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Kef R500 Placement

inbox4

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Aug 27, 2007
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I recently heard a pair of Kef R500s with a Leema Elements amp at Frank Harvey hi-fi. The system sounded fantastic and I particularly fell in love with the speakers.

I am about to move house and want to buy the Kefs to put them in a room that is 2.6m wide (3.5m long). I've looked through the Kef manual and they recommend that the speakers are 1m from each side wall. This obviously isn't going to be viable in my room as it will leave little space between the speakers.

Could anyone with experience of these speakers let me know how fussy they are about placement? Could I run them relatively close to the side walls (say 50cm?) without experiencing boom? Would R500s go in this room without problems?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I would like these speakers and I'm unable to try them in my room.

Many thanks.
 

Frank Harvey

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Proximity to walls is only a guideline, and can be quite different from room to room.

The rear wall and corners cause booming, the side wall will cause HF reflection.

If you have to place them closer to the side walls, angle them towards the listening area a little. Any speaker placed near a side wall will be prone to sounding brighter than they usually are due to HF reflection, and it can mess with your stereo imaging as well. Toeing them in will reduce that HF reflection, although if you have bits of furniture around, that'll help break things up anyway.

:)
 

inbox4

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Thanks very much for the tip and info David.

Would you have any concerns about putting a pair of R500s in a room of that size or could you safely assume they will work well?
 

Frank Harvey

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Shouldn't be too much of an issue - I'd recommend using the outer part of the supplied bungs just to calm the bass down as a little, as they can be pretty potent without any bungs at all. Do you have suspended or solid floor? Any partition walls, or are they all solid?
 

inbox4

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The room will be an upstairs bedroom in a modern house -so a suspended floor with cardboard walls!

Is that good or bad news for R500s?

Are there speakers you would consider more suitable than R500s for a room of that size and spec? (for around the same price)

I plan on using a Leema Tucana 2 amp and Leema Elements CD player.
 

inbox4

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David - In addition to any comments you might have to my post above, could I also have your thoughts on speaker cable please?

Which model of Chord cable would you consider appropriate to use between the Tucana 2 and the Kefs? (I specifically mention Chord as this is the brand Leema recommend with their components)
 

Frank Harvey

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If by "cardboard walls" you mean partition walls, this is good news. Solid walls reflect bass energy back into the room (this will also depend on whether it's an outside wall or internal brick wall), but partition walls tend to absorb - so you'll probably find that the R500's might not quite have as much bass as they normally would, as some is lost as its not reflected back.

The R500's main alternative at that price is the ProAc 140.2's, but you'll find the R500's have a clear advantage in smaller rooms because of it's UniQ driver and d'Appolito driver array. The PMC Twenty.23's are worth trying, but they are about another 30-35% on top.

As for speaker cables, I would see how things sound when they've settled in your room. If for any reason bass is still a little heavy, Chord Rumour 2 would be ideal. Odyssey is warmer, so I don't think it'll be that suited - I find Epic much tighter and better balanced to my ears on the R series and the Blades.

The Elements amp sounds good with the R series - after the Bristol show, I should get to hear the Toucana with them - should sound rather good :)
 

Al ears

Moderator
FrankHarveyHiFi said:
If by "cardboard walls" you mean partition walls, this is good news. Solid walls reflect bass energy back into the room (this will also depend on whether it's an outside wall or internal brick wall), but partition walls tend to absorb - so you'll probably find that the R500's might not quite have as much bass as they normally would, as some is lost as its not reflected back.

The R500's main alternative at that price is the ProAc 140.2's, but you'll find the R500's have a clear advantage in smaller rooms because of it's UniQ driver and d'Appolito driver array. The PMC Twenty.23's are worth trying, but they are about another 30-35% on top.

As for speaker cables, I would see how things sound when they've settled in your room. If for any reason bass is still a little heavy, Chord Rumour 2 would be ideal. Odyssey is warmer, so I don't think it'll be that suited - I find Epic much tighter and better balanced to my ears on the R series and the Blades.

The Elements amp sounds good with the R series - after the Bristol show, I should get to hear the Toucana with them - should sound rather good :)
David, try the Tucana as well!
.... an old pedant
 

inbox4

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Aug 27, 2007
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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
If by "cardboard walls" you mean partition walls, this is good news. Solid walls reflect bass energy back into the room (this will also depend on whether it's an outside wall or internal brick wall), but partition walls tend to absorb - so you'll probably find that the R500's might not quite have as much bass as they normally would, as some is lost as its not reflected back.

The R500's main alternative at that price is the ProAc 140.2's, but you'll find the R500's have a clear advantage in smaller rooms because of it's UniQ driver and d'Appolito driver array. The PMC Twenty.23's are worth trying, but they are about another 30-35% on top.

As for speaker cables, I would see how things sound when they've settled in your room. If for any reason bass is still a little heavy, Chord Rumour 2 would be ideal. Odyssey is warmer, so I don't think it'll be that suited - I find Epic much tighter and better balanced to my ears on the R series and the Blades.

The Elements amp sounds good with the R series - after the Bristol show, I should get to hear the Toucana with them - should sound rather good :)
To save me keep hassling David, does any know why does the UniQ driver give the Kefs an advantage and what is a d'appolito driver?

Regards
 

Frank Harvey

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inbox4 said:
To save me keep hassling David, does any know why does the UniQ driver give the Kefs an advantage and what is a d'appolito driver?
Basically, the d'Appolito array is when you have a mid/bass driver either side of the HF unit vertically. This gives a more even horizontal dispersion, and every since hearing the mighty Reference 104/2, I've been a bit of a fan of is array, and have never understood why other manufacturers haven't used it. You could say that it was a precursor to the UniQ driver - if you imagine the mid drivers above and below the HF unit, it tricks you into thinking the HF and MF are coming from the same point. There's a little more to it than that, but that's the basics.

The UniQ driver places the HF unit in the middle of the midrange cone - this way, most of the directional frequencies are coming from a single point instead of two. The closer you sit to a speaker, the more you'll become aware of the higher frequencies coming from the HF unit, and the midrange frequencies coming from the midrange cone, or the mid/bass unit, depending on whether it's a two way or three way loudspeaker. You'll notice that if you move your head up or down slightly in relation to a normal two way loudspeaker, the sound will change, sometimes dramatically. Because the UniQ is a single point source, you can get as close as you like, and move around a little in relation to the drivers. I've never really understood why studios never use this type of speaker for close quarter mixing/mastering, as it has clear and distinct benefits.

KEF's Blade has taken this even further - they may have 6 drivers in each speaker, but in the normal listening position (and even outside of the normal listening hotspot), the whole frequency range will eminate from a single point, removing phasing and lobing issues inherent in most other designs, and vastly improving imaging. When you understand the design, it's hard to imagine how tall, multi-drivered loudspeakers can actually sound any good!

As I say, you could say that the d'Appolito array is an earlier version of UniQ, as it addresses similar issues.
 

inbox4

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Aug 27, 2007
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Hi David.

You mentioned that you would get the chance to hear a Leema Tucana with the R500s after the Bristol show. I'd appreciate it if you could post your thoughts once you've had the chance. Especially how you think it compares to the Elements amp through the R500s.

Ive heard the elements combo but have not yet had the chance to hear the Tucana. I'm led to believe that it should be significantly better (and I thought the elements and the R500s sounded stunning!)

Cheers.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
hello inbox i hope u get home demo before buying r500s, because i really dont see them working in that small room

more then a year ago when i was buying my first hifi i looked for speakers like MA rx6 or KEF Q500 and similar

my room is 12-13m2 so bigger then yours and let me tell u that i ended with KEF Q100 :O

i did demo q300 and rx1 and too much bass in my room and i cant even imagine trying any floorstanders

i know any room is story for itself but just get demo and see for ur self

Good luck
 

Frank Harvey

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As mentioned earlier Jole, it'll depend on your room - all rooms are different. Plus, as inbox will be using a Tucana (or equivalent), he'll have a more neutral sound and more control available than that of your NAD amp. There are so many variables at work it is hard to say whether they will or won't work - its a case of trying them. Of course, it's also down to how much bass one thinks is enough, or too much :)
 

inbox4

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Aug 27, 2007
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Thanks for your thoughts Jole16.

I've really fallen in love with the R500s so I'd be gutted if I couldn't get them to work.

If they do prove too bassy, there are always the bungs. I tried them at Frank Harvey's when I auditioned the speakers and they do reduce the bass without taking the life out of the speakers like bungs often can. Hopefully this will offer a suitable compromise if I need one.

I've also found David's comments encouraging. He doesn't think that I will necessarily have a problem and said that the cardboard partition walls would be to my advantage in absorbing some bass. What sort of walls do you have in the room you had problems in?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
@Frank

yes i understand what u trying to say really , but R500 in 10m2 room IMO any amp in the world can make them sing

inbox i have solid walls but a lot of things in room , rug on floor , large sofa , but still i had problems with bass and i like bass dont get me wrong

i listen a lot to dnb , r&b , rap , electronica almost all really , but i couldnt get the bass right with q300 or rx1 it was boomy one note bass really

but with q100 i get quick , tunefull bass that all are looking for IMO

But if u looking for BOOM bass yes go for floorstander , but if u looking for SQ , for example u hear bass only when its meant to be heard or u dont hear him when it was planed like that , if u know what i mean then (thats only my view) floorstander speaker wont work in ur room i'm 99 percent sure

But dont get me wrong that i dont want u to try it. Do it u will sleep better hehe , but also try bookshelf models R300 , R100 and im almost sure that ull be ending with one of them

Sorry for my english its not my first language :p

Good luck inbox with home demo and please write back what did u get and how did floorstander work in ur room
 

BigColz

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Jun 18, 2012
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Sorry to dig up this old post but did you get the R500's in that room in the end? If so did you make them work? thanks :grin:
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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jole16 said:
@Frank

yes i understand what u trying to say really , but R500 in 10m2 room IMO any amp in the world can make them sing
I hadn't seen this post, so apologies for not replying before.

This is where I tend to differ with a few people. Yes, in a small room, almost any amplifier will drive them to at least average levels, but making them sing is a different matter, even at lower volumes. I've heard many systems where the owner is happy with the volume, but the system lacks life/sparkle, sounds too warm, lacking punch and immediacy. This will be at any volume, but lower powered amplifiers when they're driven hard tend to become edgy, giving the false impression that it is doing a good job. So if an amplifier and speaker pairing only sounds good at high volume, it could be that it isn't a good match.

A speaker, when driven properly, won't sound like that (unless it has been designed to sound that way) - it should sound three dimensional, energetic, tight, punchy, and make you want to listen to more music.

While the R series is pretty easy to drive thanks to their high sensitivity, they do require decent amplification (like B&W's 600 series), otherwise they'll sound soft and lacking.
 

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