- Written by Jim Milton
- Published on 08 June 2009
Design and Build Quality
The XQ series comes with a choice of three finishes: Birdseye maple, Khaya mahogany and piano black. My sample came in the mahogany and the finish is gorgeous!
I know some of you troglodytes are all about the sound and as far as you are concerned, the speaker can be in unfinished particleboard as long as they perform. I, on the other hand, think a speaker is a lot like a musical instrument. Shape, design and finish are important as well. After all, why can't a speaker appeal to the eye as well as the ear? The shape of the speakers are not just for eye candy. The (voluptuous?) curves serve to eliminate standing waves and cabinet resonance.
The XQ10s are a two-way design, though when you remove the magnetically attached grilles, they look like a single driver. The advanced (5.25in.) Uni-Q 'point source' array sports a new 'tangerine' waveguide that acts as an acoustic lens that helps widen the tweeter dispersal. Why "tangerine"? When looking straight on, the tweeter looks like you are looking down on a peeled citrus fruit…or at least, that is my theory.
I will talk more about this later. The dome tweeter is .75 inches in diameter. Under the Uni-Q driver is a reflex port that can be plugged if you so desire (foam plugs are included). These speakers can be bi-wired and/or bi-amped.
Three spikes are provided; two in the front and one in the rear that is height adjustable. Also included are concaved rubber pads should you choose to not use the feet and want to place the XQ10s on speaker stands or a shelf. I selected this option as the pads allowed me the ability to tilt the drivers slightly up toward ear level from my speaker stands. These speakers would work well on a shelf as the port is in the front and the pads provide a solid fit on a flat surface. The XQ10s are magnetically shielded, so placing them close to a CRT is not a problem. These speaker are touted as the "rightful heir to the revered LS3/5a professional studio monitor" by KEF, but I am not sure why. They have a different driver array, different cabinet design, and different sonic signature. Perhaps the description is more about the lineage? Well, none of this really detract from the XQ10s own performance, which is really quite good.