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Amps for the KEF R500 ?

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gowiththeflow's picture
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I'll shortly be auditioning various amp and speaker combinations and will be starting off with the KEF R500 floorstaners.

I will also have to decide if I'm going down an "all-in-one" route with something like the Uniti 2, or similar, rather than an integrated amp and seperate streamer and or DAC.

Before I try them out, are there any opinions on the folowing matched with the KEF's......

Arcam A19

Arcam A28

Audiolab 8200

Naim XS 2

Rega Elicit-R

Naim Uniti 2

Naim Unitilite (is this up to the job?)

 

TIA

 

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RE: Amps for the KEF R500 ?

For me, the standout amp from your list would be the Elicit R.

If you get the chance, you should try Electrcompaniet (ECI-3)......and for an all in one, I really liked the R500s with the Linn Majik DSM, which I wrote about here: http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/linn-kef-regaand-a-friend

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RE: Amps for the KEF R500 ?

CnoEvil wrote:

For me, the standout amp from your list would be the Elicit R.

If you get the chance, you should try Electrcompaniet (ECI-3)......and for an all in one, I really liked the R500s with the Linn Majik DSM, which I wrote about here: http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/linn-kef-regaand-a-friend

In the same ballpark as the Rega and a helleva lot cheaper is this.

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inbox4's picture
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I own a pair of R500s and

I own a pair of R500s and love them to bits.

Before I bought them I auditioned a number of speakers and was struggling to find anything I thought I could live with or that justified an equivalent or often greater price tag.

As soon as I heard the R500s I knew the search was over. They were everything I wanted and sounded even better once I got them home.

I matched mine with a Leema Elements Amp and find they go to go exceptionally well.

I would also like to hear the R500s with the Elicit R as I've read a lot good things about the combination but I'm incredibly happy with what I chose and can't think what the Rega could do to bring an improvement.

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RE: Amps for the KEF R500 ?

Exposure 3010s is a very well made and exception sounding amp, try demoing some.

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The most popular choice at

The most popular choice at the moment is the a Elicit-R.

I'd also look at the Primare I22 and Rotel RA1570.

A UnitiLite will drive them, just not to their capabilities.

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gowiththeflow's picture
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Thanks David. How about the

Thanks David.
How about the Uniti 2 (in terms of the amp section)?

Thanks for the other replies folks.
Any views on the AudioLab 8200, or adding a 8200P for bi-amping?

inbox4's picture
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RE: The most popular choice at

David@FrankHarvey wrote:
The most popular choice at the moment is the a Elicit-R. I'd also look at the Primare I22 and Rotel RA1570. A UnitiLite will drive them, just not to their capabilities.

 

Hi David,

 

How would you describe the difference in sound between the R500s being driven by the Elicit R and the Leema Elements amp?

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RE: Amps for the KEF R500 ?

Whe I was on the look out for KEF LS50 I ahve heard (true or false) that KEFs main testing amplifier was electrocompaniet ( ithink I have read it in an interview of one of KEF's guys).  So I guess it says something....

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RE: Thanks David.How about the

gowiththeflow wrote:
Thanks David. How about the Uniti 2 (in terms of the amp section)?

The Uniti 2 works great with them Smile

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RE: The most popular choice at

inbox4 wrote:
Hi David,

How would you describe the difference in sound between the R500s being driven by the Elicit R and the Leema Elements amp?

I've not done a side by side comparison, but there's just something about the Elicit-R/R500 combo that really works well. I would need to try them side by side to really comment properly.

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With Eilicit - R money, you

With Eilicit - R money, you should definitely check out an Arcam A38 as it pairs beautifully with Kef speakers and is in a different league to the 19 and 28...The R500s are very much on my wish list now and I have no intention of changing my amplifier...

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gowiththeflow's picture
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As I'm also looking at the

As I'm also looking at the all-in-one option, another possible combination that has just come onto my radar is the Uniti 2 and Focal Aria 926.
There is currently a Naim special deal which bundles these speakers with the Uniti 2. saving up to £800 (on the gloss black finish).

I appreciate that the Aria's are fairly new, but does anyone know how they compare with the KEF R500's?

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RE: As I'm also looking at the

gowiththeflow wrote:
As I'm also looking at the all-in-one option, another possible combination that has just come onto my radar is the Uniti 2 and Focal Aria 926. There is currently a Naim special deal which bundles these speakers with the Uniti 2. saving up to £800 (on the gloss black finish). I appreciate that the Aria's are fairly new, but does anyone know how they compare with the KEF R500's?

I have a view that is fairly strong and would worry it might stop you listening for yourself, but since you asked -

I don't like Naim and I don't like Focal, and when put together IMO they sound even worse......here is my experience when I went to a Focal / Naim promo weekend: http://www.whathifi.com/forum/shows/belfast-show

I much prefer Kef R Series, which are much more adaptable, in that they sound good with any amp they are matched with. IMO. Focal need to be matched with Valves, Class A or brands like Electrocompaniet or Audio Analogue.

I strongly suggest you try a Linn DS with the R series, before making your decision.

 

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RE: As I'm also looking at the

CnoEvil wrote:

I have a view that is fairly strong and would worry it might stop you listening for yourself, but since you asked -

I don't like Naim and I don't like Focal, and when put together IMO they sound even worse......

 

Thank you. I followed the link and read your review.

Have you read Andrew Everard's review of these Aria's?

http://andreweverard.com/2013/08/31/review-focal-aria-926-loudspeakers/

Naim is definately a Marmite job. Of course I will have to give them a listen, along with the KEF's and other amps, to find out for myself.

 

I heard a Linn DS about a year ago (Akurate I think?) playing through some expensive Shahinian's (I'm not sure- they may have been Arc's?).

I thought the result was rather bland and disappointing. I don't know if that was the fault of the Linn, the Shahinian's or the combination?

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RE: As I'm also looking at the

gowiththeflow wrote:

Thank you. I followed the link and read your review.

Have you read Andrew Everard's review of these Aria's?

http://andreweverard.com/2013/08/31/review-focal-aria-926-loudspeakers/

Naim is definately a Marmite job. Of course I will have to give them a listen, along with the KEF's and other amps, to find out for myself.

 

I heard a Linn DS about a year ago (Akurate I think?) playing through some expensive Shahinian's (I'm not sure- they may have been Arc's?).

I thought the result was rather bland and disappointing. I don't know if that was the fault of the Linn, the Shahinian's or the combination?

Yes, I read AE's review......but in all these things, I always make up my own mind, since I know exactly what I like and generally understand how to achieve it. I found the sound from the Arias in combination with Naim XS stuff sounded pretty awful, and I wasn't the only one......I was sitting beside a Naim owner who wasn't enjoying it much either (he used Quad Electrostatics).

FWIW. I owned a Naim 42/110/Snaps along with a LP12 back in the 80s and loved the synergy between the two......so i have nothing against Naim per se.

Up to quite recently, I had never enjoyed Linn amps, but I have now found that  they do seem to have great synergy with the Kef R Series.

IMO The DS makes a great source fronting up a system you already know and like...I can't comment on the Shahinians, as I've never had the opportunity to hear them, but I do know them by reputation.

As in all these things, please check out what I'm saying, as you may not agree.

Good luck with it, and keep us in the loop.

Cno

 

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