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Kef R6 meta initial impression

pjn

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Initial measurements of Kef R6 meta - replacing an LS50 meta as the center channel
The following are in a somewhat treated room, (15 ft x 15 ft x 8ft with a lot of bookshelves and an L-shaped sofa) MLP is about 9ft from speaker and about 4ft from back wall. R6 is about 19 inches from front wall.
Uncorrected by EQ R6 is green. LS50 with (orange) or without (purple) port plugs. Smoothing is REW variable smoothing.
Distortion plots are the R6 (excellent) and the LS50 meta with port plug in (less good - 2nd and 3rd harmonics apparent).
I am quite pleased.
The grill, BTW, definitely affects things above 10k Hz.
LS50 with plug.jpg
R6.jpg
Image with var smoothing LS50 and R6 lower.jpg
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this is me

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I just ordered an R6 this afternoon for my center channel duty. Hopefully, I get it next week.
 
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pjn

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More data please also subjective impressions!
Subjective??! This is ASR! However - I'm impressed. I watched the first episode of Apple TV's "Liaison" last night and was impressed by the clarity of the dialog - this is a series that uses French, Russian and Arabic in the sound track. I understand a little French and could understand more than usual in sound tracks. Russian, less than a little (!) but even there I could pick out the odd word that I knew. This, of course, could simply be confirmation bias.
For music, I've started listening to stereo with Dolby surround turned on to gve the center some exercise and this sounds excellent. Have not listened to a symphony orchestra yet - this is the toughest test of speakers, IMHO.

My usual approach to integrating speakers is to do an Audyssey calibration and then run the various crossovers - in this case I have a Kef KF92 sub taking care of the heavy lifting. Attached are REW SPL plots with Audyssey xover at 90, 80 and 60 Hz. The 60 Hz plot (green) is the smoothest I have ever obtained in my room (3 other center speakers, the most recent being an LS50 meta). There's an obvious hole of about 5db around the crossover, but I regard that as pretty tolerable. It may be possible to fill it in with a bit of adjustment of the sub volume (to be done...). The room mode at 45 Hz is just life.

Incidentally, I find one KF92 is all I need - I've tried adding a second sub, mostly to try and control the 45Hz mode but find that no matter what I do (phase, placement) I can fill that in but everything else falls apart and I cannot get a better response and usually it is a lot worse. Audibly, the one sub sounds pretty good.
Screen Shot 2023-02-25 at 4.12.40 PM.jpg
 
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pjn

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How does it integrate with the LS50 Meta?
Fairly well - but overall it has less distortion and the LS50s definitely need a sub as opposed to the R6 which just benefits from a sub. Being a three-way speaker as opposed to a two-way speaker makes quite a difference. So, doing it all over again, I would choose the R3s rather than the LS50s.

I cross the R6 over at 80Hz, vs the LS50s at 150Hz. I also use EQ below 300Hz on the R6, vs the LS50s where I use EQ as high 4000 Hz.
 

Descartes

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Fairly well - but overall it has less distortion and the LS50s definitely need a sub as opposed to the R6 which just benefits from a sub. Being a three-way speaker as opposed to a two-way speaker makes quite a difference. So, doing it all over again, I would choose the R3s rather than the LS50s.

I cross the R6 over at 80Hz, vs the LS50s at 150Hz. I also use EQ below 300Hz on the R6, vs the LS50s where I use EQ as high 4000 Hz.
At 150Hz cross over doesn’t that localise the subwoofers?
 
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pjn

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At 150Hz cross over doesn’t that localise the subwoofers?
Probably a bit, although I can't say I notice it, but it is based on REW readings and some annoying room mode distortion/harmonics at 90Hz.
I have tried LS50 xovers at 80 and 100 - they sound fine at my listening levels, but they are definitely not fine at calibration levels!
Regardless, the LS50s have now been relegated to surround speaker where there is no risk of straining them.

The R6 is now with a pair of R7s - I'm very happy with these - they are sadly noticeably better than my faithful 104/2s. Much clearer vocals. and more articulate bass. Are we allowed to say "more articulate" on here? :)
 

AudioScience Enthusiast

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At 150Hz cross over doesn’t that localise the subwoofers?
If there are multiple subs located in equal distance to MLP, I guess the experience will be less annoying despite localization?

As much as I want to match the LS50s to my R6 Meta, but the high crossover required for them really make me wonder what these are suitable for?

Even for music listening you still need a sub too and will get localization.
 

Descartes

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If there are multiple subs located in equal distance to MLP, I guess the experience will be less annoying despite localization?

As much as I want to match the LS50s to my R6 Meta, but the high crossover required for them really make me wonder what these are suitable for?

Even for music listening you still need a sub too and will get localization.
The LS50 are great if you sit close to them less than six feet I would say!
 

AudioScience Enthusiast

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The LS50 are great if you sit close to them less than six feet I would say!
My listening position is 10-12 ft away so unfortunately the LS50 "low cost" solution won't work well then.

It's probably a better to pair the R6 Meta with R3 (Meta) then.

For Front Channels, R7 Meta drivers are a match for R6 Meta, but I wonder if one can get away with just R5 Meta?
 
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pjn

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My listening position is 10-12 ft away so unfortunately the LS50 "low cost" solution won't work well then.

It's probably a better to pair the R6 Meta with R3 (Meta) then.

For Front Channels, R7 Meta drivers are a match for R6 Meta, but I wonder if one can get away with just R5 Meta?
You probably can, but the R7 are exactly the same drivers as the R6 and was my solution at a similar listening distance - very pleased. sub xovers are 60 for the R7s and 100 for the R6, room 15x15x9 (feet), listening position ~9.5 ft, half plugs in R7 ports, front baffle 2.5 ft from back wall. slight toe-in. After extensive testing with REW!
 
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