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Opinions needed: KEF Q7's vs Energy C-9's


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#1 of 37 OFFLINE   PeteZ

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Posted April 25 2005 - 02:23 PM

I have been doing a lot of research into picking out speakers for my soon-to-be-completed basement. It is a large room, about 20' x 38' in the open area with smaller areas shooting off of the main room to form a "U" shape. I need a fairly powerful set of speakers to fill that large an area. Today, I auditioned several speakers. Polk Monitor70, Infinity Beta50, several Klipcsh models, Pinnacle Black Diamond, Infinity IL60's, and last but not least, the KEF Q7. I really liked the KEF's. They are very accurate, clear, and detailed, and played at pretty high volumes without distortion. They were powered by a Denon 2805. Overall, I really liked the build quality(the finish was outstanding!),but they are a little pricey ($1450). I wanted to spend under $1200 for a pair. My question is this: How do the Q7's stack up against the Energy Connoisseur C-9's? The Energy's are much less money, and have been getting great reviews everywhere I have been checking. The problem is, I can't find an audio shop that carries the C-9's. I found three places within about 90 minutes from me that sell Energy, but none of them have C-9's in stock. I plan to make the trip to listen to the C-5 and C-7, but they are going to call when they get a pair of C-9's in(I hope). Any thoughts on how these two speakers compare would be appreciated.

#2 of 37 OFFLINE   Kevin_F

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Posted April 25 2005 - 04:09 PM

Hey Pete, I see you demoed a few speakers. When I was demoing I listened to a pair of KEFS and Monitor Audio S6's and preferred the S6's. If you have any Monitor Audio dealers near you, I would recommend at least giving these speakers an audition and see how you like them.

Good luck either way Posted Image
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#3 of 37 OFFLINE   PeteZ

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Posted April 26 2005 - 07:31 AM

Thanks for the response Kevin. I have heard good things about the Silver Series from Monitor Audio. I intend to also find a retailer that handles the MA's. I'm thinking the S10 would fit what I'm looking for. I read your posts about your search for speakers. Do you remember what KEF speaker line you were comparing the MA's to? Also, in your travels did you get a chance to listen to the Energys I'm asking about? I'm telling you, in my area, it's next to impossible to find high end gear that you can put your hands on or listen to. It's a ride to find stores that carry the brands I'm interested in, and even then they many times don't have the models that I want to demo. It's pretty frustrating! I understand why so many people just go the internet route and save some cash and aggravation. You're just rolling the dice that what you have heard about a particular speaker is what your own ears will hear!

#4 of 37 OFFLINE   Kevin_F

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Posted April 26 2005 - 09:37 AM

I believe it was the Q series (not 100% certain) but it cost the same as the S6's do. THey sounded very nice, but for my tastes, I preferred the S6's.

Sorry, I have not listened to Energy speakers. I do understand your frustration with finding dealers for high end speakers. Being here in NY I guess I am kind of spoiled. Posted Image
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#5 of 37 OFFLINE   PeteZ

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Posted April 26 2005 - 11:50 AM

So many choices, so little time. DAMN YOU!!!! Posted Image

Now that I've had some time to research the KEF's, I also find out that they retail for $1200. The jerk at the store I went to tried to jam me for $250 over retail! This after coming down from his original price of $1600 a pair. What a loser. Luckily, I wanted to do some checking on the speakers, so I didn't impulse buy and get the royal shaft. Man, that burns me up. Posted Image

#6 of 37 OFFLINE   diegoBrasil

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Posted April 26 2005 - 02:04 PM

PeteZ,

I own a pair of C-9 and I am very happy with the performance, especially when it comes to reproduce vocalsPosted Image

They have a pretty good soundstage, and when well positioned they seem to disappear.

Good bass not boomy;

accurate tweeter even if somepeople would find it a little bit too forward, not harsh too me thogh.

I don't know Kef but I think is on the same level and you will find who prefer one or the other: it is a matter of taste at this point I guess.

I have been listening to a nautilus 805 and found not that big difference in spite of price;
better tweeter the nautilus to me;
mid were similiar and I liked both;
no comparison between book and tower so that C-9 had outstanding dynamic, but the nautilus still worked properly with good amount of detailed bass.

Diego

Diego
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#7 of 37 OFFLINE   PeteZ

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Posted April 27 2005 - 07:03 AM

Thanks for the info Diego!

I have a question for you. What kind of music do you listen to? I listen to mostly rock and hard rock, but I also listen to soft music, classical, blues, and some jazz. I also want to be able to use the C-9's as the fronts for home theater. The reason I ask about the type of music is because certain speakers seem to perform much better for certain styles of music. Your comments about the C-9 are pretty consistent with what I have heard from just about everyone. When you add the fact that you can get them under $800, that seems to be an incredible bang for the buck deal.

Any additional info is welcome.

#8 of 37 OFFLINE   diegoBrasil

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Posted April 27 2005 - 09:02 AM

PeteZ,

as a matter of fact for that price they are a big bang for the buck.

I personally do nor hear hard-rock music, but a friend of mine likes a lot and no complains on his C-7 Posted Image

I am very open minded as far as music is concerned, but my favorits are vocal jazz, blues, classical, brasilian and italian singers, etc.
I here enclose some:
Diana Krall - Kevin Mahogany - jacintha - brian bromberg - patricia barber - kenny burrel - ray charles - joss stone -"the voice" -
as well as bob marley - dire straits - andreas vollenweider - robert cray -

There are a lot really that i like but I stop here Posted Image

I still have to buy my CC-3 and a pair of CR-3 for my HT but the C-9 all alone have already outstanding performance with movies.

Diego
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#9 of 37 OFFLINE   PeteZ

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Posted April 27 2005 - 12:54 PM

Thanks Diego. I'm familiar with most of the artists you listed. What are you using to power them? I've heard they are a little power hungry. Most say you need to pump at least 100w/ch from quality amp to get them to perform. Thanks for all the input!

#10 of 37 OFFLINE   RichardCK

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Posted April 27 2005 - 04:02 PM

I went to listen to the c-9's at G.G. the other day and I have to say I was unimpressed. I also listened to the Mirage omni 250's They sounded better but I came home empty handed. To me the c-9's sounded like some speakers in a box played in a tunnel. I don't know if it was the pioneer elite receiver or the speakers. Even at 50% off they aren't worth the money. I auditioned them with a variety of music. Jennifer Warnes, Evanescence, Shinedown and Otep. For the rock music they were O.K. but with the piano and violins on the Jennifer Warnes C.D. they just didn't compare. I have not had the opportunity to listen to the Kef's but if you do please post your thought because I too have upgradeitis. I am looking for something to replace my Klipsch. I am actually leaning on paying the extra few hundred for some B & W 704's.
If you are sold on the c-9's you can get them at good guy's.com for half off right now.

#11 of 37 OFFLINE   Doug Otte

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Posted April 28 2005 - 01:27 AM

Pete, I auditioned the Q7s and Q11s along with Klipsch, Mirage, Paradigm, Boston, and B&W (the latter two at a different store). I bought the Q11s. I'm surprised about the price you've been quoted, too, on the Q7s. It seems like I only paid about $1600 for the Q11s, but I need to look at my receipt. I know it seems strange that I can't remember, but I bought the Q11s, Q10c, and Q1s all together for $2400.

Anyway, I find that the Q11s are wonderful, but I don't know if they're suited for rock. They sound great w/ classical. Rock sounds a little harsh and forward to me, but that might be my problemmatic room w/ lots of reflection and it also might be that, with better speakers, I can now hear the deficiencies in rock recordings. I power them with a Marantz 7400.

The best bet is to take some of your favorite CDs to the store, sit down, and listen.

Have fun.
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#12 of 37 OFFLINE   diegoBrasil

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Posted April 28 2005 - 01:35 AM

Petez,

so far I am using a HK 335 that in estereo deliver 70W high current, but already hung-up a Rotel 1070 130w high current and the difference was notable.

I suggestbat least 100w high current power to wake them up Posted Image
but 150/200 would even be better to me.

RichardCK,

C-9 for sure aren't in a box speakers but of course can't please anyonePosted Image

So far people come to visit me were more like Posted Image
thanPosted Image
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#13 of 37 OFFLINE   SummyD

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Posted April 28 2005 - 09:37 AM

I have C-7 as my HT's fronts and I love them. I agree with a previous post that the 'C' series is pretty accurate and detailed. I also auditioned C-5 but not C-9, sorry. Even the local dealer here in Cleveland didn't have any then. No exp with KEF.

#14 of 37 OFFLINE   PeteZ

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Posted April 28 2005 - 11:11 AM

Richard, I did audition the Q7 at the store. They were very impressive. The clarity of the speaker was exceptional. They played very clear, detailed, and loud. I did bring some of my own cd's in to listen to. I played Nickelback, Foo Fighters, Three Days Grace, Trapt, 3 Doors Down, plus I listened to various Jazz and rock cd's that the owner had in store. I can't stress enough how clean and accurate the highs and midrange were. They also had pretty good kick down low. We had the sub turned off, so I could hear exactly what the speaker can do. I was only able to adjust the treble and bass from the receiver, but was able to get a pretty good idea what the speakers are capable of. I was very impressed. As someone else hear said, these speakers are unbelievable for classical and the jazz. For the hard rock, I still thought they sounded great. With the sub, the sound was dynamic, and it felt like you were at a live show. If you can find them, I would make a point of it to give them a listen. Let me know what you think of them when you do.

#15 of 37 OFFLINE   Bri~A

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Posted April 28 2005 - 11:15 AM

I listed to the C9's and the Q7's when I set up my system.

I prefered the sound of the Q7's and purchased them. The Q7's had a nice sound no matter where you are while I found the C9's to be a bit more focused with their ideal listening position.

The Q7's also had a smoother low end from what I recall (it has been a while).

I have been very happy with my decision.

#16 of 37 OFFLINE   PeteZ

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Posted April 28 2005 - 11:27 AM

Hi Doug! I think you're right about the listening room. The room I listened in was far from perfect, but it was fairly large, with seating about 12 feet from the speakers, and drapes covering openings to either side, plus carpet to keep the reflection down. You could also get up and walk back into the store another 25 feet or so to get an idea how they would disperse the sound. The only problem was that there was a large display stand directly behind the seats that would obscure the sound when you tried to center yourself with the speakers from further back in the room.

I'm glad you're happy with your Q11's. They really are a quality speaker. It's always exciting to hear a brand you have never heard before, and be impressed with the quality. It's comforting to know that there are a lot of great speaker manufacturers out there. Competition is good....for our ears and our wallets.

Thanks for the help!

#17 of 37 OFFLINE   PeteZ

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Posted April 28 2005 - 11:45 AM

Thanks again for the info Diego!

Don't take what Richard said personally. To each his own. Who knows what the problem was. It could have been an abused or damaged set of speakers. I've never heard a review of those speakers that was that bad, so I think something was wrong. He's only trying to help me in my decision by being honest about what he heard. I'm sure your speakers rock!

Summy

I'm glad you're happy with your speakers, and thanks for the input.

Bri

I've heard a few other people say they preferred the C-7 to the C-9. I think in my case, with the size of my listening area, I need the largest drivers they offer to fill the room. Great to hear you love yours.

#18 of 37 OFFLINE   Shiu

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Posted April 29 2005 - 11:35 AM

Pete, I listened to both last year. They both sounded great to me, but the C-9 has much better bass and can play louder. If I remember correctly the Q-7 was powered by a RX-V2400. The C-9 was in a different room, I was able to get the sales consultant to demo it with a 2803 and then a 3805. The sound difference using either receiver was not noticeable. I also A/B the C-9 with a pair of big Def Tech (didn't bother checking the model number). To me the C-9 sounded much better than the Def Tech in terms of details and transparency. If you have a nice subwoofer, you can't go wrong with the Q-7, otherwise you may like the C-9 better.

#19 of 37 OFFLINE   diegoBrasil

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Posted April 29 2005 - 12:37 PM

Petez,

remember that whatever speaker you listen to, tell the sales-man to hang-up a good power, so that you can hear the real potencial Posted Image

Diego
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#20 of 37 OFFLINE   PeteZ

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Posted April 29 2005 - 01:29 PM

Shiu, that's exactly the kind of comparison I was looking for. You're right about the Q7 not having great bass, but with a good sub they would sound terrific. I already knew the Energy would have more bass because it goes all the way down to 31hz, but if it plays much louder and is more transparent than the KEF, that would be amazing. In the specifications for the Q7, maximum SPL is 113DB. It's hard to imagine the C-9 playing much louder than that, but if so that's a good thing!

What speakers do you own?

Thank you for the review of both speakers!