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KEF R11 Meta Tower Speaker Review

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 5 1.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 7 1.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 88 18.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 379 79.1%

  • Total voters
    479
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
R11 is magic, it takes so much less space for that amount of sound quality. I would go to the extreme to say that they are the best floorstanders ever made. They are so perfect
 
R11 is magic, it takes so much less space for that amount of sound quality. I would go to the extreme to say that they are the best floorstanders ever made. They are so perfect
You speak so confidently that I want to buy this speaker :)

For home theater use, which one you prefer? R11 meta or Ascendo the 10? For the obious advantage of coaxilas, I am tryin to choose between this 2.

My listening position is 3,5 meters away and I generally listen at -10db.

I am aware that for pure SPL, Ascendo is the winner, but who needs such unlistenable high sound levels. At least not me :)

As I see, R11 has very little distortion at even 96 db (1 meter), but at my listening position (3,5mt) its a little louder than 84 db. Considering we need 20db headroom for movies, for average -75db (not -85db, bcoz I generally listen at -10db) (20db headroom = 95bd max), there should be no distortion at 95db at 3,5 meters in my case.
How well R11 meta can handle distortion issue at 95db at 3,5 meters, comparing to Ascendo the 10s?

I know that R11 has better frequency response, but after EQ, it looses its advantage since they have similar directivity indexes (have they?)

What else should I take into account when comparing the two?

I can setup a HT consist of 3 Kef R11 Metas and 8 R3 Metas or 11ch Ascendo the 10.

All opinions are much apreciated...
 
I know some butt hurt reference owners won’t like this, that my cheapo r11 is destroying their expensive toys

I have owned the R11, and now I own the Reference 5s so I can clearly speak from experience comparing these 2. But I have a feeling there's no point in arguing with you, so enjoy your R11s.
 
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I have owned the R11, and now I owner the Reference 5s so I can clearly speak from experience comparing these 2. But I have a feeling there's no point in arguing with you, so enjoy your R11s.
I guess they are in the same space, with the same eq and electronics, right?

I'm not going to ask if it is worth it, because the answer is evident; but how much of a difference have you noticed?
 
I guess they are in the same space, with the same eq and electronics, right?

I'm not going to ask if it is worth it, because the answer is evident; but how much of a difference have you noticed?

Yes, exact same location, processor, amp, etc.

The difference in LF is significant. I always found the R11s to be a bit lacking, but the Reference 5s definitely made a tremendous difference. And yes, I also have 2 subwoofers but my main speakers still take care of 80Hz and above. The driver itself is a lot more transparent. It's hard to describe it, but the Reference really makes the music come alive, almost like it surrounds you or as if you're right in front of the performer. The Reference Uni-Q is fantastic. And then the build of the speaker: the R11 looks gorgeous, but the wood is very flimsy. If you compare these 2 speakers side-by-side you can easily see the difference in quality of the build.

Is it worth it? At MSRP I would say no (unless you can afford it). I ended up getting my Reference 5s used when the Metas were released and I got them for an absolute steal (say: a bit above retail of new R11s Meta). From that perspective it's an absolute fantastic speaker. But I won't be someone dropping 5 figures on speakers. However, the used market for Reference speakers is fantastic and many bargains can be found.
 
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Yes, exact same location, processor, amp, etc.

The difference in LF is significant. I always found the R11s to be a bit lacking, but the Reference 5s definitely made a tremendous difference. And yes, I also have 2 subwoofers but my main speakers still take care of 80Hz and above. The driver itself is a lot more transparent. It's hard to describe it, but the Reference really makes the music come alive, almost like it surrounds you or as if you're right in front of the performer. The Reference Uni-Q is fantastic. And then the build of the speaker: the R11 looks gorgeous, but the wood is very flimsy. If you compare these 2 speakers side-by-side you can easily see the difference in quality of the build.

Is it worth it? At MSRP I would say no (unless you can afford it). I ended up getting my Reference 5s used when the Metas were released and I got them for an absolute steal (say: a bit above retail of new R11s Meta). From that perspective it's an absolute fantastic speaker. But I won't be someone dropping 5 figures on speakers. However, the used market for Reference speakers is a fantastic and many bargains can be found.
Time is another great tool, as usually KEF tickles down elements from the Reference series to the R series.
 
I have owned the R11, and now I own the Reference 5s so I can clearly speak from experience comparing these 2. But I have a feeling there's no point in arguing with you, so enjoy your R11s.
Because there are no points to argue. R11 with eq is better than ref 3, but ref 5 has better bass extension. Other than that with eq R11 just is equal to References
 
You're correct, the are no points to argue with your "facts". Enjoy your Reference-equal R11s.
Yes, if I had not discovered this forum, I would have been sad that I don’t have the money for References. But now I know I can buy speakers which are having enough capability to eq and having low distortion to have sound of any speaker in the world. Do I need the blade sound ? EQ it! Do I need the sound of magicos ? EQ it!
 
Yes, if I had not discovered this forum, I would have been sad that I don’t have the money for References. But now I know I can buy speakers which are having enough capability to eq and having low distortion to have sound of any speaker in the world. Do I need the blade sound ? EQ it! Do I need the sound of magicos ? EQ it!
Eq dont change the directivity of a speaker, the references still have better directivity, the new meta series have been improved the directivity, the bad thing is the new series cost price bump is huge



Also the force cancel woofers fron the blades and the curved cabinet are something that EQ cannot mimic





The R11 has quad woofers that allow them to play louder, it might be better in bigger rooms... there is people complaining about the max spl from the ref3 despite being a very huge speaker, in these cases is where you need more woofer capabilities. Lately the best directivity is from the Reference meta speakers btw.. plus the Meta thing for the highs
 
EQ-ing a speaker can create phase issues or pre-ringing if linear phase EQ is used. If you try to boost an SBIR null you are just going to more cancellation and eventually distortion.

Beyond that, you have to factor in the Directivity Index of the speaker and how it responds to EQ to begin with.

You can’t just EQ a speaker to make it “sound” like another speaker. Besides, most speakers are designed to be as flat anechoicly, as possible.

As others mention directivity, diffraction, resonance, etc…

Sheesh..
 
Yes, exact same location, processor, amp, etc.

The difference in LF is significant. I always found the R11s to be a bit lacking, but the Reference 5s definitely made a tremendous difference. And yes, I also have 2 subwoofers but my main speakers still take care of 80Hz and above. The driver itself is a lot more transparent. It's hard to describe it, but the Reference really makes the music come alive, almost like it surrounds you or as if you're right in front of the performer. The Reference Uni-Q is fantastic. And then the build of the speaker: the R11 looks gorgeous, but the wood is very flimsy. If you compare these 2 speakers side-by-side you can easily see the difference in quality of the build.

Is it worth it? At MSRP I would say no (unless you can afford it). I ended up getting my Reference 5s used when the Metas were released and I got them for an absolute steal (say: a bit above retail of new R11s Meta). From that perspective it's an absolute fantastic speaker. But I won't be someone dropping 5 figures on speakers. However, the used market for Reference speakers is fantastic and many bargains can be found.
So you can basically say that the Reference do the same the R do but better.
 
Yes, if I had not discovered this forum, I would have been sad that I don’t have the money for References. But now I know I can buy speakers which are having enough capability to eq and having low distortion to have sound of any speaker in the world. Do I need the blade sound ? EQ it! Do I need the sound of magicos ? EQ it!
How do you EQ dispersion man. Wider dispersion requires additional engineering and technology. You sound like a overly excited kid with his new toys going around telling everybody he has the best and latest toys... Cant believe you bring blade into the conversation saying you can EQ them to sound the same. Are you hearing yourself lol
 
Also the force cancel woofers fron the blades and the curved cabinet are something that EQ cannot mimic
Show in measurements what the advantage in terms of sound. In terms of weight yes. Bass is omni directional. No advantage in reality to have that configuration, unless for marketing
 
How do you EQ dispersion man. Wider dispersion requires additional engineering and technology. You sound like a overly excited kid with his new toys going around telling everybody he has the best and latest toys... Cant believe you bring blade into the conversation saying you can EQ them to sound the same. Are you hearing yourself lol
Directvity of r11 is good already and is EQ ready. Of course Blade will be slightly better in that aspect. But considering the cost I am happy at my listening spot with r11, I can just eq it flat to blades profile
 
EQ-ing a speaker can create phase issues or pre-ringing if linear phase EQ is used. If you try to boost an SBIR null you are just going to more cancellation and eventually distortion.

Beyond that, you have to factor in the Directivity Index of the speaker and how it responds to EQ to begin with.

You can’t just EQ a speaker to make it “sound” like another speaker. Besides, most speakers are designed to be as flat anechoicly, as possible.

As others mention directivity, diffraction, resonance, etc…

Sheesh..
I am talking about R11 which has very good directivity which means they are already eq friendly
 
As others mention directivity, diffraction, resonance, etc…

Sheesh..
My R11 has none of these issues and its directivity is excellent. Blades have the same characteristics. So they are equal. You are paying $$ for looks!
 
My R11 has none of these issues and its directivity is excellent. Blades have the same characteristics. So they are equal. You are paying $$ for looks!
Blades? Even if that were true, I will inform you of your own delusions that include Magicos and any speaker in the world. But you try to make it seem like you are comparing the R11’s to blades…

“But now I know I can buy speakers which are having enough capability to eq and having low distortion to have sound of any speaker in the world. Do I need the sound of magicos ? EQ it!”

I don’t think there is a lot you can do from here
 
I took some pictures of the R and Reference drivers. This link also has some more information. But hey, they are equal!
https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...-lf-drivers-reference-vs-r-series-pics.45676/
worth to mention the fact where the Refernces have a crossover with a 24dB slope and the R series with a 12dB slope, the quality of how they mount the drivers into the cabinet are better in the references, also the bigger cabinet, the problem is we can't compare these stuff since stereophile didnt review the R series

directivity is better in references, im not a huge fan of the FR of the R series or the References series, but i think i might like the new Reference meta tunning. I used EQ with my R7, comparing these side by side the first thing you will notice is the references has a much stronger subbass
 
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