Tag Archives: made in usa

Dads That Rock: Klipsch Fortes in the Family

It is no great surprise that many of our life-long obsessions with music and great audio began with our fathers. The blog series “Dads That Rock” is an on-going Father’s Day tribute to these great men who helped inspire our passions. Matt Milligan submitted the story below with minimal edits by the Klipsch editorial staff.

Back in 1985 or 1986 during his junior year at the Naval Academy my dad he went around to many high-end audio stores in the Washington DC area and tested multiple speakers before deciding on Klipsch. He specifically remembers using the Star Wars theme track album to test the speakers. He said the sound and physical appeal (wood cabinets) of the speakers were both “phenomenal.”

He knew the Klipsch Forte speakers were horn loaded and that intrigued him, but other than that he did not know much about them.

My dad had not told me much about the speakers before 2013. I only knew that there were speakers in big boxes in the garage. Then after about three months of asking to see them and being denied because he was to busy with work, I just took them out of the garage one day while he was out running errands.

A good call on my part because they haven’t gone back in the garage since.

Matt Milligan Klipsch Forte KG1

The album on top of the shelf between the KG1’s is a Journey album autographed buy Neil Schon and Steve Smith. The Onkyo amplifier, tune, cd player and turntable are all the same ones my dad purchased. The stereo set on the bottom is the one I bought for my dorm room. I bought the KG1’s on Craigslist before college started for $100, and they sound fantastic. They were a real steal.

I still listen to records with him occasionally. Fortunately, he kept all of his 33’s including AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and others from when he was a kid. He also still has mixed tapes he made in college that I listen too, they include a lot of 80’s bands, Fine Young Cannibals, The The, Violent Femmes, etc…

Personally I love the Forte speakers and I conducted my own experiment in which I turned my amplifier up to volume level 25/40. I then proceeded to walk 14 houses down my street before I couldn’t hear the speakers anymore – no joke!

I can’t speak highly enough of the Fortes. Any time I hear someone talking about or thinking of buying speakers, Klipsch is the first name I bring into the conversation. I recommend the brand to literally everyone I meet.

When I started at the California Maritime Academy, I left the Fortes at my house, but I bought the Klipsch KG1’s on Craigslist specifically for my dorm room. They are a convenient size, yet even with the KG1’s I am able to get into trouble.

My friends have also learned to love Klipsch speakers. A lot of my friends listen to more hip-hop/rap than I do (I guess I’m bit of an old soul) and they love it when I bring them over, turn up the bass and crank the volume up. Objects will literally vibrate off of the shelves in my room.

I still have yet to blow a woman’s clothes off though, haha. I have also gotten in trouble with the RA’s (FROM THE FLOOR BELOW ME!) a few times for playing the music to loud.

I couldn’t even imagine having the Fortes at school with me, but I do plan on bringing them with me my sophomore year. Look out.

 

Do you have a story about your dad that rocks and his Klipsch speakers? Post it in the comments below and/or email it to alex.leopold@klipsch.com

The 2015 Klipsch Pilgrimage to Hope

Klipsch has a rich history and heritage that we readily “shout from the rooftops,” but we aren’t the only ones shouting.

Our passionate fans are yelling right alongside us. Whether it’s on social media, the Klipsch Forums or even good ol’ personal recommendations, they are critical in magnifying our message.

Because of this dedicated fanbase, we have had several “Klipsch Pilgrimages” in the past, inviting Klipsch fans from all over the world to tour factory in Hope, Arkansas or to our headquarters in Indianapolis, IN.

Fans in awe during the factory tour.

Fans in awe during the factory tour.

 

This year, a group of devoted fans from the Klipsch Forums (about 50 altogether) took it upon themselves to hold a “Klipsch Employee Appreciation” event for Klipsch employees at the Hope factory. They invited anyone who wanted to attend and provided a catered lunch to the employees on April 10, 2015.

Lunch was catered by a local favorite — Big Jake’s BBQ — and the attendees even served it themselves! Everyone at the factory was extremely appreciative of their kindness. After all, these are total strangers taking time out of their lives to say “thank you.”

Plenty of companies out there have rabid fan-bases. With gestures like this, we’re pretty sure ours is the best!

Serving food to the factory workers

Serving food to the factory workers

 

The attendees were treated to a tour of the factory as well as the Klipsch Museum of Audio History just across the street. This small building, now museum, once contained the entire Klipsch manufacturing facility in its basement from 1948 to 1952.

Our own resident historian Jim Hunter lent his time and knowledge to show them around the museum, which is chock full of amazing audio relics from our past such as prototypes, testing equipment and even some of PWK’s personal equipment. Smiles could be seen across the group’s faces as Jim went through each historical piece.

You can get your own virtual tour courtesy of Mr. Hunter on YouTube here.

The Klipsch Museum of Audio History

The Klipsch Museum of Audio History

 

The factory tour is always the highlight of the Klipsch Pilgrimage. After all, that’s where Klipsch speakers that have brought so much joy to so many people, are lovingly crafted by hand.

During the tour, an order of RF-7 II floorstanding speakers was being built from the ground up, showing off the craftsmanship for which Klipsch is known. To see first-hand exactly what goes into making these speakers is something truly special. It’s a detailed process that highlights the human, handmade aspect of these speakers.

Fans admiring some freshly-made Klipschorns

Fans admiring some freshly-made Klipschorns

 

"Before the sound." Still beautiful. Heresy and RF-7 II cabinets.

“Before the sound.” Still beautiful. Heresy and RF-7 II cabinets.

 

hope-building1

When we say hand-made, we mean it.

 

After the tour, engineering master Roy Delgado, Jr. showed off some of the upcoming Klipsch KI Series II Pro speakers, as well as the giant KPT-1802 subwoofer out behind the factory. Needless to say, people were amazed by the sound of these speakers and the subwoofer. We also gave a short A/B/C demo of music through some Klipschorn, RF-7 II, and Palladium P-39F speakers, which left many of the attendees nearly speechless afterward.

Lucky people getting a great demo.

Lucky Klipsch fans getting a great demo.

 

It almost goes without saying that the Klipsch Pilgrimage would feature a party. Heck, we all love speakers, so you gotta turn it up!

On Friday and Saturday night, attendees gathered at a huge property just outside of Hope owned by a longtime friend of some Klipsch employees. Several folks brought some of their own Heritage (Cornwall) speakers along with phono tube amps and turntables to set up in the giant barn/clubhouse.

Everyone rocked out to an interesting variety of music while telling stories about their own audio projects, tales of meeting Paul W. Klipsch himself and how they became Klipsch fans in the first place.

Some Cornwall speakers set up inside the clubhouse

Some Cornwall speakers set up inside the clubhouse

 

Outside the clubhouse, forum member Kevin Harmon – who filmed a short interview he had with PWK back in 1989 – set up his absolutely amazing KP-600 stacks that he had hauled to the pilgrimage. These monsters were LOUD!

Built for a variety of applications, they are perfectly suited for an outdoor venue and attendees of this “live concert” of recorded audio definitely had the “best seat in the house”. Fittingly, Roy Delgado, whose name is on the patent for the KP-600 (along with a host of other Klipsch patents) showed up and helped tune Kevin’s system to perfection.

KP-600 stacks

KP-600 stacks

 

When I say these speakers were loud, I mean it. Don’t believe me? Here’s proof….

In the late night/early morning hours of Saturday/Sunday, the owner of the property received a text from a “nearby” neighbor, asking to “please turn down the music”. I put “nearby” in quotes because this particular neighbor lives no less than 1.6 miles away from where the speakers were sitting. Hundreds of trees, some hilly land, and other buildings also sit between the 2 points.

The neighbor said they could hear every word of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. That’s definitely “Pissing Off The Neighbors.”

1.6 miles as the crow flies. Not enough space, apparently!

1.6 miles as the crow flies. Not enough space, apparently!

 

We are so lucky to have such a loyal and passionate fanbase and we truly thank the ones who put this appreciation lunch and gathering together. This event was strictly created by them without any involvement from Klipsch aside from agreeing on the dates and setting up the tours of the factory and museum.

We strive to continue making products that generations of audio lovers will want to bring to future gatherings and endlessly talk about how they became a Klipsch fan in the first place.

If you want to be a part of future gatherings and pilgrimages, hop on our forums and say “hello.” (Hint, there may be another small, but special Pilgrimage very soon!)

We are one of the only audio companies to maintain a forum community and we owe its members a great deal of gratitude.

Thanks again, everyone! We wouldn’t be where we are today without you.

 

Special thanks to the following forum members for their hard work in putting this together and for other various nice things they’ve done related to this event! (Do let me know if I missed anyone)
Mallette
ssh
Thaddeus Smith
USNRET
dtel’s wife
Seadog

Garage Sale Gems: Heresy

We’re not gonna lie. Even though the Klipsch Heresy is the most affordable of the Heritage Series of vintage speakers, it’s not for penny-pinchers.

No wonder. Each one is hand-crafted to order in Hope, Arkansas with the finest materials and thus requires a little bit more from the ol’ paycheck.

But they’re worth it.

Noted audiophile and professional reviewer Steven Guttenberg calls the Heresy III a “a rock’n’roller’s dream speaker” in a Stereophile editorial. He lavished even more praise on the Heresy in his CNET.com post: “The sound in my listening room was closer to a live rock concert sound system than I’ve heard from a lot of much more expensive and bigger speakers. That’s what the Heresy IIIs do so well, and once you experience that sort of sound at home, a set of Sonos wireless speakers won’t cut it anymore.”

Nice.

That being said, like any other speaker, you can find used Heresy speakers on Craigslist, eBay, the Klipsch forums, or even local garage sales.

Exhibit A: Klipsch forum member Chris Setlock came across a garage sale on Craigslist with about a dozen or so photos and spotted some nice Sansui components for $25 a pop.

Being a “die hard bargainer,” Chris headed over to the house to negotiate the price of the components. The reply was, “My husband will be down in a minute, he is bringing the speakers.”

Sure enough, said husband comes back with the first speaker in tow and wouldn’t you know what it was…

“I could barely contain myself when the owner appeared with the first speaker,” Chris said.

Chris: How much?

Owner: Eh, $20 each, they’re Klipsch.

Chris: Oh, really?

Owner: Yeah, and they’re heavy.

Chris: You don’t say…

Twenty dollars. For butt-kicking-made-in-the-USA speakers designed by the one and only Paul W. Klipsch.

Throw in $50 worth of Sanui components and Chris walked out with a complete system, and a huge grin on his face, for a mere $90. Of course, he is a bonafide “Klipschster” with 20 pairs of Klipsch speakers at home, including a pair of Heresys, even before this amazing find.

Bottom line: the cliché about garage sales is true: “You never know what you’re going to get.” Or is that a box of chocolates?

Tell us about your amazing finds in the comments below.


WARNING: Purchases of used or new Klipsch speakers or headphones at garage sales, Craigslist, eBay or any other unauthorized dealers void the warranty of the product. Warranties are non-transferrable. To learn more, go to http://www.klipsch.com/policies