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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After living with these for a few months, I decided to do have a "showdown" between all of my tower speakers.

The others in the lineup were:

VMPS Mini Tower IIA
BIC Venturi DV-84

The VMPS Tower II SE did not participate, due to size and weight!

The BIC's are surprising good, especially for the price we paid (on sale).

The Mini Towers were good also, but lack overall "punch", a bit veiled in sound.

The R-820F's blew everything out of the water! Crystal clear highs, extremely detailed, with a low end that rivals my VMPS speakers. Extremely clean, almost analytical in nature. Not fatiguing to listen to at all!

I am driving these with an all tube pre-amp, and a 300 watt/channel Mosfet solid state power amp. You don't really need that much power as these are hyper efficient.

Strings, piano, guitar, trumpets and trombones really shine on these. Classical, jazz, or rock music all comes to life. I'm a former musician, so music is first in consideration, with video/movie soundtracks taking second place.

But with that said, these things shook the house with the bomb explosions in Saving Private Ryan, and Dunkirk.

Yes, I know these are budget towers from Klipsch, the lower version of the RP-8000. But they sound better than all of my other speakers, even the ones that cost three times the price.

These are on sale again right now, for about $249/each, from Klipsch. You can't go wrong for that price!

This summary from Sound Stage Hi-fi:

I enjoyed my time with the Klipsch Reference R-820Fs, and think their sound quality is competitive with anything in their price range. And if you like to play your music loud, and/or pressurize a home-theater room with maximum SPLs, the R-820F might be your best bet in a pair of budget floorstanders. I like the unique styling of Klipsch’s Reference models -- their copper-colored woofers and horn-loaded tweeters set them apart from a crowded field of competitors. Kudos to Klipsch for remaining true to their heritage while providing excellent value in a reasonably priced floorstanding speaker.

325 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Did an A/B comparison last night with my VMPS Tower II SE's.

Brian Cheny (owner/designer) of VMPS actually built these, and they were purchased direct from him. His speakers have gotten rave reviews in virtually all of the audio HIFI publications, including Stereophile Magazine.

This is a very subjective listening test, with my middle-age ears...

Equipment used:

Dynaco Tube Pre-amp - PAS-3 Series II
Sound Valves Mosfet: 32 Power Amp (200 Watts/Channel)
Panasonic DMP-UB900 Blu-ray Player

Music played was Basia (female vocalist), and The Big Phat Band (19 piece jazz orchestra).

Both of these discs are full range, and very well recorded.

The 820's had an immediate sense of presence, and visceral impact. Bass lines that went deep, real deep. You could feel it! Again (as stated before) horns, trumpets, trombones, and saxophones sound lifelike. Voices (male & female) are full timbre, without getting edgy in nature. Note that female voices are very hard to reproduce and sound good. These speakers actually make you exited about listening to music that is properly engineered and recorded well.

The Tower II SE's are fine, and might even be considered more of a true "audiophile" speaker. The sound top to bottom, was extremely well balanced. Smooth. Liquid in nature. Nothing stood out about them. But...they fail to generate any real sense of impact.

Compared to the 820's, listening to the Tower II's was like looking at a Rembrandt painting through a screen door.

Maybe it's my middle-aged ears, after spending 32 years in the cockpit of jet aircraft (i.e., noisy environment). Not sure.

But I'll take the Klipsch! Might even buy a pair of RP-8000F's.
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