When it comes to building a dream home audio system, people usually tend towards one of two camps: finding the most high-zoot modern equipment filled with new tech, or opting for a completely vintage setup. Top of the line equipment from yesteryear is often praised for the unique character it possesses not just in sound quality, but in visual design and physical construction, and to many it’s worth the trade-off in modern niceties.
But there is a third option: choosing one of the growing number of products that deftly blends the best of both eras. A perfect example—the new Klipsch Forte IV floorstanding speakers. These high-end speakers are part of the Klipsch Heritage series, a lineup of premium speakers that draw direct inspiration from classic products released during the brand’s storied 75-year history.
If you’re new to the brand, you’d never guess that the Klipsch Forte IV are their most recent speaker release. And in a way, you’d be correct. While the Forte IV did debut just earlier this month, the first Klipsch Forte model itself was released in 1985 as one of the brand’s halo products. Every subsequent release refined the model, while continuing to embrace its history.
LIke the rest of their Heritage lineup, the Forte IV eschews the modern aesthetic you’ll find on most of Klipsch’s consumer products. If you had a killer hi-fi system in the 70s, something that looked just like the Forte IV probably had a starring role.
The cabinets are hand-built by Klipsch craftsmen in Hope, Arkansas—the very same town where Klipsch was founded. Every cabinet is covered in a true wood veneer (none of that peel-and-stick printed stuff). The veneer is grain-matched and book-matched, giving the impression that each Klipsch Forte IV is hewn from consecutive pieces of lumber from the same tree. The Klipsch Forte IV are available in four classic finishes, with grills matched to the cabinet.
Behind the vintage grills, you’ll find state of the art componentry that includes both tried-and-true Klipsch designs along with some all-new technology. The three-way design comprises a 12-inch woofer, and Klipsch’s trademark Tractrix horn midrange and high-frequency drivers. Both mid- and high-range drivers have been reworked to offer improved detail, dynamics, and a wider sweet spot. Around back, a 15-inch passive radiator ensures increased bass output, while a premium input panel accommodates large-gauge speaker cables and allows for bi-wiring and bi-amping.
Of course, for fans of Klipsch Heritage speakers, and especially the Forte series, the latest models need no introduction. The IV promise to continue the pedigree set by their predecessors, which earned reviews like being called “masters of reality.” The Stereophile Magazine review of the Klipsch Forte III ended with a conclusion that proclaimed: “For sheer elation, for joyous jumps and shouts, for exhilaration of hi-fi enjoyed and music revealed, the Forte III is a one-of-a-kind loudspeaker.” Refinements to this iteration promise an even better sonic experience without compromising the features that made the third version so highly-regarded.
Since the Klipsch Forte IV have only just hit store shelves, professional reviews are sparse. But we can attest to the excellence of both their construction and their sound quality. If you’re looking for the foundation of an awe-inspiring hi-fi system, the Klipsch Forte IV will be hard to beat. Stop by our Chicagoland showroom to audition the Klipsch Forte IV in person, or contact one of our custom audio sales specialists for info on purchasing.