Volti Audio Razz vs. Klipsch Forte Cabinet Quality
When I set out to develop a smaller horn speaker than the Rival, I did not consider how my new speaker would compare to anything from Klipsch. My focus was on a speaker in the $5K price range that had the ‘Volti Audio Sound’ and the build quality that Volti has become known for. In the end the Razz does closely resemble the size and topology of the Klipsch Forte, and comparisons between the two inevitably began to roll in after I introduced my new speaker. So I bought a pair of Klipsch Forte III speakers and listened to them, tested them, and disassembled them to inspect and test all the individual parts, including the construction quality of the cabinet. This way I could be more informed when talking to my customers.
They may look similar on the outside, and in a lot of ways they sound similar, but there is no comparison in terms of quality or refinement – The Razz is the far superior speaker. There are many practical reasons why that is the case, one of which is the quality of construction of the speaker cabinet.
When a speaker company builds a higher quality cabinet, the sound of the speaker improves. Cabinet resonances can account for less defined bass, muddiness in the upper bass, and lack of integration between upper bass and midrange – not to mention how the quality of a cabinet affects the longevity of the speaker.
The Klipsch Forte cabinet is made in China of material that is just a step above the highest grade of cardboard. In this industry, there is a range of quality in cabinet construction from lowest to highest, and when it comes to wooden speaker cabinets, the Klipsch Forte cabinet falls into the lowest end of that range. I don’t think it is possible to build a cheaper cabinet and have it still function as a speaker cabinet.
By contrast, the Volti Audio Razz has the highest quality wooden speaker cabinet in the industry. Yes, the highest quality regardless of price. Until someone can show me another speaker that has 1” Baltic Birch plywood, polyurethane based adhesives, 1” thick bracing, and CNC cut parts that lock together throughout the cabinet, I will continue to make that claim.
Put another way. When I removed the woofer from the front of one of my Forte cabinets, I didn’t do it, but I’m quite sure that if I had grasped the edge of the woofer opening with both hands at about the 4 o’clock position, with one good twist I could have broken off a good chunk of the front of the cabinet. By the way, I think I would have a harder time ripping off a piece of those big, thick, cardboard watermelon boxes you see in the grocery stores. By contrast, I could take a Razz cabinet outside on my driveway, lay it down on its side and drive the front tire of my 2016 Chevy Silverado 2500 pickup truck up onto the side of it without incident.
Nobody builds a higher quality wooden speaker cabinet than you’ll find in the Razz, and at the Razz price point that’s noteworthy and remarkable.
Over the years I’ve thought a lot about the Klipsch/Volti comparisons that people naturally make. At times I’ve wished that it would go away – for Volti Audio to have recognition without any comparison to the Klipsch brand. But let’s face it, there are not that many horn speaker companies out there, and especially ones that build products in the price points that Klipsch and Volti do. Nobody ever compares Avantgarde to Klipsch do they? So I’ve just embraced the fact that people are going to make comparisons. Klipsch makes a good horn speaker, but if a person wants a better horn speaker, that’s what Volti Audio is here for. I love explaining the differences between the two brands. It’s easy to see and hear the differences, and it shines a bright light on tiny Volti Audio and how we’re able to build much higher quality products than the giant Klipsch.