Question New front speakers for a KEF 3005 SE

jonnycon

Novice Member
Hello all,

I have been running the Kef HTS 3005 SE system in our living room for about 8 years (4 HTS3001 satellites, 1 HTC3001 center, 1 sub HTB2 SE) with a pioneer VSX920. The living room has about 35 square meters. The TV hangs on the wall in a 2.50 m wide niche, which is bordered on the left by the outer wall and on the right by a fireplace. The two Frontspeakers hang on the left and right next to the TV on the brick wall, the center is placed on a lowboard under the TV, the sub is to the left of it and the two rear / surround Sp. are each about 1 m behind the seating area.

We have now bought a Samsung GQ75Q90T that will replace the previous TV. For optical reasons I would like to mount the two KEF front sp as rear speakers in the back of the room and install "invisible" in-wall-speakers at the front.

As I know, that the situation with a width of only 2,50 m is not the best (we sit about 3,5-4 m away from the TV) for a right stereo triangle I see the following possibilities for the front speakers of a 7.1 system:

3 x Kef Ci160Qs as built-in wall speakers in a brick wall (enormous work)

or

3 x Kef T301 onwall

or

Passive Soundbar Monitor Audio SB-4


The sub from the existing KEF system is retained.

The Kef Ci160Qs should be the best speaker of the selection due to its wide frequency. But I am not sure whether it - mounted in the corresponding box to be walled in the brick wall - really sounds considerably better than the thin Kef T301 or the passive soundbar (in each case in conjunction with the sub and the surrounds, of course).

Unfortunately, testing here in Germany is difficult because no shop in the area arround demonstrates speakers that are built into a solid wall.

So I hope, that someone of you has already heard the systems comparatively and can give me a decision-making aid. I am of course equally grateful for alternative ideas.

Have a nice weekend and stay healthy!

Regards, Jonny
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I don´t think the Ci160Qs would be ideal. Something like 3x Ci4100QL for the LCR if going with the in-wall route. But if you can consider on-wall speakers then stick with that. Much less hassle with the installation! The Kef T301 + T301c is probably most wife friendly with the ultra slim design, but it´s a trade off performance wise. Still step up from the Egg range. Few other options which may be on larger side, but at least you see what is available:


XTZ Spirit 2 & 6 or 3x Spirit 6 (low depth with keyholes for wall mounting).

Dali Oberon On-Wall x3 if they are really sold as each

Canton Atelier

ATC HTS7 & 7C

Monitor Audio SoundFrame 2 (smaller ones too)

Monitor Audio Radius 225 (similar quality to SB4)
 

jonnycon

Novice Member
Wow, thanks a lot for this detailed answer with German links! I`m relieved that installing the Ci160QS is not the best way of my researched options ;-)

I was amazed that the KEF T301 are at least an improvement over my current KEF-eggs.

The Canton Atellier series is a possible alternative, but to mount flush them with the wall I would have to make holes and would have the same effort as the Ci160QS. Onwall mounted 3 speakers would not produce the desired optical effect ;-)

One question to the comment about the Monitor Audio Radius 225: Do you mean 3 of them or is 1 piece mounted under the TV similar to the SB-4? Or didn't you mean the Monitor Audio Radius One as similar to the SB-4?

Compairing the T301 set to the Monitor-Audio soundbar, both solutions are compromises as the speakers can be clearly seen. But which one is preferable?

Regards, Jonny
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Wow, thanks a lot for this detailed answer with German links! I`m relieved that installing the Ci160QS is not the best way of my researched options ;-)

I was amazed that the KEF T301 are at least an improvement over my current KEF-eggs.

The Canton Atellier series is a possible alternative, but to mount flush them with the wall I would have to make holes and would have the same effort as the Ci160QS. Onwall mounted 3 speakers would not produce the desired optical effect ;-)

One question to the comment about the Monitor Audio Radius 225: Do you mean 3 of them or is 1 piece mounted under the TV similar to the SB-4? Or didn't you mean the Monitor Audio Radius One as similar to the SB-4?

Compairing the T301 set to the Monitor-Audio soundbar, both solutions are compromises as the speakers can be clearly seen. But which one is preferable?

Regards, Jonny

I meant three Radius 225 on-wall so you would have the benefit of placing them further apart perhaps. Probably not easy task if you ask from wife. 😅 If you sit 4meters away try to spread them bit more apart than usual.

fc0062e0d6f763619920e7f371115bab.jpg



There is lot of good feedback from the T 301 range if you look up old threads. I think three of those (T301c as center) in white finish should be quite ideal all things considered. Soundbar is always bit of compromise with everything squeezed so close together in small box. The T305 package was reviewed by AVF back in the days:

I think you could also consider new subwoofer at some point as that is going to make another noticeable difference making the whole system sound bit larger and bringing that wow factor if you fancy to watch action/scifi/horror type of movies often. Your room at 35sqm isn`t actually small either, but anyway something to consider in future.
 

jonnycon

Novice Member
Thanks again for your useful tips. I know, that a wider distance between the side speakers would be recommended. But this is not possible, cause of the fireplace on the right side.
I think, T`ve read all the reviews about the T301 Speakers. They range from euphoric to critical, so I haven't found a clear result.

Which subwoofer do you think of? The T2 from the T305 set? Is it really much better than the HTB-2?

Regards, Jonny
room.jpg
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thanks again for your useful tips. I know, that a wider distance between the side speakers would be recommended. But this is not possible, cause of the fireplace on the right side.
I think, T`ve read all the reviews about the T301 Speakers. They range from euphoric to critical, so I haven't found a clear result.

Which subwoofer do you think of? The T2 from the T305 set? Is it really much better than the HTB-2?

Regards, JonnyView attachment 1425011

Ah ok. The speakers would go basically in corners without the possibility to angle them toward listeners. 😟 Normally the T-range speakers don´t need toe in. Tricky room indeed.

No i meant from dedicated subwoofer manufacturer like SVS, XTZ, Arendal etc. You don´t need to have "matching" subwoofer to speakers, especially as there is lot better options available. The box would be larger, but still there is wife friendly options. You would be looking to spend 800-1000€ so as i said it would be something for the future to think depending how you feel the slim Kef sub is doing the job now..
 

jonnycon

Novice Member
Ah ok. The speakers would go basically in corners without the possibility to angle them toward listeners. 😟 Normally the T-range speakers don´t need toe in. Tricky room indeed.
That`s why I`ve considered, if a passive soundbar like the SB-4 could do the job better than 3 speakers.

In the Canton Inwall series, like the 865, the tweeters can be rotated and directed towards the audience. The set consists of 2 Inwall 865 and the center 845 LCR. Maybe I should take on the work of walling it in.


No i meant from dedicated subwoofer manufacturer like SVS, XTZ, Arendal etc. You don´t need to have "matching" subwoofer to speakers, especially as there is lot better options available. The box would be larger, but still there is wife friendly options. You would be looking to spend 800-1000€ so as i said it would be something for the future to think depending how you feel the slim Kef sub is doing the job now..

Ok, this could be a further project in future.

Regards, Jonny
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
That`s why I`ve considered, if a passive soundbar like the SB-4 could do the job better than 3 speakers.

In the Canton Inwall series, like the 865, the tweeters can be rotated and directed towards the audience. The set consists of 2 Inwall 865 and the center 845 LCR. Maybe I should take on the work of walling it in.




Ok, this could be a further project in future.

Regards, Jonny
What is width of that front wall?

The question would be can you place them bit more inwards then? They don´t need big space to sidewalls, i saw one conversation with member and Kef as one of the speaker was going close to corner. Also they said the T-serie doesn`t need to be angled toward listener as they have very wide dispersion. The member i talked didn´t have much space to side wall about 20cm perhaps and he was very pleased how the system sounded. Sadly i don´t have the PMs anymore, i would have asked to show pictures. You can always contact Kef and ask their take on this.

SB4 would be out of cornerns, but overall i wonder would it leave you bit underwhelmed. It´s not cheap and listening from 4meters doesn`t help either. Swapping gear i would want noticeable upgrade, not sideway move or downgrade. I mean the Eggs aren´t bad either.

If you would go in-wall route then 3x 845LCR at the front (l/r vertically upright and center channel horizontally below tv), not the small coaxial 865 which are more ideal as ceiling/surround speakers. One of the benefits with in-wall speakers is to use identical speakers. You just need to get the placement right as you doing holes on wall. Tweeter at seated ear height for at least with main channels, center channel probably goes bit lower unless you are fine to have tv higher. Could be too risky. But also keep in mind that center channel is one of the most active speaker in your system pushing out +60% of movies soundtrack so you should optimize the placement as good as you can. It sounds just a lot of work if you have brick wall. I mean the on-wall speakers are so much easier to install.

You sure you don´t have one spare room to make Jonny`s cinema room? 😆
 

jonnycon

Novice Member
What is width of that front wall?

2,35 meter

The question would be can you place them bit more inwards then?

The Samsung TV has a width of 1,65 m. So I have space of 35 cm right and left. The Kef T301 and the Monitor Audio Radius 225 has a width of only 14 cm. So I could place these ones a bit more inwards if absolutely necessary

SB4 would be out of cornerns, but overall i wonder would it leave you bit underwhelmed. It´s not cheap and listening from 4meters doesn`t help either. Swapping gear i would want noticeable upgrade, not sideway move or downgrade. I mean the Eggs aren´t bad either.

You are right, the SB-4 is out. Of course I want an improvement over the current eggs.

If you would go in-wall route then 3x 845LCR at the front (l/r vertically upright and center channel horizontally below tv), not the small coaxial 865 which are more ideal as ceiling/surround speakers. One of the benefits with in-wall speakers is to use identical speakers. You just need to get the placement right as you doing holes on wall. Tweeter at seated ear height for at least with main channels, center channel probably goes bit lower unless you are fine to have tv higher. Could be too risky. But also keep in mind that center channel is one of the most active speaker in your system pushing out +60% of movies soundtrack so you should optimize the placement as good as you can. It sounds just a lot of work if you have brick wall. I mean the on-wall speakers are so much easier to install.

The Inwall-Speakers are out. I cannot make holes as large as would be required for the 845 LCR, cause the wall is perhaps a "load-bearing" wall. I either use onwall speakers or we mount a drywall in front of the brickwall (much work).

Because of the narrow width to the left and right of the TV only the KEF T301 and the Monitor Audio Radius 225 come into consideration. All the other speakers mentioned are too wide and look worse than the eggs. The Kef T301 seem to be a good compromise to the inwall systems because they look similar to the wallmounted tv. Should the Monitor Audio 225 promise a significantly better sound, I would also consider them against my wife's protest. An improvement compared to the eggs probably both yield.

You sure you don´t have one spare room to make Jonny`s cinema room? 😆

As soon as the children have moved out another room will be available. Until then, the home cinema must take place in the living room ;-)

Regards, Jonny
 

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