Nowhere could I find comparison of the Forte III to Forte II. Now here it is. Amplifiers: Sansui. CD players: Oppo95 and 205, Tube Research Labs modified Sony 595. Speakers: ESS AMT 1B, 1D and Ltd Ed; Klipsch Forte I, Forte II, Forte III, Chorus, RF-7.
With ESS since 1978; 20 years with Forte II, Chorus and RF7. Music: Liszt, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven - piano, string quartets, cathedral organ; Stevie Nicks, Debby Harry, Norah Jones, Hope Sandoval, Jewel, Donna Lewis, Ann Wilson, Shawn Colvin, Margo Timmins, Ani DiFranco, Roberta Flack, Alison Krauss, Miranda Lambert, Annie Lennox, Sarah McLachlan, Regina Spektor, Whitney Houston, Joni Mitchell, Neko Case, Tori Amos, Gabriella Cilmi, Nelly Furtado, Joan Jett, Lita Ford,, Gwen Stefani, Amy Winehouse, Emmy Lou Harris, Janis, Peggy Lee, Cindy Lauper, Courtney Love, Meredith Brooks, Christine McVie.... The Doors, Dylan, Duane Eddy, cathedral organ SACDs...
I will never part with my ESS AMTs. Perfect highs and lows. The Fortes revealed the hole in the ESS midrange. Fortes are perfectly balanced. Fortes at one end of the room and ESS at the other is perfection.
Now, Forte III. No need to A/B with the earlier Fortes. The difference is cosmic. The Forte III has it all, possibly the finest of all time. Explosive. Forte II is balanced. Forte III is balanced, sweet & ballistic. Glad I splurged on the California Black Walnut Special Ed. Works of art. Even if you don't like music you want these in your home. Forget the Monets.
UPDATED 10/23/17: Just ordered two more pair. This is a follow-up to my previous review, "finest balanced sound," to share unpacking instructions. 1. Place unopened box one box length from where you want to place the speaker. 2 "Open this end" leads to the speaker base. 3. Do not remove the protective sleeve - fold the top of it out of the way around the speaker base sides. 4. Gently tip the box on its side toward speaker placement. 5. Tip the box upside down, making sure the opened flaps are splayed out of the way, so that the base sits on the floor exactly where you want it. 6. Lift the box straight up and away. 7. Keep the box!! No need to cut or open anything other than the tape securing the "open this end" flaps. No need to drag these heavy things around to where you want them, risking damage. You gotta love how Klipsch designs even the box! Klipsch should write these instructions on the box top.
Pros: Finest balanced audio in the universe from any music at any volume
Cons: black base can stain carpet, recommend lightly sanding bottom of base when you first open the box.