Between these two LCR options

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curlyjive

Audioholic Intern
I agree, that placement is not good.
I know, it's not ideal. But it is what it is. It's easy to point it out and say it should be placed differently and I agree. The reality is what it is. I can say with certainty it worked for the CS400i which was the same kind of fit. It may not be ideal and some may find the results unnacpetable, but I never found it lacking in any way for clear dialogue reproduction. So maybe the KEF just can't work there and I go back to what I had. I ran it that way since 2007 and I can honestly say it sounded very good.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
It appears to me that once you get above ~300 Hz where your mains are beginning to smooth out, your Center is still acting as if it were below the transition frequency of your room. I take Aud graphs with a pretty big grain of salt, but the "before" is usually somewhat on the money.
That placement is creating some serious diffraction interference. First thing I would do is get it out from below that shelf, get the baffle of the speaker about 1" in front of the furniture, and get it aimed toward your shoulders while seated in you LP. I would not hesitate in pursuing any option that would allow me to get the speaker up and under the TV, so perhaps raising the TV on a platform to make room for it via a platform, wall mount, or special feet that you can mount to the VESA bracket built into you TV.
YMMV
That said, we all have issues in our rooms that we have to work with and around. I get it. I'm no different. This should be an easy one to implement though, if you want. ;)
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
I know, it's not ideal. But it is what it is. It's easy to point it out and say it should be placed differently and I agree. The reality is what it is. I can say with certainty it worked for the CS400i which was the same kind of fit. It may not be ideal and some may find the results unnacpetable, but I never found it lacking in any way for clear dialogue reproduction. So maybe the KEF just can't work there and I go back to what I had. I ran it that way since 2007 and I can honestly say it sounded very good.
I understand. You replied while I was finishing. but that "simple" change may yield significant improvement. Of course it also may not. Acoustics is a fickle mistress, and is very unforgiving at times.
I would simply encourage you to look at finding an alternate solution if you are open to experimenting. :)
 
C

curlyjive

Audioholic Intern
I understand. You replied while I was finishing. but that "simple" change may yield significant improvement. Of course it also may not. Acoustics is a fickle mistress, and is very unforgiving at times.
I would simply encourage you to look at finding an alternate solution if you are open to experimenting. :)

I have considered a VESA style stand, and I haven't ruled it out. It's not really what I'd like to do as it will place the TV in a less than comfortable height. I hesitate to do so knowing I can go back to the Polks and just be happy with what was. If I knew it would actually make a huge difference and I'd be floored, it would be an easier choice but I'm still not sure I am actually making an upgrade here yet.

What I have done before to compensate for the placement is take 1/2 the measurements with the mic placed lower than ear level....so it "hears" a more on axis response from the speaker. That worked for the Polk. It may result is some additional boosting of the high end of the other speakers, but that can be less objectionable than the dialogue being off.

And agian I cant quite put my finger on it what it is that sounds wrong. Sometimes within the same dialogue exchange it sounds fine...other times not so good. And in fairness weeknight listening is mostly steaming content with compressed audio so not a fair benchmark. I need to spend some time listening to losses disc sources this weekend. Really before I rearrange anything, I need to be 100% the KEFs are actually a better speaker (or at least one I'd really prefer) than the Polks I was pretty happy with. And I need to exhaust all other options before compromising comfortable viewing height.


As you said acoustics are fickle and what you expect will work does not and often even less than ideal placement can work out just fine.
 
ski2xblack

ski2xblack

Audioholic Field Marshall
Can't you simply move it forward a couple inches? Being recessed behind the front edges of the shelf is problematic, as mentioned upthread. Protruding slightly would be be a significant improvement, but even flush would be better than recessed like it is.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
I think KEF Qs are a step up above the Polk RTiAs. Though I never listened to the Center, the Q950s were impressive, and I know the 750 met with some strong accolades.
Regardless, I always tell people: "it's your system." You have to make the decision that's right for you in your home.
Though it might burn a weekend of futzing around with it, I suspect you'll be surprised if you can get the center onto the top shelf and below the screen.
I do have my screen mounted above an upright center. Bottom of the screen is ~44" from the floor. My ears when I'm sitting up are 49". I do not find the height of the screen problematic or uncomfortable.
I only share this as encouragement to experiment. Considering the cost of these TV legs, I would try if our roles were switched. :)

If you try, and I hope you will consider, get the center foraward on the shelf, about 1" overhang for the front baffle and a slight upward tilt if needed to fire at your shoulders. Try to keep the screen about 1' back from the front of the Speaker, and just high enough so you aren't blocking it or the remote sensor (my setup right know does block the sensor a bit, but I'm a music first guy and don't really care if I have to raise my arm to shoulder level to control the TV. :) ).

Again, just friendly encouragement. May you have a successful adventure if you do! :D
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
B
Can't you simply move it forward a couple inches? Being recessed behind the front edges of the shelf is problematic, as mentioned upthread. Protruding slightly would be be a significant improvement, but even flush would be better than recessed like it is.
by the photo, it looks like the overhang of the top shelf is blocking the ability to do that.
 
C

curlyjive

Audioholic Intern
B

by the photo, it looks like the overhang of the top shelf is blocking the ability to do that.

Yep, I was going to say that...cant pull it foreword.

Keep in mind I have older Polks than the RTiA's....mine are from 2002 RT600i and CS400i. Those were mid line with the LSi Line above it and the monitor series below. The Q series is KEFs entry level, but given that KEF has stuff in the $50-250K range, you cant compare that way.

What I dont want to do is pull everything apart and risk damaging a fragile OLED panel if I'm not pretty sure the KEFs are worth the hassle. And really no one can tell me that definitely. If I am going to end up back where I started, it's a lot of work to find the time just try. Having two young kids makes it hard to find that kind of time. That said, I consider moving the center up and rising the TV if I can at least get a more positive impression this weekend with some better content than compressed streaming....I swear how they can be considering 8K steaming when 2 and 4K streaming still has awful audio I just cant wrap my brain around.


I agree the the Q towers are well regarded. I have wondered if the Q650c was an after thought by KEF just to make a center for the series, or if it is truly a capable speaker. I don't know on that one. At least I still have the Polks sitting in the bathroom along with the KEF boxes and until June 7th to decide.

I'd have to find a stand with will raise my TV to a total height of about 9" and then I'll likely have to cover the top of the speaker with black velvet, as even the Matte black finish is likely to reflect. I also have factor in the depth of the current tv shelf and the foot of the VESA stand to make sure I can fit it all....yes some overhang will be fine, but too much would be a balance problem.
 
C

curlyjive

Audioholic Intern
B

by the photo, it looks like the overhang of the top shelf is blocking the ability to do that.

Can you point out what you are seeing the center channel graph that shows the reflection/diffraction issues? I do my own video calibration so I'm used to those charts and what they mean, but I've never taken a deep dive into understanding frequency reposing graphs and what different responses mean or indicate.
 
C

curlyjive

Audioholic Intern
Well I’m probably going to order a VESA table stand and try to raise the tv 9” to allow the center to fit under. The tricky part is the shelf top is 19.5” deep. The stand bases are around 12” and the speaker is 12”. Now 5.5” of over hang is ok but I’d rather it not be out further than the mains for obstructing reasons. So I’d have to see if by using rubber feet I can back the center channel up so it’s on top of the stands foot partially and then use higher rubber feet in front to keep the center level or slightly tilted up.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Well I’m probably going to order a VESA table stand and try to raise the tv 9” to allow the center to fit under. The tricky part is the shelf top is 19.5” deep. The stand bases are around 12” and the speaker is 12”. Now 5.5” of over hang is ok but I’d rather it not be out further than the mains for obstructing reasons. So I’d have to see if by using rubber feet I can back the center channel up so it’s on top of the stands foot partially and then use higher rubber feet in front to keep the center level or slightly tilted up.
Getting the center speaker properly positioned is much more crucial with a speaker that has wide dispersion. Your problem is first reflections close to the speaker.

You center and mains have the same coaxial speaker, which is handling the speech discrimination band. You have already commented on the wide image. So that means a speaker with good wide dispersion, with the off axis mirroring the on axis. So now you have a set up where those early reflections, which your speaker will be awash with given the position, will give you poor dialog.

If you position the speaker correctly your problems will be over. You have a huge problem with that center being far too close to the floor, and other boundaries.

Lastly no speaker can ever by recessed at all. That is a rule you can not break.
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Samurai
I do have my screen mounted above an upright center. Bottom of the screen is ~44" from the floor. My ears when I'm sitting up are 49". I do not find the height of the screen problematic or uncomfortable.
I've a similar mounting with a bookshelf speaker below the OLED TV, after I mounted my new TV on the wall. Now the TV is much higher than before but it's more comfortable to look at than before. The bottom of the TV is 41" from the floor and my ear height when sitting up is 42"

One very nice thing with wall mounting the TV was that I could replace my horizontal center speaker with a bookshelf speaker which has better sound and dialogue intelligibility, especially when slouching in the sofa at the far side (which I often do when watching TV).
 
C

curlyjive

Audioholic Intern
Getting the center speaker properly positioned is much more crucial with a speaker that has wide dispersion. Your problem is first reflections close to the speaker.

You center and mains have the same coaxial speaker, which is handling the speech discrimination band. You have already commented on the wide image. So that means a speaker with good wide dispersion, with the off axis mirroring the on axis. So now you have a set up where those early reflections, which your speaker will be awash with given the position, will give you poor dialog.

If you position the speaker correctly your problems will be over. You have a huge problem with that center being far too close to the floor, and other boundaries.

Lastly no speaker can ever by recessed at all. That is a rule you can not break.

This is the stand I ordered. It has a base large enough that I am hoping the Q650c will be able to fit right on top of it. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M6114YM/ref=cm_sw_r_em_api_glt_fabc_XKVYVXP1T8B9R3Z4RDDX?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

I do worry that as much as I like the KEFs wide sound stage, there is just something odd about them.

Last night, my wife was watching a show and the dialogue was just distorted and awful...it sounded like overemphasis of fabric rustling on people clothes. I questioned if the speaker itself was defective. So I set the AVR to stereo and I could pretty much hear the same through the mains. So my thinking is these just really reveal source flaws....but at this degree that might be an issue.

Secondly I through on a dialogue drive BluRay - Crazy Stupid Love. Dialogue was very echoey. Almost like I had set a music DSP mode like concert hall or something. So I again set it to stereo and it still had that echo quality. Which makes me wonder are these speakers really worth the hassle? Are they not really that great to begin with?

It also concerns me that without Audyssey running full correction, so much high detail is muted and they sound dull. I Like that room correction can help here, but it bothers me they need it to sound good. And I don't like very bright speakers either. Thats why I sent back the SVS primes within 2 days. They were just too harsh.

I say this because before I go tearing apart my setup and re-arranging things, I at least want to be doing it for a real upgrade. It's been the root question I've had: Are the KEF q series just not an upgrade over the older Polks I have?

I agree with you all that the placement of the center is not ideal, but for 14 years I had my CS400i that way and it sounded very good. I never had issues with dialogue clarity, balance, or odd artifacts like I am getting now. Thats why I started testing in stereo, to remove the center from the equation and just see what the mains sounded like and I'm not sure about them.
 
K

kini

Full Audioholic
I agree the the Q towers are well regarded. I have wondered if the Q650c was an after thought by KEF just to make a center for the series, or if it is truly a capable speaker. I don't know on that one. At least I still have the Polks sitting in the bathroom along with the KEF boxes and until June 7th to decide.

I'd have to find a stand with will raise my TV to a total height of about 9" and then I'll likely have to cover the top of the speaker with black velvet, as even the Matte black finish is likely to reflect. I also have factor in the depth of the current tv shelf and the foot of the VESA stand to make sure I can fit it all....yes some overhang will be fine, but too much would be a balance problem.
Now you're just being silly. The Q650c is basically the Q750c on laid on its side. Same UniQ, same active woofer just one less PR. It is a terrific center channel speaker. It matches the 750s so well the I've started to listen to music in multi-channel modes. The front sound stage is seamless with music and HT use. It never lacks for dialogue clarity and the great vertical response really puts the dialogue centered on the screen.

I feel as though you're making excuses so that you can justify returning it. It also seems you were happy with your old Polks, so why change. You're just wasting your time and ours. You've got this same thread running in 2 forums that I know of. You've been given plenty of good advice that for the most part you ignore.

Whatever it is that you think you are hearing or what you think is wrong with the speaker is a setup problem unique to you, your imagination or the speaker is damaged (very unlikely).

You've got one of the best CC under $1K. If it's not working for you, move on to something else.
 
C

curlyjive

Audioholic Intern
Now you're just being silly. The Q650c is basically the Q750c on laid on its side. Same UniQ, same active woofer just one less PR. It is a terrific center channel speaker. It matches the 750s so well the I've started to listen to music in multi-channel modes. The front sound stage is seamless with music and HT use. It never lacks for dialogue clarity and the great vertical response really puts the dialogue centered on the screen.

I feel as though you're making excuses so that you can justify returning it. It also seems you were happy with your old Polks, so why change. You're just wasting your time and ours. You've got this same thread running in 2 forums that I know of. You've been given plenty of good advice that for the most part you ignore.

Whatever it is that you think you are hearing or what you think is wrong with the speaker is a setup problem unique to you, your imagination or the speaker is damaged (very unlikely).

You've got one of the best CC under $1K. If it's not working for you, move on to something else.

No need to be insulting. Yeah I solicited for advice on two DIFFERENT forums....so what? More opinions can be helpful and cater to different users.

I am certainly not wanting to return the KEFs....I am desperately TRYING to make them work and convince myself they are an upgrade. I HAVE taken the advice given. I ordered a VESA stand to being the center up to ear height. Yeah I didn't want to initially as it is a tradeoff with the video part of the equation. But I have it arriving tomorrow.

I am doing real listening tests, at this point eliminating the center and running stereo, so what I say I am hearing dialogue that sounds echoey or has an exaggerated sound of rustling fabric that I am not used to hearing....that they are sounding dull without full range XT32 correction, I am not making this up to discredit the KEFs as some excuse to return them. Hell when my wife says dialogue sounds bad, something is wrong...she never hears or see any change I make.

Keep in mind I have had the same speakers for 20 years! So yes I expect an adjustment. But what I have been looking for is data to support that the entry series from KEF ARE good for Home Theater use, are an upgrade over what I had. While the 650c is very similar the the 750s it use one less ABR and the cabinet is obviously much smaller. I have wondered if KEFs are designed more with music in mind and HT (and the 650c itself ) was more of an afterthought.

I DO agree that I very much like them for music. But primary use it HT. I think many would disagree its one of the best sub $1K centers out there. It's not even one I see as a usual suggestion.

If my posts bother you, no one is forcing you to respond.
 
Last edited:
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
No need to be insulting. Yeah I solicited for advice on two DIFFERENT forums....so what? More opinions can be helpful and cater to different users.

I am certainly not wanting to return the KEFs....I am desperately TRYING to make them work and convince myself they are an upgrade. I HAVE taken the advice given. I ordered a VESA stand to being the center up to ear height. Yeah I didn't want to initially as it is a tradeoff with the video part of the equation. But I have it arriving tomorrow.

I am doing real listening tests, at this point eliminating the center and running stereo, so what I say I am hearing dialogue that sounds echoey or has an exaggerated sound of rustling fabric that I am not used to hearing....that they are sounding dull without full range XT32 correction, I am not making this up to discredit the KEFs as some excuse to return them. Hell when my wife says dialogue sounds bad, something is wrong...she never hears or see any change I make.

Keep in mind I have had the same speakers for 20 years! So yes I expect an adjustment. But what I have been looking for is data to support that the entry series from KEF ARE good for Home Theater use, are an upgrade over what I had. While the 650c is very similar the the 750s it use one less ABR and the cabinet is obviously much smaller. I have wondered if KEFs are designed more with music in mind and HT (and the 650c itself ) was more of an afterthought.

I DO agree that I very much like them for music. But primary use it HT. I think many would disagree its one of the best sub $1K centers out there. It's not even one I see as a usual suggestion.

If my posts bother you, no one is forcing you to respond.
I find all this very strange. I have carefully audition speakers with that coaxial driver. I have found it to be very accurate and neutral with excellent voice clarity.
In addition I use a driver based on the original KEF coaxials from SEAS. That center is just plain excellent. Admittedly the crossover is my design, and the electronics very different. However I find it hard to believe this problem is due to that speaker, and suspect position/set up problems. I would disable Audyssey for one. That program ruins all my systems.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Warlord
I would look at source more closely. I watch a lot of satellite TV, and if you get close to a tweeter, you can hear all kinds of artifacts. Really annoying. Also, make sure all cables are good and secure. I’ve seen mention of seemingly intermittent issues, so maybe it’s a loose, or bad cable.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
The SVS ultra is a 3 way center. Does that change your thinking? Most center channels out there in most Home Theaters are not Coaxial designs.
But they should be- phase coherence is much better and more controllable with a coaxial design. The fact that most aren't is due to the fact that most manufacturers don't want to deal with it and part of 'it' involves peoples' perception of more=better WRT drivers.
 
C

curlyjive

Audioholic Intern
I would look at source more closely. I watch a lot of satellite TV, and if you get close to a tweeter, you can hear all kinds of artifacts. Really annoying. Also, make sure all cables are good and secure. I’ve seen mention of seemingly intermittent issues, so maybe it’s a loose, or bad cable.

Yes this is very true and if I only hear it there, I will definitely chalk it to a more revealing speaker being less forgiving. I was a little concerned with the echoey dialogue in the one movie I watched. But maybe it was just that title and again more revealing speakers...

Watching some of LOTR the dialogue sounded reasonably good, with the brighter upper midrange being attributed to the reflections from bad placement. I DO suspect some of what I am hearing on good sources is foley sounds like the rustle of clothing that are just more pronounced with these.

I am Stand mounting the TV tonight and will re-run Audyssey as well. I SHOULD have enough clearance to angle the center up a but as well towards ear level. I even made a black velvet covered 1/8" foam core cover to put on top of the center to prevent reflections from the TV.
 

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