Orb Audio Booster for KEF Q100

Undo

Standard Member
I just purchased KEF Q100. Got the pair for $250 and hope to be quite satisfied with them.

I live in apartments, am not crazy about excessive bass, and love clear studio monitor quality sound.

My question is this. Does anybody have an opinion on pairing the KEF Q100 with Orb Audio Booster Mini Amp 2x25W ? Remember, I live in apartment, and do not need to turn up loud. More or less a sound bar alternative for general TV watching, occasional movie, and casual music listening.

There don't seem to be many reviews on the Orb Audio Booster out there, other than Amazon which are all good reviews.

Thoughts?
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
As the specs are somewhat thin on info then I would assume the 25W is into 4ohms so is likely to be only around 10W into 8ohms - KefQ100. It would struggle and more likely damage your speakers by going into clipping. Buy a bigger amp and don't turn it up too loud - much safer for your speakers.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
You will need a 50 watt per channel amp into 8 ohms. I agree with larkone that your proposal may very well result in damage to the speakers. Actually a more powerful amp will probably perform better at lower volume giving a much more pleasing sound. KEF speakers as a rule are detailed at low volume. A Marantz PM 6006 would be an ideal partner for the Q100s.
Marantz Stereo Amplifier
 

Undo

Standard Member
Thanks guy's, so I did just check with manufacturer/seller, and they claim 25 watts at 8 Ohms. The Q100 suggest from 10W-100W, so technically I guess this works?

I already ordered the amp yesterday, so I suppose I wont hurt to try them out together, hopefully wont hurt that is...

Due to space limitations, I'm looking for mini amp. So PM 6006 is out of question. I was also considering a NAD 3020, or SMSL Q5 Pro, or the SMSL AD18.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
I assume you bought on line so you have a period to return no questions asked if you don't like it.

My pic out of those would definitely be the NAD, also worth a look is the Yamaha WXA50 which has an optical input for the TV but also has built in spotify for music listening. If they are typical of their manufacturers signature sound then the Nad will be a warmer sound (bit more bass, clear mid treble clear but not harsh) whereas the Yamaha will be a bit more exiting initially (less bass, more mid and treble a bit more crisp). But not hear either so if you can audition do.

Yamaha WXA-50 Wireless Streaming Amplifier
 

Undo

Standard Member
Interesting, I forgot about the WXA50. Only draw back on the built-in Spotify is that I believe you need a premium account, whereas using Chromecast(which I currently do) you can get away with free account. Only draw back with free Spotify is lower quality streaming, and the ads which actually I don't mind for some reason, helps to break up my day :)

Also, I get the feeling with WXA50 your paying mostly for those streaming features, not the quality of AMP...

The SMSL's look neat, but for whatever reason I can help but think they are junk under the hood, lol.

Well, seeing how the Orb Audio is supposedly 25W @8 Ohms, I'm guessing damaging the KEF's shouldn't be a concern (hopefully!), and since I already ordered it, might as well try it out...

Suppose if it doesn't do the trick for me I will upgrade to the NAD 3020. FYI, the NAD is $399, vs. $179 for Orb Audio Booster.

Thanks again, any other thoughts are welcome!
 

Undo

Standard Member
Oh, just as a side note, my budget isn't really a concern with this. I just feel I will be more satisfied if I can hit the sweet spot price/performance/physical size, not overdoing it.

These speakers/amp may end up on my desk as computer speakers someday when I buy a house and get "proper" setup that I can actually turn up the volume on.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
25 in 8 ohm will be fine. Just don't drive them hard as the amp will be the limitation not the speakers.
 

Undo

Standard Member
@gibbsy, i'm slightly confused by your comment. You say "just don't drive them hard as the amp will be the limitation".

If the amp is the limitation, shouldn't I be able to turn the amp to 100% volume and theoretically be in safe zone?

Not that I anticipate needing to turn it all the way up, just kind of confused by the comment.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
No, if the amp is working at 100% the protection circuits will be kicking in regularly, this known as clipping, and causes harsh/spikes noises to be sent to the speakers which are already loud. These spikes in sound are what da,age the speakers. Therefore, the previous comments, better to run a 50w amp at half volume setting than 25w amp at full volume setting to give the same speaker volume.
 

Undo

Standard Member
gotcha, that makes sense to me know :)

So on my evaluation of the amp/speaker pairing, if I find myself wanting/needing to turn the amp volume past 50% at anytime I may want to consider the more powerful options.

Otherwise, as long as I am happy with sound quality then on the amp, I'm good to go.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
@gibbsy, i'm slightly confused by your comment. You say "just don't drive them hard as the amp will be the limitation".

If the amp is the limitation, shouldn't I be able to turn the amp to 100% volume and theoretically be in safe zone?

Not that I anticipate needing to turn it all the way up, just kind of confused by the comment.
What Ugg10 has outlined.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
gotcha, that makes sense to me know :)

So on my evaluation of the amp/speaker pairing, if I find myself wanting/needing to turn the amp volume past 50% at anytime I may want to consider the more powerful options.

Otherwise, as long as I am happy with sound quality then on the amp, I'm good to go.
My main stereo amp has an output of 105 watts into 8 ohms. It never gets about 11 o'clock, about 33% of it's available power, as that is certainly loud enough with my KEF R300 speakers. It's the way the amp delivers that power that gives you the quality of sound, at that volume it's just purring along perfectly.
 

Undo

Standard Member
Thanks @gibbsy, this all makes a lot of sense to me now, and I feel like I've really learned something.

So I actually just got done chatting with a tech rep. from KEF explain this same topic. He concurred with everything we've covered. He generally recommends minimum 40 watt amp for the Q100's, but he did emphasize that was a general recommend. HE said according to my situation, that the Orb Audio may very well be a good pairing, so long as I don't try to push it to hard. So that's just FYI, basically exactly what you guys said :)
 

Undo

Standard Member
Quick update, just got my Orb Audio Booster and paired with KEF Q100's. The sound is quite amazing, and seems to have plenty of power for my situation (or any situation it seems to me...).
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