Upgrade from Kef Q300

Hi Folks,

I'm currently using a pair of Kef Q300, a Q200c, with a BK Gemini sub and a Yamaha RXA2010 reciever.

I've had the kit a while, but lately can't seem to shake the feeling wherever eq the treble to a point where I like the way it vocals sound, it will also, on some tracks, sound sibilant and nearly make me wince. There doesn't seem to be a sweet spot with this setup that gives a non-muddy sounding vocal and saves me from dreading the singers next assault on my ears. I know that this is an achievable goal - my Beyerdynamic headphones get it spot on!

I think the Q300 might be in line for an upgrade - any suggestions? I'm open to standmount and floorstanding options and the budget is under £800.

I'm considering lS50, Q350, Q550, and Dynaudio Emit M20.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Have you considered the room in your the assault on your ears? A photograph can paint a thousand notes. Your headphones have one big advantage of any speakers as they take the room right out of the equation. In a normal living room it would be almost impossible to get the same response as the headphones unless you use top of the range room EQ such as Direct, ARC or RoomPerfect. As good a Yamahas are their onboard EQ lags behind the competition even those Audyssey XT32 fitted Denon and Marantz models.

You mention Q350s and although they are a better speaker in many respects to the old Q300s that may just be more of sideways move with a little incline involved. It's essential that you audition new speakers and it would be in your own interest to wait until the dealers re-open. If I were to upgrade from the Q300s I would looking at a fairly substantial one and with the KEF range it would have to be the R3s. Doing so would mean you would still be able to use the Q200C in the short term.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
@only_sleeping have you played with the speaker distance from wall if the low end is muddy, even if they are front ported you shouldn´t keep them close to boundaries?! Also play with toe in (=angling), if you have them pointed more toward you now then lessen the angle if they are too bright on-axis.

When you listen 2ch stereo mode the YPAO should be enabled and you can change the eq curve between Flat and Natural to see which you prefer. If you listen in Pure Direct mode then it will be disabled as will be everything from background.
 
Have you considered the room in your the assault on your ears? A photograph can paint a thousand notes. Your headphones have one big advantage of any speakers as they take the room right out of the equation. In a normal living room it would be almost impossible to get the same response as the headphones unless you use top of the range room EQ such as Direct, ARC or RoomPerfect. As good a Yamahas are their onboard EQ lags behind the competition even those Audyssey XT32 fitted Denon and Marantz models.
The room definitely has a few hard surfaces - I've temporarily covered up what I can with some soft things though (!) and the problem persists unfortunately.

I had considered that the receiver might be an issue - it is old, and I assume the room correction is not as sophisticated as DIRAC or Audyssey. Could more sophisticated room correction software potentially fix my problem without muddying the rest of the treble?

You mention Q350s and although they are a better speaker in many respects to the old Q300s that may just be more of sideways move with a little incline involved. It's essential that you audition new speakers and it would be in your own interest to wait until the dealers re-open. If I were to upgrade from the Q300s I would looking at a fairly substantial one and with the KEF range it would have to be the R3s. Doing so would mean you would still be able to use the Q200C in the short term.
I had looked at the R3 but discounted them due to budget restrictions. Maybe they are worth waiting for?!
 
@only_sleeping have you played with the speaker distance from wall if the low end is muddy, even if they are front ported you shouldn´t keep them close to boundaries?! Also play with toe in (=angling), if you have them pointed more toward you now then lessen the angle if they are too bright on-axis.

When you listen 2ch stereo mode the YPAO should be enabled and you can change the eq curve between Flat and Natural to see which you prefer. If you listen in Pure Direct mode then it will be disabled as will be everything from background.
Even moving the speaker hasn't cured the issue I'm afraid. The EQ on the receiver is flat, and if I dial the treble down anymore, it seems to have a really detrimental effect to vocals.

I am being a little picky here, but somehow on some tracks (that I suspect might be badly recorded tracks) my big expensive system sounds worse, or if less enjoyable to listen to, than the little Sonos Play 5 in the living room...
 

rccarguy

Active Member
Only had older Q's, good speakers but they are budgetish, moving up to Reference range certainly improved it (old Reference not the insane ones now)

Guess could try a stereo integrated amp first.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Even moving the speaker hasn't cured the issue I'm afraid. The EQ on the receiver is flat, and if I dial the treble down anymore, it seems to have a really detrimental effect to vocals.

I am being a little picky here, but somehow on some tracks (that I suspect might be badly recorded tracks) my big expensive system sounds worse, or if less enjoyable to listen to, than the little Sonos Play 5 in the living room...
Have you listened them with the receiver in pure direct mode? As i mentioned it disables the room correction and everything from background. Also you can try the Natural EQ curve.

NATURAL: this is the old CinemaEQ curve. It tames the high end to make sure that movie soundtracks don’t sound too bright if you have a normal living room with lots of hard surfaces like floors and walls without carpet or other soft coverings.

As for making the bass more controlled try the bungs and still keep them atleast 20-30cm from front wall! And try them firing straight ahead without toe in. At this point you want to try everything without spending money.

If nothing helps wait until shops open and go listen some speakers. When you find something you like ask them for home demo.
 

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