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Kef Q series advice

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Crocodile JD, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    Hi All

    I currently have Q35.2 speakers which have 19mm soft dome tweaters. Although they have been upgraded with a more powerful magnet over the previous Q35, which also use the soft dome tweater, the Q35.2 can be just a tad harsh in the HF at volume, although generally I do love the Uni Q sound.

    I notice that the latest Q range ie. Q3 etc still has a 19mm tweater, but it is now aluminium dome.

    My question is how much of an improvement is the aluminium dome likely to be over the soft dome I.E would it be worth me upgrading.

    I know the reference range use a better tweater again in their Uni Q drivers, but it's likely to be a little out of my price range.

    What do other Kef owners think?

    Cheers

    Croc
     
  2. Nobber22

    Nobber22
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    Q35.2 to Q3 isn't really an upgrade IMO. More of a sideways step. Do you have to buy KEF? If the Refernce range is out of your price range, perhaps a couple of demos of other more affordable speaker makes will find you another brand which you like?
     
  3. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    That's a fair point. It's just that if I stick generally to the same, which I am largly happy with, but with one variable changed (for the better), I know for sure then that there will be an improvement. If I start from scratch, I'll have to go through the learning curve again. E.G. "sounded great when demo'd but when I got them home they sounded different" that kind of thing and synergy with kit etc....

    I was possibly considering the Q1 as opposed to the Q3. Some say it works better in a smaller cabinet?
     
  4. Nobber22

    Nobber22
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    Yep, I'd agree with that. If you like the Kef sound, the Q1 is the best of the (cheaper) bunch.
     
  5. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    tweater issue......anyone?......
     
  6. Contar

    Contar
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    I have Kef's as you can see in my sig. I like the sound and I occasionally push them hard, with the Denon. The Denon distorts the sound before the Kef's give up and to me never get harsh. I offer no magic answer as always you will have to make the decision and live with it or get a home demo, possibly not available with cheaper kit.
     
  7. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    Contar

    Thanks for the reply. I wasn't expecting any magic solutions, I was just hoping for a technical definitive re the tweater issue really. If the ally dome was widely regarded as being better than the soft dome and all else remains pretty much the same, then it becomes a no brainer. I know there are a lot of members here who love Kef speakers and have a lot of experience with them. I was hoping that someone might have some technical insight.

    Cheers

    Croc
     
  8. ridd

    ridd
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    Hi
    i changed my kef Q65's to the new Q7's there was no big change in the sound. I also changed a ref 100 center for a q9c again no real difference in sound. I only changed then for asthetic reasons and the fact i got good money for the old ones.

    The big change in sound came from going from a sony 940 reciever to rotel 1066 processor and 1075 power amp.

    I then also tried a pair of rotel 971's in bridged mode (360w rms) and found an even bigger gain. So if you really want your kefs to reach their full potential give them plenty to chew on.

    I know this was a lot of cash and not what you were actually asking but i thought id share this anyway.


    Mark
     
  9. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    Hi Mark

    In some ways it was. It could imply that I'm best off sticking with what I've got. Not the most powerful amps, but I already have a bi-amped system. Arcam Alpha 7 integrated - 40wpc and Alpha 8p power - 50wpc. Or would you suggest this is still not enough? The speakers are only rated to 100w I think so I'd be a bit wairy about bridging. Don't really understand bridging TBH how does it work?

    Cheers

    Croc
     
  10. ridd

    ridd
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    Bridging is when a stereo amp is used in a mono mode. This normaly more than doubles the avaliable power. so you need a pair of stereo amp bridged to make your two channels. Basically your amps can either be bridged or they are cant.

    Your speakers could happily take twice the power your amps are giving. Dont forget that power = much more than just volume.

    Anyway there are people here that know much more than me on these subjects.......
     
  11. Dfour

    Dfour
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    Im glad to hear there isnt much difference between the old Q series and the new Q series as I am looking to buy some Q55 and a Q95c.2 front to replace my old speakers. Ive read on here that the q95c isnt that good though. Anyone know??
    Im going to use a Rxv1400 to drive them.
     
  12. Supra

    Supra
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    I had a full kef q set up and was going to change to the new q series, simply because of the looks, the new ones look excellent. had a listen and I prefered my old q5.2s to the new ones.

    I walked into sevenoaks with the intention of getting a whole new q package, to my surprise the guy in sevenoaks said I wouldn't notice any improvement and that my old ones were better!! First time I had heard a salesman say that. I had alisten to the new range, i couldn't justify replacing my speakers just because of the looks.

    I do still like the kef sound, but later on ended up getting the B&ws which were an absolute bargain at the time.

    With speakers only your ears can decide, go and have a few demos and decide for yourself,try a few other makes.
     
  13. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    Ridd
    I'm sure the power amp can be run in mono. There is a metal "bridge" shaped bar in the back, clipped into a holder. Would this be the thing you use to bridges across the left and right channels, will there be a set of LH and RH loop connections on the back of the amp, I can't remember but I'll check tonight and have a read of the manual as well. I assume that I would need another power amp of the same and then use the integrated as a pre amp? Does that require an LH and an RH preout? or do you daisy chain the power amps? Think I'll have to hit the search button. I'm sure this one will have been covered before.
    Anyone know much about the Arcams, can they be bridged? May be this is a way forward?

    Dfour
    Why are you going for the Q55 as opposed to the Q55.2 or Q5 out of interest? Are you buying secondhand or clearance stock?
    Also, do a search on here for the Q95c.2. I personally don't have any experience with the speaker but I did read that it was the weak link in the range. Some say better to use a Q15.2 or Q1 instead.


    Supra
    That is pretty refreshing to be sure. did you end up preferring the B&Ws then? what model did you get?

    Croc
     
  14. Dfour

    Dfour
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    Yeah i was looking at getting clearance stock on the Q55. The Q55.2 are much more expensive :(. Are they worth the extra to get the .2?? The Q5 are out of my price range at the moment as I have just bought a new amp :smashin:

    I had wondered abotu using a normal speaker for center duties as opposed to a dedicated center. Yeah I read that the 95c.2 was the weak link in the old Q range .
     
  15. stevej

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    I have the Q95.2c along with Q35.2's and Q15.2's and would definately say that it is the weak link. It struggles when pushed (and I'm not talking about reference levels!). The sound becomes what can only be described as hard. I've also thought about using a Q15 for a centre or trying to get a Model 100.
     
  16. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    ...well the big difference is the cosmetics of course. The .2s are same colour all over. e.g. my 35.2s are cherry finish all over where as the 35s are cherry with a black front baffle. The .2s look loads better IMO. Secondly they have a ferrofluid - cooled tweeter with a more powerful magnet apparently. Again as with the change from the .2 to the new Q range, I'm not sure what difference it has made sound wise. Thirdly, they have redesigned crossovers that are mounted directly to the back of the treminaly. Again I don't know what bearing this has on sound, but cosmetics alone does it for me. I think the new range look better again especially in maple, but I can certainly life with the look of my 35.2s, but I couldn't live with the 35s. Last time I saw prices on Q55.2s they were around £180 AFAIKR, which is v good sound per pound IMO if you can still get them. What price are you looking at for the Q55s

    Kef web site is good in that it lists all previous models as well as the new stuff. so you can compare specs. Obviously the difference that these upgrades (or specifically one upgrade) make to the sound takes me back to my first post.

    Cheers

    Croc
     
  17. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    Stevej
    How do you rate the Q35.2s, do you ever get any sense of the "hardness" you refer to in relation to the Q95.2? Also how do you think the Q35.2s compare with the Q15.2s on bass?

    Cheers

    Croc
     
  18. stevej

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    I love the Q35.2's, all that was written about them is true, ie. bass response, soundstaging, etc. They don't suffer the hardness that the Q95.2c does when pushed. I don't know why this is when you consider that it's the same driver and tweeter (maybe it's got something to do with the cabinet). I haven't compared the Q35.2 and the Q15.2, as the I only use the latter for surround duties. I can hazard a guess that the Q15.2 wouldn't be able to touch the Q35.2 when it somes to bass response, due mainly to the cabinet size.
     
  19. Dfour

    Dfour
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    Im looking at picking up the Q55 at arround the £100 mark.
    The pain is you cant buy the new Q series mail order. Only a couple of shops in my area that sell Kef :( Would like to get a demo as dont really want to buy blind again.
     
  20. ridd

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    croc.
    Not sure about that bar an stuff. if you can bridge and amp there is often ( but not always) a switch to put it into bridged mode. Then you will also see markings to tell you which two teminals to use (one from the left channel and one from the right) also it will be clearly marked which input to use. Yes you would need two identical power amps to do this.

    My experiance of kefs is that of my old q65 q15 and a ref model 100 i used to use as a centre. I never even looked at the q95 and it just looked crap to me. the model 100 was a very good speaker but cost £360ish 5 or so years ago. i used q15's for rears but found the too directional and changed to mission mds7's to a great improvement in films ( im not interested in multichannel music).

    I now have Q7 fronts and these sound almost identical to the q65's (never heard .2s) the only downside being the narrower back meaning they are not as stable when spiked through carpets. The q9c is every bit as good as the model 100 to the point where i hear a difference. (except the 100 sounded a bit bright with the metal grill removed).
    My change was purely cosmetic so if anyone as changing for improved sound i think you may be wasting you time (unless its one of those crappy looking q95 centre things your changing).
    Going up to the next size speaker maybe a benefit tho.

    Dfour you are more than welcome to come and listen to my speakers anytime you like. Im in northamptonshire which 20mins from junction 15 of the M1. That offer goes for anyone.
    I use rotel amplification if anyone is interested.

    Mark
     
  21. Supra

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    Hi Croc,

    yes I did prefer the B&Ws , CDM 9nts, especially at the price I got them. Then again they should be better as there RRP was about £1300 dearer than my Q55.2s.

    They are a lot clearer, the treble is outstanding, the bass is wicked. i wasn't sure on the look, but they have grown on me.

    TRhe only thing with this model is that thatthey do need a lot of space to really perform.
     
  22. Crocodile JD

    Crocodile JD
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    Hi guys

    Thanks for all the replies, its helped me stave off a serious bout of upgraditus. I'm quite happy to believe that any sound improvement between the new and the old Q range would be negligable if any, although the new ones do look really smart.

    On the amp bridging thing, I've found a bit on the subject in this forum and the concensus seems to be that unless the amp is specifically designed for mono, it would likely sound worse in a bridged configuration than a biamped configuration. I'd probably be better off just going for a more powerfull integrated at some stage in the future, maybe something that was just a tad more punchy and upfront than the Arcams..not just yet though.
    Dfour - I would think that sound per pound you'd be doing pretty well at that, but the negative vibe on the centre speaker has been pretty consistent, not easy to ignore.

    Cheers

    Croc
     
  23. Dfour

    Dfour
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    Yup. Thanks everyone. Think i will keep my eyes out for a s/h ref100 centre of a Q9c.
     
  24. FazerThou

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    Dfour if you want to try a Q9c give me a shout as we are close.

    Paul
     

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