I've spent the weekend enjoying a home demo of speakers for my (small) study. The speakers have to sit up against a wall in a bookshelf, so I've confined myself to front-ported speakers. (Hence no KEF LS50s.)
Oops, apologies, hit the wrong button.
Anyway, two lovely pairs of boxes. The PMCs are hugely revealing, with very sweet treble and mid-range. Acoustic instruments come over beautifully. But the Sonus Fabers are a revelation. Revealing, yes, but far more 'realistic' than the PMCs, in the sense that they offer deep bass extension and an overall timbre that's supremely relaxing. Listening to Alfred Brendel's Phillips recording of Haydn's piano sonatas, they Sonus Fabers did a wonderful impression of bringing a grand piano into the room (which would, frankly, be rather awkward given the size of my study).
Has anyone else auditioned these speakers?
Not yet, but I am hoping to soon. As you can see from my sig I already own Sfs, so acknowledge a bias. However, I did enjoy the little PMCs at the Bristol show, but they are quite 'explicit' which I guess may not suit all tastes/rooms/systems.
The Venere are only so cheap because they are assembled in China. As you've heard them at home, why hesitate? Get them and save some money, and before they go up again! I think they already increased to £949 from £899 but am not 100% sure.
Hi-Fi: Krell KAV-300cd, Michell TecnoDec/RB250/Grado Prestige Black1, KAV-300i amp, Transparent balanced interconnects and bi-wire to Sonus faber Concerto grand piano speakers, Nakamichi ZX-7 cassette deck, Logitech Squeezebox Touch, Hitachi FT-5500 and Sony S570ES tuners, BCD Engineering stand, RA Powerlink, Chord powerchord, Grado SR60i cans.
AV: Sony Bravia KDL-32EX503 telly, BDP-S370 player with QED HDMI. Currently unused: Denon AVR-1705, DVD-1710, KEF KHT1005.2
Venere 1.5s are made in China and are incredibly dull sounding. The PMCs are so much more detailed and punchier, so get the PMCs. Also, they are made in England and look way better than the cheap plastic Veneres. Can't believe Sonus Faber is being manufactured in China.
USB->Hegel HD2->Coaxial->Onkyo A-9070->Klipsch RF-62 II
I had a brief demo with the Twenty 22s, they were very revealing in the top end but I did like them, the only answer I can away with though was that I needed much more time with them as the presentation was quite alien to me, I think you need to settle in to their sound before you can really start to judge them.
I could see myself buying the 22s at some point but want to compare with so others speakers of various type at a similar price point. The only negative I got from them (which could be a deal breaker) was that the midrange seems slightly detached from the rest of the sound somehow, I wasn't sure if it was the room or perhaps the transmission line, like I said I need to hear these again and ideally at home.
Funnily enough I came to the opposite conclusion. I agree that the PMCs are more revealing and have a particularly sweet treble and upper mid range. The Sonus Fabers seemed to me less revealing but more realistic. By that I mean they gave a better impression of what music sounds like across the frequency spectrum. In other words, the bass goes far deeper. I also found them delightfully smooth and relaxing to listen to, whereas the PMCs threatened to sound slightly tiring -- at the end of my system, it must be said. As for the Sonus Fabers being made in China, yes, I'd rather buy UK-made gear, but in this case I can't justify it.
I do like the idea of premium brands made well in England but there also seems to be some slightly unfair views on Chinese manufacturing. Yes China do make some incredibly cheap and nasty products but they are also excellent at producing goods of quality at various price points.
Since most kit (especially speakers) can sound good /bad / indifferent, depending where and how they are set up, only someone very familiar with the product can describe it accurately.
Always trust your instincts, and go with what you like the sound of. If a product is verging on being tiring over demo, it will only get worse over the period of ownership.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
Always trust your instincts, and go with what you like the sound of...
This has always been my sentiments (generally ignored). Not only will it sound 'right' but gut feeling tells you it would fit into a particular system.
Amp: Leema Pulse; Source: Naim CD5i-2, Denon 260MKII, Pro-ject XP I; Speakers: PMC TB2i
Formerly known as plastic penguin
Both of those thoughts were indeed in my mind. One of the things I've learned from this and other fora (thanks, everyone!) is that for speakers in particular there's no substitute for a home demo over an extended period (OK, just a weekend in this case, but my wife, who didn't see much of me for the last couple of days, evidently thought it was pretty extended). Issues of placing, room size and so on are crucial for speakers.
It's also good advice to follow your instincts, though it isn't necessarily easy, and of course instincts have to turn into reflection: it's always a good idea to try and verbalize those instincts.
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