Kudos S20s

Interested to hear your impressions - do you know how many hours are on them?  I was driving them with an Olive 250 and they were the best of those I demoed in my relatively small, typical UK semi, sitting room. Great performance, if very slightly 'boomy' (which I put down to their ported design and my room). Last year I changed the 250 for 2 x 135 and it transformed the performance of the S20's.  Be interested to see what you make of them with a 250DR.  Enjoy.

I'm sure you'll like what you hear. I've had a pair of S20s on home demo for the past few days and have been thoroughly impressed, so much so that I placed an order for a pair this afternoon. They'll be replacing a pair of 15 year old Neat Elite SEs. Needless to say the Kudos S20s are vastly superior. Way more detail, a much better tonal balance, much deeper bass, sense of scale, plus a beautiful, refined treble.

I listened to the following speakers at various outlets before arranging a home demo of the S20s - PMC Twenty5.23, ATC SCM40, Spendor D7, Neat Momentum SX5i and B&W 804 D3. I ended up opting for the S20s based on three sets of comparative demos at local dealers, with the SX5is my second choice. Rest of the system comprises: NAC52/Supercap, NAP250DR, CDS2/PS555DR, NACA5, Oppo BDP-105D.

I switched to S20's from C20's a few weeks ago. The change was motivated by a requirement for a change in finish (cherry to oak) and an opportunity arose to upgrade.

I'm loving mine, a little more refined than C20's and more controlled in the bass but very much plonk and play and cut from the same cloth as the C20's.

I am also using a 282/HicapDR/250DR but my source is behind you as I just run an NDX bare but the system sounds amazing, I am in no rush to upgrade anything.

I think they all the speaker I will ever need. I think you could go to a 500 series with these and they would keep giving more.

Hope you get on well with them too.

Richard

I bought a pair in haste because of a big discount offer and kept them for about a year.  I never really grew to love them - what started out as airiness and detail turned out to be overbearing brightness and I found myself listening to more and more mellow 1950s jazz albums and less and less rock/new music.  But, apart from one of the online reviews, I seem to be alone in my views.

Hi Lindsay, look forward to your updates.. I home demoed the S20s a couple of years back and they were  certainly detailed - but for my room and tastes I felt they didn't sound sufficiently integrated, i.e. too prominent a treble and slightly boomy bass - but my dealer said they were probably not properly run in and apologised...

Chris Dolan posted:

I am very biased as an S20 owner - but I love mine   They did need a fair degree of experimentation with room positioning and continued to open up over a long period too.  

I think they work wonderfully with my NAP300/300PS - as if they were made for each other 

Same here.

bluedog posted:

Interested to hear your impressions - do you know how many hours are on them?  I was driving them with an Olive 250 and they were the best of those I demoed in my relatively small, typical UK semi, sitting room. Great performance, if very slightly 'boomy' (which I put down to their ported design and my room). Last year I changed the 250 for 2 x 135 and it transformed the performance of the S20's.  Be interested to see what you make of them with a 250DR.  Enjoy.

Distance logistics, a bit like your demo, meant that on this occasion I took a punt and brought a second demo pair. In this way Lindsay can have them at home for a good time for evaluation whilst not compromising other demonstrations. So they will need a bit of running in, but using the 05 tuner whilst at work will be just fine I'm sure.

 

Best regards,

 

Peter

Cymbiosis posted:
bluedog posted:

Interested to hear your impressions - do you know how many hours are on them?  I was driving them with an Olive 250 and they were the best of those I demoed in my relatively small, typical UK semi, sitting room. Great performance, if very slightly 'boomy' (which I put down to their ported design and my room). Last year I changed the 250 for 2 x 135 and it transformed the performance of the S20's.  Be interested to see what you make of them with a 250DR.  Enjoy.

Distance logistics, a bit like your demo, meant that on this occasion I took a punt and brought a second demo pair. In this way Lindsay can have them at home for a good time for evaluation whilst not compromising other demonstrations. So they will need a bit of running in, but using the 05 tuner whilst at work will be just fine I'm sure.

 

Best regards,

 

Peter

Hi Peter

A home demo makes all the difference; I was pretty much sold after the demo at your shop, but hearing them in my sitting room persuaded me pretty quickly that they were the ones.  I'm sure you've heard them with the NAP300 but if you're in the area come and hear them with the 135's.  P

bluedog posted:

Hi Peter

A home demo makes all the difference; I was pretty much sold after the demo at your shop, but hearing them in my sitting room persuaded me pretty quickly that they were the ones.  I'm sure you've heard them with the NAP300 but if you're in the area come and hear them with the 135's.  P

Thank you and yes 135's - Fab combination. BTW I hope the Red Kites I saw nesting at the bottom of your road continue to do well.

 

KR

Peter

Jeff Beck is a show off he really is - he recognises this by so naming an album Flash - indeed when he assumed the lead player mantle from EC in the Yardbirds the contrast between the two of them was so plainly apparent - it was not a like-for-like replacement. Roll forward to his 2008 now legendary Ronnie Scotts set and you get the full on JB treatment - every trick in the book but his ability is to show off in a way that demonstrates the music rather than say look at me. So first impression whatever else these speakers might reveal over the next few days they have great timing and bass definition, I imagine resolution is excellent too but I'll hold on that for now, but most at this stage I report they are visceral,  Full on attack, highs and lows and those  "how did he do that" moments.  Awesome JB!!

But then if you change the scene to Mark Knopfler's charming and quirkey Ragpickers Dream you hear something that provides just as much ambience but with all the lyrical content and story telling that presents a different challenge to an audio system.  I went to bed with a smile on my face.

Enough for now.

Regards,

Lindsay

 

Huge posted:
Adam Zielinski posted:

...I would have gone for the S20s (did I get my 3rd conditional right here???)

Yes!

It's often said that foreign English speakers use the language better than native English speakers!

And what's more, unlike most native English speakers, you actually know it's called a 3rd conditional!

best

David

Now what people listen should not in anyway be prescribed but there a few pieces of music which for education and more general well being should be mandated   Kind of Blue is often so stated and quite right but equally the Eroica from LVB should be seen in the same light.  Quite a little while ago the BBC had one of their greatest moments and aired a dramatisation of the first public performance of the Eroica in Prague.  By then the Great Man was in turmoil because of the political conflict and his erstwhile hero Bonaparte was turning out to be as bad a despot as the others.  The performance - panned by the critics of the day - was noticeable for many things not least the musicians  concern as to their ability to get their heads around the complexity of the score but the Composer himself was seemingly obsessed by the horns.    There are of course many excellent performances of the 3rd but particularly noteworthy is a live recording by the LPO conducted by the late  Klaus Tennstedt - he who apparently in the margins of Desert Island Discs suggested to Sue Lawley that she might sleep with him!   Anyway those horns - I think Ludwig might have approved of Naim electronics and Kudos speakers.   

Now from the complex to the simple at a Statement demonstration a little while ago on the Naim playlist was the sublime Bach Cello Suite No 1 by Janos Starker   Simple maybe but the old adage more is less is never more than true here.   Textured certainly but I'm not sure JSB meant for colouration or did he?

MangoMonkey posted:

@@Adam - how do the oavtors compare to the c20s?

Difficult to describe music and sound in words


I would say that Ovators S-400 seem to have a slightly larger sound and are a bit faster (they are blindingly fast speakers, reacting with almost no delay, to changes in music).
From what I recall C20s sounded very grown up and much larger than their size would suggest. Treble was probably a bit more refined than Ovators when I heard them.

Both speakers offered beautiful insight into a recording and I would be very happy with either of them.

Okay guys after 72 hours for which if not listening to them we have left the radio running through them. 

First they integrate into my room more easily than my existing speakers.  The bass is tight, deep and very well defined - to coin a phrase they have grunt.  Tone and textures are rich no matter what the genre - the Trane's tenor on Flamenco Sketches just got even more seductive.  If you like the detail they seemingly resolve with ease there's nuances that I never knew were there. If  there's a vice and we need more time on this it could be that the treble is a little fierce but it doesn't really detract at all. 

Am I likely to press the buy button?  That's difficult as I purchase for the long run so am going to seek some other opinions. But I certainly recommend an audition.  

Well put Lindsay. The treble will calm down but I would rather have more treble which gives more detail and insight into the music. As you say, you are hearing neuances you haven't heard before but what are they like for portraying the emotion, the feeling and how is the texture and realism of the music?

Sounds like a winner lindsey! They are wonderful speakers indeed. The cresendo is great tweeter if they fit to the room, as you experience. You even get grunt. When I moved and got a larger living room they sound bright because bass could not fill the room and tweeter became too dominant. So in the right room and w your gear, very good speaker. Highly recommended.

polarbear - i will post my story on my new speakers over the weekend. Its ARTs with seas newish diamond tweeter which proved to be insanely natural, fluid and resolved. Newer heard speakers like this in my room...

Evening Lars, I look forward to reading your report on your new speakers. Which ART's did you go for?

ART's are very natural, very musical speakers, I have had ART's for over 10 years now and would find it impossible to replace them. However if I was in Lindsay's position I would be seriously considering them. I have spent many hours in Peters dem room listening to the Kudos, both Titans and the S20's and they are highly engaging speakers,

 

regards

 

PB

Fully agree on kudos, great speakers! I have had the s20s for 4-5 years (5th pair built so early adapter :-) titans I never heard but could anyway not get approved by the home minister

I will elaborate on the ARTs in a separate post, but its essentially a brand new production model using this amazing tweeter. Mine are the first supplied to a customer, I think. They are called ART Diamond Signature 8.3 - so based on alnico 8.3 w reference cabinet but the new diamond tweeter and xo implementation. I never heard the alnicos but derek calls the diamonds a gamechanger, and they surely sound wonderful

/Lars

Interesting update Lindsay. You mention that the S20s integrate well in your room and Lars mentions that if a room is too large the treble can become rather dominant. Do you mind me asking the dimensions of your listening room? It seems that room size might be a significant factor with the S20s.

nigelb posted:

Interesting update Lindsay. You mention that the S20s integrate well in your room and Lars mentions that if a room is too large the treble can become rather dominant. Do you mind me asking the dimensions of your listening room? It seems that room size might be a significant factor with the S20s.

Nigel our lounge is awkward about 18' by 10' with the main door and 2 French doors at one end and a bay window the other.  I guess about 9' tall.  The speakers have to point across the 9'.  

I think these integrate far better than the Dynaudios  I really enjoyed the listening session last night. 

One of the problems that Lindsay has is that the Dynaudio's are less efficient than the Kudos. To get the best out of the Dynaudio's he need to turn the volume up and then the bass takes over the room. I would imagine it becomes uncontrolled and flabby. The S20's are far more efficient and you can get the best out of them with less power and therefore the amp is having more control over them.

I have heard his speakers playing at lower levels and I have to admit they are very good. I have questioned why he needs to change them, however if he's playing music much louder when he's on his own and they are loosing control  I can fully understand.

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