Klipsch Synergy Series SLX/SUB-10 System Reviewed

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Installation/Setup/Ease of Use
I set up this system as�Klipsch�feels it is likely to be used in most homes. The SLX speakers were mounted on Sanus FF1S stands with the tweeter at ear level. The SLXs were placed approximately nine feet apart, to each end of an entertainment center with six-foot-tall cabinets on each end. My seat was about 12 feet from the center. I placed the woofer on the same wall as the SLX speakers, which were connected to a Denon AVR-3805 surround sound receiver. Kimber Cable PR-4 speaker wire was used.

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After allowing several days of "break in" time, I noticed the speakers were highly directional; so much so that a minor change in the toe-in made as much difference as changing the volume of that speaker by several decibels! On the negative side, the sweet spot is going to be very limited in a 2.1 system. On the positive side, the SLXs were not affected substantially by room boundaries, and it is very easy to get precise localization from the soundtrack.

Positioning the SLXs for optimal performance was easy. After making small adjustments to the amount of toe-in, I got a very clear, focused image with nice dimensions. This level of performance was good for an area wide enough for two people. As noticeable as the speaker's directionality was the very convincing center channel effect obtained from just the right and left speakers.

Regarding the "Tapered Array", I heard clear, open, heavy when necessary, but never boomy vocals, which I believe is a direct result of this design feature. Basically, both 4.5-inch drivers work the same at the lowest frequencies. As the pitch gets higher, one plays only into the midrange, while the other continues to play right up to the 3,000 Hz crossover frequency of the horn-loaded tweeter. This well-executed crossover arrangement provides bass when needed, but does not unnaturally "color" difficult and dynamic dialog with overly bass-heavy voices. True to Klipsch's four design principles, the SLXs did not require the Denon receiver to be cranked on in order to achieve very impressive volume levels without apparent strain, and, most notably, with less compression than many other speakers using small drivers and limited cabinet space.�

The SUB-10 took very little adjustment to blend perfectly with the SLX mains. A large part of this has to do with the SLX speakers being tuned lower than many speakers of their size. Klipsch is able to accomplish this with the use of "Folded Port Extensions". I had this technique explained to me, and my eyes glazed over much like yours would if I tried the same. Suffice to say, this is an ingenious porting system, and it works. I did pull the woofer about 18 inches from the wall to get the texture of bass I like: rich, deep, tight and quick. It lost very little output doing this, and got rid of the boom, lack of detail, and overhang first heard with the sub closer to the wall. I tried all of my favorite "poser exposer" low frequency effects from different movies. Without being just plain abusive, I could not seriously tax the SUB-10. When the wall of Helms Deep on The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Extended Edition is breached with explosives, the dynamics surprised me - it was one of those moments like turning on the stereo after it had been turned off with the volume way up.

Final Take
Used as Klipsch predicts their target demographic will use the SLX/SUB-10 system, I think it is a formidable combo at its price point. As much as I enjoyed this system on movies and TV, I was not as impressed with just music. Do not misunderstand me! Music did sound very good through the SLXs, and only an audiophile is likely to complain. I feel their design particularly suits them for use with video. In Klipsch's defense, to allow for consistent performance whether used horizontally or vertically, and to have a best-in-class performer for use with video soundtracks, certain design parameters had to be adhered to. Better to have an exceptional performer for a specific use, than to have a merely adequate performer for a variety of applications. Would I own them? You betcha!

Read more top performing bookshelf speaker reviews here�from brands like Polk Audio, Def Tech, Golden Ear, Paradigm and many others.

Klipsch Synergy Series
SLX Left/Center/Right Speaker�
(1) 1" aluminum dome K-138 neodymium tweeter�
(2) 4.5" neodymium magnetically shielded woofers�
Frequency response - 82 Hz to 23 KHz +/- 3db�
Sensitivity - 95db @ 2.83 volts/1 meter�
Power handling - 100 watts max continuous�
(400 watts peak)�
Weight - 9.5 lbs (without bracket)
10 lbs (with bracket)�
MSRP - $349 each

Down-firing ported bass reflex�
(1) 10" active driver�
Frequency response - 28 Hz to 120 Hz +/- 3 db Built-in 200 WRMS amplifier @ 1% THD�
Dynamic power - 400 watts�
Weight - 37 lbs�
MSRP - $399

Sanus FF1S Stands - $159/pair

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HTR Product Rating for Klipsch Synergy Series SLX/SUB-10 System

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