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KEF R3 Speaker Review

hch

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BTW I see that the Yamaha RN 803 produces 194 watts into 4 ohms and has a SINAD of 92, so this is a good amp. Nice performance at a reasonable price this.
 

BIGB

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In the review its mentioned as "Impedance dips to 3 ohms which is quite low, emphasizing the point I made earlier about needing a good amplifier to drive these speakers" so the doubt.
 

mike70

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If you already bought it ... well, you don't win anything with external opinions ... do the test ... and then let us know if it worked.
 

BIGB

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If you already bought it ... well, you don't win anything with external opinions ... do the test ... and then let us know if it worked.
Understand that , still I would like to have opinions from experts (I’m not) whether I should upgrade the amp to something which can go down to 2 ohms.
 

mike70

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There's no more expert than your room / taste / ears. You can be surprised on what "experts" say and what you find on your own system / room acoustics.

Room acoustics is more than half of the results, the key in domestic sound. And that variable generally only you know (when you know).
 

Chagall

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Here is what I done with my R3's.

  • PC - Dirac Live (NAD Harman target)
  • Roon server
  • MiniDSP 2x4HD (volume control)
    • highpass @ 110Hz - Rotel RA 12 ([email protected]) - KEF R3
    • lowpass @ 110Hz - DALI concept sub

First I set the max volume on Rotel intergrated @70 out of 99 (I guess) - Minidsp will be used as a volume control.

Second in REW I've tried to find the best crossover point for speakers and sub.
I measured FR response by putting @80Hz, @90Hz, @100Hz and @110Hz in minidsp.
Wanted the crossover to be as high as possible to take the load off the Rotel.
Settled on 110Hz. This is the frist point I'm not sure about but WTH, let's keep going.
Then in REW I time aligned sub to the speakers @ 110Hz.
That gave me a delay for sub that I've put in minidsp.
Sub level was too low, because I know that NAD harman curve in Dirac will boost the bass,
so I dialed up the volume on the sub to be cca 10dB louder the the mains - Dirac will cut the excess.

Then I measured speakers and sub in Dirac Live (stereo) and applied NAD Harman target.
Set - 5dB output in Dirac Live processor to avoid clipping.

Configured Roon to use dirac virtual sound output and that's it.
My room isn't treated at all and is quite empty so Dirac made a big difference.

Not saying this is the best way to do it, but with the equipment I have on hand it's OK.

Would love it if you guys let me know what you think?

PS, don't ask me for measurements, didn't rename them while measuring so no idea what's measured :)
 

mike70

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First, congratulations! ... hard and good work.
I think you're doing the right thing, working in acoustics / dsp more than spend in expensive and fancy electronics.

Why 110Hz? i think is really high ... i mean, sending under 110 to subwoofer is really high, those frequencies are easily addressable. And maybe there's not much difference between 110 and up with 80 and up as a load to the Rotel amplifier.

Only some constructive opinions.
 

Chagall

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First, congratulations! ... hard and good work.
I think you're doing the right thing, working in acoustics / dsp more than spend in expensive and fancy electronics.

Why 110Hz? i think is really high ... i mean, sending under 110 to subwoofer is really high, those frequencies are easily addressable. And maybe there's not much difference between 110 and up with 80 and up as a load to the Rotel amplifier.

Only some constructive opinions.

Tnx!
Yeah, not sure about 110Hz cross.
But I decided on it based on two things.
- KEFs are not on stands, but on a hollow TV cabinet (cca 20cm from the wall) - wanted to avoid resonances by sending lows to sub.
- Rotel RA 12 is only 60W so it seem to me better to offload it somewhat, because it will be on 70 volume all the time.
I want to say the measurements also weren't bad at 110 but I just dont remeber (didn't name them :/ ). Need a do over.

Basically cuttoff is too high for sure, but in this case maybe makes sense.

Next thing I want to try is to remove minidsp and crossover entirely and just do dirac, so I can control the volume on the Rotel.
Think it will sound worse without crossover and this isn't somethig I can change quickly to A/B test easily.
 

BrokenEnglishGuy

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Someone has play with Low shelf filter?
index.php

With a boost of +2dB ~+3dB using the Low shelf filter the speaker become more correct imho.., my guess the weak slope from R series is what people hear as ''dull'', it's also represented in measurements the aggresive slope in sub-bass.

Also, in some positions the highs at 10khz can be aggresively rolled off.

Combine the roll off in the highs and the weak slope in their sub bass
 

TurtlePaul

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With a boost of +2dB ~+3dB using the Low shelf filter the speaker become more correct imho.., my guess the weak slope from R series is what people hear as ''dull'', it's also represented in measurements the aggresive slope in sub-bass.
Ultimately the best option is to add a sub, as these are marketed as bookshelves. I think KEF shelved the bass on purpose. They were able to get 40 Hz as a -6 dB point out of a bookshelf which is impressive vs. the competition even if the bass gently declines below 120 Hz. The issue if you try to shelve this to get flat bass response is the distortion. Unfortunately, this was an earlier Amir review before he did the 86 and 96 dB distortion vs. frequency graphs. I think what you would find is that the distortion going balistic aligns with where the slow roll off starts. Your proposal to bump the bass up you get flat response ultimately limits the volume at which the speaker can be played. Who needs a speaker which is flat to 40 Hz but bottoms out the woofer if played louder than 80 dB at their listening position? Each side has a single 5" woofer, so there are going to be limits to how much air can be moved. Either enjoy that this is a bookshelf which does anything at all in the second octave (40-80 Hz) or buy a sub and use bass management to relieve that tiny woofer of this duty.
 
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mike70

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Ultimately the best option is to add a sub, as these are marketed as bookshelves. I think KEF shelved the bass on purpose. They were able to get 40 Hz as a -6 dB point out of a bookshelf which is impressive vs. the competition even if the bass gently declines below 120 Hz. The issue if you try to shelve this to get flat bass response is the distortion. Unfortunately, this was an earlier Amir review before he did the 86 and 96 dB distortion vs. frequency graphs. I think what you would find is that the distortion going balistic aligns with where the slow roll off starts. Your proposal to bump the bass up you get flat response ultimately limits the volume at which the speaker can be played. Who needs a speaker which is flat to 40 Hz but bottoms out the woofer if played louder than 80 dB at their listening position? Each side has a single 5" woofer, so there are going to be limits to how much air can be moved. Either enjoy that this is a bookshelf which does anything at all in the second octave (40-80 Hz) or buy a sub and use bass management to relieve that tiny woofer of this duty.
R3 with 5" woofers? Maybe you're talking about LS50?
 

BrokenEnglishGuy

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Ultimately the best option is to add a sub, as these are marketed as bookshelves. I think KEF shelved the bass on purpose. They were able to get 40 Hz as a -6 dB point out of a bookshelf which is impressive vs. the competition even if the bass gently declines below 120 Hz. The issue if you try to shelve this to get flat bass response is the distortion. Unfortunately, this was an earlier Amir review before he did the 86 and 96 dB distortion vs. frequency graphs. I think what you would find is that the distortion going balistic aligns with where the slow roll off starts. Your proposal to bump the bass up you get flat response ultimately limits the volume at which the speaker can be played. Who needs a speaker which is flat to 40 Hz but bottoms out the woofer if played louder than 80 dB at their listening position? Each side has a single 5" woofer, so there are going to be limits to how much air can be moved. Either enjoy that this is a bookshelf which does anything at all in the second octave (40-80 Hz) or buy a sub and use bass management to relieve that tiny woofer of this duty.
The thing is the R3 with 6.5'' can go up to 105dB @ 1m, there is plenty of room for playing with the slope.
I didn't listened the R3 but the R7 have tons of headroom and its only 2 6.5'' with ports at 40hz and 31hz, boosting the slope make the speaker sound wonderful
index.php
 

banjo!

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I was thinking about going with Kef R3 and Kef Q650c for the center channel. How do you think those would be? Right now, I'm only wanting to go with the left, right, and center speakers and maybe get more later depending on the performance of the three.

I want a strong performance from the subs, but don't want to be overwhelmed or rattled too much. For three speakers would I still need two subs or one that's better?
 

tecnogadget

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I was thinking about going with Kef R3 and Kef Q650c for the center channel. How do you think those would be? Right now, I'm only wanting to go with the left, right, and center speakers and maybe get more later depending on the performance of the three.

I want a strong performance from the subs, but don't want to be overwhelmed or rattled too much. For three speakers would I still need two subs or one that's better?
I would really advise you to go full R series, meaning to use the matching center channel for R3 which is R2C, because for movie watching the center channel is the most important, it carries ALL dialogues and the full weight of the soundtrack, it’s the most active speaker during the whole movie.
 

mike70

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I was thinking about going with Kef R3 and Kef Q650c for the center channel. How do you think those would be? Right now, I'm only wanting to go with the left, right, and center speakers and maybe get more later depending on the performance of the three.

I want a strong performance from the subs, but don't want to be overwhelmed or rattled too much. For three speakers would I still need two subs or one that's better?

I have one and it works really good, but people with more experience / knowledge says that 2 subs brings a more uniform bass. You can buy one and later try other using the return option (or buy 2 and return 1) if you don't feel it as necessary.
Experience is everything in audio, your room, your rules.
 

tecnogadget

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I have one and it works really good, but people with more experience / knowledge says that 2 subs brings a more uniform bass. You can buy one and later try other using the return option (or buy 2 and return 1) if you don't feel it as necessary.
Experience is everything in audio, your room, your rules.
2 subs will indeed give you smoother bass response across multiple listening seats, or along the listenig room, but only when properly setup by means of acoustics measurements and DSP. If the idea is just to throw 2 subs, connect them and start playing music, then just save the money.
 

mike70

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2 subs will indeed give you smoother bass response across multiple listening seats, or along the listenig room, but only when properly setup by means of acoustics measurements and DSP. If the idea is just to throw 2 subs, connect them and start playing music, then just save the money.

Well, I agree ... but is the same with every speaker. Acoustics is the harder work in domestic audio, anything we can say about speakers includes a careful work with positioning / acoustics.

I mean, what you say is an axiom ... it's included in every phrase we say about speakers.
 

Tokyo_John

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The KEF R3 are good speakers...and these are nice measurements. It is basically like adding a small woofer to a LS50, taking a load off the co-axial package. I auditioned some at a store and really liked them...but here in Japan they are priced at over $3000USD for a pair (I do not know why KEF does that), and unfortunately for the R3 it is about the same price as the LS50 Metas+KC-62. With a good cross-over/integration for the latter, there is no competition at the same price point.

What is KEF doing with this crazy pricing? Maybe they are trying to convince people in Japan to buy a sub? Subs haven't been particularly popular here in the past, partly owing to smaller/crowded living spaces, but the KC-62 might be the one to change things...
 

testp

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The KEF R3 are good speakers...and these are nice measurements. It is basically like adding a small woofer to a LS50, taking a load off the co-axial package. I auditioned some at a store and really liked them...but here in Japan they are priced at over $3000USD for a pair (I do not know why KEF does that), and unfortunately for the R3 it is about the same price as the LS50 Metas+KC-62. With a good cross-over/integration for the latter, there is no competition at the same price point.

What is KEF doing with this crazy pricing? Maybe they are trying to convince people in Japan to buy a sub? Subs haven't been particularly popular here in the past, partly owing to smaller/crowded living spaces, but the KC-62 might be the one to change things...
i read somewhere here that that 1500usd/piece could of been a mistake somehere in the chain, and it should be ~1500+ for a pair, but who knows...
here in europe i see R3 going for 1200 eur/ pair, R7 ~ 2500eur/ pair.
maybe buying from overseas?
 

Synergy4

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