Klipsch Heritage Heresy III loudspeaker is a cult icon of American Hi-Fi engineering, still hand-made after 50 years.
Klipsch is an iconic American manufacturer of loudspeakers with a design and manufacturing tradition going back over 70 years. The Heresy is one of their most famous and iconic speaker designs and instils fierce loyalty amongst its devotees.
We take a long overdue look at the world of Klipsch and the iconic Heresy III…
The Klipsch brand is not as well known here in Europe, as it is in its native USA; to set the scene, however, it’s not outrageous to say that Klipsch could be considered to be “The American Tannoy”.
As with many of the 20th Century’s great inventions and inventors, Paul W Klipsch created his first legendary speaker design in the aftermath of WW2. Visitors to his Officer’s quarters at Southwest proving grounds were astonished at the life-like sound coming from the loudspeakers of his own design.
In a tiny tin shed in Hope, Arkansas, Paul Klipsch refined his designs into the original Klipschorn loudspeaker and received a patent on the design in 1945. The Kipschorn was to become a legendary design which is still in production today, uninterrupted since its introduction in 1948.
Klipsch, today, is a diverse company making a wide and diverse range of products; from soundbars and modern Hi-Fi speakers, through to Klipsch’s Heritage range of classic loudspeakers. The Heritage range is, in many ways an American cousin to Tannoy’s Legacy series; hand built, classic designs for audio connoisseurs.
Klipsch Heritage Heresy III
In 1957, Paul Klipsch was working on a design for a centre channel speaker, to accompany the mighty Klipschorns, in early three-channel speaker systems. Up until this point, all Klipsch loudspeakers had worked upon the corner horn principle.
Legend has it that Paul Klipsch was sketching the design for the loudspeaker out and an associate looking over his shoulder suggested that this design, coming from Paul Klipsch, would be heresy. The name stuck, and soon people realised that this loudspeaker had a purpose and design which was altogether special in itself.
The Klipsch Heritage Heresy III is a three-way design, utilising a horn-loaded titanium diaphragm midrange and high-frequency compression drivers along with a direct-radiating 12-inch woofer. Perhaps the most outstanding feature of the Klipsch Heritage Heresy III is its exceptional sensitivity and efficiency; a 99db sensitivity places it as one of the most sensitive loudspeaker designs ever manufactured.
Inspiring fierce loyalty amongst enthusiasts, its supporters will state that its relatively modest bandwidth (by 21st Century standards) of 58Hz to 20kHz is more than adequate for most music. What it may lack in the reproduction of frequency extremes, it more than compensates for with realism and transparency.
An audio icon
The Klipsch Heresy has received numerous revisions throughout its astonishing 60 plus year production life; the first was in 1985 creating the Heresy II whilst today’s model introduces titanium drivers and bi-wirable terminals along with a choice of beautiful wood finishes.
That incredible sensitivity, coupled to a remarkable SPL of 116db at one meter, means the Klipsch Heritage Heresy III is ideally suited to lovers of low-power valve amplification. The high sensitivity makes them an exceptionally easy speaker to drive, with room-filling sound from just a few watts.
Few products in the world of Hi-Fi last as long as the Klipsch Heresy III Loudspeakers; if you were considering a model from the Tannoy Legacy series, for example, you may wish to check out their American Cousins for a different flavour on vintage loudspeakers.