KEF E305/E301 satellite + sub speaker package thread - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 1Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 104 Old 03-04-2014, 02:02 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
steveting99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 946
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked: 130
I’m about to take delivery of the KEF E305 package. There doesn’t seem to be thread for this so decided to start one. The E305 is targeted for small rooms or life style homes. In these listening rooms, large floor standers and/or book shelves speakers on stands are not practical nor wont pass the Wife Acceptance Factor (WAF). The E301 satellites have the coincident tweeter + mid bass driver arrangement. KEF calls this the Uni-Q array. Interestingly the high end of KEF's reference series range of speakers consisting of the Blade and LS50 incorporate the same technology. This flow down from the high end speakers to more affordable range was a factor in the purchase decision of the E305/E301.

KEF's website for details of the E305 are found here: http://www.kef.com/html/hk_en/showro...ries/overview/

Available colours are: black or white

Current purchasing options are: E305 package or a pair of E301 satellites

The KEF E305 package consists of:
  • four (4) numbers of model E301 satellites for left front + right front + left surround + right surround speakers;
  • one (1) number of model E301c for the centre speaker; and
  • one (1) number of model E2 sub
Pictures from the internet on what the speakers + sub look like:




Here are the specifications for E301 satellites:
Spoiler!

Optional Floor stands are available and is shown below.



Specs for the model: E-2 sub:
Spoiler!


For those who want a simple one package solution, the E2 sub is designed to integrate with the E301 satellites and produce bass near field for most music genres. The E2 will struggle in the sub-bass region with the lower notes of pipe organ, bass, contrabassoon and tuba. This may not bother some most people (who listens to pipe organs anyway?), however, this is AVS and as the saying goes – you can do better…

I decided to take the harder route of not taking delivery of the model E2 sub and go with a different sub from another supplier. There are opinions for and against this approach depending on one’s needs such as bass quality, placement, aesthetics, room size, etc. I made the personal decision to go with a different sub and will chronicle the experience. This includes bass integration and measurement results.

See the on-going posts about this.

Steve

Reviews.[#]Ed Selley at AV Forums: http://www.avforums.com/review/kef-e...age-review.556
[#]AV Land UK :
[#]What HiFi: http://www.whathifi.com/review/kef-e305
[#]Sam Posten at Home Theater Forum: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topi...-sound-review/
[#]Adam Ryanar at Home Cinema Choice: http://www.homecinemachoice.com/news...5-review/15994
[#]Danny Phillips at Trusted Reviews: http://www.trustedreviews.com/kef-e3...-System_review
[#]Ed Selley at AV Forums Review: https://www.avforums.com/review/kef-...age-review.556

Edit:[^]17-Mar-2014. Included picture of floor stand. Intro text expanded.
[^]1-May-2014. Included reviews of E305 package.
[^]15-July-2014. Additional review included

Maranatz NR1504, Oppo BPD-93, MTV 7000D, LG LW6500, aTV, WDTV Live, Harmony 650 remote, KEF E301, MiniDSP(2x4), Rythmik F12G

Last edited by steveting99; 09-25-2014 at 06:45 PM. Reason: Format error corrected
steveting99 is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 104 Old 03-04-2014, 02:02 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
steveting99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 946
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked: 130
Each individual E301 speaker has a custom designed base “foot”. This foot allows for:
  • horizontal mounting on a flat surface (easy one to figure out from the pictures); or
  • vertical mounting on the wall.

There is a slender neck where the speaker and base foot meet, at the connection point is a ball joint. One can rotate up the base 90 deg to mount the E301 onto the wall. A little bit hard to see this, but a picture paints a thousand words.


The same ball joint enables a little bit tilting/angling of the speaker. This could be useful when the speaker isn’t placed at an ideal height and one wants to direct the sound (i.e. toe-in) to the listening position. I’d say the range of movement is about +/- 15 deg. An allen key is provided that tighten up the ball joint if one wishes.

Underneath the base of the speaker lies the speaker wire connections. These only accept bare wires via the push in type connector, so banana plugs will not work here.

Maranatz NR1504, Oppo BPD-93, MTV 7000D, LG LW6500, aTV, WDTV Live, Harmony 650 remote, KEF E301, MiniDSP(2x4), Rythmik F12G
steveting99 is online now  
post #3 of 104 Old 03-04-2014, 02:03 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
steveting99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 946
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked: 130
Room layout and other considerations.

Staying in a small apartment means that space is a premium. There's not going to be a dedicated room for listening or watching movies - it's going to be a shared living space with the better half. That includes furniture, decorations, lounge, etc. with the TV and sound system. Placing large 3-way floor standing speakers or even 2-way bookshelves on stands is not practical. The Main Listening Position (MLP) and minor listening positions (minlp) are NOT going to be ideal. An easy and compromised option was to go with a speaker bar + sub combination - just beneath the TV. But that meant a limited stereo separation, a weak sound field, limited features such as HDMI switching and sound decoding. The technology and features of sound bars haven't caught up with the receiver and speaker set-up. The answer for me was a modern receiver combined with sat+sub combinations in the living room environment.

An interesting read on sat + sub combination is known as the Schroeder Frequency present in every room. The 3-part article is by Brent Butterworth from a well known hi-fi mag called Sound&Vision: http://www.soundandvision.com/conten...nd-tell-part-1

The idea of having satellites placed at the right positions to give the sound stage based on mid to high frequencies and placing the sub a the right position to handle the room modes made a lot of sense. The physics of sound re-production makes the sat+sub combination a neat solution. The audiophile cynic may think this a neat justification to avoid paying $$$,$$$ for large floor standers, instead - you should trust your ears. You know what, the audiophile is is right about avoiding high costs, but I'm a bit skeptical about trusting just my ears.

Attached is the room layout and where the KEF E301 satellites are currently placed, the MLP and placement for the sub. Picture shows the various room modes and the approximate low frequency response using a single sub up to 200Hz. I'll be carrying out some REW measurements and posting them for all to see and comment.



Photo of listening room to give an idea of the limited placement options regarding the front sound stage. See further post on bracket mounting arrangement.


Layout sketch of the room. Dimensions in milimeters.



Notes: 1st edit on 6-Mar-2014 to discuss room layout.
2nd edit on 18-Mar-2014 includes listening room picture.
3rd edit on 28-Apr-2014 to show room layout.
4th edit on 17-Jun-2014 to correct some typos.

Maranatz NR1504, Oppo BPD-93, MTV 7000D, LG LW6500, aTV, WDTV Live, Harmony 650 remote, KEF E301, MiniDSP(2x4), Rythmik F12G

Last edited by steveting99; 06-16-2014 at 09:20 PM. Reason: Correction of typos.
steveting99 is online now  
post #4 of 104 Old 03-04-2014, 02:03 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
steveting99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 946
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked: 130
A different sub set-up.

Currently the old sub is from a HTiB - not great. Its passive, made with cheap parts and with a tape measure the driver is about 8". Frequency range is 45Hz to 300Hz. It's a one note boom box as shown in the frequency response curve below.




The waterfall is truly terrible:

Further confirmed by the spectrogram:

The significant boominess between 50Hz to 120HZ is very audible as well as the peaks, nulls and ringing. I'm trying various placement options to see if any improvements can be made for the low frequencies - but don't hold much hope. A better sub is what's needed.tongue.gif

As stated in the 1st post, I didn't take delivery of the KEF E2 sub and have gone down a different road of trying to get a better sub. Well after much homework, the decision had been made to go with direct servo units offered by Rythmik Audio here: http://www.rythmikaudio.com/products.html

I've placed an order for the F12G - one of Rythmik's smallest offerings due to space constraints within the listening room - see previous photo. The GR research driver using the paper cone is the interesting part. This is the most expensive item in the audio equipment list. The justified logic is that getting the bass right is the foundation of good sound reproduction. Once received and set-up properly - will post some pictures and notes.

Edit: 22-Mar-2014 explaining current sub set-up.

Maranatz NR1504, Oppo BPD-93, MTV 7000D, LG LW6500, aTV, WDTV Live, Harmony 650 remote, KEF E301, MiniDSP(2x4), Rythmik F12G
steveting99 is online now  
post #5 of 104 Old 03-04-2014, 02:04 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
steveting99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 946
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked: 130
5th post reserved.

Maranatz NR1504, Oppo BPD-93, MTV 7000D, LG LW6500, aTV, WDTV Live, Harmony 650 remote, KEF E301, MiniDSP(2x4), Rythmik F12G
steveting99 is online now  
post #6 of 104 Old 03-11-2014, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
steveting99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 946
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked: 130
I've got these now mounted on brackets for front left, front right, surround left and surround right. Below is a picture of the left speaker set-up with bracket. The bracket allows for greater movement to allow angling down and toe-into the Main Listening Position (MLP).


Hooked up with the Marantz NR-1504 and ran the Audyssey room correction. In the 5.0 set-up, the sound is much better compared to the previous LG HTiB speakers (model number FE-3500TE). Once the HTiB sub was engaged, there was bass - but it's very one note type, i.e. goes boom, boom, boom.

Will enjoy the listening to these E301's for a while now. Have been thinking and pondering about a new sub.

In a month's time, will post room measurement frequency response of the E301. Please note that this is specific to my room and listening position. It is unique and unlikely to be the same with anyone else.

If anyone has questions related to the KEF301, I'll answer as best as I can.

Edit: 17-Mar-2104. Included picture of left speaker + bracket

Maranatz NR1504, Oppo BPD-93, MTV 7000D, LG LW6500, aTV, WDTV Live, Harmony 650 remote, KEF E301, MiniDSP(2x4), Rythmik F12G
steveting99 is online now  
post #7 of 104 Old 03-17-2014, 05:07 PM
Advanced Member
 
SMHarman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 143 Post(s)
Liked: 43

Looking forward to this.  I got my set in the 5.1 + 2 free sale that Kef were doing at Christmas.

I'm currently only running 3.1 from a Sony STR-DA1800-ES with monoprice in wall (but not actually in wall) 14/2 cable.

They have certainly run in nicely and the speech on True Detective was good and clear.

The 7.1 will go into my renovated living room which is currently a to be started work in progress.

SMHarman is online now  
post #8 of 104 Old 03-18-2014, 04:17 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
steveting99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 946
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked: 130
Hi SMHarman,

Looks like you and I are the only ones who've got the KEF E301 satellites.

I didn't take the E2 sub and have decided to grab something else. As you've got the complete package, would like to have your set-up arrangement and thoughts on the E305 package. What did you have before the E305? Hopefully it's a step-up on sound quality and an improvement in the listening experience. From the HTiB to the KEF eggs, I can honestly say that there has been a noticeable improvement in sound quality. I'm now re-listening the music collection and enjoying the tunes.

Maranatz NR1504, Oppo BPD-93, MTV 7000D, LG LW6500, aTV, WDTV Live, Harmony 650 remote, KEF E301, MiniDSP(2x4), Rythmik F12G
steveting99 is online now  
post #9 of 104 Old 03-24-2014, 01:25 PM
Advanced Member
 
SMHarman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 143 Post(s)
Liked: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveting99 View Post

Hi SMHarman,

Looks like you and I are the only ones who've got the KEF E301 satellites.

I didn't take the E2 sub and have decided to grab something else. As you've got the complete package, would like to have your set-up arrangement and thoughts on the E305 package. What did you have before the E305? Hopefully it's a step-up on sound quality and an improvement in the listening experience. From the HTiB to the KEF eggs, I can honestly say that there has been a noticeable improvement in sound quality. I'm now re-listening the music collection and enjoying the tunes.

My TV did have an older Stereo Amp (which had IR volume control) and Bose Acoustimass 5

http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/shop_online/speakers/stereo_speakers/acoustimass_5/index.jsp

not my choice but a compromise to a compromise.  Better than the TV speakers anyway.

 

Then the amp got upgraded to a Sony STR 1800 ES to better control / switch the sources etc (got it for a steal, <$400 on Amazon Warehouse).  It was clearly begging for cables to be hooked up to all 7 amps and the sub output!

 

I briefly had the Kef 1005.1 system, picked it up on ebay and soon decided that the speakers would not be big enough for the room (I forgot to take into account my 13 ft ceilings).  Put them back on ebay and then the Christmas offer of 7.1 for the price of 5.1 on Kefdirect popped up so I bit the bullet.

 

As I am about to commit to major renovation I am only running 3.1, the sub handoff is imperceptable and musically this sounds much larger than the eggs.  It feels more monitor sized sound (and dynamics).

 

Post reno, all 7 will be connected and I will find a source BluRay to watch.

 

I will post an image of the room on here in the coming weeks and ask for some guidance from the brains trust as to the best locations for all 7 speakers and the sub.

 

For now I am enjoying the sound of these for music and TV series and movies.  Dialogue is clear, music sparkles and bounces along, wonderful purchase.

SMHarman is online now  
post #10 of 104 Old 03-25-2014, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
steveting99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 946
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked: 130
^
SMHarmon,

I'm hoping that you can fill in some details of the E2 sub. I've reserved post 5 for this and for people who want to know more about the standard sub that KEF packages with the E301, it would be useful. If you can carry out some REW measurements on the frequency response of the E2, it would be welcome. Whilst this is particular to your room and set-up, a disclaimer can be made up front. When reading posts from another forum (with a similar sounding acronym as AVS) owners are very happy with the integration of the E2 with the E301. This is similar to your experience.

The reason I didn't take the E2 sub was because I wanted something better and found it in the Rythmik servo sub. I'm patiently waiting for the F12G to arrive and will post measurement results as well as impressions. Most likely, the integration will be a challenge, but willing to take it head on with an intent to succeed. REW is going to be my friend here.

Maranatz NR1504, Oppo BPD-93, MTV 7000D, LG LW6500, aTV, WDTV Live, Harmony 650 remote, KEF E301, MiniDSP(2x4), Rythmik F12G
steveting99 is online now  
post #11 of 104 Old 03-26-2014, 08:48 AM
Advanced Member
 
SMHarman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 143 Post(s)
Liked: 43

^ What do I need to do REW measurements on the frequency resopnse?

 

Gimme a step by step (or a link to one) and what tech I need and I will try to oblige.

SMHarman is online now  
post #12 of 104 Old 03-26-2014, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
steveting99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 946
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked: 130
^ SMHarmon,

Jerry Austin the in the simplified REW + USB thread has laid out a step-by-step guide for carrying out REW measurements. It's here in post 275: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1449924/simplified-rew-setup-and-use-usb-mic-hdmi-connection-including-measurement-techniques-and-how-to-interpret-graphs/270#post_22823228

There's some basic gear you'll need and it's assumed that some of these you already have. These include:
(1) a laptop/notebook/PC with Windows 7/8.1 and a HDMI port;
(2) a HDMI cable;
(3) Radio Shack SPL meter (optional but highly recommended with a cost about $40); and
(4) Internet connection so that you can download REW from Home Theater Shack (free registration) and ASIO4All driver from the web.

The only purchase is a USB mic + mic boom stand. The general recommendation is to get one from Cross Spectrum Labs. They've got several options and cost is about $100. The mic boom stand is about $20.

It took some time to get familiar with the settings and there was an initial learning curve. I can assist in answering some basic questions if you need help. The more difficult questions would have to be posted at the forum.

Once familiar with the set-up, I'm up and running in about 30 minutes to carry out a measurement.

Maranatz NR1504, Oppo BPD-93, MTV 7000D, LG LW6500, aTV, WDTV Live, Harmony 650 remote, KEF E301, MiniDSP(2x4), Rythmik F12G
steveting99 is online now  
post #13 of 104 Old 04-10-2014, 10:11 AM
AVS Special Member
 
tractng's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,359
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Liked: 26
steveting99,

If I vertical mount the 301. What is the total distance from the wall to the front of the speaker? I want to know how much it sticks out. This is using the included mount.


Tractng
tractng is offline  
post #14 of 104 Old 04-10-2014, 03:44 PM
AVS Special Member
 
tractng's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,359
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Liked: 26
I bought a pair of eggs in black to match with the Kef LS50 and returned the Minx. It makes more sense go with same vendor. Thanks steveting99.
tractng is offline  
post #15 of 104 Old 04-11-2014, 10:42 AM
Advanced Member
 
SMHarman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 143 Post(s)
Liked: 43
It sticks out 6.5in
TWSS
Quote:
Originally Posted by tractng View Post

steveting99,

If I vertical mount the 301. What is the total distance from the wall to the front of the speaker? I want to know how much it sticks out. This is using the included mount.


Tractng
SMHarman is online now  
post #16 of 104 Old 04-11-2014, 12:03 PM
AVS Special Member
 
tractng's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,359
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Liked: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMHarman View Post

It sticks out 6.5in
TWSS

Thank you. I bought a pair for the rears to go with the front LS50
tractng is offline  
post #17 of 104 Old 04-12-2014, 03:24 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
steveting99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 946
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked: 130
tractng/SMHarman,

I'm glad to see that SMHarman helped answer your question. If you want confirmation from me, I'll need to get out the measuring tape and climb up to the E301 near the ceiling, a bit inconvenient. Let me know.

As I'm waiting for Brian at Rythmik to make the F12G, I've been playing around with the old sub and attempting very badly to integrate with the E301. At times it was frustrating as the integration is a lot harder than I thought. The version of Audyssey used in the current AVR (Marantz NR-1504) is called MultiEQ and its a low end room correction. I knew that when first purchasing the AVR. The right version of Audyssey to get is XT32 with subHT EQ.

I've had to redo Audyssey a number of times as the mic placement is important and the room is far from ideal. I'm currently awaiting parts from Amazon that will allow me to look more closely into the crossover region as well as the low frequencies (15Hz to 300Hz) response using REW + USB mic. My intention is to smooth out the lows as far as possible to help MultiEQ to it's job properly.

Part of the discovery work has led me to purchasing the MiniDSP (unbalanced 2x4) to deal with the bass issues and the old sub. The strategy is to put the MiniDSP into in the LFE output chain before the sub. With no Audyssey correction, I will then carry out a low frequency sweep to see where the peaks are using REW. Within REW is the ability to implement target curves with PEQ correction filters. I intend to have just cuts of the peak to help Audyssey MultiEQ work itself out in regards to the boom-boom of the bass. After which, go back and check the frequency response with REW and Audyssey enabled. Will let you know how things go.

Maranatz NR1504, Oppo BPD-93, MTV 7000D, LG LW6500, aTV, WDTV Live, Harmony 650 remote, KEF E301, MiniDSP(2x4), Rythmik F12G
steveting99 is online now  
post #18 of 104 Old 04-12-2014, 05:31 PM
AVS Special Member
 
tractng's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,359
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Liked: 26
steveting99,

I already got the measurements. Thanks. Curious if the grill can be pulled out?
tractng is offline  
post #19 of 104 Old 04-16-2014, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
steveting99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 946
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked: 130
I managed to carry out REW in room measurements for the KEF E301 satellite speakers. The room dimensions, Main Listening Position (MLP), left, right speaker placement and sub placement is shown in post #3. There's a picture of the room layout also shown. The MLP is the center of the couch.

Initial room equalization was carried out with Audyssey MultiEQ that was available on the Marantz NR-1504 AVR.
The six point pattern were carried out as follows. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
  • 1st point at MLP;
  • 2nd point 3 inches forward of MLP;
  • 3rd point 3 inches left from MLP;
  • 4th point 3 inches right from MLP;
  • 5th point 6 inches left of MLP;and
  • 6th point 6 inches right of MLP.
The close mic positioning is meant to give a better response.

Based on the mic positions , the NR-1504 then gave the following results for the 5.1 sat + sub combination.
Delays Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Distances in feet:
Front Left = 9.3
Front Right = 10.4
Center = 7.9
Sub = 6.5
Surround Left = 7.6
Surround Right = 9

Note that the above includes the MiniDSP in the sub signal chain. The MiniDSP added an additional 1.2' of delay and reduced the output by approximately -8.5dB.
Trims Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Levels in dB:
Front Left = -3.5
Front Right = -3.5
Center = -3
Sub = +4.5
Surround Left = -4.5
Surround Right = -4

Crossover Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Crossover setting in Hz:
Front Left + Right = 60
Center = 90
Surround Left + Right = 60

The measurements have Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Vol disabled. I then disabled Audyssey to get an initial set of frequency sweeps (15Hz to 20kHz) for the front sound stage that includes the left, center and right speakers. Results are shown in the graph below. The graph has been revised (10-Jun-2014) as the initial measurements had the speakers set to small which means the crossover point came into the measurements. The procedures for taking the measurements followed the guide written by Jerry Austin (et. al.) in the simplified REW + USB guide. The Main Volume (MV) on the NR-1504 was set at -15dB which gave about 80dB according REW. 15Hz to 20,000Hz frequency sweep, no Audyssey. 1/6 smoothing applied. Sweep length set to 1M (longest duration). The noise floor as measured by REW is just under 70dB.




As can be seen, the results are less than satisfactory with significant peaks and nulls.

I then turned on Audyssey to carry the same frequency sweep to see if there is any improvement.
Audyssey On. No Dynamic EQ/Vol. 15Hz to 20,000Hz frequency sweep. 1/6 smoothing applied.



The peaks have been smoothed out with a gentle roll off at the high frequencies (>7kHz). Most impressive is how close the channels are now for frequencies above 300Hz.

What the results show is that Audyssey did make a difference and what I'm hearing in room with Audyssey engaged isn't something that been imagined...smile.gif This improvement in sound quality isn't subtle. So engaging Audyssey seems to be the way to go.

The problem of course is with the frequencies below 300Hz. That story is going to take another post to tell.

Edit on 17-Apr-2014: Revised mic positions and Audyssey results
Edit on 10-Jun-2014. Graphs revised to include calibration file for mic and speakers set to large to ensure no affect due to crossover setting.

Maranatz NR1504, Oppo BPD-93, MTV 7000D, LG LW6500, aTV, WDTV Live, Harmony 650 remote, KEF E301, MiniDSP(2x4), Rythmik F12G
steveting99 is online now  
post #20 of 104 Old 04-17-2014, 12:43 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
steveting99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 946
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked: 130
I thought there was a way to turn the bad sounding HTiB boom-boom box sub into something more respectable. This included placement, the use of a MiniDSP with PEQ filters and Audyssey room EQ. Here are the results of several experiments/attempts to improve the sound quality of the boom-boom box.

Baseline REW measurement were taken with the sub in various positions to give the best low frequency response. The optimum location was found at 6'9"from the back wall and the the left of the Main Listening Position (MLP). The physical distance to the MLP is 3'2" and Audyssey came up with 5'5" taking into account the group delay.


Well, thinking the graph looked pretty ugly - was there a way to fix it up and improve sound quality? MiniDSP to the rescue! Neutro wrote up an excellent tutorial here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1488457/tutorial-dual-sub-integration-using-the-minidsp and thinking that it's easy to set-up, placed an order and hooked up into the audio chain as follows:

Marantz LFE output (RCA) ---> MiniDSP (2x4 unbalanced version) ---> boom-boom box amp (RCA input)

The MiniDSP has a maximum input voltage of 2Vrms and an output of 0.9Vrms. I checked with JDsmoothie in the NR-1604 thread about the maximum output of the NR-1504 and confirmed it's less than what the MiniDSP can take and thus not clip the input. The output into the boom-boom box was a bit of an unknown so the only way to was to increase the gain to maximum. With everything set-up in the signal chain, frequency sweeps between 15Hz to 300Hz were carried out in the following scenarios.

(1) MiniDSP in bypass mode (this was to simulate no PEQ filters). This is shown as the brown curve below;
(2) MiniDSP PEQ engaged. This is shown as the blue curve below; and
(3) MiniDSP PEQ + Audyssey. This is shown as the purple curve below.


There was an improvement in the frequency response graphs when the MiniDSP was put into the audio chain. Some of the peaks were cut and interestingly a few dips were lifted even though no boost were applied via the PEQ - only cuts. The blue curve is essentially what Audyssey sees as the "before" it makes correction filters to flatten things out further.

The purple curve is the post Audyssey in-room correction - it looks even better. A little bit more smoother than what the MiniDSP did alone.

When splicing the KEF E301c central channel satellite speaker with the boom-boom box, the overall response is shown below. Notice the hump in the lower bass frequencies.


What's apparent is that starting out with a bad sub, it's more than difficult to improve sound quality. Will have a listen to this arrangement for a while and report back.

Maranatz NR1504, Oppo BPD-93, MTV 7000D, LG LW6500, aTV, WDTV Live, Harmony 650 remote, KEF E301, MiniDSP(2x4), Rythmik F12G
steveting99 is online now  
post #21 of 104 Old 04-24-2014, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
steveting99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 946
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked: 130
After a few listening sessions, I noticed that the low frequencies by the sub was a bit off. I.e. didn't sound right. Breaking out the measurement gear, REW revealed what I was hearing.

KEF 301c center channel only. Audyssey ON. 1/6 octave smoothing.


According to KEF brochure, the E301c center channel has less than 1% distortion from 100Hz up to 40kHz. The noise floor of the room is about 55dB. The Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) of the E301c is less than the noise floor from about 50Hz upwards. KEF's brochure states that the -3dB point of the E301 is 90Hz so the in room measurements confirm the little KEF units sounding good, which is great.

How about when I added the HTiB sub (the boom-boom box) with the center channel? This is where it didn't sound so good and the measurement results tells the tale.

KEF301c center channel with HTiB sub. Audyssey ON. 1/6 octave smoothing. The crossover point is 90Hz as per KEF's recommendation. Sub distance as per AVR recommendation.


There are several things wrong with the above graph when the sub was included. 1st is that the distortion levels are very high, particularly at the very low bass frequencies. 2nd is that the THD is equal to the speakers output at about 45Hz (happens to be the lower limit of the HTiB sub) and just increases there after as the frequencies get lower.3rd, the THD went above the noise floor from 50Hz upwards, where before it didn't exist with just the center channel by itself.

The conclusion is that by adding the HTiB sub into the mix, distortion increased by significant amounts and was audible. Thus sound quality goes down when mixing a good speaker such as the KEF E301 with a bad speaker, the HTiB boom-boom box.

It's time to change out the boom-boom box for something better. The Rythmik F12G is on order.

Maranatz NR1504, Oppo BPD-93, MTV 7000D, LG LW6500, aTV, WDTV Live, Harmony 650 remote, KEF E301, MiniDSP(2x4), Rythmik F12G
steveting99 is online now  
post #22 of 104 Old 05-11-2014, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
steveting99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 946
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked: 130
If anyone who has the complete E305 package, this includes E2 sub with their E301 satellites and is proficient with REW, would like to know about the total harmonic distortion measurements. A comparison to my boom-boom box would be easy to beat.

Appreciate a graph of the center channel (E301c) + the E2 sub.

Settings in REW as follows.
  • Show only two graphs. Select THD and the combined center + sub curves.
  • 1/6 octave smoothing for the combined center + sub curve.
  • On the x-axis, the frequency range: 15Hz to 20,000Hz
  • On the y-axis dB range from 35dB to 100dB in in 5dB increments.

Advise the noise floor prior to carrying out the measurement.

Would like to include a separate graph of just the E2 sub (i.e. no center channel). Will include the graph into post #5.

Maranatz NR1504, Oppo BPD-93, MTV 7000D, LG LW6500, aTV, WDTV Live, Harmony 650 remote, KEF E301, MiniDSP(2x4), Rythmik F12G
steveting99 is online now  
post #23 of 104 Old 05-12-2014, 01:12 PM
Member
 
honeymonster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Hi Steveting99,
Thanks for your technical and acoustic appraisal of the KEF E305 speakers - I've recently added these to my cinema system and like you fine the subwoofer lacking in punch/ depth, though for the money it is pretty good. I'd be really happy to hear your impressions of the new sub you have ordered. :-)
honeymonster is offline  
post #24 of 104 Old 05-12-2014, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
steveting99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 946
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked: 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by honeymonster View Post

Hi Steveting99,
Thanks for your technical and acoustic appraisal of the KEF E305 speakers - I've recently added these to my cinema system and like you fine the subwoofer lacking in punch/ depth, though for the money it is pretty good. I'd be really happy to hear your impressions of the new sub you have ordered. :-)

honeymonster,

Since you're the one of the few that's got the E2 sub, would you be able to carry out an REW measurement? If you're not familiar with REW, there's a step-by-step guide written by fellow AVS member (Jerry Austin) in the simplified REW setup thread here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1449924/simplified-rew-setup-and-use-usb-mic-hdmi-connection-including-measurement-techniques-and-how-to-interpret-graphs/270#post_22823228

I can assist you as much as I can. Anything I can't answer will require a post in the simplified REW thread - hopefully someone there can answer your question.

Would like to fill out the missing details for the E2 sub in post #5 so that others may have good understanding of it. You mentioned lacking in punch/depth - how so?

Once the Rythmik F12G is in the house and set-up, will let you know how it goes...smile.gif

Maranatz NR1504, Oppo BPD-93, MTV 7000D, LG LW6500, aTV, WDTV Live, Harmony 650 remote, KEF E301, MiniDSP(2x4), Rythmik F12G
steveting99 is online now  
post #25 of 104 Old 06-08-2014, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
steveting99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 946
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked: 130
An update. I've found an error when carrying out the REW full range measurements with the KEF E301 satellites. I had set the speakers as 'small' in the AVR. Even though I had turned off the sub, the AVR would have rolled off below the crossover frequency by at least 12dB/octave.

I'll be re-doing the measurements again and will up-date the previous post #19 with the correct in room measurements of the left, center and right speakers.

Brian from Rythmik has advised that the F12G will be shipped out soon, hopefully this week.

With the F12G expected to be arriving soon, I've been thinking about and playing around with sub placement. Will relocate the HTiB boom box to the front left corner and re-measure. Will report findings back here.

Maranatz NR1504, Oppo BPD-93, MTV 7000D, LG LW6500, aTV, WDTV Live, Harmony 650 remote, KEF E301, MiniDSP(2x4), Rythmik F12G
steveting99 is online now  
post #26 of 104 Old 06-27-2014, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
steveting99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 946
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked: 130
The Rythmik F12G has finally arrived and currently under going some preliminary tests and set-up issues.

Running some preliminary tests, the sound quality improvement of the Rythmik F12G over the boom-boom box HTiB sub is not subtle.

After set-up and some fine tuning, intend to carry out some low frequency sweep measurements using REW. Also intend to implement the miniDSP into the LFE audio chain to see how much (if any) improvement can be made. Will come back and post some pictures and graphs. AVS changing how pictures can be inserted into posts makes it difficult now. Have to setup an online account to upload pictures then create links in the post.

Edit: 7-July-2014. Include a low frequency response graph of the new Rythmik F12G with the KEF E301c center speaker. Ran Audyssey and implemented the MiniDSP in the LFE signal chain. Positioned in the same location as the previous HTiB sub (aka boom-boom box). The response is better. Note the improvement THD, which was audible and objectionable with the boom-boom box.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	f12gsub+center.jpg
Views:	27
Size:	82.3 KB
ID:	151010  

Maranatz NR1504, Oppo BPD-93, MTV 7000D, LG LW6500, aTV, WDTV Live, Harmony 650 remote, KEF E301, MiniDSP(2x4), Rythmik F12G

Last edited by steveting99; 07-07-2014 at 01:13 AM. Reason: Included low frequency response (15Hz to 300Hz)
steveting99 is online now  
post #27 of 104 Old 07-12-2014, 04:44 PM
Member
 
blimpje's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I was considering buying these speakers and was planning to wallmount some of them. I know the base is able to pivot, but what I don't understand is the way they're screwed into the wall. As near as I can tell, the metal base doesn't have any screws visible (only on the back) on the front of the metal base, so I must be missing something. I found a picture online that tells me that perhaps I need to buy some additional things to be able to hook them on a wall. Is that correct?

Thanks!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	394497.jpg
Views:	105
Size:	64.1 KB
ID:	158105  
blimpje is offline  
post #28 of 104 Old 07-13-2014, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
steveting99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 946
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked: 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by blimpje View Post
I was considering buying these speakers and was planning to wallmount some of them. I know the base is able to pivot, but what I don't understand is the way they're screwed into the wall. As near as I can tell, the metal base doesn't have any screws visible (only on the back) on the front of the metal base, so I must be missing something. I found a picture online that tells me that perhaps I need to buy some additional things to be able to hook them on a wall. Is that correct?

Thanks!
Hi blimpje,

If you look at post #2 , there's a picture of the back of the KEF E301 base plate in black. The base plate is actually hard plastic with the foot in a silver colour metal coat finish. The base plate has got 2 key hole slots that can take standard bolt screws.

I got some standard ball joint wall speaker mounts with a mounting plate. Wanted to have some space between the speaker and the wall to minimise in-direct sound reflections. The brother in-law hardware store came in handy with the screw bolts, washers and nuts to put it all together. He was nice enough to paint the speaker mounts to match the silver finish of the foot base! Had to buy him a nice dinner as a thank you.

If you decide to mount on the wall, it's a lot neater installation. Be aware that there's some but limited movement for pointing the satellites into the listening position.

The speakers are not very efficient, but I'm in a small apartment, don't sit too far away and listen at lower than normal volumes. I would not use the KEF E301 in medium to large rooms.

Maranatz NR1504, Oppo BPD-93, MTV 7000D, LG LW6500, aTV, WDTV Live, Harmony 650 remote, KEF E301, MiniDSP(2x4), Rythmik F12G
steveting99 is online now  
post #29 of 104 Old 07-13-2014, 08:06 AM
Member
 
blimpje's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thank you Steveting. My room isn't that large, about 4 metres to 4 metres in total. Not sure how much that is in America, but I'm reasonably confident the room is somewhere in the middle between small and medium. Plus, I don't wanna piss off the neighbors anyway.
blimpje is offline  
post #30 of 104 Old 07-13-2014, 12:33 PM
Member
 
cu_shane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 87
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Steveting, great thread!

I'm considering the speakers and I have a few questions for you.

1. In the whathifi review that you link they say, "There is one fairly big flaw in the E305, though, and that’s that it needs to be played at quite high volumes to sound its best. Reduce the levels just a bit and you quickly lose dynamism and punch, and that can make everyday listening a slightly flat experience." Do you agree with that assessment?

2. In a review of the competing B&W M-1 speakers, whathifi says, "The good news continues with dialogue. The verbal sparring between Bond and M is projected with superb directness and enough clarity to reveal the nuance in each barbed retort, while echoes and dusty foot-shuffles are impressive.". Do the E301's perform similarly? I've had small speakers in the past that made it hard to follow dialogue so this is one of the main things I am curious about. Also, did you look at the B&W M-1's when you were evaluating speakers? I'd love to know how you think they compare.

3. Lastly, you said that KEF recommends a sub crossover at 90Hz. Do you remember where you saw that? I can't find it on their website. The reason I ask is that I've been told that generally speaking it is good to have the sub crossover at 20Hz above the speakers' bottom frequency, or 110Hz in this case. Have you tested different crossover levels? With your new subwoofer does 90Hz seem to be the sweet spot?

Thanks!
cu_shane is offline  
Reply Speakers



Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off