I wonder who on earth you could mean?!!
If I were to expose his identity on this forum, the magic would be gone.
I've been reading your thread with interest Matt, sounds like you've reached a fairly reasonable outcome.
I'm betting however that if you're new place has a larger room, that you'll be getting a suggestion to give the Ref 205s a go!!! BTW have you heard a Linn DS hooked up to that new amp yet?
Thanks. I followed your recent experiences: a great result! But for a while you had dear old Cno pretty worried.
I did hear some KEF Ref 203s while back and didn't like them, but that was with Primare amplification. The Dev would be a different proposition altogether. So, yes, if space allows the big KEFs may well get a look in.
What classical music are you listening to?
I have only really liked the Refs on the end of Class A or very specific AB......IME. The R Series are much more "amp versatile."
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
Despite my decision to go for the SF Cremona Auditors, I’m still doing the odd speaker demo. On Monday it was the Vivid V1.5s (again) up against the Wilson-Benesch Vertex standmounts. We know what the Vivids look like; here are the Vertexes (Vertices?)
Actually there are some significant similarities between the two models. Both use carbon fibre-based monocoque shells. The enclosures of both are rounded, so as to reduce internal reflections. And both are bonded to integrated pedestals. A well-matched demo then. Except for one thing: about £2K difference in price.
The system was: laptop playing ALAC files into Devialet 170 via USB. Ah, back on home turf!
This is a really smart-looking modern design. The modern look and materials made me think the sound would be analytical or harsh, but not at all. A very natural tone with a surprising hint of warmth. With acoustic instruments the presentation seemed tonally true.
But the really surprising thing was how well these speakers imaged. I can’t recall hearing any speaker place instruments so precisely, for instance in the Takacs Decca recording of the Beethoven Rasumovsky quartets. The soundstage was utterly persuasive.
Added to that, the W-Bs produced tuneful and rhythmic bass. Overall the rhythmical structure of the music was pretty compelling.
One not-so-slight blot on the copybook, however. I found something slightly recessed or veiled in the sound. Somehow, although the musicians were clearly all out there, each on his own little chair, they weren’t in the room with me. And that’s a bit of a downer.
There’s no way you could say that about the Vivids. They have much more punch and presence, especially at top end. There might perhaps be a feint ringing on the higher notes of a piano, but that’s the only (slight) negative I can find in these speakers. Oh, and maybe the imaging isn’t quite up there with the W-Bs.
But overall these are tremendously musical speakers. Very fast and very dramatic. Close your eyes and the Takacs lads could really be in the room with you; same for voices. There’s just so much atmosphere. And the Vivids see deeper into the structure of the music than the W-Bs.
These are seriously good speakers. The looks may be weird but there’s nothing gimmicky about the sound at all.
I really should try the Vivids myself, once the Dev arrives. As I'll place my speakers close to the backwall (on a cupboard), that would be the V1h or V1w for me.
I used to think these smaller V1s were derived from the V1.5, but it appears to be the other way round. The V1h/w/s were first; with customers asking for a freestanding V1, Vivid developed the V1.5, with its larger enclosure to compensate for the wall reinforcement it lacks... So maybe the V1h/s/w are not that compromised after all (being close to the wall and all).
I've also heard these:
Just as good as as the standmounted V1.5s, though I did find you have to fiddle with placement to get the best out of them -- but that's true of most speakers, I guess.
That's good! Thanks for the feedback, Matt.
I guess I should start looking for a dealer within acceptable distance.
Tomorrow afternoon I have a home demo of some SF Cremona Auditor Ms. The dealer's bringing along a Dev 170. (Mine's due to arrive next week.)
Now you're talking!
Accuphase E350 amp, Electrocompaniet EMC1UP CDP, Siltech 25th Classic anniversary 330I XLR Harbeth Super HL5 on Sound Anchor Quod ELS63 stands, Chord Odessey2 SC. Grado SR60I headphones. HIFI RACKS Podium Reference rack.
Not that I am suggesting that you'll be enerting into this home demo with your mind already made up but....
Do you think that there's a good chance the dealer will be leaving your house without this particular pair of SF?
Is he bringing the stands as well?
Good man ... Best of luck
Neuphonix, you're not wrong.
If the Cremonas sound decent, they're staying. I've heard the combo three times already: it's a winner.
The purpose of the home demo is to reassure myself that the speakers offer the right kind of scale in the room. If they sound thin or boomy, there's a problem.
On the other hand, if there's a problem with sibilance (been there, got the t-shirt), some room treatment will be needed. We'll see.
Thanks, chaps, you'll be hearing from me (or, if it goes wrong, from my lawyers).
Tell your lawyers to contact your guru, not us!!
We're all in the same boat as you
So, I'm now the proud owner of a pair of ex-dem SF Cremona Auditor Ms, and very lovely they are too. I'd like to say that I'm listening to music through them at the moment, but until my Dev arrives next week (apparently the units have now shipped from France), I'm a bit stuck.
The dealer came over this afternoon with the Cremonas and his Dev 170. Plugged in one of my modded Sonos boxes, and away we went.
Not without problems, however. I wasn't really worried about the combo itself, having heard it three times before: it's just so right. The thing I was most concerned about was that there'd be some nasty sibilance, such as I experienced with the MF AMS35i and Harbeth SHL5s. If the sibilance had reared its ugly head again, I don't know what I'd have done. Given the nature of the room (the speakers fire down the room towards some recessed and shuttered windows), the problem would have been hard to mend. Curtains aren't an option.
Thank goodness there was no sibilance at all. But there was clumpy and boomy bass. We played around with positioning, and it became clear that the problem was the right-hand speaker, whose rear port was firing towards a little "hole" in the corner of the room. (I may get around to posting a photo tomorrow.) By moving the speaker out into the room, we could eliminate some (but not all) of the boom. By the end of the session we'd got the sound about three-quarters of the way to perfect.
I'm pretty sure a tubular bass trap in the corner will fix things. There are other things I can try. The speakers really need to sit on granite slabs. And the room is also as bit on the live side. Currently I have a cowskin on the floor, which needs to be replaced with a thick rug plus underlay. That should crack it.
This may all be academic anyway. After the demo I had to whizz off to view a house. Mrs49 and the girls are very keen on it. The potential listening room is quite large and would allow me to stand the speakers well away from rear and side walls.
All will be good.
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