Between these two LCR options

C

curlyjive

Audioholic Intern
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.

If I disable Audyssey they just sound too dull. The best example I can give is the Atmos demo clip Shattered. The breaking glass sounds dull and flat. With Audyssey, it sounds like you'd expect glass to sound. I don't find it to be overly bright or harsh that way either. I wouldn't say Audyssey ruins things all the time....it can make things better and it can make things worse. It has limitations. I would prefer to limit it to 200Hz and below because it does a good job at smoothing out two spikes in my subs. But if I do that, the sound is just too dull.....maybe that's neutral, I don't know.

Music is a bit different, where sometimes off is fine, but also can sound a bit dull and lifeless. The reference curve isnt really ideal for music (and I am using the steeper rolloff right now, but after I move the speaker will try moving back to the more subtle reference rolloff). Flat usually is better for music, but too bright for movies from what I have tested so far.


I guess what would help me is from a technical standpoint, should I expect that the KEF Q series is superior to the Polk RT600i CS400i setup I have? My gut is yes, but I want to make sure I am not expecting too much from the Q series and going through all these hoops expecting better than what I had. I know polk isnt an audiophile favorite and I agree there are far better speakers out there. The Polks I have were mid tier at the time and pretty well reviewed (remember this was the internet back in 2002). The CS400i in particular was well regarded, but it was one of a few larger centers at the time.

I need a gut check that my expectations aren't too high and that it is reasonable to expect the Q750 and Q650c to outperform what I have.
 
C

curlyjive

Audioholic Intern
Ok, here are the pictures of the new placement. It's hard to tell but the 650c is on foam wedges that angle it up a bit and it extends past the shelf about 1." It is defiantly a HUGE difference and something I should have done years ago. Though may last TV was a DLP RTPV so I couldn't have raised that up. I think whomever said that the KEFs have as wide dispersion as they do may have been the reason I could get away with the lower shelf placement with the Polk CS400i. Dialogue is night and day better now and the front LCR soundstage is much more unified. I still am running full range Audyssey because I like the flatter response at the MLP versus it being more rolled off. I also think it does a really nice job of tying the entire sound field together with a common response curve.

In the pictures, the room looks brighter than it really is. I have the ceiling past the screen 4ft covered in black velvet panels and the floor with a dark shag area rug. With lights off, the doors are behind the projector screen are not visible and the room is pitch black. I had a light on to be able to take these.

I still have more listening to do, but this is definitely a step in the right direction. One thing I notice about the 650c is reproduces the acoustics of the environment audio was recorded in a much more defined way. This may be why some things sound more echoey than others. It is much more revealing. If the dialogue is in a large room vs a small space or whether ADR was done after the fact seems much more apparent.

So is my gut check that the KEFs are definitely an upgrade from my older Polks correct, despite the KEFs being entry level vs mid tier Polks? One reason I ask is I'm thinking about of swapping out my Polk Rti4 surrounds for KEF Q150s and I'll need to buy 4.




IMG_7595.jpeg


IMG_7607.jpeg
 
Last edited:
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
I'm glad you chose to experiment... And it paid off! :D

The Q150s are pretty well regarded iirc, I think that they will be a definite improvement over the Polks. In general, the KEF Q series does very good for itself and may indeed punch well above their respective ticket.
Keep in mind, that matching the Front 3 is the most important, and I am a fan of bringing the Surrounds into that equation (5.1 audio mixes benefit greatly from matching those channels to the Mains and Center imo). Rears are still a bit of a bastard child as program content going to them is still wildly inconsistent, though their usage has seemingly increased in more modern theatrical mixes. (Some 5.1 audio programming (DTS 5.1) does actually include a Rear Center channel rather than a Front Center, which will then be parsed to the Rear Surrounds if installed.... So even though I say it's less important to voice match all of the Bed Layer Speakers, I have in my room. ;) )

Regardless, those Q150s have been seeing some good sales recently, and if you are able to snag them on sale, I think it should be hard to pass on. :)

Just from a comparison point, @curlyjive , please post a screenshot of your new Center "before" graph from Audyssey so we can see what, if any, changes happened in the response.

Cheers!
 
C

curlyjive

Audioholic Intern
Here is the new graph. I'm not sure how different it looks compared to the other one posted in this thread. There are also some slight dips in the mains around 200-300HZ that didnt appear on the previous run. I will likely rerun Audyssey at some point anyway.

IMG_7608.jpeg


IMG_7610.jpeg
IMG_7609.jpeg



Here is the previous center graph before the move:

IMG_7588.jpeg
 
L

lp85253

Audioholic Chief
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.
I would venture that 50% of all issues and artifacts that some folks deal with are 100% source oriented.. I learned this when researching tv's.. We are getting the shaft from isp's and cable providers.... I won't belabor the issue but we are paying premium service fees for a crap product...
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
The biggest change I see is between 250 and 400 Hz where the under-shelf placement shows wide suck-out that's about 10dB from peak to dip. I've seen wider SPL swings of as much as 30dB before, but usually not over such a wide swath of Frequency as yours was.
You do have something going on in your room around 1000Hz that is showing up on both Center graphs.
 
C

curlyjive

Audioholic Intern
The biggest change I see is between 250 and 400 Hz where the under-shelf placement shows wide suck-out that's about 10dB from peak to dip. I've seen wider SPL swings of as much as 30dB before, but usually not over such a wide swath of Frequency as yours was.
You do have something going on in your room around 1000Hz that is showing up on both Center graphs.
There is a coffee table I am sure is causing reflections. you can see it in the first room picture with the projector screen up. Could that be? There isn't really anything else in the path
 
C

curlyjive

Audioholic Intern
I would venture that 50% of all issues and artifacts that some folks deal with are 100% source oriented.. I learned this when researching tv's.. We are getting the shaft from isp's and cable providers.... I won't belabor the issue but we are paying premium service fees for a crap product...

There is no question that many streaming titles are awful. Some more so than others. The worst I have experienced is HBO Max....tons of compression and the entire front sound stage sounds normalized and lower in output than the rest of the sound field. It's like they go out of their way to take an existing 5.1 mix and mess with it. I only draw hard conclusions from blu ray or UHD disc titles.
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Samurai
There is no question that many streaming titles are awful. Some more so than others. The worst I have experienced is HBO Max....tons of compression and the entire front sound stage sounds normalized and lower in output than the rest of the sound field. It's like they go out of their way to take an existing 5.1 mix and mess with it. I only draw hard conclusions from blu ray or UHD disc titles.
Due to the pandemic many streaming services have reduced the quality (bandwidth) to copy with increased viewing of content, but also to make it easier for people to work from home. I for one have never spent this much time on work-related online meetings before the pandemic. Possibly this is the cause for your experience with HBO Max.
 
C

curlyjive

Audioholic Intern
Due to the pandemic many streaming services have reduced the quality (bandwidth) to copy with increased viewing of content, but also to make it easier for people to work from home. I for one have never spent this much time on work-related online meetings before the pandemic. Possibly this is the cause for your experience with HBO Max.

I know they did that more in the UK...I haven't seen Netflix drop their bitrate myself. I can say HBO has always lagged behind in quality. But in general, the audio issues are something I have noticed across all streaming platforms (though it varies per title). Most Netflix DV/DA titles are decent. But even the same title across different platform varies. Example Being LOTR ROTK. ON Vudu and Movies anywhere, I had to turn the volume up way higher than normal. But through Apple TV app, it was fine. Of course then I just stop being lazy and pop in the disc.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
Ok, here are the pictures of the new placement. It's hard to tell but the 650c is on foam wedges that angle it up a bit and it extends past the shelf about 1." It is defiantly a HUGE difference and something I should have done years ago.
Placement, placement, placement! So many folks dismiss how important placement is to the sound quality of what you're hearing. They just cycle through a bunch of different speakers, placed poorly and blame the speaker.

Now you know!
 
C

curlyjive

Audioholic Intern
Placement, placement, placement! So many folks dismiss how important placement is to the sound quality of what you're hearing. They just cycle through a bunch of different speakers, placed poorly and blame the speaker.

Now you know!

I mean I KNEW the placement was problematic, but was able to get away with it with the CS400i. The 650c was having now parts of it. Upshot is any future speaker will be easier to deal with anyway.

So you all agree with my assessment that the KEFs (Q750 and Q650c) are superior to the Polk RT600i/CS400i I replaced.
 
C

curlyjive

Audioholic Intern
So now that placement is no longer an issue, I'm debating if a dedicated power amp for the LCR's would be of any benefit or not. I've read the KEFs can benefit from a separate amp and they are terribly efficient. I currently I have a 7.2.2 setup powered by a Denon 4700. I have been thinking about the Emotiva BasX A3 to power the LCRs and leave the surrounds and Atmos duties to my AVR.

My room is about 14x14x8 and I sit about 12ft from the mains. I tend to listen to movies about -18 to -15 on the AVR.

Would it make a difference given that I'm not in a large room running at reference level?
 
NINaudio

NINaudio

Audioholic Samurai
Would it make a difference given that I'm not in a large room running at reference level?
Likely only in heat and load generated in your AVR. There have been some issues with getting Emotiva products serviced once they are out of warranty. I'd suggest also looking at Monoprice and Outlaw amps as well.
 
C

curlyjive

Audioholic Intern
Likely only in heat and load generated in your AVR. There have been some issues with getting Emotiva products serviced once they are out of warranty. I'd suggest also looking at Monoprice and Outlaw amps as well.

I added an aircom. Could only fit the smaller unit but it really elevates the heat issue even with it set at a max fan speed of 2.


I did look at outlaw and mono price, but I think they were more $.
 
NINaudio

NINaudio

Audioholic Samurai
I added an aircom. Could only fit the smaller unit but it really elevates the heat issue even with it set at a max fan speed of 2.


I did look at outlaw and mono price, but I think they were more $.
Outlaws monoblocks go on sale pretty regularly and I've not heard of as many service issues with them as I have with Emotiva.
 
C

curlyjive

Audioholic Intern
Outlaws monoblocks go on sale pretty regularly and I've not heard of as many service issues with them as I have with Emotiva.
I’ll keep an eye out. Still is it worth the upgrade for what I have and my use?
 
Kingnoob

Kingnoob

Audioholic Field Marshall
I’ll keep an eye out. Still is it worth the upgrade for what I have and my use?
Probably only need amp for front 3 or 5? So a 5ch amp or 3 monoblocks
not sure if monoblocks are needed depends on your spl levels . What’s the best avr fan ? For cheap..
wonder if using all towers is cheaper then buying dedicated amps lol higher sensitivity!!!
Bookshelves are lower spl , melt amps more often .
 

Latest posts


newsletter
  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
Top