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Which £400 speaker to go for? - B&W, MA, KEF or DYA.

Fiearce

Established Member
Hello,

I'm looking for a new pair of speakers to match a similar in price AV receiver. Speaker list: Dynaudio DM 2/6 (Neutral), Monitor Audio Silver RX1 (Warm), B&W 685 (Energetic) and the KEF Q300 (Clinical).

What speakers do you recommend for £400?

Hope you don't mind the questions: Does the sound of the MA RX2 justify the price? Since the driver is larger, the bass response will be better than the others. However, will it produce a finer level of clarity? Does the smaller RX1 driver result in less sound quality than the others? Can the DM 2/6 compete with the others? It has the smallest driver.

Distinctions in technology – The B&W to KEF's contain flow ports while the MA includes a rear port and in tweeter terms, there's a new Nautilus tube (B&W) plus a Uni-Q, C-CAM (KEF) and a traditional Gold dome tweeter from MA. All of them are the same size. I see that with a rear port the speaker will have to be further away from the wall.

How do these technologies translate to sound?

Thanks for your replies in advance.
 
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BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Obviously your ears are the very best judge.

But, since this is for an AV system, you need to consider the Center speaker, not just the front pair. How does the matching Center compare with the Fronts and with each other?

As you've already noted, each speaker has its own unique characteristics, but how do those characteristics match your needs?

I would place the Dynaudio at the top of the list in terms of sound quality, but also at the top of the list for cost. The DM 2/6 is about £435/pr which is close enough to your budget, but the matching DM Center is £449, and how does that fit with your long term budget? In the end, you are going to have close to £900 in your front three speakers, are you OK with that.

I think any of the speakers are capable, so the remaining question becomes, which do YOU like? In the end, it is always you ears that make the decision.

Steve/bluewizard
 

Fiearce

Established Member
Obviously your ears are the very best judge.

But, since this is for an AV system, you need to consider the Center speaker, not just the front pair. How does the matching Center compare with the Fronts and with each other?

As you've already noted, each speaker has its own unique characteristics, but how do those characteristics match your needs?

I would place the Dynaudio at the top of the list in terms of sound quality, but also at the top of the list for cost. The DM 2/6 is about £435/pr which is close enough to your budget, but the matching DM Center is £449, and how does that fit with your long term budget? In the end, you are going to have close to £900 in your front three speakers, are you OK with that.

I think any of the speakers are capable, so the remaining question becomes, which do YOU like? In the end, it is always you ears that make the decision.

Steve/bluewizard

Edit: Thanks for the comprehensive reply.

For the moment, I'll stick to bookshelf speakers. However, as I'll add more later on thus the balance of a centre speaker is an aspect for the future.

If I may ask. What touch of finesse does the Dynaudio have over the others? I presume it delivers a finer sound reproduction to the others in the midrange, high frequency and cleaner as well as agile bass while revealing texture. The bass from my bookshelves lack so since such speaker has the smallest driver. Will it produce a fine level of bass?

In addition, could get an ex-demo B&W CM1 for the same money. Nevertheless, is a bit more accurate sound worth more than less bass? As the B&W CM1 drive size is 35mm smaller than the B&W685.

P.S Any other speaker you know of worth considering?
 
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Member 116841

Distinguished Member
Does the sound of the MA RX2 justify the price? Since the driver is larger, the bass response will be better than the others. However, will it produce a finer level of clarity? Does the smaller RX1 driver result in less sound quality than the others?
The bass response of the RX2 will be better than the others, but it'll depend on the drive and control of your amplifier as to whether you'll be able to make genuine use of this. If the amp isn't up to the job, you'll end up with more bass, but it'll be soft and slow, and overshadow finer details in the mid and treble.

Distinctions in technology – The B&W to KEF’s contain flow ports while the MA includes a rear port and in tweeter terms, there’s a new Nautilus tube (B&W) plus a Uni-Q, C-CAM (KEF) and a traditional Gold dome tweeter from MA. All of them are the same size. I see that with a rear port the speaker will have to be further away from the wall.
All manufacturers have their own versions of the same technology - they just call it something different. Its a case of having a demo, ignoring the technologies, and see which you prefer listening to.
 

Fiearce

Established Member
The bass response of the RX2 will be better than the others, but it'll depend on the drive and control of your amplifier as to whether you'll be able to make genuine use of this. If the amp isn't up to the job, you'll end up with more bass, but it'll be soft and slow, and overshadow finer details in the mid and treble.


All manufacturers have their own versions of the same technology - they just call it something different. Its a case of having a demo, ignoring the technologies, and see which you prefer listening to.

Thanks for the reply.

Have you listened to any of them?

With regards to smaller drivers. Can they replicate the same fully body sound experience as a bigger driver?
 

Member 116841

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the reply.

Have you listened to any of them?

Yes, as we have all of them on demo :)


With regards to smaller drivers. Can they replicate the same fully body sound experience as a bigger driver?

If the smaller speaker is being used in a smaller room and the larger speaker in a larger room, then yes. But in the same room, it would be rare that a smaller driver can match a larger driver without some sort of help (transmission line, isobarik etc). It's all about shifting air, and larger drivers have a larger cone area with which to do this. I would say that most of the models you are looking at have got decent bass output for their size, but the RX2 will have an advantage.
 

Fiearce

Established Member
Yes, as we have all of them on demo :)




If the smaller speaker is being used in a smaller room and the larger speaker in a larger room, then yes. But in the same room, it would be rare that a smaller driver can match a larger driver without some sort of help (transmission line, isobarik etc). It's all about shifting air, and larger drivers have a larger cone area with which to do this. I would say that most of the models you are looking at have got decent bass output for their size, but the RX2 will have an advantage.

Thanks

Will the increase in bass of the RX2 hamper it's clarity?

The room size is 18ft long by 14ft wide.
 

Fiearce

Established Member
Room diagram:

Room_digram.jpg


Image of room:

458323_135460686585927_1059618129_o.jpg


18ft long by 14ft wide.
 
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Member 116841

Distinguished Member
I think you will need to take into account your reflective room. I think the RX1 or the DM2/6 might be the safer bet...

Thanks

Will the increase in bass of the RX2 hamper it's clarity?

The room size is 18ft long by 14ft wide.

It can hamper clarity, but as I say, it'll partly depend on the amplifier's capabilities in controlling the speaker. The RX2's might need a little more room than you're giving your current speakers.
 

Fiearce

Established Member
I think you will need to take into account your reflective room. I think the RX1 or the DM2/6 might be the safer bet...



It can hamper clarity, but as I say, it'll partly depend on the amplifier's capabilities in controlling the speaker. The RX2's might need a little more room than you're giving your current speakers.

Thanks

I assume the B&W 685 to the Kef Q300 might need a little more room too.

For an AV receiver. How does the Onkyo TX-NR515 sound?
 

canfabulous

Established Member
Is that a pair of Kef Cresta 2s in your image on Atacama stands? I guess bookshelf speakers look the same so maybe not!

I'm not sure Dav1dF would think about this, but those speakers look pretty close to the back wall so maybe it would be worth looking at a front bass ported design? I find that port bungs are just too intrusive when fitted in rear ported speakers, but that's just my experience. It's going over your budget, but I reckon a pair of MA RX6s would look and sound good (and are both front and rear ported for bass).
 

Member 116841

Distinguished Member
I think the 685's would. The Q300's shouldn't be too bad as they're front ported, but again, like most speakers, the more room they get, the better they'll sound.

The 515 is a good receiver, but just get the best you can :)
 

Fiearce

Established Member
Is that a pair of Kef Cresta 2s in your image on Atacama stands? I guess bookshelf speakers look the same so maybe not!

I'm not sure Dav1dF would think about this, but those speakers look pretty close to the back wall so maybe it would be worth looking at a front bass ported design? I find that port bungs are just too intrusive when fitted in rear ported speakers, but that's just my experience. It's going over your budget, but I reckon a pair of MA RX6s would look and sound good (and are both front and rear ported for bass).

Thanks for the reply.

Nope, the speakers are Monitor Audio BX2's. Thanks for the suggestion, but it's far over budget.

In that case. Do you know of any front-port Bookshelves around the same price? Just had a look at the B&W CM1's and there rear ported as well.
 
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Fiearce

Established Member
I think the 685's would. The Q300's shouldn't be too bad as they're front ported, but again, like most speakers, the more room they get, the better they'll sound.

The 515 is a good receiver, but just get the best you can :)

Thanks for the info again. Will do.

Sorry to ask a side track question. But, are the 2011 Onkyo's like the Onkyo TX-NR609 worth it? They're discontinued.
 
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canfabulous

Established Member
You know, I actually have this same dilemma at the moment as I'm looking for speakers to go with a Sonos Connect:AMP in a 2nd room that dictates close wall proximity. I was looking at Kef Q300, Arcam Muso, MA BX2s - in that order of current preference. :)
 

Fiearce

Established Member
You know, I actually have this same dilemma at the moment as I'm looking for speakers to go with a Sonos Connect:AMP in a 2nd room that dictates close wall proximity. I was looking at Kef Q300, Arcam Muso, MA BX2s - in that order of current preference. :)

Thanks

Having had the BX2's I can say the sound is articulate, the fine details pose out with sharp timing and move around the room fluidly. It's insightful too as the bass has texture while being clean. The upper frequencies have a touch of calm finesse, while individual instruments separate easily. However, thumping bass isn't present in the BX2's nor is eloquence and their style sound isn't the most engaging too.

P.S The best strength of the BX2's is detail.
 
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canfabulous

Established Member
Thanks for that... at this point, I think the KEF Q300s are going to win. I was going to take a look at the second hand/ex demo market though to see what other options there might be.
 

Fiearce

Established Member
Thanks for that... at this point, I think the KEF Q300s are going to win. I was going to take a look at the second hand/ex demo market though to see what other options there might be.

You're welcome. Please let me know if you find anything good.
 

Fiearce

Established Member
Just found out that all the local HiFi dealers here stock all of the speakers except for the Dynaudio DM 2/6, unfortunately. In fact, none of their branches had the Dyanaudio DM 2/6 in stock. Can any Dynaudio DM 2/6 owners post their opinion?

I'd really appreciate it as such speaker isn't available to demo here.
 
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Nawty

Established Member
My advice, which would save you a truck load of money would be to get some Dynaudio Audience 42's and the matching center, the Audience are actually better than the DM range.

The Audience range is still absolutely fantastic and I couldn't find anything sub £1k to make it worthwhile changing my 52's recently. The reason I say 42s is that your room is quite small and also you need the hefty 122C speaker to math them rather than the much cheaper 42C (which as I know, doesn't integrate that well with the 52s).

edit: the other thing is that your room looks pretty nasty for hifi as it is all hard floors and surfaces, if you really care about the sound quality I would put down a rug and get some pot plants to reduce reflections. You really need to consider this as I would imagine even warm speakers would sound quite 'topish' in that environment.
 
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Fiearce

Established Member
My advice, which would save you a truck load of money would be to get some Dynaudio Audience 42's and the matching center, the Audience are actually better than the DM range.

The Audience range is still absolutely fantastic and I couldn't find anything sub £1k to make it worthwhile changing my 52's recently. The reason I say 42s is that your room is quite small and also you need the hefty 122C speaker to math them rather than the much cheaper 42C (which as I know, doesn't integrate that well with the 52s).

edit: the other thing is that your room looks pretty nasty for hifi as it is all hard floors and surfaces, if you really care about the sound quality I would put down a rug and get some pot plants to reduce reflections. You really need to consider this as I would imagine even warm speakers would sound quite 'topish' in that environment.

Thanks for the advice.

However, I'd like to stick to the new speakers of a brand rather than the old discontinued models. I plan to buy a rug soon to even out the sound reflections. While the Monitor Audio's actually sound warm given the room acoustics the speakers aren't harsh.
 
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Nawty

Established Member
Each to their own, in which case I'd probably go for a set of Acoustic Energy Radiance 1's which AE are selling off new (but b-stock) on the bay of e for less than £300 which is ridiculous - I've heard the Radiance 2's and they are really rather nice.
 

Fiearce

Established Member
Each to their own, in which case I'd probably go for a set of Acoustic Energy Radiance 1's which AE are selling off new (but b-stock) on the bay of e for less than £300 which is ridiculous - I've heard the Radiance 2's and they are really rather nice.

Thank for the recommendation. I'll look into the Acoustic Energy Radiance 1.

If you don't mind. What did such speaker sound like? What was its main strength and weakness?

Thanks
 

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