Speakers with large "sweet spot" - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 43 Old 09-07-2018, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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In an attempt to wrap things up I thought I'd post an update. I've found speakers I'm very happy with, but it was a bit of a journey.

Because I like B&W as a brand, and because I could try them locally, I started with the 685s2. I liked them well enough, but imaging wasn't where I wanted it, and then they announced the new 600 line literally 2 days later. So those went back.

My next set was the Emotiva B1. I was pretty floored by those little guys honestly, for the price and size. Never did get the image I wanted, but that is probably more due to me not knowing how or wanting to take the time to play with placement and toe-in. The deal-killer for me was their lack of dynamic punch at louder volumes, and their loss of composure with complex music. So those went back.

Keeping with the Emotiva trend, I snagged a T2 pair. These definitely took care of the dynamics and composure issue. But man, they are *large* and *not* particularly attractive. I also came to realize I didn't care for how they sounded at more modest listening levels. They had a solid center image when positioned correctly, but to get that I had toe them in significantly and push them out into the room, and that just wasn't happening. So those went back (shipping those back was painful....literally and figuratively).

I'm now sitting here listening to my new Kef R300. I have them sitting a little further apart than the others, and toed-in pretty aggressively towards the center. In this configuration, imaging at my coveted "left side of couch" position is as good as the others, which is to say it's good enough for casual listening and TV, and probably as good as it's ever going to get. But oh my god when you're sitting in the middle of the couch...insane. I've never in my life heard such a convincing center image with 2 speakers, but it's not just limited to the center, there seems to be a pretty solid front sound stage where things are placed very accurately throughout the entire ~15 feet or so between speakers, and even extending slightly beyond. There have even been times when I swear it's sounded like sounds are coming from halfway between me and the speakers, or even to my left and behind. There've been several times since last night where I've looked around wondering "wtf was that?", only to realize it was something I'm playing or watching. Incredible.

Speaking of incredible, I've been playing the Battlefield V beta on Xbox One X, and it sounds phenomenal through these. The imaging and soundstage that these throw out add so much more than I thought they would to the gaming experience. I'm being enveloped by a very well-defined wall (maybe "wave" is a better word) of sound that's somehow 3-dimensional, meaning there's not just width and placement left-to-right, but there's DEPTH as well. I've never experienced that. It's intoxicating. This is exactly what I've been looking for.
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Last edited by swartzy.baby; 09-07-2018 at 06:35 AM.
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post #32 of 43 Old 09-07-2018, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Also, yes, I blew the hell out of my budget.
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post #33 of 43 Old 09-07-2018, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by swartzy.baby View Post
Also, yes, I blew the hell out of my budget.
At least you got a great deal as the new R series is just announced. Congratulations!

What you need to experiment with is the toe-in. Generally, I find these speakers need less toe-in than any others. The KEF LS50's on my desk are pointed straight-ahead and that seems to work better for me than when I had them pointed at my head.

BTW, as you become more familiar with those R300's, you might notice something else about the soundstage they present. For me the soundstage is clearly defined as you have found, but also extends ahead of, behind, and beyond the speakers themselves. At times, completely separated from the boxes. Just incredible.

Which finish did you get? Grilles on or off?

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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post #34 of 43 Old 09-07-2018, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KenM10759 View Post
At least you got a great deal as the new R series is just announced. Congratulations!

What you need to experiment with is the toe-in. Generally, I find these speakers need less toe-in than any others. The KEF LS50's on my desk are pointed straight-ahead and that seems to work better for me than when I had them pointed at my head.

BTW, as you become more familiar with those R300's, you might notice something else about the soundstage they present. For me the soundstage is clearly defined as you have found, but also extends ahead of, behind, and beyond the speakers themselves. At times, completely separated from the boxes. Just incredible.
Gah! Again with buying things just as new ones are announced! This time however, I'm 100% OK with having spent $700 less than the new edition. And I really, really dig the grills-off look of these.

I'll play with toe-in some more and see what happens. I also turned off the Audyssey stuff, as I've realized that was doing something to dynamic range, and turning it off had a massive impact on the imaging.
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post #35 of 43 Old 09-07-2018, 07:14 AM
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You did fine, and announcing new ones was coming for a while since they dropped the price of (for example) the R300 from $1800 to $1300 a couple months ago. (All others in the R series too.) That's almost always the key indicator of things to come.

Your speakers are still worth the $1800 price of them, IMO.

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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post #36 of 43 Old 09-07-2018, 07:20 AM
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Glad you found the right speakers!

FWIW, someone mentioned Ohm Walsh's. I have heard from differing sources that these maintain perfect imaging no matter where you stand/sit in the room due to their patented design. They use an inverted cone design that radiates from what is normally the backside of the driver cone. It is mounted vertically atop the cabinet, looking like an ice cream sugar cone upside down. Have not heard it personally, but I am curious how they sound.

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post #37 of 43 Old 09-07-2018, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KenM10759 View Post
Which finish did you get? Grilles on or off?
Ended up with the shiny black. I'm trying (very slowly) to develop a kind of "whiskey lounge" vibe in the man-cave. The walnut option would have been decidedly more traditional in that sense, but I like the modern-sexy-masculine vibe that piano black brings to the theme. Grills are definitely off.

Last edited by swartzy.baby; 09-07-2018 at 10:01 AM.
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post #38 of 43 Old 09-07-2018, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by swartzy.baby View Post
Ended up with the shiny black. I'm trying (very slowly) to develop a kind of "whiskey lounge" vibe in the man-cave. The walnut option would have been decidedly more traditional in that sense, but I like the modern-sexy-masculine vibe that piano black brings to the theme. Grills are definitely off.
Looks like you grabbed KenM10759's quote and put me as the originator!
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post #39 of 43 Old 09-07-2018, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by swartzy.baby View Post
Ended up with the shiny black. I'm trying (very slowly) to develop a kind of "whiskey lounge" vibe in the man-cave. The walnut option would have been decidedly more traditional in that sense, but I like the modern-sexy-masculine vibe that piano black brings to the theme. Grills are definitely off.
Nice! I have all walnut finish because it's in my living room and the decor is more traditional. Most of the time I have grilles on for protection from dust and cats, but do take them off for "critical" music listening sessions.

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; 09-07-2018 at 10:44 AM.
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post #40 of 43 Old 09-07-2018, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Looks like you grabbed KenM10759's quote and put me as the originator!
Whoops! Still a newbie to trying to multi-quote, thought it just failed the first time and I must've messed up the credit! Sorry! Let me see if i can correct that
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post #41 of 43 Old 09-07-2018, 10:33 AM
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Whoops! Still a newbie to trying to multi-quote, thought it just failed the first time and I must've messed up the credit! Sorry! Let me see if i can correct that
No worries, though for a minute I thought my account had been hacked!
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post #42 of 43 Old 09-07-2018, 02:12 PM
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Also, yes, I blew the hell out of my budget.
Haha, GOOD. I'm glad you went with KEF, I figured you'd be happy. I'd love to listen to the 300, my q100 is great so it must be awesome.

Congratulations on finding something you sound satisfied with! KEF has good customer service, too. All around winners in my book.

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post #43 of 43 Old 09-11-2018, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
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FWIW, someone mentioned Ohm Walsh's. I have heard from differing sources that these maintain perfect imaging no matter where you stand/sit in the room due to their patented design.
Dammit, now I went and watched a couple reviews of modern Walsh towers. Those are out of my actual budget. Wonder if the vintage stuff selling on eBay is still good by today's standards...
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