Critique my First Set of Speakers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 04-21-2013, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey everyone. I've been reading a lot of threads on here over the past several weeks trying to figure out my first home theater setup. I'm moving in a month or two and would like to have my speakers bought by then.

The use for these speakers would be 65% TV, 20% music, and 15% movies. Ideally I would like to stay around $1,000.

I'm not sure if I should just buy a receiver and FR, C, and FL speakers to begin with and add a subwoofer, BR, and BL speakers later or if I should buy a 3.1 or 5.1 right now.

I'm not an audiophile by any means and won't really have a chance to play the speakers very loud due to being in an apartment complex. However, I do anticipate moving into a house in a few years so I would like the speakers to be able to fit that need as well.

I found what I thought might be a really good deal on a set of speakers in the classifieds: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1469312/kef-5-channel-setup-iq90s-iq60c-iq30s

2 - KEF IQ90
1 - KEF IQ60C
2 - KEF IQ30

Do y'all think those are worth the price?

I'm thinking about picking up an Onkyo TX-NR709 to power them.

I think I would probably add a Kpilsch RW-12D somewhere down the road.

I would really appreciate y'all input.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 22 Old 04-22-2013, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm bumping this for the day crew.
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post #3 of 22 Old 04-22-2013, 07:44 AM
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post #4 of 22 Old 04-22-2013, 08:11 AM
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The kef set for $900 is an OK deal. It's nothing you need to jump on. I would be patient and shop around.
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post #5 of 22 Old 04-22-2013, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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I appreciate the advice so far. What is the difference in the C series vs the IQ series?

Is Onkyo not as good as HK or Yamaha?

KidHorn - That's what I was concerned with. Good to know.
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post #6 of 22 Old 04-22-2013, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemsonfan15 View Post

I appreciate the advice so far. What is the difference in the C series vs the IQ series?

Is Onkyo not as good as HK or Yamaha?

The iQ feature a Uni-Q driver, while the C- series feature a waveguide driver. The iQ is slightly "higher-end".

I think if the condition of those iQ speakers are excellent and the price is $750 delivered, then it's a good deal since there is no warranty, etc.

Onkyo AVR may have worse reliability record than most AVR in general. The sound quality is just as good as any AVR.
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post #7 of 22 Old 04-22-2013, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

The iQ feature a Uni-Q driver, while the C- series feature a waveguide driver. The iQ is slightly "higher-end".

I think if the condition of those iQ speakers are excellent and the price is $750 delivered, then it's a good deal since there is no warranty, etc...

+1 re the price.

I'm a fan of KEF speakers but I would never recommend the C series - for the same price there are better options available. If you're going with KEF speakers you want something with Uni-Q drivers ... and I do recommend those ; )
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post #8 of 22 Old 04-23-2013, 05:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

+1 re the price.

I'm a fan of KEF speakers but I would never recommend the C series - for the same price there are better options available. If you're going with KEF speakers you want something with Uni-Q drivers ... and I do recommend those ; )

Thanks for the advice.

Which speakers would you recommend around that price range?
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post #9 of 22 Old 04-23-2013, 05:16 AM
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One thing I don't like about the Yamaha and HK receivers is the lack of Audyssey for room correction (they use their own technologies which are not quite as good, IMHO). I have had good luck with my Onkyo receivers, but it does seem that quality has slipped in recent years. I would probably look at Denon since you can get a pretty loaded receiver with Audyssey MultiEQ or MultiEQ XT for a good price.

Kef is a good brand, have you listened to the speakers you are considering or any other brands in that price range?
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post #10 of 22 Old 04-23-2013, 05:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post


BIC PL-200: 102.5/107.7/110.4/108.1dB @ 32/40/50/63Hz from 2 meters, but not limited to 10% THD.

From all indications the Klipsch sub is superior for the same price.
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post #11 of 22 Old 04-23-2013, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

From all indications the Klipsch sub is superior for the same price.

From what "all indications" exactly? eek.gif

Do you have any actual measurements to back up your ALL INDICATIONS ?

Here are ACTUAL measurements from Data-Bass website:

$1600 Klipsch SW-311: 102.6/105.3/108.6/111.4 dB (2m, 32/40/50/63Hz)
$285 BIC PL-200: ........ 102.5/107.7/110.4/108.1 dB (2m, 32/40/50/63Hz)

I assume the cheaper Klipsch won't output any better than a $1600 Klipsch.
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post #12 of 22 Old 04-23-2013, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

One thing I don't like about the Yamaha and HK receivers is the lack of Audyssey for room correction...

For $300-$400 AVR, I would not trust any RC (including Audyssey) period.

Heck, I always bypass Audyssey on my $7500 DENON AVP-A1HDCI, so I personally don't care for Audyssey or any kind of RC, much less Audyssey from a $300-400 AVR.
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post #13 of 22 Old 04-23-2013, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

For $300-$400 AVR, I would not trust any RC (including Audyssey) period.

Heck, I always bypass Audyssey on my $7500 DENON AVP-A1HDCI, so I personally don't care for Audyssey or any kind of RC, much less Audyssey from a $300-400 AVR.

Your loss. I have had good success with Audyssey even on the lesser models. REW doesn't lie. Flatter response and better sound with Audyssey enabled than disabled.

Have you ever measured your room pre and post Audyssey to see if it improved your frequency response?
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post #14 of 22 Old 04-23-2013, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post


I'm a fan of KEF speakers but I would never recommend the C series - for the same price there are better options available. If you're going with KEF speakers you want something with Uni-Q drivers ... and I do recommend those ; )

Just because it's a Uni-Q does not make it a better speaker. That's just ONE SINGULAR design aspect. Waveguide speakers sound equally great.

There are other options like the Infinity P363 (also waiveguide) & Pioneer FS52 and they may or may not measure and sound any better since I don't know of any measurements of the C7.

At the end of the day, it's about personal preference, not blanket statements based on user reviews, hearsay, and driver type.
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post #15 of 22 Old 04-23-2013, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

Your loss. I have had good success with Audyssey even on the lesser models. REW doesn't lie. Flatter response and better sound with Audyssey enabled than disabled.

Have you ever measured your room pre and post Audyssey to see if it improved your frequency response?

I don't have much loss with my Revel Salon2 & DENON AVP-A1HDCI.

Maybe your low-end speakers & electronics may benefit.

Flatter response doesn't mean jack at the end of the day. It's about how the speakers sound, not how "flat" your REW can measure.

The AVP-A1HD gives you graphs of Audyssey, Audyssey FLAT, & Audyssey OFF. So yes, I have seen all three graphs. Sure, FLAT measures flatter, but who cares if the sound is NOT better?

I care about BETTER sound, not FLATTER graphs. eek.gif
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post #16 of 22 Old 04-23-2013, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

From what "all indications" exactly? eek.gif

Do you have any actual measurements to back up your ALL INDICATIONS ?

Here are ACTUAL measurements from Data-Bass website:

$1600 Klipsch SW-311: 102.6/105.3/108.6/111.4 dB (2m, 32/40/50/63Hz)
$285 BIC PL-200: ........ 102.5/107.7/110.4/108.1 dB (2m, 32/40/50/63Hz)

I assume the cheaper Klipsch won't output any better than a $1600 Klipsch.

The SW-11 and RW-12D are completely different subs.. The SW-11 is small compact sub with a 10" driver and passive radiators. It is 13"x13"x14". Compact.

The RW-12D has a 12" woofer in a 19.2" x 14.6" x 21" ported enclosure.

It is like comparing apples and oranges. rolleyes.gif

It would be great if Ricci measured the RW-12D, but he didn't. Archea measured and discussed the RW-12D and I was pretty impressed with the results. He has compared and listened to lots of subs so I would trust his opinion that the Klkipsch is a great bargain when it can be found for $300 or less.
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post #17 of 22 Old 04-23-2013, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

I don't have much loss with my Revel Salon2 & DENON AVP-A1HDCI.

Maybe your low-end speakers & electronics may benefit.

Flatter response doesn't mean jack at the end of the day. It's about how the speakers sound, not how "flat" your REW can measure.

The AVP-A1HD gives you graphs of Audyssey, Audyssey FLAT, & Audyssey OFF. So yes, I have seen all three graphs. Sure, FLAT measures flatter, but who cares if the sound is NOT better?

I care about BETTER sound, not FLATTER graphs. eek.gif

Graphs are not everything, but I have never not thought that a flatter response did not sound better than a response with peaks and valleys wink.gif

I have also seen a picture of your room and front soundstage and, too be honest, it is a huge mess. Seriously man you should take some of your piles of money and hire someone that understands room layout and accoustics (I would recommend Dennis Erskine whom works closely with AVS in the theater build section). There is only so much the AVP-A1HD can do before you need to address the soundstage and room itself.
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post #18 of 22 Old 04-23-2013, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Well that escalated quickly. Ha.

I do appreciate the advice so far.

ack_bk - I haven't listened to any speakers to be honest. I haven't been able to find any home theater stores around me. I'm not sure about the selection that Best Buy or hhgregg carry.
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post #19 of 22 Old 04-23-2013, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Clemsonfan15 View Post

Well that escalated quickly. Ha.

I do appreciate the advice so far.

ack_bk - I haven't listened to any speakers to be honest. I haven't been able to find any home theater stores around me. I'm not sure about the selection that Best Buy or hhgregg carry.

I apologize for going off topic. One thing to consider is that there are some internet direct companies such as Aperion, SVS, and EmpTek to name a few, that offer free shipping both ways to your house. You pay nothing to demo speakers in your home and return them if you don't like them (as long as you return them in mint condition within the return policy window).

Best place to tryout speakers is in your home smile.gif
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post #20 of 22 Old 04-23-2013, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

... I'm a fan of KEF speakers but I would never recommend the C series - for the same price there are better options available. If you're going with KEF speakers you want something with Uni-Q drivers ... and I do recommend those ; )
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Just because it's a Uni-Q does not make it a better speaker. That's just ONE SINGULAR design aspect. Waveguide speakers sound equally great.

There are other options like the Infinity P363 (also waiveguide) & Pioneer FS52 and they may or may not measure and sound any better since I don't know of any measurements of the C7.

At the end of the day, it's about personal preference, not blanket statements based on user reviews, hearsay, and driver type.
Hm, perhaps I didn't communicate clearly (or throughly) so let me clarify ...

I certainly did not mean to imply a Uni-Q automatically makes for a better speaker. There are speakers with all sorts of drivers that sound fantastic! And, if you check you'll see I often recommend other speakers here in the forums.

A Uni-Q driver is what "KEF" speakers have to offer and what KEF does well, hence the only KEF speakers I would recommend are the ones with the Uni-Q drivers. (Additionally, I think the msrp on the Q series is actually a bit too high, but, the prices for the Q series on accessories4less makes them competitive and good value.)

I didn't say the C series sound bad. In my post I said "for the same price there are better options available". A quick look through forum threads for speakers at that price point will show that the KEF C series is rarely recommended, so I'm not alone on that.

Saying I'm a KEF fan doesn't imply exclusivity! Again, if you check my posts in the forums you'll see that I'm a fan of several speaker brands/models at several price points. I often recommend speakers from Pioneer, Cambridge Audio, NHT, Arx, Ascend, Focal, SVS, ... and the list goes on wink.gif

Lastly - of course it's mostly personal preference
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post #21 of 22 Old 04-23-2013, 07:16 PM
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Well, you'll see all kinds of opinions, which is good. You want more than one point of view. It's kind of like brainstorming to give you some ideas.

On one hand, you'll see people who don't care about Room Correction (including Audyssey & ARC). OTOH, you'll see people who'll swear by Audyssey & ARC.

Personally I think KEF and Revel will always build very good sounding speakers, even if it is their lower end models like the C-series and even if people don't "recommend" them. Revel use waiveguide even on their $22,000 Salon2, while KEF use Uni-Q on most models & waiveguide on their C-series.

I still think the iQ90 set is a good buy if @ $750 total.

For under $1K, you will be limited.

You'll see people recommend the Infinity P363 & Pioneer FS52 all the time and everywhere. And although they are good, I don't think they are any better than the C-series.

For subs, most people, including me, will recommend that you up the price and go for something like the $650 Outlaw sub.
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post #22 of 22 Old 04-30-2013, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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After reading the posts on here and looking around the forum some more I've decided to change my strategy. I want to start by buying my receiver. I think a 5.1 is probably all I need. I will only have 3-4 HDMI inputs I think. What price range will get me a quality receiver that I can use for a long time? $250-400? What kind of wattage should I be looking at per channel? 80, 90, 100+?

Any suggestions on a good AVR? I've been looking in the classifieds, but nothing in my price range seems to come up. If I go new it looks like Accessories4less has a lot of good options.

After I get my receiver picked out I'll go ahead and look for two front floor standing speakers and a center for around $1,000.
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