My plan for new speakers - KEF Q Series - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-24-2014, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
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My plan for new speakers - KEF Q Series

Hi guys,

I'm planning to buy a new set of home cinema speakers soon and I've been reading this site a lot lately for ideas. Speakers is not an area of expertise for me but I've been reading up in the past few weeks.

I have a pretty good idea of what to buy, but before I go and do that I thought I'd see if anyone has some useful input (or warnings).

My house has an open layout, where one section near a wall on the bottom floor is the 'living room'. The total size of the room is about 80 square meters, which should be around 820 square foot. The TV is a high end 55" Samsung LED and the receiver is a Pioneer VSX-S510-s.

My current plan is to go with KEF, mostly due to that they're readily available in Switzerland where I live and that they seem to be getting stellar reviews.

Front: Q700
Center: Q600c
Surround: Q300
Sub: Q400b

I don't really plan on blasting any extreme volumes here. Great sound at medium volumes is more important to me. Is this setup overkill for me? Probably, but as long as there are no real downsides to that (other than money), I prefer to shoot a little bit above the target.

Am I onto the right idea here with the KEF Q? In the past I've bought the 'higher end 5.1 bundle' type solutions, which I've come to realize is an oxymoron. This time I want a solid speaker solution that lasts a long time.

Is my receiver sufficient to drive these speakers? My own, amateur, research seems to indicate that it shouldn't be a problem, but what do I know.

I also considered getting wall mounts for the Q300's diagonally behind the couch. Is there any disadvantage with wall mounts compared to speaker stands that I should be aware of? It would make the room a little 'cleaner'.

I'd very much appreciate some comments from enthusiasts out there!
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-24-2014, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AStanton View Post
...total size of the room is about 80 square meters, which should be around 820 square foot... My current plan is to go with KEF, mostly due to that they're readily available in Switzerland where I live and that they seem to be getting stellar reviews.

Front: Q700
Center: Q600c
Surround: Q300
Sub: Q400b

I don't really plan on blasting any extreme volumes here. Great sound at medium volumes is more important to me. Is this setup overkill for me? ...
That speaker config is solid, they all use the same size UniQ which is a plus. Maybe two suggestions ...

1) If you listen to a lot of 2 channel (stereo) music the Q700 towers make sense. If your listening is exclusively or primarily HT/surround then you might consider 5x Q300's. Identical speakers all the way around is considered optimal (though rarely seen in home situations).

2) I'm a KEF fan/owner but I'm hesitant to recommend KEF subs. IMHO they're acceptable but not great for the price. SVS sells subs in Europe (http://www.sv-sound.de/ services Switzerland). The SVS PB-1000 ported sub is less expensive than the Q400b but is a better sounding sub. The PB-2000 is slightly more expensive than the Q400b and is a significant upgrade. SVS also has sealed versions of each (the SB-1000 and SB-2000) which have much smaller cabinets and slightly less output but are both still improvements over the KEF sub.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-25-2014, 02:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post
That speaker config is solid, they all use the same size UniQ which is a plus. Maybe two suggestions ...

1) If you listen to a lot of 2 channel (stereo) music the Q700 towers make sense. If your listening is exclusively or primarily HT/surround then you might consider 5x Q300's. Identical speakers all the way around is considered optimal (though rarely seen in home situations).

2) I'm a KEF fan/owner but I'm hesitant to recommend KEF subs. IMHO they're acceptable but not great for the price. SVS sells subs in Europe (http://www.sv-sound.de/ services Switzerland). The SVS PB-1000 ported sub is less expensive than the Q400b but is a better sounding sub. The PB-2000 is slightly more expensive than the Q400b and is a significant upgrade. SVS also has sealed versions of each (the SB-1000 and SB-2000) which have much smaller cabinets and slightly less output but are both still improvements over the KEF sub.

Good luck!
Thanks for the input!

For the fronts, I have to admit a certain childish consideration in that big floor standers look much nicer... I'd also expect to have some two channel sources, like some TV channels and occasional music. Well, at least that's what I'll tell the wife as the reason why I need big floor standing speakers.

Thanks for the tip on the sub! I've read about why it's a bad idea to combine speakers of different types/brands for the fronts and surrounds, but I guess that doesn't apply to the sub.
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-25-2014, 02:22 AM
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Agree with what's said. Aslo rather than size up to Q700 I'd rather go to R300's. Agree with Kef sub. I wouldn't buy them.

I have Kef Reference for front three, had Coda & Q before that. I found the Q ok but build quality wasn't great, a bit cheap even though speakers were £1000.

Krell Evolution 900e x 7

Bose Jewel speakers.

 

Jealous of my speakers?

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post #5 of 8 Old 08-25-2014, 02:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AStanton View Post
Hi guys,

I'm planning to buy a new set of home cinema speakers soon and I've been reading this site a lot lately for ideas. Speakers is not an area of expertise for me but I've been reading up in the past few weeks.

I have a pretty good idea of what to buy, but before I go and do that I thought I'd see if anyone has some useful input (or warnings).

My house has an open layout, where one section near a wall on the bottom floor is the 'living room'. The total size of the room is about 80 square meters, which should be around 820 square foot. The TV is a high end 55" Samsung LED and the receiver is a Pioneer VSX-S510-s.

My current plan is to go with KEF, mostly due to that they're readily available in Switzerland where I live and that they seem to be getting stellar reviews.

...

Front: Q700
Center: Q600c
Surround: Q300
Sub: Q400b

I don't really plan on blasting any extreme volumes here. Great sound at medium volumes is more important to me. Is this setup overkill for me? Probably, but as long as there are no real downsides to that (other than money), I prefer to shoot a little bit above the target.

Am I onto the right idea here with the KEF Q?
Yes. The KEF Uni-q driver is a good idea whose time has always been here. I got into the Q series with a pair of Q15s purchased new in the late 1990s. The go in and out of my store room depending on my needs and whims. I recently dusted them off and took them to the shop of a well-known high end speaker designer who wanted to measure some speakers to build up his database of measurements. He said they were the best speakers he had measured in a long time.

The current top offering in this like is the LS50 which is getting a lot of favorable press. However, the Uni-q basics have remained the same.

Quote:
In the past I've bought the 'higher end 5.1 bundle' type solutions, which I've come to realize is an oxymoron. This time I want a solid speaker solution that lasts a long time.
Welcome, but forget about the little KEF subwoofer. A system this good deserves more than a 10" woofer can provide. Subwoofers are very location-dependent because shipping is a big part of their cost. I don't know much about the market in your country.

Quote:
Is my receiver sufficient to drive these speakers? My own, amateur, research seems to indicate that it shouldn't be a problem, but what do I know.
Amp power requirements depend on listener preferences for loudness, listening distance, the environment, and the efficiency of the speakers. Based on your statements and the average efficiency of the KEF Q's, you should be OK with any reasonable AVR.

Quote:
I also considered getting wall mounts for the Q300's diagonally behind the couch. Is there any disadvantage with wall mounts compared to speaker stands that I should be aware of? It would make the room a little 'cleaner'.
The rigidity of wall mounts depends a lot on the wall. If it is thick masonry then of course it is fine, but if it is flimsy dry wall, then not so much.

Last edited by arnyk; 08-25-2014 at 05:32 AM.
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-25-2014, 02:57 AM
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I agree with everything that has been said. I had KEF speakers in my main HT some time ago and mated them to an SVS sub. I enjoyed the great SQ for many years. KEF and SVS make a great combination!

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post #7 of 8 Old 08-25-2014, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Great, guys! I feel more comfortable with my main plan. The woofer consensus is certainly interesting. As a complete amateur in the field, I would have guessed that this is by far the least important speaker but that doesn't seem to be the case. I'll look into the other suggestions for this component.

Quote:
Subwoofers are very location-dependent because shipping is a big part of their cost. I don't know much about the market in your country.
I feel stupid for asking this, but wouldn't that be a larger problem with floor standers? Woofers should be small and relatively light in comparison, no? Or perhaps I'm just used to puny low end woofers...

Quote:
The rigidity of wall mounts depends a lot on the wall. If it is thick masonry then of course it is fine, but if it is flimsy dry wall, then not so much.
I had to get a heavy duty pneumatic hammer drill just to punch holes in my adamantium type house walls. It was a great excuse to the wife to get some fun power tools... If sturdy cement walls is what's needed, I've got it.

My choice of KEF is simply based on that I stumbled upon them when browsing around, liked the looks, read reviews and all seemed good. A month ago, the brand would have meant nothing to me. I seem to have had a lucky stumble.
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-25-2014, 08:43 AM
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I have that configuration you’ve mentioned in your initial post, but my room is smaller than yours (23 vs. 80 square metres). All I can say about that set up is that I’ve been enjoying superb-sounding music and film for about two years. At that time, I didn’t have the chance to compare and contrast among subs, so I thought Q400b would be a perfect match for Q700 and Q300 speakers.

Given the size of your room, I’d go up a bit and chose two Q900 for fronts. Also, I think that two tower speakers as fronts might be a decent compromise between stereo and multi-channel music. Suppose you had a Cambridge Audio bluray player (Azur 752BD) or Oppo 105, which both have dedicated 2 channel stereo analogue outputs, you would enjoy true audiophile music. At the same time, you would have the capability for playing high resolution multi-channel music recordings from bluray audio.
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