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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry if there is a thread out there for the XQ series already, but I did not see anything in my travels.. minus one for the Q5.


I am looking at possibly replacing my DefTech 7004 front's with the KEF XQ5's. My local dealer doesn't carry these, so how do they sound compared to DefTech or other brands around $1600? I'll use them for 50% music and 50% HT.


I have a Pioneer Elite 74TXVi on order, and an Adcom GFA-5400 driving my current fronts.
 

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I'm not the biggest fan of KEF's Q series of speakers. I think they sound quite harsh to the ear. Then again, that is my personal opinion. Their XQ and Reference series are a completely different story however.
 

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You may want to hold off on the Q's until you hear the new Qi's ;)
 

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Same here. Listened to Q series in an A/B with B&W 604s, Dynaudio Audience 72 I think, Jm Lab Chorus 726 and Klipsch RF 35. To my ears KEF were the worst sounding of the lot. Lack of bass, aggressive mid range, lack of clarity etc.


Sincerely,

-dollarman
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all for the quick responses and opinions. I'm happy with my DefTech's (love them for HT), but for music fronts they sound too 'spacious' being bipolars. Maybe I can tweak the placement closer to the wall to cut down on the effect. Plus having built-in subs w/ the 7004s, I think the KEF's just wouldn't do it for me. Someone recommended them to me so I was wondering.

Quote:
Their XQ and Reference series are a completely different story however.
I think those are out of my $1500 price range. :)
 

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Old Qs were better with silk dome twitter. I had them for 5 years. New ones too bright for my taste. Consider XQs.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ_JonnyV
I'm not the biggest fan of KEF's Q series of speakers. I think they sound quite harsh to the ear. Then again, that is my personal opinion. Their XQ and Reference series are a completely different story however.


I have to agree with DJ-JonnyV. I think that the Kef Q's are a harsh sound speaker. However, the Reference and XQ are a whole other world.


Question for you DJ-JonnyV.

In your opinion, which series of speakers (Kef Reference or KEF XQ) would be better for a small apartment listening room (12 long x 10 feet wide). I know that the Reference sounds betters but in a small listening room do you think that it would make a difference. I have listened to them both extensively and they sound very similar. The Reference has much better bass; however, in a small listening room would the bass from the XQ series be better for my room. It sounds like that you have listened to both of them quite extensively and I was hoping to get your opinion. I have beat my head against the wall listening to the both. Luckily, I have a hard head. :D
 

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KEFs (even the Q series) are unforgiving, finesse speaker that are not for everyone. I both love and hate mine. I know that many disagree, but I find their midrange and high-end clarity hard to match. The low-end performance of the smaller KEFs that I have (Q1s and XQ1s), on the other hand, is pretty weak.


Since I've been using KEFs, I have auditioned, both in-home and at stores, several other speakers. Many have had better low-end performance but none could compete with the KEFs (even the Qs) mid to high-end clarity. "Bright" is not a bad thing if done properly. These speakers aren't just bright, they're brilliant; even the Qs that don't have the hypertweeter. I don't find them harsh or shrill, the way a Klipsch may be shrill in the high-end, at all. But the brilliance is a double-edged sword, as they sometimes sound, to me, too articulate and edgy. They'll expose things in recordings that you never heard before. This can be both good and bad.


The UniQ driver works well at accomplishing what it's supposed to and, IMO, with it's wide dispersion and midrange clarity, lends itself well to HT applications.


I would think that the bass performance of the Q11s would be sufficient if not substantial; those things are monsters. I had Q5s and their bass wasn't so weak.


I don't ever recommend KEFs to people. I only tell them that if they're interested, to make certain that they give them a good listen to make sure they have a sound that they like. I've not listened extensively to the Q11s, but as a 4-way offering (aren't they?) in the Q series, I, personally, would expect them to sound great. Take a pair home to try them out, if you're able. However, as someone posted here, the new iQ series is going to soon replace the Qs. If you DO get the Q11s, you might/should be able to get a good clearance deal.


Regarding comparing XQs to Qs, I can only tell you my experience with the XQ1s and Q1s. The XQs, of course, have a much more exquisite high-end, but the low end on the Qs, although it may not be cleaner, is definitely more substantial, both in output and extension. With the standard 80Hz xover, I'm able to integrate Q1s with my sub much more smoothly than XQ1s. If forced to give an opinion, personally, I would say that the benefits of the XQ1s over the Q1s are not worth the greater than 3-fold price difference. A comparison of other comparable speakers across the 2 lines, though (for example Q5 vs. XQ5), might reveal more substantial differences in performance.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim
Regarding comparing XQs to Qs, I can only tell you my experience with the XQ1s and Q1s. The XQs, of course, have a much more exquisite high-end, but the low end on the Qs, although it may not be cleaner, is definitely more substantial, both in output and extension. With the standard 80Hz xover, I'm able to integrate Q1s with my sub much more smoothly than XQ1s. If forced to give an opinion, personally, I would say that the benefits of the XQ1s over the Q1s are not worth the greater than 3-fold price difference. A comparison of other comparable speakers across the 2 lines, though (for example Q5 vs. XQ5), might reveal more substantial differences in performance.
Sivadselim

I owned (and still own) the previous Kef Q series and I still remember when I stepped into "Ultimate Electronics" and listed to the Kef XQ series after being in Korea. After my first listen to the Kef XQ series I gave up listening to music on my Lexicon MC-8 until I could afford to buy better speakers. Boy, what an impressive display.


I have spent probably over 6 months of listening to the three series of speakers and I just don't care for the Q series anymore. The clarity and detail from the other two series (XQ and Reference) is really good. I have compared the Q5 to the XQ5 and to my ears "hands down" the XQ5 is the clear winner. The midrange and detail that I heard from the XQ was light ears beyond the Q5. What made comparing the speakers easier was the all three speakers were next to each other. It was very easy to compre all three and see which sounded better.

The sound from the Reference speaker is another story all together.


I am glad that all of us Kef owners are talking speakers. It is rare on this forum that we get together and talk about them. I really love the sound that Kef puts out. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What is the MSRP on the KEF XQ5's? They sound more along the lines of what I would be looking for. It's hard to listen to them because my local dealer doesn't carry them.


Also, if I do decide on a XQ model, what amps/receivers do they sound best with (ie. Rotel, Outlaw, Adcom, Sherbourn)? If I have to do too much changing around.. I'll just wait till later when I do a system upgrade.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vabch22
What is the MSRP on the KEF XQ5's?
$3K
 

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XQ5's retail for $1499 each ;)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim
$3K
You might be able to get a dealer to discount these. I was able to get a good discount from my dealer. However, Ultimate Electronics is one of the biggest sellers for Kef speakers in America.


BTW If you decide to listen to the Kef XQs, please don't listen to the Kef Reference Series. They sound quite heavenly and priced very high. Do love the sound of them. It seems strange that you can't find a dealer that has the KEF Xqs. I have talked to other dealers around the country on the phone and these speakers seems to be a very popular.



I can't really say what Amp wound sound best with them. I am comtemplating a Adcom 5 channel amp if I purchase these. I can get an Adcom amp at a good price. I will be purchasing a 125 x 5 amp to drive 5 channels of my speakers. Also, will recycle a Denon power amp that I have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
David,


I live in the boonies right now, and the dealer here only carries DefTech, Paradigm, and some others. KEF isn't one of them for some reason? Needless to say I never heard of them until I put this post up asking for info.


I've been looking at the Adcom GFA-7705 due to the fact if I got the 7605 I would just want to upgrade it later. I've been happy with my 5400.


I did some calling around and can get a price on the XQ5's that I cannot pass up. I'll order them, demo in my room with the DefTech's and see who wins. :) I'll post my first impressions if anyone would like.


Matt
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vabch22
David,


I live in the boonies right now, and the dealer here only carries DefTech, Paradigm, and some others. KEF isn't one of them for some reason? Needless to say I never heard of them until I put this post up asking for info.


I've been looking at the Adcom GFA-7705 due to the fact if I got the 7605 I would just want to upgrade it later. I've been happy with my 5400.


I did some calling around and can get a price on the XQ5's that I cannot pass up. I'll order them, demo in my room with the DefTech's and see who wins. :) I'll post my first impressions if anyone would like.


Matt
Matt, I understand about living in the boonies (I am from Georgia). You must live in the western part of the state of Virginia. Please post back on the results of your comparisons. BTW, I do love the way the DefTech's sound (however, IMHO they are not made for a small listening room). Hopefully, you will not be disappointed by the sound of the KEFs.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by david*roy
Question for you DJ-JonnyV.

In your opinion, which series of speakers (Kef Reference or KEF XQ) would be better for a small apartment listening room (12 long x 10 feet wide). I know that the Reference sounds betters but in a small listening room do you think that it would make a difference. I have listened to them both extensively and they sound very similar. The Reference has much better bass; however, in a small listening room would the bass from the XQ series be better for my room. It sounds like that you have listened to both of them quite extensively and I was hoping to get your opinion. I have beat my head against the wall listening to the both. Luckily, I have a hard head. :D
Hey, David, be glad to help you out as much as possible. I guess the real question you need to ask is what's your budget? Are the Kef Refs even an option? If not due to budget constraints then the choice is simple. If no budget constraints or will cover smaller Kef Refs, then it gets difficult. Also, will you be integrating a sub with them? If you are integrating a good sub to just round out that low end, and not overpower your music, and in that small of a room, then probably the XQ1s would do you good. There's a few Ultimate Electronics in StL and they had some XQ1s playing in one of their demo rooms with all the other speakers/equipment in it, and it was the first time that I actually turned around to see what speakers were playing, they caught my ear that much. I though what a great sound from a bookshelf. Now, the XQ1s go to 60Hz on the low end, and the Kef Ref 201s go to 58Hz on the low end, so on paper you would not be giving up that much between the two. However...I think the 201s are just a darling of a bookshelf speaker. I've listened to them quite extensively (been a little while though), and they just sound so good. They have just about everything I like in a speaker, good, clean, reproduction of music, they just present the music for what it is. I agree with you in that they do seem to have more, tighter bass than the XQ1s when listening to them. I think MSRP on them is $4K w/ stands??? MSRP on XQ1s is $1500 w/out stands??? That's quite a chunk of change difference. I would say that the XQ1s would suit you quite well, especially given your room. They seemed to fill the UE showroom quite nicely and it was much bigger than yours. Then, again, if I had the money maybe I could talk myself into the 201s...I know, kind of a copout answer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hello all,


I went ahead and changed the topic to the XQ series since that seems to be more along the lines of what I am looking for. Money wise, I decided to hold off on the purchase of the KEF's.


Please continue to use this thread for talking about KEF and various models if you like. I want to see more opinions and thoughts, current setups, etc. to base my decision on later.


Thanks again,

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The itch finally got to me. I decided to save some money and get the XQ1's for now and see how they do. I know it will not be far, but I'm going to compare them to my DefTech BP2X's.
 

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I'm surprised at all the negativity about the Q-series. I recently picked up four KEF Q-Compacts, to fill out a surround system that currently uses KEF Q15/Q95c as LCR speakers and twin bespoke subwoofers with 1.8L aggregate volume displacement. (The next upgrade phase will be to replace the front KEFs with bespoke speakers built around Tannoy duals for LR and a System 800 studio monitor for the center channel. The Q-Compacts will stay as surrounds.)


In the bass obviously the bigger Q15s were better, but with an appropriate high-pass the mids were similar but more liquid on the Q-Compact. The treble was the biggest difference, with the Q-Compacts trouncing the older Q15 in my estimation despite being a metal dome rather than my preferred soft domes. It just goes up and up and up and up but in the lower treble sounds like a soft dome. Taking one apart, these speakers drive-units are built very well, with a cast frame featuring spider ventilation that would not be out of place on a $100+ Seas Excel or ScanSpeak driver. At $55 a piece including local sales tax, I'm astounded at how good these little things are.
 
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