Kef R series issue

kevrev

Active Member
I have recently upgraded my front and centres to Kef R7 and R2c from Q500 and Q200c.
Having run Audyssey I have to say I am disappointed with the outcome. Listening to different movie scenes I know well,there is a distinct lack of high end clarity with if anything an apparent quieting off of detail in scenes. The centre detail seems fine especially for dialogue , its just the L&R seem to lose the top high end detail. Bass is no problem its there in abundance.
I have listened to content from both 4k dvd and streamed movies and normal tv and the results are the same each time. One example in the LOTR Mines of Moria scene where the clarity of the orcs scrabbling and crawling out of the walls and ceilings etc is no longer there. I have no where near the same high end detail and clarity I had with my Q500’s.
I was wondering if my Denon AVR 4400 just doesnt have enough grunt or maybe i was just used to over bright Q500?
I have tried different settings within Audyssey of course, so many in fact I think I am losing myself with whats the better sounding option!!!
Peoples thoughts are welcome !!!
I am also running Q150 rears, Q50a and BK xxl400 sub.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
You have to give your grey matter time to adjust to the new audio. The R7s are considerably bigger than the old speakers and are a three way as opposed to two so the mid and high ranges have a better separation.

How do you have them set on crossover with the Denon. They can and should be crossed over at 80hz and set up as small in a 5.1.2.
 

ashenfie

Well-known Member
I guessing it down to speaker location/room I would first try putting the port bung in and moving the speakers away from walls etc. I have the older r700s and no such issues. I had a Denon 4500 before also and yes that did loos some of the mid range.
 

kevrev

Active Member
You have to give your grey matter time to adjust to the new audio. The R7s are considerably bigger than the old speakers and are a three way as opposed to two so the mid and high ranges have a better separation.

How do you have them set on crossover with the Denon. They can and should be crossed over at 80hz and set up as small in a 5.1.2.
Hi Gibbsy
I have them set at 80hz yes and set to small in a 5.1.2.
My sub is set to 120 and LFE only
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Now we come down to placement. They certainly don't like being anywhere near a wall and certainly need room to breathe. You're looking at at least 80cm from any wall.
 

kevrev

Active Member
I guessing it down to speaker location/room I would first try putting the port bung in and moving the speakers away from walls etc. I have the older r700s and no such issues. I had a Denon 4500 before also and yes that did loos some of the mid range.
Thanks !
I am limited with how far forwards i can place the r7’ did try with both bungs in and they just sound flat
 

kevrev

Active Member
Now we come down to placement. They certainly don't like being anywhere near a wall and certainly need room to breathe. You're looking at at least 80cm from any wall.
Cannot place them that far forwards from the wall. I am limited in forward space
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Put a photograph up of your front soundstage so see if there is any placement issues, furnishings, etc that can help.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I have recently upgraded my front and centres to Kef R7 and R2c from Q500 and Q200c.
Having run Audyssey I have to say I am disappointed with the outcome. Listening to different movie scenes I know well,there is a distinct lack of high end clarity with if anything an apparent quieting off of detail in scenes. The centre detail seems fine especially for dialogue , its just the L&R seem to lose the top high end detail. Bass is no problem its there in abundance.
I have listened to content from both 4k dvd and streamed movies and normal tv and the results are the same each time. One example in the LOTR Mines of Moria scene where the clarity of the orcs scrabbling and crawling out of the walls and ceilings etc is no longer there. I have no where near the same high end detail and clarity I had with my Q500’s.
I was wondering if my Denon AVR 4400 just doesnt have enough grunt or maybe i was just used to over bright Q500?
I have tried different settings within Audyssey of course, so many in fact I think I am losing myself with whats the better sounding option!!!
Peoples thoughts are welcome !!!
I am also running Q150 rears, Q50a and BK xxl400 sub.

You can easily test how much the room correction affects the sound by going in to menu and under XT32 you have Reference, Flat, Bypass L/R and Off options (see link below). Now the first one is by default and it does some high frequency roll-off which the Flat setting doesn´t do. You could also try completely Off so there won´t be any correction to see how much it affects. Audussey also applies BBC dip around 2kHz. You can buy the Audussey phone app for your receiver and turn the midrange compensation (bbc dip) off and also you can limit the correction around 200-500hz if you feel the XT32 robs something from your speakers / corrects the highs too much. The lower frequencies are often where the correction is needed most which you can´t tackle effectively with room treatments and this is usually where Audussey does fine job.

There is comments for Q500 being bright for some people while looking R700 measurements it`s more neutral no pronounced highs, but it should be miles ahead with detail, soundstage and bass quality so something doesn´t add up.


 

kevrev

Active Member
You can easily test how much the room correction affects the sound by going in to menu and under XT32 you have Reference, Flat, Bypass L/R and Off options (see link below). Now the first one is by default and it does some high frequency roll-off which the Flat setting doesn´t do. You could also try completely Off so there won´t be any correction to see how much it affects. Audussey also applies BBC dip around 2kHz. You can buy the Audussey phone app for your receiver and turn the midrange compensation (bbc dip) off and also you can limit the correction around 200-500hz if you feel the XT32 robs something from your speakers / corrects the highs too much. The lower frequencies are often where the correction is needed most which you can´t tackle effectively with room treatments and this is usually where Audussey does fine job.

There is comments for Q500 being bright for some people while looking R700 measurements it`s more neutral no pronounced highs, but it should be miles ahead with detail, soundstage and bass quality so something doesn´t add up.


Thanks, thats useful i will try other methods to compensate as you suggest . I dis wonder if there was a way to override some frequency levels , to increase upper etc, so the app looks a good suggestion.
I too was expecting a noticeable difference in detail with the R’s , which is def there with the centre. So something is not right
 

kevrev

Active Member
Put a photograph up of your front soundstage so see if there is any placement issues, furnishings, etc that can help.
Here you go
DF3F532C-A1E9-482A-A99B-4B7F7CAD650A.jpeg
DF3F532C-A1E9-482A-A99B-4B7F7CAD650A.jpeg
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Thanks for the photo. You do have positional problems. I would not have suggested R7s for such a location. There is no stereo separation and I think this is the root cause of your problems. They are a big old speaker and KEF's instructions on placement holds true. You have boundary issues as well as reflective issues with the wooden floor.

I would have suggested you buy at the most a pair of R3s, no need for a centre and run a 4.1. Speakers are probably the most important part of the any hifi or home cinema set up. That is followed by the room they are in. You can't ignore the room it has to be a major factor and I'm sorry to be so blunt but your room just isn't suited to such big floorstanders as the R7s.

The speakers aren't showing themselves up as performing poorly, they are showing up the room's inability to host them.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
So you have tried both the half bung and full bung? Did you run Audussey again, even 3 mic positions as you are changing the speakers response with the bungs. Kef recommends the bungs if you have less than 22,5cm space behind speakers. If it sounded too "flat" then try the half bung and run Audussey again! Then play with the EQ curves i mentioned earlier.

It`s damn shame you have so tight space, i would have wanted to bring them forward at least to same level with the av-unit / center channel, normally they should be further ahead but you wouldn´t reach the cd`s/dvd`s then. At least you are happy with the center channel. It´s sealed by design and the drivers are basically from R5 model which would have been better choice, still i feel you aren´t going to hear the expensive speakers at their best. Hopefully there is something to make them sound slightly better.

So you meant the LPF for LFE setting in Denon is set to 120hz and Subwoofer mode is LFE, not LFE+Main? Behind the XXLS400 you have Frequency knob 120hz and Filter set Out/LFE. Phase knob set to 0. Can you confirm these?!
 

kevrev

Active Member
So you have tried both the half bung and full bung? Did you run Audussey again, even 3 mic positions as you are changing the speakers response with the bungs. Kef recommends the bungs if you have less than 22,5cm space behind speakers. If it sounded too "flat" then try the half bung and run Audussey again! Then play with the EQ curves i mentioned earlier.

It`s damn shame you have so tight space, i would have wanted to bring them forward at least to same level with the av-unit / center channel, normally they should be further ahead but you wouldn´t reach the cd`s/dvd`s then. At least you are happy with the center channel. It´s sealed by design and the drivers are basically from R5 model which would have been better choice, still i feel you aren´t going to hear the expensive speakers at their best. Hopefully there is something to make them sound slightly better.

So you meant the LPF for LFE setting in Denon is set to 120hz and Subwoofer mode is LFE, not LFE+Main? Behind the XXLS400 you have Frequency knob 120hz and Filter set Out/LFE. Phase knob set to 0. Can you confirm these?!
Thanks ! Yes meant LFE is set to that only not + main.phase knob was not set to 0 though ( in fact was full on opposite 0)
Will re run Audyssey again .
I want to make these speakers work if possible as i am keen to increase my music listening rather than just HT movie and tv
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thanks ! Yes meant LFE is set to that only not + main.phase knob was not set to 0 though ( in fact was full on opposite 0)
Will re run Audyssey again .
I want to make these speakers work if possible as i am keen to increase my music listening rather than just HT movie and tv
Yes run the Audussey again with the "half bung" if you haven`t tried it yet. And good that you changed the phase of sub as Audussey should take care it so 0 position is recommended. As you are still in testing phase you might want to run the 3mic positions over the 8 just to save time and ears.

Do you listen the Denon in Pure-Direct mode for music or Stereo mode? If you use the stereo mode with subwoofer, you can then try in the XT32 menu the "Bypass L/R" option. That will keep the eq on subwoofer, but bypasses it for speakers which may sound better. Worth trying.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I've got the old R Series R300s. They were always thought of as the sweet spot of the old R Series. Because I have to have them sitting on a heavy duty cabinet the backs are just 30cm from a wall. I have them half ported to control the bass and you can soft of fine tune them by moving the bungs in or out slightly. You should have had these bungs with your R7s.

I don't drive them from my Denon X6500 but use a stereo amp with HT by-pass for a better stereo music performance. I thought about and auditioned the R500s (R5) and my missus actually preferred the look of them but I didn't think I could position the right speaker as it would have been too far in the corner. I have the R300s separated 1.9m tweeter to tweeter.

The R5s are a smaller speaker and maybe easier to position, the R3s would be better still and the performance between the 3 and 5 is very close indeed as it was in the old series. I've been running the R300s for over six years now.

A stereo amp is the route to better audio performance for music, easily accomplished with the Denon's pre-outs.
 

kevrev

Active Member
Yes run the Audussey again with the "half bung" if you haven`t tried it yet. And good that you changed the phase of sub as Audussey should take care it so 0 position is recommended. As you are still in testing phase you might want to run the 3mic positions over the 8 just to save time and ears.

Do you listen the Denon in Pure-Direct mode for music or Stereo mode? If you use the stereo mode with subwoofer, you can then try in the XT32 menu the "Bypass L/R" option. That will keep the eq on subwoofer, but bypasses it for speakers which may sound better. Worth trying.
The stereo sound when used through the stereo avr setting is fine. Its well separated and i am pleased with it within the expectations of an avr playing stereo.
Its just the higher end of streamed and tv movies and 4k dvd i need to find.
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
The stereo sound when used through the stereo avr setting is fine. Its well separated and i am pleased with it within the expectations of an avr playing stereo.
Its just the higher end of streamed and tv movies and 4k dvd i need to find.

As alluded to by Gasp3621, it sounds like the AVR is EQing multi-channel content but not stereo.

If the AVR has the option, re-calibrate your system such that EQ is only done up to around 200Hz. Leave the higher frequencies well alone and you should get that sparkle back from the speakers with multi channel content.
 

kevrev

Active Member
As alluded to by Gasp3621, it sounds like the AVR is EQing multi-channel content but not stereo.

If the AVR has the option, re-calibrate your system such that EQ is only done up to around 200Hz. Leave the higher frequencies well alone and you should get that sparkle back from the speakers with multi channel content.
Thanks . Will run the audyssey app and only run correction up to 200 hz. I am sure it can be vastly improved.
I know my room set up isnt ideal, but I am sure i can improve it
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
I'm sure it can be vastly improved upon. Correct positioning of speakers, calibration, EQ and very importantly room acoustics can make or break a system. Your equipment isn't at fault here.

You might not be able to do anything about positioning or room acoustics but you can on the other aspects. Although the benefits will be limited, you should notice a worthwhile improvement. The last thing I'd do is change out any equipment without addressing all the fundamentals first.
 

kevrev

Active Member
Yes indeed! I may well have made an error in getting R7’s instead of R5’s given the space and positional limitations, but lets see how pleasing to my ear I can get it before thinking of changing them.
 

kevrev

Active Member
I'm sure it can be vastly improved upon. Correct positioning of speakers, calibration, EQ and very importantly room acoustics can make or break a system. Your equipment isn't at fault here.

You might not be able to do anything about positioning or room acoustics but you can on the other aspects. Although the benefits will be limited, you should notice a worthwhile improvement. The last thing I'd do is change out any equipment without addressing all the fundamentals first.
Have downloaded the Audyssey app and re run the set up with full bungs in the lower port. Cut off anything above 200hz and turned off the bbc. Wow!!!
What a difference !!!! Its an amazing difference even with the difficulties of my speaker placement. Much better high end definition and clarity .. its a move in the right direction
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
Fantastic! A move in the right direction indeed. As a general rule of thumb I'd say EQ up to 200hz and room treatment for everything above. If you're serious about your audio and want to take the experience to the next level, look into room treatment. GiK Acoustics offer a variety of living room friendly options but there are others.

A member here posted a couple of pics of his living room setup which I thought had a great balance of getting the room to sound good whilst maintaining a living room decor. Notice to compensate for the hard floor they went all out on ceiling absorption. Just something for you to think about.

DSC05164.jpgDSC05163.jpg
 

kevrev

Active Member
Fantastic! A move in the right direction indeed. As a general rule of thumb I'd say EQ up to 200hz and room treatment for everything above. If you're serious about your audio and want to take the experience to the next level, look into room treatment. GiK Acoustics offer a variety of living room friendly options but there are others.

A member here posted a couple of pics of his living room setup which I thought had a great balance of getting the room to sound good whilst maintaining a living room decor. Notice to compensate for the hard floor they went all out on ceiling absorption. Just something for you to think about.

View attachment 1480293View attachment 1480294
It can become addictive indeed!!
Compromise is always going to be required with a wife of course.
Given the restrictions of my room and speaker placement limitations, do you think I should have gone for R5’s for a better overall achievable quality?
 

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