Speaker Shoot Out

This post is by way of a follow on from my “Any Magico users out there?” post. I was able to spare some time back in the UK this week to have a shop demo of several speakers: Focal Sopra II; Sonus Faber Amati; Wilson Sabrina and Magico S3’s. This list is more or less in ascending price with the Sopras being by far the most budget model of the 4. I currently use some old B&W 803S back home. KJ West One (thanks Jason) were able to more or less recreate my home system. This was 500 series electronics and NDS with a single 555PS as the source. I have a CDS3 at home but for obvious reasons, KJ did not have one to hand. I took along 4 CDs and the test tracks were:

Keb Mo – For What It’s Worth

Damien Rice – The Blowers Daughter

Roxy Music – Manifesto

Dire Straits – Tunnel of Love.

 No real thought had gone into track selection. I knew the tracks quite well and these were ripped from CD prior to the demo. We also used Nathan East (Crazy) as a known example of a well recorded piece from the library. I would say that I have never had a chance like this to audition so many speakers. I have done home dems of 1-2 pairs for A-B which are easier tests to make sense of. I would also say that it was surprisingly hard work and I am not sure I want to hear any of these tracks any time soon. Apologies, in advance if the following description is some way short of the normal Hifi magazine hyperbole. We kept the volume the same throughout but adjusted for the Wilsons – see below.

 Focals. First up and imaged very well. They had very controlled bass with Keb Mo, the acoustic guitar of Damien Rice was also excellent. Manifesto was a little tizzy on the hi-hat but solid in the lower registers. Dire Straits came over a little shouty overall but the CD is not the best recording. The sonic picture was not very cohesive on the last track. Overall a decent showing but not an edge of the chair ride by any means.

 Sonus Faber. About double the cost of the Focals and provided better depth overall. Rather dark and rich in tone but provided some excellent detail, especially with Damien Rice. For my tastes, a bit too mellow but with good imaging. These were not on my short list but I was still glad to hear them. I am not sure of the vintage or release date of these but they rather sounded like last year’s technology. Possibly “better” than the Focals, depending on taste but for twice (plus) the price, they were not twice as good.

 Wilsons. I really wanted to like these the most. Mainly due to their relatively compact dimensions which provides ample placement options around the house. These were a tougher load and I had to adjust the volume up to give a fair comparison. The presentation was again quite mellow but with some excellent detail on Damien O. Backing vocals here were very clear. Integration was excellent from low to highs, they were really quite seamless. There was nothing really to fault but not much to love either.

 Magico S3. About 3 times the price of the poor Focals. First impression was speed, these are fast speakers. They are also quite tall units and I think I was sitting a little too close but this was room constrained. Imaging was good but not the best of the 4. Resolution, timbre and frequency extension was really impressive. The backing vocals in the middle 8 of Damien Rice were perfect. For me, these are extremely realistic speakers, a piano sounds like a piano, etc. Yes I liked these. I think these have the largest bass drivers of the 4 but control was excellent.

 I took along a work colleague who is in no way a hifi addict. He owns a boom-box. He preferred the Focals, I the Magicos. Horses for courses then. Much to consider and with all these things, I can only imagine what the test would have thrown up if done in my own home. As this is a non-starter, this will remain speculation only.

 Thanks again to KJ for the hospitality and hard work schlepping those speakers around. That was also the longest run of SL speaker cable I have seen. I also got to touch a statement system, but not hear. Next time possibly.

 Dave

Original Post

Hi Bodger,

Sounds like 4 nearly there but no bullseye. If so, a very similar experience to my speaker journey.

It is genuinely worth seeking out other options such as PMC, Proac, Wilson Benesch, ART, B&W, Neat, Kudos etc. Until you do hit the bullseye for you.

Best regards, FT

Foot tapper posted:

Hi Bodger,

Sounds like 4 nearly there but no bullseye. If so, a very similar experience to my speaker journey.

It is genuinely worth seeking out other options such as PMC, Proac, Wilson Benesch, ART, B&W, Neat, Kudos etc. Until you do hit the bullseye for you.

Best regards, FT

Hi Bodger!

Thank you for a well written and interesting post!

I have to agree with foot tapper, try out a few more brands if possible before you make up your mind.

I have made a similar journey and are a very happy owner of a pair of Kudos Titans since 6 weeks.

I never listened to Magico S3 since they are out of my budget. I concluded that Wilson speakers are too demanding (too heavy load) for my NAP300. I never tried but a dealer I talked to was quite convinced that Wilson and Naim would not be a very good match if you did not have a NAP500, as you have.

I did listen to Sonus Faber and Focal Sopra but found something much better for my taste with the Titans. 

If you have the possibility I would really recommend that you give the Kudos Titan 808 a listen. 

Also listen to Neat XL10 and PMC fact 12 if possible. I never heard any of them but have been told they are really good speakers and a good match with Naim.

I have listened to B&W 803D3 and 802D3 and 802D3 are quite nice if you like their looks and can accommodate their big format. Very deep and the front of the speaker will end up quite far from the back wall. Due to the format I tried 803D3 in my room. They were quite good but the Titans are in another league, in my room according to my ears… 

Good luck and I hope you find the right speaker for your taste!

/Marcus   

Bodger,

Like you I'm currently demoing speakers. Your post is well elucidated yet to me seems focused on the hi-fi aspects of the speakers. Don't overlook the engagement and musicality factors. After all, the speakers are the end game of your system's output. Some speakers can tic all the hi-fi boxes yet leave you flat for engagement. I'd also suggest demoing less than ultimate SQ tracks. I've found that musical speakers with a high PRaT factor have a way of making more of my music holdings engaging than an interest in strict SQ.

MARCUSM - I agree with you about the Wilsons. Even with a 500 they were laboring I thought. I would like to hear more speakers but these opportunities do not come around too often and the shop had good stock but not everything.  The Titans are on my list but this is opportunity driven.

JOERAND - good points. It was difficult squeezing in 4 pairs in a session and hard too to make notes and write it up. I did focus quite on the Hifi aspects as I thought it more appropriate for this forum. Not sure how many musos are on here and thought it a stretch to include "middle 8" in the text. I do not think any of the pairs ticked all the boxes. Rather than cramming in so many trials at once I think a prolonged home demo would be easier to evaluate. I suppose you could simply get used to the new sound and decide you prefer it so possibly downsides in choosing. It will tell you if they work in your room though. Regarding the hi or lo SQ recordings. Poor tracks still sound poor on anything as I have discovered as I have progressed up the Naim ladder. If you know the recording is good, you can at least tell if the system is on song.

I hope to have a different pair shipped for a home dem shortly. Bad timing as my CDS3 is away for repair. Anyway, that should also be fun.

Dave

 

For a rather off-the-wall suggestion, have you considered Shahinian Hawks? I noted your mention of piano sound and Shahinians are really rather good at reproducing that kind of thing.

I agree that Kudos 808 Titans should also be high on your list - brilliant speakers, especially with your level of amplification.

That said, I wonder if the correct Focals to listen to would have been in the Utopia range. 

Frank.

Interesting comments.  The original Q5s were easily betters than the original S7s back in 2014 when i heard them. By that i mean mote realistic with well recorded music. More Expensive again of course.   fYI My point of refence at home is the Vivid B1, which is also a fast revealing speaker

When  you say the Magico was not as good at imaging i wonder a little about this perception. Just like your boom box buddy i think many if us, well most of us, are not sure what we are listening for ( not saying i am in the know but have listened to many many systems)  Every aspect of the sound that changes brings with it other changes that you may not be listening for.  Pin point imaging for example may well be a sonic artifact ( in fact i have been told/read that it is known as spotlighting)

In my current system i once had pin point imaging but i noticed that as the sound improved over iterations that this went away. Yes, you can locate sounds, but they are fuller and broader and have shades of grey ( correction, shades of space or difference, its not blurred its a continuity) around them, all depending on the recording of course.  

I have non audiophile friends that tell me i probably imagine the sonic changes in my system.  This is out of ignorance as most will not listen anyway.  It does make me wonder myself sometimes, until I play some long lost track from the depths of my collection and hear how different it sounds to my memory of the recording. Fir example, drum beats that were always non descript thuds turn out to be real drums, mixes that we homogenic have compressed parts and less compressed parts.  Old recordings sound like the band has taken up residence in your living room and are playing a live version of that old favourite.  I think brands like Magico and Vivid focus on providing this experience and that is why i like  them. musical but a bit warts and all, but that is music for you.

Bodger posted:

Regarding the hi or lo SQ recordings. Poor tracks still sound poor on anything as I have discovered as I have progressed up the Naim ladder. If you know the recording is good, you can at least tell if the system is on song.

Dave,

Thanks for the reply. I wholly agree with what you say regarding recording/SQ. My point was that musically engaging speakers can help dig out a great performance in an otherwise lesser recording, making you better appreciate those tracks than does a less musical speaker that is great with hi-fi. I've noted some age-related changes in my hearing lately and my focus now is on speakers that are loaded with PRaT, get my toe tapping, work at low volume, and are non-fatiguing. Get those aspects right for me and I'll accept some hi-fi compromises.

Good luck on your quest. There are dozens and dozens of contenders out there in the speaker world yet in reality we'll probably only get half a dozen (or fewer) home for a demo. A patient dealer also helps .

Ok, all, I now have a pair of Art Alnico 8.3 Signatures on home demo all the way from Sunny Troon. Thanks Derek. Only 5 days in so far. I think my SL interconnect is still running in too. So far I am far from gobsmacked. My initial reaction was quite positive but I now think this was at least partly just hearing a new presentation. Perhaps now the sound is just more familiar.

They are not particularly revealing or satisfying at low levels too. I also hear a little shoutiness to the fore in the vocals. Deeps and controlled bass is quite satisfying though. Time will tell and I am working on positioning at the minute.

I also hope to hear some Titan 808 next week down in Leicester on a trip back to the UK. Will report back on that interesting trial too.

Good listening.

Dave

 

Thanks for the update Dave,

The ART's are lovely speakers in our room (no bias there then!) but may not suit your room.  

The Titans should always be on the audition short list and I'm told (but have not heard) the new B&W 802 & 803 D3, which are supposed to be a considerable step up from their predecessors.  Then there are the PMC Fact 12 which I have only sound lovely on the end of a 500 series system.

Do keep trying to audition these before you finally take the plunge and decide on the pair for you....

... and thanks for sharing the journey.  Mine was a similar journey to yours but may well have ended with a different answer.

Best regards, FT

 

Hi Bodger,

I am enjoying your thread, but do have a concern, that is that your room is a huge part of how your speakers perform; shame this is not possible as you are in the dark and may well not select the best speakers.

Have to say that I thoroughly enjoy my Focal 1008be IIs, they work in my system and room beautifully. Wish I had the 'headache' of trying to decide between the speakers you are auditioning! Of course, I would probably have to 'upgrade' my house first!

M

Hi interesting post ... I think you owe it to yourself to try the kef blade, ATC and PMC like the new 25.26 etc. 

I am also familiar with some of your tracks .... not the best as you point out in terms of quality. My system is far more humble than yours ... at the sort of scale set up you are considering you need the system to have terrific dynamic punch that conveys the sheer impact and sonority  of a beautiful musical performance. Your system will be really ruthless in exposing the mastering.....

Perhaps ... just maybe some live listening venues may help re-adjust  your own personal sonic / aural landscape you are looking for and then get some really hi res material that really stretches the system...just a thought. .... It must be fantastic to be shaking down such a great system

Good luck keep posting...

I had a chance to listen to a set of Wilson's some time ago (I was not buying the person in the shop was considering) and fully agree that they do need a bit of grunt to get them working at their best..... they were demoed with a Krell power amp rated at 300W/channel (I dont remember the model).... they were also tried with a Musical Fidelity power amp (the potential buyer was trying to get away using the cheapest amp he could get away with...) and the MF 150W amp could just about drive it correctly.... though not really well enough vs the more powerful Krell

I suspect that you really a Naim Statement or maybe bi-amped NAP500 to drive Wilsons

 

 

In my humble experience really high mass speakers can sound more dead .... inherently. One of the most impressive speakers I have ever heard were the Martin Logans that combined a panel driver with a traditional base driver.....they were effortless and breathtakingly transparent.....  I think the speaker/amp synergy is the most difficult thing to get right .... this is where a great dealer can really help. Happy auditioning!!!

nailed of the head. any box speaker stores energy due to the driver mass etc.  run at low volume and you will never achieve a balanced output  ...solution electrostatics.   the bass may seem alittle light but it doesnt contain resonance .   logans good i prefer the latest quads.  made in china we can only dream of quality manufacturing. 

fernar posted:

I had a chance to listen to a set of Wilson's some time ago (I was not buying the person in the shop was considering) and fully agree that they do need a bit of grunt to get them working at their best..... they were demoed with a Krell power amp rated at 300W/channel (I dont remember the model).... they were also tried with a Musical Fidelity power amp (the potential buyer was trying to get away using the cheapest amp he could get away with...) and the MF 150W amp could just about drive it correctly.... though not really well enough vs the more powerful Krell

I suspect that you really a Naim Statement or maybe bi-amped NAP500 to drive Wilsons

 

 

I wonder what I'm missing?  The Sabrina's are rated at 50 per channel minimum., I don't think they are particularly hard to drive.  I fell in love with these listening to them from a Rega integrated amp.  My Sabrina's sure sounds sweet with my 250DR/XPSDR/NAC272 combo in my modest room.  That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if an even more powerful amp would sound even better.  

All, I thought I would provide a brief update on the state of play. I have had the Art 8.3’s now for about 2 weeks but I have been away for one of those weeks. I borrowed some ears for a few hours of listening recently. We began with the Arts and ended up with the 803’s.

I believe the Arts have now recovered from their journey to Greece and are on song. The house sound is relatively warm and organic. The drivers do integrate well but I still feel they are somewhat forward in the mid. On reverting to the 803’s, the Arts did not deliver the top end resolution that I am used to. Despite these slight criticisms, the Arts really handle bass extremely well. As a bassist, my ears are always drawn to the bass line and the Arts do bass better than anything I have experienced so far. They are delivering what my electronics are capable of doing. Perhaps the 803’s would be closer if there was not a hot wheels toy in the right bass port. I have not been able to remove it since my little chap inserted it some years ago.

Last week I managed a trip down to Leicester to a well known dealer thereabouts. After a most excellent lunch in the local pub, I was able to hear the Titan 808’s for the first time. My hosts had managed to recreate my home system more or less. NDS in place of my CDS3 which is as close as you can get I guess. They even provided a Rega RP8 for the session. Me and my spare of ears (thanks Ian) had the run of the demo room all afternoon, about 4 hours in all. The dem room was a little on the short side and we were sat only about 12 feet from the speakers.

I was assured that the Titans were well run in. That said, they did take about an hour to really warm up. Maybe being left playing at low volumes left them out of breath once we upped the volume. These are very fine speakers. Lively and fast and a pretty good fit with the Naim house sound. They are voiced quite forward and I found the mid to be quite overbearing. Lots of detail for sure but not an even sound palate. They have only one bass driver which is about 8 inches and were rather bass shy even when we went looking for it with certain tracks. I am sure lots of folks on this forum will rate these speakers highly and rightly so. But for me, these are not the promised land and the search will have to continue. Many thanks to the chaps for their hospitality and cups of tea.

I am now running out of demo options. I really would like to hear the new B&W D3s but have not been able to find a UK dealer stocking Naim 500 series and D3’s. I am still hopeful of finding that Goldilocks sound to justify what will be a significant purchase. If anyone can report further on Naim and the new D3 models, I would be glad to read that. I have not seen a post on these speakers for quite a while now. I guess one obvious conclusion is that despite hearing some pretty top flight speakers, my humble 803’s hold up pretty well even after all these years.

One small point on using the NDS, plus Tidal etc, I can now see why the streamers out there have gone this route. It really is a pleasure to have al your music at your fingertips. I have mostly ripped all my CDs now but have nothing yet to play the files on. Can I part with my CDS3? Probably, at some point.

Dave

 

Blue Bottle posted:

Dave,

Listened to the 802 and 803 D3s at Grahams, couple of weekends ago - they have the 500 series.  The 802s were astonishing; really good separation of notes, deep stage and good bass; worth the trip to hear them.

BB

BB,

ta for that. I would love to have a listen. Only get back to the UK from time to time. After all this faffing around, I might just take the plunge with the 802 D3. I have always enjoyed the B&W - Naim sound. My original Naim dealer in Montrose was a big fan also. Onwards and upwards.

Dave

 

MarcusM posted:
 

 

I never listened to Magico S3 since they are out of my budget. I concluded that Wilson speakers are too demanding (too heavy load) for my NAP300. I never tried but a dealer I talked to was quite convinced that Wilson and Naim would not be a very good match if you did not have a NAP500, as you have.

I

/Marcus   

At the local audio show one of the rooms were using I believe the Sabrina's with the 282/HiCAPDR/250DR combo, fed by a MSB DAC & I thought it was one of the better sounding rooms of the show (though the speakers were a little over powering for the room size).  So depending on the model, a Wilson/Naim combo may work.

 

I have now been living with the Art Alnico 8.3s since the end of July. This extended trial has been possible thanks to those good folks in Troon. I have been able to switch from my existing speakers, B&W 803S to the Arts, from track to track and depending on the mood. I have had many pairs of ears to advise me during this period. Evan after this extended period, A verses B is not clear. I am now planning to ship the Arts back to Scotland and explain why this is the case.

As per this thread, I have tried numerous speakers of late. Non have undergone the extended trial I have been enjoying with the Arts. The Arts are indeed a lovely speaker and deliver fast bass in spades. The tone is rich and detailed and very well integrated from lows to highs. I could live with these speakers. They are, however, a bit lacking, in my view, of detail in the upper mid and highs. They can sound a little shut in at these frequencies and this takes a little away from what my system is putting out. I think my sources (CDS3 and RP8 – with supercapped superline) are quite competent in delivering detail. I am tempted though to try some Alnico 12’s but will wait a while on this.

I guess my conclusions to date are:

  1. my old speakers are still pretty good. At least my ears are very much accustomed to their sound. Perhaps this conditioning is clouding my views.
  2. Art do make excellent speakers.
  3. The B&W’s were bought in circa 2004. Technology has improved in this time and I have sampled this in the Focals, Magicos etc. This does not always guarantee that the net result is better.
  4. New materials can improve the result in some areas but the overall package still needs to work coherently.
  5. The Arts are superior, in some areas, to my 803S but not by the difference in price tag. I am not sure what old model 803s go for now but not close to the Arts.
  6. I still believe that I have not yet found the “right” speaker yet. I think I will know it when I hear it. I may be mistaken here.
  7. Having had the chance and made the effort to demo so many speakers so far, it almost compels you to want to hear more. Perhaps this is just delaying the decision but also a case of you just never know what next.
  8. I really should get off the fence before my hearing gets worse. That would be ironic.

In short, I would recommend the Arts to any Naim owner. The sound is organic and natural. I will continue to look for a little bit more excitement and really want to try the new D3 802’s from B&W.

Dave

 

Hi Dave,
Many thanks for the update on your fascinating journey.

re your point 2, (unsurprisingly) agreed.  There are other versions of the Alnico series that have a more revealing mid-range driver and so may suit you better. Ramsey can also tweak the crossover settings to fine tune the tonal balance to a customer's preference. He did this for Polarbear's Deco 20s.

Real wisdom in your point 4.  Kudos deliberately tilt up the output of high frequencies to make their speakers sound more detailed, exciting & involving.  Some like it this way, others not.  It does seem to be incredibly hard to achieve that sense of coherence, even more so as the speakers become more revealing.

re point 6, you are not mistaken at all.  I reached the same point 2/3 of the way through my own speaker journey.  When the right ones come along, you will know, probably within the first few seconds (so long as they are run-in).

re 7, do try to hear the 802D3 and 803D3 before you make your final decision.  You already like your 803S and both of the new ones are a step up from your current speakers (yes, I auditioned the 803S and 803D as well at the time)

Happy hunting! FT

 

HI Dave,

Must be a real downer having to organise all this long-distance demo'ing.

 

I had the B&W 803S with my 202/200 and spoiled myself with 803D3 as a retirement present.

Logic was that these were my speakers for life and I see no reason to change that opinion having listened to them for around 10 months now.

 

I loved the sound of my 803S and indeed wondered how it could get better ... but it did

 

Of course at nearly 4x the price it bloody well should but that doesn't automatically follow in other areas or with other manufacturers.

 

All I can say is that with my humnble 202/200 it presented more detail and bass; subsequently with my new 250DR run-in they have gone up another level again. I judge equipment not so much with OMG or jaw-dropping but whether or not they make me smile - and I've been smiling all morning listening to Dire Straits (not a band I have listened to a lot) on 88.2/24 through my US.

Spot-on placement, great bass, tuneful, detailed and really dunamic. They also seem to have that trick of keeping the dynamics even when at lower volume (to keep my dear lady happy) but they do excel when I get to turn the pot up a bit.

 

Would sure like to hear what they will sound like with your 552/500 - awesome I expect

 

I would urge you give them a listen - probably cheaper flying over here to do this since they weigh a prodigious amount and it must cost a fortune to ship them.

 

All the best in your hunt,

Allan

 

Bodger,

I don't know what price range you are shopping, but to not demo Proac's or Dynaudio's in your price range would be, in my opinion, a mistake. 

The  Dynaudio Confidence line is really excellent, the Proac Response and K range are also extremely capable speakers.

All,

I have had a 2 month pause in speaker trials since the last post. I’m happy to report that I was able to arrange a demo of the new (ish) B&W 802 D3’s this Tuesday complete with more or less my home system. The differences were NDS replacing my CDS3, with single 555PS and NAP500DR in place of my humble 500 non-DR. As the shop had a used pair of D2 800’s in stock we also wheeled these in for a quick A-B. With fewer speakers to get through this time, I extended the listening list from the last demo to:

Artist          Album          Track

Jon Gomm          Don't Panic           Afterglow

Various          Eric Clapton & Friends The Breeze          Someday

Bob James          The New Cool           Crazy

Steve Windwood    Arc of the Diver          While You See A Chance

Roxy Music          Manifesto          Manifesto (HDCD)

The Jam          The Sound of The Jam         Ghosts

Again there was no real science to the list of tracks. The new additions were chosen for a number of reasons though. Jon Gomm is not a stellar vocalist IMHO, but the percussive acoustic style is very singular and presents some different sounds for reproduction than normal. Steve Windwood, probably not the best mastered track ever, did provide some mushy synth that I was hoping to hear with new clarity. We also had a high res download of this via Tidal which ended up as the demo track as it was superior to the CD rip. The Jam track is very sparse musically. The first bass note is the open E-string which is a good test of bass voicing. Mr. Weller may not be operatic in style/quality but the song is quite raw and emotive so also a good test of ingredient “x”.

We played the full track list through the new D3’s first. The Jam came on and I found myself doing something I do not normally do. My foot started tapping. I have seen sales persons do this to try to convey that the music is “so” engaging. Never felt like joining them myself. Until now. I actually wanted to join in on the vocals as well near the end which given my singing skills, would have been a mistake. But the point being, the sound and immersive experience was quite uncanny and tremendously uplifting. If you have read the full chain of this post, you will by now have figured out that my long awaited, wow moment, had arrived.

Steve Windwood passed the test. Where there had previously been quite some overlap and merging of vocals, synth and crash symbol, all was now teased apart, placed in space and made more sense to my ears. Jon Gomm’s thumping and generally abusing his acoustic guitar was tremendously realistic. I’ll park the hyperbole for the other tracks and simply say that I am quite taken by these speakers.

The older generation of 800’s were wheeled in and we just had a reduced play list for comparison. In their day the 800’s were quite rightly highly rated. They still sound good but frankly nowhere near the quality of the 802 D3. The mids were muddled in comparison and the bass not as etched either. I did read somewhere that any model in the new D3 series is better than the next model up in the old series. I would say this is true.

One factor that I am wresting with is the use of the DR’d 500 in the demo. I had not heard a DR’d unit until now. So quite how much was down to the speaker and how much DR technology I cannot say. As the 802 aced the old 800, I can say the D3 is quite an achievement. Also, given that I will DR my amp as soon as, means that I will not be disappointed in the long run. I did not want to hear the 800 D3’s that were sitting there outside the room. There is quite a price differential from 802 to 800. Not hearing them makes it easier not to buy them!

I think I have found the right speakers for me after quite some time and effort. Good luck to all others still on this particular journey. Take your time, that “yes” moment is out there. Thanks to all (James) for the dem.

 

Glad to hear (sic) you've found your speakers.

I wonder sometimes that B&W are not mentioned too often on posts here ... but I love my 803D3 speakers and they will be the last I ever buy; can only imagine that the 802D3's just give more of everything I love too.

 

Enjoy reliving your music collection,

Allan

Allan Milne posted:

 

Glad to hear (sic) you've found your speakers.

I wonder sometimes that B&W are not mentioned too often on posts here ... but I love my 803D3 speakers and they will be the last I ever buy; can only imagine that the 802D3's just give more of everything I love too.

 

Enjoy reliving your music collection,

Allan

Allan,

I think there are still a few B&W converts on here but not many. The first dealer I used in Montrose was a real convert to Naim/B&W and that iis partly why I ended up with the 803's. I also plan that the 802's will also be my last speaker purchase and enjoyable though the journey was, I will be happy not to have to repeat it again. Let's hope the run in is not too painful.

Dave

 

Well done Allan - great that you have found your speakers after all the effort. Again great you have shared.

as you may recall, i have been searching as well, and have now also pulled the trigger for a new set of speakers. Its not b&w, will post what I ended up with shortly

now its back to enjoying the music :-)

lars

Lars,

well done too. Hope to hear soon what you chose and more importantly why.

I must admit I'm getting tired of this forum lately. I have written several long pieces above trying to share real experiences and and my path through the decision making process. The feed back and constructive response has been very light. Were one to ask a question like, "what colour is your speaker cable?" or "what new turn table should I buy" you are guaranteed to receive 167 replies in a day. Maybe adding the smiley icon functions has taken us too close to the Facebook state of mind whereby "liking" something is a significant contribution to the debate.

Dave

 

Bodger posted:

Lars,

well done too. Hope to hear soon what you chose and more importantly why.

I must admit I'm getting tired of this forum lately. I have written several long pieces above trying to share real experiences and and my path through the decision making process. The feed back and constructive response has been very light. Were one to ask a question like, "what colour is your speaker cable?" or "what new turn table should I buy" you are guaranteed to receive 167 replies in a day. Maybe adding the smiley icon functions has taken us too close to the Facebook state of mind whereby "liking" something is a significant contribution to the debate.

Dave

 

Dave, I wonder what exactly you feel is missing? You've had some potentially helpful suggestions along the way, and feedback too. Perhaps because you've been looking at a few expensive speakers that few here have heard there is less scope to contribute usefully. You seem to have wanted the D3 all along, so maybe that put people off? Who knows? You've ended up with a result that suits you, and that's what counts. 

I have followed this thread with some interest, but not contributed mainly because virtually all the speakers have been outside my own range of experience, plus I tend to struggle with analysing why one speaker sounds better than another, at least where the overall character is similar, and it always interests me to learn what others say about speakers.

The only ones I have heard are the 802s (I can't remember if D2 or D3 - something like £16-18k fairly early this year). I rejected them in comparison to the IMFs I had at the time, and PMCs I also auditioned alongside - not because the 802s were bad, they certainly weren't, but they didn't make the music come alive, my description at the time being that they seemed almost too polite. But I know other people love them, and of course it depends on synergy with the rest of the system, music played, and personal taste.

Bodger,

I appreciate you posting your experiences, which could be quite valuable for members who are considering the speakers you mention.  Like others, I have read this thread but not posted - I have limited experience with these models and am not looking to replace my own speakers.  So do not doubt the value of your contribution.

Thank you!

Charlie

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lapinMoussa
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