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  1. #1
    Here to learn... JK_Livin22's Avatar
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    Kef iQ7s $150 > Wharfedale 9.5s ?

    Thanks to everyone who replied to first post concernig speakers, I really learned alot. I have narrowed my search down to the Kef iQ7s ($900) and the Wharfedale 9.5s ($750). The $900 pricetag on the Kefs would stretch my budget a bit, but I'd be willing to make some sacrifices if need be. Is one of these a better buy for the money? Also, would you not worry about which is the better buy and get the best sounding of the two, which ever one that happens to be? Thanks in advance your feedback.
    Last edited by JK_Livin22; 01-19-2007 at 02:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Loaded questions.

    When you ask which is "better for the money", you indicate that sound is less important than what's in your wallet. In such case, go for the cheapest one.

    Me, on the other hand, in a case where adequate money is available, I'd go for the one that sounds best to my ears. And, price should not determine that preference.

  3. #3
    Here to learn... JK_Livin22's Avatar
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    Not exactly the feedback I was looking for. Perhaps I should refrase my question... Does anyone have any knowledge of theses two speakers that would allow you to give an educated assessment as to whether there is a discernable difference between these two speakers that would justify an extra expense of $150?

  4. #4
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Oh, you haven't heard them?

    Quote Originally Posted by JK_Livin22
    Not exactly the feedback I was looking for. Perhaps I should refrase my question... Does anyone have any knowledge of theses two speakers that would allow you to give an educated assessment as to whether there is a discernable difference between these two speakers that would justify an extra expense of $150?
    I'm sure they sound significantly "different" but "better" is a truly subjective measure and it can't be judged by selling price. That's like asking us if you would like chocolate or vanilla better. Since $$ is an issue and you haven't heard either, save your $$ and go for the cheaper ones. You'll never miss what you haven't heard.

  5. #5
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Not everyone likes the same kind of sound. Some want very bright highs while others want a warmer sound. There's no way for anyone here to know what sound suites you better.
    That being said, both of these are good brands. You'll need to get out and hear them yourself to know if the KEF's are worth the extra cash to you.
    Sorry if this seems like a cop-out. But it is the truth.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  6. #6
    Here to learn... JK_Livin22's Avatar
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    Much more along the lines of what I was looking for, thanks. Unfortunately I live in a very rural area and don't have an opportunity to listen to either of them myself. I know there a quite a few people on these forums that have spoken highly of both Kef and Wharfedale so I was hoping I may be able to borrow their ears, so to speak

    From the reviews that I have read about each of them, they both seem to perform very well for my purposes. I may actually make the trip across the state if I can find a dealer that sells both.

    Thanks agian.

  7. #7
    Here to learn... JK_Livin22's Avatar
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    What I'm looking for in a speaker...

    Perhaps I can ask some more specific questions:

    1) Which is the brightest of the two?
    2) Wharfedale has a kevlar/silk tweeter while the Kefs have an aluminum tweeter/mid-range hybrid? How might this difference affect the sound?
    3) Does either of these speakers have more distortion than the other at either very hi's or very low's?

    Currently, my favorite genre of music is probably funk (i.e. Parliament) and especally "acid jazz" (i.e. Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, the Greyboy Allstars, Brand New Heavies, Groove Collective, etc.) The point of all of this is that I am looking for speakers that will reproduce the horns and drums as though the band was in my living room. I also like accoustic guitar (i.e. Jack Johnson, Ben Harper) and really like that raw live music sound to be reproduced as accurately as possible. My favorite instruments are the congas, sax, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, and misc horns (trumpet, etc.) Oh yeah, I also like the vocals to come through very clearly; again I want it to sound like it is a live performance as much as possible.
    Don't know if that helps at all, but thought I'd throw that out there just in case.

    Tks.

  8. #8
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    Buy the KEF's..

    Sounds like you need a push. I have the IQ9's, basically the same speaker as the IQ7's with marginally more bass. From the midrange up, it doesn't get much better. Coherent, best in class imaging and capable of filling a large room with very detailed sound. You'll probably want a sub if you're looking for more impact. Having said that, you'd be best served by buying from a store with a good return policy. In other words, don't throw the boxes out. I wound up buying from Amazon because they're well established and have a good return policy but check out accessories4less.com. They sell product with 'cosmetic imperfections' but functionally intact. I don't know what their return policy is so call them and ask first before you buy.

  9. #9
    Here to learn... JK_Livin22's Avatar
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    Maybe if I can live on canned soup and PBJ's for the next six weeks I could spring for the iQ9s ...lol! Actually i found a pair for $1050 with the comestic imperfections on the site you referenced. Can't help but wonder how big of an imperfection it is though...

    Would really hate to a have a noticable flaw on something so asthetically pleasing..

  10. #10
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JK_Livin22
    Maybe if I can live on canned soup and PBJ's for the next six weeks I could spring for the iQ9s ...lol! Actually i found a pair for $1050 with the comestic imperfections on the site you referenced. Can't help but wonder how big of an imperfection it is though...

    Would really hate to a have a noticable flaw on something so asthetically pleasing..
    Give them a call. They may email you pictures if you ask.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  11. #11
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    And just to give you a frame of reference as to why it's so important to hear them yourself, I recently went to listen the IQ7s and IQ9s, and I did not like them at all.
    To me, they detailed, but harsh sounding and I thought that they were way too forward sounding in the mid-range. I'm not trying to bash anybody's speakers, but just trying to reinforce the notion of listening for yourself. If it means making a trip, I think it's important enough that you try to do so.
    I haven't heard the Wharfedales so I can't comment on those.
    Good luck.

  12. #12
    Here to learn... JK_Livin22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryukyu
    And just to give you a frame of reference as to why it's so important to hear them yourself, I recently went to listen the IQ7s and IQ9s, and I did not like them at all.
    To me, they detailed, but harsh sounding and I thought that they were way too forward sounding in the mid-range. I'm not trying to bash anybody's speakers, but just trying to reinforce the notion of listening for yourself. If it means making a trip, I think it's important enough that you try to do so.
    I haven't heard the Wharfedales so I can't comment on those.
    Good luck.
    Thanks for the feedback. I found a review on the iQ7s (http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...06-part-1.html) that talked about them being a bit harsh at first but after about 100 hrs of use, they sounded entirely different. Don't know how many hours the ones you listened to had, but just thought I mention it. Another comment in the article addressed the forwardness but said that it was corrected by repositioning the speakers from a tow-in position to a straight ahead position. Ultimately I know I'm going to go and have a listen, but I thought I would get as much advice as I could prior to making the 7 hour round trip drive. Also, if there is no store that carries both speakers, I'm wondering how beneficial that is going to be if you listen to one pair of speakers at one store with a Denon amp, and then drive 30 minutes across town and listen to another pair of speakers driven by a Marantz amp. First of all the amp could have alot to do with any audible differences, and secondly how are you going to be able to keep the nuances of the first speakers sound in your head after driving across town, talking with new reps, and then listening to the other speakers...

  13. #13
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JK_Livin22
    Thanks for the feedback. I found a review on the iQ7s (http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...06-part-1.html) that talked about them being a bit harsh at first but after about 100 hrs of use, they sounded entirely different. Don't know how many hours the ones you listened to had, but just thought I mention it. Another comment in the article addressed the forwardness but said that it was corrected by repositioning the speakers from a tow-in position to a straight ahead position. Ultimately I know I'm going to go and have a listen, but I thought I would get as much advice as I could prior to making the 7 hour round trip drive. Also, if there is no store that carries both speakers, I'm wondering how beneficial that is going to be if you listen to one pair of speakers at one store with a Denon amp, and then drive 30 minutes across town and listen to another pair of speakers driven by a Marantz amp. First of all the amp could have alot to do with any audible differences, and secondly how are you going to be able to keep the nuances of the first speakers sound in your head after driving across town, talking with new reps, and then listening to the other speakers...
    Welcome to our world.
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  14. #14
    Here to learn... JK_Livin22's Avatar
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    I just hate the thought of spending a hundred dollars in gas (money that could be spent on the speakers) and a whole day to end up right back where I am now. Is there any general feeling amongst you audiophiles regarding speaker brands and their characteristics (i.e., brands a,b and c are known for having clear vocals but not so much for their bass, and can be a bit bright for those who like a lot of bass; and brands x,y and z have excellent bass with virtually no distortion, but lack clarity when listening to instrumental music, etc., etc.)

    It seems that fans of the type of music that I like (mentioned earlier in this post) give a lot of positive remarks about Kef, Wharfedale, and B&W (in the $750 to $1000 price range anyway). Is there any general agreement on the characteristics of these brands as to their brightness, bass, midrange, vocals, distortion, muddyness, clarity, etc?

    After reading the literature from the manufactures, they all sound perfect which makes me want to run out and buy which ever brand I read about last..lol! I'm so confused...

  15. #15
    Demoted to Low-Fi Carl Reid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JK_Livin22
    I just hate the thought of spending a hundred dollars in gas (money that could be spent on the speakers) and a whole day to end up right back where I am now. Is there any general feeling amongst you audiophiles regarding speaker brands and their characteristics (i.e., brands a,b and c are known for having clear vocals but not so much for their bass, and can be a bit bright for those who like a lot of bass; and brands x,y and z have excellent bass with virtually no distortion, but lack clarity when listening to instrumental music, etc., etc.)

    It seems that fans of the type of music that I like (mentioned earlier in this post) give a lot of positive remarks about Kef, Wharfedale, and B&W (in the $750 to $1000 price range anyway). Is there any general agreement on the characteristics of these brands as to their brightness, bass, midrange, vocals, distortion, muddyness, clarity, etc?

    After reading the literature from the manufactures, they all sound perfect which makes me want to run out and buy which ever brand I read about last..lol! I'm so confused...
    All of those brands make good speakers in your price range... though my favourite in that range are Missions with Wharfdale a close second...

    B&W and I'm assuming Kef (never heard the Kefs) are brighter sounding (which is my or may not be more to your tastes).... I've generally found that speakers with soft/silk dome tweeters like Mission and Wharfdale are not as bright as hard tweeters such as aluminum etc... used in B&W and Kefs....

    The best test of equipment is in your own home.... so the best thing you could do is find an online site with a good return policy and audition the pair that most intrigues you and keep if you like it, else return and try something else....

  16. #16
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    Good news for you. I have B&W 603's. Well after living with them for about 12 weeks I wanted to try some thing else. I am running a HK avr3 35. I know a better amp/processor would help things but to keep it on the up and up every thing stayed the same. Here is the line up B&W 603($1000)----B&W 602.5($700)-------Paradigm Studio 60($1400)------KEF IQ7($900). Being I know the 603's I will use them as a reference. The 602.5 where a big suprize .They had lots of detial and natural but didnt have much low end. The paradigm's have sizziling highs that are great for fast music but not warm at all. Also they where harsh listening to them over time. They are a great speaker that are very detailed. With the lack of lows and harsh highs they are not staying. NOW the reson you are reading this the KEF's. I dont like KEF as a brand from there older stuff. When I saw them in the store they looked so good I had to bring them home. They are a 10-10 in the looks(for me). They have no and I mean no low end. The tone is nice but thats it. AT first they seemed crisp whitch I like. But after a bit they sounded like some Polks that run about $150. When sitting away from them the do not fill the room at all. If you close your eyes you can hit them with a dart. I would switch from the 603's to the iq7's and the 1st thing that comes to mind is the 603's are a big speaker .Smooth and detialed every where with killer lows READ NO SUB Needed. The kef's sound like a small bookshelf with bright highs. All in all they are very directional and fake. I listen to all types of music and most speakers have there goods and bads. The problem with the kefs is they dont do anything well. All in all they are amazing looking but if you want to listen to them and not just look at them stay away or spend $200 for some POlKS that will sound the same. I was hoping to replace the 603's but they are staying right where they are. If you can spend 1000 look at the 603's if you cant look at the 602.5's(sub needed). This is from someone who liked the looks of the kefs so much that I almost didnt care how they sounded till I spent a few days with them.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Kef iQ7s 0 > Wharfedale 9.5s ?-dsc00862.jpg  

  17. #17
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    I have auditioned all of those that alexgr8 mentioned and I would also pick the B&W603S3 as the best of that group.
    Overall I think they had the fullest and most balanced sound of the three brands. I also auditioned the 603s against Totem Arros, and Rega R3s. While the others had things about them that were better, they couldn't match the 603s in the bass range. But at the same time, the 603s were a little "muddy".
    I've been looking and listening for a couple of months now, and I'm finding it very difficult to find a speaker that suits me in that price range. I may need to save a while longer and move up to another range.
    So I know it's difficlut and you've been told several times, but I can't mphasize hearing them yourself enough.
    When I started out, I read many reviews and discussions as well. After I started going out and listening for myself, only then did I realize how important that is. For example, I heard lots of great things about the KEFs, but when I listened for myself, there was nothing that I liked about them.
    If you buy from someplace like Audio Advisor then you have 30 days to decide, however you're out shipping costs both ways if you don't like them.
    Don't you have anyplace closer where you can listen to quality speakers? For me, because of the listening experience I've had, if I can't hear them, then I defintely won't buy them.
    Last edited by Ryukyu; 01-20-2007 at 11:45 AM.

  18. #18
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    One last piece of advice.

    All the brands mentioned in this thread are good, solid speaker manufacturers and I wouldn't apologize for owning any of them. The differences are simply that they are all designed for different tastes.

    It seems that everyone that responded has differing opinions, don't they? ...and, the funny thing is that they are all right!

    Speakers are all compromises. None is perfect. Sometimes, the best way to choose one is to not concentrate on what it does right, but concentrate on what it doesn't do wrong.

    And, the only way to find your own truth is by listening to these yourself.

  19. #19
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    we have B&W DM604's (and 601's, 601's and the lcr600 and the asw 600), but we have the 604's hooked up to a stereo integrated amp (a rotel RA-06) and it sounds really good, although, comparing to my advents, two 7" bass drivers can't do what a single 12" can...
    apart from that, they are really good speakers, the 603's were good too, (I heard them once)...

    exellent speakers in their priceclass, although you should also consider focal's, I think 716's will fit nicely in your budget... (i think)

    I had a quick listen at wharfedale diamond 9.1's and they were really really warm...
    good speakers for their money though, then you also have monitor audio, their entire Bronze range fits in your budget, and they're good speakers.

    Good luck,
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  20. #20
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    The Focal 716s are excellent speakers, but list for $1295.
    If the KEFs are a stretch then I would aassume that the Focals are out the range.

  21. #21
    Here to learn... JK_Livin22's Avatar
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    I have acutally found a pair of Kef (brand new and not cosmetically flawed) iQ7s for $634 for and iQ9s for $848 (before shipping anyway) although the iQ9s are black, and not one of the woodgrain (cherry/dark apple, walnut, maple/beech) finishes I was looking. But at that price it is definitely worth considering at the very least.

    By the way, I will be using either a Denon AVR-887, or Onkyo TX-SR804. Is the quality of these receivers too low to make a difference between the speakers I've been asking about. Or would I have to jump up to $1500+ receiver to be able to tell a difference anyway?

  22. #22
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    The thing I didnt like about the 603's was that they are abit muddy but the foam port plugs take car of that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryukyu
    I have auditioned all of those that alexgr8 mentioned and I would also pick the B&W603S3 as the best of that group.
    Overall I think they had the fullest and most balanced sound of the three brands. I also auditioned the 603s against Totem Arros, and Rega R3s. While the others had things about them that were better, they couldn't match the 603s in the bass range. But at the same time, the 603s were a little "muddy".
    I've been looking and listening for a couple of months now, and I'm finding it very difficult to find a speaker that suits me in that price range. I may need to save a while longer and move up to another range.
    So I know it's difficlut and you've been told several times, but I can't mphasize hearing them yourself enough.
    When I started out, I read many reviews and discussions as well. After I started going out and listening for myself, only then did I realize how important that is. For example, I heard lots of great things about the KEFs, but when I listened for myself, there was nothing that I liked about them.
    If you buy from someplace like Audio Advisor then you have 30 days to decide, however you're out shipping costs both ways if you don't like them.
    Don't you have anyplace closer where you can listen to quality speakers? For me, because of the listening experience I've had, if I can't hear them, then I defintely won't buy them.

  23. #23
    Here to learn... JK_Livin22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Reid
    ...
    The best test of equipment is in your own home.... so the best thing you could do is find an online site with a good return policy and audition the pair that most intrigues you and keep if you like it, else return and try something else....
    That's great advice. Probably exactly what I will do. Afterall, shipping isn't much more than the cost of gasoline, not to mention the savings on my time, and most importantly, I would get to hear each of them on my own system, in the same location, etc....

    Excellent advice!
    Last edited by JK_Livin22; 01-20-2007 at 12:50 PM.

  24. #24
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    Many thanks alexgr8 and to everyone else as well. That was a great write up on those speakers. I am wondering though, if the kefs would have gotten better after the 100 hours as mentioned in the review I referenced earlier (http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...06-part-1.html). 'Cause like you, I sure do like the way they look

  25. #25
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JK_Livin22
    ...how are you going to be able to keep the nuances of the first speakers sound in your head after driving across town, talking with new reps, and then listening to the other speakers...
    That's why familiar music is key.
    Eschew fascism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
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