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KEF Owners Thread - Page 8

post #211 of 6602
What I meant is that if a brand can induce enough snob appeal by heavy snob-oriented marketing, they find that their demand curve shifts upward. They can charge more per unit and make fewer units and still have more dollar volume. A Rolex is a self-winding stainless steel watch for $4,000. You can get an Omega that is just as good for half the price. A Cadillac is made of the same steel, glass, paint and leather as a Chevy, but the name (which has been hyped with marketing) lets them charge far more money. One Swiss watch maker even doubled the price of its watches a couple years ago, knowing that due to its higher prices, it could produce and sell fewer but still have higher revenues. Your revenues minus your costs = net income before income taxes. I hope KEF stays sort of obscure, with great prices to match.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbarach View Post

Are you sure? If KEF is trying to sell products that they don't promote, they won't sell many and their manufacturing cost per unit will be higher. Not only that, their dealer network is quite scarce in some areas of the US compared to their competitors (B&W, Paradigm). For example, they list only 3 dealers in all of Ohio, and 2 out of the 3 are system installers (maybe the third is, too--I'm not sure).
post #212 of 6602
Quote:
Originally Posted by fresno1232001 View Post

What I meant is that if a brand can induce enough snob appeal by heavy snob-oriented marketing, they find that their demand curve shifts upward. They can charge more per unit and make fewer units and still have more dollar volume.

Yes, IF... there are places to buy these units. The only snob-appeal items that don't need widespread dealer networks are those that are pre-sold, e.g. Ferraris. I know where my local Caddy dealers are, and it took me a couple of minutes to locate three jewelers in the yellow pages that are authorized Rolex dealers... So I can "test drive" a Caddy or a Rolex any time. But for KEF speakers, most of which are NOT high-end products, I have to drive 200 miles.
post #213 of 6602
Quote:
Originally Posted by fresno1232001 View Post

What I meant is that if a brand can induce enough snob appeal by heavy snob-oriented marketing, they find that their demand curve shifts upward.

I can assure you KEF sells more units in their entry to mid-level line-up than in their Reference line.

The iQ series is not intended for "snobs". It's very competitively priced for the market it's intended.

Besides, they don't even have heavy snob-oriented marketing (your language). My point was that they don't really have any marketing.
post #214 of 6602
I agree they don't have any marketing!! But if they start snob-oriented marketing, they could get to where the snobs will pay more than current prices, and that will be bad for the sane people who might like to buy their products.
Enough on this topic. I just read a review of the KEF XQ5 and he absolutely tore it to pieces. He says they sound awful. So now I'm not so sure. The Reference 210 gets great reviews. Someone is selling a pair on ebay for $800 with the hypertweeters pushed in, what ever that means.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

Besides, they don't even have heavy snob-oriented marketing (your language). My point was that they don't really have any marketing.
post #215 of 6602
I bought KEF Q7's after going to a high-end audio store in which the salesperson looked down his nose at me when I preferred the Q7's to Vandersteen 2ce's. The Q7's are hardly a contender for the best speaker in the world. However, they had me listening to the music instead of to the speakers (which was not the case with the Vandersteens, which sounded boxy in comparison). The high-end dealer has long since gone out of business--he didn't want to give anyone the time of day who wasn't going to spend $10K in his store. I think there weren't enough snobs to keep this guy in business.

Similarly, I once visited a high-end audio store in Chicago. The only source material he claimed to have in his store was a scratchy LP of a solo lute. After five minutes of very well reproduced surface noise, I left. Oh, and his store is gone, too...
post #216 of 6602
A trick in salemanship is to imply to the customer that he can't afford the really upscale product. You just outright insult the customer! "THIS item has Swiss made, titanium and gold blah blah". Sometimes the customer will then buy the product just to show this jerk that he is rich enough to do so.
I called a high end stereo shop in a big California city the other day, and he was pretty rough with me. He wants to make me mad enough at him to come in and buy the expensive speakers we were discussing, just to show him.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbarach View Post

I bought KEF Q7's after going to a high-end audio store in which the salesperson looked down his nose at me when I preferred the Q7's to Vandersteen 2ce's.
Similarly, I once visited a high-end audio store in Chicago. The only source material he claimed to have in his store was a scratchy LP of a solo lute. After five minutes of very well reproduced surface noise, I left. Oh, and his store is gone, too...
post #217 of 6602
Just wanted all of you fellow KEF enthusiastist to have a heads up. I was invited to the KEF Reference Listening Experience in Tampa and West Palm Beach.... It's going aroung the USA right now so check with your local dealer! Richard from the Reference program are going to be there, along with most all the speakers except he not yet produced 207/2's... It a chance to hear and see them! In florida its going to Be June 5th and 7th, i will tell ya guys what it was like when i get back, thought you may be interested!

--Brad
P.S.-- Still waiting for the 203/2 to become available... trying to fight the good fight
post #218 of 6602
Quote:
Originally Posted by fresno1232001 View Post

I agree they don't have any marketing!! But if they start snob-oriented marketing, they could get to where the snobs will pay more than current prices, and that will be bad for the sane people who might like to buy their products.
Enough on this topic. I just read a review of the KEF XQ5 and he absolutely tore it to pieces. He says they sound awful. So now I'm not so sure. The Reference 210 gets great reviews. Someone is selling a pair on ebay for $800 with the hypertweeters pushed in, what ever that means.

So, so sorry for any one that had a bad expierence... But just to let you know the XQ series is a great speaker line but one with a hyper tweeter i would never buy... Will cause major problems, plus if you can wait for a few months the replacement for the XQ series will be coming out.
post #219 of 6602
Quote:
Originally Posted by pal1982 View Post

.............just to let you know the XQ series is a great speaker line but one with a hyper tweeter i would never buy.................. Will cause major problems,.............

Why?

Never had any problems with mine.
post #220 of 6602
let me rephrase that.... meant i wouldn't buy one with a smashed in hyper-tweeter
post #221 of 6602
I have a full 5.1 set of XQ speakers (XQ5/XQ2c/XQ1) and I'm happy with them. However, I feel they don't have as much bass as I would expect from a tower speaker of their size. However, a well dialed subwoofer takes care of it very well in my situation.

When I was shopping a few years ago I was comparing them against B&W 703/HTM7/705. I thought those sounded amazing, but I ended up buying the XQs because I got a fantastic deal from a dealer in NJ who decided to stop carrying the line. The XQ5's were floor models but the rest were new. I got the whole set for about the current price of new XQ5s. I just could not justify the price jump to the B&W set and I could not do A/B because they were at different dealers 5 miles down the road from each other.

No regrets on the XQ purchase. BTW, I'm driving them with a Rotel 1056 Receiver.

- Mike
post #222 of 6602
Quote:
Originally Posted by miimura View Post

However, I feel they don't have as much bass as I would expect from a tower speaker of their size.

Yeah, their F3 is 45Hz and the bass is not these speakers forte; the midrange is.

That said, some material that I throw at mine in 2-channel mode can have some very surprisingly good-sounding bass.
post #223 of 6602
For anyone that has the iQ series in Walnut, what kind of walnut is it? The pictures on Kef's website seem to show a yellowish walnut. Typically walnut has more of a red/brown color - less red than rosewood, but still looks like it has a bit of red. Is the walnut closer to the Monitor Audio walnut (which is a little more brownish than the image below), or is it more of a yellow color that is shown on Kef's website? The nearest dealer is an hour+ away, so I'd rather not waste my time if it's a bad match for our living room.

Monitor Audio RS1 in walnut:


Kef iQ walnut:
post #224 of 6602
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post

For anyone that has the iQ series in Walnut, what kind of walnut is it? The pictures on Kef's website seem to show a yellowish walnut. Typically walnut has more of a red/brown color - less red than rosewood, but still looks like it has a bit of red. Is the walnut closer to the Monitor Audio walnut (which is a little more brownish than the image below), or is it more of a yellow color that is shown on Kef's website?

It's pretty much exactly like the iQ picture. Realize, though, that it's not real wood.

There are a variety of "walnuts" because there are several different species of the tree. For example, Black walnut.
post #225 of 6602
Quote:
Originally Posted by miimura View Post

When I was shopping a few years ago I was comparing them against B&W 703/HTM7/705.

Can you characterize the qualitative difference in sound between the 703/705's you didn't buy, and the XQ's that you have?

It's clear from the specs that the XQ's don't claim to have much bass, so can you say something about qualitative differences between these speakers in the midrange and above?
post #226 of 6602
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbarach View Post

Can you characterize the qualitative difference in sound between the 703/705's you didn't buy, and the XQ's that you have?

It's clear from the specs that the XQ's don't claim to have much bass, so can you say something about qualitative differences between these speakers in the midrange and above?

Like I said, I was not able to do A/B test in the same room. The XQ may be a little brighter and the B&W's do have more bass. However, it was a while back to actually characterize and I was a bit of a newbie at the time. Costmetics were in favor of the XQ's due to my now ancient Sony 36XBR400 TV matching the silver finish. If the price was the same, I would have definitely bought the B&W though. These are my first set of "real" speakers, so I would definitely try to home audition from here on out.

- Mike
post #227 of 6602
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbarach View Post

Can you characterize the qualitative difference in sound between the 703/705's you didn't buy, and the XQ's that you have?

It's clear from the specs that the XQ's don't claim to have much bass, so can you say something about qualitative differences between these speakers in the midrange and above?

Of course I'm biased but I find the midrange on my XQs to be much more smooth and "real". Honestly, I find the much-touted B&W midrange on that series (on all of their series, for that matter) to be a bit "brazen" and almost "grating" for my tastes. I know the B&W owners will strongly disagree, as they really love their midrange. Both speakers offer very pronounced and noticably "different" midrange performance compared to many other speakers.

As far as the high-end of the spectrum goes, I really love what the hypertweeter does for the the high-end on my KEFs. A very open, airy, and completely unconstrained sound. Honestly, the only speakers I've heard that come close are the berylium-tweetered Focal/JMLab offerings.

Now, I must admit that I have never compared the B&Ws and KEFs, straight-up, in the same room. In fact, you'll be hard-pressed to find a dealer that stocks both KEF and B&W.
post #228 of 6602
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

Now, I must admit that I have never compared the B&Ws and KEFs, straight-up, in the same room. In fact, you'll be hard-pressed to find a dealer that stocks both KEF and B&W.

In my area, nobody stocks KEF. I have KEF's in my home theater setup (Q7's-Q6c-Q1-M&K sub) and B&W 704's in my 2-channel system elsewhere (with another M&K sub). I agree with the word "brazen" for the 704's midrange, although the 703's are supposed to have a smoother midrange.
post #229 of 6602
I'm moving into the whole HDTV/surround sound arena. I'm starting from stereo, with a pair of vintage Kef 107's. Yes, I bought them new in 1987. They are currently down for replacement of the woofer surrounds. I'm looking for compatible center and rear channel speakers (5.1 setup) but will simply let the 107's handle all the bass energy and skip the subwoofer.

I'm considering the Outlaw 970 or 990 Pre/Pro along with picking up some more channels of amplification. I'd appreciate thoughts/advice on speaker and pre/pro selection. There is. of course, a budget and this is not a project that will be finished in a few weeks. I don't mind shopping Ebay for some 104aB or similar vintage units.
Recommendations appreciated.

Steve Mahan
Panama City, Florida
post #230 of 6602
Hello everyone,


Just put in the order for the Kef 3500 home theater system. Can anyone confirm if the sattelites when mounted to the wall have the ability to swivel? I know the 2005.2 swivel quite easily but the 3500 look to be built differently.

Thanks for your input , otherwise I will have to buy a stand or two.
post #231 of 6602
Quote:
Originally Posted by mahansm View Post

I'm moving into the whole HDTV/surround sound arena. I'm starting from stereo, with a pair of vintage Kef 107's. Yes, I bought them new in 1987. They are currently down for replacement of the woofer surrounds. I'm looking for compatible center and rear channel speakers (5.1 setup) but will simply let the 107's handle all the bass energy and skip the subwoofer.

I'm considering the Outlaw 970 or 990 Pre/Pro along with picking up some more channels of amplification. I'd appreciate thoughts/advice on speaker and pre/pro selection. There is. of course, a budget and this is not a project that will be finished in a few weeks. I don't mind shopping Ebay for some 104aB or similar vintage units.
Recommendations appreciated.

Steve Mahan
Panama City, Florida

I would try and find a KEF 200c. The KEF Reference 100c and 200c are centers that were designed to go with early Reference series speakers. The 200c would probably be great with your 107s.

Also, you really need to get some type of sub to handle the .1 channel at least. With good bass management, you can also have it handle the lower end for your other potentially smaller speakers. SJ
post #232 of 6602
Hello Everyone...New to the forum.

I was thinking about buying either the Kef iQ9 or Ascend 340SE.
Anyone ever own or listen to the Ascend 304SE?
Is there a newer version that replaces the iQ9?

Thanks!!
post #233 of 6602
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shock_and_Awe View Post

Hello Everyone...New to the forum.

I was thinking about buying either the Kef iQ9 or Ascend 340SE.
Anyone ever own or listen to the Ascend 304SE?
Is there a newer version that replaces the iQ9?

Thanks!!

Never heard the Ascends.

The iQ series is a relatively new KEF series already, so no, there's nothing newer that replaces the iQ9.
post #234 of 6602
Thank You Siva!!
Cheers
post #235 of 6602
I'm trying to get an informed opinion on the KEF FiveTwo's. I have not found enough info online to see if they live up to the claims. I'm guessing they haven't found many buyers (pretty expensive). At the local store here (northern Calif) where I was able to see them, they were not set up and the salespeople had no idea what the product was supposed to do (as opposed to the Yamaha product, which was set up in an environment.

Does anyone know if this is a good product? I'm debating whether to try to find a 5.1 substitute (I have a situation where I can't see justifying putting in rear surrounds) or living with a 3 speaker + subwoofer setup without any attempt at surround sound. thanks in advance.
post #236 of 6602
The FiveTwo's are an awesome system a great replacement for the Kit100 system! I just did a job where the customers bought the FiveTwo 7 system, they were in a large condo with an open living room... and it sounded great, just remember you need a subwoofer, like the HTB2.... i found the FiveTwo to be a breeze in setup, you just put the speaker leads into the receiver as if it was 5 speakers, toe them in a lil, and viola! instant 5.1... well pretty darn good 5.1 imaging, i've compared it to going to our local Magnolia and hearing the Yamaha single speaker solution (its crap don't waste your time) KEF is a great company, they will do you well, i've carried averything from iQ speakers to Ref 207's and our customers love them... hope it works out lemme know!
post #237 of 6602
I have a kef question that I will soon try to answer for myself. In my h/t I have kef Reference Three mains and a Reference 200C center. I love the Ref Threes for two channel audio and the 200c sounds great in my 5.1 system. My dilima of sorts is that I have three sets of speakers to choose from for the surrounds. I have a pair of 1993 103/3, a pair of XQ1s and a pair of IQ8ds. I am currently using the 103/3 with good results set up on the back wall five foot to the side of the couch which is also against the back wall. They are on their stands which puts them lower than ear level. Due to room openings I can not mount speakers directly to the sides of the couch but they have to be against or on the back wall. They sound good but perhaps a bit localised where they are. I have some wall mounts (for small tvs) I could use to raise them up above ear level (if you can imagine 50 lb speakers elevated on wall mounts) but doing so requires drilling into the wall and I have been reluctant to do that so far. I could use the same approach to mount the Xq1s in the same location. My third option is to use the dipoles but I can't mount to the side walls and that is where dipoles are meant to be mounted. I guess my questions are

1. Souldn't raising the speaker 2' above ear level take some of the localization out?

2. Shouldn't the soft dome tweeter of the 103/3 match up better with the Reference threes than the XQ1 with metal dome tweeter and hyper tweeter. I think the XQ1 sound great but might not be the best sonic match.

A third option would be to sell all three pair of my current surround options and pick up a pair of Reference two or Reference one for the best sonic match.

Experimentation (when I have the time)will tell me the most but I would be interested in input from some of you Kef owners.

Tom
post #238 of 6602
Well there you have it. I know it was kind of a long rambling post but no response for three days! If I were asking a paradigm question I probably would have been covered up with responses. I guess there is just not a lot of Kef people out there. It's a shame. Oh well. I guess that just means I can spend less time typing and reading and more time listening to my most excellent Kef speakers. Perhaps that's it. All the Kef people are spending their time listening to music and enjoying great h/t rather than playing fan boy on this forum. Am I on to something? Could it be Kef owners are the type of people that had rather listen to speakers than talk about speakers? That must be it. I think I will join the rest of you and go listen to mine right now!

Tom
post #239 of 6602
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobester View Post

Well there you have it. I know it was kind of a long rambling post but no response for three days!

I don't have any of the KEF models you asked about--their dealer network is mighty sparse in the U.S. I did hear the Q2ds, which is the predecessor of the Iq8DS, and as a dipole speaker it had less localization of movie surround channels than a direct radiator--it was designed for that purpose. I don't know how well the timbre of those speakers would match your mains, but why not try those and see before buying something else?

I have Q7's in front and I use Q1's for my surrounds. I place them on stands about 120 degrees behind the sweet spot and at ear level, aimed at the sweet spot. There is a little more localization than the ideal h/t system when it comes to movies, but it's perfect for SACD 5.1 or Dolby Digital music DVD's.

The AutoEQ system on my receiver helps noticeably in timbre-matching my surrounds to my main speakers. If you have that option, try it, too...
post #240 of 6602
Tobester,
Stick with the soft dome tweeters.
Selling all the surrounds except the 103/3 AND buying Ref 1 or 2 might be the way to go. Then compare the 103/3 with the Ref's.
Can you put something in between the stands and the speakers to raise them?
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