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KEF R11 Meta Tower Speaker Review

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 5 1.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 6 1.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 85 18.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 375 79.6%

  • Total voters
    471

SlothRock

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Dec 23, 2021
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The reviews are good, no doubt, however after hearing BE tweeters and ribbons I could never go back to aluminum dome tweeters (even if they have fairy dust sprinkled on them :cool: ).
I decided on Ascend ELX towers and their Horizon center with ribbon tweeters. Their dedication to measurements, company reputation and high quality to dollar ratio made the decision easier but it was tough between them, KEF, SVS, etc
 

songOVERsound

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If you have kids or cleaning people; be careful about the drivers. They dent easily.
Watch out for yourself too! I hardly touched some of the woofers moving acoustic panels around and they dented very slightly. Purely aesthetic.

I bought 4 drivers for them just to have as backup - which is also why I was curious if the drivers are the same on meta vs old r11
 

cavedriver

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Watch out for yourself too! I hardly touched some of the woofers moving acoustic panels around and they dented very slightly. Purely aesthetic.

I bought 4 drivers for them just to have as backup - which is also why I was curious if the drivers are the same on meta vs old r11
As a question to the community, which major manufacturers will still sell individual drivers as a spare part and do you have to do something to prove you own a pair generally? I wouldn't mind getting my hands on a couple of the Revel woofers or maybe the 6" woofer from the Elac DBR-62. I sure I could think of a few more.
 

songOVERsound

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As a question to the community, which major manufacturers will still sell individual drivers as a spare part and do you have to do something to prove you own a pair generally? I wouldn't mind getting my hands on a couple of the Revel woofers or maybe the 6" woofer from the Elac DBR-62. I sure I could think of a few more.
Actually I got them from the speaker exchange https://reconingspeakers.com/ and they were excellent to deal with. I’ll have to see if the speakers are OEM or “genuine”, I don’t remember for sure, but, pretty sure they are.

I first reached out to KEF and they were rude, sloppy, and unprofessional. I’m used to dealing with the pro audio customer service, however.

Not to say all KEF was bad… when I bought the speakers for 50% off, they were extremely responsive and had solid information to give me. In other words, they were still cool to me even though the speakers were half off
 

Vacceo

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If you have kids or cleaning people; be careful about the drivers. They dent easily.
I vaccum mine at a bit of distancie so I do not even touch them. Works quite well.
 

exm

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I vaccum mine at a bit of distancie so I do not even touch them. Works quite well.

A lot of people have a cleaning person(s). They are not as careful.
 

Jon AA

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In an anechoic chamber it makes sense to have a speaker with flat on axis response. In a real room, you need EQ for a flat speaker as well as a non flat speaker, which means only good directivity is enough. Good directivity+EQ is enough - End of the discussion.
The whole point behind anechoic measurements is that it doesn't just make sense to use a flat speaker when you're in an anechoic chamber. It makes sense to use a speaker that measures flat anechoically in any room you are in. The double blind tests described by Dr. Toole in his book--mainly this one by Olive:


Much of which was later confirmed by Pike:


Showed that after being in a room for a few minutes, one's "ears and brain" adapt to the room, in a way he develops the ability to "Hear through the room" to a great extent--a phrase you've probably seen Dr. Toole express dozens of times on this website. This gives people the ability to identify the attributes of a speaker best measured anechoically even when they are in different rooms. This is the whole reason we do anechoic measurements in the first place. They matter. The more neutral a speaker is when measured anechoically, the more neutral it will sound in a variety of rooms.

In this case, when one speaker has a tweeter that's about +3dB hotter than the other relative to the midrange, that is a difference people will be able to identify no matter what room they are in.

The effect of the room impact the neutrability form the speaker, so its incorrecr to say
“A neutral (flat) speaker is indeed going to sound neutral no matter what room you put them in. “
A speaker with a lor of enhancement in bass may ne percibe as a warmer fr, while a speaker with huge cancelation in its bass, will sound cold, dead, boring or whatever u say.
Because you listen the speaker as a whole, the room will change how do you percibe the speaker

I don't think we were talking about bass. It's assumed bass should always be EQ'd to the room--preferably with multiple subs. When comparing speakers, the "speaker shuffler" largely will cancel out differences by putting each speaker in the exact same location. In the section of Dr. Toole's book where he discusses this subject, the last sentence contains the phrase "at least above the transition frequency." ;)
 

cavedriver

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Actually I got them from the speaker exchange https://reconingspeakers.com/ and they were excellent to deal with. I’ll have to see if the speakers are OEM or “genuine”, I don’t remember for sure, but, pretty sure they are.

I first reached out to KEF and they were rude, sloppy, and unprofessional. I’m used to dealing with the pro audio customer service, however.

Not to say all KEF was bad… when I bought the speakers for 50% off, they were extremely responsive and had solid information to give me. In other words, they were still cool to me even though the speakers were half off
Interesting. Cool website although they don't offer drivers from most of the brands that have current internally-controlled designs like Revel, Elac, and Wharfedale. As expected, companies like those aren't going to let their proprietary drivers get out into the wild that easily.
 

anphex

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I had incredible luck to get a pair of KEF REFERENCE 3 Meta for about 50 % of MSRP. If the R Series performs that good I can only imagine what ASR measurements of the Reference 3/5 would look like. Also adding two subs to my setup and FIR-EQ I can imagine I could reach a preference score of 9.0 or even higher :D
 

mmshah

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I had incredible luck to get a pair of KEF REFERENCE 3 Meta for about 50 % of MSRP. If the R Series performs that good I can only imagine what ASR measurements of the Reference 3/5 would look like. Also adding two subs to my setup and FIR-EQ I can imagine I could reach a preference score of 9.0 or even higher :D
Awesome, I'm in the market for Reference 3/5's (Non-Meta or Meta) but would need that level of discount to get them in my budget.
 

Crosstalk

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I had incredible luck to get a pair of KEF REFERENCE 3 Meta for about 50 % of MSRP. If the R Series performs that good I can only imagine what ASR measurements of the Reference 3/5 would look like. Also adding two subs to my setup and FIR-EQ I can imagine I could reach a preference score of 9.0 or even higher :D
It would be just bit flatter and with eq on R Series, it can easily sound like References. References are better aesthetically.
 

anphex

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It would be just bit flatter and with eq on R Series, it can easily sound like References. References are better aesthetically.

I compared them in a listening studio and the difference was pretty noticable right away. I even gave them an advantage by making them louder.
 

Crosstalk

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I compared them in a listening studio and the difference was pretty noticable right away. I even gave them an advantage by making them louder.
EQ R11 And then you won’t hear a difference
 

anphex

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EQ R11 And then you won’t hear a difference
The reference have:
- far more bass capabilty
- far less distortion of the whole range
- a good 10 degrees wider and smoother dispersion
- far less influence of diffraction
- a far more complicated and heavier cabinet (full aluminium front)


While the R11 are already insanely good, like the whole R series for the value, I think Reference or blade are the last step to a perfect speaker. I mean, what's left to fix there? Slap FIR for Room EQ onto it, pair it with 2 subs and it's a life lasting setup.
And remember I paid 7200 € for the pair, that's about the same as a new pair of R11:eek:
 

Crosstalk

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The reference have:
- far more bass capabilty
- far less distortion of the whole range
- a good 10 degrees wider and smoother dispersion
- far less influence of diffraction
- a far more complicated and heavier cabinet (full aluminium front)


While the R11 are already insanely good, like the whole R series for the value, I think Reference or blade are the last step to a perfect speaker. I mean, what's left to fix there? Slap FIR for Room EQ onto it, pair it with 2 subs and it's a life lasting setup.
And remember I paid 7200 € for the pair, that's about the same as a new pair of R11:eek:
The distortion on both r11 and ref 3 is below threshold of audibility from Highs to mids. From 50hz and below , the Reference 3 distorts way more than R11(due to the absence of 2 woofers) to the point where it becomes audible when playing a 100db signal. On R11 this distortion is not present. Who is the winner here? R11 ! Measurements are your friend. With eq it even has more headroom to get lower without distortion like the Reference 3. Again, who is the winner? R 11! Complex construction of the cabinet doesn’t mean any advantage here! Both don’t show any resonance in measurements. Having aluminium doesn’t show any improvement in measurements. But for style,yes they look cool. For performance, buy R11 meta and add two subs, that’s kind of the real deal.
 

exm

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It would be just bit flatter and with eq on R Series, it can easily sound like References. References are better aesthetically.

Ok, sure.
 

songOVERsound

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Mar 11, 2023
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I just calibrated my non-meta R-11’s with Trinnov and wow… I hope they continue to make new versions of this format as they improve things.

The size of these are so perfect
 
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