Question Would I hear much of an upgrade?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by midknight, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. midknight

    midknight
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    Wow finding the right speaker for the right budget for the right size of room is tough! :0

    Having now decided to replace my 7 year old KEF eggs (1005.2) I am now looking for something that will make the upgrade worthwhile without bankrupting me in the process. But I have a few issues that I have run into - mainly the size of the centre speaker is playing a huge factor due to the very limited height space I have from the screen to the cabinet.

    In an ideal world I would love to buy some KEF R100 and a matching centre speaker but all the KEF centres are jut too tall and will cover too much screen.

    So I have a few option available to me (also they have to be white) and if anyone can shed any light on whether these will offer an improved experience over what I have no I would be very grateful - these are going to be used solely for movie watching, are being powered by a Denon 2200 receiver and will be in a medium sized lounge).

    I really like the look of the Wharfedale DX-1SE (they are cheap, look good and the centre is small enough to fit) BUT will they offer an upgrade to the KEF's I already have?

    The other option I can find (but is more expensive) is the Q Acoustic 7000i cinema pack - I am not sold on the design but the reviews are good and again the centre speaker height is okay.

    If anyone can shed any light on these (or alternatives) that would be hugely appreciated. I started down this road as I wanted to get into Dolby Atmos but I think I would be better off upgrading my existing speakers as I think that will make more of an impact and that seemed to the general census from the previous posts I have on other threads.
     
  2. Longy00000

    Longy00000
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    If your looking at kef r series can we assume your budget is £1000 ish ?
    A good centre speaker is often a tweaked main speaker on its side so will often have 5 inch + sized drivers thus that's where your height comes from. You dont absolutely need a centre speaker but i personally thinks its a must for movies. You say your wanting to upgrade but are immediately talking about compromise due to speaker height. Given the centre channel can often take 60% plus of the sound you hear it's quite a crucial piece of kit. Have you looked at tv risers? They can often work but depend on the type of tv pedestal you have. They can just lift the tv 4 or 5 inches up creating the clearance needed. I don't think the wharf package is a step forward really and while QA are probably better than what you have they won't give that proper upgrade your perhaps after. Is it possible to get a new tv / media unit to house everything better that would remove this problem ? Some of these can be had quite cheaply and can be factored into your budget. Give us your thoughts on what the priority is?
    New for new sake?
    Proper upgrade system rebuild ?
    Possible new tv unit?
    Budget ?
    I feel your pain as I am now having to look for a new tv unit for the exact same reason but my decision was simple I was upgrading as I needed much better quality speakers and they took precedence and I would sort out clearance issues later!
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016
  3. midknight

    midknight
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    Thanks for the reply.

    Well this all stemmed from me pre ordering a UHD Blu ray player, then I thought I would look into Dolby Atmos - but quickly realised there are not really any speakers that would integrate into my existing system and that, along with advice received on here, led me to realise I should upgrade my speakers as that would be a good start.

    I cannot change my cabinet as its a big bit of furniture that matches all the other furniture in the lounge. I am looking to just upgrade for upgrades sake I guess - really I wanted Atmos but the best option is the R500 KEF's but they cannot sit on KEF Eggs. Budget wise is really fairly fluid - I was really looking to spend around £600 but then fell in love with the Kef R range but the centre speaker is just too big. I cannot see a way round that - I will have a look for TV risers but it would need to fit into the overall look of my lounge and be able to handle a 65' tv.

    I guess I have recently bought a new tv, now I am getting the 4k player so I have that itch to upgrade my speakers.

    In an ideal world and money was not issue I would get a 5.1 KEF R package and then buy 4 R500 atmos speakers for a 5.1.4 setup (would need a new receiver for that too!).

    I just have no reference on how good/bad my existing KEF Eggs are in relation to newer speakers available. Having two young kids mean I never have the movie volume cranked way up so I am looking for fidelity and direction over outright power.
     
  4. dollag

    dollag
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    The R500 are floor stand speakers. I believe your referring to the R50's.

    From Experience, the 1005 Eggs are generally ok but the speakers you have mentioned above will sound a lot better.

    I have seen people wall mount vertically the Atmos up-firers if you wished to stay with the Eggs. Ive even seen this set up in Richer sounds demo room and was very effective.

    I use the 3005se's Eggs for rear duties and can assure you, the difference between them and the 1005's is night and day. If you planned to stay with the eggs, i would still advise an upgrade.
     
  5. midknight

    midknight
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    Even the Wharfedales,? Would they be better than the eggs?
     
  6. dollag

    dollag
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    I have not heard them so cannot give you an accurate answer; however, I have heard good things about their H/T package.

    With the up most respect, I do not rate the 1005 package. All my speakers are Kef so it's not a biased statement. Just having had both the 2005 and now the 3005, they are a lot better than the 1005's.
     
  7. Longy00000

    Longy00000
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    I am using the kef egg 3005 as rears ad well and they are a decent speaker and much better than the 1 series. The wharfedale can be bought for less than £300 that's 5 speakers and a subwoofer at some point you would work out that whilst they are a good package at that price point they just aren't going to give you a decent upgrade. I would say keep what you have and put that money towards a proper front 3 upgrade. Without getting into silly money a decent front centre is going to be £120 and decent pair of LR probably another £300 to £500. Obviously just talking ball park here so you need to think am I wanting to upgrade or change. As said earlier I think the Q acoustics 7000 are probably on a par with Kef 3005 series but cost more money than the wharfs and are probably worthy as an upgrade but given your recent investment in 4k tech I just wonder whether you would outgrow these relatively soon? So perhaps look at hifi type speakers rather than full 5.1 sets. An awful lot of speaker series will have a centre to match which would allow you to buy in stages thus limiting the pain on the purse strings and you can still use your current surrounds until funds allow. Tannoy xtc range, bowers n Wilkins 6 series Q Acoustics 30xx series or concepts, dali do some nice stuff as well as monitor audio. All these allow you to perhaps buy a front LR pair now then add the centre later etc. This will probably give you a much better upgrade.
    The headache being to Google them and see what height each of their centre speakers are...actually somewhere like the richer sounds website would probably give dimensions for them all. Now make yourself a cuppa and sit in front of the lap top and get some sizes drawn together! !
     
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  8. midknight

    midknight
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    Well if I could work out how I would ever fit the KEF centre speaker I would buy a pair of R100's and then gradually build up my 5.1 system but its just too big :(
     
  9. dollag

    dollag
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    The R100's are a great place to start and is a fantastic speaker set. The R50 atmos speakers fit flush directly on top and are designed this way as part of the same range.

    Due to size constraints, i'm still using the Kef 3005 center speaker as the R200 is large and i cannot accommodate it. its not ideal but will be upgrading soon as looking at TV risers.

    I think you need to establish what you are going to do.

    a) replace front L/R with stand mounts so can place atmos speakers on top.

    b) find alternative placement for atmos speakers (ie wall mount mount) and upgrade your system with an egg system (with center speaker matching the rest of the package)

    c) in Ceiling speakers??
     
  10. midknight

    midknight
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    Do you think I would even need a centre speaker if I got a pair of the R100's - they are going to be right next to the TV either side?

    And a pair of R100 bookshelf speakers on stands - does the R50 fit on those?
     
  11. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    Yes.
     
  12. dollag

    dollag
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    In a 5.1 set up, a Center speaker deals with at least 60% of all sound. It really is the most important speaker in home cinema providing most of the dialogue. there are work arounds but nothing will replace it IMO.

    The R100's and R50's will sit completely flush. they are designed for each other.

    see attached picture, although on the R500, they are the same size as the R100 just taller.

    see also an R50 with an on wall mount.

    600x425xkef-r-5.1-dolby-atmos-set-600x425.p600x425.jpg.pagespeed.ic.tCi4RJXCch.jpg
     

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  13. Longy00000

    Longy00000
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    If size really is an issue (ahem ) then your only upgrade route is via another HT 5.1 package of style speakers. So then you need to be looking beyond kef so maybe bowers n Wilkins mt50 package. .good speakers and still very small and very much better than the 1 series your using now. Any atmos style speaker isn't so crucial to be the same series so can more easily be mixed that said bowers do some nice in ceiling stuff anyway.
     
  14. midknight

    midknight
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    They look fantastic!
     
  15. PSM1

    PSM1
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    If your front L/R speakers are next to the TV then I would say you probably do not need a centre anyway since it is not going to add much with all speakers being so close together. The idea of a centre is to tie the sound to the screen but in a standard 5.1 system the front L/R speakers would be a distance away from the screen hence a centre is required especially if you do not sit central to TV. However, if your fronts are next to the TV then the sound will be coming from the direction of the TV in which case the need for the centre is a lot less. Also if the position of the centre is compromised i.e. in or on a cabinet then again this can adversely affect the sound which can mean not having one is better.
     
  16. midknight

    midknight
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    Im very tempted to but a pair of the KEF R100's and see how they perform without a centre - problem is if it does turn out I need one I cannot fit the matching centre. But I love the KEF's and they are Dolby Atmos compatible with the R50 moving forward so there is an element of future proofing. Otherwise I am looking at the Q Acoustics 7000i. Decisions decisions
     
  17. dollag

    dollag
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    There really isn't any comparison. the Kef R series are in a different league than the Q acoustics; albeit, the price reflects this.

    you could set up your eggs now without a center and get an idea of how the sound stage is imaged.
     
  18. midknight

    midknight
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    Any KEF aficionados know how good the Q series are? They are considerably cheaper
     
  19. dollag

    dollag
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    I had the Kef Q500's and the Q300's. for the money they are great. cant fault them. I haven't heard the Q100 so cannot comment these but upgrading the Q300's to LS50's and my Q500's to the R500's, there is a noticeable difference in sound quality.

    IMO, for the money, you would be hard pressed to find a better speaker than the Q range. As Longy said earlier, there are alternatives to the Kefs like B&W; however, I am a Kef fan so I may be being biased :)

    Your position is slightly different, upgrading from your 1005's to lets say a pair of Q300's will be quite the upgrade.

    The R range are high end mid range speakers where as the Q series are Kefs entry level stand mount and floor standing speakers.
     
  20. midknight

    midknight
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    Thanks for your input.
    I think I may look at the Q series - I think for the position of my sofa to the TV the Q500 floor standing speakers would be aim - the BIG question is the centre speaker problem....I will try taking the centre out of my current eggs and see how it sounds first.

    I would like to then build up the system with bookshelf rears and a sub and then Atmos - man speakers are EXPENSIVE though! I have always gone down the 5.1 package route and never really looked into the higher end of the market - now I know why - its addictive and expensive!

    Just worried they may be slightly wasted on me as I am no audiophile! I just want great film performance.
     
  21. Longy00000

    Longy00000
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    If you were to stick with Kef then sourcing a 3005se centre could be a compromise. It's still a uni Q array speaker it's relatively small still a good quality speaker and would still 'blend' with new kef fronts in terms of sound signature. However something like r500 or even the r300 might overwhelm it but it would be better than no centre if you feel one is still required?
     
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  22. dollag

    dollag
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    Your spot on, I am currently running R500's with an 3005 center. Ive had to increase db output to the center channel to compensate. however for its size, its a great speaker. even with the R500's, its holding its own. I sure it would hold better paired with the R100's

    Remember, its all good buying quality speakers but you need to make sure your AV receiver is competent of using them to their full potential.
     
  23. midknight

    midknight
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    I have a Denon 2200 but if I did go down the KEF route eventually I would need to upgrade to something capable of 5.1.4
     
  24. dollag

    dollag
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    the Denon 2200 would be comfortable driving the Q series. A colleague of mine is using the R100's and 3005 egg's with that amp and is very happy.
     
  25. gibbsy

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    This is something I asked KEF directly about. The response was that it was indeed workable, they would integrate perfectly well. The advice was that levels would have to be increased on the 3005 so that the R100s would not overpower it. Obviously a 200C is the perfect partner, but if a 3005C is sourced then the 200 could be added later. I still have my 3005C and two eggs packed up but haven't decided to sell them.......yet. Could be a solution for the OP finding a good used set.
     
  26. midknight

    midknight
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    What colour are your eggs?
     
  27. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    Piano black.
     
  28. dollag

    dollag
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    Same, piano black
     
  29. midknight

    midknight
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    Okay I tried the eggs without a centre and it sounded much worse so looks like the centre is something I am going to need. I think I am going to go for the Q Acoustics 7000i as there are no other real options due to the centre speaker size issue I have.

    Hopefully these will give me the upgrade I am looking for, the only pain is it will make the jump to Atmos more problematic as these pill shaped speakers will not allow any modules on top of them and they are my only real option until someone makes a Bluetooth ceiling speaker that I can just stick to my ceiling and wirelessly connect to my amp!
     
  30. dollag

    dollag
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    There is an alternative, you can get a 3005 centre speaker paired with the r100's. If I was you, that's the route I'd take; this way your ready for the r50's for atmos duties
     

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