Opinions on Kef XQ series - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-24-2007, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking for new speakers and one of the models I'm considering is the Kef XQ series. I've searched but I haven't been able to find many reviews or opinions on this line and in particular the XQ5.

I briefly auditioned them and I was impressed. In the same store I listened to Paradigm Studio 60s & 100, the Kef IQ line, and some Def Techs. I liked the XQ5 best, but it wasn't a fair A/B comparison. They also had the best placement, source equipment etc.

I have a very hard time auditioning speakers. I find that I can hear subtle nuances between speakers, but I can't always tell which one I like better. For different recordings I like different speakers. For example, for at another store I found I liked the new B&W 600 series over the CM series for certain recordings.

My musical tastes vary widely. I mostly listen to: classic rock, rap, jazz, metal, trip-hop and the blues. I am slightly worried that the better the speakers I get the worst some of my poorly recorded material will sound. Garage rock on revealing systems is probably a bad combination

I'd love to get some input from people familiar with the XQs and Kef in general. Is there anything I should listen for when I do more auditions?

The system will be used for both HT and music. I already have a decent sub. I'm not sure if I would get the XQ surrounds. I would rather get slightly cheaper surrounds and put the difference towards other components. I know this is not ideal, but how would the IQ series surrounds match to the XQ series?

Thanks for all the comments.

Tom
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-24-2007, 06:23 PM
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I'll get back to you either later tonight (8/24) or tomorrow (8/25). I dont have time right now. If I don't get back to you, please PM me and remind me.

"All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it."
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-27-2007, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
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^^^^


This kind of confirms my research that the reference and IQ series are more popular.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-27-2007, 10:00 PM
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I love the specs and speaker design of the xq5, but I honestly do not care for the looks. Do they come in a wood veneer?
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-28-2007, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattburk View Post

I love the specs and speaker design of the xq5, but I honestly do not care for the looks. Do they come in a wood veneer?

I don't think they come in a wood veneer. I've only seen them in either silver or graphite. Their modern look is part of the reason why I like them.

The specs seem good, but the frequency response does not go as low as the IQ series.

Tom
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-29-2007, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_N View Post

I don't think they come in a wood veneer. I've only seen them in either silver or graphite. Their modern look is part of the reason why I like them.

They used to be available in maple. But they still looked very modern as the finish was still coated with urethane (or whatever it is).




Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_N View Post

The specs seem good, but the frequency response does not go as low as the IQ series.

This is typical. I assume you are comparing the iQ9 and XQ5. If you were to look at the specs of the comparable speaker in the old Reference Series (not sure about the new Ref/2s), the 203, you would see that it goes less lower than the XQ5.

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post #7 of 7 Old 08-29-2007, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_N View Post

This kind of confirms my research that the reference and IQ series are more popular.

If you mean sales-wise, I don't think that the Reference Series are more popular. If you mean that we all wish we could afford to get the Reference series, then you may be right.

Regarding the XQs:

Just like you, when I first heard them, they were also connnected to some very high-end components, in a more ideal (as ideal as audio stores get) situation. At the time, I was not even considering getting them; only listening. They were way out of my price range. I ended up with a setup consisting of 4 Q1s (comparable to the current iQ3s) and a Q9c (similar to the current iQ2c, but with an identically-sized driver to my Q1s). I had managed to convince several local dealers to allow me to demo the KEFs, in-home, versus several other similarly-priced offerings, namely NHT, Polk, BA, B&W, and Klipsch. I chose the KEFs. After a few months with them, after getting a little bit of the upgrade bug, and after reading a lot of online hooplah regarding a local ID company, I began to wonder if, still, some other speakers might sound better than my KEFs, so I decided out of curiosity to demo some offerings from said company. I was very disappointed in the ID speakers, even some that were much more expensive than my KEFs. So I decided that I, indeed, DID like my KEFs.

At the same exact time, serendipitously I suppose, I happened upon a brand-new, in box set of XQ series speakers on audiogon that happened to be in my same zip code. Whooda thunk it?!!?!? They were 45% off the list price and were being sold by a former employee of the store where I bought my Q series KEFs, from a huge collection of equipment he had amassed with his employee discount. I couldn't resist and I bought them (XQ5s, XQ1s, and XQ2c). They had everything that I liked about my Q1s, and then some. The difference the hypertweeter made was very noticable (to me, anyway). I have been very happy with them, so far, and ended up buying a little bit higher quality amp (Rotel) than my Denon receiver for my front XQ5s. I use my setup mainly for music, in 2-channel both with and without my subwoofer.

I usually don't recommend KEFs as I think they have a unique sound that may not be what everyone is looking for. I feel that it's a speaker that has to be heard, and when it is the "right" speaker, you know it. KEFs, to me, are all about midrange and high-end clarity, particularly their mid-range. They don't produce prodigious amounts of bass, but the bass they do produce is very tight and accurate; no boominess at all. Because of their mid-range clarity, they tend to make really good recordings sound great, but lousy recordings sound really lousy. If you want a "rock-n-roll speaker", I would not recommend them. I do listen to a pretty broad range of music, and for well-recorded music, to me, they sound wonderful.

(Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, Tom_N. If you have any questions about the XQs, please feel free to PM me. I can give you examples of some of the music I listen to through them, etc..)

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