If Kef made a speaker with the same mid and tweeter as your 104s, I would buy 4 of those.
Dipole surrounds pre-date Dolby Digital 5.1 and 7.1 processing technology. Dipoles were really designed for the early dolby pro-logic processing with diffused mono surround. Think of your theater system as a 7 channel stereo. Would you use a dipole for the center, left or right? I think not. The dolby website recommends 5 "identical" speakers.
Thank you for the good suggestions. The Dolby website does recommend identical speakers, but interestingly the THX website recommends "diffuse" surrounds (dipoles) on the sides, and monopole back surrounds placed together, for 7.1 use.
Maybe for critical SACD or DVD-A listening, identical monopole speakers would be best, but I plan to mainly use the multichannel mode for movies, and stick to 2 channel for music. (I may change my mind after I listen to a SACD or DVD-A, which I have not done yet.)
More comments/suggestions would be welcome.
I am using a $500 (new) pair of Definitive Technology BP-2X bipole rear speakers with KEF 101/2 for front L&R and the model 90 center. Sounds great even with SACD and DVD/A.
I use a pair of KEF 102/2s with my KEF 104/2s. They are located along the walls lateral to the listening position. The center channel is a KEF 200 C. I run all the speakers in bi-wire mode. Frequencies below 80 Hz are shunted to a Velodyne HGS-15. This arrangemnt is excellent for 5.1 Dolby Digital and dts. The 104/2s and HGS-15 combination is excellent for stereo, and blend seamlessly.
The KEF 200 C is a much better match for the 104/2s than a 100 C. I moved my 100 C downstairs to use with a second pair of 102/2s and a Velodyne HGS-10. The 102/2s and 100 C are well matched.
Thanks for the info. I will start looking around for a used 200 C. There are none listed on Audiogon or Ebay right now.
By the way, I think the 104/2s sound great by themselves, but relieving them of below 80 Hz duty with a sub really opens their sound. They are wonderful speakers, as are the smaller sounding 102/2s.
I agree with the 200c recommendation...I think...?(lol)
It's been a while for those, but I think the 200 had like 3 drivers, including a coax mount, right? Should be more dynamic.
Anyway, I also concure with dipole surrounds situation, for easy setup, easy integration, non-fatiguing/distracting enveloping sound. I find that it's much better to have a solid main stage, and just let the rears be "enveloping" and more diffuse personally! This is especially critical if you have multiple seating possitions, where people WILL sit closer to one rear than the others. Invariably you get that domminating, irritating speaker in your ear, that pulls you completely out of the movie, and BANGS IN YOUR EAR ALL NIGHT LONG, till you wanna kill someone!!!!...lol
dirrect firing can be done well however, but that's tricky. ALSO, and AS IMPORTANT,if you ask me, is that placing dirrect firing speakers near walls is usually a boomy experience, and yields "un-flat", unaccurate response. So basically, the speakers don't sound right (without serious tweaking and EQ'ing), er um, good! At the very least, if your mains are set up well, your rears sound nothing like them this way!
Unless you've got lots of room, and can get speakers susupended from the ceiling in the back/sides, this is usually "not as do-able" for stellar sonics IMO.
Again, can be done. But most fall short!
Again, It's "all a balancing act!"
Still, I would get matching type speakers from Kef If it were me...and possibly dipoles if you can. maybe some research is in order...but maybe they don't...lol.
In this case I think the little 100 or 70 monitors(forgot) match. Might need some EQing help though, to do ir right.
I think it would be a big mistake to replace your outstanding 104/2s just to have matching speakers for 5.1 or 7.1. Relatively little information is sent to the side and read speakers.
The 200 C has three drivers, with the center being Uni-Q; the 100 C has a single Uni-Q driver. The 104/2s have separate dome tweeters, but the match across the front speakers is excellent with the 104/2s and 200 C.
I previosly used matching speakers, four 102/2s and the matching 100 C, and I prefer the 104/2s, 200 C, and 102/2 combination. For stereo, as nice as the 102/2s were for small classical and jazz groups, the 104/2s not only do that well but also splendidly present the large sound of symphonic orchestration.
Don't worry Don, I'm not replacing the 104.2s any time soon. I am simply updating the rest of my system from a vintage 1995 Pro-Logic I setup to a 7.1 setup. I have been content with the Model 100 Center, but based on your comments I will keep an eye out for a Model 200.
Based on your other comment, I will consider replacing the Paradigm Titans in the rear with a pair of KEF 102.2's, although this will not be an immediate priority.
KEF currently offer their "Reference" dipole surround speaker for $3900/pair!! They also offer the "Q-series" dipole surround speaker for around $500/pair, which may not be timbre-matched to the 104.2, but I will probably try them anyway.
I was interested by your suggestion that the 104.2s will sound better with a sub. I have always been impressed with their deep, tight, effortless bass with the KUBE equalizer. I was planning to set the front speakers to "Large" on my new surround processor-preamp, to keep the bass going to the 104.2s in addition to the sub (VMPS New Larger), but now I will try it as you suggest and see how it sounds.
I acquired a KUBE as a freebee with a the second pair of 102/2s I bought from a local audio expert -- they had been his personal speakers, but his shop now sells mostly Wilson and B & W speakers. I've never used the KUBE.
I agree that even without the KUBE the 104/2s have excelent bass response, but of course can't match a Velodyne HGS-15 when it comes to that low level vibration you "feel" when a low pedal note is opened on a pipe organ. I've heard the famous Bach Toccata & Fugue in D Minor performed at Stanford's Memorial Church and at our local Episcopalian church (a small church with a great pipe organ as befitted the wealth of turn of the 19th century Montecito). The 104/2s and HGS-15 do a remarkable job of recreating that sound.
By the way, the 102/2s are old speakers. I believe I bought my first pair in the late 80's or early 90's, but not sure.
Kef 104/2 are great speakers...
I still own those, and tried to make it 5.1 myself...
however I gave up on it, and I got another matching 5.1 set.
I think Kef 102 or 103/3 will make a good surround speakers for 104/2
also about the bass...
I like the tight and fast bass response of 104/2s, but you should try adding a sub to do the work where the 104/2 can't quiet handle.
I used it briefly with Rel sub(high level hook up) and I liked it very much.
I guess it depends on the type of music you listen... having said that, I like bass, tight fast and deep bass.
I have nothing substantive to add other than to say that I'm another longtime 104.2 owner. Curious to know what you all are using to power the Kefs? I was using a Rotel RSX-1055 receiver. I've had good experience with Rotel amps powering the Kef's 4ohm load. Recently upgraded to the Arcam AVR300 with the idea of bi-amping using the 6/7 channels, but haven't gotten around to trying it out until we move into our new home. I'm hoping to get a little more "sparkle" in the top end and improve imaging/soundstaging.
I use a Proceed PAV/PDSD with Proceed Amp 2 and Amp 3, and drive the KEFs in bi-wire mode. The PDSD shunts everything below 80 Hz to the Velodyne HGS-15. At one time I wanted to simplfy, so I bought a Sony 444 ES receiver. Unfortunately, that seemed OK for home theater but cost the transparency and spatiousness I was accustomed to hearing with stereo. I returned to the Proceed stuff in my main system and use the receiver in a secondary system. I'm very satisfied with the sound for both stereo and home theater.
Within a period of a half hour, I had the opportunity to listen to the three blind mice XRCD24 on my system and a local dealer's big tube C-J driving a pair of Wilson W/P-7s. My CD player is a Sony S9000ES, the dealer's a well-known high-end monster. The sound of the two systems was remarkably similar, both having a detail and transparency lacking in the dealer's 800 series B & W speakers.