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Discussion Starter #141
My philosophy is to high pass the speakers if you're going to be using subs, it makes no sense to me to ding a speaker for not having enough bass or distorting in the bass when it wouldn't happen under your normal usage.
Yeh, but maybe its also unfair to ask the speaker to do more than their advertised frequency range suggests. If they can't output below 40Hz might as well not make them try, even if setup "full range". Not sure though. I'll keep testing them full range unless somethign odd pops up and i want to try and fix it.

For my end use, running without a sub would be a nice bonus. Simpler setup, fewer things to tune and integrate. But I do have a sub already that i'm not using so its no problem to add it.
 

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Yeh, but maybe its also unfair to ask the speaker to do more than their advertised frequency range suggests. If they can't output below 40Hz might as well not make them try, even if setup "full range". Not sure though. I'll keep testing them full range unless somethign odd pops up and i want to try and fix it.

For my end use, running without a sub would be a nice bonus. Simpler setup, fewer things to tune and integrate. But I do have a sub already that i'm not using so its no problem to add it.
Sorry I was assuming you would be running subs, if you're not then I agree with your approach. You might even be able to bump it up to 60 and not hear much of a difference in the bass but it should allow them to play much cleaner without having to reproduce much deep bass.
 

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Discussion Starter #143 (Edited)
KEF Q150 vs Paradigm Monitor SE Atom

The Paradigms were another speaker that i liked a lot in my quick initial listen when they arrived. It's now their turn up against the KEFs. Right off the bat they're clearly a more neutral speaker with a little less low end and more treble than the KEFs. They're sort of similar to the C1s in terms of voicing. On the vocal tracks i've been running through, the voices sound clear and natural. As i noticed in the Q150 vs 3020i comparison, the Q150s have a warm, almost boxy presentation. I'm beginning to think the Q150s are not only laid back up top, but also a little boosted in the mids. They often raise vocals in the mix where as the more neutral speakers sit them in the mix.

The high end of the Atoms a little forward, but its more of a narrowish band sparkle like the C1s vs the cymbals-wide band of the 3020is. The tweeters are clear and detailed. I think i hear more cymbal detail in these and the C1s than the rest of the pack. I wasn't much of a Steely Dan fan before this, but I must say his recordings are incredible. His cymbals and drums with a good tweeter is a very nice thing. The Q150s again, a little softer and smoother and mask some of the detail.

I took a break from my usual test songs with some Radiohead. I listened most of the way through the remastered OK Computer, OKNOTOK and then some random picks here and there. The trade between the two in the mid range is pretty clear. The Atoms are more clear and neutral, voices sound correct. However instruments can sometimes sound slightly cool and thin. The Q150s warm things up and make acoustic guitars and strings sound nice, but the vocals slightly congested. For example, Paranoid Android, the strumming in the intro can sound a little thin, but the vocals are right. Or warm up the guitar and have the vocals slightly boxy. Same with the string intro in Burn the Witch.

The Q150s play deeper. In The Weeknd's Blinding Lights there's a nice deep sub bass playing under the synth pads and the Q150s push it nicely. It's there on the Atoms, but it has less oomph. Both would be ok playing full range in the office, but the Q150s more so.

In summary, i'll try to stop repeating myself. Paradigms: neutral overall, natural vocals, great tweeter, good sparkle, maybe a little cool. KEFs: warm, deep, cohesive, comfortable, but are laid back up top to the point of losing some detail and tend to push vocals forward.

And as a reminder, these comments are all relative to each other, not absolutes. Your brain tends to skew things and highlight differences when compared back to back. When i walk up to the Q150s cold and put on a song, it sounds perfectly perfect. Only after i switch to the Atoms does it then sound dull. Humans...
 

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That sparkle perhaps would be more advantages in a 50/50....that warmth you affectionately describe is more geared to a music set up....instead of constantly switching play one speaker for 2-3 days and try another. With me, it was very apparent what I preferred...after plugging back my current speakers after days of one or another...it was very clear what sounded best to my ears.
 

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Discussion Starter #145
That sparkle perhaps would more advantages in a 50/50 that warmth you affectionately describe is more geared to a music set up....instead of constantly switching play one speaker for 2-3 days and try another. With me, it was very apparent what I preferred...after plugging back my current speakers after days of one or another...it was very clear what sounded best to my ears.
Interesting point. Makes sense. Sparkle is addicting at first, but more likely to wear on you over time. The Q150s were my #1 going into this so i'm sort of biased. I'm sure they'll hang around to the end. If i get it down to 3-4 speakers i should prob do some longer term listens. Like you said, flipping back and forth constantly may over emphasize differences.
 

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Yeah good point. Audioholics has an article discussing economies of scale and said a typical $600 pair of speakers has about $50-$60 worth of parts. Makes the diy option very intriguing. I experienced that first hand recently, in picking up some custom speakers with Scanspeak woofers and Vifa tweeters. MTM configuration. They are a step or two above anything I've had. The finish isn't anywhere remotely as nice as something like the Polk LSIM's though.

I went DIY a while back and I haven't bought a mass-produced speaker since that time. And I've slowly been selling off the ones that I do have.

The value in DIY is absolutely unbelievable. Granted, the most difficult part is getting the finish to look good...but if you are happy with the end product you'll soon realize that $300 in the DIY world is like a $900 speaker in the mass-produced world.

OP should buy a set of $100 Cnotes from Parts Express because they will be better sounding than any speaker talked about in here.
 

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Discussion Starter #147
I've built both subwoofers and bookshelf speakers, but that's a story for another thread, my friends!
 

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KEF Q150 vs Paradigm Monitor SE AtomKEFs: warm, deep, cohesive, comfortable, but are laid back up top to the point of losing some detail and tend to push vocals forward.
Interesting - I haven't found that the Q150s lack any amount of detail, but that's compared to the soft domed RTiA series speakers I have. I certainly concur with pushing vocals forward, that is something I have noted before.
 

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Interesting - I haven't found that the Q150s lack any amount of detail, but that's compared to the soft domed RTiA series speakers I have. I certainly concur with pushing vocals forward, that is something I have noted before.

I agree, there's plenty of detail. It's upper midrange presence that's missing I think. It's like they wanted to correct, for lack of a better term, the Q100's but went too far the other way. Good speakers though!
 
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Interesting point. Makes sense. Sparkle is addicting at first, but more likely to wear on you over time. The Q150s were my #1 going into this so i'm sort of biased. I'm sure they'll hang around to the end. If i get it down to 3-4 speakers i should prob do some longer term listens. Like you said, flipping back and forth constantly may over emphasize differences.
Yep, that was EXACTLY my experience with the Q150's predecessor, the Q100.

Like spending a week with a coked-up stripper, is how I described it afterwards. :)
 

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Shoulda held on to them for an emergency :D

Haha, I was actually kind of bored of them. Looking to try something new. Probably something a bit smaller for the new space.
 

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I went DIY a while back and I haven't bought a mass-produced speaker since that time. And I've slowly been selling off the ones that I do have.

The value in DIY is absolutely unbelievable. Granted, the most difficult part is getting the finish to look good...but if you are happy with the end product you'll soon realize that $300 in the DIY world is like a $900 speaker in the mass-produced world.

OP should buy a set of $100 Cnotes from Parts Express because they will be better sounding than any speaker talked about in here.
I've heard this before and I did actually build a pair of Zaph ZA5.2, which were very good for the money but I wouldn't say they blow away anything at and way above their price range. I paid about 400 for them including the nice piano black cabinets from parts express. The Q150 easily beat them and they can be had for $299 most of the time. I'm sure many of the popular ID budget speakers would compete with them as well.

ASR reviewed the C Note here: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/parts-express-diy-c-note-speaker-review.12693/

They also reviewed the Pioneer BS-22: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/pioneer-sp-bs22-lr-bookshelf-speaker-review.11303/

The pioneer for $120 actually measures better than the C-note so I wouldn't say you always get more value doing DIY, although if you want something a lot different than the typical design or especially with subwoofers it makes sense to go DIY.
 

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Discussion Starter #154 (Edited)
Paradigm Monitor SE Atom vs NHT C1

I've been listening to the Atoms vs Q150s lately and noted that the Atoms sounded a bit like the C1s in terms of voice and high end. So to find out, i swapped the Q150s for the C1s on the stands. Because the C1s have so little bottom end i decided to HP xover them at 80Hz as if they'd both be used with a sub. A sub would be mandatory for the C1s. As i mentioned before, even crossed over at 80Hz, the C1s still don't play as low as the other speaker. I think they'd prob want a 100 or even 120Hz crossover while integrated with a sub.

Although i checked back in on my "control" speaker tests songs every now and again, i've been getting a little bored lately so wondered through many random songs recommended by Tidal. Indeed, their voicings are similar, both neutral and open sounding. Vocals sound realistic and natural. If i had to pic, the Atoms would be the cooler of the two, but barely.

I was surprised to find the Atom's tweeter brighter and a little more forward. The C1s were relatively smooth. Smooth, but still really present and detailed. Listening to some Taylor Swift song (it was a Tidal Master, but quite compressed and processed), there was a good bit of sibilance with the Atoms that wasn't there with the C1s. I'm not sure if that speaks to accuracy vs smoothing or lesser quality vs more, but the C1s sure sounded nicer. I can see the Atoms getting a little fatiguing after awhile.


NHT C1 vs KEF Q150

All this smooth tweeter stuff made me think about the Q150s. So i swapped the Paradigms out for the KEFs to see, both still HP'ed at 80Hz. Interestingly, the high ends weren't quite as different as i would have guessed. The NHTs were a little brighter and a little more forward, but in the same ball park. I found a song that had a high hat and while flipping between the two, it sounded identical. The big difference is the mid range push that the KEFs have. I'm starting to think that the Q150s aren't all that laid back in an absolute sense, but it seems that way because the high end is so laid back compared to its midrange and bottom end. For fun i turned off the crossovers and as expected the KEFs crushed the little C1s with bass. The KEFs are the bassiest of this whole bunch.

I think the C1 have the mids and highs pretty much nailed. Neutral, clear, open, detailed, but not too sterile or fatiguing. I'd love to hear a set of the larger C3 bookshelfs, but that'd up the price from $260/pr to over $900/pr! It's also starting to become clear that the Q150s are a real solid all-rounder. I've put them under the most scrutiny so far and they continue to hold up. A few other speakers i liked more for a day, but then some flaw or annoyance pops up.

We shall see!
 

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^^^Can't believe the low pricing Amazon has on those C1 speakers, currently cheaper than the SuperOne 2.1.
https://www.amazon.com/NHT-Bookshelf-Speaker-Single-Black/dp/B019PZ95J2


I own SuperOnes and SuperZeros along with RC-10's and Q150's. I like all of them but never did a head to head comparison. I'm good with the rooms they're in and how they sound.
 
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Paradigm Monitor SE Atom vs NHT C1

I've been listening to the Atoms vs Q150s lately and noted that the Atoms sounded a bit like the C1s in terms of voice and high end. So to find out, i swapped the Q150s for the C1s on the stands. Because the C1s have so little bottom end i decided to HP xover them at 80Hz as if they'd both be used with a sub. A sub would be mandatory for the C1s. As i mentioned before, even crossed over at 80Hz, the C1s still don't play as low as the other speaker. I think they'd prob want a 100 or even 120Hz crossover while integrated with a sub.

Although i checked back in on my "control" speaker tests songs every now and again, i've been getting a little bored lately so wondered through many random songs recommended by Tidal. Indeed, their voicings are similar, both neutral and open sounding. Vocals sound realistic and natural. If i had to pic, the Atoms would be the cooler of the two, but barely.

I was surprised to find the Atom's tweeter brighter and a little more forward. The C1s were relatively smooth. Smooth, but still really present and detailed. Listening to some Taylor Swift song (it was a Tidal Master, but quite compressed and processed), there was a good bit of sibilance with the Atoms that wasn't there with the C1s. I'm not sure if that speaks to accuracy vs smoothing or lesser quality vs more, but the C1s sure sounded nicer. I can see the Atoms getting a little fatiguing after awhile.


NHT C1 vs KEF Q150

All this smooth tweeter stuff made me think about the Q150s. So i swapped the Paradigms out for the KEFs to see, both still HP'ed at 80Hz. Interestingly, the high ends weren't quite as different as i would have guessed. The NHTs were a little brighter and a little more forward, but in the same ball park. I found a song that had a high hat and while flipping between the two, it sounded identical. The big difference is the mid range push that the KEFs have. I'm starting to think that the Q150s aren't all that laid back in an absolute sense, but it seems that way because the high end is so laid back compared to its midrange and bottom end. For fun i turned off the crossovers and as expected the KEFs crushed the little C1s with bass. The KEFs are the bassiest of this whole bunch.

I think the C1 have the mids and highs pretty much nailed. Neutral, clear, open, detailed, but not too sterile or fatiguing. I'd love to hear a set of the larger C3 bookshelfs, but that'd up the price from $260/pr to over $900/pr! It's also starting to become clear that the Q150s are a real solid all-rounder. I've put them under the most scrutiny so far and they continue to hold up. A few other speakers i liked more for a day, but then some flaw or annoyance pops up.
Ugh, I should stop reading this thread, or I'm going to end up buying a pair of Q150s that I don't really need at all. :D
 

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Paradigm Monitor SE Atom vs NHT C1

I've been listening to the Atoms vs Q150s lately and noted that the Atoms sounded a bit like the C1s in terms of voice and high end. So to find out, i swapped the Q150s for the C1s on the stands. Because the C1s have so little bottom end i decided to HP xover them at 80Hz as if they'd both be used with a sub. A sub would be mandatory for the C1s. As i mentioned before, even crossed over at 80Hz, the C1s still don't play as low as the other speaker. I think they'd prob want a 100 or even 120Hz crossover while integrated with a sub.

Although i checked back in on my "control" speaker tests songs every now and again, i've been getting a little bored lately so wondered through many random songs recommended by Tidal. Indeed, their voicings are similar, both neutral and open sounding. Vocals sound realistic and natural. If i had to pic, the Atoms would be the cooler of the two, but barely.

I was surprised to find the Atom's tweeter brighter and a little more forward. The C1s were relatively smooth. Smooth, but still really present and detailed. Listening to some Taylor Swift song (it was a Tidal Master, but quite compressed and processed), there was a good bit of sibilance with the Atoms that wasn't there with the C1s. I'm not sure if that speaks to accuracy vs smoothing or lesser quality vs more, but the C1s sure sounded nicer. I can see the Atoms getting a little fatiguing after awhile.


NHT C1 vs KEF Q150

All this smooth tweeter stuff made me think about the Q150s. So i swapped the Paradigms out for the KEFs to see, both still HP'ed at 80Hz. Interestingly, the high ends weren't quite as different as i would have guessed. The NHTs were a little brighter and a little more forward, but in the same ball park. I found a song that had a high hat and while flipping between the two, it sounded identical. The big difference is the mid range push that the KEFs have. I'm starting to think that the Q150s aren't all that laid back in an absolute sense, but it seems that way because the high end is so laid back compared to its midrange and bottom end. For fun i turned off the crossovers and as expected the KEFs crushed the little C1s with bass. The KEFs are the bassiest of this whole bunch.

I think the C1 have the mids and highs pretty much nailed. Neutral, clear, open, detailed, but not too sterile or fatiguing. I'd love to hear a set of the larger C3 bookshelfs, but that'd up the price from $260/pr to over $900/pr! It's also starting to become clear that the Q150s are a real solid all-rounder. I've put them under the most scrutiny so far and they continue to hold up. A few other speakers i liked more for a day, but then some flaw or annoyance pops up.

We shall see!
i've never heard the c1's ,, but i had a feeling..:) EDIT: how do they handle volume?
 

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That sparkle perhaps would be more advantages in a 50/50....that warmth you affectionately describe is more geared to a music set up....instead of constantly switching play one speaker for 2-3 days and try another. With me, it was very apparent what I preferred...after plugging back my current speakers after days of one or another...it was very clear what sounded best to my ears.
I concur with this. I especially did this when comparing the q150s with the q100s. I would spend a good week or more listening to just one pair and it gave my ears time to adjust to each. Not to say immediate switchign back and forth doesn't serve its own purpose too, just that spending a bit of 'alone time' with just one pair provides a different perspective.


Interesting - I haven't found that the Q150s lack any amount of detail, but that's compared to the soft domed RTiA series speakers I have. I certainly concur with pushing vocals forward, that is something I have noted before.
I think I understand what you are saying here, but at the same time I both agree and disagree. To some degree, i did feel the q150s did lack some detail. To say it better, at lower volumes I did not hear detail, but it came out after turning them up. Not sure how to say it better than the detail was missing at lower volumes.

I agree, there's plenty of detail. It's upper midrange presence that's missing I think. It's like they wanted to correct, for lack of a better term, the Q100's but went too far the other way. Good speakers though!
Absolutely agree. The forwardness of the q100s really did ride the line on brightness, and seemed to have split many of us here on whether to call it bright or not. In my listening, the q150s definitely took that forwardness and moved it too far in the other direction. I found myself wishing I could combine these two speakers specifically with that upper mid/lower treble range in mind.

....... The big difference is the mid range push that the KEFs have. I'm starting to think that the Q150s aren't all that laid back in an absolute sense, but it seems that way because the high end is so laid back compared to its midrange and bottom end. For fun i turned off the crossovers and as expected the KEFs crushed the little C1s with bass. The KEFs are the bassiest of this whole bunch.

I think the C1 have the mids and highs pretty much nailed. Neutral, clear, open, detailed, but not too sterile or fatiguing. I'd love to hear a set of the larger C3 bookshelfs, but that'd up the price from $260/pr to over $900/pr! It's also starting to become clear that the Q150s are a real solid all-rounder. I've put them under the most scrutiny so far and they continue to hold up. A few other speakers i liked more for a day, but then some flaw or annoyance pops up.

We shall see!
I'm curious on what exactly you mean there about the q150 mids? I definitely felt that the upper mids were a bit recessed and sometimes these sounds felt like they were covered up by the highs and lows...basically they would sometimes get a little bit lost.



All this talk I saw about the q150s made me curious. Due to the Coronavirus, I have been spending more time in my main floor space, and therefore listening to more music there. I hadn't before so just left my old Infinity p363s and Emptek r5bis (switching these two periodically) up there. Well today I went ahead and plugged in the q150s just to see. The main floor space is very different than my other main listening areas, it is a large open space living room (approx 25ft by 18.5 ft) with hardwood floors and therefore quite bright. It also opens up to our kitchen in the back, a hallway to one side, and has an opening to the basement stairway. Anyways, I am going to run with the q150s up there for a little while to see how well my memory of them is. Granted, the very different room very likely will give a bit of a different take on them..... was just curious is all
 

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I think I understand what you are saying here, but at the same time I both agree and disagree. To some degree, i did feel the q150s did lack some detail. To say it better, at lower volumes I did not hear detail, but it came out after turning them up. Not sure how to say it better than the detail was missing at lower volumes.
I haven't listened to them at lower volume levels (at least not low enough for any detail to disappear), so that would account for my assessment of there being no lacking in detail. But even that's relative since I'm not really any more than 4 feet away from the speakers. All I can say is I heard detail in a song I've had 15 years of experience listening to that I hadn't heard before (-50dB on my AXR100's volume knob).
 
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