Upgrading from KEF HTS HTS2001 5.1 surround system

Jezza Neumann

Novice Member
I recently upgraded my TV to 4k and my amp to a Denon AVRX2700. I currently have the KEF eggs but have never been happy with the centre speaker clarity on voice and the Sub doesn't seem quite right (might be the way I haveit set up tho) either with weird popping bass sounds in some scenes. The Room is approx 5 meters by 7 meters. I really like the eggs for their simplicity and was wondering whether it was worth upgrading the whole speaker system or just part of it as I see some people suggesting keeping the orig satellites and changing the front 3 and possibly the Sub. I could also run atmos with this amp but not sure whether that's worth it and not sure the wife would be happy with even more speakers :)

I work professionally with Pictures so am more in the dark when it comes to sound so suggestions welcomed. Thnak you in advance
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Yes definitely upgrade the front 3 first and sub! 35sqm room with approx 3-4m distance to LCR i would want something different to small sat system.

As you are familiar with KEF you could look for Q range which is on sale right now! These would do great as main L/R (for surround sides you can get smaller Q150 later if you feel so):

For center channel there is two options. Q650c would be the better one if you can fit it. If you are 100% sure you can´t then Q250c, but keep in mind this speaker will be one of the most active in your system with movies! So don´t go with small one if you don´t have to.


You also need speaker stands for Q350s, here is cheap and decent one:


For subwoofer something in the 500£ range as minium, that is decent sized room to fill out. If you are budget restricted then BK Electronics is likely your best option. Monolith has been forum favourite for HT system +10years already without breaking bank. The new P12-PR if you can´t fit the large box optimally. Also if you are eyeing of 2nd subwoofer later on then two of these could be lot easier to get wifes approval. Check the dimensions cause FF/DF has different ones.



If you can spend more then tell us!
 

Jezza Neumann

Novice Member
Thanks for that. One question tho. I messed up the measurements as we only use on end of the room for the TV so realistically is actually 4m by 4m and the distance from the TV to the couch is 2.5m cause it sits on a chimney breast. Two front satellites sit on a shelf either side of the chimney breast and the centre speaker sits on a shelf under the TV in what would have been the fireplace. The two rear sit on speaker stands just behind the couch next to the wall. Just wondering if this would change your recommendations or would they stay the same?
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Depends. Let´s say you would space the main speakes about 2-2,5 meters apart with stands and center channel middle. Q150 may work better being smaller then that could be option as main speakers with the smaller center Q250c (lower depth). They should still be good step up from Eggs! Without seeing pictures it´s hard to imagine everything. Center channel shouldn´t go too low as is usually the case (shooting knees) and if it´s inside av-unit that ain´t doing favours either. Always tricky to get it in good spot with tv. But in short the speaker should be placed as close to seated ear height as possible while also considering tv height (neck pain - looking up too high).

If the "rears" are close to listeners then perhaps you should keep Eggs as something like Q150 could be seen as too massive. This is still lounge and your wife probably has a say of things. With the spare Eggs you can place pair high up on front wall and hide wires with wire trunking (d-line), if the idea gets passed by wife. Then you would have 5.1.2 system with front heights. Concentrate first on the more important stuff though.

The total room size is still 7x5meters, so don´t skimp on the subwoofer. Especially if you like to watch (bluray/streaming) action/scifi/horror type movies and series. It`s completely different experience when you jump from tiny shiny lifestyle woofer to something larger made by company that specializes in woofers. There is no requirements to match speakers and sub so there is lot of options depending of your budget, size restrictions, finish etc.
 

Jezza Neumann

Novice Member
I was thinking just that! photos might help ! here are some pics that might help, I really appreciate the advice Thank you
 

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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I was thinking just that! photos might help ! here are some pics that might help, I really appreciate the advice Thank you

Looking bit tricky as you have the speakers quite poorly placed now. The main l/r are hidden inside cab pushed back and the center channel well below. Front three quite close each other.

Not sure do you have free hands with the new system. Example the main speakers you can´t have speaker stands sadly due to those cabinets, as i assume the lower doors need to be opened. So the only way would be main speakers about midpoint of each units if not little further apart and speakers pushed at the front edge of each unit, not back like now! That would mean the pictures etc. would need to go elsewhere. Also i wouldn`t place the centre channel inside cabinet, i think it´s your main issue why the speaker sounds poor. This is easy to test if you raise it in front of tv now and run Audussey again (3mic positions ok). If you could imagine raising the tv slightly then you would have great space for center channel in front of the tv. So all three speakers would be on same level. You could consider something smaller in that case. Example Monitor Audio Silver 50 and Silver C150 would be great option, comes in many different finishes (real wood veneer/gloss).

Is the proposed plan possible?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The current speaker placement is doing you no favours. If you buy new speakers as suggested above you only need to upgrade the front three and the sub. Your only option for the front left and right is on the cabinet shelf but not stuck in the corner like they currently are. They will need to be brought forward and certainly sit proud of the shelf edge by around 25mm. The KEF Q150s could fit the bill and give you a good upgrade over the Eggs.

The centre really does need to be out of that cabnet and the matching centre for the Q150s would be the Q250C, again on the shelf and sitting proud of the edge. If that is not an option then maybe ditch the centre entirely and run as a 4.1. At the moment the centre is too low and being inside of the cabinet is going to cause all kinds of resonance and reflections.

Do you have a budget in mind? You could certainly spend more on the stereo pair if you decide to ditch the centre.

In the short term you could move those Eggs out of their respective corners and re-run Audyssey and try without the centre.
 

Jezza Neumann

Novice Member
Thanks for the advice I will certainly re think positioning and then look at the various speaker options and set ups you've suggested. All very useful thoughts thanks a million.
 

Jezza Neumann

Novice Member
The current speaker placement is doing you no favours. If you buy new speakers as suggested above you only need to upgrade the front three and the sub. Your only option for the front left and right is on the cabinet shelf but not stuck in the corner like they currently are. They will need to be brought forward and certainly sit proud of the shelf edge by around 25mm. The KEF Q150s could fit the bill and give you a good upgrade over the Eggs.

The centre really does need to be out of that cabnet and the matching centre for the Q150s would be the Q250C, again on the shelf and sitting proud of the edge. If that is not an option then maybe ditch the centre entirely and run as a 4.1. At the moment the centre is too low and being inside of the cabinet is going to cause all kinds of resonance and reflections.

Do you have a budget in mind? You could certainly spend more on the stereo pair if you decide to ditch the centre.

In the short term you could move those Eggs out of their respective corners and re-run Audyssey and try without the centre.


No budget as such just about getting the best set up I can with the room constrictions and not going totally silly :) I am not sure I want to move the TV as it's at the perfect viewing height and I am a shooting director and so pictures are my main concern :) ..as you can probably tell by my poor audio set up!! But that's why I am seeking advice form those two know more bout sound set up so I def open to 4.1 idea if you feel that might prove to be better than a badly positioned centre speaker. So any ideas for best speakers for that idea would bee greatly appreciated. I can then take all this info and go look at what makes most sense in terms of money, the room and the wife ;)
 

gibbsy

Moderator
A speaker with a good dispersion for the fronts would be good. KEFs are ideal for this and the as I've said the Q150s would be a candidate.

Sevenoaks Sound and Vision - KEF Q150 Bookshelf Speakers

If you want a bigger speakers then the Rega RX1 with their inverted design might fit. 6 ohm and 89dB sensitivity, very easy to drive. Only consider these if you don't intend to have a centre as Rega doesn't make one.

Audio T - Rega RX1 Speakers

As with all standmounts that have to placed close to a rear wall it's the bass port that can lead to problems so a port bung may come in handy to help tame unruly bass. I have KEF R300s just 30cm from a rear wall and sitting on a cabinet. I have them half ported and it works for me. The main thing is placing them for their best overall performance and that is always going to be sitting proud of the edge of the cabinet.
 

password1

Well-known Member
Those Kef Eggs eggs were an £800 package when new back in the day. The Q150/350 are Kef's budget end and may not be a huge upgrade. I imagine they are an upgrade but are they much improvement.. perhaps consider the current or previous 'R' series.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
The 2001 Eggs came 2005. The latest Q serie has lot newer UniQ drivers and of course larger in size. Also the cabinet is considerably larger. We have had members upgrading from the latest 305 Eggs to Q range and they have felt noticeable upgrade. There would be no contest with 2ch listening and for movies the larger center channel will easily make difference plus the fact that size grows and i bet Q range will sound lot bigger and it should also better in other areas (soundstage, detail etc).


Ed Selley said: The Q350 might best be summarised as 90% of an LS50 for 65% of the asking price and that’s got to be worthy of recommendation.

We have members here and at AVSF who has prefered the Q serie over R range with movies. Shock?! The reason behind this is Q range suppose to have bit more forward sound where as R range being too laid back for some (movies!). There is Q750 review at soundstagehifi and the guy was suprised how close these came to R700. Not bad for a budget speakers. :)

@Jezza Neumann those cabinets makes things harder and my assumption is large speakers at the front edge won´t be favoured by Mrs. Q150 & Q250c with raised tv might be possible, but i wouldn´t bet on it. They aren´t small either. This is why i mentioned the smaller MA Silver 50 & C150.
 

Jezza Neumann

Novice Member
Given the current centre speaker is just an egg on it's side I was wondering whether it was worth starting by just changing that for the Q250c ? as it seems some people have changed the centre and its made a significant difference to vocal clarity in movies. The only problem then is that would rule out the MA silver option......Also how would you rate the BK XLS200-DF or FF MK2 as this is a bit smaller than those recommended but will that again not be much of an upgrade on the KEF 2001 sub?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Given the current centre speaker is just an egg on it's side I was wondering whether it was worth starting by just changing that for the Q250c ? as it seems some people have changed the centre and its made a significant difference to vocal clarity in movies. The only problem then is that would rule out the MA silver option......Also how would you rate the BK XLS200-DF or FF MK2 as this is a bit smaller than those recommended but will that again not be much of an upgrade on the KEF 2001 sub?
It would be a significant improvement for the centre channel. Needs to be out in the open for best performance, don't go sticking inside a cabinet. If you have on top of a cabinet then make sure the front sits proud of the edge by around 25mm. I went from 3005 Eggs to R Series all round. Massive improvement.

Last question how do rate the LS50 metas? and would they combine with a Q250c
I don't know on that to be honest. The LS50s have always been a bit more forward than the R Series especially in the upper registers. I don't know if that brightness would upset the front timbre with a Q250. You could try and negotiate buying a third LS50 as many use them on their side as a centre. Lots of people looking for a single speakers for just that purpose, so you could recoup the cost by selling on.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Given the current centre speaker is just an egg on it's side I was wondering whether it was worth starting by just changing that for the Q250c ? as it seems some people have changed the centre and its made a significant difference to vocal clarity in movies. The only problem then is that would rule out the MA silver option......Also how would you rate the BK XLS200-DF or FF MK2 as this is a bit smaller than those recommended but will that again not be much of an upgrade on the KEF 2001 sub?
Last question how do rate the LS50 metas? and would they combine with a Q250c

It would look bit strange and the main channels would be lot smaller but improvement yes if brought up. As i mentioned earlier there is high possibility that the Egg would sound lot better if you could get it to same level with your main speakers. I just don´t know is raising the tv option for you. You do have good space in front of tv. And that wouldn´t cost anything to try it. You can turn the speaker horizontal as it´s coaxial, just run Audussey 3mic positions again for quick calibration due to new location. Then check crossovers (100-120hz for Eggs likely ideal). This will all take less than 30minutes. To get even better sound pull the main speakers out and move them bit more wider apart, you have to change the picture locations though. This would be the order for new speakers so you might aswell try it now and see will your Mrs. accept it or not.

All Kef speakers can be mixed, but there will be some tonal differences. The LS50 was sold as each earlier, i would assume certain dealers will do that still so one can have third LS50 as center channel but it´s quite bulky (taller as horizontally than Q250c) as if you would place it on top of that unit.
Old LS50 goes almost 50% less which is great deal! One might argue that better receiver is needed to get the most of them, as the Q range is typically partnered more often with X2700H level receiver. I would be little hesitant to place LS50 inside bookshelf/unit though. Many has reported they need fair amount of space to sound best, while Q150 you would most likely bung the ports.

Not much upgrade from Kef sub indeed. Sideway move at best. I`m not sure do you have Kube 1 or Kube 2 sub. Also i can`t see where you have placed the sub now? If it´s nearfield then better as your total room size is quite large. There could be more compact options from other brands depending which dimension is critical (height,width or depth).
 

Jezza Neumann

Novice Member
So I took onboard all the valuable advice and I am leaning towards Walnut Monitor audio silver 50;s with a silver 150 centre and for now keeping the egg satellites at rear. The issue with the Sub is that it needs to fit into the cupboard when not in use so can't be more than 350cm tall. I know this isn't ideal but it's non negotiable apparently. So that gives me these options
BKXLS200 MK2 FF or DF
REL Tzero MK11 DF
REL T5i DF
SVS SB1000 FF

Very confused about which is best or if there is no real difference
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
So I took onboard all the valuable advice and I am leaning towards Walnut Monitor audio silver 50;s with a silver 150 centre and for now keeping the egg satellites at rear. The issue with the Sub is that it needs to fit into the cupboard when not in use so can't be more than 350cm tall. I know this isn't ideal but it's non negotiable apparently. So that gives me these options
BKXLS200 MK2 FF or DF
REL Tzero MK11 DF
REL T5i DF
SVS SB1000 FF

Very confused about which is best or if there is no real difference

Where would you keep it when in use? You would have to move it to same exact spot always as you will calibrate your system with the speakers + sub in certain places. I`m very suprised wife won´t let you to keep it visible other times cause example the DF has driver hidden and it looks like small wooden furniture.

XLS200-DF_WN_Front.jpg


You sure wife wouldn´t accept the subwoofer as side table by the couch "hidden"? Then you wouldn´t be height limited. Example the narrow walnut finished BK Double Gem would likely fit there if you move the small unit elsewhere by the right hand side of couch. Dimensions: 283W x 460D x 550H (mm)

Pictures in walnut, please see: Double Gem Black



If that is no go after showing the picture to wife and also telling her the sub wouldn`t be visible much (front mask hides the drivers), it would serve as couch side table.. Then the best pick from those you mentioned would be SVS SB1000 regarding your use. Forum advertiser has one open box for 450£, full warranty and should be in mint condition.
 

Jezza Neumann

Novice Member
OK so I went with the Audio Monitor 50's in walnut and the C150 in walnut and the SB1000...the walnut with speaker grills left off seems to have gone down so well that there seems to be an opening for me to change the rear eggs too. So I lied I do have one more question. Does anyone know which work better as surrounds, another pair or silver 50s or the Silver FX speakers ? or am I just wasting money and should just stick with the eggs as surrounds ? Tho I am now able to use the eggs in my home office at the end of the garden to most sound out there.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
OK so I went with the Audio Monitor 50's in walnut and the C150 in walnut and the SB1000...the walnut with speaker grills left off seems to have gone down so well that there seems to be an opening for me to change the rear eggs too. So I lied I do have one more question. Does anyone know which work better as surrounds, another pair or silver 50s or the Silver FX speakers ? or am I just wasting money and should just stick with the eggs as surrounds ? Tho I am now able to use the eggs in my home office at the end of the garden to most sound out there.

If you can wall mount the FX speakers approx 2feet from seated ear height and leave 1feet space to side walls then they can create more dispersed soundfield, less localization with the effects. Silver 50s then you need stands also and they are so close to listener. They are better, but are they really required if you are happy with the Eggs. Your call.

img_2646-jpg.852552


img_0923-jpg.913441
 

password1

Well-known Member
I personally would go for the bronze fx as I expect them to do a decent job and they have technology trickled down from the silver. Then spend the money saved on a better sub.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
@Jezza Neumann if you like the idea of wall mounted speakers higher and you can hide the wires then there is walnut Bronze FX now -50% on sale at AVO! This is dirty low price 139£/pair normally close to 300£. The walnut finish is vinyl wrap and it`s different looking clearly to Silvers wood veneer but not cheap in any way. So if you looking cheap upgrade for effect channels then this would be it!


If you however want white speakers for white wall to blend better then the new model is 299£:

And then these: Amazon.co.uk : Hide Wires
 

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