Klipsch Palladium Speakers

Klipsch began making speakers in the US over six decades ago, and the company is still going strong. Its current flagship line, dubbed Palladium, builds on the company's continuing commitment to horn-loaded designs.

The Palladium line includes three floorstanders and one bookshelf model. The top of this heap is the P-39F ($20,000/pair), a 3-way design with a ¾-inch titanium tweeter and 4.5-inch aluminum midrange, each located in the throat of its own Klipsch-exclusive Tractrix horn to control directivity and increase efficiency. The low end is handled by three 9-inch aluminum/Rohacell/Kevlar woofers in a curved "boat-tail" cabinet with triple ports to enhance the bass response while reducing distortion. The result is an overall frequency range from 39Hz to 24kHz (±3dB) and a sensitivity of 99dB/W/m.

The P-27C center-channel speaker ($3500) uses the same Tractrix horn-loaded tweeter and midrange, which are flanked by two 7-inch woofers in a rear-ported cabinet. The frequency response extends from 56Hz to 24kHz (±3dB) with a sensitivity of 96dB/W/m.

The surround channels are reproduced by the P-27S ($4000/pair) with two of the same horn-loaded tweeters firing fore and aft and two 7-inch woofers in a front-ported enclosure. These puppies reproduce frequencies from 72Hz to 24kHz (±3dB) with a sensitivity of 96dB/W/m.

As you've no doubt surmised by now, none of the Palladium speakers can plumb the depths of deep bass, which is the job of the P-312W subwoofer ($4000). This bad boy includes one 12-inch active transducer and two 12-inch, side-firing passive radiators that can get down to 18Hz (-3dB). A hybrid-digital amp delivers 1000 watts of continuous power, and onboard auto room correction compensates for those pesky room modes.

If you've been following along with a calculator, you know that a 5.1 Palladium system with two P-39F fronts, one P27C center, two P-27S surrounds, and one P-312W sub will set you back $31,500. Is such a system worth it? I suspect so.

As Wes Phillips concluded in his review of the P-39F for Stereophile, "Are there better loudspeakers for $20,000/pair than the Klipsch Palladium P-39F? Possibly—I haven't heard every one of them yet. (Give me time and I'll certainly try.) What I can tell you is that the P-39F surprised me with its balance, lively sound, and ungimmicky naturalness. It's well built and, I think, really good-looking. If, like me, you think you know what a horn speaker sounds like, the P-39F just might astound you. It certainly astounded me."