SC-67 driving KEF Q900... tricks of the trade - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 51 Old 10-10-2013, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone have any suggestions how to get the most out of my KEF Q900's? I have ran the MCACC setup and I am not blown away by the sound, as I was when I first listened to them at the audio store. I have a smaller room (12ft X 15ft) and I am running a better AVR then they were (Onkyo TX-nr828). Can anyone help???
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post #2 of 51 Old 10-10-2013, 11:59 AM
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Speakers behave differently in different rooms. There are so many things that make or break sound.

List your system, usage (HT/Music), room layout, speakers layout, distance from the screen, hard floor/wooden/carpeted, windows, heavy drapes, doors, furniture, etc.

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post #3 of 51 Old 10-10-2013, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
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My room is carpeted, nicely closed in, bonus room. The room I listened to them in was more open with wood flooring. Overall the power just doesn't seem to be there. Is there a mode on my receiver that I can change? Perhaps the Pure Direct setting? or maybe even a firmware update?
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post #4 of 51 Old 10-10-2013, 01:36 PM
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carpeting will deaden sound... That could be one of the issues since you said the showroom had hard floors... cabling plays a difference as well. firmware will not do a thing. It could be the room is too small. My room is 18x25 with a SC67 as well, I have no issues...

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post #5 of 51 Old 10-10-2013, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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what about bi-amping? technically using one amp overall but wiring them into 2 channels on the SC-67 since my speakers (KEF Q900) support it. Will I get more power driving to them?

....wife isn't going to like it when I tear the carpet out! wink.gifbiggrin.gif
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post #6 of 51 Old 10-10-2013, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jer181 View Post

what about bi-amping? technically using one amp overall but wiring them into 2 channels on the SC-67 since my speakers (KEF Q900) support it. Will I get more power driving to them?

....wife isn't going to like it when I tear the carpet out! wink.gifbiggrin.gif
No you will not get more power you are basically giving the unused amps something to do.
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post #7 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 06:20 AM
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Is there a mode on my receiver that I can change? Perhaps the Pure Direct setting? or maybe even a firmware update?

There is no magic button in any receiver to wake up your speakers if they are poorly placed and the listening room is working against them. What else do you have? Are you running a 5.1, 2.1, 2-channel system or what?

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post #8 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by jer181 View Post

Does anyone have any suggestions how to get the most out of my KEF Q900's? I have ran the MCACC setup and I am not blown away by the sound, as I was when I first listened to them at the audio store. I have a smaller room (12ft X 15ft) and I am running a better AVR then they were (Onkyo TX-nr828). Can anyone help???
We need to know what it is thats missing in the sound or added can you explain the difference.
Were they using a sub and or you?
Were the speaker pulled away from the walls and are yours?
Are you setting the same distance from the speakers and are they the same distance apart?
More or all the info you can provide will equate into a better answer or a fix.
Also have you listened to it before and after room correction?
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post #9 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 09:45 AM
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My feeling is the room is too small, plus the fact that it is closed in with carpeting. That's going to impact the dynamics in the room.

If it's not a BIG screen, it's not a theater...
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post #10 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm running a 2 channel. I just have the front left and right tower speakers running right now.
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post #11 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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The sitting distance from mine vs. theirs is about a difference of 4ft less in mine. The room they had it in was about 1/3 larger. Their speakers were placed about 12ft apart and pretty much right against the wall in a cabinet of speakers (so they can demo a bunch of different speakers). Mine are placed about 6ft apart with about 8" from the wall, slightly angled toward the seating position. I was expecting more raw power overall from the speakers. I pretty much have to have the amp turned to -20 to -18 to get good sound from them. Overall the sound is nice and detailed with the sound's being separated(you can hear the cymbal work). Just expected more low end, as I heard it at the store. They had just those speakers and no sub running while I was listening. I could feel the power blasting from those speakers. When I got them home, not so much. For 4G retail, you would expect way more out of the overall system.
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post #12 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 10:28 AM
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You could place your speakers in the corners which will boost and possibly bloat the bass and if you are setting in the middle of your room move forward or back a several feet to avoid the bass null most rooms exhibit.
Make sure your settings in the AVR for speakers are set to full range and 2.0 if all you have attached is the front 2 speakers.
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post #13 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I totally understand how the size of the room and materials inside it can effect the overall sound of the speakers, but it just seems like its a general lack of power. I am debating maybe taking back the SC-67 and getting a dedicated amp with more power. Would kind of hate to take back the SC-67 as its a $2,000 amp that I purchased for $1,175.00....

Just really want to best out of those speakers... not going to settle for anything but!

Any ideas of a dedicated amp? To power the KEF Q900 properly? Or do you think just buying a sub would be the best way to go? Eventually when my bank account heals I would like at least a 5.1 system.
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post #14 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by jer181 View Post

I totally understand how the size of the room and materials inside it can effect the overall sound of the speakers, but it just seems like its a general lack of power. I am debating maybe taking back the SC-67 and getting a dedicated amp with more power. Would kind of hate to take back the SC-67 as its a $2,000 amp that I purchased for $1,175.00....

Just really want to best out of those speakers... not going to settle for anything but!

Any ideas of a dedicated amp? To power the KEF Q900 properly? Or do you think just buying a sub would be the best way to go? Eventually when my bank account heals I would like at least a 5.1 system.
I would definitely get a sub regardless of what else you consider as a sub will always handle low bass better than any speakers I have ever heard other than maybe Grand Utopia's.
I would recheck your settings as the amp section in the 67 is as the 57 which I have a client running KEF 205's five of them and there is no lack of bass in pure mode and those are a little harder to drive than your KEF's.
Also one of the audio myth's out there is adding an amp will give it more bass unless we are talking a guitar amp with effects and enhancers.
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post #15 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, I basically have no bass coming out of those speakers. Mid and high's yes. Like I said before, when I listened to these speakers at the store and the sub was turned off the bass was deep and rich. When I get them home none of the speakers are even moving and almost zero bass. I have tried setting it to "pure mode" and it sounds so horrible and flat, sounds like I am listening to an AM radio.
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post #16 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jer181 View Post

Yes, I basically have no bass coming out of those speakers. Mid and high's yes. Like I said before, when I listened to these speakers at the store and the sub was turned off the bass was deep and rich. When I get them home none of the speakers are even moving and almost zero bass. I have tried setting it to "pure mode" and it sounds so horrible and flat, sounds like I am listening to an AM radio.
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Yes, I basically have no bass coming out of those speakers. Mid and high's yes. Like I said before, when I listened to these speakers at the store and the sub was turned off the bass was deep and rich. When I get them home none of the speakers are even moving and almost zero bass. I have tried setting it to "pure mode" and it sounds so horrible and flat, sounds like I am listening to an AM radio.
On the back of the KEF's there are 2 screws in between the posts for bi-amping or not make sure the screws are all the way in if you have it set up with a - and plus connection ( double check your manual on the speakers don't trust my memory) also double check the polarity if it is reversed it will kill the bass.
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post #17 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes the switch is suppose to be turn all the way to the right for non-bi amping. I have measure the wire to the exact amount of terminal (about 10mm) and have them screwed down and tight as I can with my hand. The positive is going to positive in the amp and negative to negative.
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post #18 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 02:07 PM
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Yes the switch is suppose to be turn all the way to the right for non-bi amping. I have measure the wire to the exact amount of terminal (about 10mm) and have them screwed down and tight as I can with my hand. The positive is going to positive in the amp and negative to negative.
Next try and play a piece of music you know has bass and listen to the drivers the bottom three should be pumping it out if not do you have another set of speakers you can swap out because there is no such thing as Denon,Marantz,Pioneer and Yamaha having more treble or bass than the others as an installer the flagships will sound more alike than not the minor differences when implemented correctly will be room correction and DAC's and in an AB comparison the differences are small to most and great to spec hounds.
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post #19 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I have tried listening to music with heavy bass. the bottom barely vibrates when putting the back of my hand against them. Most of my music is downloaded as MP3's. so I tried listening to a Dave Matthews and Tim Renolds live at Radio City on my PS3 in a Blu ray and still not very impressive.
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post #20 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 02:30 PM
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I have tried listening to music with heavy bass. the bottom barely vibrates when putting the back of my hand against them. Most of my music is downloaded as MP3's. so I tried listening to a Dave Matthews and Tim Renolds live at Radio City on my PS3 in a Blu ray and still not very impressive.

Time for an outboard amp. SC-67 doesn't have enough juice to drive your speakers. If Pioneer had any power in the bag; you would at least see the cones travel the distance regardless of whether any room modes are kicking in or not.

May be the store guys were using external amplifier when you went for auditions and it was kept out of sight. Retailers do it.

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post #21 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 02:33 PM
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Try and reverse the polarity at the speakers end and see if it works.

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post #22 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 02:37 PM
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Time for an outboard amp. SC-67 doesn't have enough juice to drive your speakers. If Pioneer had any power in the bag; you would at least see the cones travel the distance regardless of whether any room modes are kicking in or not.

May be the store guys were using external amplifier when you went for auditions and it was kept out of sight. Retailers do it.
Those speakers are not that hard to drive something else is wrong and as for the amp section Home Theater Magazine has a bench test showing not only does it deliver its advertised wattage it loses less than the competition the more channels that come into play and has more output than the competition in 4 ohm loads with the exception of a 5010 Onkyo if you can get them to live outside of warranty.
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post #23 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 02:49 PM
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Were the speakers and AVR bought at the same time?
Do you still have other speakers and another AVR you can swap out because you should not be having a problem with bass ( 3 woofers) and - 3db at 32Hz and they are 91db 1m/1w.
I either think you have a setting wrong or a defective piece.
I don't have the link but there is a demo piece with a frequency sweep so you could determine if in fact the bass is missing.
If you have an iPad/iPhone you could download the THX setup calibration and run it .I have used it in combination with the ATV3 but I think its supposed to work with the Pioneer.
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post #24 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 02:56 PM
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Those speakers are not that hard to drive

You're right; but the advertised 91dB sensitivity, doesn't apply on LF drivers. Tweets, yes they can be 91dB sensitive; but I do not think it applies to the LF drivers. I have Klipsch RF-82 II with 98dB sensitivity; but I saw their LF cones move only with my current AVR (CA Azur 751R), which is very powerful in 2-channel mode.
I've used the same speakers with Yamaha RX-V3900, Onkyo 809, and Denon 3313 avrs and none of them could push the bass out of those speakers in 2-channel mode. Yamaha did a lot better in Pure DIrect; but it was not within miles of how CA can push those cones pillar to post. In fact the bass is so much; I do not need a sub in stereo mode.

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post #25 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 03:03 PM
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You're right; but the advertised 91dB sensitivity, doesn't apply on LF drivers. Tweets, yes they can be 91dB sensitive; but I do not think it applies to the LF drivers. I have Klipsch RF-82 II with 98dB sensitivity; but I saw their LF cones move only with my current AVR (CA Azur 751R), which is very powerful in 2-channel mode.
I've used the same speakers with Yamaha RX-V3900, Onkyo 809, and Denon 3313 avrs and none of them could push the bass out of those speakers in 2-channel mode. Yamaha did a lot better in Pure DIrect; but it was not within miles of how CA can push those cones pillar to post. In fact the bass is so much; I do not need a sub in stereo mode.
Adding an amp will allow it to play louder to the tune of 3db for each time you double it over its predecessor but it will not add bass to the output without some sort of trickery outside of amplification.
Those mfg specs on the efficiency are for the combined drivers at 1 watt or 2.83 volts at 1 meter distance the actual driver breakdown could be all together different and in the tweeters case much higher db 1m/1w.
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post #26 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 03:12 PM
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Adding an amp will allow it to play louder to the tune of 3db for each time you double it over its predecessor but it will not add bass to the output without some sort of trickery outside of amplification.

You may be right. All um suggesting to OP is to check for himself if the retailer, he bought the speakers from, was using an external amp. May be it was locked out of sight. Coz this simply doesn't happen that bass drivers just barely move. SPL at MLP is a different story; but that speakers/avr combo must give adequate bass at least listening from a foot away where room modes are virtually a non issue.

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post #27 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 03:29 PM
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You may be right. All um suggesting to OP is to check for himself if the retailer, he bought the speakers from, was using an external amp. May be it was locked out of sight. Coz this simply doesn't happen that bass drivers just barely move. SPL at MLP is a different story; but that speakers/avr combo must give adequate bass at least listening from a foot away where room modes are virtually a non issue.
I am not saying he can't clip the internal amps (you can clip any amp if you turn the volume high enough) but it should almost run him out of the room at that point and his room is smaller than the Ultra 2 specs that the AVR is spec'd for.
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post #28 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 03:42 PM
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His AVR is Select 2 Plus not Ultra 2. My Onkyo 809 was also Select 2 Plus and it couldn't make those 8" LF drivers to move enough to produce any bass worthwhile in my Klipsch RF-82 II speakers with 98dB sensitivity.

An that is all with the same listening room and same speakers location.

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post #29 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 03:47 PM
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His AVR is Select 2 Plus not Ultra 2. My Onkyo 809 was also Select 2 Plus and it couldn't make those 8" LF drivers to move enough to produce any bass worthwhile in my Klipsch RF-82 II speakers with 98dB sensitivity.

An that is all with the same listening room and same speakers location.
I stand corrected got it confused with the SC-77 which is Ultra 2.
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post #30 of 51 Old 10-11-2013, 03:48 PM
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My SC-67 replaced an SC-07. My original speaker setup was: B&W CDM7 towers for Fronts, Jamo Concert 8s for Front Wide, Martin Logan in-wall 8" 3 ways for front highs and sides, B&W DM 602s for rear, Velodyne center & sub.

I ran the calibration, it sounded thin and lifeless compared to the SC-07. I changed the mic location and, checked to make sure all speakers were set to "large"...a little better but still pretty pedestrian sound. I re-ran the calibration using the mic from a Parasound Halo C2 processor. Much, much better..although the OSD told me that all my speakers were reversed (out of phase). I knew that this was not accurate so I took the option to ignore the message.

Since then, I have reached the conclusion that the current series of Elite receivers simply don't have the punch that the previous generations had. Absent this breathing room, the sound suffers. To prove up the theory, I replaced the fronts with old-school JBL 4311s (basically L100 studio version); among the most sensitive speakers ever made. The difference was dramatic although still quite thin.

I like all the functionality of the SC-67 but weighing in at a bit more than half of what the previous Elite flagships weighed, it is clear that the power supply just does not have the "iron" to deliver. My next test is to use the SC-67 as a processor and use some massive amps and rerun the tests and auditions.

Has anyone figured out how to use the FW, FH, and rear/sides when the media does not support it discreetly? In other words, is there a mode that will synthesize those channels?

MosFetMan
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