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Discussion in 'Speakers' started by RobL, Jun 18, 2003.
just curious question, What's the word on KEF speakers?
KEF's Nautilus fighter
Other hi-end companies may advertise more, but this quiet company can keep up with the best of them.
I think they're great speakers, and I know several others on this forum are considering an XQ or Ref setup. I'm in the process of getting quotes on a Ref 201 based system and XQ3 based system. The sound is detailed and seems pretty good to me.
i've been researching various lines of speakers that impress me with their sound and also impress my wife with thier looks. KEF is still the winner. Just last weekend I went again to audition them with my friend to get his opinion and he already sold his NHT SB series speakers like in 4 days on Audiogon and is getting XQ1s or Q7s. He listened to XQ1s and almost decided to get them. He just want to give Q7s a try as they are floor standing before he takes the dive on XQ1s.
Your question is like asking, what about speakers? That is because KEF makes so many lines of speakers, that it is really hard to generalize, but you can say they always put out a quality product. KEF has pioneered the use of the "teardrop" shaped cabinet where the cabinet tapers inward as you move to the back to reduce cabinet related reflections (coloration) of the sound.
Their Reference Line is absolutely outstanding, and they start at a little over $4K a pair, so they can be pricey. If I could afford them, I would have them in a heartbeat.
The next step down is the XQ Series, which is largely an improved Q Series. The Q Series is their bread and Butter line, MSRPs start at about $450 a pair. They are not as reserved as B+Ws or Heybrooks (competing English speaker companies), but they are not as aggressive as Mission speakers. Their sound tends to be tailored to appeal to a very wide audience. I really like the Q1s and Q3s myself, but I don't care for their larger Q Series speakers.
They also have the Cresta and Coda Series speakers below the Qs. In short, they have something for everyone, but as I said, it is very high quality no matter what your price range. If you like their sound, they are a good buy.
A small point of clarification, two actually. Ref 201s are $3500, and the 202c is $2000. Also, the XQs are not really improved Qs and have much more in common with Refs. This comes from talking to KEF America, several locals dealers, and listening to them. The XQs were meant to bridge the gap between the Q and Refs but are much more similar to the Refs and sound nothing like the Qs.
About how much are the XQ's? They sound interesting.
XQ5 are 3000 a pair
XQ3 are 2000 a pair
XQ2c is 1200
XQ1 are 1500 a pair
While, agreed the KEF XQ series do sound great, as I did listen to them very recently, let's compare apples to apples here regarding your friend and his NHT's. Sure, the XQ's are going to sound a lot better than NHT's SB series. There's a few hundred dollar range difference (depending on which SB model) between the two. You wanna give thos XQ's a run for their money from NHT? Try the M5's. They retail for about $900/pr., and would compare much better to the XQ1's (and probably other XQ models), while saving yourself mucho dinero. Just sticking up for NHT here, not trying to start anything.
I am sorry if my NHT comparision to XQ1s was misleading. I wasn't comparing them at all. I only was giving an example that my friends were very much impressed the sound and looks of XQ1s that they leaped from SB2s that cost 1/3rd the cost of XQ1s without a thought. They did that because they've been accompanying me in my search for a very good sounding speakers that are equally attractive. We like Sonus Faber's, Vienna Acoustics, B&W's, KEF XQs, Paradigm Studio's, and quite a few other models but KEF XQs seems to have impressed both me and wife more than any other speakers.
My search will continue till late september when I actually will be buying the speakers. NHTs sure are a bargain at that price. No wonder they were able to sell them in less than a week on Audiogon!
I always enjoyed the Q15 series. The point source really works providing outstanding clarity and imaging. The added bonus is being able to place the speaker horizontal or vertical w/o any dropoffs. Being front ported and the placement flexibility, these are perfect for those home entertainment centers. They also have the ability of playing very loud.
Thanks for your response,and for clearing that up. The XQ1's do sound very nice, and, yes, they are better looking than the M5's. I would suggest you guys audition the M5/M6's and sub combos. Although, not elegant looking, they do have a modern look to them. Best of luck with your speaker search.
After looking at many brands, I purchased Kef reference 2 series(not 200). The only other company that I thought was close was Thiel(2.3 at the time). Very similarly priced and sounding to Kef. The B&W (CDM9NT)after going back to the store a few times seemed to lack the energy that Kef and Thiel have.