Audioholic Samurai
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Thanks for sharing that. I got that book too, went through it and made it the 1st entry in my son's "coffee table book" collection. (Mine is overflowing.)

I agree, the new R series with the right amps and source material is scary close to the current Reference series. All I can surmise is that the next iteration of KEF Reference speakers now have a much higher bar to reach.


I attended an open house last night at my local KEF dealer, Home Theater Technologies in Colleyville, TX. I got to listen to the new LSX, R3, R5 and R11.

The LSX was very impressive and impressively clear and dynamic from such a small enclosure. There was plenty of bass by its lonesome, but teaming up with an R400b subwoofer created an incredible 2.1 system. I like all of the choices if inputs, especially the addition of Roon as that is what I use at home.

They had the new R3 set up side-by-side with the R300, which was an interesting comparison. The R3's upper midrange was more open and clear (it sounded a lot like the LSX) but the R300's bass was deeper and fuller. The proprietor said it was a function of break-in as the R3s were brand new. If that is true, I would like to go back and have a listen at later point... I could live with either.

The R11s were connected to an Anthem STR integrated amp running ARC. OMG - what a pairing! Yeah, $9500 for both is a bit out of my budget but this is one of the first times where I've heard something in that price range and said, "Yeah, that's totally worth it." The R11s are dangerously close to the References. If I had my druthers, it would be the Reference 1 in my setup, but wow.

They had the R5 out at the kid's table (Sonos Connect) and it was obvious. If they want to sell the R5, they need to set them up with the adult's system. Granted, the fine folks at HTT are perfectly willing to do so - just make sure to ask as the Sonos was not doing them any favors.

There is a demo pair of white R500s that I heard last spring and the owner is offering a smoking deal on them. If I can sell my Q750s for a decent price, I will snatch them or the R300 (in walnut) up.

All in all, it was a fine evening. All that was missing was Johan Coorg, but Tom Rodgers of KEF was very nice and knowledgeable. For my troubles, I was presented a parting gift (something that has been on my radar for a while):
View attachment 26995
I think I've found my new audio partner!

Edit: What I find amazing is that KEF is willing to sell the R11 for the same price as the outgoing R900! If you have the budget ($5K) and can listen to them in an appropriate environment (i.e., not BestBuy) I believe you will be impressed. I certainly was!
Thanks for a very informative post.

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