KEF Q55 Floorstanding Speakers

KEF Q55 Floorstanding Speakers 

DESCRIPTION

2&1/2 way design, 150W, 6ohm, 91dB/W/m, floorstanding

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 40  
[Nov 04, 2018]
Bonzz


Strength:

These Q55 are a good entry level speaker. They have good clarity with the Uni Q tweeter and have good bass tones unless you like a preponderance of bass in your music otherwise you'll need a sub woofer. They like power and have good stability when played loud without distortion or flutter. I get good imaging from my Q55's but they have a narrow beam and must be placed correctly to achieve it. They sound better to me in smaller rooms.

Weakness:

The UNI Q Tweeter is the weakness of this unit. I have had one fail and have bought a used replacement.

Price Paid:
225
Purchased:
Used  
OVERALL
RATING
4
[Dec 31, 2002]
Reano
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Good music sound stage Good price Bi-wireable low distortion

Weakness:

lacks bass at lower volumes Good at higher volumes Really need good equipment, biwire, run-in period to get the best out of them.

OK I have used these speaks for more than a year easily now. These speakers are very good if you have good amp I used Pioneer vsx 909m You bi-wire and allow sufficient burn in. I think it is good to get a sub to complement this package. I have a Velodyne sub I have also used with Yamaha sub. I have the Kef Cresta 1 rears. So every thing is sweat. This speaker does give you a good sound stage if they are set up to ear level and toed in as recommended. The thing I like about these speakers is you can turn it up loud and get no distortion for very musical tracks like jazz, latin and classical it rocks! for more bassy type tracks R&B, soul, etc I would recommend a good sub either REL or Velodyne preferably.

Similar Products Used:

Mission

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 31, 2002]
mac
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Look kinda cool

Weakness:

sound dead. 'nuf said

Just spent a frustrating day trying to get these dogs to sound good.Y'know,for the price there are a whole lotta speakers out there that sound a whole lot better than these.Sure,the notes are there.The bass is not very low(I would say these bottom out at about 60)so a sub is a must,even for tunes let alone a HT set-up.But their real failure is the just can't throw an image,and there is no possibilty of anything close to what can be called a soundstage.We were running these through some pretty pricey components and cables(several tried)and no matter where placed,these things just don't work very good. Let me take this opportunity,again, to emphazise just how poorly most mass-market equipment performs....and that is not good. I understand the fear that many folks may have regarding spending goodly sums of cash on brand names that are not familiar to them.However,I must stress that this is just lazyness.Get out of the Big Box/Circuit City stores and do some leg work.Don't EVER buy sound equipent from Internet clearing houses(most of that stuff is either clearing out cuz it's junk,or is reconditioned.)Find yerself a nice local stereo shop,and make the guy your friend.Be adventurous,and you will get a whole lot more quality for your dollar.Very little of what comes out of the East is worth the packaging it comes in.I have a pair of Canadian bookshelves,Axiom M22Ti,that are half the price of these KEFs,and they are wonderful(just named Product of the Year by Soundstage).These Kefs were designed in Britain,but are made from Asian parts...badly.

Similar Products Used:

B&W,Angstrom(great stuff),Axiom,Mission,Bose(junk) Triangle,ProAc...many others.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
[Dec 02, 2002]
Juice_22
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Clean, Clear sound from the Unit.

Weakness:

Not enough Bass.

I picked them up for very cheap and have been happy with them since day one. They are very accurate. They don't have too much bass, but the Mid to High sound excellent.

Similar Products Used:

Bose, Jamo, Harman Kardon

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 30, 2002]
Philip Kelly
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

mellow sound-suits most types of music- good tweeter

Weakness:

break in period-too long

Ive had these speakers for less than a week from the date this was written and im very impressed. Ive read reviews saying that they lack deep bass, in my experience this is not true- it isnt ground shattering bass but its a shocking amount for 2 6" drivers. I can only put it down to the amp being used by these reviewers. If your thinkin of buying thses speakers Id say go for it but give them a listen with your own amp.

Similar Products Used:

linn kaber(five times the price)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Apr 09, 2002]
panda645
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Soundstage, good imaging and decent mid bass.Sounds good with just about all types of music.

Weakness:

Cabinet quality could be better.Not as good as my Missions.No deep bass.Needs a sub to complete the sound.

Bought these speakers off ubid.com. Got a great deal. I have never seen them on ubid since I bid on them. Lucky timing!Very happy with them so far. Good clean mids and decent mid bass. Highs detailed but slight roll off on the very top end. A little tweak on the treble control and all is well.Low bass not there but what the heck do you expect out of a 6 1/2 " woofer. Come on guys! Buy a great subwoofer (Hsu VTF-2) like I did and you will have all the tight deep bass you can handle! Great soundstage and imaging.Auditioned high end speakers two to three times the cost of the KEF''s and these speakers sound great for the money.

Similar Products Used:

Missions, AR , Polk

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 06, 2002]
Pete R
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Good drivers and design

Weakness:

spikes poorly attached, not so great build overall

I have owned these speakers for three years and have been very pleased with them. I pretty much agree with the consensus of reviews listed here. The reason that I''m throwing in my two cents is because a couple of weeks ago I decided to upgrade the capacitors and resistors in the crossovers. I used the Solen fast caps from France, 8.2uf and 10uf@250V. I also replaced the 3.3ohm and 6.8ohm 5watt resistors with Mills wirewound 3.5 and 7ohm 12watt respectively. The stock parts were okay but basically 19 cent parts. The improvement was immediate and not subtle. The bass improvement was a pleasant surprise. It is now fuller and more natural, I can hear more of the attack and the amp on electric bass. Also, the bass seems to be coming from the floor between the speakers, it''s alot more three dimensional. The mids and highs are alot more natural also. Previously my left speaker was slightly brighter than the right, now they are balanced. Overall a very worthwhile mod considering a $30 investment. I think this would solve some of the complaints listed here about weak or lean bass. Any questons about this mod, feel free to e-mail me.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Apr 08, 2000]
Mark
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Smooth uncolored highs and mis, great bass extension when placed properly

Weakness:

None so far

Recently my wife was complaining about the looks of my Q-15s in black ash finish on black metal stands. Our living room is mainly dark woods and dark oak. She does love the sound of the 15s especially with movies paired with my velodyne CT-100 sub. I told her KEF makes floor standing speakers in the same design with a mohogony finish. She told me to get some. The W.A.F., wife approval factor, is very important. I did listen to other speakers and was very impressed with the Paradigm monitor 7s. When I first listened to the KEF Q-55s, I was sold. Great highs, mids and vocals with music material that I listen to, mostly soft rock and jazz. Great bass extension from the separate 6.5" driver. When listening to music I turn the sub off. With movies, the Q-55s and the sub shake the walls! I got my 55s for just under 500 bones which is a killer buy for these quality speakers. I.M.O., no better speaker on the market for the price. Other equipment, Nakamichi 100 watt receiver, Denon changer and DVD, monster cable inter-connects. Give the Q-55s a listen, I think you will get your checkbook or credit card out!

Similar Products Used:

KEF-Q15, Pardigm monitor 7, others too many to list

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 29, 2000]
Daniel
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

One of the best midranges you'll ever find in the sub-$1000 floorstander category. Extremely good imaging quality. Clean and adequate bass response.

Weakness:

Fussy about placement, loss of image occurs when you're not in the "sweet spot." Build quality is only what you'd expect for $800 sound; case in point: KEF Reference Series, superior cabinet material, diffraction and resonance control. Requires a very good high-current amplifier: its a 6 ohm speaker.

These speakers get a 4 Star Value Rating for excellent design and technological innovation for the PRICE, my own problem was their build quality. 5 Stars OVERALL, for the PRICE -- they can't do EVERYTHING right (imaging is fantastic but balance and soundstage are only fair), but they sound superb and they're cheap.

*** This is NOT a review summary. I do recommend these speakers but, what you are about to read has very little to do with the KEF Q55s per se and more to do with getting the most out of your system. Read at your own risk. ***

This is my one-year update to the review I did before. My components have changed of course:

KEF Q55s (whoo-hoo!)
Adcom GFA-5400 amplifier (bi-wiring the Kefs)
* I may get a second, vintage Adcom amp *
Adcom GFP-565 preamplifier (a "Recommended" reference component)
Rotel RCD-971 (HDCD) CD player (a new "Recommended" component)
Audioquest Crystal 10ft (bi-wire low)
Audioquest Forest+ 10ft (bi-wire hi)
Monster Cable M1500 1m (preamp --> amp)
Monster Cable Sigma 2000 1m (CD player --> preamp)
Adcom ACE-515 AC enhancer


approx. system cost = $4000

** In all likelihood, what I am about to say here does not belong in this summary box but more likely in a audiophile's magazine review or something. **

The purpose of this update however is not to bore you with equipment. Rather, I want to tell you how you can make these excellent sounding speakers sound even better. And for the most part it isn't exclusive to owning KEF speakers.
This might be considered an audiophile's secret but you gotta BURN-IN your ENTIRE system. I know some of you might think this is a waste of time (and electricity). But I think, if you're dedicated to the way music sounds and not how much you've gotta spend to get it that way then this is a very good idea.

Of course... the other way would be to spend thousands on top-notch components which in reality you could never afford.

The Q-series KEFs are an superbly designed speaker for what you pay for but they just don't perform the way they are able to, which is on a whole other level. Think about it, what you get is a Uni-Q driver which precisely pinpoints the sound coming towards you from a single point in space. Acoustically speaking, almost all sounds that are produced emanate in exactly this manner. The way they travel or propogate is a different story however. But if you like the way these speakers sound you've got to know how important this principle is and how BURN-IN your system will improve upon it.

First, go out and purchase one of those test CDs.
Something like Audiosource's LLC5 lens cleaner and system analyzer disc. Next, turn on all your equipment and DO NOT TURN IT OFF. (Or least, keep it on for as long as you are willing to pay for spending the electric bill.) A solid-state amplifier (and preamp) always sounds better when its warmed-up. Second, pop in that test CD with all those 'harsh' sounds on them, press play, and let it repeat, and repeat, and repeat. I AM NOT KIDDING!!! This is a lesson in patience. If you're willing to wait... oh, about a month to two months playing time (*gasp*) or about 1440 hours (even more) your ears will thank you. I SWEAR. I AM SERIOUS. Of course, you can stop it during those in-between times when you just would like to see how much better it sounds from your last listening period, but its important to keep going. Boy, what a difference! Right?

What you WILL "hear" are cleaner, tighter, more distinct, more elaborate, and more defined images, frequencies, notes, sounds, soundstages, bass, treble, midrange, etc. -- you name it, everything has improved. And this is not just subjective reasoning, it is empirical truth. So keep on listening!

Hint: Keep going!! If I told you you had to do this for one year, you'd all stop listening altogether. So don't. Enjoy the music. That is what is really most important.
The option here is to set the volume up high when you're doing this. This is strictly optional. I don't know anyone who wants to listen to all those annoying humming, buzzing, spinning, whirring, and tweeting sounds. I don't blame you. You don't have to. Set the volume to 0. Or don't, its up to you. All I know is that your speakers do IN FACT sound a LOT better if you do. Try it once, overnight, or on the weekend when everyone goes out to play. Including your neighbors -- hehe. Heck, give yourself the ENTIRE summer and go on vacation, I don't care. I've tried this many times and have proven to myself that without a doubt that it does indeed do the trick!!!

Special Hint: For all you dedicated enthusiasts out there, here's a real shocking revelation. Unplug your speaker wires from their speakers and play your system at full blast!! If your system can survive this kind of 'torture' test with out destroying your amplifier you be rewarded with a higher quality sound. Also, you've got yourself one tough amp. Best of all, the results are long-lasting. Note: Your amplifier will get extraordinarily hot and may overheat causing you to void your warranty with your manufacturer. NO JOKE!!

For Extreme Hobbyists Only: To prove you are as fanatical as I am, unplug your interconnects and switch them over to the phono inputs. I must tell you now, not only does this sound crazy but it also seems quite illogical, but ITS NOT! If you are one of those people who has tried to 'accidentally' listen to how your system would sound while hooked up to one of your receivers or preamps phono inputs then you probably were in for a big surprise and had a major problem. Or paid the consequences. Perhaps you've blown out your speakers and/or fried a couple of circuits. Bummer. That's because of the RIAA equalization curve, which in order to make records sound better boosts the lower frequencies of a recording and attenuates them as the frequency response rises. It was never meant to be used for line level inputs (hence the name) but this technique can be put to good use for burn-in purposes.

Now, what I am telling you to do here, if you think about it is not unlike what those Pentium/Athlon COMPUTER speed freaks do out there. (I am one of them.) You know, the ones you read about in the PC mags who go ballistic with fans, heat sinks, and thermal cooling devices in order to try to pump out just a few more Mhz of their computers!!!! Just to reach 1 Ghz?? Jeez... Honestly, they've got an extremely risky not to mention hazardous business. I am here to tell you're going to do this with AUDIO. Different style, same principle.

If you want to do this right, DO NOT raise the volume controls on your preamp when your amplifier is turned on, or they WILL fry, especially if you've got speakers connected to them, which will blow-out.

(I have always known to do this, and I have not had the unfortunate opportunity of being wrong. You can too, if you do this right, understanding the principles involved.)

You can raise them only if you've turned off or completely disconnected your amplifier from your system. In some instances, if you unplug your amplifier's power supply to the system, listen carefully and you can actually hear to your speakers playing. Just remember to switch back to line level CD inputs when you're done (when you actually do want to listen to good music and not 'harsh' static garbage) and to turn the volume back down to 0.
YES, without amplification!!! This is because the phono's preamp inputs have boosted the CD player's line level output to an extremely high level, enough so that a 'mere' signal without current is all that remains sufficient in order to play through to your speakers! Amazing, but true.
(It might also be the "sound" of your amplifier capacitors trying to drain but that is so unlikely after more than an hour.) This is a true test of how good your preamps are in retrieving signal (and a function of how powerful that signal can be), in my humble opinion.

There are a LOT of technical reasons why these "treatments" work which I cannot explain. Mostly, it involves electrical physics and electrical engineering, which I cannot claim I understand fully. Sorry. All I know is that this stuff works!! How far you want to go is up to you. One other thing... please don't blame me if you make a mistake and do the wrong thing. I cannot be held responsible for anything that goes wrong. Remember, in life you have you own free will.


Sincerely,
Daniel

Similar Products Used:

Polk Audio, Infinity

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Oct 04, 2000]
Jef
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Strong bass without

Weakness:

Volume must be very high for bass to really kick in.

I bought these speakers from shop4.com about 4 months ago. The price was right but it ended up that their dealer was out of stock. Of course they did not mention these being out of stock until i had already recieved the rear q15 and the center q 95c. Well another thing that happened was they could no longer get me the q55's anymore. They were going to ship me the q55.2 That was not really a bad thing except that i had read in previous reviews that older models of kef did not match well with new models.

Well so of course i demanded the new center also. And about four weeks later i got the q55.2 speakers. So i called them again and finally i could get the q95.2c. So i ordered that and i had to send back my q95c right away. So i did not have my complete set up yet and it had been a month and a half. Well or course shop4.com did not tell ups right away to pick up the center channel so it was sitting in the office at my apartments for a week and a half while i could have been getting some nice surround sound. Well all said and done at about two months from the original order i got all of my speakers. Shop4 did give me free shipping on the front speakers and let me use coupons for everything on top of their already low prices. At $522 for the q55.2 shipped not too bad.

Well sorry about that shop4.com review but they are by far the cheapest online i found and i wanted you guys to know what you were in for since this same thing happened to my friend.

THe q55.2 did not sound very good when i bought them. They take a very long time to break in. Cuz now they have outstanding bass and sound very clear. You cant really hear their bass over the subs though. Also they sound so much better with about 200 watts than they do powered off of my Onkyo THX surround sound reciever.

I only give them 4 stars since 5 stars is reserved for speakers that i will never need to upgrade. Also the JBL studio 8 inch compare in sound quality and have much stronger bass.

Similar Products Used:

Infinity, JBL Studio, Bose, Polk

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 40  

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