Its been awhile since i posted here as i have been quite busy and not been able to let you know about the speaker hunt. Sadly i have ran into a bit of a financial dead end with regards the system due to investments in the home cinema system comprising a Sony W905 55'' tv and a lovely handbuilt real oak wood rack to place everything upon. I have also made purchases of half decent cables and mains supplies for all my toys. Lastly i have also purchased two plinths to place the Icon power amps onto. I still cant get over how insanely heavy they are.
It has sadly meant i havent had the chance to listen to speakers on the end of the system yet as i am waiting on creating a dedicated hifi/home cinema room which i intend to start on at the end of july, mainly as space is getting to be a premium in the current room.
All this has forced me as mentioned to reduce my budget for speakers. I spent 20mins listening (Rush - Hemispheres) to a pair of Kef R700's on the end of a top of the range 2013 Yamaha AV amp and even though this isnt technically ideal they did sound very good. I certainly thought the bass power and depth was excellent and it reminded me exactly why no reasonably sized standmounters can deliver scale in music. The speakers were literally flat in the corners of the demo room but i was surpised the bass wasnt overly boomy or out of control in stark contrast to what ive read. I have no hi-fi phrases to descibe the speakers performance lets just say that they did make me grin and laugh inside abit! They are indeed musical.
However i have decided on two things. I am still desperate to hear a pair of Tannoy Kens SE's as these would be a perfect match for my system in terms of synergy and i am determined to get a pair of these speakers to complete the hifi system side as i have convinced myself they would be musically awesome. This has led to do something i didnt think i would do. I found a pair of MA GX300 brand new for £1485 and have bought them. They will serve two purposes. I will use them on my hi-fi setup and if i like them then i have sorted myself out for what i consider to be good value for money but if they dont thrill me they will be used as an upgrade to replace the MA RX6's in the hometheatre setup.
So thats it for now my next posts will hopefully be to give an assessment of a complete and finished dream hifi system. At least until the Tannoy's get to me!!
It's great to hear how you are getting on.....and keep us in the loop on further developments. Make sure you listen to all the speakers on your list before fully making up your mind.
How do the RX6s compare to the R700s, as you could have had the R500s for the same money?
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
"as i have convinced myself they would be musically awesome."
Best not to have any expectations.
The Kef R700 is a superior speaker but its near three times the RX6 RRP. Honestly i think the RX6's are pretty decent but they are tonally quite lean and lack some warmth, they seem to have a fast roll off. But theyre main use is as FRL channels in the home theatre setup. Blu rays and games sound plenty good enough and the leaness doesnt matter when theres a sub taking care of the LF. Its music where they do come abit undone. I have added some warmth through positioning and tweaking the Amps EQ but i rarely enjoy it for music except punk rock which seems more visceral through a forward and attacking setup albeit not harsh. The thinking behind the GX300 was a better treble and extra low end oomph and driven by the Icon/marantz i hope i can get a good mix of musicality and something that works for all genres. If i dont i will put them in place of the RX6 in the HT setup, sell the RX6 and save up asap for Kef R700 or better. The R700/R500 wouldnt fit in the HT setup due to all other speakers being MA hence again the GX300 gamble. I have a dealer happy to lend me a pair of R700 to try at home when im ready which i fully intend to try.
The heart still says Tannoy Kens though
In demoing speakers for the little Marantz MCR603 i own, i came across a stunning little speaker for the money in the shape of a Wharfdale Diamond 121. It matched the kef R300, MA RX2 and Q Acoustics concept 20, giving up only a little bass to the first two, though i guess the Marantz cant make them sing properly with its small power supply. Still there was little audible benefit to the spending £1000 on the kef instead of £220 on these Wharfedales imho. Even the dealer confessed it saying he'd buy the cheaper speakers which is most unorthodox for a salesman.
Speaking of which richer sounds in stockport are run by total amateurs who havent a clue.... when i asked about the input lag on a TV i was told to sit closer to the TV to reduce it
The Kef R700 is a superior speaker but its near three times the RX6 RRP. Honestly i think the RX6's are pretty decent but they are tonally quite lean and lack some warmth, they seem to have a fast roll off.
Sorry, I meant to say GX300s, not RX6s.
Mr Megabomb, would be interested in your rx6's if you decide upgrade? Currently have Castle Chester's with Arcam 10's and definitely do not have enough mid or bass, from what I've read the Monitor's are quite bassy?!
For music I'd seriously suggest listening to a pair of the new Wharfedale Diamond 157's before you buy MA RX6. The RX6 are lean and forward sounding the Wharfedale are still very clear but have more warmth and bass depth. I think the MA is better in terms of build and style.
Dont get me wrong the RX6 is a decent speaker and exciting to listen too but it suits a certain taste and styles in music imo.
I am not selling my RX6 at the moment as they make fine HT speakers, unless the new GX300 end up replacing them in the HT setup.
Early impressions of the new GX300 speakers...
First of all as mentioned i am yet unable to hook them upto the Icon audio amps and Marantz cdp (until late July) and i have for 24hrs had them running off a Pioneer SCLX85 av amp and Marantz UD7007 BDP. The speakers are renowned to take well over 100hrs to loosen up and sound their best and i am told these ex demos have only about 15 hrs on them so i will see if they improve some. If i'm honest having run MA Rx6's upto now and having read some suggestions about the GX300 being too forward, bright, analytical and clinical sounding i wasnt expecting much from them when hooked upto lean sounding electronics esp in the case of the Pioneer amp. These are all traits i dont look for in pure 2 channel music but value more highly in movies where dialogue and clarity in general really bring a movie to life. My listening has so far been limited to two CDs.... 'The Tall Ships' by It Bites and 'The Whirlwind' by Transatlantic.
Without getting carried away i have so far been very pleasantly surpised but it has helped to have middling expectations i guess. First off these speakers are clearly Monitor Audios - tonally lean and forward and bright sounding in nature. With many speakers this could be considered hugely negative but what strikes me is that although the speakers are quite bright they are inherently very, very clean sounding! It is actually really nice to be able to hear everything going on but not suffer from any noticable fatigue. The benefits of this kind of speaker makes the opening track of the Whirwind album ridiculously entertaining and impossible not to go crazy on the air drums too i have never felt so part of a band in my own living room and the RX6's just couldnt bring the scale which these speakers can ! They are clearly very exciting to listen too but i havent yet found them to be fatiguing. When listening to the It bites CD album on the RX6 i was always aware that even for a modern production the sound in the treble seemed somewhat unclean, unnatural and compressed abit like a slightly sibilant MP3 file. The GX300 make the album much more organic and real sounding and even though they are even brighter sounding it is still cleaner sounding and i feel the cleanliness far outweights the brightness which i typically dont go for.
As for the Bass side of things. Well again it clearly has much better extension than the RX6 as one would expect and it has a real speed and tightness especially notable on the more energetic tracks on the Whirlwind album. The speed does appear to come at the cost of ultimate extension.... theres no 25hz to be found here but enough depth to manage without a subwoofer. I havent found the need to turn the sub on yet which i find almost essentailly with the RX6.
So far so good then i am going to do alot more listening and run them in some more but as you can tell i have actually really enjoyed listening to the new found clarity and cleanliness in the CD's ive played so far. From what little ive heard so far i would actually be quite happy to run this setup permanently so it fills me with huge excitement to get these beauties on the end of the Icon audio amps. In my head i cant help but think they will give me an excellent balance to the sound and i might not be surprised if these MA's end up permanently on the dedicated 2 channel music system. I certainly will have saved myself a packet.
The true test is to come then and i will be playing some of my not soo great recordings to really see if i can find anything to truly bother me about them!
I will understand if people label me a pessimist after this post but i'm not expecting many to actually read it all......... oh i'm at it again lol!
All sounding promising then! and can only get better when paired up with the ICons.
Accuphase E350 amp, Electrocompaniet EMC1UP CDP, Siltech 25th Classic anniversary 330I XLR Harbeth Super HL5 on Sound Anchor Quod ELS63 stands, Chord Odessey2 speaker cable. Grado SR60 headphones.
From what little ive heard so far i would actually be quite happy to run this setup permanently so it fills me with huge excitement to get these beauties on the end of the Icon audio amps. In my head i cant help but think they will give me an excellent balance to the sound and i might not be surprised if these MA's end up permanently on the dedicated 2 channel music system. I certainly will have saved myself a packet.
Clean sounding speakers often sound great on the end of Valve amps.
Thanks Mac... especially for putting up with my poorly written and grammatically useless posts like the last one!
If the Icons/Marantz combo tames some of the brightness while maintaining the detail and clarity i think i will have unexpectedly found what i was looking for!
Will still save up regardless as i will always be thinking what the Tannoy Kens could be like... in my head they must sound divine! Only the deepest bass notes are missing on the GX but i have had good results in the past with small 8in 'subwoofers' with the pace to keep up. I certainly dont think i could listen to small standmount speakers without one now and perhaps i will try my little AE sub to see if if adds or subtracts anything to the overall sound of the GX300's. I am sure the Pioneer isnt helping with the low bass and even though i have played around with its EQ to boost the 60hz it cannot surely match the ability of the Icons.
Did i ever say how monstrously big and heavy the icon power amps are... i can barely understand how they are 33kg each!? To look at them it doesnt seem possible, but with the sheer size and weight comes a certain reassurance that despite the not exactly massive spec of 100watts RMS at 8ohms, they are going to bring the noise
Roll on august
No need for apologies, your posts are pretty articulate and erudite to me.
33KG each! my word hope you've got a strong enough stand to put them on!
As for the Kensingtons, I've never heard them myself, but it's always nice to have a dream piece of kit to aim for.
I look forward to further reports once everything is in place.
Good to hear CNo re clean sounding speakers generally suiting valve amps. The most notable thing about the GX's is the increased scale, detail and most of all sheer cleanliness with it that they have bought to familiar recordings on familiar electronics.
And Mac...am indeed waiting on a pair of solid oak plinths to place each power amp on.... the MB845's are just not going straight on a floor!!
It'll be interesting to see if the radiators stay off in the winter time
Try some nitrazepam for your crisis. Take twice daily with a stiff rum.
This will give you some temporary relief, often in the form of a very good sleep. Try some barbituates for something more permenant (indefinite sleep)
If you're still around Megatombomb... just saw these, if you're still interested-
© 2013 Haymarket Publishing