascallas, the el84 is the worst sounding of all the tubes on the klipsch heritage line, and 104db per watt, any good 2a3 aet will put the lascallas up in your listening room, and your "HIGH END" stuff down in the basement. Its a shame that you have been missing out on a true pure PWK 2channel set up. It is nearly as good a it will get.
Ole Mechans, had this to say:
>Sorry but trade in those RF7s for the real deal.

No Can DO!! These are GREAT speakers, Ahhh so nice.
Get this, there is a pair of 1977 Klipchorns for sale
for $1800.00 here in my area. I had the audio store
give me a demo of them on different amps. Wow, I must
say that Ayre V1 amp so SOUNDS SUPBERB!!
As for the Klipschorn better than the RF-7! Well, I can
here that it is louder in the way of just being there but
not as transparant and imaging as the RF-7! I'll take
the RF-7 any day! The back of the Klipshorns are utility ugly and seem like cheapy ply board. I wasn't impressed.
I think the RF-7's have a much smoother and pleasing sound that sounds much more accurate than that Klipschorn. I'll have to listen to the newest Klipschorn and see if it's any better or not. The Klipschorn sure looks like it would be easy and alot cheaper to build yourself!!! Not much to them inside as I would have thought. Barryd
I've heard the RF-7's at great length, with two different SET amps as well as the Quicksilver Horn Mono's. Nice speaker, but it cannot come close to the transparency and imaging of the older Klipsch. With a good 2A3 or 300B SET amp, the vintage La Scala's or Klipschorns will reproduce the recording studio with an accuracy that is hard to match, and one that makes the RF-7 sound wispy and highly colored. Of course, if they produce the sound that you like, then you've scored bigtime.
You might check out the Wright Sound Mono 3.5's. If you look under the 'Wanted' section here, there are several being offered, and they are magical with the horns. A true bargain in the audio world.
By the way, Mechans, I am using a 7W 300B SET amp with my La Scala's, and they literally vibrate the house. There is more bass impact than there was with the Jolida 502B (60WPC) or Quicksilver Mini Monos (25WPC). If you think I'm joking, contact me on your visit to Sacramento and I'll let my little 7 watter send us both into an aryhthmic state.
You think Klipschorn are good! Try 4 RF-7 Klipsch together and you will be wanting for NOTHING more. When people here mine, they are so stunned and amazed, they have to have a set! I absolutely love mine. The RF-5 and RF-7 have been getting some excellent reviews, everyone just seems to love'em.
The Klipsch RF-7's are absolutely stunning sound quality. It best the best
of $5,000.00 to $10,000 range of speakers and still then, sometimes still
cannot be beat. The RF-7 in my opinion are better than the Klipschorn, just
over all better and smoother, greater imaging, bass, and not near as critical
in placing speakers in comparison. After I got my RF-7's, I sold my Klipschorn's
for $3500.00 in mint like brand new condition. My wife was happy the Klipschorn's
went, she hated how much space they took up in the corners.

I am running 2 channel system:

Rotel RB-1090 (Amp)
Rotel RC-1090 (Pre-Amp)
Rotel RCD-1072 (CD Player)
Rotel RT-1080 (Tuner)
Klipsch RF-7 Speakers

This combo is wonderful and very stunning!!! Goes very well together! You will
want for nothing more. Gives a wonderful live performance, HUGE soundstage,
very detailed and aaaaaa so smooth and warm tube like sound. Bass in unbeliveable,
very tight, taught, and punch slam that just is simply stunning great sound.

Brianlv3, you don't know a good thing at all with the Klipsch, it's wonderful.
I'm very glad I don't have your taste because your commit on sticking a sock in
a Klipsch horn is just so BS that I doubt you've own a Klipsch at all. Most poeple
that go with horns, just can't go back. What do I think of the Joseph Audio RM-25
you say? Well, I'm glad you like them. I don't. It's too recessed sounding. It
sound like someone put a blanket over it and the sound just can't get out. Now I
can see why you might want a sock! I do not like the recessed speaker sound at all,
just not what music is all about but I'm happy you are happy with it. That's all
that really counts.

I bought a pair of RF-7's and compared them to my Klipschorn's. The Heritage (Klipschorn) doesn't even come close to the imaging, detail, resolution, and definition these Reference RF-7's have. I've now sold my Klipschorn's and I've been in bliss since. The RF-7's are without a doubt the best over-all speaker Klipsch has put out to date, and I've had several of Klipsch past speakers and they are most impressive!