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KEF Reference 209 sub-woofers, worth the price?


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16 replies to this topic

#1 of 17 OFFLINE   Gar420

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Posted March 08 2012 - 02:52 AM

I'm hoping to build a rather high end home theater and was wondering what subs to use. I've used KEF speakers before and have always liked them. The 209 subs look pretty good, but are rather expensive (roughly $7000 a sub), so my question is simple....are they worth it? and if not, i would be interested in some suggestions.

#2 of 17 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted March 08 2012 - 03:15 AM

Is your budget $7,000? Get 3 of these - http://www.svsound.c...l&product_id=12 or 4 of these - http://www.edesignau...products_id=656 There are thousands of subs on the market. We need a budget, room size, goals and how much space you are willing to sacrifice.

#3 of 17 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted March 08 2012 - 03:54 AM

are they worth it?

I didn't answer this above. No they aren't. Most of these ultra expensive subs are nothing special. Take this one - http://www.wilsonaud...r_theater.shtml for the low, low price of $20,000. See the driver? Looks just like a Memphis Audio LVS 15" sub. Why? They both come from NCA Labs in Sacramento, CA. At the most, Wilson spent $300 on the driver so there is $600 of moving parts in that $20,000 sub. And there is no amp in this sub. You have to provide that yourself. Even with building the box and finishing it, they have no more than $1,500 invested in it.

#4 of 17 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted March 08 2012 - 04:21 AM

Do you really need $7K worth of sub? What exactly are you trying to do and how big is the room?
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#5 of 17 OFFLINE   Gar420

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Posted March 08 2012 - 05:35 AM

The room is a dedicated home theater, Dimensions are H-20' x W-35' x L-50' (give or take a few feet). I have two areas at the front of the room, close to the corners-dimensions are roughly H-3' x D-3' x L-4'. They will have to be front firing. As far as budget is concerned, I wouldn't like to go over 7000 or 8000 for the both of them...but i would if i had to.

#6 of 17 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted March 08 2012 - 06:16 AM

To save on shipping to you, can you build your own (or have someone build it for you) enclosure? Or as I said in your other thread, repurpose your JBL enclosures? If I were you, I'd go with dual BFM THT horns for a room that size. Description - http://www.billfitzm...ce.com/THT.html Heck, you could go with 4 since they are only 24" wide.

#7 of 17 OFFLINE   Gar420

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Posted March 08 2012 - 06:42 AM

To save on shipping to you, can you build your own (or have someone build it for you) enclosure? Or as I said in your other thread, repurpose your JBL enclosures?

I might just do that. I'm just exploring all the options...good practice if nothing else

#8 of 17 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted March 08 2012 - 09:07 AM

That's a BIG room. If you can do the DIY route, that's probably what I'd do too.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#9 of 17 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted March 08 2012 - 10:36 AM

Four THT horns would rock that room. Four 15" drivers - http://www.parts-exp...tnumber=295-468 1 amp - http://www.parts-exp...tnumber=248-748 $15 for the plans. 1/2" plywood and some glue. You wouldn't even stress that amp. You could probably go with the EP-2000 to save a little. You would need a subsonic filter. I can't remember which Behringer product has that built in but it's like $40. Well below your budget and you have bass capable of concert levels.

#10 of 17 OFFLINE   Gar420

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Posted March 08 2012 - 11:51 AM

Sounds like it would be a monster. I'm amazed that so much can be achieved out of so little.....The only problem is that the subs have to be hidden in the cabinets (limiting me to two subs max)...and it looks like the THT's are too large for the cabinets :(...a bit unfortunate as the SPL measurements for those subs look unreal. Thanks for the link though I'm definitely gonna use those designs in the future....I don't understand why everybody doesn't just build their own subs...or get somebody to build them, if this is the quality that can be achieved. There has to be some drawback hidden somewhere, lol. I'm seriously considering that Elemental Designs sub you suggested...I'm only hesitant b/c I've never heard of them, nor can i find that many reviews...

#11 of 17 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted March 08 2012 - 01:35 PM

There has to be some drawback hidden somewhere

A lot of people don't want to learn the science behind build speakers and subs. Others don't have the tools or know how to build an enclosure. I love the math and woodworking parts. Others want something right then and DIY takes time. I'm cheap so I trade my labor for savings.

Elemental Designs sub you suggested...I'm only hesitant b/c I've never heard of them, nor can i find that many reviews

That's a newer sub. To get that driver, they take the motor structure (magnet) from the 13Av.2 sub and put an 18" basket and cone on it. The A7-350 (the 15" version) has been out much longer. If you aren't familiar with eD, read their blog. Not many companies will post behind the scenes information like they do. Read up on their founder, Ben Milne. Yes, he's made a few mistakes along the way but not many people can go from dorm room to world wide home and car electronics.

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   Mike Thomass

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Posted March 09 2012 - 03:20 AM

i vote for DIY

#13 of 17 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted March 09 2012 - 02:09 PM

i vote for DIY

At least link to your thread.

#14 of 17 OFFLINE   Mike Thomass

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Posted March 12 2012 - 11:49 AM

At least link to your thread.

ok, cant hurt link

#15 of 17 OFFLINE   dengming

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Posted March 12 2012 - 04:16 PM

:(I might just do that. I'm just exploring all the options...good practice if nothing elsePosted Image

#16 of 17 OFFLINE   illjah

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Posted February 05 2013 - 09:46 AM

I'm hoping to build a rather high end home theater and was wondering what subs to use. I've used KEF speakers before and have always liked them. The 209 subs look pretty good, but are rather expensive (roughly $7000 a sub), so my question is simple....are they worth it? and if not, i would be interested in some suggestions.

Although I would agree with a lot of the comments here - such as do you really need to spend that much on one sub? And perhaps 2 or more DIY subs with very good quality drivers could provide a cheaper and still very good quality solution. I can however add something else to the discussion. I was the engineer who productionised and finalised the 209 subwoofer for KEF in Kent in the UK. It was NOT designed by me, but two previous KEF employees - the old head of Acoustics Dr Andy Watson, and my predecessor Chris who went on to work for Klipsch. So I can give you some vital information about what makes the 209 so expensive, and so different than other subs out there. Firstly, the 18" drive unit was designed COMPLETELY from scratch, and the drive unit is completely hand built (I was the only person doing this while there, so quality control was completely in my hands) in England. The magnet system features 24 N42 grade neodinium magnets, that are 80mm tall. The magnet system alone weighs in at over 22kgs. It is an under-hung voice coil design, that features 20mm of coil windings. This means it has 60mm of COMPLETELY linear excursion - I do not know of any driver that can compete with that. It also features some pretty clever room acoustic processing in the electronics. From my measurements, and experience of the sub, I can assure you that it is completely flat down to 11Hz, and is clean & fast in a way I have not experienced from other subs. I can also tell you, that $7000 is a VERY good price, as I believe KEF now sell the 209 for around £9000 in the UK, and also KEF make next to nothing on these, my boss cained the shit out of me over the production costs lol Whether its worth the price or not is hard to say, because that kind of money can buy/build a lot of subs, but it is certainly unique. Gotta say, I thiik you'd need two for that room you are looking at tho....

#17 of 17 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted February 05 2013 - 11:09 PM

Welcome to the forum, Alan.

This means it has 60mm of COMPLETELY linear excursion - I do not know of any driver that can compete with that.

Is that 60mm of one way travel or is that both directions?




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