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New to HIFI. Need an advice regarding KEF r3

emadgaidi

Novice Member
Hello. I am new to HIFI audio. Last month I bought the NAD M10, they gave me LS50 for free, I was so excited, when I installed everything, it did not sound as good as the reviews! so I bought the KEF R3. They sound way better, but I think the bass is lacking.


Someone told me I need a better Amp and use my M10 as a preamp. I don't want to add a sub as I like everything minimal. Looks and cables wise.

My question is: Will a power amp make the speakers sound better? if yes, what amp should I buy? budget 1000-2000USD.
Thank you.
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
Speaker wiring correct and in phase?
Type of room they are in?
Furnishings etc.?
Source material?

Until you are confident those are OK then you would be wasting your money throwing more at the problem. What you have should perform well if everything else is sorted.
 

emadgaidi

Novice Member
How can wiring go wrong? I am pretty sure they are correct. Room is a bit of a problem, it is the center of a 2 floors apartment. It's quite big with high ceiling, 6 meters. source is the NAD M10, connected to TV through optical, Mac mini, xbox, PS4 connected to TV, I stream Spotify and Tidal from the M10.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
At 100w into 8 ohms and 4 ohms and a damping factor of 190 the M10 should have plenty of power for the R3's so long as they are not in a huge room and you are sitting a long way away form them.

First thing to check, sorry if this is very basic but we have all been there, is to check the speakers are connected to the amp red-red and black-black, nothing will suck the life out of a stereo more than getting the speakers connected out of phase.

Biggest effect on sound is the placement of the speakers and the type of room they are in. As a first stab, even if it is not ultimately practical, put the speakers in an equilateral triangle with the main listening position typically about 8ft on each side of the triangle if you can, place the speakers 3ft from the rear and side walls if possible and toe them in toward the listening position. See how this sounds, if it is good then start to inch tem back into a practical position noting where the sound becomes different/unacceptable (closer to the wall should produced more bass if the port bungs are removed, rear ported).

Page 8-11 gives you suggested minimum limits for the speakers - https://www.shop.us.kef.com/pub/media/documents/rseries/r2018_manual.pdf

A change in power amp may have a small effect but it will be small IMO assuming they are working within their specification. The obvious power amp is the Nad M22 but this is way over budget at around $3000. Ensure you audition any addition of a power amp, preferably in your room, to see if there is any difference.

EDIT - posts crossed in the ether - 6m high ceiling may be your issues, that is a big volume to fill, suspect you may need a subwoofer to get anything decent in the bass department. Not the news you would like but "you can't change the laws of physics, captain".
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
I'd try the free route first, play around with putting the speakers in different places and see if that helps, you may find a position that actually re-enforced the bass at the listening position (but may reduced it elsewhere).

Another couple of things to check/try - the R3 seems to have a single/bi wire switch on the rear, if you are single wiring just make sure it is in the right position, this is a long shot as it will sound very odd if in the biwire position if single wiring. Also make sure the foam bungs are not in the rear ports, if they are remove them and see if that helps.

Also page 9 of the manual shows the M10 has Bass/Treble controls so you can have a play around with that to see if it helps. Also make sure the M10 is not set up for use with a subwoofer (No Subwoofer setting) as this will reduce bass volume under the crossover frequency and therefore reduced bass from the R3's.

https://nadelectronics.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/M10_eng_OM_v11.pdf
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
No point asking for advice if you're not going to heed the responses. So firstly check the speaker wiring & confirm it's in phase. Then try the speaker placement as also suggested, although as the problem is a lack of bass I'd start with the speaker against the wall & inch them out as necessary.

You've already found that blindly buying speakers hasn't worked for you so blindly buying a sub isn't the answer.

We also have no idea what your expectations are beyond "it did not sound as good as the reviews!", which of course is meaningless because you can't hear reviews. So what are you comparing this against, what is your benchmark for "the bass is lacking"?
 

emadgaidi

Novice Member
Never used the foam bungs, they made the speakers sound even smaller. Wiring is correct. When I am facing the speakers, bass sound ok. but when I am else where in the house, there is almost no bass,. The bass is at maximum in the M10. I even tried Dirac live, for some reason it made the speakers sound worse. I guess I need a sub.
 

emadgaidi

Novice Member
No point asking for advice if you're not going to heed the responses. So firstly check the speaker wiring & confirm it's in phase. Then try the speaker placement as also suggested, although as the problem is a lack of bass I'd start with the speaker against the wall & inch them out as necessary.

You've already found that blindly buying speakers hasn't worked for you so blindly buying a sub isn't the answer.

We also have no idea what your expectations are beyond "it did not sound as good as the reviews!", which of course is meaningless because you can't hear reviews. So what are you comparing this against, what is your benchmark for "the bass is lacking"?
Sorry English is not my mother tongue. What I meant is; beside wrong phasing, what else should I check? I have the KEF LSX and the Google Home max, both sounded like they have more bass. Sorry if I sounded rude. I did not meant it,
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Any stereo system, especially one at this price point, is designed to give optimum sound in a fairly small volume at the point where the sound from the speakers meet i.e. the listening position, they are not meant for whole house or even whole big room listening. In fact, often the higher up the tree you go the more sensitive they are to position but the better the sound within the "sweet spot" when you get it right.

If you were looking for a bigger, house filling sound then you may have been better going down the Kef range to something like the Q950 (c. $999) less outlay than the R3, sacrificing some of the high end quality for a "bigger and deeper" room filling sound. These will also be easier to drive, counter intuitive but being more sensitive (91 vs 87db/w/m) and also probably have an easier load (the R series has a reputation for being difficult to drive).

Are you able to return them and get a home demo of something more suited to your needs/environment as I think this is the main issue, 6m ceilings are fairly unique and will need good speaker matching insitu and if you need wide dispersion then speaker surface area is typically what you need.
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
Never used the foam bungs, they made the speakers sound even smaller. Wiring is correct. When I am facing the speakers, bass sound ok. but when I am else where in the house, there is almost no bass,. The bass is at maximum in the M10. I even tried Dirac live, for some reason it made the speakers sound worse. I guess I need a sub.
So it is not the speakers or the amp but your house - you cannot expect the same performance everywhere as you have found. A PA system perhaps.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Sorry if I sounded rude. I did not meant it,
I don't think you were rude at all & sorry if I gave that impression. I was simply asking you to take stock of the advice offered before rushing headlong into a buying a sub.

HiFi is meant to be sat in front of & listened to critically. It isn't meant to fill a warehouse with quality sound as that simply isn't possible from a single source. You may need to look at adding additional components (Bluesound?) that can give you effectively multi-room coverage via BluOS.

I think you need to go back to your dealer & explain what you're trying to achieve & see what they suggest.
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
If you're having issues with finding out if you have wired your speakers incorrectly, the easiest way to test this to stand between both speakers. Whilst playing some music, walking toward the rear of the speakers toward the wall. If you sense a small change in the sound or feel something is wrong with the music, this indicates that you have go something wrong with the cables (being out of phase) whereas if it sounds constant whilst moving/walking toward the rear of the speakers, then everything is right.

If you have something wrong with the speaker cables, I would say the simple thing to do would be to start again and disconnect the speaker cables from the amp and speakers (whilst everything is disconnected from the electric)

Look closely at the speaker cable as there is usually a small tell tale sign with either a plus (+) indicator every 0.5m to 1.0m, a manufacturers name or even a solid block like down one side of the cable. Some cables even have a ruff edge on one side and a smooth edge on the opposite side as an identifying mark.

What you have to do here is make sure (one of those identifying markers) the positive on both the speaker and amplifier receive the exact same side of the cable. So it is one continuous link and the opposite side the negative side only goes to the positive side in the same way. If you have it incorrect, you will have crossed/twisted the connection/cable over so you have a positive connection going to a negative connection and its as simple as that
 

emadgaidi

Novice Member
Any stereo system, especially one at this price point, is designed to give optimum sound in a fairly small volume at the point where the sound from the speakers meet i.e. the listening position, they are not meant for whole house or even whole big room listening. In fact, often the higher up the tree you go the more sensitive they are to position but the better the sound within the "sweet spot" when you get it right.

If you were looking for a bigger, house filling sound then you may have been better going down the Kef range to something like the Q950 (c. $999) less outlay than the R3, sacrificing some of the high end quality for a "bigger and deeper" room filling sound. These will also be easier to drive, counter intuitive but being more sensitive (91 vs 87db/w/m) and also probably have an easier load (the R series has a reputation for being difficult to drive).

Are you able to return them and get a home demo of something more suited to your needs/environment as I think this is the main issue, 6m ceilings are fairly unique and will need good speaker matching insitu and if you need wide dispersion then speaker surface area is typically what you need.
I live in Istanbul Turkey right now. Not everything is available here. the dealer only has the Q550 from the Q series. I tried them and I did not like the sound. I have an old Kanto 6 Sub, I tried it with R3 and it actually made them sound better, but it has a problem, for some reason it shuts off after 5 minutes. For now I will try to find bigger speakers or a sub. Thank you.
 

NottsMFC

Active Member
I demod R3 & R5 with the M10, both sounded great & certainly not lacking in bass.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
A photo of the room and where the hifi is would very helpful.

And, as has been said, in that kind of room size you’re going to need subs to fill it with a big sound.

Bigger speakers without a sub or two will not make much difference to the perceived bass.

You would need floorstanders with, say, at least two ten inch drivers each and a whopping power amp too.

Without further photo information, the best I can suggest is two of these


and a thorough understanding of DiracLive and how to alter the Dirac curves to taste.

Once you have a command of Dirac, and at least one powerful sub, both the Nad and the Kefs will be able to do their very fine stuff.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The R3s have a very good bass, it's not deep the cabinet size doesn't allow for that. It is however very fast and agile and good clean bass. Some people see that as a lack of bass as it doesn't hit them in the chest but you can certainly hear a bass guitar's strings being plucked.
 

emadgaidi

Novice Member
A photo of the room and where the hifi is would very helpful.

And, as has been said, in that kind of room size you’re going to need subs to fill it with a big sound.

Bigger speakers without a sub or two will not make much difference to the perceived bass.

You would need floorstanders with, say, at least two ten inch drivers each and a whopping power amp too.

Without further photo information, the best I can suggest is two of these


and a thorough understanding of DiracLive and how to alter the Dirac curves to taste.

Once you have a command of Dirac, and at least one powerful sub, both the Nad and the Kefs will be able to do their very fine stuff.
Here are the photos from different angles, The space is weird, half is 3 meters, half is 6 meters.
 

Attachments

larkone

Distinguished Member
You need a Lyngdorf amp with RoomPerfect. That would give you the best chance of dealing with a room like that.
 

drummerman

Banned
Why not look at the likes of Sonos to create a multi zone music system?


You may get a few funny comments here about them but their larger speakers sound very good imho and you can add subs though I doubt you'll need them.

Very musical, less HIFI.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
That is indeed an interesting room. And quite the pain when it comes to hifi positioning.

The best thing I can suggest is a room rearrangement.

The way the hifi is set up now is about as wrong as it can be for optimal sound, squashed into a corner is not the best place for it.

So, if you’re willing, I’d suggest you use the wall that has the shelving unit against it as the hifi position.

So you’d need to spin both couches 90 degrees, have the tv unit against the right hand wall (as seen from the first photo) and the green couch in front of the window currently to the right of the right hand speaker (about five feet from the window will damp most reflections from it.

Then, the other couch in front of the current rear window, along with the dining table.

That will give the hifi the whole room to breathe in.

Try to get as close to a triangle as you can with the speaker positioning relative to the green couch.

As for the huge ceiling and odd shape of the room, I think that will require two subs; just because of the volume needed to be filed.

They need not be huge subs, but two subs will be better able to balance the sound, especially with Dirac working for you.

A little experimenting with Dirac, and I think you’ll get the serious hifi quality that both the speakers and amp are capable of.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Why not look at the likes of Sonos to create a multi zone music system?


You may get a few funny comments here about them but their larger speakers sound very good imho and you can add subs though I doubt you'll need them.

Very musical, less HIFI.
I can’t agree at all with the Sonos suggestion.

They are adequate for background or party music.

They sound thick and congested compared to even modest hifi and certainly cannot hope to sound anything like the quality of your current hifi.
 

drummerman

Banned
I can’t agree at all with the Sonos suggestion.

They are adequate for background or party music.

They sound thick and congested compared to even modest hifi and certainly cannot hope to sound anything like the quality of your current hifi.
All I can suggest to the OP is to have a good demonstration of what a top Sonos system can do 🙃.
 

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