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My impressions on KEF T105 HT package vs Focal, Bose HT packages

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gk@hyd

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I have been looking for a good 5.1 speaker package to match my Denon AVR 791 (equivalent to 1911)

Got to try KEF T 105 system @ ProFx(Hyderabad) over the weekend..

KEF T 105 with Denon 1611
The Fronts and Center were from T105, while the Sub was KEF C4, and the rears were Focal, as they didnt have a full T105 system for demo

  • For their size(13L X 5.5W X 1.4D inches), the output they delivered was simply amazing
  • We listened to music(5.1 tracks - hotel california, Dil se) - the clarity, base and the loudness was very good
  • We tried some movie action sequences of Kill Bill and The Hero (the typical demo disc that many showrooms have got) - pretty clear vocals and impressive output, but bass sounded slightly lower

We have also switched to few other systems during this session, and tried the same music tracks and action sequences.. we listened to below setups:

Focal 5.1 satellite package(SIB & CO I suppose) with Denon 1611 - clarity slightly went down and sounded bit bright on instruments (giving an impression that we cant hear on them for longer duration without strain/fatigue)

Bose Acoustimass 10 with Denon 1911 - noticed sudden dip on the instruments and their clarity/depth while vocals sounded fine, even the loudness/volume delivered was significantly low for the same volume level in AVR

It was actually a good idea to have Bose as reference in demos as it helps the folks who treat Bose as the top speaker brand(purely influenced by their tremendous marketing capabilities) to understand their true capability. It helped my family who came along to also easily understand how superior KEF T speakers are compared to Bose which really impressed all of us few years back when we had

KEF C5 floor standers with Denon 1911 - was hoping for better bass and clarity than T105 being floor standers with more drivers, but couldnt notice much of improvement and rather sounded slightly inferior (may be its just my ears influenced by the eyes that are more impressed with the awesome sleek looks of T105)

Pricing for KEF T105:
MRP for this package is 89.9K, and I was quoted a best price of 86K (+1K for installation)
Based on some phone queries to Bangalore, same is offered for 83K by ProFx-Bangalore and 76.5K by Griha Vaibhav

While the pricing from ProFx-Hyd is pretty disappointing, I must say they were very courteous all the way through and in my opinion the best speaker showroom in Hyd

Final decision and comments:
I must admit that I am more influenced and impressed by their performance to the size ratio and started to seriously consider the T105 package. Will have to stretch my original budget plan of 50-60K to pick up these great looking awesome performers

Btw, this T series has got 5-stars in What Hi-Fi review and also a 5-star in Home Cinema Choice review

Please do let me know..
  • Your experience/feedback if anyone of you is already using or listened to KEF T105 system
  • Best price for KEF T105 package anywhere else
  • Any feedback on Griha Vaibhav (especially for KEF speakers, just want to be sure they are no demo/grey market stuff)
  • Anything to be worried about if getting from Bangalore to Hyd (warranty/service related)?
  • Getting from Bangalore, I will have to do installation myself, how easy/difficult it would be to connect/configure the AVR settings etc, is a professional help recommended? (my skill level dealing with tech hardware is minimal)

Btw, my requirement is 50% movies - 50% music, and the system is to be placed in the living room of size 16ft X 12ft (that opens into another hall of 27ft X 11ft, through a 6ft wide opening in the middle of 16ft length), hence I am giving decent weightage to aesthetics as well (my personal preference has been either satellites or reasonably sized floor standers like KEF C series)
 
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AMITNOIDA

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I have been looking for a good 5.1 speaker package to match my Denon AVR 791 (equivalent to 1911)

Got to try KEF T 105 system @ ProFx(Hyderabad) over the weekend..

KEF T 105 with Denon 1611
The Fronts and Center were from T105, while the Sub was KEF C4, and the rears were Focal, as they didnt have a full T105 system for demo

  • For their size(13L X 5.5W X 1.4D inches), the output they delivered was simply amazing
  • We listened to music(5.1 tracks - hotel california, Dil se) - the clarity, base and the loudness was very good
  • We tried some movie action sequences of Kill Bill and The Hero (the typical demo disc that many showrooms have got) - pretty clear vocals and impressive output, but bass sounded slightly lower

We have also switched to few other systems during this session, and tried the same music tracks and action sequences.. we listened to below setups:

Focal 5.1 satellite package(SIB & CO I suppose) with Denon 1611 - clarity slightly went down and sounded bit bright on instruments (giving an impression that we cant hear on them for longer duration without strain/fatigue)

Bose Acoustimass 10 with Denon 1911 - noticed sudden dip on the instruments and their clarity/depth while vocals sounded fine, even the loudness/volume delivered was significantly low for the same volume level in AVR

It was actually a good idea to have Bose as reference in demos as it helps the folks who treat Bose as the top speaker brand(purely influenced by their tremendous marketing capabilities) to understand their true capability. It helped my family who came along to also easily understand how superior KEF T speakers are compared to Bose which really impressed all of us few years back when we had

KEF C5 floor standers with Denon 1911 - was hoping for better bass and clarity than T105 being floor standers with more drivers, but couldnt notice much of improvement and rather sounded slightly inferior (may be its just my ears influenced by the eyes that are more impressed with the awesome sleek looks of T105)

Pricing for KEF T105:
MRP for this package is 89.9K, and I was quoted a best price of 86K (+1K for installation)
Based on some phone queries to Bangalore, same is offered for 83K by ProFx-Bangalore and 76.5K by Griha Vaibhav

While the pricing from ProFx-Hyd is pretty disappointing, I must say they were very courteous all the way through and in my opinion the best speaker showroom in Hyd

Final decision and comments:
I must admit that I am more influenced and impressed by their performance to the size ratio and started to seriously consider the T105 package. Will have to stretch my original budget plan of 50-60K to pick up these great looking awesome performers

Btw, this T series has got 5-stars in What Hi-Fi review and also a 5-star in Home Cinema Choice review

Please do let me know..
  • Your experience/feedback if anyone of you is already using or listened to KEF T105 system
  • Best price for KEF T105 package anywhere else
  • Any feedback on Griha Vaibhav (especially for KEF speakers, just want to be sure they are no demo/grey market stuff)
  • Anything to be worried about if getting from Bangalore to Hyd (warranty/service related)?
  • Getting from Bangalore, I will have to do installation myself, how easy/difficult it would be to connect/configure the AVR settings etc, is a professional help recommended? (my skill level dealing with tech hardware is minimal)

I have not listened KEF T105 system, but heard KEF Q300 bookshelf speakers pairing with Marantz SR 5005 receiver and also Marantz integrated 2 channel amp. KEF BS speakers were very good looking with Q-point tweeter and front ported. Q-point tweeter being cocentric type, they produce bigger sweet spot and functions really well for movies, where generally viewers in a home are more than one (cinema is a family watching event). The sound quality was very good with adequate bass and clear midrange. Tweeter was also brilliant considerng its pricing of only 28k (a pair). I have listened Katie Melua, Rhythmspace (by Bikram Ghosh), Kenny Rogers, Andrea Bocelli,Chris Boti (Saxophone). They all sounded really well. At the end, I played one Tagore song (Bengali) by Lopamudra Bhattacharya - it is a bright recording and KEF speaker found to be non-forgiving. The reproduction was too bright and I couldn't listen it. The same recording was tried earlier with same electronics and same stand with Quad 11L classic but the reproduction was not bad and not so bright. After listening to the last track, I inclined towards Quad 11L classic. But KEF-Q300 was superior to Quad 11L classic in all other tracks played that day. KEF speaker being front ported has advantage of placing close to wall whereas Quad 11L classic requires at least 1-1.3 ft destance behind the speaker to avoid bass boominess. After listening that day I have high regard on KEF.

After posting the above experience I could see the review of KEF T105 in whathifi and that's why edited my posting. It has got an acclaimed review. But if your budget permits, then please go for conventional system of KEF or Defttech or Quad. Conventional means a pair of bookshelf, a matching centre speaker to start with. You may add a Sub and rear speakers later. If your room size is not big, you will get sufficient bass even with Bookshelf pair. This will have a big advantage if you ever intend to use the system for stereo music purpose. And don't forget to add a pair of good heavy stand - it will enhance the performance of Bookshelf speakers. Also pay attention to speaker wires.

Cheers
 
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gk@hyd

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Thanks Amit for the feedback.. I have updated my original post with the room size(16'X12') and my music-movies requirement as 50-50

From reviews, have noticed that KEF Q series are pretty good while C series are not. But from fitment into my living room perspective, my preference so far has been satellites or some decent sized floor standers(like KEF C series), but will try to listen to the Q300 bookshelf speakers to understand the difference in comparison to T105 and if it is worth compromising on the looks
 

zervinb

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I have KEF's satellite package, KHT-2005.3, and it is excellent. Purchased from PROFX about a year back. I don't know how they would compare to KEF's floorstanders or bookshelves, but I'm very happy with the KEF "eggs", as they're popularly known.
 

gk@hyd

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I have KEF's satellite package, KHT-2005.3, and it is excellent. Purchased from PROFX about a year back. I don't know how they would compare to KEF's floorstanders or bookshelves, but I'm very happy with the KEF "eggs", as they're popularly known.

Thanks Zervinb, I believe this new generation T105 are supposed to be better than the KHT series from what I have seen in some of the reviews.. even the specs of T105 look slightly better (compared to 2005.3 speakers)
 

gk@hyd

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Best possible price that I could get is 81K with 10% discount. Anybody else has heard/come across better pricing for KEF T105 system?

Also please let me know any feedback on this T105 system.
 

Bharadwaj0072002

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Dude first congratulate u for the excellent observations u made especially the combinations of speakers and amps .
Based on my observations with slightly different packages
1) denon 1911 + focal sib xl front and surround with paradime 250 watt sub which has 10 inch woofer sounded good but the amps power was not sufficient to power the woofer, the mids and highs were excellent and the mids from the songs yemaya chesave(telugu) music by ar.rehman sounded a bit thick but were fine after adjusting the crossover in the amp and woofer but on the whole due to hollow bass the satisfaction was only 80 percent.but after swapping the amplifier from 1911 to 2311 the re is a huge difference in the sound focal sib xls sounded rich and full the tonal quality was great and the same paradime sub played really deep and did not sound hollow

2)my second observation was bose acoustimass 15 paired with denon 1911 and then swapped with 2311 .
With 1911: the mids are excellent sounded extremely rich and deep,the mid_upper frequency of the female voices was very pleasent the highs were on the brighter side which needed some adjustment overall .mids to highs comparision bose sounded better than the sib xl when tested the same audio track, the real culprit is the low end frequency which lacked depth and started booming when pushed hard and masking the beautiful mids and the pleasently airy highs. Overall sound quality boiled down to 65 percent on the bose with 1911
bose acoustimass 15 and denon 2311: bose with denon 2311 surprised me bose did not become popular just like that it has its own virtues bose rated its speakers to be paired with amps up 200 watts and 1911 is not the one when paired with 2311 the speakers opened up because of the wide dispersion capability of the cubes when paired with a more powerful amp sounded extremely rich with excellent mids but the high frequency sounded too bright which was easily controllable with the amplifier settings and coming to the bass its really good improved and does not sound hollow, one simple.logic as the bose speakers are designed to work with higher capacity amplifiers and their acoustimass modules are not having a dedicated amplifier they need a powerful and able amp.to. Drive them but they are definitely not bad at all. In fact their mids and highs sound better than many speakers within their size, but they need a powerful amp to drive them.it is because of their sound dispersion characteristics they trend to sound hollow and tinny when powered inadequately

3)focal dome+ denon 1911 : after powering the focal domes I could easily notice that the domes sounded far far mature than all the above speakers above . With fluid mid range that has the right crispness and purity of tone one could easily mistake that the sound is coming from towers or some of the best bookshelf speakers but its hard to.believe that its the domes!!!!!! The mids sounded better than what bose am15 sounded even with 2311 amp with just 1911 and the highs had a sense of being pleasent in comparision to bose am15, which was overtly bright when pushed hard . Even if the domes are pushed hard they kept their definition and did not loose the integrity of sound .the bass was extremely tight and hit my heart while watching a movie the bullets fired gave a sense of bullets fired right into my heart .inspite of being an 8 inch woofer I was surpised by the depth it went just push it harder and harder it goes deeper and deeper and when combined with the rich sounding dome satelites it takes the sound to new hights and better than any other speaker in that size and twice that size and they are very amplifier friendly you dont need a.bulldozer to push them . I feel they are the best but dont come cheap they are costing 110000, from profx and the denon amp 1911 .. 46,000 u dont need to go for 2311 to power them....
 

gk@hyd

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Dude first congratulate u for the excellent observations u made especially the combinations of speakers and amps .
Based on my observations with slightly different packages
....
Thanks Bharadwaj for sharing such wonderful and detailed feedback on the mentioned speaker packages. Did you also get to listen to T105 system.. how do you compare them with the rest of the packages you mentioned?
 

biamplifry

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Apologies for the late reply,i hope i am not too late.Your review on the Denon A/V receiver with the various speaker packages auditioned was dead on..i do not think i could have said it better myself.Yeah i used to do it for a living..literally.Being a die hard fan of quality floorstanders and having enough reasons to back me up..i personally feel for a surround sound experience..with an extremely sleek and aesthetic design,quality sound and the value for money, the Kef T105 shine like the sun.Bose is overrated and it will still be a while before the masses figure it out with their lure to slick advertising.I know im late in replying..but did you already purchase the speakers?? From my experience and i know every audio enthusiast will back me up when i say this is "Its not always what you are buying,its where you are buying it from" You mentioned the place that you auditioned at and that's what made me post this.So here goes my 2 Paise...Pro Fx Hyderabad is known for repacking their demo pieces and charging way above everybody else.Of course they are courteous..but that just comes with the job.There is a special charm in getting a brand new sealed set and running the speakers in yourself...why would anyone pay for the retailer to do that for weeks..possibly months and then sell it at the same price..in this case higher.I speak from personal experience with close friends haggling with these guys after spending lakhs on Polk and Focal Speakers just to discover it was a demo piece..the same piece they auditioned on and which was repacked and discovered to be scratched up on opening.....demo piece receivers repacked...obsolete products pushed on unsuspecting buyers and trust me these guys wont give a crap after they get their money.The only way is to try it to believe it and nobody wants to part with hard earned dough on unnecessary experimenting.Don't be fooled by a good looking demo room,courteous behavior and all the rest..masquerading behind all that is reality. Get it from Bangalore if you have to...Pro Fx offers an all India warranty and these crooks at USK Electronics behave as if they are doing you a big favor by servicing your equipment if anything goes wrong.Very sad...but i wish you good luck.
 

gk@hyd

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Thanks biamplifry for your feedback on ProFX.. I am glad I didn't make the purchase from them.

While I knew that they are quoting higher prices than their peer dealers elsewhere, which is what switched me off to start with, it is news to me that they do such a bad customer service by repackaging demo pieces and cheat customers by selling them at full price. Hope the information you have shared here would help others to be more careful when they consider any purchase from USK electronics
 

gk@hyd

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I realized I had never updated this thread with details of my eventual decision on 5.1 speaker system purchase..

As I was anyways pushing myself to a budget of 80K plus against the original 50K, by shortlisting KEF T105 system.. that is when my brother reminded me of Mordaunt Short Aviano speakers which could be available within the range of 90K(though further stretches my budget.. sounds close to 80K right ;)). I had earlier ruled out Mordaunt Short as I didn't find any 5.1 package from them for around 50K

That is when I recollected that SBT corporation(@ Rajbhavan road) had Mordaunt Short speakers.. and wanted to check with them if they have Aviano speakers to listen to.. and to my surprise the answer was "yes" (given the kind of demo options I have been witnessing in Hyd, I wasn't very hopeful)

Mordaunt Short Aviano speakers (vs KEF T105)
I took the demo of MS aviano 8(though I was shooting for aviano 6, they dont have them for demo) the same evening, they were connected to Marantz receiver I suppose
  • I was very impressed with the music quality.. the details were well audible and sounded well balanced as in not too bright and not too warm, definitely better than KEF T105
  • For the movie action sequences, I felt something was lacking compared to the KEF T105 + Denon combo, base and brightness appeared to be slightly inferior (could be because of more musical AVR being used here..!?)

While I didnt get to listen to KEF T105 in pure stereo mode for music, I was sure MS aviano would definitely beat it by a wide margin.
I know that these two are kind of from two different worlds.. one is a very sleek and stylish looking satellite, while the other is a big tower (but I personally liked the aesthetics of these floor standers over other I have seen like Wharfdale which btw didnt sound as good as Avianos and was kind of too mild for me)

Final decision.. pricing:
After couple of days of deep thinking and online reading.. I was further convinced with Avianos.. similar decision by forum members from Kolkata has assured that I wasn't making any mistake by choosing Avianos for my Denon 791
I took my wife along for one final thorough demo of music (as she is more into music listening than me), and finalized the purchase at the end of it by paying the advance

The package I opted is - Aviano6 FS + Aviano5 C + Aviano1 S + Aviano7 SW, and got it for 92K after 10% discount (another 1500/- for installation)
I took DAC 14 AWG for fronts and center @ 95/mtr and DAC 16AWG for rear surrounds @ 80/mtr (total cost was 3500/-)

About the dealer:
  • The person in charge @ SBT corporation was Balaji.. he and his staff were pretty accommodating though I was visiting them around the time they were to shutdown and stayed through for an additional hour or so.
  • During the installation, his staff took good care of hardware side of the things, especially by well utilizing the limited space I got in my current TV stand(to be replaced shortly)
  • But I didn't find them to be technical sound enough. Incase of cables, I was suggested to go for AudioQuest 14AWG for fronts as they didnt want to cut loose 8-9mts from their new DAC 14AWG bundle
  • Even the AVR config they did, ended up with low vocals and high rear/front effects that I had to run the Audyssey auto setup which improved the vocals and overall experience (they infact did all the speaker config with my WDTV sending a stereo signal to AVR and AVR was performing a PLII, I had to later change WDTV settings to send 5.1 through HDMI and could actually start seeing Dolby digital etc on AVR screen)
 
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gk@hyd

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Moderators - is it possible to change the title of this thread to something more appropriate as "Search for 5.1 speaker system @ Hyd to match Denon 791 (budget <1lac)"

Thanks.
 
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