Has anyone heard the KEF Q900 loudspeakers? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-17-2012, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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KEF Q900 2.5-way Q Series floor standing speaker with Uni-Q array - $1,800 pair

These speakers look interesting to me, but I have no way to audition them. I was wondering if anyone knew at what frequency the 8” Uni-Q midrange unit is passively crossed over to the passive radiators. I would guess around 100HZ. Does anyone know for sure?

Am I correct that there are no KEF dealers in the USA and that now KEF is a direct Internet sales product mass produced in China?

The design looks like it should have very little crossover distortion and they have saved costs by avoiding real wood veneer and by using a rectangular box instead of the fancy curved boxes so common these days.

Does Pioneer, Polk, or other cost conscious manufacturer make anything better that is available on the Internet for $1,800 a pair?

I heard a 32 mm aluminum dome tweeter I liked on a Celestion mini-speaker back in the late 1980s. The 38 mm aluminum dome on the KEF, I hope, may be even better. I think the added surface area makes for a more natural sound. Aluminum dome tweeters have gotten allot better lately, and I was wondering if KEF had cured the hard, steely, cold sound commonalty associated with aluminum domes.

If I purchased a pair I guess I would have to do it deaf, as there is no way I can audition a pair.

Comments?
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-17-2012, 01:27 PM
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Passive radiators are just that...passive. They are more like a tuned port than an actual driver getting a signal from the crossover. But that being said, I have not heard the speakers.
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-17-2012, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Yea, I know, but there is a point where the midrange unit naturally rolls off and the passive radiator passively rolls in.

The design is strange in that they have a real dedicated woofer driving one passive radiator and the second passive radiator is energized by the midrange unit. They have separate sub-enclosures. That crossover point requires a low pass filter so the dedicated woofer does not produce midrange sounds.

I am guessing the midrange unit is designed to roll off at about 100hz.
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-17-2012, 02:44 PM
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Did not listen to the 900, but I did listen to the Blade. If standing in the sweet spot The vocals and instruments were very good, but once I moved a slight amount away from the sweet spot the sound sounded like it was coming from a box. I was disappointed.

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post #5 of 12 Old 09-17-2012, 03:02 PM
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That may be by design...the goal being to minimize room interactions. Some prefer directional trade off for that reason.
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-17-2012, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiophile2k View Post

That may be by design...the goal being to minimize room interactions. Some prefer directional trade off for that reason.

You would have to place your head in a vise to keep it in the sweet spot.

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post #7 of 12 Old 09-17-2012, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

You would have to place your head in a vise to keep it in the sweet spot.

Added
I am aware of directivity in a speaker. The coaxial has some directivity, but if I moved more than a foot, I was surprised that the sound sounded like it was coming from a box. We are not talking about that narrow of a disersion pattern.

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post #8 of 12 Old 09-17-2012, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

Did not listen to the 900, but I did listen to the Blade. If standing in the sweet spot The vocals and instruments were very good, but once I moved a slight amount away from the sweet spot the sound sounded like it was coming from a box. I was disappointed.

The only Uni-Q speaker I ever heard was the original version back in the 1980s I guess. It had a 8" black plastic cone, but I do not remember what the tweeter was made out of. I listened to it off-axis and did not like it at all. Your reasoning sounds about right. Thanks for the warning and the reminder. They use a similar design on the TAD speakers which cost as much as a house. If that speaker also has that problem, I do not understand why people would buy it.

For wide dispersion the best combination I have found is to use a 5.25" cone midrange combined with a 1" dome crossed over at 2,000 Hz. That gives you a wide dispersion point source.
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-06-2014, 02:08 PM
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Kef do have dealers in the US so it should be posible to listen to them in person, there should be a dealer listing on their us site. I have a pair of them on order myself. From my demo their off axis performance as good with wide disperson and were the ones I prefered the most of what I was able to demo in a similar room to mine at their price ( note I am sure there are better out there but I am getting a good deal on the q900's and a q600c ). A step up would be either revels or B&W 803's but neither I can afford..

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post #10 of 12 Old 02-06-2014, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torphoto View Post

Kef do have dealers in the US so it should be posible to listen to them in person, there should be a dealer listing on their us site. I have a pair of them on order myself. From my demo their off axis performance as good with wide disperson and were the ones I prefered the most of what I was able to demo in a similar room to mine at their price ( note I am sure there are better out there but I am getting a good deal on the q900's and a q600c ). A step up would be either revels or B&W 803's but neither I can afford..

The KEF R series may be worth demoing as well (at least to the OP)? I have the R900 but have also heard the R500 which for their size sounded very nice. I had compared them to the Revel Performa series (206 and 208) and the B&W CM9 and 804D. The Revel Performa's and B&W CM series were in the same price range as the KEF R series. The B&W 804 were quite a bit more expensive. I was between the KEFs and Revels and had ruled out the CM series (didn't like sound as compared to the others). The 804s sounded excellent but not necessarily better to me than the KEFs given the price factor.
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post #11 of 12 Old 02-06-2014, 07:18 PM
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Kef Uni-q is known for throwing a wide sweet spot, not narrow. I would second the R series or Performa3 if the OP can swing it. Have not heard the current Q series but they seem rated well.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #12 of 12 Old 02-06-2014, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

Kef Uni-q is known for throwing a wide sweet spot, not narrow ...

This has been my experience also - one of the reasons I ended up with KEF. (I personally like a wide sweet spot and it works well in our home theater setup.)
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