Sunday, April 5, 2009

Excitement Builds for New KEF XQ-20 Speakers

It's not often that we get genuinely, jump-up-and-down excited about new products here at Puretone Audio in sunny/overcast/snowing Litchfield, Connecticut, but we have the store staked out for the FedEx guy awaiting the arrival of our first few pairs of the KEF XQ20 speakers.

The short list:

- High Resolution
- Compact Size
- Expansive Soundstage
- Immaculate Finish and Construction
- Bi-Amp Compatible
- Fantastic Value

here is what AV Review (UK) has to say...

High on designer attraction, the XQ20 was sent to us in faultless piano black and is arguably the best-looking monitor of the group. It was certainly the focus of attention for most visitors to the listening room. Its metallic-finish cone also added to the smartness of the presentation. Equally impressive are the other two finishes, Birdseye Maple and Khaya Mahogany.

KEF uses its famous Uni-Q mid/bass driver with centre-mounted tweeter. There are some notable changes here, including cone shape upgrading to match the new 19 mm elliptical tweeter and 'tangerine' wave guide. The woofer also uses a redesigned voice coil assembly with new materials. These changes to the main driver include extra cone excursion.

The enclosure features a large front-mounted reflex port which means that tonal changes are likely to be less noticeable in response to room shape and positioning. Stability is assured with three-point mounting using substantial metal feet which are height adjustable at the front. A fairly wide stance means that not all speaker stands have a large enough platform to accommodate them.

Passing from one monitor to another, the KEF demands attention during listening tests with a high gain and accurate attack. Everything about the speaker's sound suggests that it has been carefully voiced and is the recipient of a massive research and development programme to produce instant listening satisfaction. There is no doubt that this is a speaker designed to impress, particularly with its finely-drawn sound stage capabilities.

The specifics:

* Full bandwidth two-way stand mount/bookshelf speaker
KEF's latest 165mm (6.5in) Uni-Q midrange/HF 'point source' array with new 'tangerine' waveguide
* Natural-sounding high performance elliptical dome 19mm (0.75in) tweeter
* Low distortion 165mm (6.5in) driver
* Magnetically shielded, with a choice of three superb high gloss finishes and optional stand
* $1999 suggested list price

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