Klipsch Reference Premier RP-8000F II test

Klipsch Reference Premier RP-8000F II  test

Klipsch Reference Premier RP-8000F II test

 improve the important little things

The range of Klipsch passive acoustics can hardly be called extensive: in a modern form factor, two full-fledged series are available, the basic Reference and Reference Premier (plus a couple more models, RF-7 and RC-64, stand apart in a higher class). There is, of course, a rather diverse set of devices produced in the Heritage line, but retro design and modern bollards are two completely different worlds that do not intersect with each other.

We have already gotten acquainted with two models of the junior Reference series, but Klipsch has also updated the older Reference Premier series, so this time we will study a pair of floorstanders of a higher class.

Multi-caliber Klipsch

A modest selection of Klipsch passive acoustic series is more than offset by the variety of models included in them. So, in the Reference Premier lineup, three options for floor standing speakers and two for bookshelf speakers are offered, which in general makes it possible to choose from five options for completing a stereo system.

And fans of cinematic sound are offered a fantastic abundance of models: in addition to the aforementioned five, I counted six more special cinema speakers, one of which, in fact, is an older RP-8000F II floor standing speaker, with Dolby Atmos acoustics built into the top. If Klipsch wanted to please cinephiles, then they definitely succeeded. But we, modest stereo lovers, have nothing to complain about - choose the appropriate “caliber” of the speaker and listen.

Klipsch Reference Premier RP-8000F II  test

Since the listening room is quite large in area, the largest floor model RP-8000F II got out quite naturally for the test.

find 10 differences

If you liked “find 10 differences in pictures” puzzles as a child, I highly recommend testing your skills by comparing Klipsch acoustics with each other. You can take two models of the same type from the updated series or a new model and a similar old one - it doesn't matter. In any case, an interesting quest awaits you.

Having an already established corporate identity and an extensive army of fans around the world, the company's developers prefer not to take risks. They decided not to change even the name and numbering, limiting themselves to adding the index II. In a word, they preserve successful and well-established solutions to the maximum, only slightly correcting the overall appearance of the acoustics. And the finer the work, the more skill it requires and the more interesting it is to observe the result.

One of the main design decisions that can be observed in the design of the new Reference Premier acoustics is the pronounced edges of the front panel. Their cut has become clearly clearer, and besides, it also extends to the grills, as a result of which the front of the speaker is perceived as pointed, directed forward, and already very deep cabinets feel even more elongated.

Klipsch Reference Premier RP-8000F II  test

If it were not for the horns, one could assume that acoustic engineers thus minimize the refraction of sound waves that occur on the edges of the case, but given the specifics of the design of the emitters, this version seems untenable. The main goal here seems to be purely aesthetic.

Speaking of aesthetics: all speaker mounts are hidden from view, so the front panel looks absolutely solid, and seamless, and acoustics without a grill look perfect. The finish of the Reference Premier series is made with high-quality vinyl film, which is both visually and tactilely not immediately distinguishable from veneer. In addition, there are two colors to choose from: the obligatory ebony and walnut. By Klipsch standards, luxury.

The most revolutionary and innovative innovation regarding floor-standing speakers, familiar to us from the younger Reference series, is a cable line for Dolby Atmos speakers integrated inside the case. The main terminals are located at the bottom and allow you to connect the speakers as aesthetically as possible without hanging wires and another disgrace. There are more clamps on the Reference Premier floorstanding speakers than on the younger Reference ones since the Premieres support bi-amping and bi-wiring.

The only issue regarding usability that developers with surprising persistence ignore is acoustic supports. Sharp, aggressively spaced legs look, of course, impressive, and besides, they give the necessary inclination of the speakers, lifting the axis of the speakers' radiation a little up, toward the listener's ears.

Yes, and the Reference Premier has cast aluminum supports, which, combined with a pointed shape, gives good vibration isolation, for example, when installed on a stone floor. But, like the previous generation, these beautiful legs are not adjustable. The height, degree of inclination, and unevenness of the floor will again have to be corrected in completely non-standard ways - by placing coins or other objects of suitable thickness.

At the same time, shelf speakers have a completely different approach: the bottom of the column has a large cork lining, which is extremely practical when placed on any racks and surfaces. Very practical and reasonable.

Strength is in the mouth

The main technology and constant source of inspiration for Klipsch developers since 1946 is, of course, horns, and they are slowly changing from generation to generation. In the updated models, both the younger and older version, the modern Tractrix horns have noticeably increased in size and now occupy the entire front panel.

Klipsch Reference Premier RP-8000F II  test

The basic concept remains unchanged: the square shape and 90-degree vertical and horizontal opening give a fairly wide listening area and at the same time relieve the sound from the negative influence of the first reflections that occur in the room. Considering that these series of acoustics are intended for use in home environments, where any measures are rarely taken to minimize reflections, the importance and value of this approach cannot be overestimated.

In the new Reference Premier speakers, the horn is made of silicone composite, and its inner surface is slightly soft to the touch, somewhat like a soft touch coating. The physical meaning of this approach lies in the fact that the silicone composite is sufficiently inert acoustically and well dampens the vibrations that are inevitably transmitted from the body with a pair of large woofers. And any micro-vibrations on the surface of the horn will inevitably lead to the coloring of the upper frequencies because the wavelength in this range is small.

As for the driver itself, located in the bowels of the branded mouthpiece, the developers applied the oldest upgrade rule to it, which is formulated as follows: “Does it work well? Do not touch!". A titanium dome mounted on a long-travel LTS suspension that provides a linear response of the moving system to a useful signal is what the horns need, and there is no need to improve anything in this part yet. We remember that all power is in the mouthpiece!

Klipsch Reference Premier RP-8000F II  test

But the mid/bass drivers have been reworked more thoroughly. Their diffusers are made of Cerametallic proprietary material - light and durable, resistant to deformation. An updated version of the magnet system uses an aluminum Faraday ring to reduce distortion and make the speaker's response more accurate throughout its operating range.

The RP-8000F II features two of these 205mm drivers, each with its own acoustic volume loaded onto an original design bass reflex. Rectangular phase inverter ports are made using Tractrix technology. In this case, the task of the horns is to minimize turbulence. And by the way, they are installed not only outside, but also on the opposite side of the phase inverter inside the case.

By dividing the body into isolated acoustic volumes, the number of partitions connecting the side walls naturally increased. In addition, a stiffening rib passes approximately in the middle vertically through the entire body. As a result, the cabinets are less prone to vibrations and do not emit unnecessary overtones that can color the sound.

Focus

The most striking first impression of getting to know the new Reference Premier floorstanders is the incredible information content and accuracy. From the first notes, you pay attention to how clearly and in detail the sound images are drawn, and how many small details this acoustics pulls out of the recording.

Klipsch Reference Premier RP-8000F II  test

This can lead to a hasty and incorrect conclusion that the sound will be exclusively monitored. As soon as you get used to the abundance of sound information (and this happens quite quickly), you completely imperceptibly fall into the process of involved, emotional listening. And this is a sure indicator that the sound of acoustics is not overheated for the sake of comfort, and not overdried for the sake of information content. And the more diverse music you can listen to on these speakers, the more objective and accurate the impression will be.

Even more objectivity in the assessment gives a change of components. So, for example, the transition from a digital source to vinyl added softness and fluidity to the sound. The character changes just as noticeably when changing the amplifier. Using a tube or hybrid device instead of a transistor one, you can add warmth and characteristic tube softness to the sound. However, I liked the connection with the Parasound transistor more, due to the fact that the system allows the listener to enjoy, among other things, the numerous nuances and subtleties of the recording.

Dave Brubeck's famous recording of "Take Five" has a lot of small overtones, like the rattling of the double bass strings and long afternoons after hitting the cymbals. For rock and metal, the combination of Klipsch with transistor amplification turns out to be ideal at all: the sound turns out to be as dense as possible, driving and without a hint of porridge even in a complex guitar mess. When listening to free jazz and diverse improvisational music, rhythmic patterns are not confused, and the essence of the most complex compositions is not lost.

Klipsch Reference Premier RP-8000F II  test

The sound of the RP-8000F II turned out to be surprisingly balanced, accurat and verified. The highs sound open, and free, and the stage is perfectly focused at the listening point. The middle is detailed, legible, and articulated - like good monitor speakers. And all this is based on a solid and well-defined bass foundation, which only floorstanders can create. The bass of the RP-8000F II 8000 feels as smooth and clear as possible, and the sound of the acoustics as a whole is solid and large-scale.

As for its depth, it was difficult for me to imagine how a subwoofer could help these speakers when working with musical material. Moreover, there was a feeling that those depths of the bottom, to which this acoustics gets, are not available to every subwoofer. It may make sense in a theater system to increase the sound pressure at the bottom, but when listening to music this is not at all necessary, even if 90% of your library is BSO recordings.

Outcome

The new Klipsch Reference Premier RP-8000F II fully lived up to expectations. They produce a truly high-quality sound, easily and without straining to cope with any musical material, are very responsive to the change of components, thereby allowing you to give the system the desired character. Compared to the previous generation, the new 8000s delivered an even more balanced, detailed, and focused sound, even though their predecessors seemed to do their best within their budget.

Klipsch Reference Premier RP-8000F II  test

In general, the Klipsch Reference Premier acoustics will definitely please long-time connoisseurs of the brand and will become the first candidate for a system upgrade. In addition, it will appeal to anyone who wants to get the purest, most detailed and reliable sound in an ordinary living room. A separate recommendation of this series to movie fans, who, in addition to sound qualities, will also receive the richest selection of special cinema models.

Pros

detailed, dynamic and perfectly balanced sound, responsive to component changes, universal in genres, a wide choice of models for stereo and cinema systems

Cons

fixed supports

OFFICIAL SITE

Klipsch Reference Premier RP-8000F II

Specifications

Tweeter: 25 mm titanium dome in Tractrix horn

Mid/bass drivers: 2 x 205 mm, Cerametallic cone

Frequency range: 35-25000 Hz (+\-3 dB)

Sensitivity: 98 dB

Power: 150W (continuous) / 600W (peak)

Impedance: 8 ohm

Crossover frequency: 1630 Hz

Acoustic design: phase inverter

Dimensions: 1095x275x463 mm

Weight: 27.85 kg

Finish: vinyl, ebony/walnut

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