I wouldn't be so sure.
B&O have a great reputation for audio engineering. I have had the privilege of hearing the larger B&O actives (Beolab 5s and 9s) on a few occasions when we used to have a B&O showroom in nearby Chichester.
B&O still retains a place on my 'Lottery Jackpot' shortlist
I would definitely like to read more about (and see more of) your system. (I can't afford it myself, but I can - vicariously at least - enjoy it from your account.)
Don't hold me to this but i've been told that B&O invented the class D amplifier??!! So if any audiophile doesn't like them they should at least respect them! I had a brief listen and I think they are very cool.. I'd def consider them for a living room setup if I stumbled on a large amopunt of money.. Am I correct in thinking they don't have a pre-amp? How do you control volume etc?
and yes, pics please
Electrocompaniet PI 2 | Naim ND5 XS | Chord Epic | ProAc Studio 115
I totally agree with your summation as regards B&O's engineering expertise Chebby.
For a little background, being new here and all, I used to own Naim kit (CDI/72/HI-Cap/180/SBL's) for around 12 years or so, (only the SBL's remain as I moved into AV and found ES Sony kit to offer better sound to my ears on both AV and critical 2 channel music listening, and much better value IMHO to Naims efforts - which were sold off after being ousted by the big ES Sony) and blogged on their forum, then Pink Fish, and then HDD/AVI where I remain a member thus far.
A search on Pink Fish for example will reveal exceptional ridicule of B&O, and so called audiophiles seem completely unaware of the sort of R&D that the company carries out.
Many audiophiles seem to rate B&O with Bose, and sadly, ignorance and clinging to pseudo science rather than an open, enquiring and logical mind seems to be the way of many, but of course not all, audiophiles.
I started out in HiFi as an extension of my passion for classical music, and initially owned some B&W speakers, a Thorens TD125MK11/SME 3009/V15III shure for many years (I still have the Thorens which is mint having owned it from new), and it was only with the advent of CD that I found a need or desire to change. Of the many CD players that I auditioned, it came to a toss up between a then Sugden and the Naim; the Naim was the one recommended by all the magazines, and I liked the look and finish of it better than the Sugden, so bought it. Within 18 months, I updated the rest of my B&W/Thorens system (and an amp you won't have heard of called a RAIT, which was a copy of an Radford) as it was all getting on for 20 years old, to an all Naim system as described.
Fast forward another ten years, and I expanded from music into AV, and with that, ES Sony after much careful audition, and sold all the Naim electronics off. So my current system for the last 7 years or so has been a TADA 9000ES Sony Digital amp, fronted by a Sony DVP91000ES CD/SACD/DVD player, driving the SBL's with some Tannoy Mx2's doing duty for rear surrounds. Of course bits and pieces have been added, and I'm starting to stream from my Mac to an ATV3 etc, but the core of the system has remained.
One of the things I got caught up with during my Naim years, was the whole Flat Earth PRaT thing, which has largely now been discredited, and along with it, all the audiophile foolishness that goes on when you start to listen to the kit more than the music.
I'm not knocking the choices of those who do this mind, because there are many aspects to this hobby, but for me it was the music that got me into it, and I became very uncomfortable with all the audiophool obsessions and fiddling about with the Naim kit and was happy to be rid of it to be frank.
However, I did once hear SBL's active and since then have been a fan of the active speaker, and if it hadn't been for AV, my inital plan with the Naim setup was to move up the ladder to a fully active Naim system over time.
So, from a desire to move away from audiophile tom foolery, and to reach my goal of active speakers, I've spent quite a lot of time on HDD/AVI's forums re researching active speakers. In the end, I dismissed an AVI solution, not because I don't feel they're anything other than excellent, but for AV purposes they're not really for me as an integrated solution - for with active, not only was I wanting to move away from audiophool obsessions, but de-clutter my space as regards racks of kit, and in the case with AVI, - floorstanding speakers and twin subs in the case of the ADM40 solution, sonically excellent though it is - I just don't have that much room, nor do I want the clutter of multiple wooden speaker boxes in cuboid/rectangular shape.
A few months ago I bought a new TV - a B&O V1-40 which has an state of the art surround sound processor built in, DAC and pre-amp, and an active speaker array which also does double duty as the centre channel in an AV role, and has stunning picture and sound as a standalone product.
Essentially, all I need for a state of the art and very minimalist AV system, is that TV, and four active speakers; possibly a sub - albeit not really needed with the bass extension of the Lab 9's.
I've admired B&O for years; albeit when I was in my Naim 'years' as a paid up fanboi, I had a very casual listen to the Lab 5's and dismissed them as not having enough 'PRaT'. Silly me....lol
So having considered a number of options, B&W 803D's, AVI ADM40's and some hybrid electrostatic Nakamichis available locally, it was not that hard to go with the Lab 9's in the end, because they are a natural 'fit' with the TV re connectivity, sound matching for AV etc, and because not only did they tick all my boxes re performance requirements, they also ticked a whole lot of other boxes in terms of what I was looking for re a superbly engineered product that would fit into my lifestyle, rather than demanding that I fit my lifestyle around it.
Anyway; apologies for prattling on, but that's some of my background re HiFi ownership etc.
I now have the V1-40 + the Lab 9's; when the SBL's and all the Sony ES kit is sold off, racks cables and all, I'll put the money towards part funding a pair of Beolab 3's for surrounds and that will be the system completed.
Hope this helps explain where I'm 'at' a little
And to you. Thanks for the (very) comprehensive and interesting write-up.
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B&O didn't invent Class D, however they did develop it and own the intellectual patent rights to ICE power - which is a subsidiary company of B&O - ICE power modules being used in Rotel, Jeff Rowland, Pioneer, and B&W amongst others.
The Lab 9's don't have a preamp as such - no - that is usually handled by B&O's TV's which all have pre-amp/DAC's and active speaker arrays built into them, although you can also buy standalone streamers which either come with a HD or can be connected to a NAS etc, and which have said pre-amp and DAC etc built into them.
The exception is the Lab 5, which does have an DAC onboard, as well as a lot of DSP, and is very much a reference loudspeaker.
In my case, all preamp/DAC/surround sound processor duties are carried out by my B&O V1 TV, which as mentioned above, also acts as the (active) centre channel when in AV mode in conjunction with the Lab 9's.
Being active and a sonic/tonal match for the Lab 9's, the sound is seamless, exceptionally clear and natural as regards the centre, main left and right blend, and of course with no separate centre speaker box needed, there are zero problems of where to place it, either aesthetically or from a performance POV.
It's only my personal perspective, and yes, as an owner I'm biased, but with B&O I finally feel I'm where I want to be with a HiFi system that will last me for many, many years - the ownership satisfaction quota is exceptionally high, and I have the same sense of quality and long term satisfaction I had with my Thorens/Rait/B&W system many years ago, as mentioned in my previous post.
In short, I think my 'audiophool' obsessing and faffing about with kit that first started in my Naim years, is now over - this is a system to offer both performance and ownership satisfaction as a total package, that will last a lifetime.
Merry Xmas to all
Ditto, good stuff. So maybe pics when you've got the rears in place?
HiFi / A/V / Bedroom
Ahh right.. Yeah maybe the guy was talking about ICE and I got mixed up.. I hear you on the audiophooling around.. I found a source I loved the sound of that is future proof. Bought Cyrus set up (as a mate works there and go it trade) and could never get the sound I wanted, tried tons of high end makes and couldn't find a sound that i liked let alone loved.. Until I heard Electrocompaniet.. Def a music lovers amp it sounds simply beautifull and doesn't fatigue at all.. It lets it flow and you listen to the music and not the kit.. Nop need to upgrade for many many years. Can't wait to get it home, plug it in and just enjoy my music :grin:
In time, will be happy to Ben. At the moment the room is still looking like a mad HiFi inventors lair or audiophile 'man cave' and I've new furniture coming over the next few weeks as regards storage etc; as it stands the Lab 9's are plumped in front of the SLB's and flanking tightly the TV and it's cabinet, with a portable A/C hiding in the corner. Selling of the separates system will free up around 1.5 - 2 metres of much needed wall space in an apartment lounge room of 5 x 4 metres, so all this is part of a plan to re-model my environment and get rid of the accumlated clutter of excessive HiFi collecting over the years... lol
The main forums I contribute on these days are Beoword (an independant forum for B&O owners) and AVI, where I've written quite extensively about the B&O decision making process and have posted a few pics there - my 'handle' there is jonboi, which was not available here when I joined, hence the change to JmacMan, so if you are able to log in to AVI forums, you'll find an extensive write up and some pics in the off topic section.
The owner of the forum has been gracious enough to allow me to prattle on about B&O, given it's an AVI site, but I've a number of friends there, and notwithstanding that some politicking goes on from time to time as it appears to do on almost all hiFi and doubtless other forums, it's a relatively OK place to hang out, all things considered.
Failing that, when I get a bit of time away from being caught up in the Xmas rush, I might re-post over here perhaps.
Hope this helps
Can anyone recommend some decent actives for around £250-400 new or second hand? Big entertaining fairly bassy sound but not wolly or out of controll or harsh trebble.. Cheers
These cheap active monitors are capable of giving much more expensive passive hifi speakers a run for their money.
Behringer TRUTH B3031A £302
Yamaha HS80M £408
Yamaha HS50M £244
(IMO these have a slightly better midrange than the bigger bassier HS80M)
Don't forget that you'll need something to control the volume too. If you have a DAC with a built in pre-amp or an AV receiver that has 'analog pre-outs' then these can be used to control the volume.
Alternatively something like this would do the job: http://www.dv247.com/studio-equipment/tc-electronic-level-pilot-monitor-volume-controller--60711
PC > AVI Neutron Five 2.1
32GB Sony NWZ-A846 Walkman > Westone UM3x
I was asking for a mate to use with a Sonos connect.. The connect has a volume control on it would that work as a preamp?
New wireless actives from Focal announced.
System here http://www.whathifi.com/forum/your-system/my-dream-system-oh-maybe-one-day
Another source option for a minimal set-up: the Oppo BDP-105 + active speakers
the BDP-105 gives you:
- Sabre DAC chips
- a universal disc spinner
- inputs: SP-DIF (coax + optical), USB-A (x2), USB-B (async), HDMI (x2)
- streaming (Ethernet and Wi-Fi)
- outputs: RCA and XLR
- a remote and apps for iOS and Android
- and a headphone amp
For 1400€ (don't know exact UK price).
How about that?
What about vol control?
With the volume + and - buttons
The Oppos analogue outs are variable
There are many Oppo owning 'analogue audio enthusiasts' who use their players fed directly into power amps.
I guess that's the market the 105 is intended for as it allows it to be used as pre/pro for other sources...
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It looks like a good source for active speakers if starting out from scratch. The universal disc thing gives a lot of flexibility and it is essentially acting as a digital preamp on top of everything else, so all good. It is a bit pricey though, so if I were to get one, I'd be waiting for a deal in a sale. I don't know what the interface is like though via the app, this would be very important to most using it's streaming capabilites.
Mac mini > AVI ADM9Ts
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