Quality of KHT3005, Q7000 versus Dali Zensor et al

ajbaker

Active Member
Hello all.

As you read through this description please bare in mind I am no audiophile, and have been quite happy with a Bose Wave Radio for CD listening and TV speakers for films. I'm now on the hunt for a good set of speakers, to improve the TV audio, films and music listening in a room 5x5m. I'd love a 5.1 setup but could certainly be persuaded to stick with stereo (or 2.1 or 3.1). These speakers will be connected to an AV amp (probably Onkyo 515).

At the weekend I set out with my wife to audition the KEF KHT3005 SE and Q Acoustic Q7000 speakers. We had a set of our own CDs to listen to, the best one we've found as a speaker test being the Neil Cowley Trio (jazz). After much almost incompetence (and a rush to get them connected to a receiver) in the first shop we got to hear the 3005's, which sounded fairly 'muddy' and pretty poor in our opinion (the real definition of the music was missing). Quite by accident we then listened to a pair of KEF Q700s which were vastly superior, almost in a different league, even for our untrained ears.

The second shop was a far more pleasant experience, at which we first auditioned the Q7000s. Again, these sounded really muddy. Having heard the floorstanders at the first shop we were introduced to the Dali Zensor 5s and Tannoy Revolution DC4Ts. Again these were worlds apart from the lifestyle speakers.

Now, having been lurking on this site for months I knew floorstanders would be superior, but I cannot quite believe the difference would be so great, such that my wife and I would notice instantly. The cynic in me therefore is thinking the setup for the 3005s and Q7000s was really bad - and the speakers were capable of a lot more given a chance. Perhaps we were being directed to more expensive speakers by the sales staff?

Given the comments in these threads I cannot help but think myself lucky that my wife would allow me to have floorstanding speakers! Personally however I'm still hankering after something that can be hidden in the room.

So where I do go from here?
Should I try to audition the 3005s and Q7000s elsewhere to given them another chance?
Should I simply go out and purchase the Zensors which sounded beautiful.
I've been recommended the Q Acoustic 2000i's before, and while bigger than I originally wanted, they're obviously smaller than the Zensors - could these be a good contrast between size and quality?
Or should I be looking at something else entirely?

Budget implied by the options above.

On a side note, the salesmen implied I would need a sub (and should even consider a centre speaker) if I went with a pair of floor standing speakers. Is this really true? Neither my wife or I appreciate or want heavy bass - just a good rendition of music and films.

Andrew
 

DarkDogZA

Active Member
Hi,

Having been through a similar process to yourself, I regret initially compromising on lifestyle speakers. It would have been cheaper if I bought floorstanders at the start! Having said that, my budget 5 years ago was different.

I can't comment on your choice of speakers but I can say that if you like films, the centre speaker and rears are somewhat essential. Your room is a decent size and you don't mention if you live in a flat / have neighbour issues. I would also get a sub but that can wait for a later date. While not needed for music, it is essential for film.
 

ajbaker

Active Member
Thanks CrazyindianZA, thoughtful comments. Can I ask what speakers you have settled on now? It sounds as though you are finally happy!

I live in a mid terrace house, but while listening to music and films we don't really have to worry about disturbing the neighbours. It is a consideration for the placement of a sub however.
 

sergiup

Distinguished Member
I would say that up to a certain size, bigger will tend to be better - I don't mean that in terms of bass, but in terms of quality.
You said that you heard the Q7000's, and then the Zensors and Tannoys - was that on the same setup? If so, then that should give you a clearer idea of what you want. I think the KHT3005 will sound in the same league as the Q7000's.

You don't NEED a centre and rears and a sub, but if you want to better enjoy your movies then they will definitely help. I would say get a centre as well at first, then if you have a couple spare (compatible, electrically) speakers use them as rears just to test.

A sub will add more bottom-end, and would definitely be noticeable. It's one of those things that most people won't really think they need, but then find it adds quite a bit when they do try it. It can always be an addition later on!

What receiver are you considering, or at least a rough budget for it? This will matter to some extent as well.
 

ajbaker

Active Member
Thanks sergiup. I knew the floor standing speakers would be better, I just wasn't prepared to be astounded by the difference. I was hoping people would argue the lifestyles speakers weren't setup properly, but I'm resigning myself to the fact that there is simply a huge difference, that does in fact justify the price increase as well.

It's a shame that there is no difference in price between the 3.1 set (purchased individually) and the 5.1 set - the Dali satellites are simply too big for the position I have prepared for them.

Regards receiver, I was thinking of the Onkyo 515 or 616, or a Yamaha of a similar value. Do these sound suitable? The 515 offers all the features I need, but I'm guessing I should consider the 616 as the floorstanders are rated at 6 ohms.

I've read the Yamaha may be better for music, but the Onkyo seems to have the ability to play one analogue audio source and an HDMI video source simultaneously - a feature I really like.
 

sergiup

Distinguished Member
I think that you've already taken the most important step and I would encourage you to do it again - that is, listening to the speakers in the first place (maybe in a different store if you think they didn't set it up properly).

Sub/sat systems like the Q7000 and the KEF HT3005 are unavoidably a compromise between physical size and "presence" of sound (or whatever else you may want to call it), and will always rely on a sub to take over the lower frequency ranges.
Bigger speakers will of course go lower themselves, but will rarely make up for not having a sub all the way down - it's just physics..

I would say that if you can physically accommodate floorstanders, centre speaker etc then go for it. You could always buy the full 5.1 package if it ends up costing the same and sell the extra two speakers, or use them in another room with a small amp?

Consider the Yamaha RX-A810 as well, just check it does what you wanted.
 
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m11nch

Active Member
I went for the q acoustic q7000 and I love them I have a similar room size to you. The overall experience of listening to music and putting on a film is great. (bad ass sub)

I listened to the kef 3005se and the b&w m1s
But for the money I think it was the right decision
I did not look at floor stands due to the fact I think its was to much of a compromise on the look of the room Hope this helps
 

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