Which AV receiver for KEF Q series 5.1 (4xQ100/1xQ200c/1xQ400b) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 07-18-2013, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

I am getting a 5.1 Q series package and am wondering if you can recommend an AV receiver in the 1000€ price range.

I have a Denon AVR-2113, but it sounds terrible with my LS50 and I doubt it will sound any better with the Q100 as the driver is quite similar.

I was thinking Cambridge Audio Azure 551R, NAD T748 or T757 (I could get the T757 for around 1000€). I love the emotiva pre/pro+power amp but getting it from US is a bit of a pain.

I need the receiver to have HDMI1.4a. No networking is needed. I would love the option of 7.2, but hey, 5.1 is fine too for now.

Thanks for your suggestions guys!

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post #2 of 38 Old 07-18-2013, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by techblogpool View Post

Hey guys,

I am getting a 5.1 Q series package and am wondering if you can recommend an AV receiver in the 1000€ price range.

I have a Denon AVR-2113, but it sounds terrible with my LS50 and I doubt it will sound any better with the Q100 as the driver is quite similar.

I was thinking Cambridge Audio Azure 551R, NAD T748 or T757 (I could get the T757 for around 1000€). I love the emotiva pre/pro+power amp but getting it from US is a bit of a pain.

I need the receiver to have HDMI1.4a. No networking is needed. I would love the option of 7.2, but hey, 5.1 is fine too for now.

Thanks for your suggestions guys!

What do you mean it sounds terrible with the LS50? There won't be any difference in sound between receivers unless you are pushing them too hard.

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post #3 of 38 Old 07-18-2013, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

What do you mean it sounds terrible with the LS50? There won't be any difference in sound between receivers unless you are pushing them too hard.

The DENON lacks power and the sound is dull. I didn't try other receivers but with my NAD integrated amp it is a night and day difference.

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post #4 of 38 Old 07-18-2013, 08:56 AM
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Looking at the KEF specs for the LS50, it shows an 8ohm impedance, with a 3.2ohm minimum, so that may be why the Denon is having trouble. However, the KEF Q100 will be easier to drive than the LS50 because they have a higher impedance. I can't see you needing anything more than the Denon 2113, if you are trying to turn these up in a larger room than you will need a different speaker, something with a higher sensitivity.

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post #5 of 38 Old 07-29-2013, 04:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

Looking at the KEF specs for the LS50, it shows an 8ohm impedance, with a 3.2ohm minimum, so that may be why the Denon is having trouble. However, the KEF Q100 will be easier to drive than the LS50 because they have a higher impedance. I can't see you needing anything more than the Denon 2113, if you are trying to turn these up in a larger room than you will need a different speaker, something with a higher sensitivity.

Hey there,

well, each speaker has a different minimum impedance and it is far from rare that an 8 Ohm speaker goes as low as 3 Ohm at certain frequencies, so the Denon "should" be able to drive it, but it is seriously under-powered and the specs are very unrealistic. The Denon has only been a disappointment for me, not only lacking power, dynamics, but also finesse, sounding dull, boring, tired, uninvolving, not only with these speakers, but with other speakers as well. This is a true features over sound example and will certainly putt me off of buying another Denon for a while.

So, to get back to the point, the speakers are just fine, size-wise for my room I need to fill with sound. Also, since the driver is very similar, I expect performance not too far from LS50, as regards to power requirements.

I was hoping for some real-life experience with Q100 in a 5.1 setup, if any of you guys are using them and what AV receiver you use?

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post #6 of 38 Old 07-29-2013, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by techblogpool View Post

Hey there,

well, each speaker has a different minimum impedance and it is far from rare that an 8 Ohm speaker goes as low as 3 Ohm at certain frequencies, so the Denon "should" be able to drive it, but it is seriously under-powered and the specs are very unrealistic. The Denon has only been a disappointment for me, not only lacking power, dynamics, but also finesse, sounding dull, boring, tired, uninvolving, not only with these speakers, but with other speakers as well. This is a true features over sound example and will certainly putt me off of buying another Denon for a while.

So, to get back to the point, the speakers are just fine, size-wise for my room I need to fill with sound. Also, since the driver is very similar, I expect performance not too far from LS50, as regards to power requirements.

I was hoping for some real-life experience with Q100 in a 5.1 setup, if any of you guys are using them and what AV receiver you use?

The Denon is rated for a minimum of 6ohm loads, so it probably has trouble with the dips at higher volumes. You aren't going to tell the difference between receivers at appropriate levels. What other speakers have you had trouble with?

The Q100 is KEF's entry-level bookshelf, the Denon will power them fine unless you are in a large space and listen at high levels, in which case no receiver/amp is going to make them sound better. I would not however expect the Q100 to perform closely with the LS50. Similar drivers but there is a lot more to a speaker than the drivers. You can probably safely assume the kind of sound is comparable, but not in terms of performance.

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post #7 of 38 Old 07-29-2013, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techblogpool View Post

Hey guys,

I am getting a 5.1 Q series package and am wondering if you can recommend an AV receiver in the 1000€ price range.

I have a Denon AVR-2113, but it sounds terrible with my LS50 and I doubt it will sound any better with the Q100 as the driver is quite similar.

Are you sure that the problem is your AVR?

Have you tried some other AVR with better results?

Have you tried to exploit Audyssey?

Might your problem be elsewhere, such as room acoustics?

Is something broken or misadjusted or misaligned?
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post #8 of 38 Old 07-29-2013, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by techblogpool View Post

e,

Well, each speaker has a different minimum impedance

Not necessarily a problem.

If we are talking KEF Q series, it is likely to dip as low as 3.5 ohms. Here's a KEF Q900 impedance curve:



Dips like this are not unusual, and for example I've got a pair of Infinity Primus 363 that do the same thing. They work well with my Denon 1613 which has similar power ratings.

Quote:
the Denon "should" be able to drive it, but it is seriously under-powered and the specs are very unrealistic.

Based on what?
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post #9 of 38 Old 07-29-2013, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

The Denon is rated for a minimum of 6ohm loads, so it probably has trouble with the dips at higher volumes. You aren't going to tell the difference between receivers at appropriate levels. What other speakers have you had trouble with?

The Q100 is KEF's entry-level bookshelf, the Denon will power them fine unless you are in a large space and listen at high levels, in which case no receiver/amp is going to make them sound better. I would not however expect the Q100 to perform closely with the LS50. Similar drivers but there is a lot more to a speaker than the drivers. You can probably safely assume the kind of sound is comparable, but not in terms of performance.

This topic is digressing too much. If you intend to reply, kindly reply to my thread question. I am aware of KEF speaker range and where each is positioned, please refrain from digressing. I wrote this previously, the speakers are well suited for my room size and this needs no further discussion. I wrote I expect similar performance - as regards to power requirements so your comment is redundant.

I do not mean to be disrespectful, but I am looking for a reply from someone who has experience with these speakers, not theoretical comparison of specs. I could do that very well on my own.

If you have no personal experience with the current generation of KEF Uni-Q speakers and amps driving them, then this will only turn into rhetorical exercise.

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post #10 of 38 Old 07-29-2013, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Are you sure that the problem is your AVR?

There is no problem, the receiver is just dull and underpowered.

Have you tried some other AVR with better results?

Not an AVR but an integrated amp and yes, the difference is night and day.

Have you tried to exploit Audyssey?

Of course, but audyssey cannot do magic if the amp sucks.

Might your problem be elsewhere, such as room acoustics?

No, different amp has no such issues.

Is something broken or misadjusted or misaligned?

Nope, everything is alright and fully functional. The AVR is just not meant to drive anything else than satellites and high-sensitivity speakers.

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post #11 of 38 Old 07-29-2013, 06:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Not necessarily a problem.

- never said it is a problem, actually each AVR manufacturer accounts for this when they build their AVR. Nobody expects a speaker with 8 Ohm average impedance to nover go below or above, it is perfectly alright and within spec.

If we are talking KEF Q series, it is likely to dip as low as 3.5 ohms. Here's a KEF Q900 impedance curve:



Dips like this are not unusual, and for example I've got a pair of Infinity Primus 363 that do the same thing. They work well with my Denon 1613 which has similar power ratings.
Based on what?

- Exactly my point, speakers dip and peak, that is perfectly OK.

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post #12 of 38 Old 07-29-2013, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by techblogpool View Post

This topic is digressing too much. If you intend to reply, kindly reply to my thread question. I am aware of KEF speaker range and where each is positioned, please refrain from digressing. I wrote this previously, the speakers are well suited for my room size and this needs no further discussion. I wrote I expect similar performance - as regards to power requirements so your comment is redundant.

I do not mean to be disrespectful, but I am looking for a reply from someone who has experience with these speakers, not theoretical comparison of specs. I could do that very well on my own.

If you have no personal experience with the current generation of KEF Uni-Q speakers and amps driving them, then this will only turn into rhetorical exercise.

You asked for receiver recommendations, and I am just trying to help figure out why this Denon 2113 (a very capable receiver) would have trouble powering entry level speakers.

How large is the room and how far away do you sit? At what volumes do you listen to content? These are all factors that will help determine if you need more power than the Denon can offer.

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post #13 of 38 Old 07-29-2013, 08:41 AM
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Hello I am running q300's all around except side surrounds,I also have a 5 ch. power amp for the 5 main channels. Until 2 days ago I had an Onkyo tx nr 1007 withe q300 and now a Denon avr x4000 with xt32 and it sounds great. If you can fit the new denon or any other receiver with xt32 in your budget, I would highly recommend it.

Tom
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Hello I am running q300's all around except side surrounds,I also have a 5 ch. power amp for the 5 main channels. Until 2 days ago I had an Onkyo tx nr 1007 withe q300 and now a Denon avr x4000 with xt32 and it sounds great. If you can fit the new denon or any other receiver with xt32 in your budget, I would highly recommend it.

Tom

Hi Tom,

thank you very much! I was recommended the X4000 by KEF as the lowest amp to try! Thanks for confirming the combinations sounds great together. If you were to compare the Onkyo, how was that compared to the Denon?

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Originally Posted by Tamas View Post

Hello I am running q300's all around except side surrounds,I also have a 5 ch. power amp for the 5 main channels. Until 2 days ago I had an Onkyo tx nr 1007 withe q300 and now a Denon avr x4000 with xt32 and it sounds great. If you can fit the new denon or any other receiver with xt32 in your budget, I would highly recommend it.

Tom

What amp do you have powering the speakers?
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

What amp do you have powering the speakers?

Actually, that is a very good question!

R u using the X4000 only as a pre-pro?

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post #17 of 38 Old 07-29-2013, 09:17 AM
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Hello,

Both sound good, however, I am liking xt32 better in the Denon. If I could have found an onkyo tx nr1010 I would have picked that receiver over the denon. Sound wise you may not be able to tell the difference between the two but it is thx certified and I like the onkyo GUI and remote.

Having said all that I don't have any regrets about the Denon. I have dual subs and sub eqht works great, and xt32 is better than xt.

Tom
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Originally Posted by Tamas View Post

Hello,

Both sound good, however, I am liking xt32 better in the Denon. If I could have found an onkyo tx nr1010 I would have picked that receiver over the denon. Sound wise you may not be able to tell the difference between the two but it is thx certified and I like the onkyo GUI and remote.

Having said all that I don't have any regrets about the Denon. I have dual subs and sub eqht works great, and xt32 is better than xt.

Tom

You mentioned in your previous post you have a 5-channel power amp, what amp are you using? Or is the Denon X4000 powering the speakers?

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post #19 of 38 Old 07-29-2013, 09:24 AM
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I have a Rotel RMB 1075, it's older but still does its job well. The front three speakers and the side surrounds are all powered by the Rotel. The front heights and rear surround speakers are powered by the Denon.

The front soundstage and the rear surround back speakers are all Q300's. The side surrounds are paradigm bipoles.
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post #20 of 38 Old 07-30-2013, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tamas View Post

I have a Rotel RMB 1075, it's older but still does its job well. The front three speakers and the side surrounds are all powered by the Rotel. The front heights and rear surround speakers are powered by the Denon.

The front soundstage and the rear surround back speakers are all Q300's. The side surrounds are paradigm bipoles.

Have you heard the Q300s driven by the Denon? How did it compare to the Rotel?
I am actually thinking of getting the Cambridge Audio 551R and maybe add the RMB 1075 if I feel still more power is needed.

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post #21 of 38 Old 07-30-2013, 11:40 AM
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I'm running Q100's LCR with a Denon 1913 and they sound great on BluRay's and on movies/music from the AppleTV. The Uverse audio however is ridiculously hit a miss. I also have a direct 96bit connection from the computer for music and it sounds excellent.

I use Audyssey for Movies/TV, but have come to prefer Audyssey-Flat for listening to music.

I've been considering upgrading to LS-50's so I'm very curious about why they may not work well with a Denon. I'd want to use LS-50's for HT, but not if the only way to use them would be with dedicated amps (could very expensive/complicated for five LS-50's).

I should note that I don't often "push" the volume.
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post #22 of 38 Old 07-30-2013, 01:24 PM
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Sorry I just swapped out the onkyo with the denon and ran audessey. I prefer xt32 to xt, and I would not go back to any receiver or pre/pro that did not have this technology. I don't listen too loud either so I don't think there would be any real difference between having the Rotel in the system or not. It's peace of mind if anything.
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post #23 of 38 Old 08-02-2013, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

so, I just got the KEF AV100 today and managed to connect them to the Denon. I also got the Cambridge 551R but I have not had the time to unpack and test that yet.
I have to say I am terribly disapointed with the sound coming out of the Denon with the AV100. :-/ At low volume it lacks well everything, detail, punch, dynamics. All that I heard before with my LS50s, but now, since it is driving 5 heavy duty speakers, it is even worse! At max volume it is actually pretty quiet, so my previous assumption of the Denon going loud was quite wrong.

Put simply, it needs sensitive speakers and a sat/sub system to work nicely.

I am so excited to hook up the cambridge and compare.

I only compared the Q100 and the LS50 briefly and so far the Q seems to have less base and more bright highs and the LS thicker base and smoother treble. This was with my stereo NAD C320.

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I think if you are expecting the Q100s to sound comparable to the LS50s, you are going to be disappointed. I also am not sure why they sound so bad to you with the Denon. They can only handle 100 watts of power so it's not like you are severely under-powering them...

I would wager you are expecting too much from the speaker, and probably are in a larger space. The most these speakers put out is 107dB, at 1 m, so if we assume you are maybe 10' away, you are losing 10dB, so you can probably expect about 93-95dB with these speakers cranked. Less if you are farther away. If you need more than that, then maybe you should look into a different speaker.

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post #25 of 38 Old 08-02-2013, 09:03 AM
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Have you run multi eq xt yet? And are you still using the 2113?

Do you have dynamic eq on?
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post #26 of 38 Old 08-02-2013, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

I think if you are expecting the Q100s to sound comparable to the LS50s, you are going to be disappointed. I also am not sure why they sound so bad to you with the Denon. They can only handle 100 watts of power so it's not like you are severely under-powering them...

I would wager you are expecting too much from the speaker, and probably are in a larger space. The most these speakers put out is 107dB, at 1 m, so if we assume you are maybe 10' away, you are losing 10dB, so you can probably expect about 93-95dB with these speakers cranked. Less if you are farther away. If you need more than that, then maybe you should look into a different speaker.

Hi there. Sorry, you must have misunderstood me. I never expected them to sound the same, but they sure do sound similar. That is to be expected, the driver is very similar too. I am very happy with the Qs, I heard them before but testing them at home, with my gear, comparing directly to the LS50, that is just very very exciting to me! I just love to play and try and test sound. I am pretty obsessed with sound. I have very good hearing and a critical ear.

To be honest, I am far from the only one who hears the Denon deficits. I had my friends over and they all greed that it sounds terrible.

I can be specific. Compared to my old NAD C320 a 35W/channel amp, the Denon lacks resolution, immensely so! You just lose so much detail. This is in all modes, with/without audyssey, and in pure direct. I am no electrician but my friend who is blames the weak transformer and capacitors. Probably the first moment when I realised the Denon is doing something wrong was when I lacked midrange and vocals in music. It all sounded so hollow. The NAD then brought the midrange back, almost as if raising a veil. The music also loses a lot of transparency and the sounds of an orchestra are muddy, colored and lost in a big mixture of it all. The NAD brings everything back where it should be, all layers are clear, focused, almost life like. The Denon sounds as if from another room, in comparison.

I believe the transformer and capacitors are the cause. They simply run out of juice when in fact more power is needed. I measured the Wattage with a meter and when driving 5 speakers and in mid-volume, the Denon consumed only 80W. The NAD consumes 70W while driving 2 speakers. I think that explains it all.

It must seem to you I am bashing Denon, but far from it. I have been a fan of the company since my childhood. I am simply saying what I hear, nothing more. I am afraid that Wattage on paper in the Denon specifications is not true. Again, the Denon sounds thin and weak, dull, even at low volume with both of my speakers I have at the moment.

I am not expecting too much. I auditioned them in a much larger room than my living room and in fact I just heard the with my NAD producing unbelievably beautiful sound! Both the LS50 and the Q100 sound amazing in my living room with the NAD, but so much worse with the Denon. You see, my NAD, even at half the volume level produces so much clear and loud volume, I cannot go any louder. The Denon, even at MAX produces low volume and very weak and thin at that.

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post #27 of 38 Old 08-02-2013, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tamas View Post

Have you run multi eq xt yet? And are you still using the 2113?

Do you have dynamic eq on?

Hey there,
I did run Audyssey, yes. I still have the Denon connected. I will try the Cambridge when I get home.
Yes, I had the dynamic EQ on.

When I get back home I will try more tests before trying the Cambridge and I will write down some notes.

I will compare audyssey on/off, flat, dynamic EQ on/off, pure direct vs stereo and get back to you.

Funny thing actually was that when I set-up everything the sub produced no sound at all, even with bassy music. Then I found out audyssey set my speakers to large and crossovers to 40hz (the same as it did with my LS50s). Apparently the music had no sounds below 40hz. I had a mini heart attack thinking the sub is dead on arrival. smile.gif

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post #28 of 38 Old 08-02-2013, 09:51 AM
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Oops, I haven't really played around with music yet, just movies using the denon. Hope it all works out.
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post #29 of 38 Old 08-02-2013, 09:57 AM
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Hi there. Sorry, you must have misunderstood me. I never expected them to sound the same, but they sure do sound similar. That is to be expected, the driver is very similar too. I am very happy with the Qs, I heard them before but testing them at home, with my gear, comparing directly to the LS50, that is just very very exciting to me! I just love to play and try and test sound. I am pretty obsessed with sound. I have very good hearing and a critical ear.

To be honest, I am far from the only one who hears the Denon deficits. I had my friends over and they all greed that it sounds terrible.

I can be specific. Compared to my old NAD C320 a 35W/channel amp, the Denon lacks resolution, immensely so! You just lose so much detail. This is in all modes, with/without audyssey, and in pure direct. I am no electrician but my friend who is blames the weak transformer and capacitors. Probably the first moment when I realised the Denon is doing something wrong was when I lacked midrange and vocals in music. It all sounded so hollow. The NAD then brought the midrange back, almost as if raising a veil. The music also loses a lot of transparency and the sounds of an orchestra are muddy, colored and lost in a big mixture of it all. The NAD brings everything back where it should be, all layers are clear, focused, almost life like. The Denon sounds as if from another room, in comparison.

I believe the transformer and capacitors are the cause. They simply run out of juice when in fact more power is needed. I measured the Wattage with a meter and when driving 5 speakers and in mid-volume, the Denon consumed only 80W. The NAD consumes 70W while driving 2 speakers. I think that explains it all.

It must seem to you I am bashing Denon, but far from it. I have been a fan of the company since my childhood. I am simply saying what I hear, nothing more. I am afraid that Wattage on paper in the Denon specifications is not true. Again, the Denon sounds thin and weak, dull, even at low volume with both of my speakers I have at the moment.

I am not expecting too much. I auditioned them in a much larger room than my living room and in fact I just heard the with my NAD producing unbelievably beautiful sound! Both the LS50 and the Q100 sound amazing in my living room with the NAD, but so much worse with the Denon. You see, my NAD, even at half the volume level produces so much clear and loud volume, I cannot go any louder. The Denon, even at MAX produces low volume and very weak and thin at that.

I am sorry you are having trouble with it. It seems the Q100 impedance might dip lower than the Denon can sufficiently drive. Perhaps they would sound better with just two-channels driven, but for all 5, you probably need something rated for 4ohm loads. You may want to look for a receiver that is rated for 4ohm loads, from looking at graphs of other KEF Q series speakers, their impedance's all dip very low.

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post #30 of 38 Old 08-02-2013, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

I am sorry you are having trouble with it. It seems the Q100 impedance might dip lower than the Denon can sufficiently drive. Perhaps they would sound better with just two-channels driven, but for all 5, you probably need something rated for 4ohm loads. You may want to look for a receiver that is rated for 4ohm loads, from looking at graphs of other KEF Q series speakers, their impedance's all dip very low.

Yeah, well, it was a very biggrin.gif not thoroughly thought out decision you know. smile.gif I bought the Denon last Christmas when one moment I had a urge to try the Audyssey multiEQ XT smile.gif At the time I used Yamaha speakers and had an Onkyo AVR. The Yamahas are 6Ohm and have 87db sensitivity. They sounded fine with the Onkyo but I hoped for more with the Denon. Now the Denon did a lot of good to the sound but more so to my sub than to my speakers, they lost a bit of resolution as well. Then I went to audition the LS50 and I just HAD TO HAVE THEM! They sounded that good! I brought them home and oh boy, they sounded nothing like in the shop. smile.gif So I looked for answers all around the net and then came across a discussion somewhere where a guy wrote that Wattage means almost nothing, that the current and its stability matter more so I bought my old NAD C320 and that brought back the sound from the shop. I called KEF and asked about my experience and I was told that each speaker has a fluctuating impedance, depending on each frequency and that they set a "medium" for the specifications but that AVR makers take that into account, but some brands simply underpower the AVRs because people buy sub/sat systenms where a small sattelite speaker has a crossover of 100, 150hz and the AVR really has so much less to take care of. But once you put proper speakers to them, they simply do not have what it takes to drive them in the lower regions. What happens is that when the impedance drops, the current increases and the transformer, if insufficient, simply won't drive it as much as needed.

Unfortunately, the Denon is unable to drive uni-q speakers even in stereo. But I do not want to cry over that purchase, because I learned a lot! For one, never trust specifications, two, even good brands produce mediocre stuff, three, match your equipment! smile.gif I guess experimenting and learning all these things is really what I love most about audio.

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