It seems the RF-82 is the newer model of the RF-7, but is it better? On the Klipsch site they are pretty similar. One noticeable difference is the weight. The 82 weights around 60 lbs while the 7 weights close to 100 lbs. Heres the specs:
Woofer size would probably be the big one. 8" in the 82's and 10" in the 7's. Changes in the way the cabinet is braced along with the fact that the 82 is smaller in overall dimensions. Which means less wood. The 82 also looks as if the main baffle is some sort of reinforced plastic.
I don't think they where meant to be compared to each other. I think the RF7 was just discontinued due to lack of sales and the fact most be people like smaller towers. Not that it was a bad speaker. It was a great speaker. Just didn't sell that well.
PSB, Paradigm, Energy, and B&W are some others to look at. Go with what your ear likes and make sure the place you buy from has a liberal return policy. Some speakers won't sound the same once you get them home due to the acoustical changes in the rooms.
The rf-7 was the flagship of the rf line. Now the rf-83 is the best you can buy. The rf-82 is a few steps down the line. The rf-83 has three 8 in. drivers and weighs 100 lbs. It also cost about $1500 more than the rf-82.
The RF-7s have been discontinued for some time. I hope you are looking at these as new speakers at a retail store. They run about $800 used online.
I've had RF-5's as part of a surround sound setup in my home and liked them plenty (I still have the RB-5 rears). From what I heard in the store of their newer slim, plastic-front designs like the RF-82s, I was not impressed with. I would take the older, heavier RF-7s, especially if your music tastes are along pop/rock lines.
Yeah I noticed the same thing nightflier. I heard the RF-7's a while ago and was very impressed. I just heard the 82's yesterday and was much less impressed. I don't know where the extra weight is going to but do you think the extra 40 lbs improves the sound quality somehow?
Well, I don't know how to quantify 40lbs. of sound, but I'm pretty sure the cabinetry is the biggest factor. Klipsch speakers of that series are pretty solidly built. I also think the magnets on the drivers are a bit beefier.
I think anamorphic hit on it. Klipsch is producing cabinets that are narrower for a lower profile and probably a cost saving on carrying fewer drivers in inventory. The RF83 is the RF7's replacement and although I have tried to listen to the new RF83's, the sound room was nothing more than converted warehouse space that was not conducive to an A B comparison. I doubt you could go wrong with either and from a cost standpoint, the older RF7 series would be a steal from what I have seen on the internet compared to their retail prices just a couple of years ago. Try to buy from an authorized dealer, if possible.