Spendor A9s (Current)
Kef R900 (Current)
If you don't mind me asking, which of these two do you prefer.....and if it's the A9, how close do the R900s get to them
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
I haven't owned many pairs of Hi Fi speakers. Just these...
Jamo D115 back in 1994-1997. Horrible thin and forward sound.
Tannoy Mercury M2.5 1997-2001 Smooth and bassy, but very dull with it.
B&W DM 601 S3, 2001-present day to me they sound very well balanced and accurate.
I still own all of these, the Jamo's are in my patents loft boxed up. The Tannoys are just hanging around in my spare room and the B&W's are still my main speakers in use today.
NAD C326BEE Amplifier, Sony CDP-XB930 CD Player, Pioneer PDR-509 CD Recorder, Arcam irDock with iPod Touch, Tannoy Mercury V4 speakers, 2x Tannoy HTS 101 subwoofers, Revolver Rack, QED/Cambridge Audio cabling throughout, Sennheiser HD 518 Headphones, Beyerdynamic DTX-101iE ear buds.
The 852s were designed by Robin Marshal to be a flagship product for MA but Mo would not pay for the custom drive units Robin wanted. Damn fine speaker though.
The ES 14s, with their own drivers, was pretty much what Robin wanted for the 852s. They were clearer and more explicit than the MAs, technically a superior speaker in a number of ways. The 852 had a reputation for sounding 'musical' but by that stage I had tired of Mo's overbearing manner and was not selling the brand.
The R852s were probably the best Monitor Audios I ever heard, I did an evaluation, for a third party, of the Bronze and Silver (were they the silver then, I cant remember) ranges, a most unpleasant experience.
That is very interesting, and sums up why I chose them over the ES14s.......musicality has always been the driving force behind all my choices. I didn't go for a CDP until I heard Linn's Karik/Numerik, which was the first time I'd heard the format giving a sound I could live with after the LP12 (which was far from "digital sounding").......and interestingly, still prefer the way it sounds compared to their later CDPs. The same applies to Linn's amps, preferring Kairn / LKs / klout, to their modern offerings......Linn's "old sound" is more musical to my ears, though less detailed / analytical.
I also don't get on with the current MA sound, so you appear to be reading my mind atm.......maybe it's a product of being brought up on the sound from those days.
It's fascinating to speak with someone with such inside knowledge from those days....so thank you for the insight.
Ahhh...... The dreaded musicality.......
A term that means so many things to so many people.
My Sonus Faber speakers were mostly used with ARC amplification, a variety of pre-amps, I couldn't really settle, but the power amplifier was the Classic 60. The sound of this system stayed with me for some time and my current system (not in use) emulates this to a degree.
The strange thing is, that returning to systems of this type after using active speakers, you are immediatly struck with the 'colourations' that give these systems their 'musicality'. It is something of a wrench but having spent a lot of time on both sides of the devide and moving back and forth many times, somrthing I have come to terms with.
In general terms, this has left me with a strong dislike for most budget equipment and playback systems, vastly prefering the (better) active options up to about £2-3k. Above that level I find that my preference swings back to passive systems, but only in quite specific components and systems, equipment that I have spoken about before.
We do so many shows in a row,
And these towns all look the same,
We just pass the time in our hotel room
And wander 'round backstage,
Till the lights come up, and we hear that crowd,
And we remember why we came.
Of course I don't mate. It's a hard one to be honest, I use the 900s as fronts for my surround set up. I did stick them on my hi fi before I set them up in the lounge, just to see. They are a bit smoother, with definitely more bass than the Spendors, But too big for the room I use for the hi fi, so they were a bit overpowering, but they weren't run in at all, and I had the bungs out. I can only say the Spendors are maybe a bit more, well, 'emotional'? But the Kefs have a greater sense of scale, and power, and almost match the Spendors in other areas, neutrality, midrange etc.The bass was, like I said, a bit full compared to the A9s and possibly not as fast, or defined, but again, I'd had them for a day and they probably weren't positioned properly etc. I am really impressed with them, and might try them again in the future. When I do I'll try to give you a better idea....
Lounge: Panasonic VT50 65'', Pioneer SCLX86, Oppo 105, Sky HD 2TB, PS4, XBONE, XBOX 360, PS3, Wii U. KEF R 900 (fronts) R500 (rears) 600c (centre), R800ds (surrounds) x2 (front height/width) Rel R328 subs (x2)
Bedroom: Pioneer Kuro KRP 500a, Humax YouView, Pansonic BDT 500, XBOX 360.
Hi Fi: Leema Antila iis ECO, Audio Synthesis Dax Decade, Lavardin IT, Spendor A9s, Rel Storm 3, on Atacama ERIS 3 tier stand, Chord Powerchords, Studio Connections reference speaker cable and interconnects.
Gaming P.C: Intel i7 3960X six core (Overclocked), MSI X79A Motherboard, 2 x GTX 680s, 480gb SSD, 4TB (2 x 2TB) SATA III 6GB/s 7200 RPM Hard Drives, 32GB 2400Mhz Memory, Creative Fatality soundcard, Bluray and DVD drives, Corsair H80 Liquid cooling. 27'' Samsung series 9 IPS 2560 x 1440 monitor. http://s1350.photobucket.com/user/Roundhead5000/library/?sort=3&page=1
Thank you Sir.
The reason I ask, is that I'm inceasingly finding the R Series play well above their pay grade. If they'd existed when I'd bought the Refs, i don't think i would have felt the difference was worth it (though the Refs are certainly better, but not 2x - 3x better imo).
It's a very clichéd and overused term, but so is organic, or whatever quick term is used.
For me it's brands like Audio Note, Pathos, Unison Research, Accuphase, Luxman, Lavardin, Jadis, Sonus Faber and Harbeth that have it...but you already know that's where I'm coming from.
Now, can you answer the conundrum I posed on Page 5 / Post 14? (I suspect you are one of the few that might)
Having thought about it some more, I think I was a bit shocked as to how good they were, right out of the box. I sometimes listen to them through the Oppo/Pioneer if I'm just pottering about in the lounge, and even though this isn't my optimum set up, I can still hear their qualities, if that makes sense. Damn it Cno, you're putting ideas in my head. The other half is wagging her finger and shaking her head vigorously. I wonder what she means?
Well you know what I think (which should get SWMBO's approval).....Move R900s to hifi; move R500s to fronts and get LS50s for Rears; sell A9s
Cno is like a virus but in good way
Electrocompaniet EMC 1UP(spider clamp) / Musical Fidelity AMS 35i / Focal Electra 1028be / MIT AVt MA speaker cable-Matrix 12 xlr / Chord powerchord / GIK acoustics
Dahlquist DQ10 come to mind but since they look a lot like black ESL 59s I'm sure you would have mentioned that.
I'm thinking of those strange Belgian loudpeakers, multiple drivers on separate time aligned baffles and an all round grill.
Now what were they called........
You are going much too exotic.
It's as dull as.....Kef Celeste 111 (on their "bar-stool" stands).
I knew that was coming. Jesus, I am thinking of buying the Leema Pyxis/ Hydra II x2. This idea is already costing me a holiday and copius amounts of champagne/chocolates. I'm not sure this is quite the right moment to suggest any more 'improvements'. On the other hand, I could send her away on a spa weekend or something, maybe she wouldn't notice. NOT.
...emphasize the word SELL!
Yeah. My soul probably.
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