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  1. #1
    Ajani
    Guest

    Kefs VS Defs (Audition Notes)

    So I did a quick audition of some floorstanding speakers earlier this week and just felt like sharing my very brief findings:

    Speakers:

    KEF IQ90 ($1,500)
    Definitive Technology Mythos Four ($1,600)

    Amplification/DAC:
    Rotel RSP-1570 ($2,200)
    Rotel RMB-1575 ($2,800)

    Transport:
    Some Samsung Blu-Ray Player

    1st off I must state that I was shocked to see this level of gear in my local hifi shop (we pretty much don't have any proper hifi stores anymore in Jamaica I'm guessing the market for such luxury items is too small).

    Anyway, I started by auditioning the Def Techs. Naturally the volume was cranked way too high at 1st, so I turned it down to just above normal listening levels (and then to normal). The Defs sound like a proper pair of hifi speakers, instead of like the stylish but crappy sounding HT-in-a-box speakers that they look like. I can just imagine our resident Rich Texan complaining that they look like plastic HT crap... Anyway, they did nothing obviously wrong during my brief audition, but they failed to get my toes tapping, so I was ready to move on to the KEFs.

    I was worried that the KEF/Rotel Combo would sound really bright, considering the reputation of both brands, but to my pleasent suprise, they worked quite well together (though I must point out that I like Monitor Audio & B&W speakers, so what sounds bright to you, might not to me). The KEFs (which cost $100 less than the DEFs well not in Jamaica, but at US MSRP) made an immediate impact with greater dynamics... They really made the DEFs sound lacking in scale and authority by comparison. I didn't really notice a mid-bass hump (that KEFs are often claimed to be guilty of), just decent extension... and the KEF did just enough to get me involved in the music...

    If space is your biggest concern then the DEFs win hands down, with their ultra sleek and slim profile they look rather artsy/modern/whatever... If you prefer scale and authority, I think the KEFs are a much better value for money...

    However, all that said, neither product sounded quite special enough to seduce my cash away from my wallet... They were both guilty of what I considering typical hifiness sounding better than really cheap stuff, but just not really standing out from alternatives for the same money. Also, I think having used a high quality headphone rig for basically the last year has spoiled me quite a bit, and my expectations are now even higher

    Note: The new Rotels were sexier than socks on a rooster... They were in Silver and looked both breathtaking and expensive... As much as I loved the look of my old 10 series Rotel gear (in Silver and Black) the new stuff just looks a step above...

  2. #2
    Forum Regular frahengeo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    So I did a quick audition of some floorstanding speakers earlier this week and just felt like sharing my very brief findings:

    Speakers:

    KEF IQ90 ($1,500)
    Definitive Technology Mythos Four ($1,600)

    Amplification/DAC:
    Rotel RSP-1570 ($2,200)
    Rotel RMB-1575 ($2,800)

    Transport:
    Some Samsung Blu-Ray Player

    1st off I must state that I was shocked to see this level of gear in my local hifi shop (we pretty much don't have any proper hifi stores anymore in Jamaica I'm guessing the market for such luxury items is too small).

    Anyway, I started by auditioning the Def Techs. Naturally the volume was cranked way too high at 1st, so I turned it down to just above normal listening levels (and then to normal). The Defs sound like a proper pair of hifi speakers, instead of like the stylish but crappy sounding HT-in-a-box speakers that they look like. I can just imagine our resident Rich Texan complaining that they look like plastic HT crap... Anyway, they did nothing obviously wrong during my brief audition, but they failed to get my toes tapping, so I was ready to move on to the KEFs.

    I was worried that the KEF/Rotel Combo would sound really bright, considering the reputation of both brands, but to my pleasent suprise, they worked quite well together (though I must point out that I like Monitor Audio & B&W speakers, so what sounds bright to you, might not to me). The KEFs (which cost $100 less than the DEFs well not in Jamaica, but at US MSRP) made an immediate impact with greater dynamics... They really made the DEFs sound lacking in scale and authority by comparison. I didn't really notice a mid-bass hump (that KEFs are often claimed to be guilty of), just decent extension... and the KEF did just enough to get me involved in the music...

    If space is your biggest concern then the DEFs win hands down, with their ultra sleek and slim profile they look rather artsy/modern/whatever... If you prefer scale and authority, I think the KEFs are a much better value for money...

    However, all that said, neither product sounded quite special enough to seduce my cash away from my wallet... They were both guilty of what I considering typical hifiness sounding better than really cheap stuff, but just not really standing out from alternatives for the same money. Also, I think having used a high quality headphone rig for basically the last year has spoiled me quite a bit, and my expectations are now even higher

    Note: The new Rotels were sexier than socks on a rooster... They were in Silver and looked both breathtaking and expensive... As much as I loved the look of my old 10 series Rotel gear (in Silver and Black) the new stuff just looks a step above...
    Did you happen to see Def Techs BP7xxx series speakers there? If so, try it out. These speakers are bipolar design w/ built-in subwoofers. Just based on those features, one might think that it would be better suited for HT, but these towers sound great for any type of music.
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  3. #3
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    Nice review. It would have been interesting to hear both speakers with some slightly better gear. After recently getting a nice bunch ofg gear dropped in my lap, I have come to appreciate the Midrange over highs and deep bass. Those areas are where most of the mid-fi (better than HTIOB) gear focus, both speakers and amps.

    I would be willing to bet that both sets of speakers you listened to would sound completely different with my gear. Along with different, I'm pretty sure better too.

  4. #4
    Ajani
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by frahengeo
    Did you happen to see Def Techs BP7xxx series speakers there? If so, try it out. These speakers are bipolar design w/ built-in subwoofers. Just based on those features, one might think that it would be better suited for HT, but these towers sound great for any type of music.
    Sadly they didn't have much else in the store... so I'm not likely to get audition any of Defs Bipolar designs anytime soon...

  5. #5
    Ajani
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    Nice review. It would have been interesting to hear both speakers with some slightly better gear. After recently getting a nice bunch ofg gear dropped in my lap, I have come to appreciate the Midrange over highs and deep bass. Those areas are where most of the mid-fi (better than HTIOB) gear focus, both speakers and amps.

    I would be willing to bet that both sets of speakers you listened to would sound completely different with my gear. Along with different, I'm pretty sure better too.
    That's an interesting point... It would be interesting to hear how the KEFs and Defs sound with gear more focused on midrange magic... I actually really like Rotel (but the focus is really more on excitement, Highs and lows than midrange)...

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