Q900 vs R500

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I'm thinking about switching my setup to KEF and the choice is between Q900 and R500 (I'd like to stay under $2,000). Anyone heard them both and could comment?

I heard Q900s and like how they sound confident and big.
In any case I will be using a subwoofer.
Not sure if R500 is worth extra $500.

Currently I have a true audiophile speakers that sound great on acoustic and voice recordings but don't play rock and lots of contemporary music right. Stuff like Nirvana, AC/DC. Red Hots just sound terrible. Q900 was forgiving to that kind of music, so I'm thinking of "downgrading"...

Here is my logic:
One one hand it shouldn't matter as I will use a sub. On the other if a sub covers 60Hz and below.
The Q900 will play 60-2.5KHz with 2x 8" drives
R500 will play 60-500Hz with 2x 5.25" drives and 500-2.8KHz with 1x 5"
So my concern is that R500 might be missing that confidence in 60-500Hz region that impressed me in Q900.
Maybe I'm reading those stats wrong?

The bottom line I need a speaker that can handle "non Audiophile" recordings well. I get awesome detail/resolution/clarity in my current system and when recording is right it really tickles my senses
smile.gif
but it's very picky about the source material. So big part of music I listen to is un-listenable (like that song "Adele - Set fire to the rain" gave me 30 minutes had ache and I have not heard a proper roar or rock guitar out of my speakers yet). Many people say garbage in - garbage out or "You just need to get used to how a real HiFi speaker sounds"; but if my kind of music is poorly mixed I need to find a quality speaker that can handle that.

Anybody here actually heard both Q900 and R500?

Any help appreciated.
 

CnoEvil

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In this case, forget about specs and go and have a listen.

IMO The R series is way ahead, with the R500 being a truly good speaker.
 
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Anonymous

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I demo'd quite a few KEF speakers a month or so back with a Marantz Melody Media (CR603) which I was looking to replace, an Arcam alpha 10 (amp that I've got now) and the shops Cyrus Pre with an XPower

I listened to the KEF R100's, R300's and R500's and the Q500's and Q900's

The Q's were soon ruled out; Q500's had no bass depth/power to them at all and sounded wooden/boxy. The Q900's were better as they had more bass depth but still had that boxy sound

The R100's literally blew me away; even with the Melody Media they stomped all over the Q series speakers; bass that is beyond their size but its brilliantly timed and taut. That was the same with the R300's just they were deeper/punchier and the R500's had much more of an openess about them in regards to their treble and midrange.

If I were to buy any of them; the R100's and R500's would get my vote. The R300's are superb but I much prefered the agility of the R100's over them
 

WishTree

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I heard R700s a little longer than R500s and I know the Q series a little bit. There is no comparision. R series wins over by miles.

The best compliment that I can give to R700 is that thier smoothness of treble is almost (not same but a lot closer than I had thought) at par with B&W 804D. Bass is also very neat & tight.

They might very well be my next speakers based on the buy back options that I am having on my Tannoys (though I am liking the DC6T more and more!)
 

eagle123

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i listened to both the r300, r500, r700, of the lot i chose the r700, purely it uses the same drivers as the r300 but larger cabinet, more of a floor standing version of the r 300, the kef r series range, uses some of the technology from the blade and reference series, if money no object the reference are worth the money.

The kef r series both sound very similar to the references, but i mean similar the references have the extra depth and spatial timing but for the money the r series are top value.

There a review in next month hifi choice magazine where they test the kef r700

Am still waiting for the speakers tho !!
 
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Anonymous

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What about R500 vs CM8 are those in the same cathegory sound quality - wise?
 

CnoEvil

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GreenLook said:
What about R500 vs CM8 are those in the same cathegory sound quality - wise?

IMO you would need to be looking at the CM9, and then it's a matter of taste. There is something "very right" sounding about the R Series.....you're now at the stage of giving them a listen.
 
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Anonymous

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The only problem is that finding a KEF dealer in Chicago area is kinda difficult. CM8s and 9s and on every corner thogh.
 
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Anonymous

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Question on the Q vs R.

R700 spec
Frequency response (±3dB)42Hz - 28kHz
Q700 spec
Frequency response ±3dB36Hz - 40kHz

How can R better in high/low to Q :quest:
 

Frank Harvey

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tane0019 said:
Question on the Q vs R.

R700 spec
Frequency response (±3dB)42Hz - 28kHz
Q700 spec
Frequency response ±3dB36Hz - 40kHz
How can R better in high/low to Q :quest:

The R700 is a genuine 3-way loudspeaker, and is a much higher quality and much more capable speaker than the Q700 because of this. With a UniQ that is closer to the Blade, the R700 will reach higher, but you'll also find that the midrange is much cleaner and more responsive too. Even though the bass drivers on the R700 are smaller than the Q700, they're of a better design (also very similar to the Blade), and both are driven too, whereas two of the Q700 drivers are passive radiators. Smaller drivers can generally react quicker than larger ones (lots of variables there though!).
 
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Anonymous

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3 way is better than 2.5 way + better mid range + blade design + better high/low range sound portions - I can understand.

But spec wise: Q between 36Hz - 40kHz ±3dB vs R between 42Hz - 28kHz ±3dB

How can R be better at both High & low then ?
 

CnoEvil

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tane0019 said:
3 way is better than 2.5 way + better mid range + blade design + better high/low range sound portions - I can understand.

But spec wise: Q between 36Hz - 40kHz ±3dB vs R between 42Hz - 28kHz ±3dB

How can R be better at both High & low then ?

I'm no techie, but I know you can't always tell what a speaker will sound like from it's "on paper" specs.....they don't, for example tell you what the bass definition is like, or mid-range clarity/accuracy, or treble detail with lack of grain.

I used to have some Kef IQ9s that said the bass went down to 38 Hz, which is nearly the same as my current Refs....and I can assure you, there is no comparison.

I also bought some £5 JVC Gumy headphones which claimed to go down to 20 Hz!!
 
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Anonymous

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Just got R300s love them just have a little problem. They sound nicely balanced, full bodied and relaxed. But voices seem little recessed, moved back into sound stage, highs missing spark and air. Sometimes I get a feeling like speakers are covered with a towel, I'm almost reaching for a remote to push a magic button to open up the highs. I use those with Marantz SR6005 and don't really want to run Audyssey just yet...

Anybody had similar experience with R series? Or do I just need to adjust?
 

Deliriumbassist

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GreenLook- have you tightened up the bridging knobs (if you're single wiring)? I got the chance to listen to R300 and R700 at my local dealer this week, and the Kef rep was visiting. He says that once you unbox any R or Q speakers, you should tighten those knobs as tight as you possibly can to create a better internal connection. Try that, it's cheap!
 

CnoEvil

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GreenLook said:
Just got R300s love them just have a little problem. They sound nicely balanced, full bodied and relaxed. But voices seem little recessed, moved back into sound stage, highs missing spark and air. Sometimes I get a feeling like speakers are covered with a towel, I'm almost reaching for a remote to push a magic button to open up the highs. I use those with Marantz SR6005 and don't really want to run Audyssey just yet...

Anybody had similar experience with R series? Or do I just need to adjust?

What you have described does not sound like the R series. Do as the above poster suggested, but also check all connections, as well as the polarity of the speakers (speaker wire connected right).

The next thing it could be, is the quality of the source and the resolution of the music (do you use lossless?)...these speakers are fairly revealing and may be highlighting weaknesses.

How did they sound when you demoed them, and what upstream kit was being used with them?
 
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Anonymous

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The sound you are describing is the kef R's not yet broken in, give them 3-4 weeks and they will blow your socks off!

I had the shop R100's in my home for 3 weeks whilst mine were being shipped in and they were amazing, when mine arrived they sounded exactly how you decribe yours, but now fully run in they sound amazing!

Even better than my old PMC DB1i's....
 

CnoEvil

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THESTIG08 said:
The sound you are describing is the kef R's not yet broken in, give them 3-4 weeks and they will blow your socks off!

I had the shop R100's in my home for 3 weeks whilst mine were being shipped in and they were amazing, when mine arrived they sounded exactly how you decribe yours, but now fully run in they sound amazing!

Even better than my old PMC DB1i's....

Input from an owner is usually better....I have only heard ones (at the dealer), that have had the necessary hours on the clock.
 

Frank Harvey

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GreenLook said:
Just got R300s love them just have a little problem. They sound nicely balanced, full bodied and relaxed. But voices seem little recessed, moved back into sound stage, highs missing spark and air. Sometimes I get a feeling like speakers are covered with a towel, I'm almost reaching for a remote to push a magic button to open up the highs. I use those with Marantz SR6005 and don't really want to run Audyssey just yet...

Anybody had similar experience with R series? Or do I just need to adjust?

Give them time to settle in. My R300's are one of the best speakers I've ever heard for music AND movies, and certainly don't sound recessed - mine sound three dimensional, and with my curent system, they project forward from the cabinet (not all speakers can). At this sort of price point, the midrange will be among the cleanest you'll hear due to the dedicated midrange driver (based on the Blade), and imaging will also be up with the best due to their UniQ driver array.

You wont need to run Audyssey to make them sound good unless you have some serious room issues.
 

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