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Kef R700 vs R3 for 5100cu. Ft. Room

tifune

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I already have a pair of R3's + 2x Monolith 12" subs. Was shopping around for another set of R3's for center channel when I noticed R700's can be found on closeout, refurb, etc. for about the same price. Stereophile measurements look good, not as good as R3 and not as comprehensive either.

Listening distance is about 16ft, right speaker will be in a corner and the entire right wall is window so I can't do much around treatment. Room is hardwood, stone, glass - no treatment yet but planned once I get a layout my wife and I can agree on.

Would a larger speaker help due to the size of room, or doesn't really matter as long as I tune my subs properly? MiniDSP en route, as well. My current R3 would shift to center channel, maybe move the 2nd one to mono surround back. Movie surround doesn't interest me much, this is Auro3D upmixing build.

Right now I'm rolling off my R3's at 40Hz and volume is absolutely not a problem for my listening habits.
 

jendra

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There is a youtube audio reviewer that reviewed R700 and he said they don't have enough bass without subs. Now I don't know how R700s sound but my R3s gave stronger bass than my previous Vandersteen model 2 floorstanders. Due to that alone I would skip the R700s and go with another set of R3s.
 

raindance

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Sitting that far away pretty much the only thing you'll hear is the room :)
 
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tifune

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Sitting that far away pretty much the only thing you'll hear is the room :)

I know, it's frustrating. L/C/R = 16 ft., surrounds = 5ft (basically attached to sides of the couch), surround back = 18ft :p
 

tecnogadget

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I don’t see the point. Your 2x Monolith 12" far exceeds the R700, and they will have worst directivity (lack of ShadowFlare) and not sure if the Bass-UniQ-Bass will work better than the R3 array. I wouldn’t change that original combo that you have.
 

KMO

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Yes, if you're using subs already, you don't need the extension, and if you're getting adequate level with the existing R3s, then you're probably fine.

Although...

If you are shifting from phantom centre to having a centre channel, the centre speaker will be typically being asked to do 3dB more work than existing L+R.

Try turning up 3dB more than your comfortable level - maybe with only 1 R3 connected, and see if it seems like it could be doing the job.
 
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tifune

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Try turning up 3dB more than your comfortable level - maybe with only 1 R3 connected, and see if it seems like it could be doing the job.

I wasn't aware of that estimate, good to know. Ironically, I almost always keep center channel turned down by exactly 3dB. I'm not sure why but I really dislike the way the center channel is emphasized under normal conditions. I just want the center to fill in the gap between L/R (if that makes sense), not to actually change the 2ch feel. 2-3dB lower, depending on content, seems to fit my tastes best.

If it weren't for movies/TV, I'd probably get rid of it altogether. Although I do notice bass behaves very differently when I turn it off - it's much lower.
 
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KMO

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Turning down the centre on its own doesn't seem ideal. It's going to mess up content balance, whether upmixed or discrete.

If it's discrete content, then you should normally trust the mixer to have balanced L/C/R appropriately.

If it's upmixed content, then you want to check your modes. Dolby Pro Logic II would certainly tend to over-emphasise centre for music, but it has a separate Music mode with 8-step Centre Width control ranging from 0=maximum centre (Movie mode style) to 7=no centre.

I understand the Dolby Surround upmixer only has a binary Centre Spread option - maybe you want to engage that. Don't know about other upmixers.

Oh, I did read somewhere that Dolby Surround's Centre Spread lacks a tweak they did to Dolby Pro Logic II Music to reduce centre precedence - it adds a 2ms delay to the centre (IIRC). Roger Dressler of Dolby recommended trying that with Dolby Surround - by subtracting 2ft from the centre distance (or add 2ft to all others)

Ah, found source: https://www.avsforum.com/threads/the-official-dolby-surround-upmixing-thread.1706505/page-39

(He also suggested you could leave it permanently like that - the distance setting is crucial for stereo imaging of simultaneous signals like L vs R, but for the usually mono C channel, its timing isn't so crucial.)
 
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