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.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!
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!