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L00k_C's picture
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Monitor Audio RX8 - B&W CM9 - KEF R700 - FOCAL836v - TANNOY DC6T SE

I am in the process of buying a pair of speakers from the above speaker list...

I would appreciate everyone's opinion..Do some of them stand above others??? Are they all considered mid-range speakers (price & quality wise)??

Room 3mWx4mLx3mH

Mainly rock, pop, modern, acoustic sounds and some classical ones.. I like a bit of extra bass

 

 

Thanks

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RE:

The Tannoys and the KEF's benefit from being a coincident design - it doesn't matter how close you sit near them, the majority of the frequency range will come from a single point, reducing phasing and lobing issues. The closer you sit to a conventional speaker, the more important the listening height becomes, but even then, moving slightly can change the sound you hear.

The Tannoys are probably slightly leaner in comparison to the B&W's and the KEF's, so placement should be a little easier. But, if you like bass, then the B&W's, KEF's, and MA's should please you. As long as you have a good enough amp to keep the bass in check, of course, otherwise things might sound a little confused and ill defined.

I can't really give much of an opinion on the Focals as I have not heard enough of them to form a reliable opinion, and I don't know the model numbers of what I have heard. The main thing that struck me at the time was an "energetic" treble.

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

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RE: Which speakers

I would say this to you

- Don't worry what we think, as we all have different favorites

- If you don't like the way a speaker sounds - cost doesn't come into it

- The only thing that matters, is matching the amp to the speakers to give a sound that gives you the most enjoyment.

- You have a good list, so see which works best with your amp, in your room.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Which speakers

I read a lot about 'boxiness' , 'overblown bass',  'forward', 'timing'  etc,....that I would like to 'minimize'.

 

Apart from TANNOYS that I haven't heard all other actually make me 'smile' more or less, but I am not sure that I can SPOT ALL or MOST of defaults as an experience ear as you are can.... also all audition are in stores (unable to audition at home Sad )

 

When you say 'capable' amp you mean a powerful one (in watts) or an expensive one or both?

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RE: Monitor Audio RX8 - B&W CM9 - KEF T SE

Can't compare the choice you have suggested but I'm a very happy owner of RX8.

They excel with dance music and hip hop which is mostly what I listen too. They are generally good with other genres but I do find with the occasional rock track can get a little shrill at times. I listen to a bit of queen myself and on the whole it's very good, it's just the odd track.

I must admit adding the arcam A38 made them sound much better in the bass than with a cheaper less powerful amp which I think is what David was getting at. My old amp was 50 per channel and this one is 110 but I think it also depends on other factors such as current but I'm not really sure.

Hope this helps. Enjoy your search!

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RE: Which speakers

Not necessarily expensive, just capable.

Many better quality speakers are less of an easy load for a receiver to deal with. Most receivers are fine with 6 or 8 ohm speakers, but speakers that are rated at 4ohms, or drop to 4ohms somewhere along their frequency range (usually bass), can ask too much of the receiver and they can become unstable at higher volumes because it can't give what the speaker is asking of it. If the speaker is also of a low sensitivity, this can only make things worse.

Receivers that are able to deal with these types of speakers tend to have better and more stable amplification, which does tend to come at a price. I find that the more stable receivers are around the £1k price point, which is where they start to deal with more demanding speakers, particularly 4ohm rated ones. They better able to produce transients in soundtracks, and have greater control over the speaker, allowing to 'start and stop' quicker. A receiver has to do this for five or even seven channels, and when you're adding in inefficient speakers or awkward loads, this can become too demanding for a budget receiver to cope with.

"Boxiness" is a speaker issue. If the speaker isn't well braced internally, or if the cabinet produces unwanted colorations, it is classed as boxy. This type of cabinet tends to 'give away' a speaker's position, spoiling the illusion of the three dimensional image that the drivers are trying to create. This can affect the speaker's ability to appear "transparent".

"Overblown bass" can be due to a couple of things. It can be inherent in a speaker's design to produce a lot of bass, and if the measurements show a big hump in the bass area, that's overblown. Obviously, a flat response is desired. This could also be a room issue, which can usually be minimised with the room EQ control on the AV receiver. It can also come about when an amplifier hasn't got enough control over the speaker's bass. There is a measurement for this which is called damping factor, but manufacturers only quote damping factor at a single frequency, which is pretty useless as it is a variable factor that changes with frequency. A high quoted damping factor may sound good on paper, but it doesn't tell you if the amplifier can keep low bass under control.

"Forward" is often mistook for 'bright', and bright is often mistook for 'harsh'. These three are all very different. There are plenty of amplifiers out there that sound a little soft and warm, which tends to smother detail across the entire frequency range. This can give a smooth or laid back impression. A more neutral amplifier can sound more 'forward' because there is less bass smothering and softening things, so it sounds like the while image is pushed further forward in comparison. You tend to find this with Class D amplifiers and lean sounding amplification like the Cyrus integrated amplifiers from years ago. These sort of amps do need more care when partnering with speakers so as not to come across as bright. 'Bright' is a lively treble, some may say 'extended'. This can be good for low level listening, and examples of this are the PMC DB1i speakers. It is a character that some like, some don't. And harsh is just plain unlistenable, bordering on headache inducing over a period of time. This tends to appear in the lower treble region, far below the frequencies that make something sound bright. Harsh is a very overused term as many people assume it means the same as bright.

A speaker can give the impression of better "timing" if it doesn't possess an overblown bass or a particularly extended bass. They can give the impression of sounding 'faster' than a bassy speaker. Put very simply. Very responsive speakers with extremely light drivers can also give this impression, as it can react quicker than a speaker with larger, heavier drive units. 

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

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RE: Monitor Audio RX8 - B&W CM9 - KEF T SE

Ben K. wrote:

They excel with dance music and hip hop which is mostly what I listen too. They are generally good with other genres but I do find with the occasional rock track can get a little shrill at times. I listen to a bit of queen myself and on the whole it's very good, it's just the odd track.

 

I would mostly listening to rock and this is a bit worrying..

Furthermore from reviews I found they say and I quote 'Overblown bass hampers timing and rhythm'. Did you find that as well?

Arcam I believe is the way to go with these speakers....

Have you expanded it to HT as well?

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RE: Which speakers

FrankHarveyHiFi wrote:

Not necessarily expensive, just capable.

Many better quality speakers are less of an easy load for a receiver to deal with. Most receivers are fine with 6 or 8 ohm speakers, but speakers that are rated at 4ohms, or drop to 4ohms somewhere along their frequency range (usually bass), can ask too much of the receiver and they can become unstable at higher volumes because it can't give what the speaker is asking of it. If the speaker is also of a low sensitivity, this can only make things worse.

Receivers that are able to deal with these types of speakers tend to have better and more stable amplification, which does tend to come at a price. I find that the more stable receivers are around the £1k price point, which is where they start to deal with more demanding speakers, particularly 4ohm rated ones. They better able to produce transients in soundtracks, and have greater control over the speaker, allowing to 'start and stop' quicker. A receiver has to do this for five or even seven channels, and when you're adding in inefficient speakers or awkward loads, this can become too demanding for a budget receiver to cope with.

"Boxiness" is a speaker issue. If the speaker isn't well braced internally, or if the cabinet produces unwanted colorations, it is classed as boxy. This type of cabinet tends to 'give away' a speaker's position, spoiling the illusion of the three dimensional image that the drivers are trying to create. This can affect the speaker's ability to appear "transparent".

"Overblown bass" can be due to a couple of things. It can be inherent in a speaker's design to produce a lot of bass, and if the measurements show a big hump in the bass area, that's overblown. Obviously, a flat response is desired. This could also be a room issue, which can usually be minimised with the room EQ control on the AV receiver. It can also come about when an amplifier hasn't got enough control over the speaker's bass. There is a measurement for this which is called damping factor, but manufacturers only quote damping factor at a single frequency, which is pretty useless as it is a variable factor that changes with frequency. A high quoted damping factor may sound good on paper, but it doesn't tell you if the amplifier can keep low bass under control.

"Forward" is often mistook for 'bright', and bright is often mistook for 'harsh'. These three are all very different. There are plenty of amplifiers out there that sound a little soft and warm, which tends to smother detail across the entire frequency range. This can give a smooth or laid back impression. A more neutral amplifier can sound more 'forward' because there is less bass smothering and softening things, so it sounds like the while image is pushed further forward in comparison. You tend to find this with Class D amplifiers and lean sounding amplification like the Cyrus integrated amplifiers from years ago. These sort of amps do need more care when partnering with speakers so as not to come across as bright. 'Bright' is a lively treble, some may say 'extended'. This can be good for low level listening, and examples of this are the PMC DB1i speakers. It is a character that some like, some don't. And harsh is just plain unlistenable, bordering on headache inducing over a period of time. This tends to appear in the lower treble region, far below the frequencies that make something sound bright. Harsh is a very overused term as many people assume it means the same as bright.

A speaker can give the impression of better "timing" if it doesn't possess an overblown bass or a particularly extended bass. They can give the impression of sounding 'faster' than a bassy speaker. Put very simply. Very responsive speakers with extremely light drivers can also give this impression, as it can react quicker than a speaker with larger, heavier drive units. 

 

wow... thanks very much FRANK :cheers: 

I am printing thsi for better reading and memorising it...

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RE:

David Smile

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

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RE: Which speakers

David has fleshed out what I was trying to get at.

All of the above speakers can be made sound poor, if they are badly placed, in an acoustically live room and matched to the wrong amplifier.

Focal and MA can come across as a bit bright if matched to an amp with the same characteristics. Speakers like the Kef can come across as boomy if poorly positioned or with an amp that can't keep it under control. If the Tannoy's are matched with an amp of a similar character, their tendancy towards leaness is exacerbated.

Into this complicated mix is personal taste, which can swing the whole decision one way or the  other.......if you fully understand the type of sound that you like, it makes it easier to narrow down your choice........eg. for me, it would be easy, as it would be the R700s all the way (provided the amp could handle them).

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE:

FrankHarveyHiFi wrote:

David Smile

Or otherwise known as 'DAVID'... :doh:

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RE: Which speakers

CnoEvil wrote:

David has fleshed out what I was trying to get at.

All of the above speakers can be made sound poor, if they are badly placed, in an acoustically live room and matched to the wrong amplifier.

Focal and MA can come across as a bit bright if matched to an amp with the same characteristics. Speakers like the Kef can come across as boomy if poorly positioned or with an amp that can't keep it under control. If the Tannoy's are matched with an amp of a similar character, their tendancy towards leaness is exacerbated.

Into this complicated mix is personal taste, which can swing the whole decision one way or the  other.......if you fully understand the type of sound that you like, it makes it easier to narrow down your choice........eg. for me, it would be easy, as it would be the R700s all the way (provided the amp could handle them).

Thanks Cno... So, sorry for asking again, I guess amplifiers in the market do have a 'kind' of unformal label of what they actuaally are 'bright' etc....

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I am also in the middle of

I am also in the middle of upgrading my speakers. I have listened to all of the speakers mentioned above because they were all listed as my top choices. 

 

In order my best to worse:

1. KEF R700 (Tight controlled bass; excellent dynamics; rolled-off treble)

2. Focal 836V (Best for rock IMO; Most involving and musical) 

3. B&W CM9 (Loose, weak bass; coarse treble)

4. Tannoy DCT6 SE (Colored mids with an exposed top end)

5. MA RX8 (Looose, weak bass; bright forward treble)

 

Although R700 is the best sounding, the Focal is more suited towards your listening style as the R700 tends to make drums sound monotone with its less detailed bass. 

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RE: I am also in the middle of

csq2 wrote:

I am also in the middle of upgrading my speakers. I have listened to all of the speakers mentioned above because they were all listed as my top choices. 

 

In order my best to worse:

1. KEF R700 (Tight controlled bass; excellent dynamics; rolled-off treble)

2. Focal 836V (Best for rock IMO; Most involving and musical) 

3. B&W CM9 (Loose, weak bass; coarse treble)

4. Tannoy DCT6 SE (Colored mids with an exposed top end)

5. MA RX8 (Looose, weak bass; bright forward treble)

 

Although R700 is the best sounding, the Focal is more suited towards your listening style as the R700 tends to make drums sound monotone with its less detailed bass. 

 

mm interesting... thanks

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RE: Which speakers

L00k_C wrote:

Thanks Cno... So, sorry for asking again, I guess amplifiers in the market do have a 'kind' of unformal label of what they actuaally are 'bright' etc....

There is no need to apologize......and it's a good question.

There is a fair bit of subjectivity to it, and you also get brands that get labelled as having a certain sound, even though they have moved on from that.

One person's bright, is another's neutral.....but there are generally accepted characteristics of amps, which get talked about. Different classes of amp (A / AB / B / D) and types (SS / Valve / Hybrid) often share certain characteristics.

IME. The only way to get your personal "map" to guide you through, is to listen to as much as possible.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Monitor Audio RX8 - B&W CM9 - KEF R700 - FOCAL836v - TANNOY

I'm not sure if it's allowed to be mentioned here but the latest copy of Hi-Fi News has a group test of £1000 floorstanders. The Monitor Audio's and Tannoy's both featured amongst others if my memory serves me correctly. I had a skim through in WHSmith's so can't remember 100% might be worth a read for comparisons though.

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