Originally Posted by srauly
Well, if you were going to assemble a 5.1 system that was 100% for movie-watching, which KEF speakers would you suggest for the front L/C/R and surround L/R? Because I'll have a subwoofer and will likely be setting the crossover at 80Hz, would 5 iQ1's be enough? If not, would there be any benefit to using towers (e.g., iQ5's, iQ7's, or iQ9's) in the front vs iQ1's or iQ3's in front?
If you scroll up in the thread a bit, you will see some discussion of this and my thoughts regarding the towers versus the bookshelves.
Basically, with the towers, you'll get some of the bass frequencies out of the UniQ driver. I do not remember where all the towers' lower drivers are crossed in, but even with an 80Hz crossover, the lower drivers in the towers will still be responsible for ~1.5 to 2 octaves that the UniQ driver will not be responsible for reproducing were it the lone driver, as in the bookshelf speakers. Theoretically
this should free up the UniQ driver to more accurately and cleanly reproduce the higher bass and midrange frequencies that it IS asked to reproduce. And since the cone will move less, and since it acts as a baffle and radiating surface for the tweeter, the tweeter's performance should be more smooth. Whether this is all actually true in practice, or even really audible, I do not know. But I think that if you plan to listen really loud, the UniQ driver can probably benefit by passing off the lower frequency duty to the lower driver.
The downside, again theoretically
, to adding another driver is that the speaker is no longer a true single point source radiator, which is the whole benefit of the UniQ driver in the first place. You could probably argue that since it is the lowest frequencies that are no longer "in" the UniQ driver that it shouldn't make much difference. But, again without remembering exactly what the lower drivers' crossover points are, the lower drivers are still responsible for output up to ~250-300Hz or so, which is not insignificant.
Prior to my current XQs, I had a setup that consisted of 4 Q1s (comparable to the current iQ3s) and a Q9c (not comparable to any iQ center, but with a single 6.5" UniQ driver, instead). So, I had 5 identical 6.5" UniQ drivers around me. I have always felt that this setup, with 5 identical and true single point source radiating speakers, did a great job of melting away, or disappearing, so to speak, which is one thing that a single point source speaker is capable of doing better than more conventional speakers.
On the other hand, as low as the prices are now, when you factor in the cost of stands, depending upon which models you are comparing, the savings of the bookshelves over the towers is not so substantial.
If you want to go the all-bookshelf route, I think that whether you choose the iQ3s or iQ1s depends upon how big your room is and how well your sub will perform near the 80Hz crossover.