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Bookshelves with better below-axis vertical directivity than KEF's around $2000?

jitl

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I'm looking for a pair of bookshelf speakers with good vertical directivity. The offerings from KEF (first the LS50 Meta, and also the KEF R3) are at the top of my list, and are well-covered in other threads like the 22-pager here:

My question is, do any bookshelves under $2500USD beat these speakers in terms of vertical directivity?
Same-scale horizontal directivity of Kef R3 vs Kef LS50 Meta:

Same-scale vertical directivity of Kef R3 vs Kef LS50 Meta:

By the way, my use-case is listening from a couch or from the floor (see cushions) in my living room. Here's a few views of a 3D model I made to visualize on-axis angles in my space. For a sense of scale, the back wall (behind the TV) is 185" (15' 5")

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Ilkless

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Might want to try the discontinued Technics SB-C700, which is still available from some online outlets. 6.5" coax rivalling KEF but with a flat midwoofer that allows wider dispersion both horizontally and vertically. Really advanced speaker with a radical driver design, discontinued because of a slanderous review on WhatHiFi upon launch that crippled its chances on the market. Even a glowing Stereophile review that made it the second-cheapest Class A speaker after the LS50 did little to salvage the situation. You can find more discussion of it on Reddit, elsewhere on ASR and DIYAudio.
 
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jitl

jitl

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Even a glowing Stereophile review that made it the second-cheapest Class A speaker after the LS50 did little to salvage the situation
Maybe they should re-release it as the Technics SB-C700 Meta?
 

tifune

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I'm looking for a pair of bookshelf speakers with good vertical directivity. The offerings from KEF (first the LS50 Meta, and also the KEF R3) are at the top of my list, and are well-covered in other threads like the 22-pager here:

My question is, do any bookshelves under $2500USD beat these speakers in terms of vertical directivity?


By the way, my use-case is listening from a couch or from the floor (see cushions) in my living room. Here's a few views of a 3D model I made to visualize on-axis angles in my space. For a sense of scale, the back wall (behind the TV) is 185" (15' 5")

View attachment 179219View attachment 179221

If you're willing/able to spend a bit of time on your sub integration, the KH80 does remarkably well. You'd probably want to roll off a little higher than usual for that distance which could make the trade offs between bass response and localization quite a challenge. The KH120 doesn't fare quite as well vertically and the 310s are out of budget. Same for Genelec's like-for-like

Do you have subs? The LS50 Meta I'd expect crossover to be set around 110 for that distance, and even the R3 benefits around 80 (higher if you can).

Kali in8v2 is an excellent value, but the other speakers mentioned so far are simply better in vertical directivity. As always, diminishing returns...
 
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jitl

jitl

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If you're willing/able to spend a bit of time on your sub integration, the KH80 does remarkably well. You'd probably want to roll off a little higher than usual for that distance which could make the trade offs between bass response and localization quite a challenge. The KH120 doesn't fare quite as well vertically and the 310s are out of budget. Same for Genelec's like-for-like

Do you have subs? The LS50 Meta I'd expect crossover to be set around 110 for that distance, and even the R3 benefits around 80 (higher if you can).

Kali in8v2 is an excellent value, but the other speakers mentioned so far are simply better in vertical directivity. As always, diminishing returns...
I’ll add the KH80 and Kali to my list. I initially discounted powered monitors after looking over Genelec’s since I couldn’t figure out how to get HDMI-ARC to volume-control digital XLR audio. But the two you listed have some analog input which I could conceivably produce through a series of steps from my HDMI-ARC input.

All my notes are here: https://jitl.notion.site/Home-stereo-ideas-a927b76c78a945eea573115af2d713a2
I’ve been trying to educate myself on all the options but there is a lot to learn!

EDIT: to answer your question, I don’t have any subs. I was planning to build a 2.0 system first then add the sub later if it’s deemed necessary.
 
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Ataraxia

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Great directivity diagram.
 

Crosstalk

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Might want to try the discontinued Technics SB-C700, which is still available from some online outlets. 6.5" coax rivalling KEF but with a flat midwoofer that allows wider dispersion both horizontally and vertically. Really advanced speaker with a radical driver design, discontinued because of a slanderous review on WhatHiFi upon launch that crippled its chances on the market. Even a glowing Stereophile review that made it the second-cheapest Class A speaker after the LS50 did little to salvage the situation. You can find more discussion of it on Reddit, elsewhere on ASR and DIYAudio.
If you look at what hifis as%$§% reviews of the reviewed technics series, you can see all of them were rated very bad.




Thats the heights to which low lifes can go.
 

thewas

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It seems those Japanese just don't know how to do good sounding stuff... ;)
or didn't pay for advertisement... ;)
 

Crosstalk

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It seems those Japanese just don't know how to do good sounding stuff... ;)
or didn't pay for advertisement... ;)
it sounds more like the idiot who reviewed those in a room had clear instructions. This was the first product line technics came up with after several years. And I am pretty sure there were players who would have been scared considering how it well back its days of glory.
 

Crosstalk

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My first experience with the Technics was by accident at a show, and I never knew technics was back in business and so I never read any recviews until that point. So when I passively listened to them, I enjoyed a speaker with no audible resonance and huge soundstaage than their size suggested although bit 'analytical' as they say. Then I was shocked to see this bad review at a later point that I even felt I was listening it all wrong all tis time!
 
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