Sonus Faber Lumina 5 vs Klipsch Forte IV

Don't you hate it when you find multiple speakers you like but they are not all in one store? I heard the Forte IV at one dealer and in another dealer I heard the Sonus Faber Lumina V, both I like but I would love to be able to hear them side by side to see which one really calls to me. Has anyone been fortunate enough to demo these side by side? I hate asking this question because it means I am going on 'your' option and not my own ears, but I am at an impasse and like some advice. Oh, BTW, I am aware of the price difference so let's leave this out for now.

To me. The Klipsch Forte IV are actually more on the warm side of neutral. I've had my ear butt up against the tweeter for s%$#@ and giggles, and I felt no fatigue or any of those negative words 'audiophiles' throw around. The speaker is warm and transparent and open, the mid range is beautiful albeit a little recessed, and the bass does a great job of pounding you in the chest.

The Sonus Faber Lumina V actually in some weird way remind me of the Forte or a horn/compression speaker, albeit it's not, but I am just speaking in broad terms here. They have a non fatiguing forward sound that is way different than their typical sound signature. I think the mid range is probably better than the Fortes, maybe, actually I'm not sure: because I cannot compare them side by side! As I mentioned earlier. The distortion rating on these speakers are way, way better than the Klipsch! You/I can hear it, they just sound confident.

The only negative I can see about the Forte's is that they kill poor recorded music, they shred it apart to the point that I just can't listen to them. The SF on the other hand did a much better job on poor recordings, I know this because when I demoed them I used CD's and LPs and for over one hour they only came across one passage in one song that came across harsh. With the Forte's I streamed what I thought were great recordings and they sounded, eh on a handful of recordings. I can only imagine that if I used CDs on them it would suck; however, I have a feeling that LPs would be pretty great with them.



I'll just throw this out here, I have not listened to either and the Forte has a new mid-range driver that I have not heard. But in general terms Klipsch does not spend a lot of money on their drivers and I think that hurts their performance. The horn tweeter is nothing special at all, a dependable workhorse and that is about all.  

Hi russ69

That is true, Klipsch doesn't spend a lot on their drivers. I've seen reviewers taking apart the Heritage line speakers and its all cast metal, thin cast metal, unlike the solid structures JBL uses (those things are huge and heavy). Then I see people who have owned Klipsch speakers and so many of them end up placing Dynamat around the drivers to dampen the "ping" or ringing sound. I guess that says a ton about where I should focus my interest. I can't see me taking apart a speaker to tweak it because the company didn't do their due diligence in the first place! Thanks for your comment. It helped. 

Two very different speakers.    I love my Forte IV ,  really like the Sonus Olympica V myself.....  

As for Klipsch drivers,  they are easy to fix and easy to source.   You can't say that about most speakers.   The Klipsch HF and Mid drivers can be repaired by anyone slightly handy.

@octobertime Though the Klipsch may sound warm side of neutral in the beginning I think you may find them lean more towards the bright side after long periods of listening especially. Just my personal opinion. I actually own a pair of the SF Sonetto III and they are quite remarkable I have to say. I spent time listening to the Lumina V as I was looking for a 2 channel second system and had never ever heard Sonus Faber's and Lumina had just come out. I was going to pull the trigger but then came across just a stupid deal on the Sonetto's and didn't hesitate. I've had them for 6+ months now and they are still impressing me every time I listen. There is something mesmerizing about the SF sound I must admit...


Good luck and remember to take time to enjoy the journey! 😀

Lots of great replies. 

Oddiofyl mentioned that the tweaking of the Klipsch drivers is 'easy', and it rightly may be. No argument there. I do like their sound except after awhile I do hear a pinking or a ringing in the drivers. Too annoying for me. I can try the easy fix approach but with my luck, I'll break the thing, seriously! Moreover, and more importantly, why should I, if the company didn't do it right in the first place why get it. If my woodworking and mechanical skills were better, sure I would get them but no thanks. 

Since the Lumina 5 has a sensitivity of 89 db, the Forte IV have a sensitivity of 99 db, the size of the room and the electronics used to power them will make a difference on how they sound. 



If you feed klipsch with good stuff, you will reap good music. They take a little more care to set up, but once dialed in are excellent performers. And the best part is you can use a proper low powered tube amp as God himself intended.

Hi All,

I have both Klipsch Forte iv's and newly acquired broken-in Zu Audio Soul 6's. Been listening to the Souls for about a week with the same ancillary gear (Ps Audio PWT, Mojo Audio EVO B4B DAC, Don Sachs pre, and First Watt F7.

FWIW, to me with my gear; the Forte iv's sound a bit "thin" compared to the Souls. Maybe this is because the tone is better with the Souls? The Souls definitely are warmer and sweeter than the Forte's.

I am forming the opinion that the soundstage is wider/deeper with the Souls.

I am forming the opinion that the Souls are at least as dynamic as the Forte's.

The Forte's seem better with micro detail, like a lighter touch. Is that transparency, I do not know? I think whatever this is, it helps the Forte's to have a bit more of a "live in the bar" sound.

Lots of listening to do yet!



Nice to hear the Zu are a great speaker    I am firmly entrenched in the low power , high sensitivity camp