B&W 601 vs KEF Q1

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by George-B, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. George-B

    George-B Auditioning

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    In your opinion what is a better sounding speaker between the two and why? I would like to know what to look for in speakers since I have heard these two side by side.
    p.s.
    the price is almost the same [​IMG]
     
  2. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    IMO, the Q1's always had muddy and kinda boomy bass. the highs and mids were pretty good, but it was a mess down low [​IMG]

    but the B&W's are a good solid performer, but not quite as nice looking.
     
  3. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    the Q1's imaging, due to the UniQ array, will be superior; it really does make a difference. transparency and midrange clarity on the Q1's is stunning for certain music, like acoustic jazz, soft vocals, and acoustic guitars. the b&w will probably "rock" more, though.

    what will you use them for, predominately?

    p.s.- the KEFs DO have a quite noticeable (to me, anyway) "break-in" period
     
  4. Jay_A

    Jay_A Extra

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    Scott you mean that B&W's are more at home with rock, new wave and disco music?
     
  5. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    well, if you had to pick one or the other to label as such, it'd be the b&w

    but that's not really a good description of either speaker, imo
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The Q1s have great imaging, but that does not mean they are a great speaker. IMO, the 601s are more clear, but give up extension to the Q1. The 602 would be my choice of bookshelf from the 600 series though.
     
  7. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    o, absolutely. i did not mean to imply AT ALL that this was reason, alone, to get the KEFs. that's just they're big selling point.
     
  8. Bob*S

    Bob*S Stunt Coordinator

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    Robert-

    I think it's a bit unprofessional to make statements like the above without pointing out your bias (i.e, that you sell B&W and not KEF).

    Bob
     
  9. JohnSmith

    JohnSmith Supporting Actor

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    I much prefer the Kef Q sound over B&W PA-boxiness. Each to their own.
     
  10. Bob*S

    Bob*S Stunt Coordinator

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    I have been auditioning the B&W 600s and KEF Qs along with a couple of other brands.

    As John said, the 602s are a much better speaker then the 601s (but they are quite large). The B&Ws have a better top end than the KEFs and are a very clean speaker to my ears and do well with pretty much anything thrown at them. The B&Ws seem like they like a bit more power to really shine. They are very detailed to the point of some finding their sound a bit analytical.

    The KEFs shine through the mid-range and, as noted, have great imaging (and dispersion). Vocals are extremely good. They have better bass extension than the KEFs but I personally prefer them with the foam bung blocking the port (since they require a sub anyways) - this pretty much cleans up any boom in the bass/lower mid-range. I do always feel like I need to goose the treble a bit with these speakers.

    If I had to use a single word to describe each speaker, I'd say the B&Ws are clean and the Q1s are melodic.

    Bob
     
  11. Bob*S

    Bob*S Stunt Coordinator

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    The first time I heard the 601s and 602s, they sounded horrid - muddy and nasal. I knew something was amiss since these speakers are so well-regarded and auditioned them elsewhere. The second dealer was using one as a center and had to hook up its mate. SO, he expected me to listen to them with one up about 40" and the other on the floor. Asked him to put them on stands but he couldn't be bothered, so I had to listen to them on the floor angled up. The mids were much better in this demo although the low end suffered from being on the floor.

    I've suffered the same problems auditioning many speakers including the KEFs but I think the KEFs are much less sensitive to room placement than most speakers.

    Bob
     
  12. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    Bob, i know me better than you do.

    i have sold both KEF and B&W. to tell you the truth, i had more exposure to kef than b&w. i was specially trained on kef (i was only one at our store that get personalized training on them).

    im giving my learned opinion from being exposed to both. and i could care less what he buys, im not getting the commission on it. i own a LOT of stuff i dont sell. and i will recommend what i have over most of the stuff i sell too.
     
  13. Bob*S

    Bob*S Stunt Coordinator

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    Robert-

    I'm not questioning your opinion of these speakers. It's simply a matter of appearances since I knew you sold B&W. I've been to too many places where product A becomes inferior to product B simply because the store no longer represents product A (and I would never expect to a Ford dealership and have them recommend a GM product either).

    Bob
     
  14. DavidGT

    DavidGT Stunt Coordinator

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    I personally demoed the 601 vs Q1 before I went with Q1x5.
    Thought it was going to be a tough decision but it wasn't.
    Like Bob said, 601's are somewhat clear BUT sounded thin and grainy.
    Q1's are smooth, silky, and gives out bigger soundstage.
    I also had a chance to listen to the praised Leisure series VM1's. It too sounded thin and not so smooth compared to Kef eggs.
    I wonder if B&W are starting to be overated and get by because of their "name".
     
  15. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    As others have said, you should be looking at the 602s instead of the 601s.
     
  16. Bob*S

    Bob*S Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree that the 602s are the better sonic comparison for the Q1s. The trouble is, the Q1s and 601s are the same price while the 602s are one-third again as much.

    Bob
     
  17. DavidGT

    DavidGT Stunt Coordinator

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    It doesn't matter 602 or 601, same materials and tweeter, so overated. They may get by with really warm sounding amps or receivers maybe.
    What reallly shocked me were the VM1's. Those speakers looked really nice and a lot of effort were put in to those. What a waste.
     

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