KEF Q900 Tower Speakers Reviewed

Discussion in 'Loudspeakers' started by admin, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
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    The KEF Q900 floorstanding speakers are the flagship of the Q line, but they won't empty your wallet. At $900 each and deals to be found online, these speakers are in the perfect price point for those that want to step to speakers that, at the very least, look high end without having to mortgage their homes. Playing down into the 30Hz range, these are speakers for those interested in full range speakers on a budget. Highly recommended!
    [​IMG]

    Read the article: KEF Q900 Floorstanding Speaker Video Review
  2. zieglj01 Audioholic Spartan

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    So, the video was courtesy of Martin Logan - it is interesting and nice to know,
    that Martin Logan (ShoreView Industries), stands behind the competition!

    Also is this a preview or review? > Since one states "Gotta Have It"
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  3. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

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    My 2 cents: avoid the Black Oak finish. While I thought one of their discontinued finishes (English Cherry I believe) looked respectable, the Black Oak looks like somebody printed out a chintzy wood grain finish on a piece of paper and plastered that on the speakers. Of course, I believe KEF does bill it as a paper veneer (as opposed to vinyl), so maybe that isn't too far from the truth :eek:
  4. Sathishdholic Audiophyte

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    Better choices out there....

    $900 apiece for fake veneer finish? You can do better with ML Motion 40, Piano Black or Cherrywood, Aperion's Verus Grands or even Verus Fortes, Monitor Audio RX8/6, Paradigm Monitor 9s etc for a better fit and finish. I am knocking on the KEF's audio quality, but just the finish at this price levels.
  5. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

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    Who knows anymore :rolleyes: :D
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  6. Pyrrho Audioholic Ninja

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    That is pretty sad at that price point. Polk gives one a nice, real veneer starting at $325/pair (retail price, not street price) on a bookshelf speaker, and one can presently get one of their pairs of bookshelf speakers direct from them via their ebay store for $175/pair delivered (in the continental U.S.) that has a nice wood veneer finish. I don't expect everyone to give a nice finish so cheap, but at $900 each, I am not buying anything that uses a cheap and ugly finish. I can see going cheap on the finish for a really low budget speaker, so that all of the tiny amount of money can go into things that affect the sound, but at that price, a nice finish should be an insignificant percentage of the price.
  7. zieglj01 Audioholic Spartan

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    The finish and about 48.5 lbs per tower, is what gets me - they are about 22 lbs
    more than one of my bookshelf speakers.
  8. shadyJ Audioholic Ninja

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    Are any measurements forthcoming in a written review on these Q900 speakers?
  9. slipperybidness Audioholic Ninja

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    You are paying for the coax driver on the KEF, not the finish.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
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  10. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

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    Bingo. The UniQ drivers aren't cheap; replacements for the 5.25" model in the Q100 run $130* a pop. Considering it is possible to buy a new pair of complete speakers for $400, that might give you a fair idea of where the bulk of the money went to.

    *Edit: I'd also note that even at that price, they're a bargain compared to some of the "off the shelf" coaxials which aren't on par with the KEF in terms of measured performance.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  11. slipperybidness Audioholic Ninja

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    Yup. The physical driver isn't cheap. But, the R&D investment has to be pretty significant too.

    If you are worried about finish, then there are other speakers in the KEF line that got you covered. If only want the Uni-Q, then this is the entry level.
  12. MidnightSensi2 Audioholic Chief

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    100%, and a wonderful coaxial it is. My Bag End's use a similar designed driver (same manufacturer), but are active, sealed and heavily braced. I've always hoped Kef would build something similar, but, I think commercially the added bass response is a big sales tool, and also heavily bracing is expensive. I can't blame them for that in their market - and, I think they are one of the better widely available speaker manufacturers. Further, I've become a believer in time-alignments importance, especially for music.

    I actually gave these a listen for kicks helping a friend. I preferred the bookshelf q300's, personally. Like the majority of us geeks heh, I prefer good midrange over simply more. The midrange in the 900s I was not as impressed with, but in a larger room they'd be the choice for home theater. At higher volumes I could feel the cabinet vibrating, leading me to agree with the AH article/preview(?) that it could have benefitted from more bracing. In smaller rooms, I liked the q300's with some toe-in and crossed over at 90Hz. The 900s, I crossed over at 80Hz, but didn't find the extra extension and midrange output to be much of a benefit because the tweeter was the limiting factor in both the bookshelf (300s) and floorstanding (900s) models.

    That said, I was the minority. My friend preferred the 900s in all aspects. I kept to myself about my observations until he had given his. Another gentleman who had taken interest in my 'testing' hung around and also preferred the 900s.

    I wish I'd have had more amplifier options to test them with, as I was unable to test them with separates, but a Denon CI 4520 seemed to power them just fine to sufficient levels.

    *** All this reviewing/demoing was done subjectively / qualitatively. Maybe AH will review them comprehensively soon, I think it would be worthy. :)
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  13. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

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    What am I missing here? Is KEF is one of Martin logan's (or it's "owners" ShoreView ) brands?

    Since if it is not - it would be same as Ford sponsored review of Chevy

    I think it's somewhere in the middle, you know the area where speaker sounds "lush" (never expected to see this word on AH)
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
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  14. zieglj01 Audioholic Spartan

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    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
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  15. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Warlord

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    Ok, but I'm more confused. So my example with Ford and Chevy is applicable here I take?

    So how am I supposed to take a review sponsored by direct competitor, which (the review) is also happens to be one of most sharp tongue once from AH in a long while ...
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  16. zieglj01 Audioholic Spartan

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    I agree with the Chevy and Ford thing.

    I also wander if ShoreView, owners of Martin Logan and Paradigm know about this.:)

    I do not know how to take that so-called review - that was one of them quickies to
    give Audioholics and KEF more exposure on Youtube. > This speaker has had some
    pass reviews from Stereophile and Home Theater, plus foreign reviews from 2011.

    A real Audioholics review for me, is one that comes with measurements.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
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  17. MidnightSensi2 Audioholic Chief

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    Audioholics is monetizing the site through content marketing, which relies on publishing as often as possible to raise search engine ranking and hit more keywords. When people are curious about a product, they generally search for that direct model number. Audioholics then can 'preview' a speaker, and quickly rank for that search query. This drives traffic to the site. Traffic equates to advertising revenue. Generally traffic analytics is used to then 'pitch' companies like Martin Login to sponsor the costs of making videos, managing the site, etc.

    Martin Logan may be fine with this agreement regarding the videos. One of the main psychological concepts of content marketing is to make a brand a trusted source of information. When you trust them, your more likely to buy from them.

    Where this gets irritating is when it is done without regard for quality of content. Matt Cutts (s/p) of Google wrote an interesting article about when this becomes 'robotic' in nature and, generally just pollution. This 'preview' is actually one of the better ones, some previews are downright junk straight off the press release.

    In the end, this can bite Audioholics back. People keep searching, and these 'previews' keep appearing - which aren't as helpful for purchasing decisions. In turn, they trust Audioholics less as a reviewing resource.

    I have a hard time knocking Audioholics for wanting to monetize the site as best they can, but, I too struggle with some of the newer practices. The quality and thoughtful comments of forum members are what keep me here. :)
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  18. MidnightSensi2 Audioholic Chief

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    On a more serious note, Audi0holics needs to update their privacy policy. The data I see being collected is way more than their privacy policy discloses.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
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  19. Pyrrho Audioholic Ninja

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    I understand that. But at the price they are charging, a good finish would add an insignificant amount to the cost. Imagine buying a car for $100,000 that they just put primer on, and did not put any paint on top of it. Would you think it odd that someone complained about that, and tell them that you are paying for the great engine and suspension?

    At the price they are charging, they should have a good finish. $1800 for a pair of speakers is not cheap, and they should come with a good finish. If we were talking about something cheap, like the Andrew Jones Pioneer speakers, then it would make sense, since they are trying to be as cheap as reasonably possible. But when they are asking $1800/pair for speakers, we are not talking about cheap, and so a couple of dollars spent on a decent finish is something that should be standard.
  20. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

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    Really? What data do you see being collected? Please elaborate.
    gene,

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