Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
Good sound, bad build quality
on March 28, 2015
A comparison to the Klipsch RF-7 II: the klipsches are much more efficient and have WAY more bass, if that is what you want. Against what most people say about the Q900s, I would put their bass output as average so you will definitely want to pair these with a sub, I use the SVS PB-1000. In a smaller room, you could probably get away without a sub, but in any kind of open floor-plan space >15'x15', you will want a sub. However, I find the Q900s to be a much better balanced speaker than the RF-7 IIs. The Uni-Q driver in the Q900 provides great mids, something that the more dynamic RF-7 II seems to be missing.
As for build quality, I find the Q900s to be poor. The fake wood veneer of the cabinet has already begun to bubble after ~9 months. Absolutely unacceptable for a speaker that retails for $900. The aluminum woofer cones also dent very easily (you will want to keep the covers on). Note that the RF-7 II's woofers also dent easily, maybe it is characteristic of metal woofers? Of course, the RF-7 II has a much better cabinet build quality with real wood veneer.
For an amp, you will definitely need to upgrade. For lower frequencies <140Hz, the Q900s reach all the way down to 3 ohms (see the Stereophile review). With a 4dB bass boost, the Q900s put my 95W/ch Onkyo TX-SR606 into protection mode after 1 minute at 2/3 volume. The Q900s also caused my friends 125W/ch Onkyo TX-NR727 to clip with a 6dB bass boost at 2/3 volume. I ended up using an old amp from the late 80s, the Yamaha AX-700U, which is rated for 280W at 4ohms. If you actually want to push these speakers, you will absolutely want a good 4ohm-capable amp.
If you are looking for a well balanced sounding speaker, the Q900s are pretty good. However, the poor cabinet build quality is a major negative. At this price, it is relatively easy to find a nice speaker with a real wood veneer cabinet (maybe Polk RTi A9?). I recommend purchasing KEF speakers from a local authorized dealer, if possible. You will be able to haggle a pair of Q900s for significantly less money than Amazon is offering them.