KEF Q50a Dolby Atmos-Enabled Speakers Review - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 62 Old 06-20-2018, 04:16 PM
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I'm having trouble seeing the difference between the Q50 and R50. Their frequency response, power handling and sensitivity are EXACTLY the same, and the R50 weighs just a few ounces more.

Now, I know the uplevel product can have other, better parts inside, but usually that yields better specs too...different ones anyway. Pretty hard to reconcile the price difference on this one.

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post #32 of 62 Old 06-20-2018, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post
I'm having trouble seeing the difference between the Q50 and R50. Their frequency response, power handling and sensitivity are EXACTLY the same, and the R50 weighs just a few ounces more.

Now, I know the uplevel product can have other, better parts inside, but usually that yields better specs too...different ones anyway. Pretty hard to reconcile the price difference on this one.
I agree. For the minor bit of audio they add in Atmos duty, I doubt anyone without measuring equipment would detect a difference worth the price differential. The total differences could be higher quality crossover components, better built cabinet, improved driver (though it looks the same in most every way other than color), the brushed aluminum trim ring, and the R50's options of glossy Piano Black or High Gloss White vs. the flat white or black of the Q50a.

My pair of R50's came to me used for $800/pr. and I'd only add a second pair for visual matching purposes if I could get a similar price.

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post #33 of 62 Old 06-22-2018, 04:43 PM
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I got my first set of kef q50a installed. Sound great to me so far.
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post #34 of 62 Old 06-22-2018, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Evil2018 View Post
I got my first set of kef q50a installed. Sound great to me so far.
That's a really clean install. Nice!

How did you run the wires? Are they snaked through the wall?

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post #35 of 62 Old 06-22-2018, 05:32 PM
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Yep, they we're in the wall. I ordered 2 more pair of these, but they are on backorder. Bummer.
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post #36 of 62 Old 06-30-2018, 09:56 PM
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I have a sub powered by a tweeter. But it’s -3db at 2.7 kHz so you don’t really feel the bass.

And I totally get the marketing approach many companies take. I view specs with a grain of salt. I just assumed if the specs are both from KEF then they’re probably both exaggerated to the same degree—so apples to apples.

Regardless, it would make sense that the larger driver would have the edge.


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After seeing your discussion and considering my room has a vaulted ceiling I began to look into the egg type Keff. The older egg type (KEF KHT 2005.2) can be found on eBay etc. for [URL="http://www.kef.com/uploads/files/en/museum_pdf/00s/KHT2005_2.pdf"] cheap and have good specs on paper. They also have uniQ. Wondering how much the material used for the woofer and crossovers last over time. The speaker are probably more then 10 years old. Old review say they sound good, but not loud. I would plan to cross them over at 80 or 100.

Any thought for this type of speaker for ATMOS and how much of a difference in sound there would be compared to the q50a?
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post #37 of 62 Old 07-08-2018, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesyates View Post
After seeing your discussion and considering my room has a vaulted ceiling I began to look into the egg type Keff. The older egg type (KEF KHT 2005.2) can be found on eBay etc. for [URL="http://www.kef.com/uploads/files/en/museum_pdf/00s/KHT2005_2.pdf"] cheap and have good specs on paper. They also have uniQ. Wondering how much the material used for the woofer and crossovers last over time. The speaker are probably more then 10 years old. Old review say they sound good, but not loud. I would plan to cross them over at 80 or 100.

Any thought for this type of speaker for ATMOS and how much of a difference in sound there would be compared to the q50a?
I'm currently using 2005.2's for my height speakers. You can see them in the pictures in my signature. I painted them white. They work fine for that application. The one consideration is that the ball mount that keeps them in place and at the proper angle doesn't work that well anymore--perhaps from age. Other than that, they sound fine.
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post #38 of 62 Old 03-25-2019, 08:09 PM
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How about a comparison to the SVS Prime Elevation speakers?


Similar price point.
Again, similar performance. The main difference, IMO, is SVS did not get Dolby Atmos certification, so it's not allowed to promote using them as speaker-toppers and therefore marketed using them as elevation speakers, which turns out to be a good way to use the Atmos-enabled speakers anyhow.

SVS ported the Prime elevation, which presumably helps with bass response but some folks did not love that design in a wall-mount context. On the other hand SVS has bracket options so you can mount the Prime Elevation in more ways (sideways, ceiling) than would be easy with the KEF.

Anyhow, aside from driver design and porting, the Dolby Atmos certification is technically a significant difference here although there's no way to know what the real-world impact is. Sensitivity and power handling are close enough to not really matter.
Potentially as a down-firing speaker to be placed on a high ledge/cutout below the ceiling but about 3’ above the fronts would the Q50a stand upright on its own like the SVS Elevations? Also I know the KEF is better as an up-firing speaker but in terms of down-firing is the SVS better?

Thanks!
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post #39 of 62 Old 03-26-2019, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LRZNole View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
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Originally Posted by Nick V View Post
How about a comparison to the SVS Prime Elevation speakers?


Similar price point.
Again, similar performance. The main difference, IMO, is SVS did not get Dolby Atmos certification, so it's not allowed to promote using them as speaker-toppers and therefore marketed using them as elevation speakers, which turns out to be a good way to use the Atmos-enabled speakers anyhow.

SVS ported the Prime elevation, which presumably helps with bass response but some folks did not love that design in a wall-mount context. On the other hand SVS has bracket options so you can mount the Prime Elevation in more ways (sideways, ceiling) than would be easy with the KEF.

Anyhow, aside from driver design and porting, the Dolby Atmos certification is technically a significant difference here although there's no way to know what the real-world impact is. Sensitivity and power handling are close enough to not really matter.
Potentially as a down-firing speaker to be placed on a high ledge/cutout below the ceiling but about 3’ above the fronts would the Q50a stand upright on its own like the SVS Elevations? Also I know the KEF is better as an up-firing speaker but in terms of down-firing is the SVS better?

Thanks!
Downfiring / upfiring the KEF Q50a is a better speaker.

The only advantage the svs prime elevation has is the ability to be used as full range / main speaker although not ideal and the included wall mounting kit I believe.

You only need a drywall anchors and screw foe the Q50a's though
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post #40 of 62 Old 03-26-2019, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by macgallant View Post
Downfiring / upfiring the KEF Q50a is a better speaker.

The only advantage the svs prime elevation has is the ability to be used as full range / main speaker although not ideal and the included wall mounting kit I believe.

You only need a drywall anchors and screw foe the Q50a's though
Thanks! What in your opinion makes them better? Seems the KEFs are mainly upfiring modules whereas the SVS are designed as downfiring heights. I couldn’t find anything on the forums where someone used the KEFs in the downfiring way.

Do you think the Q50a can stand sturdy enough in the down-firing position? The wife isn't really on board with wall mounting and like I mentioned I have ledge cutout above the TV and ceiling that is pretty deep so I think I have a better chance of getting her on board putting them on the ledge.

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post #41 of 62 Old 03-27-2019, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Evil2018 View Post
I got my first set of kef q50a installed. Sound great to me so far.
I know this thread is a bit old but how have you liked the Q50a as downfiring speakers? I have been thinking about these and SVS Elevations but couldn’t find much as far as people in wall-mounting these and downfiring heights. I have KEF T301fronts so KEF would match better but I was leaning more towards the SVS because they seemed more designed to be downfiring heights whereas the KEFs looked to be more of an upfiring module.

Thanks!
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post #42 of 62 Old 03-30-2019, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by LRZNole View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by macgallant View Post
Downfiring / upfiring the KEF Q50a is a better speaker.

The only advantage the svs prime elevation has is the ability to be used as full range / main speaker although not ideal and the included wall mounting kit I believe.

You only need a drywall anchors and screw foe the Q50a's though
Thanks! What in your opinion makes them better? Seems the KEFs are mainly upfiring modules whereas the SVS are designed as downfiring heights. I couldn’t find anything on the forums where someone used the KEFs in the downfiring way.

Do you think the Q50a can stand sturdy enough in the down-firing position? The wife isn't really on board with wall mounting and like I mentioned I have ledge cutout above the TV and ceiling that is pretty deep so I think I have a better chance of getting her on board putting them on the ledge.
The Kef Q series are more in line with SVS Ultra in therms of sound quality.

Imo the Uni-Q driver makes for a perfect surround speaker with its superior imaging/soundstage.

The Q50A can be wall mounted easily. Just like the SVS and that's how i use them anyways

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post #43 of 62 Old 03-30-2019, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macgallant View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by LRZNole View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by macgallant View Post
Downfiring / upfiring the KEF Q50a is a better speaker.

The only advantage the svs prime elevation has is the ability to be used as full range / main speaker although not ideal and the included wall mounting kit I believe.

You only need a drywall anchors and screw foe the Q50a's though
Thanks! What in your opinion makes them better? Seems the KEFs are mainly upfiring modules whereas the SVS are designed as downfiring heights. I couldn’t find anything on the forums where someone used the KEFs in the downfiring way.

Do you think the Q50a can stand sturdy enough in the down-firing position? The wife isn't really on board with wall mounting and like I mentioned I have ledge cutout above the TV and ceiling that is pretty deep so I think I have a better chance of getting her on board putting them on the ledge.
The Kef Q series are more in line with SVS Ultra in therms of sound quality.

Imo the Uni-Q driver makes for a perfect surround speaker with its superior imaging/soundstage.

The Q50A can be wall mounted easily. Just like the SVS and that's how i use them anyways
Any issues with the speaker connections coming from the top instead of the back?
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post #44 of 62 Old 03-30-2019, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LRZNole View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by macgallant View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by LRZNole View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by macgallant View Post
Downfiring / upfiring the KEF Q50a is a better speaker.

The only advantage the svs prime elevation has is the ability to be used as full range / main speaker although not ideal and the included wall mounting kit I believe.

You only need a drywall anchors and screw foe the Q50a's though
Thanks! What in your opinion makes them better? Seems the KEFs are mainly upfiring modules whereas the SVS are designed as downfiring heights. I couldn’t find anything on the forums where someone used the KEFs in the downfiring way.

Do you think the Q50a can stand sturdy enough in the down-firing position? The wife isn't really on board with wall mounting and like I mentioned I have ledge cutout above the TV and ceiling that is pretty deep so I think I have a better chance of getting her on board putting them on the ledge.
The Kef Q series are more in line with SVS Ultra in therms of sound quality.

Imo the Uni-Q driver makes for a perfect surround speaker with its superior imaging/soundstage.

The Q50A can be wall mounted easily. Just like the SVS and that's how i use them anyways
Any issues with the speaker connections coming from the top instead of the back?
Sorry I meant how I would use them 🙂. But I am planning on grabbing a pair this year. I wouldn't imagine any issues though

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post #45 of 62 Old 06-09-2019, 12:13 PM
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Anyone got any ideas how to surface ceiling mount these?
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post #46 of 62 Old 07-18-2019, 09:19 AM
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I recently purchased a pair open box and I'm excited to get them installed. I looked at the manual for wall mounting and KEF recommends positioning them 2 feet above ear level; see page 7:

https://www.kefdirect.com/pub/media/...50a_Manual.pdf

I only have one pair so I planned on having them down-firing as close to the ceiling as possible, which seemed to be the go-to recommendation for other down firing speakers, but now I'm not so sure. Trying it both ways isn't really an option because I'd have to drill another set of holes and listen to my wife about it.

Anyone have the KEFs mounted close to the ceiling? The manual recommendation is bizarre because I feel the angle isn't appropriate for the MLP to get the sound. Any advice would be great.

I planned on doing something similar to this but with the KEFs:

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post #47 of 62 Old 07-18-2019, 09:32 AM
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Anyone have the KEFs mounted close to the ceiling?

Here's the way I have mine setup, the ceiling is 9 ft. to give you some scale. I find they do a nice job for atmos soundtracks, and I think getting them higher up and away from the front soundstage is key for this kind of setup to have good seperation.
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post #48 of 62 Old 07-18-2019, 11:45 AM
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Here's the way I have mine setup, the ceiling is 9 ft. to give you some scale. I find they do a nice job for atmos soundtracks, and I think getting them higher up and away from the front soundstage is key for this kind of setup to have good seperation.
That looks really good. Thank you for providing a pic. Did you ever try them at KEF's recommended 2 feet about ear level? I don't see how they would be effective a that height.
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post #49 of 62 Old 07-18-2019, 01:28 PM
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I think 2 ft above ear level is the recommended height for side and rear surround speaker placement, not for Atmos installations UNLESS they are aimed at a ceiling for bouncing the sound.

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post #50 of 62 Old 07-18-2019, 03:05 PM
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I think 2 ft above ear level is the recommended height for side and rear surround speaker placement, not for Atmos installations UNLESS they are aimed at a ceiling for bouncing the sound.
Ah, that makes sense. The diagram in the manual has the two feet above ear level if you wall mount for a side configuration; it doesn't have a recommendation for a front mount, but perhaps that's because the expectation would be as close to ceiling as possible.

Appreciate the replies. Thanks again.
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post #51 of 62 Old 07-18-2019, 04:49 PM
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How can these work as both Atmos bouncers and heights? Do they have a switch to turn off the bouncer hrtf?

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post #52 of 62 Old 07-18-2019, 05:37 PM
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How can these work as both Atmos bouncers and heights? Do they have a switch to turn off the bouncer hrtf?
Just a matter of which way you have them angled!

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post #53 of 62 Old 07-19-2019, 10:55 AM
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Just a matter of which way you have them angled!
Not possible. Dolby specifies specific treble FR manipulations as their target curve for bouncers. From the patent:



Perhaps for movie applications or uncritical listeners it is a distinction without a difference. For people who listen closely to program material unencumbered by attention-diverting lightshows, such as multichannel music or 2-channel upmixes, the presence of Atmos bouncer treble EQ on a height speaker is...problematic.
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post #54 of 62 Old 07-20-2019, 04:46 PM
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^ I was about to say. These are somewhat tempting, but if their response is designed for an upfiring module, no way I would put them on a wall for direct-fire use. Perhaps with room correction you could iron them out?

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post #55 of 62 Old 08-13-2019, 12:27 AM
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I just ordered a pair of r50's directly from KEF. I will post pictures once I receive them. I am hoping they do have keyhole slots for wall-mounting (even though KEF themselves last night that the r50's do not have wall-mounting capabilities.

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post #56 of 62 Old 08-13-2019, 03:11 AM
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I just ordered a pair of r50's directly from KEF. I will post pictures once I receive them. I am hoping they do have keyhole slots for wall-mounting (even though KEF themselves last night that the r50's do not have wall-mounting capabilities.
They do not have any brackets, nor holes for brackets. You would have to add them, and drill into the nice cabinets to do that. Or, get wall mounts.

KEF R500, R200C, R100, R50, SVS SB2000 sub, NAD T758v3 AVR, LG UP875 4K BlueRay, Samsung UN55JU6500F 4K LED TV, KEF M500 headphones, Sony CDP-CE500 CD changer. Office: NAD M10, KEF LS50, KEF Kube 10b, Pro-Ject RPM1 TT w/ Ortofon 2M Red. Guest room: Hafler 300 L-R, KEF Reference Model 100 center, KEF iQ10 surrounds, modded M&K V-90 sub, Bluesound Vault 2.

Last edited by KenM10759; 08-13-2019 at 03:16 AM.
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post #57 of 62 Old 08-13-2019, 06:21 PM
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Just a matter of which way you have them angled!
Not possible. Dolby specifies specific treble FR manipulations as their target curve for bouncers. From the patent:



Perhaps for movie applications or uncritical listeners it is a distinction without a difference. For people who listen closely to program material unencumbered by attention-diverting lightshows, such as multichannel music or 2-channel upmixes, the presence of Atmos bouncer treble EQ on a height speaker is...problematic.
Then why would KEF bother pre-installing a wall mount bracket. They state I'm their site they are design to be used in both configuration

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post #58 of 62 Old 08-13-2019, 06:41 PM
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I'm thinking the AVR adjusts the response of the speaker if you choose "Dolby Enabled" rather than a height or top (normal) speaker. Can anyone confirm? Only way I can see it working.

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post #59 of 62 Old 08-13-2019, 08:01 PM
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Then why would KEF bother pre-installing a wall mount bracket. They state I'm their site they are design to be used in both configuration
Your trust in authority is touching, but inconsistent with the facts. Those facts are, either

1) The speakers incorporate the Dolby Atmos bouncer treble contour into their frequency response and are thus not suitable to be used as height speakers.

OR

2) The speakers do not incorporate the Dolby Atmos bouncer treble contour into their frequency response and are thus not suitable to be used as Atmos bouncers.

There does not appear to be a switch to engage/disengage the Atmos bouncer frequency response function, so one of the above statements must be true.

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I'm thinking the AVR adjusts the response of the speaker if you choose "Dolby Enabled" rather than a height or top (normal) speaker. Can anyone confirm? Only way I can see it working.
Generally it is not a good idea to equalize the anechoic response of a speaker based on listening position measurements.

I am very surprised the review did not address this basic - and critical - factual issue.

I suppose it also says something about how little regard people who think about audio have for bouncers generally that nobody even thought to ask the question until the review was over a year old.

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post #60 of 62 Old 08-14-2019, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post
Your trust in authority is touching, but inconsistent with the facts. Those facts are, either

1) The speakers incorporate the Dolby Atmos bouncer treble contour into their frequency response and are thus not suitable to be used as height speakers.

OR

2) The speakers do not incorporate the Dolby Atmos bouncer treble contour into their frequency response and are thus not suitable to be used as Atmos bouncers.

There does not appear to be a switch to engage/disengage the Atmos bouncer frequency response function, so one of the above statements must be true.



Generally it is not a good idea to equalize the anechoic response of a speaker based on listening position measurements.

I am very surprised the review did not address this basic - and critical - factual issue.

I suppose it also says something about how little regard people who think about audio have for bouncers generally that nobody even thought to ask the question until the review was over a year old.

I have more reasons to trust my ears and KEF than an "expert" authority on an internet forum who I know nothing about.

I have the R50's and like how the low ceiling, the speakers, and Dirac Live have all combined to make for a much more dynamic home theater experience than I get at most of the commercial theaters near me.

KEF R500, R200C, R100, R50, SVS SB2000 sub, NAD T758v3 AVR, LG UP875 4K BlueRay, Samsung UN55JU6500F 4K LED TV, KEF M500 headphones, Sony CDP-CE500 CD changer. Office: NAD M10, KEF LS50, KEF Kube 10b, Pro-Ject RPM1 TT w/ Ortofon 2M Red. Guest room: Hafler 300 L-R, KEF Reference Model 100 center, KEF iQ10 surrounds, modded M&K V-90 sub, Bluesound Vault 2.
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