KEF Q or R series?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by clarky78, Apr 29, 2018.

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  1. clarky78

    clarky78
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    Struggling to decide between Q350 or R300. Heard both in different places on different equipment and the time both sounded great. Prefer the looks of the R, but buying a full set of Q is much cheaper and I would like to try Atmos (which I'm pretty sure will not work anyway in my room!) And the R50 seem crazy money for what they are.

    But will I lose a lot getting the Q? I find virtually no information comparing the two, but 1 thing that I found said someone preferred the Q over the R in his space.

    My Yamaha amp just broke, it may be repaired, otherwise I might just go for an SR6011/2
     
  2. trevdigital

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    I have a set of Q’s for the front and T101s for surround duties (see sig for full setup). If music is more imprtant then the R’s are the ones to go for. I find the dispersion on the Q’s are ideal for movies. Also, you will have more money for the amp.
     
  3. Rambles

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    I agree with above. I have a lot of Kef Q speakers and some Kef R300's and R50's.

    The R series are smoother and warmer than the Q, so nicer for music, in my view. The Q's are a bit brighter, and work better for movies, with more sparkly high end notes, a bit more exciting, whereas the R's are relaxing.
     
  4. clarky78

    clarky78
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    I was thinking about this earlier. I had KEF IQ7s around 7 years ago. I then upgraded to MA GX200 for fronts. If I buy Q350 I will be going backwards. However this is not for critical music listening at all. It will be around 95% movies and TV. Music will be just background etc.
     
  5. Rambles

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    Why are you wanting to change?
     
  6. clarky78

    clarky78
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    I have to. Room move around and new location requires speakers sitting oo the end of a cabinet. There just isn't room for my MAs anymore. I actually toyed with ditching the the lot for a Samsung Atmos soundbar but I know I would seriously regret it!
     
  7. Member 769353

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    The Q Series will be more forgiving of the amplifier, so if you’re looking to partner with a sub £1k AV receiver, the Q Series is it. The R Series requires better dynamic capabilities, better grip and control, and amplification that can remain stable when the impedance drops. You’d be looking more at the better quality £2K AV receivers and pre/powers for the R Series.

    As this is mainly for movies, I’d go with the Q Series - the Q Series system shown at the Indulgence Show in London last year sounded amazing.
     
  8. clarky78

    clarky78
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    Well my amp on repair is a Yamaha RXV3067. That was 2k. The Marantz will be a little less. But the Monitor Audio GX200 can't be any harder to drive surely, and the JVC digital amp I found in the trash I'm using temporarily, drives them okay too. I'm swinging to the Q just because I'm really pushing overbudget anyway for the R300 and also I have concerns they will replace the R range soon being so old and I would be buying an older speaker basically. But damn the R look so much nicer.
     
  9. ashenfie

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    And so much smaller. Kef R300 are great speakers and as speaker design moves very slowly they don't really go out of date.
     
  10. Member 769353

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    The current Q Series is pretty new, so buying now won’t suddenly leave you up against a new range, and keeps you within budget. You could always upgrade on a gradual basis when new R Series appears, by which time old Q Series stocks will be gone, so any current Q you sell on won’t be in competition with old Q stocks.
     
  11. trevdigital

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    B4613456-FE95-42F6-8389-0969E1A0B78D.jpeg Although I’ve got a pair of Q750s I don’t think they look too shabby! You get the mesh covers included if bought in the UK. The Q650c is a revelation for a centre channel, but it is huge and if your space is limited it may not be practical. BTW my room is only 5.0m x 4.0m but I was able to install an effective 7.1.4 system with Ceiling speakers. I’ve got a Pioneer SC-LX901 which runs all 11 channels effortlessly.
     
  12. gibbsy

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    That Q650 will sound a lot better if you move it forward so that the front sits about 25mm proud of the front of the cabinet. At the moment it's getting unwanted reflections off the top of the cabinet. Try it and you should hear the upper mids much better.
     
  13. trevdigital

    trevdigital
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    Hi gibbsy. I know you have suggested this before and I will give it a try. The thing is that everyone remarks how clear the dialogue is as it is, especially for films with a challenging sound mixes, but I think it’s more to do with the LX901 ability to separate the dialogue from busy action scenes. The UHD version of Bridge on the River Kwai downloaded on Sky Q is particularly effective and has now got an awesome Dolby Atmos presentation which is impressive for a film that is two years older than me!
     
  14. Simba

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    y
    you can also try an angled foam isolation pad to raise the centre up a tad and angle to listening position.

    i got one custom made on ebay when i had a b&w centre some time ago and it was brilliant.
     
  15. gibbsy

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    I saw a pair of Q350s in white for the first time yesterday at RS. They look better in the flesh than the photographs I've seen. Compared to how the R300s look they still have the appearance of a poor relative though, the finish being rather dull in finish compared to the highly polished cabinet of the R range.
     
  16. clarky78

    clarky78
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    Yeah, the aesthetics of the R series are clearly a class above, not surprising as they use real vaneer or lacquer where the Q is vinyl, and again are what keep drawing me in to the R. I know it's stupid but aesthetics are for me as much as the sound, I have to look at them more than listen to them..! I went to buy a pair of Q350 from a local electronics store today, open box for 469€, but I just couldn't decide. Thing is I got a quote from the place I was going to buy the R series from and they offered me the Q350 and Q650 for 950€. That is 50€ less than I get the R300. But, the Q650 is HUGE! The R200 centre is much smaller. So maybe I should get the R series for that reason alone! I was hoping to go to a audio store that stocks all the models I was looking at on Saturday but I got to work .

    Every time I decide to just stick to the Q, I back out. Just feels such a step back from my GX200s. Really need a side by side comparison on the Q v R.
     
  17. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    KEF apparently aren't going to produce a Q250 as the Q200 was a poor seller with far more of the larger Q600s being sold. The R200C is a fair size though but is a really good centre with great clarity on dialogue. Another thing to consider when thinking of the Q speakers is that if you want grills then they are sold separately whereas they are boxed with the Rs.

    Q350 Black Cloth Grille
     
  18. dollag

    dollag
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    If it’s strictly for movies, the q’s should suffice.

    There’s no argument that your ma’s would wipe the floor against the q’s for music but I’d argue that the q’s may sound better than your ma’s for movies due to their driver arrangement.

    The r’s will be replaced soon and this seems to be reflected the the 20% trade in offer at some retailers.

    I walked out Sevenoaks last year with a spare £300 in my Pocket after buying a pair of r300’s. seems so the cost may not be as bad as you think.
     
  19. clarky78

    clarky78
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    Yeah, I'm worried that the R will be replaced really soon and the new speakers will suddenly loose a load of value. RRP here is 1400€ for R300, they are selling off some white only for 999€. Quite a saving but nothing like as cheap as back in the UK. R100 is down to 699€.

    The fact that a few have said the Q is also better for movies is intriguing, I heard some say better than the R for movies.. But how can that be based on the same UniQ system?

    Q looks almost identical driver to the R, I'm assuming hand down tech based on the new Q being much newer than the R. I believe it uses the same motor but an alloy basket. Most be more to it. To be honest, if the Q looked half as nice as the R, it would be a no brainer..
     
  20. clarky78

    clarky78
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    How about R100 instead as fronts and rears? Would it be bad idea for fronts? I read a review that said it had impressive bass response for the size. Maybe that would be a good compromise. Bear in my this is 5.0 system. I may go 5.0.4. I may ad a sub one day but have never used them in the past.
     
  21. dollag

    dollag
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    No do not go the r100 for 5.0

    They may go low enough for music (and even then nowhere near low enough for most) but not for movies. You will want a sub if you go this route

    I do not think tech wise the newer q’s are that more advance than the older r’s. I’ve recently replaced my r500’s with reference 3’s which are again a new speaker design. They obviously sound a lot better but there tech is shared with the blades which are the same age as the r’s.

    I personally do not think the q’s are as good as the r’s for movies either. The q centre for example is a lot more congested than the r’s. @Rambles recently swapped his q200 out due to this. I know this is the predecessor but I cannot see the new q being that much different.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  22. Rambles

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    I think R100' as front and rears would work, but you would be missing out of you didn't add a sub. For movies and music. There are some inexpensive subs, BK Elec in the UK have a great reputation and sell direct so no retailer mark up in the pricing. i think they ship internationally, you could enquire:

    B.K. Electronics Homepage

    As i said, I think the Kef Q series are great for movies, they are quite forward and sparky. I find the The Kef R300's better for music than my previous Kef Q700's, but that is because I like music to be very warm and laid back and relaxing, the Q700's were a bit 'in your face' I used an EQ with them to cut the 2.5khz frequency slightly, I am finding that I don't need to do that with the R300's.

    Curve ball...

    How are Klipsch speakers priced for you? They are a great speaker. I use the Klipsch RP250C centre. They are an unusual speaker as they use horn tweeters, which sounds great for dialogue, I would say they sound very similar to the Kef Q series. They also have a crazy high sensitivity rating, so are very easy to drive with little amplification power.
     
  23. Member 769353

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    It’s not that the Q Series is better for movies, it’s just that the Q Series is an easier load than R Series, and is kinder to the usual AV receivers bought for them (Denon/Marantz/Yamaha etc). R Series ideally needs the likes of Arcam, Anthem, Emotiva etc.
     
  24. Rambles

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    The R series actually seems to be an easier load, with slightly higher sensitivity rating?

    Out of interest. What is it that an Arcam, Anthem or Emotiva amplifier can do with an R series speaker, that a Denon, Marantz or Yamaha amplifier can not do?
     
  25. gibbsy

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    Will the likes of Arcam do a very good job with the Rs? Certainly. Does the Denon X6200 do a bad job of driving the Rs? Certainly not. Does adding a power amp or stereo amp to make them sound better? Absolutely. But the last question could be levelled at any AVR on the market.

    Think you've opened a can of worms with your statement David.
     
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  26. clarky78

    clarky78
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    I was under the impression the new Q sounds a fair bit better than the older version. Can't say though never heard the old.

    But the R I thought was using Blade tech, as isn't the Q range infact?

    Kilpsch are priced okay, certainly not worse, I have been considering there Atmos speaker for future upgrade even. But I think the horn looks cheap. The horn itself is just a big lump of plastic covering half the front of a bookshelf. I'll check maybe higher ranges, but not sure they really for me. Sound okay in the very brief listen I had.

    Yeah as mentioned, you could say that of any speaker surely. My GX running off the Yamaha could be improved but I'm happy enough. I'm sure they are capable of much more though. They way you say it it kind of implies the R will make no difference unless I'm from substantial amps with huge Caps and reserves. I'm sure it would improve a lot but I'm convinced there are many happy R users with lower level AV amps.
     
  27. dollag

    dollag
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    I guess the point i was making is that I do not feel there are going to be massive improvements with the R's replacement. Will there be improvements, sure I would like to think so.

    The Q150's imo are not immensely better than the q100's imo. they sound a bit more refined to my ears but thats it. I auditioned a pair with my friend about 2 weeks ago (q550's) and yes they were great sounding off a CA azur 840 in RS but when we got back to mine and listened to the same tracks on the R500's there was no contest, albeit, my amplification is a lot better. Granted this is not movies but I never was a fan of the q200 either. the R centers are a lot more refined with clearer dialogue.

    I am not knocking the new Q's at all. They are a great speaker but still trumped by the R's in both looks and sound imo.
     
  28. Dean

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    If possible try and find a dealer who will let you audition both the Q and R range in your home, that will tell you without doubt which will be better for you. I would have thought the new Q series would have closed the gap on the R series which were first released in 2011 or so, but you may just find you prefer the tonality of the R series for example, so try to audition.
     
  29. Rambles

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    It's the Klipsch RP range that I was referring to, the Z review guy reviews them here:

    Z Review - Klipsch RP150M (or.. The Good Klipsch)
     
  30. Member 769353

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    Regardless of the amplifier, you’ll still get a benefit with the R Series purely down to its better build and driver quality, but to get the R Series sounding as they’ve been designed to, better quality amplification would be needed.

    I know there are many out there with AV receivers along the lines of those I mentioned, and there’s no offence meant to anyone, but everything’s built to a budget - do we really think that we’ll get gutsy, dynamic amplification in a 9.2 receiver with literally all the bells and whistles (and associated licencing costs) for say, £1500? There are two channel amplifiers that fail to make R500s sound as they should, so many AV receivers don’t stand a chance.

    I referred to the likes of Arcam and Anthem as I’ve heard them with such speakers and know what they’re capable of.
     

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