Audition: B&W 685 S2 / Amphion Argon 2 / Monitor Audio Silver 2 / Focal Aria 906

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by friendlyghost, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. friendlyghost

    friendlyghost
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    I've finally come around to getting a decent pair of loudspeakers.

    Since I live in an apartment, I limited my choice to standmounters instead of floorstanders even though the room is pretty big. I think I'll get by firing them across the room and that way there won't be too many angry neighbours.
    My budget is 1000 euros and I listen to a lot of music, mainly jazz and rock (but also some metal, classical, etc...)

    The first audition was of the Amphion, B&W and MA at the end of a Marantz 5003 (I own a PM6005). The volume during this first audition was pretty loud (95 - 98 dBA on a smartphone app).

    The Amphion was too bright for my taste and I think I would have been tired when listening to it for too long, amazing amount of sound from a speaker that tiny though. It also was slightly above my budget.

    The B&W's were very nice to listen to indeed, very amusing and good rhythm. I wanted to keep listening to more songs.

    The MA's were something else entirely and were my favorite of these three, their size and larger drivers gave a lot better bass definition and depth. They filled the listening room more easily and the highs were good as well.

    After this first listening, I asked if it was possible to hear the Focals, since I had heard that these tend to agree well with Marantz as well, he ordered a demo pair and we did another listening session last Saturday. The Marantz amp was sold, so I had to listen on a Naim 5si (60W/ch), which is a little more powerful then my Marantz but not too much. I tried listening at a more modest level (82 - 85 dBA), because I tend too listen at these levels more often and the speaker should perform well at this volume. I was glad I did:

    The B&W's had lost all of their liveliness and sounded flat. They seemed to be playing in the background and did not present the music to me. I liked to get pulled in, so I was a little dissapointed.

    The MA's were a lot better in this respect, they kept filling the room and their bass helped a lot in keeping things exciting.

    The Focals were even better I think! They might not go as low as the MA's, but every bassnote was more clear. There was a lot of detail to be heard when playing music through the Focals. They were still very exciting to listen too and pulled me into the music (just in a different way to the MA's).

    I think that for higher volumes and party music the MA's might be better, but the Focals will be getting a place in the apartment when I get back from vacation!
     
  2. Paul Selwood

    Paul Selwood
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    I have a pair of focal 905. These speaker are so clear, eg you can hear the words ok. I have arcam a19. I try b&w 685 with my arcam A19, at home, love them at first but too bright with my set up. Maybe it was my cambridge CD550, is bright too. Get focals, and get naim to go with it. That my next step. Go down to one box.
     

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