Kef R3 demo thoughts

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18 minutes ago, MartinC said:

^Ah, you've listened to rather more different speakers that I'd appreciated there @Mutzgoatz :).

FWIW I did have a listen to some of the example music you mentioned earlier via Spotify and didn't end up wincing at any high frequency content on my system, but I'll be honest that with all of the acoustic panels I currently have in my lounge I've probably got too much high frequency attenuation going on so it's not as bright/lively as it should be. (I've been ridiculously busy lately and so haven't had chance to properly explore this.)

I have two other thoughts:

  1. I don't know to what extent you experimented with toe-in or how far away you were with the R3s but less toe-in and being further away would generally help reduce issues with high frequency prominance/harshness.
  2. High frequencies are more likely to sound prominent/problematic if the low end isn't as full as was intended when the music was mixed. I use a combination of a miniDSP and a subwoofer to give me essentially full-range bass extension (for music) but crucially without the distraction of room mode induced bass boom. This gives me a more consistently full sound and as a result tracks which might previously had a tendency to sound a bit harsh at the top end are much less likely to now.

Regarding point 2 there are options you could consider for managing room modes that would still be relevant even with just standmount speakers, but it's usefulness would depend in part if it stopped you rejecting certain speakers or speaker positions due to bass-boom.

Thanks Martin, all very helpful.

There are just so many variables in this game, it's crazy! To revisit the amp issue in isolation, it would still be good to hear an Arcam A39 / 49 with those speakers (and others), the Gato amp, Pathos etc, all ideally at home, with a range of speakers and over an extended period of time. Not to mention then chopping and changing sources, cables, stands, positioning etc.

You have all been really helpful with the input so far though -  much appreciated - and there is ultimately no rush to commit, so I will continue shop/home demoing what I can (within reason) and try and whittle down what the best overall compromise is within budget constraints...for now...until upgraditis sets in again and change it once again. ;) 

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37 minutes ago, Mutzgoatz said:

Not to mention then chopping and changing sources, cables, stands, positioning etc.

Of these I'd say positioning will make the biggest difference, and by a huge margin. I think the biggest difference between stands will come from any differences in height. At least for digital sources I've personally always felt differences are massively exaggerated. I am not a cable 'believer' so personally I'd be even less bothered about this. Others will have different views of course :).

Edited by MartinC

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