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post #8881 of 8905 Old 08-18-2016, 09:49 AM
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Kef R900 v Kef Reference 5

Hi all

As anyone done any direct comparisons in regards to the above Kefs - Im currently using the tremendous R900’s being driven to their very best with the Parasound Halo JC1’s - to say I’m happy with this current combination is an understatement and can’t help wandering on whether the Ref 5’s would just blow them away or are they closer than we would think? -

Ken

Mac / J River, Parasound Halo JC1's, Chord Hugo TT, Kef R900's, JL Audio Fathom F113
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post #8882 of 8905 Old 08-18-2016, 12:04 PM
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Well, the only way to know is for YOU to hear them with your own ears.

At very nearly 4x the price the Reference 5 are certainly better than R900 in many ways...excepting price. Got any dealers near you where you can audition the Reference 5? Even if you heard them and was wowed, it comes down to a highly personal value judgement. Not everyone would appreciate the more detailed highs, richer midrange, more accurate bass and stunning fit & finish for the price disparity.

System includes KEF R500 floor standing, R200C center, R100 surrounds, SVS SB2000 subwoofer, NAD T758 receiver, Pro-Ject RPM1 turntable w/ Sumiko Pearl cartridge, Bluesound Vault, Sony BDP-S480 BlueRay player, Samsung UN55JU6500F 4K LED TV, KEF M500 headphones, Sony CDP-CE500 CD changer, MCS System cassette deck. The last 2 items are dust collectors but will work if asked.
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post #8883 of 8905 Old 08-19-2016, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenM10759 View Post
Well, the only way to know is for YOU to hear them with your own ears.

At very nearly 4x the price the Reference 5 are certainly better than R900 in many ways...excepting price. Got any dealers near you where you can audition the Reference 5? Even if you heard them and was wowed, it comes down to a highly personal value judgement. Not everyone would appreciate the more detailed highs, richer midrange, more accurate bass and stunning fit & finish for the price disparity.
I can get a fair trade in deal for my R900’s against the Ref 5’s hence my question and yes, agree - I need to hear them preferably against the R900

I do actually have a retailer close by that has the Ref 5’s but was wandering if people on here have heard them side by side

Are all the drive units significantly different then as they look very familiar (Refs) with the R Series ? - I suppose they are in regards to price differentials

Mac / J River, Parasound Halo JC1's, Chord Hugo TT, Kef R900's, JL Audio Fathom F113
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post #8884 of 8905 Old 08-19-2016, 03:25 AM
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I'm told the driver and especially the crossover components are significantly different in the Reference series, though they don't look so until you're up close. The cabinets are a technical marvel and a work of the art in the world of cabinetmaking.

I haven't heard the 5, only the 1. I have heard the R900. Against those especially I know you may well be blown away because the R900 for all it's glory just doesn't impress me. I think the larger diameter woofers are just a little too big for my tastes and not quite there. They're good, don't get me wrong, but I could be more impressed with the bass if the cabinet was stouter. I think there's too much driver and not enough cabinet bracing for them. KEF took NO "cost savings compromises" in building the Reference, as evidenced by their price.

System includes KEF R500 floor standing, R200C center, R100 surrounds, SVS SB2000 subwoofer, NAD T758 receiver, Pro-Ject RPM1 turntable w/ Sumiko Pearl cartridge, Bluesound Vault, Sony BDP-S480 BlueRay player, Samsung UN55JU6500F 4K LED TV, KEF M500 headphones, Sony CDP-CE500 CD changer, MCS System cassette deck. The last 2 items are dust collectors but will work if asked.
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post #8885 of 8905 Old 08-19-2016, 02:20 PM
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by nek View Post
Hi all

As anyone done any direct comparisons in regards to the above Kefs - Im currently using the tremendous R900’s being driven to their very best with the Parasound Halo JC1’s - to say I’m happy with this current combination is an understatement and can’t help wandering on whether the Ref 5’s would just blow them away or are they closer than we would think? -

Ken
I had the R900 full AV setup, r300 rears r400b sub and r600 centre, great setup for sure.

I demo'd all the reference range (also the blade 2) and ended up with the ref 3's.

The r series is a phenomenal speaker for sure, but it isn't reference, simple. And so,it shouldn't be as the price point as stated is x3.

I liked the ref 5, but in all honest, your reaching blade 2 money, and for me that would be the better prospect. Where as the 3 was enough of an improvement over the r900 to make it a worthy upgrade, but the difference between the 3 & 5 , for me just didn't warrant the price difference, hence the blade 2s will be my next step.

So how are the 3's? They are in a whole different league , imaging, sound stage and detailed. Heaps of low down grunt, if actually backed the sub of, and this is coming from the R900's as well, and we all know how good they are on bass.

Owning the refs, made me feel privileged to be part of KEFs finest, love KEF kit!

Of course I've relistened to all my music...you know the rest.

The best description I gave a friend when describing the new refs is, it's like I have the ears I had in my youth, they are really that good!

Then I had to go and listen to the blade 2's, but that another story.

3's or 5's your going to be happy. Just pick the right colour
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post #8886 of 8905 Old 08-19-2016, 03:30 PM
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And I'd love to hear that story.

System includes KEF R500 floor standing, R200C center, R100 surrounds, SVS SB2000 subwoofer, NAD T758 receiver, Pro-Ject RPM1 turntable w/ Sumiko Pearl cartridge, Bluesound Vault, Sony BDP-S480 BlueRay player, Samsung UN55JU6500F 4K LED TV, KEF M500 headphones, Sony CDP-CE500 CD changer, MCS System cassette deck. The last 2 items are dust collectors but will work if asked.
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post #8887 of 8905 Old 08-20-2016, 12:12 AM
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And I'd love to hear that story.
Problem with that story is the endings going to cost me circa £16k , although have you seen the set on eBay ? Was £11k last time I checked
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post #8888 of 8905 Old 08-20-2016, 12:17 AM
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Forget your 5's...

can put the link up yet due to my post count.....but


I have no connection to the seller by the way guys, so usual buyer beware, but looks good to me, maybe even a better deal to be had for pound notes? There is also a set of ref 3's and 5's kicking about on there as well?
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post #8889 of 8905 Old 08-20-2016, 12:19 AM
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Just added a few extra tags to the thread as well 👍
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post #8890 of 8905 Old 08-20-2016, 04:47 AM
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LOL...wish I could feel sorry for you. Instead, I'm very happy for you!

We don't see the premium speakers on eBay here in the US all that much. Most of them appear on Audiogon, a hi-fi specific marketplace.

System includes KEF R500 floor standing, R200C center, R100 surrounds, SVS SB2000 subwoofer, NAD T758 receiver, Pro-Ject RPM1 turntable w/ Sumiko Pearl cartridge, Bluesound Vault, Sony BDP-S480 BlueRay player, Samsung UN55JU6500F 4K LED TV, KEF M500 headphones, Sony CDP-CE500 CD changer, MCS System cassette deck. The last 2 items are dust collectors but will work if asked.
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post #8891 of 8905 Old 08-20-2016, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenM10759 View Post
LOL...wish I could feel sorry for you. Instead, I'm very happy for you!

We don't see the premium speakers on eBay here in the US all that much. Most of them appear on Audiogon, a hi-fi specific marketplace.
In fairness , it's not that common here in the UK to see the high end kit hit Ebay uk.

I've been reading this forum for a very long time, didn't even realise my first post was in this thread. It's one of my few 'go to ' forums for reference and research as well as reviews etc

I had the rare opportunity to visit the KEF factory last year and can honestly say I'm smitten with their kit, and was seriously impressed with there attention to detail; their setup was mind blowing, old and new methods for development and test, side by side. A real eye opener.

The team of guys are real people with a love for music and more importantly the kit they had build there in the factory. We are very lucky to have them still in the business and continuously improving their products.
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post #8892 of 8905 Old Yesterday, 07:03 AM
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I had the R900 full AV setup, r300 rears r400b sub and r600 centre, great setup for sure.

I demo'd all the reference range (also the blade 2) and ended up with the ref 3's.

The r series is a phenomenal speaker for sure, but it isn't reference, simple. And so,it shouldn't be as the price point as stated is x3.

I liked the ref 5, but in all honest, your reaching blade 2 money, and for me that would be the better prospect. Where as the 3 was enough of an improvement over the r900 to make it a worthy upgrade, but the difference between the 3 & 5 , for me just didn't warrant the price difference, hence the blade 2s will be my next step.

So how are the 3's? They are in a whole different league , imaging, sound stage and detailed. Heaps of low down grunt, if actually backed the sub of, and this is coming from the R900's as well, and we all know how good they are on bass.

Owning the refs, made me feel privileged to be part of KEFs finest, love KEF kit!

Of course I've relistened to all my music...you know the rest.

The best description I gave a friend when describing the new refs is, it's like I have the ears I had in my youth, they are really that good!

Then I had to go and listen to the blade 2's, but that another story.

3's or 5's your going to be happy. Just pick the right colour
Thanks for your experiences - aint keen on the look of the blades - Reference series are my preference - and the 5’s are top of my hit list - what amp was you driving the R900’s as they absolutely sing with my JC1’s and can only imagine what the 5’s would sound like...

Mac / J River, Parasound Halo JC1's, Chord Hugo TT, Kef R900's, JL Audio Fathom F113
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post #8893 of 8905 Old Yesterday, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nek View Post
Thanks for your experiences - aint keen on the look of the blades - Reference series are my preference - and the 5’s are top of my hit list - what amp was you driving the R900’s as they absolutely sing with my JC1’s and can only imagine what the 5’s would sound like...
I love my Ref 5s and get excellent results driving them with just 75 wpc (though they are actually around 90 wpc, not a huge difference). I was going to get a second amp to run them in mono, but found that it really is not necessary. The speakers just disappear and cast a wide and deep sound stage with my setup and they are equally adept with every kind of music I throw at them. To answer your question, they would be an excellent match with the JC1s.

I agree with you on the looks of the Blade series, too - they are much harder to integrate into an interior. I auditioned them side by side and, in my space at least, they were so close that there was no need to consider a change.

Here is a slightly distorted cell phone picture of my setup. Feel free to reach out with any specific questions you might have.
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post #8894 of 8905 Old Yesterday, 08:55 AM
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I love my Ref 5s and get excellent results driving them with just 75 wpc (though they are actually around 90 wpc, not a huge difference). I was going to get a second amp to run them in mono, but found that it really is not necessary. The speakers just disappear and cast a wide and deep sound stage with my setup and they are equally adept with every kind of music I throw at them. To answer your question, they would be an excellent match with the JC1s.

I agree with you on the looks of the Blade series, too - they are much harder to integrate into an interior. I auditioned them side by side and, in my space at least, they were so close that there was no need to consider a change.

Here is a slightly distorted cell phone picture of my setup. Feel free to reach out with any specific questions you might have.
They look stunning along with your other equipment - thats exactly the space where my R900’s are - close to rear and side walls without the bungs in place - do the Ref 5’s suffer with limited amount of space around them - my R900’s sound fantastic close to rear and side walls

Ken

Mac / J River, Parasound Halo JC1's, Chord Hugo TT, Kef R900's, JL Audio Fathom F113
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post #8895 of 8905 Old Yesterday, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nek View Post
They look stunning along with your other equipment - thats exactly the space where my R900’s are - close to rear and side walls without the bungs in place - do the Ref 5’s suffer with limited amount of space around them - my R900’s sound fantastic close to rear and side walls

Ken
Thank you for the compliment. Despite the angle of the picture, the speakers are not actually fully closed in; there is a false wall on the left and a build-in desk to the right, so it is a bit more open than what appears in the picture.

That being said, they are about 9 inches from the back wall, so fairly close there. The 165 mm bass drivers are very fast and, along with the tunable ports (I have the short bungs in place), help with any placement limitations.

I don't listen at foundation shaking levels, but the speakers have great depth and are always composed and articulate with a terrific sense of space.
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post #8896 of 8905 Old Yesterday, 10:59 AM
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I was curious, so I downloaded the manual for the reference series. I was disappointed that even for the reference series KEF provides the kind of minimal information multi-language manual I got with the 7 LS50s I have. It is even less explicit about distance from the rear wall. They seem to suggest a distance from the rear wall of 1' to 5' but nearly 10' from a side wall. Presumably that would be for any of the speakers except the centers. That strikes me as weird, given how explicit KEF is about distances for my mid-90s-era Reference 107/2s that are not rear ported, and for a company that prides itself on careful listening evaluation of their products.

db
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post #8897 of 8905 Old Yesterday, 11:25 AM
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The manual for the Blade 2 is similar to that for my 107/2s. The specifications for the Blade 2 are much more tolerant of proximity to the rear wall (9") than they are for the 107/2, although 36" from a side wall is the same. Wish I could hear the Blade 2s in the greater LA area. There is probably a pair right in our little town, given how many folks from the entertainment industry have homes here, but I'm not aware of where they might be nor do I have access to them.

db
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post #8898 of 8905 Old Yesterday, 11:41 AM
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I was curious, so I downloaded the manual for the reference series. I was disappointed that even for the reference series KEF provides the kind of minimal information multi-language manual I got with the 7 LS50s I have. It is even less explicit about distance from the rear wall. They seem to suggest a distance from the rear wall of 1' to 5' but nearly 10' from a side wall. Presumably that would be for any of the speakers except the centers. That strikes me as weird, given how explicit KEF is about distances for my mid-90s-era Reference 107/2s that are not rear ported, and for a company that prides itself on careful listening evaluation of their products.

db
It does go into a little more detail in the White paper in regards to ideal placement - appendix V111

http://www.kef.com/uploads/files/THE...ath_200514.pdf

Mac / J River, Parasound Halo JC1's, Chord Hugo TT, Kef R900's, JL Audio Fathom F113

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post #8899 of 8905 Old Yesterday, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbphd View Post
I was curious, so I downloaded the manual for the reference series. I was disappointed that even for the reference series KEF provides the kind of minimal information multi-language manual I got with the 7 LS50s I have. It is even less explicit about distance from the rear wall. They seem to suggest a distance from the rear wall of 1' to 5' but nearly 10' from a side wall. Presumably that would be for any of the speakers except the centers. That strikes me as weird, given how explicit KEF is about distances for my mid-90s-era Reference 107/2s that are not rear ported, and for a company that prides itself on careful listening evaluation of their products.

db
I did follow their guideline since my left speaker is about 10' from the wall on the right and the right speaker is about 10' from the wall on the left My retailer who set them up is very pleased with the result, as am I, so I guess their recommendation is correct!
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post #8900 of 8905 Old Yesterday, 05:13 PM
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It does go into a little more detail in the White paper in regards to ideal placement[/url]
Indeed it does. Thanks for the link. Was this material included with the reference speakers? A condensed version is closer to what I would have expected in the reference manuals. These are serious speakers. I certainly didn't mean to imply that the recommendations by KEF were inaccurate, just that they weren't very explicit. I bought two R series speakers before the LS50s, returned the unopened one and gave the other away. The manual covered all the R series in multi-languages with little depth, including the R600C I use as a center speaker.

db
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post #8901 of 8905 Old Yesterday, 05:28 PM
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Indeed it does. Thanks for the link. Was this material included with the reference speakers? A condensed version is closer to what I would have expected in the reference manuals. These are serious speakers. I certainly didn't mean to imply that the recommendations by KEF were inaccurate, just that they weren't very explicit. I bought two R series speakers before the LS50s, returned the unopened one and gave the other away. The manual covered all the R series in multi-languages with little depth, including the R600C I use as a center speaker.

db
Hi db, are you genuinely interested in knowing what materials are included with the Reference speakers? If so, when I get a moment I can go find everything that came with mine and let you know.

As I mentioned above, mine were setup by the retailer for me, so I never bothered looking through them. I do know that they came with a certificate with the assembler's name and signature, along with date of completion and the test measurements of each speaker, but not sure what they have in terms of placement instructions.
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Hi db, are you genuinely interested in knowing what materials are included with the Reference speakers? If so, when I get a moment I can go find everything that came with mine and let you know.
I don't think I'm genuinely interested. I haven't even visited the dealers in the LA area that have reference speakers. My curiosity was raised because KEF recommends the LS50 port be fully bunged at 8" from the rear wall. I would have thought the acoustic energy (air) displaced from the rear ports of reference series speakers would exceed that from an LS50.

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post #8903 of 8905 Old Today, 11:33 AM
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I don't think I'm genuinely interested. I haven't even visited the dealers in the LA area that have reference speakers. My curiosity was raised because KEF recommends the LS50 port be fully bunged at 8" from the rear wall. I would have thought the acoustic energy (air) displaced from the rear ports of reference series speakers would exceed that from an LS50.

db
My retailer said short bungs for close proximity to the wall and long bungs further away. Have not had any issues regarding bass performance or imaging with them 9" from the wall with the short bungs in place.
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post #8904 of 8905 Old Today, 01:18 PM
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My retailer said short bungs for close proximity to the wall and long bungs further away.
If you haven't already done so, I recommend checking out the white paper to which nek provides a link, particularly P. 13 where there is a discussion of the role of the two bungs and their effect on LF rolloff. I don't think it quite as simple as your retailer suggests, and there are tradeoffs to be made between greater LF extension and more subtle rolloff. In that paper, KEF suggests the usual distance from the wall behind the speakers is 1' to 5' for LF reinforcement. Porting, of course, is a way to keep cabinet size reasonable while retaining LF extension by supplementing front speaker radiation with rear radiation. Tricky to get right, though.

db
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post #8905 of 8905 Old Today, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbphd View Post
If you haven't already done so, I recommend checking out the white paper to which nek provides a link, particularly P. 13 where there is a discussion of the role of the two bungs and their effect on LF rolloff. I don't think it quite as simple as your retailer suggests, and there are tradeoffs to be made between greater LF extension and more subtle rolloff. In that paper, KEF suggests the usual distance from the wall behind the speakers is 1' to 5' for LF reinforcement. Porting, of course, is a way to keep cabinet size reasonable while retaining LF extension by supplementing front speaker radiation with rear radiation. Tricky to get right, though.

db
Sorry, I did oversimplify it just because I'm not sure of everything my retailer did to set them up. I was just recalling what he said to me when I asked about the bungs. It took a couple of hours to get them tuned properly and I was in and out of the room during that time due to conference calls and other work-related obligations.
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