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KEF Concerto

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by sounddog, Jun 1, 2003.

  1. sounddog

    sounddog Member

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    Hi

    I know there are several people around who are fans of KEF speakers.

    Does anyone have any experience with the KEF Concerto 2 (or possibly 1 too) as we have seen a pair going at what we consider a reasonable price ... they pass all the looks criteria, and from the few reviews I've read they are good speaker.

    Does anyone have any (helpful) comments.

    Thanks
    Vikki
  2. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX Member

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    Vikki.

    Certainly a step in the right direction from your existing speakers, i heard the 2's some time ago now and all i can say is at the 800.00 or so i just don't recall them setting my world on fire.
    Try here for a "bargain"?
    http://www.creative-audio.co.uk/concerto2.htm

    That range does not support the eponymous Uni-Q drivers, which is perhaps (one of) Kef's strong suits, (love 'em or loathe 'em etc), but obviously does not preclude from being great speakers.

    I would still say that as far as kef and your budget goes the Ref 1.2 are the best musical performers (IMHO better than the RDM3 when taken as a stereo pair despite other post's to the contrary)

    The older Kef ref range (if you have not heard them) is much more "neutral"?? than the replacement range (which to me is a radical departure in tonality) they are not nearly so forward but in no way lacking in detail (The Higher range Kef's have always been "good" on detail) The 1.2's are not blessed with exemplary bass extention but if i may say so based on what i have heard of some of the 600 range i would be of the opinion that the definition and integration of the bass would be an acceptable trade off against absolute extension (you have a Rel).

    I would still be surprised if you became a Kef owner.
    What has happened to the BW 600 devotion?
    Please accept this as a genuine comment, i would hope that it would be recieved as such, but can i say that i observed that you seem to be someone who has a sensible and passionate approach to the subject in hand and although it is not my place to tell you how/why/whatever, in this instance you seem to be going in the right direction by something of a mild jump.
    If i have learned anything from all this it is that moving from a MS csi to a MS1000 and from a Kef100c to a 23C etc etc whilst certainly a "mild" jump in the right direction, did not, eventually turn out to be ecomonically (or in fact aurally) satisfying in the long run.
    Whilst we all have our (financial) limitations, i would recommend the step to Kef Ref (or similar previously suggested aternatives at the same level of quality) to be a "minimum"? level of up-grade. You seem to be one who appreciates such items/thoughts/speakers?.
    Not the "best" source for reviews but a point in the right direction at least:
    http://www.hifichoice.co.uk/review_read.asp?ID=1101
    Or, from a more esoteric source (page down to Oct 2000 -1.2 NOT Ref1's - a short appraisal):
    http://www.hi-fiworld.co.uk/hfw/bgspeakers3.html


    Regards

    Steve.
  3. sounddog

    sounddog Member

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    Don't know.

    To be honest I have no idea if we are going to sell the 602s2 [EDIT: This way typed before I looked at ebay see last paragraph].

    Changing speakers is such a subjective nightmare. To be honest it's what is best to your ears and no two pairs of ears are the same and oh heck it's difficult to decide.

    When we went back to our local dealer yesterday one of their staff swears blind that unless you are prepared to spend a fortune on b&w ie 800 series that you will not really get much improvement over 602s with a decent subwoofer if you want low sounds.

    Now he's been working with speakers for years and everything else he has said before we have trusted / pretty much in technical priciple agreed do so how much do you spend for how much / little gain.

    Other companies speakers so many people say they sound better etc... but a lot of it is they sound different.

    I have friends with £1000 cd players and also 120 quid marantz players. Setup the £1000+ player with a disc in people see it's playing a disc and say it's the most amazing sound he then points out the player isan't plummed in and it's the marnatz doing the music... I know that wasn't a speaker point, but you get the idea.

    It's a big jump changing speakers at all because unlike our other things we have spent £750 quid on all our speakers and to be honest I think we will need to spend a hell of a lot more to get a good tonally matching set of 5 or 7 speakers.

    So *shrug* we will probably change and it might just be for changes sake as we have changed everything else over the last two years (I hope it isan't just for that reason, but not sure).

    We DO like the b&w sound it isan't being blind it's just b&w start a long way ahead because in our opinion they are good value for money. It doesn't stop others from winning. heck the bro-in-law has purchased some q3s from ricdiggle, and i think we will be babysitting them for at least a couple of weeks so it will probably be the best time to play with some kefs because we can do it at home.

    Do you know if these are tonally similar to other kef ranges?

    Steff

    So all in all we have no idea but as our speakers have reached their reserve on ebay it looks like we are going to have to decide on some speakers at some point!! (although I think we put the reserve way to low on them!!).
  4. sounddog

    sounddog Member

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    Steve ...

    Without giving any comitment to what we think of KEF speakers ... what centre would match with the KEF Ref 1.2?

    Vikki
  5. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly Guest

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    Kef 200. Which I have...:)

    Or another Kef Ref 1.2
  6. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX Member

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    With stiff drink in hand, i am in agreement with Nathan.

    Is there a soul alive that does not like the 200c? - super center, manufacturer irrelevant.
    like the 100c (a 10+ year design) this IS a classic and still selling/current.

    Steve.
  7. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly Guest

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    Regarding the Kef 200, it's defently worth £700- I would be happy to pay that amount for it- it really is that good.

    I've had three centre speakers- Kef Q95, B&W CC6 and then the Kef 200.

    I know you can't compared £200 to a £700 model.. BUT for anyone with them two speakers- the Q95 sounds awful at louder volumes, and very brash. Good midrange though, although a bit coloured. The B&W goes louder and sounds better than the Q95 at louder volumes, but the midrange just seems missing somehow- treble & bass is OK, but lacking in midrange. The treble also just sounds wrong- just too screechy. The low bass is a bit whoompy as well (I don't think ported centre speakers sound great)

    However the Kef 200 just seems right. Everything about it sounds great-no problems high volumes, and still sounds great at high SPL (Q95 struggles here) midrange is very good. Treble is clear, not dull but not harsh either. I would say rather than getting decent AV Left & Right speakers (say £600+) put the money into the centre. A mate (Kef Q95 owner) borrowed the Kef 200 and bought one a month later. Nuff said.

    After plugging in the centre within 5 mins it was like WOW!!!! a HUGE improvement. Voices just seem perfect.

    Vikki I would strongly recommend the Kef 200.
  8. sounddog

    sounddog Member

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    To be honest ... buying the KEF 200 isn't about how good it is ... it's about having something to match the left and rights.
  9. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly Guest

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    I'll rather have a Kef 200 with non-matching Kef Q15's, instead of Kef Q95 centre & Kef Q15's. Might not match, but the sound quality for voices, action and primary effects will sound much much better.

    Thought you're interested in the Kef Model 1.1's, so give you my comments reg. the Kef 200.
  10. sounddog

    sounddog Member

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    Its still at the ... thinking a lot stage. If we're going to have to spend another £700 on a matching centre ... then the KEF Ref 1.2 are a non-starter really.

    We got the chance to listen to my Bro-In-Laws new (well s/h - thanks ricdiggle) Q3 so will get to experience the KEF sound for a bit anyway.

    Vikki
  11. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX Member

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    Vikki.

    The Q3 would not IMHO be the best example of a Kef speaker. Some here claim it to be dreadful, on my very very short hearing i simply thought that it was the usual "stick the smaller version's baffle on a bigger box" and would personally buy the Q! in preference.
    The 200c can be had for 300.00 ish the 1.2's for 600.00ish, for 900.00 you have bought into the Kef Ref ethos (which as always is not everyones cup of tea but is GREAT value for money) i think you would be hard pressed to beat the performance for this sort of money.
    I know there are lots of "others" out there and Kef is hardly the be all to end all but a front three like this for 900.00ish? - what do you want for 900.00???
    This might, by some be considered as the first station to high end central.
    I have to add that my meeting with the smaller representatives of the cnt range certainly did nothing to offend me, they are by all accounts a well recieved speaker range with many sales behind them, and whilst not in any way wishing to offend i am sure you would appreciate either over what you have.
    Lets "shoot from the hip" here, you have approx 2.4k worth of pro/amp, a good performer in dvd playback and aspirations to a better cd player with a clear appreciation of music and you have what is BW first step on the real speaker ladder, if someone asked you what was the weak link what would you say?


    Steve
  12. sounddog

    sounddog Member

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    As I say ... we've only got the Q3 for a while until my Brother In Law gets down to see us and while he sorts his room out in prep for HC sound - which wont be for a month or so, so we get a bit of an extended listen to them. Don't worry I won't base all my throughts of KEF speakers on just listening to them.

    Thanks for your comments about the KEF Refs ... we'll definately try to get a listen to them before we buy.
  13. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX Member

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    Vikki.

    What would you say to the last sentence in edited post?
    I should be interested, am i a mile off.

    Steve.
  14. sounddog

    sounddog Member

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    In all of our opinions our weakest link at the moment is the Speakers :)

    Which is why we are talking so much about upgrading. I know people say our processor is not good for music etc.. but it's got HDCD decoding which ain't bad and we had the £550 Rotel Amp before hand which we preferred over the similar priced Tag amp and varous others that we tried. The processor at the moment sounds as good as that did. Possibly because the whole system is held back by the speakers.

    We are not sure if this is right or wrong but we are going to try to listen to other speakers and decide for ourselves. To be honest it's so easy to say oh x has to be the weakest because it was the cheapest but well that isan't always the case and buying any old £1000 set of front speakers might be technically better but might just not suit us.

    So it's something we are thinking through carefully. When we had a £200 quid stereo amp we KNEW it was lacking in something, when we had a cheap surround amp we comfortably felt we were missing out on something. We vaugly feel this way about speakers but in general our system sounds pretty ok to our ears so ... yes it's the weakest link we think but not as weak as a lot of people ASSUME just because the speakers only cost £300.

    Generally there are some damn fine £250 - £450 speakers out there that aren't as outclassed by more expensive speakers as some manufacturers/dealers/users would care to admit.

    Cheers

    steff
  15. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly Guest

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    Trust me Vikki the B&W 601's are pretty average speakers. My Ruark Etudes are so much better.

    I have a pretty good Hi-Fi system (ie not a AV amp) so basically I'm getting the best out of the speakers. I've had several speakers- Kef Q15, B&W 601, Ruark Epilogue II, Ruark Etude, Kef Coda 9, Kef Q75, Kef Q55.

    Upgrading the 601's WILL worthwhile.

    Shame you don't live local, otherwise I would bring round my Etudes & 8000S for you to compare against the 601's and Rotel pre-amp stage.
  16. sounddog

    sounddog Member

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    interesting comments Nathan.

    Pity we are talking about 602s not 601s.

    Steff
  17. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX Member

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    Steff.

    This is clearly so and obviously between ourselves does not need saying.
    But regardless of speakers/costs/performance ratio's to other component cost's were i you i would ont be looking to change the Rotel's/Pioneer's just yet.
    As i have previously mentioned, you do not have to convince me of anything re: 1066, i thought it was O.K and not at all bad with good qualty cd sources.
    If you were to ask me what i thought was bad about the Rotel (IMHO there is nothing bad about Rotel power amps given cost) 1066 it is that it is likely to suffer a tumbling resell price and that's about it really.
    The market in the U.K is such that once you leave the 3803/etc territory the jump to "modern" processor models is quite large.
    rotel are to be commended for being the only ones out trying to bridge the chasm, my personal feelings on this is that if more were to follow suit then perhaps the Tags/Arcam/Meridian/Lex might have at least something to think about.
    No matter how great the product it is not unreasonable to assume nothing has changed re: local economies etc.

    Steve.

    Why not MK???
  18. sounddog

    sounddog Member

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    To many roundabouts and it cost £560 per month to rent a rabbit hutch.

    Mind you it did have a good shopping centre.

    Steff

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