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(((HOME AUDIO))) KEF iQ5 By Brent Burmester..(sold,thanks modcom....)
(((HOME AUDIO))) KEF iQ5 By Brent Burmester...................sold
KEF iQ5 loudspeakers. $1299.
You can’t go very far wrong with the products of the Kent Electrical Foundry (KEF). After all, the company’s been knocking out proper hifi loudspeakers since the early 1960s, and some of its transducers have become the stuff of legend, notably the 104/2, a machine that laid the foundations for the KEF Reference series of the 1990s.
You’ve Got the Look
The iQ5 may not be in the same history-making league as its illustrious predecessor, but it has one very important thing in common with the 104/2, namely KEF’s technical innovativeness. By way of proof, you’ll notice in the accompanying pictures what appear to be only two drivers arranged in the slim cabinet-work of this speaker, but look again – this is a three-way design. The tweeter, apparently missing altogether, is cunningly situated smack in the centre of the uppermost midrange driver, an arrangement dubbed ‘Uni-Q’, and the technological signature of this manufacturer.
That sneaky tweaker uses a 19mm aluminium dome, and you might be forming the impression that the 130mm midrange driver surrounding it is of the same material. Not so fast, Sherlock, that’s actually a polymer (plastic) cone coated with titanium. The metallic coating probably adds stiffness without creating much of a setback in terms of added mass, but it looks pretty sweet, and that may be all that matters. What I can’t quite fathom is why, when you have a perfectly good box to mount your drivers in, KEF goes to the trouble of having the Uni-Q driver protrude above the baffle, so that a special domed cowl has to be fitted on the top side. It’s stylish, no doubt, but where is one to place ones potted plants?
Beneath the Uni-Q driver is the bass driver, twinned with a reflex port. This is relatively conventional 130mm long-throw paper cone, in a die-cast aluminium chassis. As mentioned above, this is a three-way system, not the more common two and half, where both cones would join forces in the lower frequencies, so the diminutive woofer handles everything from 280Hz down.
Before leaving the hardware the speaker cabinet deserves special mention. Seen from above it tapers towards the back, rounding off like the prow of a boat. This is not only aesthetically pleasing, it also minimises cabinet resonances. The box is handsomely veneered, even on the bottom surface, and the bi-wire speaker terminals are thoughtfully placed at the base of the rear ‘panel’. The cabinet sits on spiked feet, with a sort of outrigger arrangement at the rear where it narrows. I’d quite like to see a wider plinth made available, as the iQ5 is a slender proposition and easily perturbed by pets, unruly children, and drunk owners trying to dance.
Feel the Noise
Sound quality is very good, given the price point. Treble is highly resolved without being edgy and you can hear the metal dome making its presence felt, in a good way, when the high hats and cymbals are playing. Voices are articulate and convincing, and the general tenor of the speaker is open and communicative. While my attention was immediately taken by the detail evident in the upper frequencies, on longer acquaintance it was the midrange that won my loyalty. The iQ5 has an almost studio-monitor degree of concern for the business-end of the music, where voices and melodies reside.
Perhaps best of all, a pair of iQ5s image like lasers, especially in the horizontal plane. They are not quite so forthcoming in constructing a soundstage fore and aft of the speakers, so treat with caution any hyperbole you might read elsewhere involving the word ‘holographic’. Neverthless, there is certainly nothing amiss with the discrete placement of performers within the soundstage. KEF make bold claims about the off-axis abilities of their Uni-Q design, and I tried them from well off the sweet spot, indeed right off the couch, and they were remarkably tolerant of my obvious efforts to wrong-foot them. Even listening off to one side, the relative positions of the performers and instruments could easily be discerned.
Nutbush City Limits
This is all very encouraging, but be advised, though a floorstander, the iQ5 is not large and will not shift your sofa for you. The little KEF is nicely suited to a small to mid-sized lounge or largish bedroom, and can be usefully augmented with the addition of a good quality sub. In my 36 m2 room they had a rather light and airy character, and I felt the need to enlist my AudioPro woofer when not listening in ‘reviewer mode’. However, while extension and weight is limited, the speed and tonal accuracy of the bass is certainly above average. My own speakers are an infinite baffle design, and these usually leave ported speakers in the dust when it comes to pace in the lower ranges, but the iQ5 acquitted itself with honours, exhibiting no bloat or overhang.
If fault had to be found, maybe it would be too much English reserve. Some music is meant to chase you about with a meat cleaver and the iQ5 is not really into homicidal mania. This isn’t a function of size, but rather a product of breeding: the wee KEF was not intended for head-banging a la Cerwin Vega. You can force-feed them Chemical Brothers or Rage Against the Machine, but they’ll tend toward a thoughtful rendition, and the visceral impact will be lessened. Mind you, they shine with singer-songwriter performances, so much so that you can forgive them their slight lack of excess.
The Final Countdown
I like a speaker with class, and the iQ5 certainly has that. If you’re not well off for space (or cash), don’t intend to wake the neighbours, and set high standards for audio reproduction, I strongly recommend you audition these little KEFs.
Udah di booked ya>>>>
sorry dan,malah udah sold dan...
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