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post #4921 of 6826 Old 04-19-2012, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by chiliman View Post

After 16 years of Kef Reference 3 happiness, I have ordered a new Paradigm system with S8 mains & C3 centers. Will always love my Kef's but ready for the new experience.

So how is your new experience? Genuinely curios
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post #4922 of 6826 Old 04-19-2012, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by sandworms View Post

Gents, debating on getting r900 or xq40's, what do you think. I'm 50/50 2ch ht with an onk 805 feeding a parasound 1205a in a 14x18 room listening to wma lossless from my squeezebox touch

Anyone?
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post #4923 of 6826 Old 04-19-2012, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by sandworms View Post

Anyone?

I would definitely get the R900s
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post #4924 of 6826 Old 04-20-2012, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by sandworms View Post

Anyone?

If you had to grab a set of towers, the XQ40's without question. THe new R series is a step back in performance and in material/driver quality. Especially the tweeters, which dont have the same high end extension as the XQ series UniQ drivers. Midrange isnt quite as good(read flat) either. Dont get me wrong though, the new R/Q series still has the same great "KEF" sound, just not quite as good as the older XQ speakers.

Honestly though, Id look at a pair of XQ20's and matching stands for even cheaper money, than the XQ 40's, take the money saved and get a nice matching sub like a Rythmik. Hands down will be a much better performing system.

XQ20's btw whill hit a solid 30-40hz with the plugs out and do so very cleanly at moderate volume levels.
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post #4925 of 6826 Old 04-20-2012, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by sandworms View Post

Anyone?

definitely the R series IMO.
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post #4926 of 6826 Old 04-20-2012, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ntrain96 View Post

If you had to grab a set of towers, the XQ40's without question. THe new R series is a step back in performance and in material/driver quality. Especially the tweeters, which dont have the same high end extension as the XQ series UniQ drivers. Midrange isnt quite as good(read flat) either. Dont get me wrong though, the new R/Q series still has the same great "KEF" sound, just not quite as good as the older XQ speakers.

Honestly though, Id look at a pair of XQ20's and matching stands for even cheaper money, than the XQ 40's, take the money saved and get a nice matching sub like a Rythmik. Hands down will be a much better performing system.

XQ20's btw whill hit a solid 30-40hz with the plugs out and do so very cleanly at moderate volume levels.

Hmmm, how old are the XQ's, I want to stay with a current production model, the xq's I found are customer returns for significant savings, $1k less than the R's. I should mention I have 2 capable subs, but I worry about getting monitors and losing low end extension w/music when the subs are off
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post #4927 of 6826 Old 04-20-2012, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cream puff View Post

definitely the R series IMO.

2-1 so far for the R
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post #4928 of 6826 Old 04-20-2012, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ntrain96 View Post

If you had to grab a set of towers, the XQ40's without question. THe new R series is a step back in performance and in material/driver quality. Especially the tweeters, which dont have the same high end extension as the XQ series UniQ drivers. Midrange isnt quite as good(read flat) either. Dont get me wrong though, the new R/Q series still has the same great "KEF" sound, just not quite as good as the older XQ speakers.

Honestly though, Id look at a pair of XQ20's and matching stands for even cheaper money, than the XQ 40's, take the money saved and get a nice matching sub like a Rythmik. Hands down will be a much better performing system.

XQ20's btw whill hit a solid 30-40hz with the plugs out and do so very cleanly at moderate volume levels.

I have not heard the R900s but I own XQ40s and while I like them very much I don't consider the tweeter an overly strong point. My previous Kef Reference 103/4s and my B&W 685s (2nd system) had/have more "air". IMO, I believe a 1 inch tweeter is better than a 3/4". Just to clarify, that while I consider the 685s good, they are certainly not in the same league as the XQ40s.

From what I've been able to glean, the new R series are pretty amazing. so if you have room, I'd recommend the R900s. Still, I would rather have 205/2s for my current room as they are front ported, and yes they are Reference series.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #4929 of 6826 Old 04-20-2012, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by exm View Post

So how is your new experience? Genuinely curios

Paradigms on order. Nothing to report yet. We'll see!


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post #4930 of 6826 Old 04-21-2012, 02:55 AM
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I use a pair of bi-wired Reference 104.2s for mains, a pair of even older 102s for center and another pair for side surrounds. I replaced a 200C with the 102s, because the dome tweeter matches that used in the 104.2 and blends better than the Q tweeter did. A pair of Velodyne HGS-15s with a SMS-1 bass manager handles frequencies below 80 Hz. Finally a pair of KEF flat panels, T38 or something like that, provide channel 6 & 7 output, although they are rarely active.

In a second system, I use four Reference 102.2s with a HGS-10. The 102.2s were my introduction to KEF, and for many years the mains in my stereo setup. They are excellent for chamber and jazz groups, but not the equal of the 104.2s for large orchestrations.

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Thorens TD 124, SME Series III arm with Ortofon SME 30 H cartridge into Parasound JC-3 phono stage
Ayre C-5xeMP, Oppo BDP-105, & Sony XA5400ES disc players
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Velodyne SMS-1 bass managers & a pair of HGS-15 subs
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post #4931 of 6826 Old 04-21-2012, 03:56 AM
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Hey guys,
if I want to post some photos of my speakers here, how do I do it? When I try "Insert Image" it only lets me write some internet url...but I have the photos on my computer.
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post #4932 of 6826 Old 04-21-2012, 04:00 AM
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Worked it out)
Here I'm just posting some photos of my set up that I took as I'm being forced to sell it after only months of owning it. It breaks my heart as I fell in love with these speakers. But anyway. Just thought someone might be looking for this series speakers, so could use some reall life photos.
Hope everyone enjoys their systems to the fullest).
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post #4933 of 6826 Old 04-21-2012, 04:02 AM
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...just few more)
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post #4934 of 6826 Old 04-21-2012, 04:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandworms View Post

Hmmm, how old are the XQ's, I want to stay with a current production model, the xq's I found are customer returns for significant savings, $1k less than the R's. I should mention I have 2 capable subs, but I worry about getting monitors and losing low end extension w/music when the subs are off

Technically the XQ's still are production model units.....but regardless....even "B stock" items(open box or returns) still are 5 year warrenty pieces. Ive bought 2 pairs of "B stock XQ10's and a pair of XQ20's that were supposedly B stock or open box items, all 3 pairs were sealed, brand new units. So if they were B stock units, you could never tell. Ive seen XQ10's going for as low as $500 recently........rediculously cheap for what I consider "A" quality sound.

Anyway.......curious why on earth would you shut the subs off for music?
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post #4935 of 6826 Old 04-21-2012, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

I have not heard the R900s but I own XQ40s and while I like them very much I don't consider the tweeter an overly strong point. My previous Kef Reference 103/4s and my B&W 685s (2nd system) had/have more "air". IMO, I believe a 1 inch tweeter is better than a 3/4". Just to clarify, that while I consider the 685s good, they are certainly not in the same league as the XQ40s.

From what I've been able to glean, the new R series are pretty amazing. so if you have room, I'd recommend the R900s. Still, I would rather have 205/2s for my current room as they are front ported, and yes they are Reference series.

The "air" you hear is what I call the "10k bump" that alot of older tweeters display before quickly rolling off, and this "phenominon" normally starts off right around 2-2.5k. Those older 103/4's are very smooth near the xover point and up to about 8-10k but then roll off very fast above 12k. If you want to get that nice airy feel out of those XQ40's while keeping that midrange magic they produce you need some type of capable RTA tool to see what you speakers are doing real time with pink noise and then dial them from there. Regardless, I find "airiness" to actually be a lack of high end energy in the last audible octave many times. Want your "airiness" to be augmented better? Make sure your subs are dialed in perfectly to your mains. Might sound crazy, but many times, treble sounds start with the subwoofer, and subwoofer being properly balanced and blended into your main speakers.

And for tweeter sizing, the 3/4" tweeter is lighter(estimated half the weight) than the new 1" model, which is why it has better high end extension and its first breakup mode is above 40khz(vs. 24khz roughly on the new R tweeter). In fact the 3/4" tweeter I find is only 3 db down on axis in a typical room at 20k. I have heard many people thinking the XQ treble being a bit sterile and clinical sounding, but when its set up properly it is anything but. Dont need a high tech ribbon or Beryllium tweeter to get that lucious high end, just need to know your equipment, room accoustics and speaker placement.

Kef uses "reference style" 24db per octave xover slopes in their XQ series speakers. The Q/R series speakers use 12db per octave slopes, with the 1" tweeter you can get away with this at a lower xoverpoint......but as stated, the sacrifice is the high end extension using a larger/heavier high frequency driver with a lower frequency point breakup mode.

Also as stated, the XQ speakers are front ported(vs rear porting) which I feel is superior for proper room placement without the nasty effect of room gain on bass frequencies from a port. And you have the option of plugging the ports too even if needed.

And the midrange, its absolutely tops on the XQ. I have never measured a flatter midrange response on any Kef speaker than I have with the XQ midrange drivers from 250hz-2khz. The closest Ive ever come to it was on the Kef Reference 1 and 2 speakers. And the midrange IMO is the most important aspect of any good speaker. In fact I dumped off my 201/2's for the XQ20's because of this lone fact. Took the money saved and now run the XQ20's actively(removing the passive xovers)with a pair of Rythmik downfiring subs and still pocketed an extra $1k saved in the process.

I dunno.........Im very partial to the XQ speakers........there was alot of careful considerations in the design of them, and it shows in terms of the exemplary SQ they produce out of the box. The Q/R series just isn't as good or revealing overall. Be aware, its still a great speaker, and Id still take one over 99% of whats out on the market still, but nitpicking against the XQ series I wouldnt. They just cut too many coners on it to reduce mfg. cost compared to the XQ, especially the cabinet. But even the xover and drivers are a slight step down.

One thing I do know......the XQ speakers are VERY REVEALING........they will take on the characteristics of your equipment. If your using a substandard amp or "AVR" they will let you know about it. I had an "Emotiva" UPA-7 I was using for my bedroom HT system.......wanted an inexpensive dedicated amp for the bedroom and an extra 2 channels to power a pair of speakers in my weight/workout room. When I was playing music in the weight room while working out, the XQ's in the bedroom were singing along even though they were "off". The channel crosstalk was horrible. On top of that the noisefloor was quite audible too through them. Even the treble was overly "grainy". Emotiva insisted I had a "defective amp" and I ended up doing 2 extra swapouts all with the same results. Emotiva still wouldnt admit their was an amp problem(until a review was done that showed the exact same issues I had), and I took alot of heat on the Emotiva board because of this, lol. So I ended up exchanging that amp for an XPA-5 and a pair of UPA-1's(basically single XPA channel monoblocks). With the new amps the noisefloor and crosstalk was much improved(still not great but better)and the treble wasnt as grainy......so adequate for the use intended. But with my Aragon Palladium monoblocks, you can tell a big difference still. No audible noisefloor, 0 crosstalk, the sound is absolutely dark/black on recordings.....no hash or grain in the treble. Same with my Balanced Audio Technology SE tube amps.......no audible noisefloor or crosstalk, but resolves that wonderful tube "distortion" suckout so many people love in the midrange with a very light relaxed treble feel. Most speakers are not capable of being as revealing regardless of price paid.
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post #4936 of 6826 Old 04-21-2012, 06:40 AM
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I concur that the XQ series are very revealing and have an awesome midrange. Not as revealing as a B&W 801 Matrix Series 3 setup I heard years ago, but that included some very high end electronics, and those 801s were very clinical. I tried two Emotiva UPA-1s using my Onkyo TX-NR1008 as the pre and found them a step backwards for two channel. For HT it was a gain (5.1 at that time). Now this is only an assumption, but based on all I've read since then is if I had tried the XPA-3 or 5 it likely would have been a wash (no gain, no loss in 2 channel) but if i had tried the XPA-2 I may still have it. All would be a gain for HT.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #4937 of 6826 Old 04-21-2012, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

I concur that the XQ series are very revealing and have an awesome midrange. Not as revealing as a B&W 801 Matrix Series 3 setup I heard years ago, but that included some very high end electronics, and those 801s were very clinical. I tried two Emotiva UPA-1s using my Onkyo TX-NR1008 as the pre and found them a step backwards for two channel. For HT it was a gain (5.1 at that time). Now this is only an assumption, but based on all I've read since then is if I had tried the XPA-3 or 5 it likely would have been a wash (no gain, no loss in 2 channel) but if i had tried the XPA-2 I may still have it. All would be a gain for HT.

The XPA-5 or 3 would have gained you nothing over the UPA-1's. The UPA-1's technically are XPA series amps. They use the exact same output board as the XPA 3 and 5. The only difference is that they have a dedicated PS for each channel(which is a benefit, especially for 2 channel). The weak link in your system potentially is the 1008. The unbalanced preouts on alot of the AVR's leave alot to be desired, many have high noisefloors, hash and crosstalk. Using an AVR as a preamp/processor is not the best route to go, as that internal amp never technically shuts off and is always inducing low level noise and sistortion into the signal path. Surprised you didnt just sell off the 1008, pick up a dedicated Onkyo processor(or similiar) like the SC 885 or 886(or 5507 or 5508) and then run a dedicated amp array.

No experience on the matrix 801's , but the XQ's are a step up from the original Nautilus 801's without question.
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post #4938 of 6826 Old 04-21-2012, 07:12 PM
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I know the amp section is the same between the XPA-3&5 and the UPA-1 but in two channel the XPAs have a bigger power source. The UPA-1 has only a 300VA power supply, likely capable of about 150 watts where the XPAs can divide 850 & 1200 VAs, respectively. I realize the UPA-1 has a bigger capacitor bank but not sure if that makes up or not. I also wonder if the 1008 as a pre/pro is the weak link. When I get my next amps I should know.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #4939 of 6826 Old 04-21-2012, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

I know the amp section is the same between the XPA-3&5 and the UPA-1 but in two channel the XPAs have a bigger power source. The UPA-1 has only a 300VA power supply, likely capable of about 150 watts where the XPAs can divide 850 & 1200 VAs, respectively. I realize the UPA-1 has a bigger capacitor bank but not sure if that makes up or not. I also wonder if the 1008 as a pre/pro is the weak link. When I get my next amps I should know.

The bigger power supply makes no difference, especially with the secondary capacitance bank as large as it is on the UPA-1 when it comes to power output. In reality tests and specs have show the power output to be basically identical to within a few watts at 8 and 4 ohms. But the UPA-1's have no crosstalk(monoblocks natural advantage) and a lower noisefloor(probably because of the smaller PS) and lower THD in the upper treble frequencies. Regardless its hair splitting. But if anything the advantages for absolute SQ favor the UPA-1's. I have them both, both excellent products regardless of opinion.
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post #4940 of 6826 Old 04-21-2012, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samanuel View Post

Worked it out)
Here I'm just posting some photos of my set up that I took as I'm being forced to sell it after only months of owning it. It breaks my heart as I fell in love with these speakers. But anyway. Just thought someone might be looking for this series speakers, so could use some reall life photos.
Hope everyone enjoys their systems to the fullest).

Looks awesome Sam!


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post #4941 of 6826 Old 04-21-2012, 10:45 PM
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Looked at the q100 for height speakers to match my q900 and q600. Those are big anything smaller that I can use for height speakers.

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post #4942 of 6826 Old 04-22-2012, 06:42 AM
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Hi everyone. I have a finished ceiling with lots of room in it. Can the KEF Ci200-3QT motorized in ceiling speaker be mounted in a retro fit application? The instructions are not clear.

Thanks, Craig
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post #4943 of 6826 Old 04-22-2012, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsil View Post

Looked at the q100 for height speakers to match my q900 and q600. Those are big anything smaller that I can use for height speakers.

How about the KHT3005SE's eggs? You should be able to get them separately.

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Originally Posted by ntrain96 View Post

If you had to grab a set of towers, the XQ40's without question. THe new R series is a step back in performance and in material/driver quality. Especially the tweeters, which dont have the same high end extension as the XQ series UniQ drivers.

Do you have measurements to support your assertions?

The new drivers (the new midrange in particular) seems quite a bit advanced over the old ones.

The old cabinets were definitely more attractively sculpted, but every other advantage seems to accrue to the new ones.

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Originally Posted by ntrain96 View Post

take the money saved and get a nice matching sub like a Rythmik.

Rythmik subs are perfectly capable boom boxes, but the wrong answer for most systems.

The servo system makes a really dumb tradeoff: a bit lower 2d order distortion (the most sonically benign kind) in the extreme low frequencies (where the ear is less sensitive to distortion generally) for extremely limited top-end bandwidth (top corner is under 100Hz).

IMO, a sub that's not reasonably flat to at least 200Hz (given that a competently set-up multisub system will likely lowpass the subs somewhere between 120 and 150 Hz) is a very limited-purpose device.

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Originally Posted by ntrain96 View Post

If you want to get that nice airy feel out of those XQ40's while keeping that midrange magic they produce you need some type of capable RTA tool to see what you speakers are doing real time with pink noise and then dial them from there. ***

An RTA isn't' a particularly good tool for this sort of thing. Too imprecise, with no control over gating. RTA's are really only useful in the modal region, where the steady-state room response is what one's after. In the statistical region (above ~150Hz in a typical domestic living room) an RTA will be more apt to lead one astray than to guide. Sound power measurements (spatial averages of multiple properly-gated swept sine measurements are what one needs. See [url=http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=11627]Geddes and Blind, "The Localized Sound Power Method."

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Originally Posted by ntrain96 View Post

And for tweeter sizing, the 3/4" tweeter is lighter(estimated half the weight) than the new 1" model, which is why it has better high end extension and its first breakup mode is above 40khz(vs. 24khz roughly on the new R tweeter). In fact the 3/4" tweeter I find is only 3 db down on axis in a typical room at 20k.

The HF difference is perceptually largely irrelevant. Both go plenty high enough.

I suspect, that the reason KEF improved the tweeter and made it larger is that, while the smaller one did go higher, it could not go low enough to offer the Uni-Q's key advantage of pattern control through the midrange. While I've not seen any published XQ measurements by a trusted source, Stereophile reviewed the iQ9. Its polars show that the smaller tweeter simply could not go low enough to allow a crossover point where the directivity of the woofer matches that of the tweeter/"waveguide," and because the tweeter can't do that it exhibits a degree "mushroom cloud" midrange bloom in its horizontal polars that better speakers simply don't.



Compare the same measurement from Stereophile for the Ref 201/2, one of the finest-performing speakers they've measured:


Or their horizontal measurement of the Q900, another loudspeaker of exemplary performance, though the Tangerine phase plug does seem to trade off smooth on-axis response for a small off-axis flare in a region where the human ear is not particularly sensitive (a fair tradeoff, IMO):


Or their measurement of the TAD Compact Reference 1, which has a coincident driver designed by ex-KEF engineer Andrew Jones:



Is a mushroom cloud midrange polar vs. the beautifully controlled midrange polars of the better-matched Uni-Q's (including the 8"/1.5" Q900 unit) more perceptually relevant than a couple dB variance at 20kHz. You bet!

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Originally Posted by ntrain96 View Post

Kef uses "reference style" 24db per octave xover slopes in their XQ series speakers. The Q/R series speakers use 12db per octave slopes, with the 1" tweeter you can get away with this at a lower xoverpoint......but as stated, the sacrifice is the high end extension using a larger/heavier high frequency driver with a lower frequency point breakup mode.

It's counterintuitive for sure, but often a 2d order crossover can result in higher tweeter power handling than a 4th order one.

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Originally Posted by ntrain96 View Post

Also as stated, the XQ speakers are front ported(vs rear porting) which I feel is superior for proper room placement without the nasty effect of room gain on bass frequencies from a port. And you have the option of plugging the ports too even if needed.

IMO, mains should be sealed, so as to avoid phase shift in the upper bass where one is trying to integrate them with multiple subwoofers. That is the big disadvantage of the bigger models in the current Q-series, which has passive radiators that cannot be plugged. But rear ports can be plugged just as effectively as front ports.

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And the midrange, its absolutely tops on the XQ. I have never measured a flatter midrange response on any Kef speaker than I have with the XQ midrange drivers from 250hz-2khz.

I assume you're talking along one axis, in a non-spatially averaged measurement?

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I dunno.........Im very partial to the XQ speakers........there was alot of careful considerations in the design of them ***.

That seems generally (and refreshingly!) true for KEF in general. One can't say that about many other loudspeaker companies operating today, unfortunately.

But the new ones show a pretty clear evolution in their thinking, with more emphasis on midrange pattern control throughout the line. To my ears, they sound better for it.

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One thing I do know......the XQ speakers are VERY REVEALING........they will take on the characteristics of your equipment. If your using a substandard amp or "AVR" they will let you know about it.

No more or less than any other speaker. Most electronics are sonically transparent. Perhaps your Emotiva amps weren't, I don't know. But I've heard Ref 201/2's driven from an Apple Airport Express feeding Apple Lossless files to a cheap A/V receiver (maybe $800 MSRP) with room correction processing turned off, hooked up via generic wiring, and the same Ref 201/2's playing the same track in the same room driven from a stack of elite-level multi-kilobuck gear, including silly wires. The difference? Nobody would be able to pick the two signal chains out by sound. Only by sight. Which, to that individual, to be sure, mattered a great bit, because he liked knowing he had "high end" gear.

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post #4944 of 6826 Old 04-22-2012, 01:23 PM
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Hi DS-21,
Do you know where to get the KHT3005SE's eggs separately. I found these KEF HTS-7001 Black Satellite Speakers what do you think these thanks.

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KEFDirect has them, albeit for MSRP. Other sources probably do as well.

Don't worry too much about "matching," though. That ship already sailed when you picked a center that was not identical to the other two front speakers.

The HTS7005 seems a bit light on cone area (just 2 2" midwoofers per channel) for use with Q900's. Even though height speakers have much lower requirements, intuitively that seems a step too far.

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post #4946 of 6826 Old 04-22-2012, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

How about the KHT3005SE's eggs? You should be able to get them separately.



Do you have measurements to support your assertions?

The new drivers (the new midrange in particular) seems quite a bit advanced over the old ones.

The old cabinets were definitely more attractively sculpted, but every other advantage seems to accrue to the new ones.



Rythmik subs are perfectly capable boom boxes, but the wrong answer for most systems.

The servo system makes a really dumb tradeoff: a bit lower 2d order distortion (the most sonically benign kind) in the extreme low frequencies (where the ear is less sensitive to distortion generally) for extremely limited top-end bandwidth (top corner is under 100Hz).

IMO, a sub that's not reasonably flat to at least 200Hz (given that a competently set-up multisub system will likely lowpass the subs somewhere between 120 and 150 Hz) is a very limited-purpose device.



An RTA isn't' a particularly good tool for this sort of thing. Too imprecise, with no control over gating. RTA's are really only useful in the modal region, where the steady-state room response is what one's after. In the statistical region (above ~150Hz in a typical domestic living room) an RTA will be more apt to lead one astray than to guide. Sound power measurements (spatial averages of multiple properly-gated swept sine measurements are what one needs. See [url=http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=11627]Geddes and Blind, "The Localized Sound Power Method."



The HF difference is perceptually largely irrelevant. Both go plenty high enough.

I suspect, that the reason KEF improved the tweeter and made it larger is that, while the smaller one did go higher, it could not go low enough to offer the Uni-Q's key advantage of pattern control through the midrange. While I've not seen any published XQ measurements by a trusted source, Stereophile reviewed the iQ9. Its polars show that the smaller tweeter simply could not go low enough to allow a crossover point where the directivity of the woofer matches that of the tweeter/"waveguide," and because the tweeter can't do that it exhibits a degree "mushroom cloud" midrange bloom in its horizontal polars that better speakers simply don't.



Compare the same measurement from Stereophile for the Ref 201/2, one of the finest-performing speakers they've measured:


Or their horizontal measurement of the Q900, another loudspeaker of exemplary performance, though the Tangerine phase plug does seem to trade off smooth on-axis response for a small off-axis flare in a region where the human ear is not particularly sensitive (a fair tradeoff, IMO):


Or their measurement of the TAD Compact Reference 1, which has a coincident driver designed by ex-KEF engineer Andrew Jones:



Is a mushroom cloud midrange polar vs. the beautifully controlled midrange polars of the better-matched Uni-Q's (including the 8"/1.5" Q900 unit) more perceptually relevant than a couple dB variance at 20kHz. You bet!



It's counterintuitive for sure, but often a 2d order crossover can result in higher tweeter power handling than a 4th order one.



IMO, mains should be sealed, so as to avoid phase shift in the upper bass where one is trying to integrate them with multiple subwoofers. That is the big disadvantage of the bigger models in the current Q-series, which has passive radiators that cannot be plugged. But rear ports can be plugged just as effectively as front ports.



I assume you're talking along one axis, in a non-spatially averaged measurement?



That seems generally (and refreshingly!) true for KEF in general. One can't say that about many other loudspeaker companies operating today, unfortunately.

But the new ones show a pretty clear evolution in their thinking, with more emphasis on midrange pattern control throughout the line. To my ears, they sound better for it.



No more or less than any other speaker. Most electronics are sonically transparent. Perhaps your Emotiva amps weren't, I don't know. But I've heard Ref 201/2's driven from an Apple Airport Express feeding Apple Lossless files to a cheap A/V receiver (maybe $800 MSRP) with room correction processing turned off, hooked up via generic wiring, and the same Ref 201/2's playing the same track in the same room driven from a stack of elite-level multi-kilobuck gear, including silly wires. The difference? Nobody would be able to pick the two signal chains out by sound. Only by sight. Which, to that individual, to be sure, mattered a great bit, because he liked knowing he had "high end" gear.

Lot of thingsd to hit on here. Ill be quick about it.

You posted alot of good things, but at the same time, alot of the info is wrong or somewhat useless as well. Take what Im saying in proper context though. Some thoughts to your statements:

A. On the Rythmik sub. Where do you get its top frequency cutoff at 100hz. Its beyond 160hz....in fact the top xover point is 120hz if you use the built in xover. Its useable range is to 200hz and beyond still. Where are you getting your info. HTshack? On an old 2nd gen Rythmik product from YEARS ago?

I wont even go into the low distortion abilities of it. But the D15SE's blend in seamlessly to my XQ10's which use a small 5" midrange driver. The xover setting is at 120hz, a rather high xover point for a sub, but its capable of doing it with NO LOCALIZATION whatsoever. Not many subs are capable of a solid 4 octave of performance, but its one of them.

B. The new Q/R drivers......the 1" dome, its used because Kef went to 12db slopes for mfg. cost cutting on production. Alot of B&M mfg's have had to do this the last 5 years or so, the economy has taken its toll on the boutique B&M stores. Ive had conversations with people Ive known and worked with for years who are very familiar with or have at one point in time worked for Kef including a number of people who dealt with tech issues for Kef of Amercia. It wont be admitted outright obviously, but Kef's latest speaker redesigns focused on reducing production cost while trying to maintain current levels of SQ potential out of their speakers and not directly for improvements over current/past products.

Examples: The 3/4" dome has a higher frequency extension, higher breakup fs point on the first mode, and its response in the audible range is smoother because of that. But obviously its low fs point requires a steep order xover. The xover parts quality on the newer Q/R xovers are not any better, nor does the lower 12db slope allow for better power handling in this instance. If someone has a Q or R series speaker they want to break down and take apart to post pics that would be great, as I can do so for the XQ and iQ series(And reference too actually). So lower slope ='s less xover parts ='s cheaper cost. Same with the cabinets.....one of the biggest cost cutting moves Kef made on its mainstream series speakers was by going to a generic square box cabinet. THe R series cabinets cost less money to produce than the older "classic" iQ series vinyl laminated cabinets,.....let alone the XQ's. Even the stuffing used is a compromise. The Q/R series uses a few peices of "dynamat" on the inside of the panels instead of the heavy grade undercarpet insulation and polyfill of the older series. But back to the drivers, both tweeters use the new waveguide, both made of same material, both vented pole pieces, the midrange driver on the older XQ/iQ drivers is a true butyl rubber surround. The new surround is a plastic Z flex surround, the older midrange cone is a 2 part poly cone with a titanium coating, curvilinear design. Its also lighter. The new midrange cone is heavier braced metal woofer. I dunno.......I think there is some mild cost savings in the driver too. What I think is funny is that Kef took out(edited) alot of the "technology" improvements made on the latest XQ driver arrays and altered the online advertising brochure of the XQ when the new Q and R series came out.

C. The charts you bring up are great, but are they done with the same equipment, same room etc at Stereophile? Also, its dissapointing you cant pull up one for the XQ series monitor. I honestly feel that the XQ20 is a step up over the 201/2, especially with a few small inexpensive mods. Even box stock, I found the midrange and higher frequencies to be smoother with the XQ monitors vs. the Ref. version. I returned my 201/2's for the XQ20's actually.

D. RTA's and pink noise absolute can be used for in room setup and tuning......not sure how you garnering it can't be a useful tool? For one are you associating an auto with a large room? Two are you assuming I just set the mic up in one position and tune to that one mic point only? Its done over an average listening area. And RTA in the right hands can do a phenominal job of tuning in a set of speakers to a room's environment if you know what your doing.
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post #4947 of 6826 Old 04-22-2012, 04:07 PM
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Around the 4:30 min mark in this video review, the guy discusses the new Q drivers compared to the older IQ/XQ drivers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNmDsuU9zOY

Somewhere in there he also mentions that the new mid/tweeter driver costs more then 2x the older driver. Not sure I buy that...


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post #4948 of 6826 Old 04-22-2012, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntrain96 View Post

A. On the Rythmik sub. Where do you get its top frequency cutoff at 100hz. Its beyond 160hz....in fact the top xover point is 120hz if you use the built in xover.

Well, a unit that Brian sent to Josh Ricci last year to test clearly had a HF rolloff well before any indicated crossover setting.



So the "120Hz" crossover is just so much fantasy nonsense. What the dial claims is clearly inconsistent with measured reality.

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Originally Posted by ntrain96 View Post

B. The new Q/R drivers......the 1" dome, its used because Kef went to 12db slopes for mfg. cost cutting on production.***

I find the whole story doubtful, considering that the new products also measure better in the midrange and are more sophisticated in that the tweeter goes low enough to match the woofer's directivity, rather than requiring a higher crossover that results in an excess of midrange energy in the room.

Though on a broader level, of course every manufacturer of anything wants to reduce production cost as much as possible.

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Originally Posted by ntrain96 View Post

Examples: The 3/4" dome has a higher frequency extension, higher breakup fs point on the first mode, and its response in the audible range is smoother because of that. ***

None of that is perceptually terribly relevant.

What is maximally perceptually relevant is an energy flare-up in the midrange off-axis that the 6.5"/.75" units have and the older, better Reference ones and then newer, better Q/R ones do not have.

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Originally Posted by ntrain96 View Post

Same with the cabinets.....one of the biggest cost cutting moves Kef made on its mainstream series speakers was by going to a generic square box cabinet.

The cabinets, to be honest, are the one disappointment with the new line. They should have done more to reduce diffraction, such as decent roundovers around the front baffle. Makes space for an "iQ/iR" line, I suppose.

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Originally Posted by ntrain96 View Post

But back to the drivers, both tweeters use the new waveguide, both made of same material,

Look more closely at them. The new ones are shaped differently. And they're under a driver that can go low enough to provide a proper directivity match to the midwoofer.

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Originally Posted by ntrain96 View Post

the midrange driver on the older XQ/iQ drivers is a true butyl rubber surround. The new surround is a plastic Z flex surround,the older midrange cone is a 2 part poly cone with a titanium coating, curvilinear design. Its also lighter. The new midrange cone is heavier braced metal woofer. I dunno.......I think there is some mild cost savings in the driver too.

Perhaps, but everything there sounds more expensive on the new one.

Instead of a common commodity surround, they tooled a bespoke one that has some obvious advantages for a cone driver used as a waveguide in terms of diffraction/HOM generation.

Metal is generally dearer than painted plastic, too. And there's a lot more going on there than just the material.

More likely is that the new drivers got expensive, and they had to economize on the cabinets to compensate.

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Originally Posted by ntrain96 View Post

C. The charts you bring up are great, but are they done with the same equipment, same room etc at Stereophile?

Irrelevant. They are gated nearfield measurements, and thus directly comparable. I think they were done in the same room, and all done by John Aktinson, but that's irrelevant.

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Originally Posted by ntrain96 View Post

Also, its dissapointing you cant pull up one for the XQ series monitor. I honestly feel that the XQ20 is a step up over the 201/2, especially with a few small inexpensive mods. Even box stock, I found the midrange and higher frequencies to be smoother with the XQ monitors vs. the Ref. version. I returned my 201/2's for the XQ20's actually.

All your posts just read like someone who prefers an excess of midrange energy. And that's fine, but you're drawing unwarranted conclusions from that preference.

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D. RTA's and pink noise absolute can be used for in room setup and tuning......not sure how you garnering it can't be a useful tool?

Because it's too coarse in resolution and steady-state response isn't useful in the room's statistical region. In the modal and first-mode region (~150Hz and down in a typical domestic living room), steady-state response is more useful.

They were mildly helpful when they were all that could be had. But today one should really use something like a MacBook running FuzzMeasure Pro, with a decent USB mic preamp (ART's Dual Pre is good and cheap) and a calibrated measurement mike (I use Dayton EMM-6 calibrated by Cross Spectrum Labs,) on the tripod that came with my Anthem receiver.

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For one are you associating an auto with a large room?

"Small room" is well defined in the literature. Most domestic living rooms fit in the definition. A performance hall such as the Musikverein is a "large room." A dome stadium is a "large room." A car is not on the radar screen.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewTT View Post

Around the 4:30 min mark in this video review, the guy discusses the new Q drivers compared to the older IQ/XQ drivers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNmDsuU9zOY

Somewhere in there he also mentions that the new mid/tweeter driver costs more then 2x the older driver. Not sure I buy that...

Ive actually seen this "paid advertisement" video. I take alot of it with a grain of salt. Again though, its not to take anything away from the newer Q/R series, which I as have stated still think sounds fantastic, I just think there is just alot of marketing jargon tossed in on some of the new design "concepts", because Kef hasnt been doing very good the last few years, just like alot of the big name speaker mfg's......I'll say this, the R300 sounds better than the 201/2 for example and it also measures out better in room, but the 201/2 uses a pretty old driver array, but both speakers have nearly the same internal volume and xover points(but 12 vs. 24db slopes).
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Well, a unit that Brian sent to Josh Ricci last year to test clearly had a HF rolloff well before any indicated crossover setting.



So the "120Hz" crossover is just so much fantasy nonsense.



I find the whole story doubtful, considering that the new products also measure better in the midrange. Though on a broader level, of course every manufacturer of anything wants to reduce production cost as much as possible.



None of that is perceptually terribly relevant.

What is maximally perceptually relevant is an energy flare-up in the midrange off-axis that the 6.5"/.75" units have and the older, better Reference ones and then newer, better Q/R ones do not have.



The cabinets, to be honest, are the one disappointment with the new line. They should have done more to reduce diffraction, such as decent roundovers around the front baffle. Makes space for an "iQ/iR" line, I suppose.



Look more closely at them. The new ones are shaped differently. And they're under a driver that can go low enough to




Perhaps, but everything there sounds more expensive on the new one. Instead of a common commodity surround, they tooled a bespoke one that has some obvious advantages for a cone driver used as a waveguide in terms of diffraction/HOM generation.

Metal is generally cheaper than painted plastic, too.



Irrelevant. They are gated measurements, and directly comparable. I think they were done in the same room, but that's irrelevant.



All your posts just read like someone who prefers an excess of midrange energy. And that's fine, but you're drawing unwarranted conclusions from that preference.



Because it's too coarse in resolution and steady-state response isn't useful in the room's statistical region. In the modal and first-mode region (~150Hz and down in a typical domestic living room), steady-state response is more useful.

They were mildly helpful when they were all that could be had. But today one should really use something like a MacBook running FuzzMeasure Pro, with a decent USB mic preamp (ART's Dual Pre is good and cheap) and a calibrated measurement mike (I use a[url=http://www.cross-spectrum.com/measurement/calibrated_dayton.html]Dayton EMM-6 calibrated by Cross Spectrum Labs).



"Small room" is well defined in the literature. Most domestic living rooms fit in the definition. A performance hall such as the Musikverein is a "large room." A dome stadium is a "large room." A car is not on the radar screen.

Before I go any farther on the Kef discussion, lets turn the attn to the RYthmik measurement. First off, which Rythmik sub was tested and specifically WHICH plate amp was used? And then on what settings? THere have been numerous discussions on the higher rolloff response in the past, but before going any further Id like to know specifics on which Rythmik sub model was used(plate amp)? And specific settings of the xover. THere are quite a few of them. Where was it set at? The fact that it is rolling off BEFORE 80hz tell me something is up with the test response. Some filter is enacted.
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