Advice on new speakers for my set-up?

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Or these, grab a cheap pair of speakers for a tenner or so from your nearest thrift shop and the Kefs suddenly become a bargain too

 

HiFiRuss71

Distinguished Member
Don't rule out the JBLs - They are fun. I could have bought notionally more 'hi-fi' speakers, but the fun quotient was off the chart with the Klipsch.

Also have a Look at the Arendal 1723 Bookshelf S - Their 60day no quibble return policy will tell you far more about working in your system and room than any dealer demo ever can. There's a lot of speakers listed above, but the only one I'd mention in the same breath as the 1723s is the KEF R300s.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Certainly seem so… but those and then start saving the cash for something worthy of driving them!

The CA will drive them very well. I think you’ll be surprised.

You can certainly do better, but you’ll definitely not be slumming it as you save up.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Any insight on how these like to be positioned?

The basic rules are:

Away from side walls. Probably the most important one imo.

And away from rear walls. This is less important in that each room is different and some rooms/speakers benefit from being closer than other combinations.

And preferably in an equilateral triangle with the listening position.

Have you a photo of your current positioning?

Ps I’d ignore any entreaties from salesmen to buy B&Ws stands. They are similar to cables in that they make no difference and are there to make cash only. And I assume you already have your own?
 

Kapkirk

Active Member
Think that comparison video has just convinced me that I want a pair of those B&W 706 S2s…! 😂
Both are very good speakers, slightly different sound signature, the tweeter can be a little overbearing on the B&W, but smoother on the Focal, bass is a little more solid on the B&W but midrange is nicer on the Focal, that's why a demo is important. I know the Focal works very well with the Cambridge because I owned them both in the past.

Also Have another listen to that video, at 2:55 into the clip the piano solo starts and on the Focal's the piano sounds full bodied and natural, move it along to the B&W at approx 9:12 and the same piano solo sounds thin, bright and unnatural, almost like there's some artificial reverb going on.
 
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Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
I would certainly listen to B&W in real life first, then judging them solely by watching the video.
 

Almatti

Standard Member
I'm no Audiophile like so many on this Forum. It is almost Mind Numbing the array of Information supplied here!! I'm a 70 year old, male, retired, and a Music Lover, MY Music Lover!! I play music for enjoyment of course, but also to play my drums to. During the Chinese Virus Hibernation in 2020 - 2021, and working form home since March 2020, I decided to create a new sound system in my finished basement. Without getting into the equipment I purchased and sometimes sent back (Thank God for Amazon), suffice it to say that I have 4 pairs of different Bookshelf speakers (2 pairs of Elacs [Debut and References], 1 pair of Fluance Signature Series, and 1 Pair of KEF Q350s. 2 pais to the front and 2 pairs to the rear. When played simultaneously (2 Receivers and Amps), it sounds like a Concert Hall. I digressed, sorry.
In 1987, when I purchased new High End Equipment, taking me to the Next Level of Audiophilism, I shopped at a Stereo HiFi Store in MT. Kisko, NY (Westchester County - where I live). I went with a NAD 1300 Preamp, a NAD 2600 AMP, a Dual CS5000 TT (all of which were Dealer recommended, matched against other equipment which I don't recall now), and then to the Soiund Room to listen to various Speakers - Tower Speakers. Polk, JBLs, B&Os, and others... and then finally KEF 104/2 Mid Towers which ar 36" high. I never heard of KEF at that time. When He switched from Speaker to Speaker using the NAD equipment in the room..Music To My Ears, Clarity, Balance, unmuddy Bass, good separation, not trebley. SOLD. I still have this setup in my LR to this day, which plays without any issues Except for [poor RCA cables on the Dual TT (they are known for that). The following week, in the Sunday NY Times Stereo Review section of the newspaper, up comes an article for the Review of the KEF 104/2 Speakers. I knew they great... the article had them rated as NO. 3 in the World !! I was patting myself on the back for my purchase which was so highly acclaimed.
Bottom line to my story: It is very nice to have YT video reviews to consult. Great starting points, but like other posters here, if you can, you want to listen to them Live.
BTW, to my recollection, I think a set of JBLs (don't remember the model) came in a second in that 1987 session. I had a pair of JBL 100s previously and gave then to my brother in law who used them for another 10-12 years as a weekend DJ for weddings / etc.
Good Luck, Take Your Time.
 

kevjf

Standard Member
The basic rules are:

Away from side walls. Probably the most important one imo.

And away from rear walls. This is less important in that each room is different and some rooms/speakers benefit from being closer than other combinations.

And preferably in an equilateral triangle with the listening position.

Have you a photo of your current positioning?

Ps I’d ignore any entreaties from salesmen to buy B&Ws stands. They are similar to cables in that they make no difference and are there to make cash only. And I assume you already have your own?
This is a pic of the room…! But do ignore the speakers in front of the bay window… it’s a work in progress and I’ve just set things up, the Christmas trees complicate things right now! 😂 They will have to go either in the alcoves either side of the fireplace or on the gaps between the bay and the side wall eventually I think, otherwise there’s no where to sit to listen! Just bought a wheeled trolley to move the hifi around to test assorted positions.
 
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kevjf

Standard Member
This is a pic of the room…! But do ignore the speakers in from of the bay window… it’s a work in progress and has just set things up, the Christmas trees complicate things right now! 😂 They will have to go either in the alcoves either side of the fireplace or on the gaps between the bay and the side wall eventually I think, otherwise there’s no where to sit to listen!
 

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kevjf

Standard Member
Definitely going to listen in the flesh… off to Sevenoaks in Solihull next week to do that very video comparidon… Focal Aria 906 vs B&W 706 S2. Based on where I think they’ll need to be positioned ultimately I suspect the front port on the Focal would work better… Probs need to be a bit closer to the wall than 40-50cm. Cheers!
 

kevjf

Standard Member
Speaker cables are a scam? Discuss? No doubt I’m going to be told I need to spend £30/m when I try out the speakers…!
 

kevjf

Standard Member
I'm no Audiophile like so many on this Forum. It is almost Mind Numbing the array of Information supplied here!! I'm a 70 year old, male, retired, and a Music Lover, MY Music Lover!! I play music for enjoyment of course, but also to play my drums to. During the Chinese Virus Hibernation in 2020 - 2021, and working form home since March 2020, I decided to create a new sound system in my finished basement. Without getting into the equipment I purchased and sometimes sent back (Thank God for Amazon), suffice it to say that I have 4 pairs of different Bookshelf speakers (2 pairs of Elacs [Debut and References], 1 pair of Fluance Signature Series, and 1 Pair of KEF Q350s. 2 pais to the front and 2 pairs to the rear. When played simultaneously (2 Receivers and Amps), it sounds like a Concert Hall. I digressed, sorry.
In 1987, when I purchased new High End Equipment, taking me to the Next Level of Audiophilism, I shopped at a Stereo HiFi Store in MT. Kisko, NY (Westchester County - where I live). I went with a NAD 1300 Preamp, a NAD 2600 AMP, a Dual CS5000 TT (all of which were Dealer recommended, matched against other equipment which I don't recall now), and then to the Soiund Room to listen to various Speakers - Tower Speakers. Polk, JBLs, B&Os, and others... and then finally KEF 104/2 Mid Towers which ar 36" high. I never heard of KEF at that time. When He switched from Speaker to Speaker using the NAD equipment in the room..Music To My Ears, Clarity, Balance, unmuddy Bass, good separation, not trebley. SOLD. I still have this setup in my LR to this day, which plays without any issues Except for [poor RCA cables on the Dual TT (they are known for that). The following week, in the Sunday NY Times Stereo Review section of the newspaper, up comes an article for the Review of the KEF 104/2 Speakers. I knew they great... the article had them rated as NO. 3 in the World !! I was patting myself on the back for my purchase which was so highly acclaimed.
Bottom line to my story: It is very nice to have YT video reviews to consult. Great starting points, but like other posters here, if you can, you want to listen to them Live.
BTW, to my recollection, I think a set of JBLs (don't remember the model) came in a second in that 1987 session. I had a pair of JBL 100s previously and gave then to my brother in law who used them for another 10-12 years as a weekend DJ for weddings / etc.
Good Luck, Take Your Time.
Also will drum along at times… I own a drum kit but wouldn’t call myself a drummer! 😂 Good thing about a decent hifi set-up is that it drowns out my lack of chops! Thanks…
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Speaker cables are a scam? Discuss? No doubt I’m going to be told I need to spend £30/m when I try out the speakers…!

Scam and a religious feast for some ‘true believers’.

This is all any one ever needs...


He makes them up with soldered on bananas for about a tenner more.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
A photo of it when done will help people offer advice to where to put the speakers.

At the moment though, they are not in an ‘optimum’ position and the room is bullet hard as you know 👍

Except for the Xmas tree 👌
 

kevjf

Standard Member
Interestingly tho when directly listening to both the 706 S2 and the Aria 906 in the same room it was the Arias that were over sibilant. The high end was way too much, almost unlistenable on some tracks with lots of high end, so on Someone Great by LCD Soundsystem, a very bright track, recorded in a studio with aluminium foil on the walls apparently, and on Hilary Hahn’s violin on her recording of the Lark Ascending it was fingers in ears stuff at good volumes. This was in a listening room with carpet and a suspended acoustic ceiling. I loved the clarity on a lot of tracks but way too much on others and it was a no from me…

The 706s on the other hand were a much warmer listen, but felt like the opposite very little brightness in the high end. Fun to listen to tho but neither felt like they had the right balance for me.

Lucky that the guy had a pair of Kef R3s on hand to listen to… 😂😎 Now for me they had the perfect balance. Warm, enjoyable musicality, punchy deep bass, lots of definition and life in the high end but strong in the minds as well. Found them to be really versatile as well, handling LCD Soundsystem, Symphony Fantastique, Lee Morgan, Roberta Flack, Public Service Broadcasting, Hilary Hahn, Radiohead beautifully… (even Slayer, my listening buddy’s choice…) Vocals sound amazing on Roberta Flack.

Here’s a pic of these cuties in situ… the room needs work but even here they sound fantastic. Thanks so much for everybody’s input and invoice… And thanks to Paul7777x for mentioning the Sevenoaks’ sale!
 

kevjf

Standard Member
Apparently the next step is a Naim amp, streamer and CD transport for the best part of £3k… Might be a few Christmases away yet…!
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
The R3 look fantastic in the wood veneer and glad you found that compromise.

As for next steps, make sure you listen to Naim Kit in your room with your speakers. Naim have a particular house sound that is not for everyone. For a one box amp/streamer at £3k many on here will shout Lyngdorf TDAI1120, there is also the Nad M10/33, you may also go outside the box a little and look at Nord Acoustics which have integrateds that they can add a streamer into and also the Primare Prisma amps (i25?) or prisma CD player and power amp. There are plenty of two or three box combinations that would work well too. Happy hunting.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Naim amp,
Have a good listen with the R3 and Naim. I didn't like Naim at all with my R300s, it was an XS2 several years ago. Just lost that dynamic bass that the KEFs are capable off, notes just seemed to blend, no ending or beginning. Newer amps may be better but in the bass department, or rather the control of it, but at that time a Rega Elicit-R was far better.

I was almost certain the XS2 was going to be the amp for me and an audition was just going to rubber stamp that decision. Thankfully I also lined up the Rega.
 

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