Advice on new speakers for my set-up?

robdmarsh

Active 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!
Ha,ha! Ok, I stand corrected, maybe the 706 don't sound so bright. To be honest, my impressions of B&W are really formed by the 606, every version of which I thought were overly shouty in the treble. I think the higher up you go in the range they tone down the "look at me" sonic character.

I am surprised by your impressions of the Focal 906. I heard these briefly and thought they had a pretty even frequency response. I heard the Chora 806 at greater length and really liked them and nearly bought them but they are a bit big and ungainly. Also, too big for my then amp, the little Marantz mcr603. But my little taste of the Focals led me to another French brand, Triangle, and I took a punt on an open box return of Titus EZ, a small but beautiful stand mounter. When I got these up on the stand I knew I had found my speaker. They strike a wonderful balance between detail and richness, punch and subtlety. They are, for me, just.... wow, and the most surprising thing is that they look they would be crazy bright - they have a chrome surround horn loaded tweeter. But they just give you detail, shimmer, silky vocals, but no harshness. It's great when you find "the one" isn't it? It makes you want to go and shout from the rooftops how good they sound.

Those R3 do look very nice in your room btw. Looks like you could do with a few more soft furnishings to absorb reverberation. Happy listening!:lesson:
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member

Excellent. That’s much better positioning, and the R3s look damn good indeed.

The Kefs are already something of a modern legend.

I’m inclined to believe it’s because a well sorted three way design really benefits the clarity of the midrange by having most of it covered by a single driver, and, by dropping the frequency at which the bass driver needs to work to, gives the driver a much easier time of it.

If you are going to be looking for an amp in the future then the Lyngdirf 1120 is the first I’d check out.

A very well specified streamer, a top class amp with bags of current reserve and RoomPerfect, which I can’t recommend enough.

The smaller and more obtuse the room, the better it works.

Hope you’re happy sir. The speakers sound like a genuine bargain 👍
 
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TheHighFlyingBirds

Distinguished 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!
Your demo matched mine, listened to the 706s2 and the R3's (no focals available at the time). The 706's had good bass, but found them lacking detail in mids / highs. The R3's were more balanced, with tight controlled bass, and seemed to wrap you in a bubble of music. Only driving mine with a yamaha AS501 at the moment (receiver is priority upgrade first), but it handles them well and doesn't seem to struggle with anything I've thrown at it at volumes I listen at.
 

gava

Well-known Member
JBL, since you can get them where they sell refrigerators I don’t know if I can take them seriously.

Then again Yamaha you can get everywhere.
You do know that JBL make some speakers that cost £75,000?

Just how high end do they have to get before you take them seriously?
 

kevjf

Standard Member
You do know that JBL make some speakers that cost £75,000?

Just how high end do they have to get before you take them seriously?
The chap in Sevenoaks was telling me about a system with a £250k amp and a £250k pair of speakers… No I don’t want to be judgmental, okay no I will be, when there are people out there with £500k to spend on hifi it makes me wonder whether we’ve got our priorities right as a society… 🤔
 

kevjf

Standard Member
Ps, the Xmas tree should stay all year. Really makes the room👍
😂
Ha,ha! Ok, I stand corrected, maybe the 706 don't sound so bright. To be honest, my impressions of B&W are really formed by the 606, every version of which I thought were overly shouty in the treble. I think the higher up you go in the range they tone down the "look at me" sonic character.

I am surprised by your impressions of the Focal 906. I heard these briefly and thought they had a pretty even frequency response. I heard the Chora 806 at greater length and really liked them and nearly bought them but they are a bit big and ungainly. Also, too big for my then amp, the little Marantz mcr603. But my little taste of the Focals led me to another French brand, Triangle, and I took a punt on an open box return of Titus EZ, a small but beautiful stand mounter. When I got these up on the stand I knew I had found my speaker. They strike a wonderful balance between detail and richness, punch and subtlety. They are, for me, just.... wow, and the most surprising thing is that they look they would be crazy bright - they have a chrome surround horn loaded tweeter. But they just give you detail, shimmer, silky vocals, but no harshness. It's great when you find "the one" isn't it? It makes you want to go and shout from the rooftops how good they sound.

Those R3 do look very nice in your room btw. Looks like you could do with a few more soft furnishings to absorb reverberation. Happy listening!:lesson:
Yeah… it’s early days with furniture! 😉 Need to get the speakers kn the right place first! 😎👌🏻 And my CXA-60 really brings those speakers to life… It will certainly keep me going for a few years. 👍🏻
 

kevjf

Standard Member
I was surprised at how badly some pretty new UK vinyl pressings sounded. I kind of knew this already having had to start buying both cd and vinyl versions to see how bad the LP sounds before deciding which version to keep, but the Kefs really highlighted the compression of the sound. Pretty shocking really given the cost of vinyl, but maybe that’s a discussion for elsewhere…
 

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