Speaker thrills and comparisons


lisa burrell

Speaker comparison


Musical Fidelity x-80 amplifier
Cambridge azur 640 CD player
Atlas connector
QED Micron Speaker cable

1 pair of kef cresta 3 Floor standing speakers 5 x10 inches apart towed in


1 pair of stand mounted B&W 302's

Room 14x12

Talking point

Using the CD countdown To Ecstasy Steely Dan Track Razor boy we set out to test two pairs of speakers against each other.

We particularly were interested in the sound as Ray brown double bass coming in after the intro , and the chorus, where the vibrophone in the left hand speaker joined in for percussion on the right in the chorus.

The Keff crestas were so discrete where the bass joined in right at the back of the sound stage just like the double bass player was at the back of the actual stage. When the chorus Starts. The vibes on the left was very ordinary was there was clear. Was nothing to write about. the shakers on the right were very ordinary

The small B& Ws Stand mounted Same position. When the double bass joined it was there in the room right up front with the vocal, foot tapping. When the Chorus happened the vibes are very vibrant percussion was very biting clear toe tapping in the right hand speakers. and revealed more percussion. We had not heard or may not have taken any notice of before.

Why such a big differences? In the write ups You read The cresta such a revealing speaker you will be re listening to some of your old Cds for sounds you had not heard before.

If the Kef's were the only speakers you had ever heard. They would be fine. They look gorgeous there nicely Finished come with spikes. Look good in any room. The boxes hide the wires too

B&WS Little Black boxes that fit on ugly speaker stands. See all the speaker wire trails. They sound amazing. Made somewhere back in the 19 hundreds anyone old enough hear to remember them.

When you play modern recordings for example Madonna American Life CD, Love it or hate it, These speakers make you sit and listen. Tap your feet. By the second track and the snare cymbal starts you want to get up make a fool of yourself dancing.

So what is happening? If you asked Dad mum and me which we prefer to look at. it's the Kefs. So is it the room? Is it the wires? or do these crappy little boxes just suit the amp and the environment and other equipment and just sound brilliant together or what. We love the sound of them. We sure there not the end of the end all of all speakers do not get us wrong. But why such a difference we ask.

Biq question the kefs are 90 DB the B&W's 91 DB Is there anyway in the world without cutting the Kefs In Half That was a weak attempt at humour by the way. That One could get them to sound anything like the B&W speakers.

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Active Member
No surprise, really.

Never rated the KEF's. Not sure where you read good things about them? I wouldn't want them at £70, or whatever it is Richers are hoofing them out the door at.

The B & W's on the other hand, were always something I'd aspired to own (or at least something that sounded that good)


Active Member

Hmmm. Interesting that you've not been impressed either. Just goes to show how important auditioning is.

Like you said in your original post, they seem fine, until you compare them with something else.

I guess at £70 odd they're o.k, but for just a little more you can get much better.

Just out of interest, what was the original RRP on the B & W's? Were they in the £250 price bracket?

lisa burrell

Just out of interest, what was the original RRP on the B & W's? Were they in the £250 price bracket?[/QUOTE]

Dad bought them back in nineteen hundreds lol (his face is picture) in movement audio said the cost then £150

What HI-Fi award and European speaker of the year Too.

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Active Member
I think you are asking a lot from a £70 pair of large speakers. Floorstanders 5 or 10 times this would be pushed to sound better than the B&W's.

Interestingly you talk about differences that are all related to the higher frequencies where the stand mounts will excel. Even instruments we regard as bassy have considerable mid and higher frequencies in their output and it is these sounds that position the instrument in the room and need to be clear and sharply focussed.

I suspect the Kef's produce deeper bass simply because of their size, but to get a speaker to add deeper bass without ruining the other 90% of the sound is tricky, and impossible at this price point.

Unfortunately stand mounts are not the cheaper option, particularly when you add the stand of course, but unless you have deep pockets many regard them as superior to an inexpensive large speaker. Exactly the same with multi channel audio too.

Ironically cutting the Kef's in half may improve things :)

lisa burrell

Sound like bit of a bargain by all accounts then.

Put me right if we are wrong. We were just saying
That £150 in today's money has got to be now worth £200 so There in effect a £200 odd speaker we guess. But the down side is 150 pounds against the Kef the B&W work out 75 pound each nearly the total price as you quite rightly point out of the Kefs. I bet there are people that can give us another couple of hundred comparisons the same, of other different speakers.

There's even a more depressing side . Was also saying If you compare these black little boxes to another set of speakers costing the equivalent in money the other way round with another pair of more expensive speakers. Its depressing us that these may be make the B&W's sound as uninteresting as the kef's. So where it stops only AV forum knows. :)

lisa burrell

We moved the Kef cresta 3 into a big room were using while another being revamped. In a big room they sound very nice. speshly for £79 Loads of very meaty bass thats in control too.
Very surprised how good they sound.

Man who worked for richer sounds told dad. the wharfedale speakers and missions are all made by Tannoy now is this correct? Or is it owned by tannoy

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