Speaker Upgrade - JTR vs KEF Reference vs Focal Electra - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 127 Old 03-19-2013, 03:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello everybody.
 
I have 3 options to upgrade my speakers and i'm in dire need of help from choosing.

Option 1 (KEF REFERENCE)
1. Kef 205/2 (mains)(pair)
2. Kef 202/2C (center)
3. Kef 201/2 (surround)(1 pair)
This will cost me 19600 USD for premium finish

Option 2 (FOCAL ELECTRA)
1. Focal Electra 1038BE (mains)(pair)
2. Focal Eectra CC 1008BE (center)
3. Focal Electra 1008BE (surround)(1 pair)
This will cost me 17200 USD for premium finish

Option 3 (JTR Speaker)
1. JTR Noesis 212HT (LCR)
2. JTR Single 8HT (surround)(2 pairs)
This will cost me 10200 USD plus shipping (assuming 3000 USD) = 13200 USD

My current location is UAE and i can purchase directly option 1 & 2 except option 3 which requires shipping.

Currently owned gears to be paired with:
1. Onkyo TX NR-3009 pre-amp
2. Anthem Statement A5 power amp
3. JL Audio F113 for sub
4. Monster cables - HDMI & RCA
5. HTPC (XBMC Frodo) with Synology DS 1512+
6. Cambridge 751BD Blu Ray player

Additional gears for shopping:
1. Emotiva XPA-1 or XPA-1L Monoblocks for mains
2. Seaton Submersive for subs (Dual)
3. GIK Acoustics for room treament (Tri-trap, monster bass trap and 244 bass trap)

Room details:
1. Room size 20ft x 13.5ft x 9.5ft (2565 cu ft)
2. Sound proofed room (12in thick) and carpeted.
 
Please help me choose considering Sound quality (sound stage, imaging, crisp, clear etc),
Overall appearance (WAF, pretty etc.) and value added cost (build quality, finish, etc).
Speakers to be use 70/30 for movie and music. Budget for speakers can be handled.

I really need to hear your honest opinion which will greatly influence my speaker selection.

Thanks a lot to everybody.

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post #2 of 127 Old 03-19-2013, 04:47 AM
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The KEFs will be the most linear at most volumes, the JTR will get a lot louder, and the Focals...not really competitive, unless you just really like the way they look. Three 205/2's are better than two with a non-identical center speaker. Finish quality on the KEFs vs. the JTRs is very different, though. The KEFs are furniture, and the JTRs are appliances. (Or do they do bespoke finishes now?)

Also, you have a great amp in the Anthem. Use that for the mains. No point to the monoblocs. Maybe get a cheaper 2-channel amp for the back surrounds, if your Onkyo doesn't have built-in amps.

You probably won't need the "room treatments" with either the KEF or the JTR. The Focals have fairly serious (and embarrassing for a speaker at that price) midrange sound power issues, so that stuff might improve them.

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post #3 of 127 Old 03-19-2013, 05:01 AM
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As a happy JTR owner, I would say the JTR excel at everything but come into their own for HT applications. I say that because they are not the "sexiest" looking speaker in the world but they are built like tanks. Due to their sensitivity they can also play beyond reference and not break a sweat..they don't get harsh or distort. If I was a 2 channel music guy, I probably wouldn't give the JTRs much thought. If I had a dedicated HT room (which I do) and wanted the movie theater experience, then the JTRs come into their own and are really a well designed and built speaker that sounds great.


My updated (2/2014)HT set-up


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post #4 of 127 Old 03-19-2013, 05:15 AM
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Jeff did offer other finishes on the JTRs besides the duratex look at one point. theres a post about them on the JTR Forums. Not sure hes still doing it or not


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post #5 of 127 Old 03-19-2013, 05:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you guys for your reply, i really appreciate it.

JTR Noesis speakers are highly rated by people here specially those guys attending GTG.
I am really curious about their feelings toward this speaker. Power and efficiency is the key
ingredient of JTR Speakers. It is really pity for me because i am on the other side of the world
and there is no chance for me to hear and feel this babies. Kef Reference 205/2 on the other hand
are readily available here and heard many times. I have goose bumps on these and i really
dreamed of this speakers.
Once i spend my money, i dont want to feel any regrets. I want to feel something that "At last, my journey
has ended ! ". I want to feel free of this "upgrade bug" that always spinning around my head every time i read
forums like AVS.

Regards.

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post #6 of 127 Old 03-19-2013, 06:07 AM
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Your room isn't huge so you don't really need the massive amounts of SPL you can get with the JTR's.

I would get the KEF"s and not think about it anymore. For music listening, which it sounds like is your priority, the KEF's are at the top of their game. I would imagine their imaging would be very good.

If you're interested in high SPL and sound quality, you should also look into Seaton Sound Catalysts. By all accounts, they are very nice speakers as well.
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post #7 of 127 Old 03-19-2013, 06:26 AM
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The JTR's will get loud, but unless you listen to most of your movies at a fairly loud level, I don't see efficiency as being a deal breaker or anything.

I do not have any experience with KEF, but the Focals would be amazing. No, their measurements are not great, but not everyone likes a speaker
that measures flat, especially for home theater. The Focals, while not the most accurate or best measuring, will likely give you a sound experience
that you will never forget! That is my recommendation.

Or another excellent option is the Salk HT2-TL or even the SoundScape. Those would be great sounding and great measuring speakers as well.

What ever you go with, I highly recommend you get several good subwoofers, as that makes the entire movie watching
experience much much more excite full!

Good luck!
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post #8 of 127 Old 03-19-2013, 07:18 AM
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I have the 205/2s with the 202/2c and the center works very well with the 205/2s. Have not heard the others so can't comment on them. If you have heard and love the Kefs, recommend going with them.

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 #9 of 127 Old 03-19-2013, 10:22 AM
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I don't think that anyone who has commented thus far has actually heard the Noesis 212's. They are a different JTR speaker in that they incorporate the SQ of a traditional Audiophile speaker but maintain the dynamics of the previous JTR designs.

Prior to JTR, I owned several high end brand speakers including the Revel Ultima 2's that compare favorably to just about any speaker.

The Noesis are lacking in WAF and so may be disqualified on that level alone but in terms of performance, they are simply outstanding. The soundstage and clarity will not disappoint and with a 70/30 movies/music ratio, dynamics are an important factor.

Good luck and remember, anything you decide will be the right decision. cool.gif


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post #10 of 127 Old 03-19-2013, 07:59 PM
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For that kind of money I would want speakers that not only sound superbly, but also measure superbly (on-axis FR, vertical off-axis FR, horizontal off-axis FR, spectral decay, etc), review/ receive superbly by a million critics and magazines, look beautiful, and exude great pride of ownership. The KEF Reference gets my vote. biggrin.gif
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post #11 of 127 Old 03-20-2013, 02:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot guys. Please keep it coming.

For this amount, I don't want to look back again. I want it to be with me for 15yrs and more.
Seeing and hearing it everyday with a smile in our face.

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post #12 of 127 Old 03-20-2013, 02:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Another excellent option is the Salk HT2-TL or even the SoundScape. Those would be great sounding and great measuring speakers as well.

What ever you go with, I highly recommend you get several good subwoofers, as that makes the entire movie watching
experience much much more excite full!

Good luck!

No chance to audition Salk but I read a lot of good feedbacks but I read also it lost to JTR at GTG.

I will pair this with dual seaton submersives plus my existing jl audio fathom f113 for immersive movie experience!

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post #13 of 127 Old 03-20-2013, 02:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

I have the 205/2s with the 202/2c and the center works very well with the 205/2s. Have not heard the others so can't comment on them. If you have heard and love the Kefs, recommend going with them.

is it overkill if I use the bigger brother 204/2c as center? Which surround did you use? Thanks a lot.

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post #14 of 127 Old 03-20-2013, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
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For this amount, I don't want to look back again. I want it to be with me for 15yrs and more.
Seeing and hearing it everyday with a smile in our face.

Precisely. For this amount, you want it to be just as perfect in every single way as possible, including 3rd party measurements and everything else. No stones unturned. biggrin.gif

KEF Reference2, Revel Ultima2, and TAD Reference are unequivocally the 3 best measured lines in the world. But TAD is out of budget, so that leaves us with KEF & Revel. biggrin.gif

FYI, KEF dealers are paying 50% MSRP for the Reference line. KEF offers an additional 10% off on top of this to some dealers. Demos are 50% off MSRP plus 20% off, so these would be the best deals if they are available. biggrin.gif

However, KEF, just like Revel, TAD, etc, would frown upon dealers giving you any kind of discounts. eek.gif
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post #15 of 127 Old 03-20-2013, 05:57 AM
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No chance to audition Salk but I read a lot of good feedbacks but I read also it lost to JTR at GTG.

Most of these GTGs are not blinded comparisons with equivocal results at best. Most of these GTGs are just shindigs for social fun and games. SQ is purely based on personal preference. It's not about which is "better", but rather which is more "preferred" by you and only you.

If all you are after is preferred SQ and absolutely positively unequivocally nothing else, I am confident Salk, JTR, Seaton, and many other speakers would sound great for the next 15 yrs. Since you already own Seaton subs, why not stick with Seaton speakers?

But if you are searching for more than pure personal preference SQ, then KEF Reference is a good idea.
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post #16 of 127 Old 03-20-2013, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm still on the process of purchasing seaton subs. Talking now to Kelly via e-mail. I cannot consider catalyst because of built in amp which will require me to revisit my wiring arrangements.

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post #17 of 127 Old 03-20-2013, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Most of these GTGs are not blinded comparisons with equivocal results at best. Most of these GTGs are just shindigs for social fun and games. SQ is purely based on personal preference. It's not about which is "better", but rather which is more "preferred" by you and only you.

If all you are after is preferred SQ and absolutely positively unequivocally nothing else, I am confident Salk, JTR, Seaton, and many other speakers would sound great for the next 15 yrs. Since you already own Seaton subs, why not stick with Seaton speakers?

But if you are searching for more than pure personal preference SQ, then KEF Reference is a good idea.

I believe the GTG he's referring to was the Iowa GTG, where Salk Ht2-TL's were compared to the Noesis 212HT's and it was a blind test. For movies I think 7 out of 9 liked the 212HT's better and 5 out of 9 preferred the 212HT's better for music. I think this speaks volumes at how really good the Noesis 212HT's really are.
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post #18 of 127 Old 03-20-2013, 11:16 AM
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I see several people saying that JTR's are more of a "if you want it loud" type of speaker and more for movies.

Well, I would have thought that was the case when I heard the triple 8's. I thought they were unreal for movies and damn good for music.

However, the 212's you are considering are in a different league when it comes to music. They do NOT have to be turned up loud to sound amazing, they sound just as good at low volumes as they do cranked. Most of my time listening to music is done around 85 db's, but sometimes I have them at 70dbs or lower and it's still fantastic. So much so that I lose sleep because I can't turn the damn system off and go to bed. smile.gif

I have heard all kinds of speakers and for me the Noesis is it so far man, they sound better with music than anything I've heard. Recently I upgraded from Submersives to 8 Stereo Integrity DIY subs and as fun and impressive and effortless as the bass is in my room now it doesn't change the fact that my all time favorite audio purchase are the Noesis speakers and it's not close.

*Disclaimer*

It could be that the Noesis just do it for ME. From the very first time I heard them I felt like they had the sound I've been looking for ever since I got into audio, it's like they were made for my tastes.
Also, I've also never heard the other 2 speakers you are thinking about so who's to say I wouldn't like those better? That and it makes me nervous to try to talk you into buying these when you have already heard the KEF's and it sounds like they completely do it for you.


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post #19 of 127 Old 03-20-2013, 11:28 AM
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...5 out of 9 preferred the 212HT's better for music. I think this speaks volumes at how really good the Noesis 212HT's really are.

First, I think JTR, Seaton, and many other brands would sound great for any application. It's a matter of personal preference when it comes to subjective SQ. 5/9 preference is equivocal.

It comes down to all the other criteria, which the OP may not feel like disclosing. biggrin.gif

For example, do these JTR speakers have any official measurements (preferably non-smoothed graphs that do NOT look like Photoshop straight lines eek.gif) ? If in-depth speaker measurement (a la Stereophile or NRC) is a criteria, the OP can cross out JTR, Seaton, and many speakers.
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post #20 of 127 Old 03-20-2013, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

First, I think JTR, Seaton, and many other brands would sound great for any application. It's a matter of personal preference when it comes to subjective SQ. 5/9 preference is equivocal.

It comes down to all the other criteria, which the OP may not feel like disclosing. biggrin.gif

For example, do these JTR speakers have any official measurements (preferably non-smoothed graphs that do NOT look like Photoshop straight lines eek.gif) ? If in-depth speaker measurement (a la Stereophile or NRC) is a criteria, the OP can cross out JTR, Seaton, and many speakers.

Well, sure if glowing reviews in Stereophile are part of you criteria then no way would you look at JTR/Seaton.


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post #21 of 127 Old 03-20-2013, 12:11 PM
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Measurements in Stereophile are actually very worthwhile. It's why I subscribe. I usually don't even read the review, just the measurements section. The NRC measurements are also very useful.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

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post #22 of 127 Old 03-20-2013, 12:16 PM
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Well, sure if glowing reviews in Stereophile are part of you criteria then no way would you look at JTR/Seaton.

I'm not talking about equivocations from reviewers. I'm talking about actual speaker measurements, preferably non-smoothed and unaltered ones.

Some of us feel that if we are going to shell out thousands of dollars, the very least the manufacturers could do is provide us with official honest measurements.

We hope the manufacturers used actual measurements in the design of their speakers and not just tune by golden ears. eek.gif
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post #23 of 127 Old 03-20-2013, 12:18 PM
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Measurements in Stereophile are actually very worthwhile. It's why I subscribe. I usually don't even read the review, just the measurements section. The NRC measurements are also very useful.

Exactly. We care less about the entertaining equivocations. Reviewers have to make a living too. So no offense to reviewers. But we focus on the raw measurements. biggrin.gif
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post #24 of 127 Old 03-20-2013, 12:45 PM
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Exactly. We care less about the entertaining equivocations. Reviewers have to make a living too. So no offense to reviewers. But we focus on the raw measurements. biggrin.gif

And yet you don't measure in your room confused.gif ... the only place that really matters.


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post #25 of 127 Old 03-20-2013, 01:40 PM
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is it overkill if I use the bigger brother 204/2c as center? Which surround did you use? Thanks a lot.
The 202/2c is a very capable speaker, essentially a 203/2 in drivers. Not heard the 204/2c but likely that would pair with the 207/2 and the 205/2 where the 202/2c with the 205/2, 203/2 and 201/2. However, since all same Uni-Q any combo will work well. Due to my room, surrounds are B&W ceiling speakers. Considering LS50s but haven't figured out wiring besides running under carpet.

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 #26 of 127 Old 03-20-2013, 02:52 PM
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I'm not talking about equivocations from reviewers. I'm talking about actual speaker measurements, preferably non-smoothed and unaltered ones.

Some of us feel that if we are going to shell out thousands of dollars, the very least the manufacturers could do is provide us with official honest measurements.

We hope the manufacturers used actual measurements in the design of their speakers and not just tune by golden ears. eek.gif

Gotcha.

Is it worthwhile at all to do a close mic measurement with the Omnimic or do you have to be outside or in an anechoic chamber with much more expensive measuring gear? I'll measure mine if it would be worthwhile at all.


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post #27 of 127 Old 03-20-2013, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by carp View Post

Gotcha.

Is it worthwhile at all to do a close mic measurement with the Omnimic or do you have to be outside or in an anechoic chamber with much more expensive measuring gear? I'll measure mine if it would be worthwhile at all.

Could you measure yours outside?
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post #28 of 127 Old 03-20-2013, 04:23 PM
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And yet you don't measure in your room confused.gif ... the only place that really matters.

How it measures in my room will be totally different than in your room or the next guy. That's why we need a "neutral" anechoic or pseudo-anechoic environment. It serves as a baseline, not an endpoint.

Nobody cares how THEIR speakers measure in MY ROOM. But they would like a baseline measurement in a neutral environment.

And whether I measure my room or not gives manufacturers absolutely no excuse.

The fact is, many people, especially audiophiles, are a lot more knowledgable now and they demand a lot more for their hard-earned money. Manufacturers have no excuse to deny clients valid honest speaker measurements. eek.gif
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post #29 of 127 Old 03-20-2013, 04:58 PM
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Nobody cares how THEIR speakers measure in MY ROOM.

I agree (eek.gif) and find it interesting that you include yourself in that group ...

I hope the OP is happy with whatever he decides and I'm sure if it is the KEF-Ref's, they will give him many years of listening pleasure. smile.gif


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post #30 of 127 Old 03-20-2013, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Guys,
Sorry for the little skirmish here. Those speakers on my list are top notch speakers. I know all of them can give me pleasure for many years of listening, but I have only one choice. If JTR speakers are love my many people it means one hell of a speaker, same as Focal & Kef.

Dollar wise ---> JTR
WAF, Pretty ---> Kef

Think...think....think....think....

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