Selling MA RS6 (another MA too bright thread), need help choosing a replacement.


Standard Member
I Purchased the RS6’s in December and though I was initially very impressed compared to what I had before, I am now finding them difficult to live with - just a bit too forward / bright sounding on the upper mid when played at anything other than low volume. Don’t get me wrong, these are great speakers, incredible detail and soundstage, just not for me. (or maybe my kit).

I know this has been debated on other threads and I have given them plenty of running-in, played with position, cables etc but have now decided to try something else.


I listen to fairly wide range of stuff including Folk, Rock, Psych and indie. No classical though. Quite a lot of acoustic stuff especially with female vocalists.

Cambridge Audio 840a amp, CA 840c CDP, Linn TT

Room: 4.5m x 4.5m, suspended wood floor with big rug, soft furnishings, loads of clutter.

Willing to spend more - up to £1800 to get the right speakers.

I’m not looking for the something that is completely laid back to the point of boring, just something I can listen to in comfort for extended periods and happily live with for many years. Soundstage and imaging is very important, especially focus of the main vocals

So far demoed:

Spendor S5e – Nice, not blown away by them though.

Proac Studio 130 – I think bass was better than the spenders but imaging didn’t seem quite as focused.

B&W 683 – lots of impact but felt I might end up feeling they were a bit un natural after a while. Lot of speaker for the money though.

I’m planning to go back and demo spendor S8e and Proac D15 (I don’t thing they had any Studio 140’s). Also considering PMC FB1’s though can’t find anywhere to get a demo at the moment. These three are a big jump up in price though so would have to be very impressive.

Any opinions on theses choices, especially comparisons between them would be very much appreciated as I am finding it all very difficult – they seem to sound so different in the demo room to at home. Sorry this post is so rambling and naive, it’s been 16 years since I last put together a system.

Many thanks


Established Member
These are good and worth an audition:

KEF XQ30 £1500
Dali Ikon 7 £1000
QUAD 22L2 £900
Focal-Jmlab Chorus 826V £1250

phil t

Prominent Member
Sonus Faber speakers are worth an audition. They are very musical but might be too laid back (not enough slam) for some tastes.



Distinguished Member
I can't help thinking that the rest of your system is somewhat at odds with a pair of £1800 speakers... but by the by, i'll add in my usual nod to Dynaudio, i'm very much into the female vocals and acoustic music and my Focus 110's are stunning.... the 140's are slightly larger but sacrifice a touch of mid clarity for more bass depth, the 220 floorstanders are stunning, and whilst at the top end of your budget certainly worth a listen.

I'd echo the above regarding a home demo at that price point though!!!!


Distinguished Member
I can't disagree with the Pro Ac, Spendor or PMC suggestions and the suggestion that £1800 is A BIT OTT given the rest of the gear.

I would second the vote for the Dynaudio Focus range. The Dynaudio Esotar tweeter is one of the most refined devices you'll ever hear at any cost and if you can make that sound forward, you ought to start pointing the finger elsewhere in the system.

If you can find an ATC dealer, with the power you have on tap you could make a pair really sing and they're surprisingly room independent too. Have a look at the SCM40 which possesses a truly great driver in the 75mm dome midrange unit - 7.5kg magnet for a midrange!!! Being a true three way, the most sensitive part of the vocal pass band is covered by one driver which does no harm what-so-ever.

I'd also point to the PMC OB1 (rather than FB1) for the same reason - having a dedicated midrange unit.

All three brands share a common ancestral studio heritage that requires a neutral tonal balance and an ability to leave a listener unfatigued by consistently high monitoring levels. Forwardness is not an option. However, it does mean they tend to dissect poor mainstream recordings, but you don't know what you're missing until you've heard them with a really well mixed one.



Standard Member
Many thanks for your comments and suggestions, given me lots to think about.

I agree the budget may be extending a bit high for current kit - a few weeks ago the idea of spending that much on a pair of speakers would have seemed ridiculous. Perhaps I need to get a grip. :D
I may in the future upgrade the amp and cdp though and feel I should start building my ‘ultimate' system with speakers that wont need upgrading again for a long time. I don't know if this the best approach but the sound seems to vary so much between speakers, even in a given price point.

Does anyone know if my current amp (CA 840a) would struggle to drive the more expensive speakers suggested above – i.e. could the final sound actually end up being worse than from well matched speakers closer in price to the amp and source?

I hadn't considered Dynaudio or ATC – I think I will try and get a listen to these, the SCM40 looks like a particularly interesting prospect. As for the PMC OB1, I think that will be pushing the budget way too far – especially if the other half ever found out how much they cost. :eek:

I think I read somewhere that Spendor are releasing an updated range in feb. Does anyone have any details or know if this is the case?

One last question if I may. The Proac speakers are floor ported – could this cause bass problems when placing them on a suspended wooden floor (floorboards on rafters with cellar underneath, no carpet).


Established Member
I listen to fairly wide range of stuff including Folk, Rock, Psych and indie. No classical though. Quite a lot of acoustic stuff especially with female vocalists.

Much the same mix as myself - I'm using Spendor S6e's with mainly Sugden kit (A21a and Masterclass CDP). Preferred them to the 5's as they had more space to them and wonderfully fatigue free. I liked some of the Proac range, but not quite as much as the Spendors. I've previously owned PMC's (TB2+) but they didn't seem as 'musical' as some others. I've heard some of the floorstanders and whilst they were undoubtedly good speakers, they just didn't do it for me, or my musical tastes.


Standard Member
thanks, Im a bit unsure about PMC myself right now as an updated 'i' range is coming out soon so its probably best to see what these sound like or at least get a healthy discount on the outgoing ones. I'm going to audition the Spendor s8e next Thursday as one of my local dealers has a 20% discount on them at the moment. Still a pit pricey though!


Standard Member
I took the Spendors on home demo for a few weeks. These completely solved the brightness / 'shouty' problem I had with the RS6s, but to be honest I found them a bit too far in the opposite direction - Great midrange and extremely well behaved bass but for me just a bit too laid back, lacking a bit of sparkle and life.

My dealer had a pair of 'B' grade B&W 803s (slight damage to one of the cabinets) for £1000 off and suggested I tried them. Had these and the spendors wired up to my amp to comapre with A/B switch. The B&Ws are much fuller and richer sounding - very detailed but without the harshness of the MA's. In comparison, the Spendors sounded much more 'Boxy' and closed in compared to the B&W's. Better controlled though less extended bass on the Spendors.

Good as the Spendors are, the B&W's just sound so much better. I guess this is not totally unexpected given the price difference. Not really knocking the Spendors as they have a lot going for them.

Anyway due to limited choices available for me to home demo and because I'm fed up with lugging speakers backwards and forwards, I have decided to go with the B&W's. Would liked to have tried the new PMC's though but not possible from my dealer.

Its made a complete mockery of my budget and I'm running them with vastly cheaper electronics but the sound is great and I feel I can start listening to music again rather than the equipment (well that's what I'm telling myself anyway). At some point I will look to get a better matched amp - any suggestions much appreciated.


Distinguished Member
803's are great speakers... if they came in within your budget you did well.

Of course, as i said in my original post, the rest of the system may be a little at odds, i probably shouldn't suggest this, but try some top notch electronics with those speakers, you'll be blown away!


Standard Member
Yeh, I’m looking forward to hearing them with better electronics - may look to upgrade the amp first - any suggestions on a suitable partner? The 803s are not insensitive but I understand they drop to 3 ohms for much of the range.


Established Member
803`s are transparent and like al b&W speakers are more than just a box with a cross over, tweeter and midbass cone :)

very well designed but most importantly incredible well voiced which can only be acheived by tuning from ear and i trust bowers and wilkins in this respect more than any other speaker


Distinguished Member
I have the MA GS20s and they too are a little bright. Great sound stage and detail, but bright. Ok for me most of the time as I listen to bass heavy, vocal light dance music.

I auditioned the Dynaudio Focus stand mount speakers (?110) at the time and loved them. I often wish I bought them as they are a far more relaxed, rich sound which would have been fab for when I do listen to 'normal' music.
Give them a try?


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