Kef R Bookshelf vs Towers - AVS Forum
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
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The bookshelf vs tower thread got me thinking about my own options for an upcoming purchase. Rather than hijack that thread, I thought I'd get people's opinions regarding my specific case in a new thread. I'd love to hear from people who have listened to both speakers as well as some thoughts on theoretically which system should be better.

Here are my options. Same cost for each system.

Option 1: Kef R500 (tower; 2 x 5.25" bass, 5" MF, 1" HF; 46Hz-28kHz) + R200c (same drivers as tower; 65Hz-28kHz) + Rythmik F15/D15

Option 2: Kef R300 (bookshelf; 6.5" bass, 5" MF, 1" HF; 50Hz-28kHz ) + R600c (one more bass driver than bookshelf otherwise the same; 60Hz-28kHz) + Rythmik F15/D15

This is for a family room (not sealed off). The room is 10ft to the MLP and ~25ft wide. 14ft sloped ceiling. Directly connects to kitchen and other living areas.

Option 1 gives an extra bass driver vs the bookshelf, but both the tower and center of option one has smaller bass drivers. Option 2 gives one less bass driver in the L/R, but it's bigger. Plus the center in option 2 has larger drivers than option 1.

So, for the distance to the MLP and size of the room, plus considering I'll have a decent sub, is it better to have the extra driver in the towers or go with bookshelfs with one less but larger bass driver plus larger bass drivers in the center? One other consideration is that I have a toddler, so I'm a little concerned about the stability of bookshelfs on stands vs towers.

Thanks!
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:17 PM
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I only listened to the R700, so I can't answer directly. But, the store I auditioned in had some pretty decent sales guys. You could give them a call and just ask that question.

Here is their website

http://hearnoevilhifi.com/

I will take a guess and say that if you listened to both systems side by side I bet there would not be such a huge difference. It may come down to aesthetics and safety ie your toddler pushing over the bookshelves.

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Old 02-18-2013, 03:44 PM
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Two quick suggestions:
1) post the question in the KEF Owners thread.. You'll likely get more replies there.
2) Consider the R300s, R200c, and TWO subwoofers
3) Consider either of the systems you listed, but switch from one big sub to two slightly smaller subs.

The suggestion for two subs instead of one is based not on blasting out mega-bass, but rather on the theory that two subwoofers in a room usually gets you a smoother bass frequency response than does only one subwoofer in a room.

For every new thing I learn, I forget two things I used to know.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:48 PM
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As luck would have it I listened to some KEFs today. I heard the r300, LS50s and r700. I have to admit, that uniQ is something special. The r300 and r700 use the same size uniQ so the only difference I heard was more "fullness" and more bass extension. The r300s were no slouch in the bass department either though. After listening for a few hours I asked the guy since I'd be planning on using them for music and movies which would be the better center to go with the 700s. He suggested the larger center with the r500s since movies are primarily dialogue. YMMV. That uniQ definitely didn't have a small sweet spot either. I walked around the room listening and the soundstage barely changed. Stability of the bookshelves totally depends on the stand. The towers have good outriggers and looked very stable, fwiw.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:29 PM
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I just ordered some R500s in Walnut, so going to have to wait a bit. I also listened to the 300s, I thought they both sounded great, with a little bit more fullness to the sound on the R500s. I don't think you could wrong with either. For me, as it will be a while before I upgrade to a 5.1 system, I wanted the better bass response. Also, once the tower prices were included, the price margin shrunk a bit.

Marantz SR5007 | KEF R500 | Panasonic P50ST50
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Sounds like I won't lose much in a 5.1 system with the R300 instead of the R500.

I guess my real concern is whether or not I need a larger center with my room size, and if it's better for the drivers on the center to match the R/L, which they won't with a R300 + R600c set-up.
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:59 PM
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If you've got the available height/space a third R300 would be an ideal center and give you a perfectly balanced front sound stage. Most dealers will sell an individual R series speaker.

Most dealers also offer generous upgrade-returns. Start with the R200c, if you're dissatisfied then return it for a R600c.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

If you've got the available height/space a third R300 would be an ideal center and give you a perfectly balanced front sound stage. Most dealers will sell an individual R series speaker.

Most dealers also offer generous upgrade-returns. Start with the R200c, if you're dissatisfied then return it for a R600c.

+1

Three identical speakers across the front is ideal. I also like the suggestion to start small and upgrade if three R300s won't fit.

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