Originally Posted by Mick1234
Hi folks, 3 questions:
1) Has anyone heard the difference between the R5 and the R7? For a 5.1 setup do I get much more from the R7?
2) The R3s are too big for me to use as surrounds in my room. Would the R100s or the Q150s work as a substitute? Any other suggestions?
3) What avr would people recommend? I currently have a Dennon x3200w, but I'm afraid this receiver wouldn't do these speakers any justice.
Thanks in advance for your help.
~ hifi newb
I'm a KEF dealer and have been for nearly 10 years, so I have significant experience with the models you're asking about as well as their predecessors. The R series is a unique and beautiful product. Clients have said they get compliments and questions about them all the time and have been very very pleased.
Some notes regarding your questions...
- For theater duties in a 5.1 (or any multi-channel setup, really) there won't be a world of difference between the R7 & R5 until you get up into trying to do some higher volume listening (theater levels) or if you're in a upper medium to large room. For example: My room is 13'x25'x8' = 2,600 cubic feet - under THX Ultra2 spec - and I sit 13' & 17' away. Either speaker would do well, with the R7 being the "bigger', fuller sounding setup.
- For 2 channel music, the R7 will be the winner there. No question. The trick, though, will be placement. You will want the R7 set correctly for your room to get their best performance. If you will be constrained in space or having to stick these right up against a boundary or corner, I would recommend the smaller R5 as it will be easier to integrate into a space like that.
- I'm of a different opinion than the others here when it comes to the surrounds. Whenever budget allows voice matching or speakers of the same series is typically the ideal. You can get away with stepping down if you need, but here is why I usually recommend staying in series.
The reasons are numerous. In no particular order...
1: The R-Series has a distinct and beautiful look. Having those up front and then the Q series in the back won't be as aesthetically uniform and will look like a half measure.
2: Uniform Sound. Setting aside digital surround sound, lets look at another common sound format: Multi Channel Stereo. I listen to lots of content this way - some music, sporting evens, most TV shows. You can absolutely, positively tell a difference between speaker grades in this format as they are all playing at once.
^ As someone that enjoys a fair amount of content in all channel stereo, the above is important enough to me that, in my personal systems, everything is series or voice matched as close as possible. Especially since when my kid goes to bed I like to have a lower volume, but still want to hear everything as I walk around the house or move around. The difference in quality between front & back can be apparent in this sound mode.
3: Similar Capabilities. Having a system where the fronts are able to play larger volume levels without distortion or cabinet resonances is awesome... until the rears can't match them and become obvious weak points in the room. If matching the R series in the surrounds is out due to $, the others are good in the recommendation of stepping down to the Q series.
^ I would even look at the Q series in-wall speakers if that type of install's an option as they wouldn't be as visually different and relatively stealthy.
- On the receiver front, If yours seems a little weak (it just might) I'm a dealer of Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, Pioneer/Elite, Integra, and others. I tend to cherry pick for what the project needs, but my favorite receiver line is the Yamaha Aventage Line. The RX-A2080 would be an outstanding receiver for your room size and either of those speakers.
I'm going to have to try Onkyo's new RZ line just to see how I feel about it. There are aspects of those that look outstanding. I haven't ventured into the receiver thread to read opinions, and I probably won't. I like to try things without expectation.
- Regarding room correction: IMO, the benefits are WAY overblown and overstated. I've seen some incredible assertions where people hype up room correction as if it's some sort of crappy system or room fixing silver bullet. It's not. It can help, or it can hurt. We rarely use it on our projects as it can make a mess of things and be a waste of time. My hands are on a lot of receivers a year. They all have their plus & minus sides.
I would rarely, if ever recommend buying one receiver over another because of it's software. I think it's something to talk about, so guys bring it up like it's some saving grace, miracle potion for bad choices. If your room is acoustically bad, fix it in the physical realm first. If your speakers sound bad.... buy proper ones. Software isn't going to make bad speakers sound good, but if can make good speakers sound bad.
Buy your receiver based on DURABILITY, POWER, INPUTS, and then... somewhere down the line is software that you may or may not use. The forum is littered with, I would guess, a hundred threads praising or damning each manufacturer's auto-cal. The flavor of the month changes all the time. My professional opinion is to try it with out, try it with, and then choose one and mess with it to your liking.
Feel free to ask questions. I'm sure others will chime in with their experiences as well. Best of luck to you!