Call it a gimmick if you will, some sort of hipster movement maybe, but there’s a good reason so many of our customers ask if we do vintage audio and it has nothing to do with the sound quality, the functionality or the convenience. No, nine time out of ten the reason people ask me for classic pieces is because of their timeless design. Vintage hifi looks like hifi. It feels like hifi. It’s what we think of when we think hifi, and it’s as simple as that. Machined metal dials, timber finishes, not a spot of plastic in sight, old fashioned hifi has an aesthetic that screams authenticity and in this day and age people respond very strongly to that.
Klipsch’s Heritage range has long been its most striking. The Heresey’s, the Cornwall’s, the La Scala’s, and the Klipschorn’s haven’t much changed in aesthetic since their initial release over half a century ago. Though technologically they continue to evolve, the Heritage series continues to be manufactured by hand – not machine – in Hope, Arkansas using the highest quality materials and traditional manufacturing methods, meaning they look just as stunning as they sound. It’s no surprise then that the only downside to the Heritage range is that most of us just don’t have the required clams to experience their quality in our homes, so we opt for cheaper alternatives with cheaper finishes, often to the detriment of both the sound quality and the product’s aesthetic. But Klipsch, in their infinite wisdom, have recently incorporated the aesthetics of their Heritage series into a range of affordable, contemporary audio products for beginners and audiophiles alike.
Take Klipsch’s The Three for example. It’s a 2.1 speaker system using machined brass dials and a timber housing. It looks like something straight out of the 60s – not a pinch of plastic in sight. But it’s when you go under the hood that the mid twentieth century comparisons end. The Three is not only equipped with a phono stage (yes, I said phono stage), but it also comes with bluetooth functionality and DTS Playfi technology. Yup, not only can you plug a turntable straight into this baby and crank your favourite LPs but it’s a wireless streaming unit as well. And the sound, well, it’s that quality Klipsch audio they’ve been bangin out for the last seventy years. If you’re looking for an affordable, compact 2.1 system that doesn’t sacrifice on sound quality or aesthetic beauty, The Three might just be your perfect choice.
In conjunction with products like The Three, Klipsch have released their 70th anniversary edition turntable and refashioned the ever-popular R-15PM powered monitors with an equally stunning timber finish. The turntable is a Pro-ject DC Debut Carbon/ Ortofon 2M Red combination in a gorgeous walnut timber laminate finish – with Klipsch insignia to boot! Audibly, it’s a killer combination, and in conjunction with a set of The Sixes or The Three would make a very enviable home hifi setup indeed. And The Sixes, themselves, come equipped with inbuilt phono stage, 1” titanium-loaed tweeters, 6.5” rear-ported woofers, RCA 3.5 mini jack optical and USB inputs, plus optional sub out. And at $1499 they’re extremely good value for money.
What I love about the resurgent growth in vinyl records is the marriage between contemporary and classic. Through it we’ve taken the best aspects of an older technology – namely the sound quality but also its intrinsic beauty – and incorporated it into a modern setting. Most, if not all, vinyl junkies these days have streaming accounts, recognising the value of having direct access to a comprehensive range of artist as well the convenience of things like playlists, sudden music changes, updates for new album releases, etc. etc. It’s no longer an us versus them argument, left versus right. We’re now recognising there’s room for it all. So why should the style of our audio equipment be any different? Why can’t we take the best aspects of early 20th century design and incorporate them into contemporary audio products that offer the best of both words? Well, with the new Klipsch Heritage series you can.
Click on the link below to check out this new and exciting range.
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