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KEF R3 Meta - Review & Measurements by Erin

TheBatsEar

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Why would it matter how big the speaker is, as long as I can place it?
It doesn't. A larger speaker doesn't emit more bass at the same volume, but deeper bass. That may or may not excite room modes, but you get the same problem with subwoofers.
It's a myth that you can't use large speaker for small room.
I suspect you sit at a desk, so i wonder how you get the R11 tweeter to ear height? Maybe it makes sense to use the R3 instead with an adjustable stand?
 

songOVERsound

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It doesn't. A larger speaker doesn't emit more bass at the same volume, but deeper bass. That may or may not excite room modes, but you get the same problem with subwoofers.
It's a myth that you can't use large speaker for small room.
I suspect you sit at a desk, so i wonder how you get the R11 tweeter to ear height? Maybe it makes sense to use the R3 instead with an adjustable stand?
Thanks. And yeah, that’s what I’m hoping for regarding the tweeter height. Might be able to place something below them to lift them up a foot. Like a sub? Ooooooh I like bad ideas
 

songOVERsound

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R11 woofer crossover is 400hz, fairly high. If you place them in such a way that multiple woofers are obstructed by a desk or something, it may sound odd.
Good point. I’ll have to consider that for long term use. Currently I’m going for a small desk and not too much obstructing the speaker. It will be close to the front wall, so perhaps some SBIR in the lower mid-range
 

Jon AA

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Measurements, however, cannot predict whether the sound of a group of high strings will be smooth or harsh.
I'm curious how you determined this. I would assume you've compared two speakers, one that sounds smooth and one that sounds harsh and done an extensive comparison of their full measurements and found no difference that would explain the difference in sound? That would make for an interesting read. Please share.
 

Eckerslad

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There really isn't much in it. Due to the DI's being identical (no surprises there, the cabinet and driver dimensions are literally identical) you could almost certainly EQ the OG R3 to match the R3 meta, then I'd bet in an AB you couldn't pick the difference.

IMO, If you have the original R3's, no need to rush out and but the R3 metas. If you want the R3 Metas, the clearance pricing on R3's is probably the deal of the century right now.

Same goes for R7's etc.

Looks like the R3 Metas they just tamed a bit of the R3's brightness. I cant comment on the actual 'META' absorbtion thing, but IMO its probably a bit of squeezing the last 0.5% out of an already exceptional bookshelf speaker.

In fact, if one wasn't so schooled in speaker measurements and looked at the above graphs, subjectively they might pick the OG R3. It 'looks' smoother, did Erin use different smoothing on the data between the two?
Perhaps the older model was better. Should we be applying the same logic as we do with double-blind testing here? Choose the best graphs and then let it be revealed which graph is for the old model, and which is the new one.
 

McFly

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Nah mate kef aren’t stupid, they use measurements, they wouldn’t sell a new model with inferior measurements I’m pretty certain. It’s more likely as mentioned above that Erin’s data sampling on the earlier model was lower making the graph appear smoother than it is.
 

abdo123

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It doesn't. A larger speaker doesn't emit more bass at the same volume, but deeper bass. That may or may not excite room modes, but you get the same problem with subwoofers.
It's a myth that you can't use large speaker for small room.
I suspect you sit at a desk, so i wonder how you get the R11 tweeter to ear height? Maybe it makes sense to use the R3 instead with an adjustable stand?

It’s not a myth, Speakers are usually tuned using farfield measurements (the microphone is placed at least 3 times the length of the largest dimension of the speaker away)

If you’re sitting at a distance shorter than that you will get a different tuning than what was intended.

email.png
 

songOVERsound

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It’s not a myth, Speakers are usually tuned using farfield measurements (the microphone is placed at least 3 times the length of the largest dimension of the speaker away)

If you’re sitting at a distance shorter than that you will get a different tuning than what was intended.

email.png

You’re talking about what the speaker was “tuned” for, which is a separate matter. More in line with my question about KEF’s r11 minimum listening distance.

What we were talking about is this myth that a bigger speaker performs worse in a smaller room. Speaker position and listening position will determine these issues, provided the speaker will fall in line with the proper parameters such as Kii/BXT and Genelecs 8361/W731a & newest flagship refrigerator speakers are all monster sized speakers and all are intended to work well in the near-field or mid/far field.

Geithain makes some remarkably small speakers that have a minimum listening distance of 2 meters/ 6.5 feet or farther which is another exception to these false rules
 

abdo123

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You’re talking about what the speaker was “tuned” for, which is a separate matter. More in line with my question about KEF’s r11 minimum listening distance.

What we were talking about is this myth that a bigger speaker performs worse in a smaller room. Speaker position and listening position will determine these issues, provided the speaker will fall in line with the proper parameters such as Kii/BXT and Genelecs 8361/W731a & newest flagship refrigerator speakers are all monster sized speakers and all are intended to work well in the near-field or mid/far field.

Geithain makes some remarkably small speakers that have a minimum listening distance of 2 meters/ 6.5 feet or farther which is another exception to these false rules

I would like to see some evidence of what you’re saying.
 

3125b

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You can use KEF floorstanders just fine at a desk. I have R5 on small stands to get the tweeter to the proper height. The even directivity (especially horizontal) works great for that application.
As was previously said, R11 in particular might have an issue with the woofer being blocked by the table. The lower edge of the lower woofer is approx. 43cm from the middle of the tweeter - that would probably be a problem. Get the R7 instead.
 

Pudik

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I bought a pair of KEF R3 Metas in early March and couldn't be happier with their performance in my system. I have no objective measurements, nor do I have any double blind AxB test results, just my humble subjective opinion.
So what do trebles sound like to you? If on the shrill side, did you equalize the outstanding freques? And if so, did the timbre and presence of vocals, guitars and other high freq instruments, change? Very curious, P.
 

Mnyb

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Does not the r11 have a slightly lower xo to the bass units than for example r3 due to large array of woofers
 

BrokenEnglishGuy

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You can use KEF floorstanders just fine at a desk. I have R5 on small stands to get the tweeter to the proper height. The even directivity (especially horizontal) works great for that application.
As was previously said, R11 in particular might have an issue with the woofer being blocked by the table. The lower edge of the lower woofer is approx. 43cm from the middle of the tweeter - that would probably be a problem. Get the R7 instead.
I use the R7 at 1,8 meters, sound fine... could sound best in a bigger room, but it works fine in this small room. Plus i got a lot of LFE
 

rynberg

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Part of the reason is they are half price..

But also, the midrange and tweeter are the same on the r11’s as they are in the other models correct? Why would it matter how big the speaker is, as long as I can place it? The woofers cross over at 400 hz, so, not as affected by localization. Everything above 400 is a point source, in the same manner as all the r series speakers.

The best reason to get them for me is because the woofers are spread out, being less susceptible to the floor/ceiling bounce.

The size of speaker vs room is only valid for positioning. This is why Bruno Putzey will tell you the Kii three BXT works well for small rooms and near field listening.

The only caveat is that some speakers have a farther listening distance for some reason. Geithains for example, even though their drivers aren’t spaced out from each other

The woofers are spread out over more than 3'...I think you would not get a coherent sound at only 4' away.

Who cares if they are half price if they don't work for your situation? You could save almost $1,000 and just get R3 Metas, which will work much better for your situation. Use the $1,000 for a subwoofer.
 

thegeton

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So what do trebles sound like to you? If on the shrill side, did you equalize the outstanding freques? And if so, did the timbre and presence of vocals, guitars and other high freq instruments, change? Very curious, P.

I've set up a very transparent system: (Analog) U-Turn Orbit Theory/Ortofon 2m Bronze + Cambridge Audio Alva Duo | or | (Digital) Bluesound Node 2i / Audiolab 6000CDT -> Topping D70 -> Schiit Freya S -> Buckeye Purifi 1ET400A -> KEF R3 Meta + Emotiva SE12

I don't really think of treble, mids, and bass when listening to music. Not as discreet things, but more as blended parts of a whole.

That said, I don't hear anything shrill or feel a need for equalization. Brass instruments, strings, guitar, and even bright percussive notes all sound clear and natural. Vocals are amazing, especially solo female performances.

I've played nearly every type of music through this system: acoustic, folk, classical, rock, alt-rock, hip-hop, EDM/Techno/Electronic, country, jazz, you name it. I believe that all of it sounds just like it should. I've streamed, played CDs, and listened to a fair bit of vinyl through them as well. I would lay odds that I've listened to them for at least 100 hours since setting them up. These speakers seem to handle everything I've thrown at them quite well and I'm genuinely pleased with them.

I differ in opinion with Erin, as I don't find the highs to be in need of adjustment. The room this system occupies is large-ish. The ceiling is quite high (12 ft.) and slopes upward away from the system, the speakers are not near any corners/walls, and there is plenty of natural damping materials on walls and a rug on the floor.

I have been experimenting with Erin's 10 degree toe-out suggestion. (He's a big fan of this technique, you'll see that suggestion made in a number of his speaker reviews) I haven't noticed an appreciable impact on highs, but what I do feel subjectively that it may have improved is the width of the "holy audiophile soundstage." The center image seems to be better detectable from more than just my favorite sweet-spot.

However, YMMV...

Cheers!
 

TheBatsEar

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I'm curious how you determined this.
Not the guy, but i share this. I can predict how a speaker sounds in the bass, but who knows what the signal emitted into all corners of the room end up sounding in my ear? For example, I was totally blown by the airyness of mids and depth of bass of the Linton 85th, didn't expect them to be that enjoyable in my room, despite the fact that a good amount of measurements are available.
Sometimes you really have to listen. Measurements are great to filter out the losers, but i personally can't identify a winner reliably.

Maybe we are not made to translate graphs into how something should sound in it's entirety?
 
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songOVERsound

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I would like to see some evidence of what you’re saying.

Go to 7:00 and Bruno starts to discuss big speakers in small rooms. Notice the Geithain specifically, at how far spaced apart the drivers are from each other and how small the speaker is.. yet you still need to be over 8 feet from them

Let me know if you need more, I can find it

48DDAC52-87A9-4CE8-B4E0-0D8E120D586D.jpeg
CABB62BC-9908-420F-AA4F-999662E01543.jpeg
49795DF0-BC89-4931-801F-95FBB9F35297.png
A3142B24-7E73-4869-BCBB-BB8E4B43D48A.jpeg
 
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songOVERsound

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The woofers are spread out over more than 3'...I think you would not get a coherent sound at only 4' away.

Who cares if they are half price if they don't work for your situation? You could save almost $1,000 and just get R3 Metas, which will work much better for your situation. Use the $1,000 for a subwoofer.
You’re probably right on that. 400 hz is probably a bit too high to get what I want out of the spacing
 

muad

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I've set up a very transparent system: (Analog) U-Turn Orbit Theory/Ortofon 2m Bronze + Cambridge Audio Alva Duo | or | (Digital) Bluesound Node 2i / Audiolab 6000CDT -> Topping D70 -> Schiit Freya S -> Buckeye Purifi 1ET400A -> KEF R3 Meta + Emotiva SE12

I don't really think of treble, mids, and bass when listening to music. Not as discreet things, but more as blended parts of a whole.

That said, I don't hear anything shrill or feel a need for equalization. Brass instruments, strings, guitar, and even bright percussive notes all sound clear and natural. Vocals are amazing, especially solo female performances.

I've played nearly every type of music through this system: acoustic, folk, classical, rock, alt-rock, hip-hop, EDM/Techno/Electronic, country, jazz, you name it. I believe that all of it sounds just like it should. I've streamed, played CDs, and listened to a fair bit of vinyl through them as well. I would lay odds that I've listened to them for at least 100 hours since setting them up. These speakers seem to handle everything I've thrown at them quite well and I'm genuinely pleased with them.

I differ in opinion with Erin, as I don't find the highs to be in need of adjustment. The room this system occupies is large-ish. The ceiling is quite high (12 ft.) and slopes upward away from the system, the speakers are not near any corners/walls, and there is plenty of natural damping materials on walls and a rug on the floor.

I have been experimenting with Erin's 10 degree toe-out suggestion. (He's a big fan of this technique, you'll see that suggestion made in a number of his speaker reviews) I haven't noticed an appreciable impact on highs, but what I do feel subjectively that it may have improved is the width of the "holy audiophile soundstage." The center image seems to be better detectable from more than just my favorite sweet-spot.

However, YMMV...

Cheers!
You probably already know, but just Incase.... He recommends 10 degree toe out from being on axis (directly pointed at your years.)
 
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