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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

I was originally planning to outfit our new 10x10x7ft movie space (aka living room) with the flat T-series speakers with T301/301c in front and T101 in the back due to space limitations. I have fewer limitations in the ceiling, so I went with the Q-series Ci160QR there. Upon calling KEF about some logistic questions, they encouraged me to rethink and upgrade to Q150/Q350/Q650c in the front. I can fit the Q650c under the TV, and I can also buy the 8" Kube sub. But the Q150/350 for L/R are really hard to fit in our space.

Does it makes sense for me to buy Q series for front center (Q650c) and ceiling (Ci160QR), but stick with T series for front L/R (T301) and rear L/R (T101), or will I create an imbalanced sound that way? Will I regret it?

Thanks!
Dominik
 

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Hi there,

I was originally planning to outfit our new 10x10x7ft movie space (aka living room) with the flat T-series speakers with T301/301c in front and T101 in the back due to space limitations. I have fewer limitations in the ceiling, so I went with the Q-series Ci160QR there. Upon calling KEF about some logistic questions, they encouraged me to rethink and upgrade to Q150/Q350/Q650c in the front. I can fit the Q650c under the TV, and I can also buy the 8" Kube sub. But the Q150/350 for L/R are really hard to fit in our space.

Does it makes sense for me to buy Q series for front center (Q650c) and ceiling (Ci160QR), but stick with T series for front L/R (T301) and rear L/R (T101), or will I create an imbalanced sound that way? Will I regret it?

Thanks!
Dominik
That's a tiny room, if fully enclosed. Zero need to "match" your front 3, and definitely zero zero zero to "match" the subwoofer brand with the speaker brand. Your best bang for the buck options:

Emotiva B1+ with C1+ center )$480 all in)
3 x Ascend 200SE (roughly $150 ea.)
3 x NHT SuperOnes ($125 ea. from Amazon)
3 x RSL CG5 or CG23

The Ascends & NHT are sealed cabinet so you can push them flush up against a wall if needed; the RSL is front ported, and the Emotiva C1+ is sealed while the B1+ even though rear ported is ok near a wall since it produces very little mid-bass by itself.

Toss in an RSL 10S sub for $400 shipped (or two) and you're done, probably for less than the KEF packages.
 
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for the response!

Sorry for being unclear, the space isn't enclosed. ~10x10ft is just the rectangle on the floorplan that lies between the FL/FR/RL/RR speakers, but it is part of an open floor plan with living/dining/kitchen/hallway. I'm not super worried about finding the best bang for the money (~$3000 all-in is fine), but rather for speaker size, as bigger speakers would get into the way.

Here is the floor plan with speaker locations ("SP" boxes), to clarify. The "FL" and "RL" locations are constraint in depth, which is the main problem I'm trying to address.

3037682
 

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The T-series is pretty much the same width as the Q-series speakers, so I don't see how you would have an issue fitting them. The T-series is actually not a very good speaker, especially for the price.
The Kube 8" sub is completely inadequate in that room.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks sigpig. The issue with the Q series isn't the width, it's the depth. T301 is 35mm deep (which makes it barely noticeable at the wall), while Q350 is 350mm (which makes it a piece of furniture). I read so many things (positive and negative) about the T series in the forum, so it's a little hard to come to a conclusion.

I'd be happy to hear further recommendations! I appreciate Zorba922's recommendations, but they were a bit more budget focused than I expected.
 

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You can get great sound out of inexpensive speakers - it's all up to your ears.
If you want more capable on-wall speakers, the HTD Versa series are a good contender: Versa On-Wall Speakers
They are capable of being crossed-over to your sub at 80Hz and come with a wide range of endcaps/grille cloth.
 

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Thanks for the response!

Sorry for being unclear, the space isn't enclosed. ~10x10ft is just the rectangle on the floorplan that lies between the FL/FR/RL/RR speakers, but it is part of an open floor plan with living/dining/kitchen/hallway. I'm not super worried about finding the best bang for the money (~$3000 all-in is fine), but rather for speaker size, as bigger speakers would get into the way.

Here is the floor plan with speaker locations ("SP" boxes), to clarify. The "FL" and "RL" locations are constraint in depth, which is the main problem I'm trying to address.
Those HTD Versa HTS1 are 4.8" deep and extend to 52Hz. Actual 3db roll off probably 65Hz or higher. You can use the standard 80Hz crossover to easily integrate with your subwoofer(s).

The KEF T301 are 1.4" deep and extend to 80Hz. Actual 3db roll off probably 100Hz or higher. You will likely need at least a 120Hz or 150Hz crossover, which means you may hear some voices coming out of your subwoofer(s)...exactly as happens with those crappy Bose cubes + plastic "bass module" systems.

VISUALLY, I doubt that a lousy 3" difference in physical depth will matter at all, esp. when sitting the average 8-12 feet away. Unless you're in the habit of constantly walking up to your speakers and gazing at them sideways. :)

SONICALLY, the laws of physics being what they are (immune to vast piles of sales/marketing BS and pricetags hyper-inflated-to-impress), the difference will be huge.

So, it's up to you whether you value your ears' happiness or your eyes' pickiness.

PS. No matter which way you go, I'd reserve at least $800-1200 for a decent pair of decent subwoofers to fill up all that open space, otherwise you are going to get a thin unsatisfying sound especially if you go with any ultra-thin speakers. So keep that in mind during your overall budgeting calculations.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Sounds good, thanks! I'll create cardboard proxies of the HTS1 and propose them to my wife. :)

Do keep in mind that "visual" and "sonical" is not exactly a complete enumeration of all concerns. The primary issue here is that this is the living room of a 2-bedroom downtown apartment with kids, and both left speakers are in active walkways. So the concerns are tripping hazards, thin walkways and corresponding claustophobic concerns, or even just visual concerns from entirely different angles of the apartment. (The secondary issue is that I'm not the final decisionmaker in the household. :))

For the a similar reason (the apartment is in a 20-story building built in 1961) I haven't been primarily focusing on subwoofers either. I currently have my old Klipsch 12" subwoofer in this apartment (moved from a previous place, it is too big now) and need to constantly run it at -8dB relative to all other speakers, in order to reach a decent overall volume without disturbing neighbors. I get that I need to fill the bass range (say, <80Hz) somehow, but I do prefer replacing the T301 with speakers that have a lower crossover point like you suggest, such that I need to rely less on subwoofers that I then need to dampen anyway.

It's a constrained situation for sure, but I'd like to still do as good as I can with limited space, even if it costs a bit more money.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sadly the HTD Versa HTS1 got rejected – the on-wall footprint is too large. So I'll have to keep looking for something smaller.
 

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Sounds good, thanks! I'll create cardboard proxies of the HTS1 and propose them to my wife. :)
That was a fatal mistake. In all matters audio, purchase first, mount in the dead of night while she's asleep or out shopping during the day, and deal with the consequences later. :)

The less input you ask from her, the better off you'll be.

It may help if you start by showing her photos of monstrous JTR type speakers to properly horrify her, after which she would never object to tiny little 5" deep on-walls like those HTDs.

TACTICS, my friend, TACTICS!!! :D
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks :) Yes, except that we are both engineers working from home all day (so, no mounting while shopping), and we are jointly planning the remodel of the apartment which includes mutual decisionmaking on almost all materials and furniture pieces. So, we both see all the tradeoffs.

As for my original question, I should probably just plan to see a KEF dealer that has both the T series and Q series, as well as the three models you suggested above (Ascent, NHT, RSL), and get an idea myself. I keep finding the highest praise about the T301 all over the web, but also hear what you are saying, including your reasoning, which makes sense.

If there's anything else that comes to mind that lives in the space between KEF T301 and HTC Versa HTS1, even if at a higher price point, I'd still love to know!
 

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The next step up from the KEF T Series is the Golden Ear Supersat Series. Less than 3" deep, but you are still looking at a 120/150Hz crossover point. If you want to get lower, you are going to have to give your speakers some displacement. You can move up to a 100Hz crossover point by using the RSL CG3 which can be placed right on the wall, but it's depth is 6". If you have white walls and order the white speaker, it should blend in pretty well, without drawing much attention to itself.

A better option may be the Totem Kin Mini Flex speaker. 4" deep at it's deepest point (it's tapered), it will fit right on the wall and outperform any of the other options mentioned. Not cheap, but then neither are the KEFs.

KIN Mini Flex - Totem

Check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
The next step up from the KEF T Series is the Golden Ear Supersat Series. Less than 3" deep, but you are still looking at a 120/150Hz crossover point. If you want to get lower, you are going to have to give your speakers some displacement. You can move up to a 100Hz crossover point by using the RSL CG3 which can be placed right on the wall, but it's depth is 6". If you have white walls and order the white speaker, it should blend in pretty well, without drawing much attention to itself.

A better option may be the Totem Kin Mini Flex speaker. 4" deep at it's deepest point (it's tapered), it will fit right on the wall and outperform any of the other options mentioned. Not cheap, but then neither are the KEFs.

KIN Mini Flex - Totem

Check it out.
Thanks, this looks interesting! Both the Supersat and Totem Kin Mini Flex look exciting, although the Supersat only ships in black which I already know is going to be an uphill battle.

But the Totem Kin Mini Flex looks almost too good to be true! $450 a piece makes it cheaper than the Supersat ($550/piece for SuperSat 50), and you think it would outperform those in our space? Or it would just outperform the KEF T301? And you suggest getting three of them (FL/C/FR)?
 

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Thanks, this looks interesting! Both the Supersat and Totem Kin Mini Flex look exciting, although the Supersat only ships in black which I already know is going to be an uphill battle.

But the Totem Kin Mini Flex looks almost too good to be true! $450 a piece makes it cheaper than the Supersat ($550/piece for SuperSat 50), and you think it would outperform those in our space? Or it would just outperform the KEF T301? And you suggest getting three of them (FL/C/FR)?
Yes, get three of them. The Totem would outperform the KEF, the SuperSat, and probably the RSL. Try to get yourself a discount on that price.
 

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Another option for you might be an LCR passive soundbar. This would have all three "speakers" in a single cabinet mounted under your TV. The only other option for good sound while being "flat" are in-walls. The Mrs has to compromise on things too...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Rayguy -- my wife approved the Totem Kin Flex Mini! Imported into the floor plan, these would look as follows (I am putting them on the other side of the doors to maximize stereo separation):

Untitled-1.png


There is a slight angle in the shape of the speakers already; would I have to angle them further so they point directly to the primary seating position on the sofa, or is the field wide enough that this configuration works fine? I'm not quite sure what part of the spec to look at when determining this.

Many thanks for that suggestion!
 

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They have a built-in 15 degree rake, so yes, you would "aim" them towards the main seating area. I don't think you need to add any additional angle. How far apart are they, as depicted in the drawing? If that distance exceeds the distance from the speakers to the seated ear, you may benefit by having them a touch closer together. Experiment when you receive them and let your ears decide the best distance apart and if any additional angle is necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I just wanted to close the thread and say that I received the two Totem Kin Mini Flex (found a pair for $450 used on eBay) -- they are great, and my wife is happy with them too!
Thanks again for the recommendation, Raygun.

Now I'm just wondering whether I necessarily have to get a third one of these for the center channel, or if I could potentially go with something bigger such as the KEF Q650C, since I don't have the space constraints in the center?

As far as wall mounting goes, things are a little complicated since I have to pre-plan the mounting and placement strategy ahead of time as this is part of a remodel. Placement is pretty constrained architecturally, and we are having the GC do all the hardwiring. But what I hope to do is mount them on adjustable brackets, so I can at least play with the angle as soon as they are installed. Since this strays pretty far from the original question, I opened a new thread specifically for that.
 

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Now I'm just wondering whether I necessarily have to get a third one of these for the center channel, or if I could potentially go with something bigger such as the KEF Q650C, since I don't have the space constraints in the center?
Nah, if you are blissfully free of space and WAF constraints for the all-important center, I would get AT MINIMUM the Emotiva C2+ ... if feeling really spendy I'd look at the Ascend Horizon center (w/o RAAL upgrade).
 
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I just wanted to close the thread and say that I received the two Totem Kin Mini Flex (found a pair for $450 used on eBay) -- they are great, and my wife is happy with them too!
Thanks again for the recommendation, Raygun.

Now I'm just wondering whether I necessarily have to get a third one of these for the center channel, or if I could potentially go with something bigger such as the KEF Q650C, since I don't have the space constraints in the center?

As far as wall mounting goes, things are a little complicated since I have to pre-plan the mounting and placement strategy ahead of time as this is part of a remodel. Placement is pretty constrained architecturally, and we are having the GC do all the hardwiring. But what I hope to do is mount them on adjustable brackets, so I can at least play with the angle as soon as they are installed. Since this strays pretty far from the original question, I opened a new thread specifically for that.
I'll be following this thread closely as I'm also considering the Totem Flex. I haven't been able to find any reviews on them (or the Totem Kin Monitor) so I would love to hear your impressions, especially with music.
 
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