I wanted to write a longer review for these speakers as I found a lack of reviews for these while on the fence.
Normally, I'm a regular magnolia customer, but I decided to give these a shot because of the sale this last Cyber Monday. Although, in my opinion, these speakers should be placed in the magnolia display rather than in the awful standard demo areas.
In any case, I'm not normally a fan of Klipsch. I find their tractrix horn technology a little too in your face, and generally compensating for the lack of clarity and imaging by overproducing noise. Sure the brand has always created very efficient drivers, but set them next to a Martin Logan and you'll probably hear what I mean. (depending on the taste). I won't claim to be an audiophile, using some sort of mac dedicated amp, but I am a very picky consumer when it comes to my electronics. That being said, to illustrate my complete non-bias, I am VERY impressed with these speakers. These things do not act like the normal Klipsch that I am used to (that being the normal Reference II series).
What I'm working with and why I was considering these:
Amp/receiver: Pioneer Elite VSX-80 ($699 MSRP - 499 on sale at BB)
Previous Front R/L: Martin Logan Motion 4 ($500 MSRP)
Center: Martin Logan Motion 6 ($299 MSRP)
Previous Rear: Onkyo 100w hand-me-downs
Subwoofer: Boston Acoustics PV-600 (MSRP 299)
XBR 55" 4k TV
The idea was to replace the hand-me-down rear channels by moving the motion 4's to the back. As I started to build this system, I found that every time I would decide on a speaker I would end up in magnolia spending more money. To make a long story short, this was the background for the Martin Logan's, since I'd set the mid-priced speaker next to an ML and be left with a clear choice. However, I then found myself a little boxed in. Almost all audio purists will tell you that matching your speakers is a huge MUST, and frankly, I really began to understand this when the center motion 6 paired with the motion 4 fronts. So, logic following to replace the fronts, that meant I should be looking at the motion 40's for front L/R...? I found myself asking why I really needed to pay $2,000 for speakers on a system that already sounded great. Boxed in as I felt, the simple goal was to get some floor standing speakers because the motion 4's could not handle the low frequency enhancement (LFE) and high power. I had to turn the LFE down to -10 and compensate with the Sub crossover or face nasty sounding distortion.
With the speakers on sale for Cyber Monday, I thought I would give these a try. Heck, if I didn't like them I'd have no trouble taking them back - something I made sure of with the Best Buy folks. Problem is, I don't want to take them back now. Even if they weren't on sale.
I am quite amazed with how well these paired with the Martin Logan center. I was really concerned that the timbre and tractrix would sound very different from the folded motion. Oddly, that was not the case (or at least as noticeable as I thought) . The clarity is on a very close level with the motion 6 center, and the imaging is simply wonderful from these. Despite the placement close to my walls and facing straight, the R-28F's really expanded the sound into a huge area. The performance was life-like in size, scale and weight, ultimately expanding the sound in a sort of blended arc of power from the TV. There is clear coherence across the entire frequency range, giving a very impressive sharpness and realism that reminded me a lot of Martin Logan's. However, the R-28F's do lack a tad of a "dynamic prowess" and detailed clarity compared to the ML’s. But this is only really evident when you come to major effect scenes. At the same time, where the ML's have a slight edge on detailed clarity, the R-28F's have the edge for a sense of warmth and body. The midrange has great body and is only barely overshadow by what is a great bass performance. Needless to say, with LFE set back to 0, there is no such thing as distortion.
One feature about these that I was not unfamiliar with is that these speakers are very efficiency, so as for power these things are....well... intense. So I did have to re-run the auto setup on the receiver and manually push a tad more to the rear channels in the settings. This was only to keep the motions 4’s from being washed out from the front channels with loud scenes.
All-in-all, I'll be keeping these puppies, only upgrading years down the line if need be. Can't wait to see how these speakers break in.