This is a system that fairly begs for blocks to bust. Sahara is a movie of a badness rarely equaled even in Hollywood, but it's got an action soundtrack packed with rip-offs of - er, tributes to - every famous action sequence from Dr. No to Die Another Day. The climactic battle features lots of helicopter-circling, hovering, and zooming. Whirlybirds produce an exposed, repeating wide-band sound that's difficult for systems to keep from audibly localizing to individual speakers as it pans about. But the RF-83 setup was just about perfectly smooth in pans across the front and very nearly as good with movement to the rear. Despite being bipoles and not dipoles, the RS-62 surrounds were almost as non-localizing as the expensive dipoles I use every day, possibly because of the tightly controlled spread of the horns (which were aimed away from the listener in my setup).
The RT-12d sub is a sophisticated beast described elsewhere (see "Triangular Logic"). Here I need say only that it equalled the best subwoofer performance I've heard in my room. Its room-compensation seemed to work: Bottom-end sound was audibly tighter (but no less deep). A quick test-bench scan of the sub's processing, via its line outputs (for daisy-chaining additional subwoofers), showed the correction introduced a broad response notch in the 75-Hz region - about a third-octave higher than the primary modal peak in my room, but it did address the problem somewhat. Sahara's machine-gun and cannon fire slammed with all proper impact, but the soundtrack - even the copter crash - couldn't really bring a sweat to the RT-12d's tri-cornered brow. So I broke out some old standbys, such as the T. rex footfalls in Jurassic Park. Yeow! The earth moved....
BOTTOM LINE The Klipsch RF-83 home theater speaker system is hugely capable and well-suited to a serious home theater whose first duty is true cinema-like movie playback. It demands a big room and display: My 50-inch TV looked positively puny flanked by the mighty RF-83s. But in the right setting, these Klipschs could be stunning. Literally.
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