Kef r300

Discussion in 'Loudspeakers' started by Matt34, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. Matt34 Moderator

    Matt34
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    Has anyone got to here the R-series from KEF? I am/was pretty set on getting the Q900 floorstanders but they might be a little too much for my new place as well. I'm really digging the trickle down Blade technology in the R-series. Plus they look great as well.

    KEF R300 Bookshelf Speaker Pair
  2. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

    AcuDefTechGuy
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    One member here on AH (also AVS) got Salk, then sold them. Got R300. Then returned them. Then got the Q900 system and loved it. :D

    So definitely no guarantee the R series will sound better than the Q.
  3. Matt34 Moderator

    Matt34
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    Well, hopefully I'll be able to hear them all at a KEF dealer in Denver.
  4. canelli Audioholic

    canelli
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    I have a pair of R100s coming in Monday for auditioning. And, I just mounted some Q300s with the AM40 bracket. I am much happier with their performance. I had the Q300s mounted using the included speakers bracket, and I didn't enjoy the sound as much as I do now. The included bracket really doesn't allow for much adjustment.

    I am interested in the opinions of both the R100 and R300. I thought for the price difference in those speakers, I could add a SVS sub for the lower frequencies if I bought the R100s.
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  5. canelli Audioholic

    canelli
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    I got the R100s setup tonight. My initial impression is that they have extended highs and a much cleaner sound when compared to the Q300s. Even my wife noticed the difference. She said it would be hard to send the R100s back and keep the Q300s now.

    Now, I wonder if it would be better to get an SVS sub or move up to the R300s.
  6. Matt34 Moderator

    Matt34
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    Good to hear, that would be a tough decision.

    Any chance you could snap a pic or two of them? What finish did you get?

    Thanks.
  7. canelli Audioholic

    canelli
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    The Q300s are much larger than the R100s. I'll update with better pictures when I get the chance, but you can get the general idea.

    I might consider the LS50s. They are slightly larger than the R100s and also have a lower cross over frequency.

    The rosewood color is is nice with some wood grains.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
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  8. Matt34 Moderator

    Matt34
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    I know Randy B. posted his impressions of the LS50s and said they are some of the best mini monitors he's ever heard.....and he's listened to a lot of speakers in his time. The only thing is you would have to "mismatch" them with the R-series center if you're doing a surround system.

    KEF Owners Thread
  9. canelli Audioholic

    canelli
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    If the LS50s are considered a mini-monitor, wouldn't the R100s be consider the same? And, the R300 a 3 way design which is just a R100 with a small subwoofer and modified xover?

    I'd appreciate someone to explain the pros/cons of the difference between the 3way and 2way designs mentioned above.:confused:

    For a center channel I would like to use the same speaker, but I doubt I can buy just one.
  10. JonFo Audiophyte

    JonFo
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    the R300 is indeed a 3-way, but it adds a woofer, not a sub-woofer.
    I'd add a sub to the R300 in any case as well.

    The advantage of the 3-way is it can play mid-bass frequencies (80 - 500Hz) much louder and go a bit deeper (maybe 50Hz) than the smaller 2-way.
    So it will have much more 'punch' on certain types of music.

    But for movies and true low-end, you still need a sub.

    Good idea to get matching speakers across the front, so three identical units is the preferred way to go.

    large volume distributors (online mostly) will indeed sell you three or five identical speakers. Dunno if they will do just one to add to an existing set.
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  11. cschang Audioholic Chief

    cschang
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    I heard the R300 and the R900 side by side at a recent show in Newport Beach.

    In brief listening, both sounded great to me, with the R300 a bit warmer in nature.

    Would love to hear the LS50. I have a lot of respect for Randy's opinions.
  12. DS-21 Full Audioholic

    DS-21
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    I would expect the R100 to be better than the Q300. The Q300 is IMO the odd child of the Q-series. Doesn't offer much more extension, efficiency, or output than the Q100, but it does have some of the breakup issues of the Q900 without that speaker's dynamics virtues. Also, there's just a hint of upper-midrange bloom with the Q300. I think it uses the same tweeter as the Q100, and it doesn't seem to get quite low enough to match directivity with the larger midwoofer. On an absolute standard, the Q300 is a great speaker for the price. I just think the Q100 is better, in addition to being smaller and cheaper. And the Q900 has its own set of virtues, though I'd think someone could make good money selling a real crossover for them in the aftermarket. A Q900 with a better crossover would be a world-beater in sound quality, though perhaps not in looks or cabinet construction quality.

    I'd be interested in a comparo between the Q100 and R100 though. The R100's cabinet is better, the driver is probably better, but the Q100 may reach a bit deeper and/or be more efficient (it's bigger, I believe, though I've never seen an R100).

    The R300 is a totally different speaker. Look at the Uni-Q's surround. It's much smaller, because the driver has less throw. (Probably more flux in the gap, too.) In fact, I would not be surprised if the Q100, R100, and LS50 concentrics had a lot more in common than the R100 concentric and the R300 and up concentric do.

    The woofer plays pretty high, too. 500Hz or so, IIRC. So the R300 uses a dedicated midrange driver and a woofer in a 3-way. (The Q-series towers are 2.5 ways, not 3-ways.) Assuming they're voiced the same, the sonic difference between the R100 and R300 should be three:
    1) goes lower
    2) plays considerably louder without strain
    3) more efficient.

    HTMag's measurements of the R300 are interesting. The R300 is voiced to be somewhat midrange-heavy (as is, per HFN&RR, the LS50). That would seem to correlate well to a description as "warm." By contrast, the R-series center HTMag measured was voiced much more neutrally. I wonder if the towers are voiced like the center.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
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  13. canelli Audioholic

    canelli
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    First, I want to say thanks for the explanations of the differences between the 2way/3way speakers.

    My time with the R100s is almost up and I have to decide their fate tomorrow (almost today being this Friday). I have them wall mounted (the ports is almost 6” from the wall) and worked hours trying to tweak their sound. The best two options have been using just the outer ring of the plug and the full plug. The more the port is plugged the more the sound stage is reduced, but the kefs have had such a large sound stage so this option isn’t as bad as it sounds. With only the outer plug, the speakers sound fuller and on most material sound great with a hint of bloom only on certain notes and not that distracting. When the wife played some of her favorite music, the R100s drifted into more bloom than I would like. Generally, the bloom was slight and forgivable, but some songs seemed to bring it out more than others.

    Using the full plug seemed to help with the bloom but the lower mids and bass seemed to disappear at times. It was actually confusing to tell which of the two options favored the speaker. The R100s have lots of detail, but they don’t scream it out at you. So adding some plush warmth works very well, but I couldn’t ever tell or dial in on what exactly was the “true” sound of the speaker. I hope that makes sense. Perhaps someone with more experience could have easily been able to do a better job, but I did spent countless hours tweaking a lot of combinations. The sound seemed to center on great with either drifting to plush with a hint of bloom or a little lean depending on the plug being used along with music selection.

    I took the advice from another thread and ordered an SVS sub which arrived today. FedEx did its best in trying to smash in the top of the sub. To the credit of SVS, the sub obviously got hit pretty damn hard and it survived but it will be sent back because of the damages. I am limited on space so I went with a vertical sub and the top grill looks like someone tried to run the forks of a forklift thru it. *sighs* I set the sub up anyways and crossed the R100 over at 80Hz (fully plugged) really sounded great and was obvious a relief to the R100 to pass off the low frequency duties. It’s not the R100 can’t play low and sound great, but the SVS in a smaller room like ours was just killing it. Overkill(ing) it is a better description ;)

    With all the tweaking and calibrations, I am not sure that all the difficulty I had in fine tuning the sound and ports was due to placement. Having said that, the way they are installed in my room is very suboptimum. I have some suspicions that the R100 can get bloomy on the rare occasion if the plugs aren’t installed. I think some other reviews might have mentioned this. If they do get bloomy at all, the near wall installation just adds to the issue.

    Overall the R100 is a fantastic speaker that I have enjoyed listening to and having in the house. It’s on and off axis sound is great. They produce copious amounts of bass for their size. With the plugs installed, the lower mids can sometimes seem light on impact. With near field installation, it takes some tweaking between lean and a tad overly warm. I have listened to these two options and still can’t decide which I favor. These speakers have lots of detail but deliver it a full body’s sound without overly emphasizing one aspect.

    It’s late and I still haven’t decided the fate of these great little speakers. Would the larger driver on the R300 cause more issues with mounting the speaker near the wall or can I expect it to behave like the R100? If the R300 is voiced with a heavier mid-range, would it possible be a better fit since I am going to use some type of plug?
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  14. canelli Audioholic

    canelli
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    :DI bought a pair of R300s. Should be in Wednesday.:D
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  15. Matt34 Moderator

    Matt34
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    Nice!! I'm really looking forward to hearing those myself.
  16. Tin Ear Junior Audioholic

    Tin Ear
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    I am a little lost here. I am wondering why no one has suggested pairing any of these speakers with the R400 sub that seems to be the logical and soinic match. I have looked at this sub for my system and froms a size / perfomance perspective, it seems to be great (size being a limiting factor for me). Is it the price? Is it some bad review? Is it maybe the limited availability?
  17. Matt34 Moderator

    Matt34
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    Price to performance ratio. $1700 for a 10" sub that doesn't really reach below 30hz.
  18. Tin Ear Junior Audioholic

    Tin Ear
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    It's actually a 9" inch sub :p ... and it has gotten some pretty good reviews. I am just wondering if it is worth the research to go hear one in person. My current sub does play lower (27Hz) but is ported. I am wondering if this unit will yeild the tighter bass advertised by sealed units (and if I can actually hear the 3Hz difference in range)
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  19. Matt34 Moderator

    Matt34
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    If your not interested in ULF and it will be used primarily for music, give it a shot. I think there are better options for the money though.
  20. Seth=L Audioholic Overlord

    Seth=L
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    ULF? Unknown life form?

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