How my audition today went with Revel Performa3 line, PSB, KEF and a dedicated home theater room with Triad and JL audio - AVS Forum
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Had a big auditioning day today. had a demo of the performa3's just the m105's. was very impressed with my peachtree audio dac*it compared to a $7000 cd player. The owner was too.
The performa3's that i listened to were nice but not my cup of tea. They were ran by a luxman stereo integrated.
Let me start off with the imaging. They do not throw the sound forward at all. They disperse the sound of axis and blend the soundstage right in the middle for the presentation. I am not a fan of this. I like the sound to fill the room. The music seemed more like it was a little wall RIGHT in front of the speaker. A simple moving your head six inches in one way and you would simply not hear one of the speakers. Very natural and smooth midrange with no added weight. Bookshelves impress me with their ability to sound full range from top to bottom although the bass is present, it can not fill the room like a full range speaker. When i played a song with low extension at medium level, the tweeter started to crackle and distort. The owner said it was probably the recording but i knew better and had never heard it before and did not later in the day through other speakers. Was not impressed with the highs. They were soft and because the sound doesn't have any depth and is kept far away from you i felt they lacked in detail. What i can say about the highs is that they won't reproduce a nice twangy guitar when needed. I felt that was a big no no for me. All around the frequencies complimented each other though. Nice speaker just not my cup of tea.

Also the store owners wife was there was complaining to him that some of the music i was listening to was disgusting and unbearable. I did not hear this but my audio buddies where not in the listening seat and told me about it and how he had to keep going back to her to apologize. In my defense i brought a demo cd i made that consists of all different genres that i listen to. I had some norah jones in high quality, a dubstep song to listen to low frequencies, an oldie rock song and a newer harder rock song, a few jazz and some stevie nicks lol.

The finishes were top notch as you can see and the f208 was very large and intimidating.

Afterwards i went to a much larger speaker shop and auditioned a larger number of speakers. I was a little disappointed in the raved about psb imagine B and smaller tower. They were very smooth and had a little bit of complimenting body to the mids. The sound was not as big and they were not as clean as the Kef's. The tweeter was not on par with the kef's but the tweeter while not as detailed or tonally acurate , they had a smooth body that blended well with the mids. Was suprised with the presence of the mids but the little speaker got very confused easily when playing complex passages. I was done with those pretty quickly. The symphony one tower was a neat presentation and was a little warm but i felt like for the money the presentation was not big enough and seemed a little congested. While the highs were good they were not as clean as the kef r series. The mids on the symphony one were as good as the performa3's but filled the room much more with a much larger sweet spot and depth. They may have been a little underpowered but still reached out quite well. Felt the all around presence was smaller than the kefs and the overall sound seemed a little veiled and less clean.

KEF is my new most favorite brand and their reference line was the first time i had audio bliss and only one speaker was going for a reason they could not figure out. I will post what i think about the kef's in a different thread i make or go to the kef owners forum. (update)

The Kef q series is a phenomenal value. They fill the room with sound and the sweet spot is great. Imaging was great with a medium large presentation. All around effortless sounding speaker. Highs were soft when needed and twangy and energetic when needed. Mids where natural and bass hit hard when needed in the midbass but delicate when needed it. Low lows where pretty present to. When playing a good rock sound, i felt like i was at a concert. This is a speaker that will never have you regretting spending the money you did. I did however hear some reverb and don't know if it was the resonance of the cabinet or the radiators. It was not a bad resonance rather it gave more body to the overall presence and complimented the sound with poor recordings. I have read that you can internally dampen these speakers and they clean up amazingly which i don't doubt. I highly recommend these speakers.

My favorite that i could afford was the kef R series. I had heard these before in a little confined space and was impressed but having heard the R300 in a dedicated room only feel that all my time audition speakers finally paid off and that spending as much time as i have reading other peoples advise on other speakers was a waste of my time. The R series was as clean as it gets in my price range. The tweeter is where it's at. Effortless bright but not fatiguing when needed and added to the ability to feel like you are getting a live perfomance. NEVER overly bright and made me smile ear to ear. The mid range was clear as can be and the sound filled the room with the image never confused no matter where you stood. Very large presence although not at large as the reference line i heard. Completely effortless and detailed sound. I had on my 3 hr drive, told my audio buddy that you can get full range sound out of bookshelves and he was at a loss of words when he heard the rather large for a bookshelf R300. The bass was phenomenal. This speaker series is where it's at. One of my buddies was out of it throughout the day due to lack of sleep because of how late he worked and how early we had to leave. My other friend kept whispering to himself about how he couldn't believe how real they sounded and how much music they produced for being a bookshelf. They are so clean and smooth that these are the only speakers i've auditioned that once again, that i could afford, that i would justify using a tube amp. I could get the R300 but i think i need to save for the R900 and be done with it till i'm forty and can afford the reference series.

Also wanted to state that i have auditioned B&W, Definitive technologies, Martin logan both cone and paneled, Energy and Monitor Audio

I also got to listen to a $100,000 home theater room and myself and my two buddies were in awe. Triad speakers, nad components and JL fathom woofers with a ridiculously big projector screen. The picture doesn't do it justice. This was a very very very large store and there were people from across the store coming over to see why the WHOLE store was shaking lol.
I also got to listen to some grado headphones while i was there and was a little unimpressed even with the $1000 GS1000.
You can click on the images to make them large. Unfortunately but fortunately i was having so much fun listening to the kef's that i forgot to take pictures. Sorry



















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Old 01-11-2013, 06:19 PM
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Thanks for taking the time to write that up.

But paragraphs would help IMMENSELY! wink.gif

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Old 01-11-2013, 06:21 PM
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Wall.Of.Text.

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Old 01-11-2013, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry guys. The wide area used to write on here makes everything seem longer. I made the font larger and added space between the paragraphs
Hope this helps.

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Old 01-11-2013, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Just wanted to say also that the closest thing to the R300 was the $5000 PSB synchrony one. They only thing they beat the the little R300 at was bass output but that's because they are a full range speaker. The R300 had plenty and did not lack at loud levels. The quality of the bass on the kef was better. The Kef did everything the psb tried to do right and then opened up pandora's box

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Old 01-11-2013, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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BTW this is Minka Kelly. Just wanted to show that i have good taste
Go ahead and click on it to make it bigger...you know you want to lol


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Old 01-11-2013, 08:26 PM
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So did you listen to the F208 and the R900s? I have yet to hear the R series but am looking forward along with the LS50s. I am obviously a big Kef fan and really believe they are on a roll (Blade, R series and LS50). It is so much fun to listen to great gear! Thanks for your impressions, and good taste! smile.gif

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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Old 01-11-2013, 08:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks ! I did not listen to the f208 but i have heard the R900's. they were in a little room confided as all hell like every other setup they had there "The speaker shop" Buffalo ny. I will never audition speakers in those conditions ever again. But...they rocked the room they had almost as big a presence as the 207 2's. I really would like to have them but i can't afford them. Unfortunately it looks like i won't be able to get any speakers at all now possibly because my girl and i just found a nice house at a great price and if we get it then i will have to wait till next income tax to get them.mad.gif

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Old 01-11-2013, 08:59 PM
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Consider LS50s, as long as your room is not too big they can make a killer multichannel and HT system. A pair could hold you until you can afford to add more along with subs. Mini-reference I have been told.

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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Old 01-11-2013, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't doubt that. I need that extra bass i'm sure the r300 gives over the ls50 though. I'm sure i would be impressed with them though. Do they use the same midrange tweeter as the r series or is it different?

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Old 01-12-2013, 06:37 AM
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Did you hear the r700? Between the r300 and the r900 was it just more bass?
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I'd have to say the best way i could explain the R series is like this.
It all depends on how loud you are going to play them. If you have a large room and plan on playing them very loud then the R700 would be great but the larger bass drivers on the R900 would be better.
Same with a medium room. If you planned on playing them loud then the bass on the R300 is GREAT but the R700 would be better.
Basically the midrange and tweeter will fill the room on all three if given enough amplification but it's up to you to decide if you want the extra bass for the money. Or get exceptional sound and for cheaper and still have phenomenal bass.
I still can't get over the weird woofer on these things and the quality and quantity these things put out.
Would also like to add when played at low low volumes these things never lose posture and still create a large lifelike image. LOVE IT!!
I have heard the R500 and felt it was best suited for near field listening or a small room.

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Old 02-13-2013, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Finally got my speakers! Kef xq30's! I got them on a super bowl special.
They remind me of a neutral cm9 because of the way they image.
They have way more detailed and natural airy highs (not as airy or detailed as the R series but enough to really notice the extra detail in high quality recordings.)
The mids are more transparent than the cm9's but not as thick.
For being just a little 5 1/4" driver they put out a lot of mid bass punch and while they won't fill the whole room with bass, they will have you asking how that's possible.
Definitely a way more detailed bass when listening to anything with drums.

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