Klipsch love them or hate them.

My best friend drives me crazy.Every time we get into a discussion about audio,he tells me how great klipsch speakers are.I think they are the worst speakers.What do you think!
I own a pair of La Scala's and two pairs of Forte II's. I love both designs. IMHO the newer Klipsch products do not approach the Heritage line of products of which Paul W. Klipsch was the primary designer. I think that their speaker designs started going downhill as Paul had less and less to do with the company he founded as well as with the products themselves. I think it was beginning in the late 80's or early 90's that Klipsch (the company) started to make products to compete financially with the mainstream of mass-produced "Hi-fi" speaker manufacturers the likes of Bose. Horn speakers definitely have a distinctive sound to them. Whether you like them or not depends upon your own personal preferences as well as the kind of music you like to listen to. I think they excel in lifelike dynamic presentation of vocals and acoustic instrumentals, especially strings. I'd strongly agree with sdcampbell as far as which models were better. The Forte's and Chorus are also great speakers for what you pay for them, and match very well with tubes and are very SET-friendly, as are the larger models mentioned previously. I wouldn't touch any of the newer speakers, with the possible exception of the Jubilee, which is also Paul's design. I don't know if they are available yet though. There is an excellent biography of Paul W. Klipsch titled, "Paul W. Klipsch, The Life... The Legend" by Maureen Barrett and Mike Klementovich, which is a fascinating look at PWK's life and work. He was certainly an extraordinary and eccentric man, and that book is well worth reading if you have any interest in some of the history of our passionate pursuits. Sadly Paul W. Klipsch passed away in May of this year. He was 98 years young!
For music there are plenty of other speakers I prefer over the Klipsch Heritage line, the other klipsch lines I personally don't care for. For Home Theater though I don't think there is another brand I would ever use.

I personaly feel the Klipsch Academy center channel is the best center I have ever owned. I have owned the B&W HTM, M&K S-150, Thiel SCS and MCS1, and a few other center channels that I auditioned at home.

It was while helping my brother to put together an inexpensive but enjoyable HT that I discovered Klipsch myself.

I know use the Academy center and Forte II's in the front and would like to get a pair of Academy's or 4 for the rear. If I could buy 6 matching Academys I would use them at every channel (except the sub of course)

The Forte II are also great and if I had the room and the space then I would use it at all the channels.

What the Klipsch speakers give me for home theater that I lacked with all the other speakers I tried was just a total envelpoment in the movie. The Academy is also the only center I have owned that you never have to ask "what did they say" dialogue is unbeliavably clear and that, IMHO is the center channels main job.

For music the Fortes are very enjoyable but they can sometimes be a little larger than life. With the wrong electronics they can drive you crazy as well.

The best way I can describe using the Klipsch Academy and Fortes is to say this, with all the lights off and a movie playing you are really transformed into the movie. You really get a feel of the best movie theater you have ever experienced, doubled. They are effortless for HT and a hell of a lot of fun.

I have been an avid audiophile and videophile for about 10 years and even though I have owned systems valued at over $25,000 (Proceed, Plinius, Parasound, Thiel, Velodyne, Pioneer Elite LD & DVD, Cardas, etc..) This is the most fun HT system ever....... isn't that what it's supposed to be about anyway?
You know If Klipsch made a speaker that was as uncolored and refined soundding(or at least close for the money) as the AVANTGARDE HORN speakers, I'd be a DEFINITE FAN!!! COME ON KLIPSCH!!!!..I'M ROOTING FOR YA!!!!
For over 10 years now I've been selling Klipsch speakers on a retail level. I've had people bring their older Heritage series speakers into my shops, and/or telling me how great their LaScalas or K Horns sound and such. But I have yet to hear one pair that I thought sounded "all that"!!! I sure wish I could JUST ONE TIME hear a pair(or whatever) of Klipsch speakers(or combo of equipemt) that sounded transparant, uncolored, and refined!!! I SOOOOOO MUCH want to hear a pair of K's that sound really really good...and I'll tell you why....
I REALLY love the dynamics and pressence that you get from a lot of these Klipsch passive speakers potentially, and the advantages that offers for movies and dynamic music/sound, and that they are easy to drive with any amp!(also tubes) My complaint thus far with the Klipsch's, at least ALL THE ONES I'VE HEARD, is that they are just too colored, and not so extended sounding sometimes(although horns can be very detailed). Or they just don't seem to be transparant and dissapear well enough for my tastes. While they can be detailed and involving, and the dynamics and pressence are fantastic with the right set up and equipment, I can never get past the limitations. I mean I hear a pair of uncolored or refined(although not nearly as dynamic and effortless sounding) Thiels, or Maggies, or Wilson's(better dynamically than a lot however), even stuff from modest 'ol NHT's line, and I wonder why Klipsch's can't produce that kind of transparancy and lack of coloration!?!
Still, from years of dealing with the Klipsch's, I keep hoping someone will enlighten me on some "modification"(like I've heard about crossover upgrades for Klilpsch's, but don't know if it makes a difference) or "obscure" model of Klipsch's that I'm not aware of, which will make me get excited about trying a K speaker! I really really want the K's to sound better than they do! I love the benefit a high sensitivity speaker offers for HT and rock music, and the pressence that's available with even low wattage amps. I know you're going to get steap roll-off off axis and all, but I can work with that(although you sure get better off-axis sound from COMMERCIAL MOVIE THEATER SPEAKERS!!!...anyone know why theater horns have so much better dispersion?).
Build me an affordable Klipsch speaker that sounds even remotely "hi-end" sounding and "uncolored", and I'll buy one right now!!!!!!
I've certainly come to the realization of the limitiations of passive speakers in general dynamically, and horns certainly do better in efficiency and sensitivity(and thus dynamic ease). So I like what "potential" the horn has to offer in the right design.
I keep hearing tons of very clear and uncolored sounding speakers over the years, but most of these passive designs are very flawed dynamically(but then we're talking "passive crossover network designs"). Avantegard has the whole "uncolored" and very refined and high end thing down, but they're BIG BUCKS! I want BUDGET MID-FI PRICED SPEAKERS that sound as clear as a pair of old NHT 1.5's or better, with ultra high sensitivity like what Horn speakers offer! Otherwise, I will continue to crave "powered speakers" from higher end manufactures(still rare), or active speakers(also rare) with "higher refinement"!
If anyone has some input there I'd love to hear it.
I'm certainly not an expert and I'm really speaking from my mid-fi perspective, however I agree with Jax2. The original Klipsch products, now referred to as the Heritage line, were awesome speakers and were very well made.

In the mid '80s, I had a roommate who had a pair of Heresys driven by some top-of-the-line Yamaha gear (way back when Yamaha made some quality stuff), and supplemented by an M&K subwoofer. I spent five wonderful years with those speakers and I was pretty bummed when we parted ways.

Around the same time, I had a friend who owned a pair of LaScalas paired with Carver (I think). It was a great setup for cranking up classic rock and R&B. A mutual friend purchased a brand new pair of Boston Acoustics A400s and carted them over to compare to the LaScalas. If I remember correctly the A400s did provide a little more detail than the LaScalas, and they looked really cool too. But at the end of the evening (and the end of a bottle of Jack Daniels) the speakers that I would have wanted to take home were the Klipsch.

I've met several Klipsch fanatics like your friend. In my experience they are always people who have spent time with the Heritage products, and not the recent Klipsch designs. While I no longer think that Klipsch speakers are 'great' as your friend does, I would have a hard time passing up a pair of old Klipsch if the price was right.
I think that the "classic" series were their best products and even these need a lot of help in stock form. The cabinets resonate like mad, the cabinets are not very well sealed, the horns ring like crazy, the drivers suffer from severe diffraction, the wiring is attrocious, etc... Luckily, these are all things than can be taken care of with a little "TLC" : )

Most of their newer stuff is pretty bad sounding in my opinion. Take all of the above-mentioned flaws and then try to make the finished product even cheaper. Don't know about the latest K-horns, but most of the others hurt my ears. Sean