Speakers ~$10K for rock, alternative and some pop. Not Jazz or Classical. - Page 14 - AVS Forum
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post #391 of 411 Old 07-03-2012, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

Still working through your list. Checked out your Kudos Cardea C30s. Appears to be another amazing speaker, 5 stars from WhatHiFi says something to me. Not to mention HiFi Choice's Loudspeaker of the Year award for 2008. All Seas drivers, 2 & 1/2 way design. Another speaker worth checking out. Are these rear ported?
Edit: the Harbeth Monitor 40.1 also looks like a very good speaker, incredible midrange as you noted. However, the efficiency would preclude it for HT use IMO.

The C30 has a down firing port and a rear port. I believe the inside of the cabinet is segregated for the mid-range using the rear port and then the low frequency woofer has it's own port at the bottom but I cannot confirm this. The level and tightness of the bass is really something to behold given the fact that there is only a single 6.5" PAPER cone woofer being used. cool.gif

I personally run the speakers with a Rogue Chronus Magnum tube amp and a Cambridge DACMagic Plus for a fair budget front-end. The Cronus has PLENTY of power to push the C30. Better yet is my buddy's father's setup who also has a matching pair of C30s and Kudos C1 for rear channel and twin Kudos C1 for center channels. It is a beautiful sounding system. It's being powered currently by a set of McIntosh MC501 monoblocks, although I think his MC601 monoblocks will be here tomorrow. DAC duty is being handled by an MSB Platinum DAC IV. We have tried several amp combinations as well, MSB S200, Rogue M180, VTL MB-185, and the Kudos responded very well to all of them, but some proved to be too costly to really be justifiable.

Please Note: The following statements represent the opinions of the users present during said listening presentation and do not maintain or imply any scientific proof or endorsement from proven tests or techniques of blind testing or any method similar. Reader discretion is advised. wink.gif
For my buddy's father's system we have spent a lot of time auditioning amps with the C30. His system started with a used set of B&W 803Ds and the McIntosh MC501s. The sibilance from the diamond tweeter in the B&W was unbearable. We all had severe fatigue after only a few minutes of listening on this setup. Our local Metro Detroit dealer was kind enough to let us borrow the Harbeth M40.1 and the Cardea C30 to pit against the B&W (Note gratuitous glamor shot below). We ended up being blown away by the C30. Much too our sadness, the M40.1 was very muddy in the low-range which I think may have been due to the large room but I cannot say for sure. We all loved the M40.1 based on our previous listening experiences at our dealer's shop. The Kudos blew us away with its clarity across the entire spectrum. There was nothing harsh or too revealing about it, and the tightness and power of the low-range was completely unexpected. We were so surprised in fact, that we ended up with 2 pair. cool.gif

I will say that it is kind of annoying that Kudos doesn't publish measurements of their speakers.
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post #392 of 411 Old 07-03-2012, 05:15 PM
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The Studios are just breaking in so I will wait until that is done to mess with them. I don't have much left right to work with so it will be out or in and amount of toe in primarily. As noted, the 205/2s did not have issues. The Studios may just need a bit of a tweak.

The Studio2 should have boundary setting for the bass on the back by the speaker binding posts. Play with that.
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post #393 of 411 Old 07-03-2012, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

The Studio2 should have boundary setting for the bass on the back by the speaker binding posts. Play with that.

Excellent, will do once broke in. Thanks!

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #394 of 411 Old 07-03-2012, 07:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

I will need to give it at least 24 hours of run in before trying to listen critically but I do have a quick update for AJ.
The Studio2s emphasize the ghostly sound in Hide in Your Shell much like my old 103/4s and current 685s did/do. Both the 205/2 and Studio2s do the ball rattle in Everybody Hurts clearer than the JBL Array 1400s, of course this is all IMO.
I may just stay for the full 24 hr break-in as these are already fanstastic. No, must go to the bank so I can purchase the ones that I pick...I am still here.tongue.gif
Well Jim, 2 things
1) It is far more likely that your perception is "breaking in" more so that the loudspeakers, as our ear/brain/hearing system has some neat features like adaptation.
2) The JBL has some notches in the upper mids/lower treble and a more controlled directional HF response which put lower total HF sound power into the room, so it is most likely the KEF & Revel is getting it "right". Both are superbly engineered and either would make a fine choice.
My advice is to do the most logical and rational thing - go for the better looking one biggrin.gif.
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I really wish I could have gone to CapFest and heard Dennis' Phils and AJ's Soundfield Monitors among others.
Unfortunately it seems the nasty weather may preclude Dennis from attending. My M1s will be there but not in my room.
There is always next year. wink.gif
That or you will be happy enough with your purchase to no longer need to go explore.

cheers,

AJ
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post #395 of 411 Old 07-03-2012, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
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It is sad to hear that so many have had it rough with the storms Also know it is not fun to go without electricity (8 days with Ivan).

I don't plan to do another 18 year hiatus so I hope to continue and try to catch up and keep learning and seeing what is available. It is a great hobby. cool.gif

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #396 of 411 Old 07-05-2012, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I never expected deciding between the two would be this hard. The Kef Reference 205/2s looked stunning and fit my room awesome. The Revel Ultima Studio2s looks take a bit to get used to but they are growing on me. The Kefs seemed a bit more dynamic (memory??) and as a three speaker set (202/2c) would be less money as compared to the Studio2 / Voice 2 combo. Kef's leave more $ for electronics. I would also likely have a to get different racks to handle the Voice2 and may need to move my TV up a bit, not sure yet. So why is it not a slam dunk for the Kefs? The tweeter on the Studio2s have a slight edge on the Kefs, now I understand the infatuation with the Beryllium tweeter. Bass in my room was slightly better with the Kefs, adjusting the boundary on the Studio2s addressed the resonace (thanks ADTG) so that is no longer an issue. The part that really drives me toward the Revels is they are ever so more forgiving on less than ideal recordings. To be honest, I really thought the Revels would be less tolerant of the recording but it is the Kefs that are the less tolerant of the two.

I wish I had them at the same time to A/B them, but there is no way I could fit them together even if the dealers would be game. Anyone who has heard these two speakers (or the Salon2 - 207/2 big brothers) I would love to hear your take on these.

P.S. The Revels did my audition selections without fault IMO. Black Horse and the Cherry Tree seemed better on the Kefs and there was another track which escapes me where I heard more detail on the Revels (tweeter?) so no big winner there. They are both awesome.cool.gif

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #397 of 411 Old 07-05-2012, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jima4a View Post


I never expected deciding between the two would be this hard....

I wish I had them at the same time to A/B them......

They are both awesome...

I have the 201/2 next to the Salon2. Both hooked up to dual Rythmik subs. Both set for 2.1, XO 80Hz. Both hooked to AT3000 amps. Speaker Channel Level matched. I can A/B the KEF & Revel within 3 seconds using my Android tablets. I've tried for hours to compare. I think it's impossible to pick a clear winner.

I think it comes down to aesthetics, price, and other things other than pure sound quality.

Before I bought both Revel & KEF, I also had an extremely difficult decision between the 207/2 & Salon2. I couldn't fit them both, so I went with the 201/2 & Salon2.

If I had a bigger room, I would have gotten both the 207/2 & Salon2.

I don't like how Revel did the Voice2 & Gem2, though. They are overpriced and it's totally absurd how they require the stupid matching stands. eek.gif

So if I were building a 5.1 system, I would go with the KEF Reference.
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post #398 of 411 Old 07-05-2012, 08:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I have the 201/2 next to the Salon2. Both hooked up to dual Rythmik subs. Both set for 2.1, XO 80Hz. Both hooked to AT3000 amps. Speaker Channel Level matched. I can A/B the KEF & Revel within 3 seconds using my Android tablets. I've tried for hours to compare. I think it's impossible to pick a clear winner.
I think it comes down to aesthetics, price, and other things other than pure sound quality.
Before I bought both Revel & KEF, I also had an extremely difficult decision between the 207/2 & Salon2. I couldn't fit them both, so I went with the 201/2 & Salon2.
If I had a bigger room, I would have gotten both the 207/2 & Salon2.
I don't like how Revel did the Voice2 & Gem2, though. They are overpriced and it's totally absurd how they require the stupid matching stands. eek.gif
So if I were building a 5.1 system, I would go with the KEF Reference.

That is a strong argument. Since my system will double for HT that is a big plus for Kef. It did end up being what I thought it may, the Studio2s have the edge for 2 channel (more so in a bigger room) and the Kefs for HT. However, they are both incredible and I have spent hours and hours listening to them and absolutely love them both.

Thanks for your insights! wink.gif

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #399 of 411 Old 07-05-2012, 09:22 PM
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That is a strong argument. Since my system will double for HT that is a big plus for Kef. It did end up being what I thought it may, the Studio2s have the edge for 2 channel (more so in a bigger room) and the Kefs for HT. However, they are both incredible and I have spent hours and hours listening to them and absolutely love them both.
Thanks for your insights! wink.gif

I do use the KEF for my 5.1 system, and the Revel for 2.0, although I wouldn't say the Revel sounds better for music. Just really tough to decide for sure. But the KEF wins for "practical" reasons.

If you look at the NRC measurements of the KEF 201/2 vs Salon2/ Studio1, I think the measurements favor the KEF a little. I think the measurements on Stereophile favor the KEF as well by a little. Both measure superbly.
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post #400 of 411 Old 07-06-2012, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I did not post this on the amp section as I would be quickly swarmed by the all amps sound the same gang but I just did a back and forth between my Onkyo 1008 alone vs using a Bryston 4Bsst2 with the 1008 as the front end. Previously I had tried Emotiva UPA-1s with my XQ-40s and concluded for 2 channel it was a step backwards. With the Studio2s it is still mostly a subtle change (yes I level matched with my CM-130 SPL meter) but noticeable, especially with low frequency. There is more depth with the Bryston.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #401 of 411 Old 07-06-2012, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

I did not post this on the amp section as I would be quickly swarmed by the all amps sound the same gang but I just did a back and forth between my Onkyo 1008 alone vs using a Bryston 4Bsst2 with the 1008 as the front end. Previously I had tried Emotiva UPA-1s with my XQ-40s and concluded for 2 channel it was a step backwards. With the Studio2s it is still mostly a subtle change (yes I level matched with my CM-130 SPL meter) but noticeable, especially with low frequency. There is more depth with the Bryston.

There was a german internet reviewer that performed what I thought was a simple and novel test against an SST amp. He put a tone generator on the input and resistor on the output with an oscilloscope after that and measured the output. He was able to determine the Bryston was manipulating the signal and ended up modifying the amp to clean things up. He shared his mod with Bryston and they ended up implementing the change in their manufacturing process.

Review Method: http://www.sonicdesign.se/amptest.htm
Review: http://www.4audio.rs/upload/File/Bryston/Bryston%20review%2049.pdf
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post #402 of 411 Old 07-06-2012, 10:09 AM
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Not to mention the 20yr transferable warranty.

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post #403 of 411 Old 07-06-2012, 11:11 AM
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I did not post this on the amp section as I would be quickly swarmed by the all amps sound the same gang but I just did a back and forth between my Onkyo 1008 alone vs using a Bryston 4Bsst2 with the 1008 as the front end. Previously I had tried Emotiva UPA-1s with my XQ-40s and concluded for 2 channel it was a step backwards. With the Studio2s it is still mostly a subtle change (yes I level matched with my CM-130 SPL meter) but noticeable, especially with low frequency. There is more depth with the Bryston.

If you get the Studio2 or KEF 205/2, you will have to get a SS amp or else we will all have to laugh at you. biggrin.gif

But it better be 300wpc. biggrin.gif
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post #404 of 411 Old 07-06-2012, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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If you get the Studio2 or KEF 205/2, you will have to get a SS amp or else we will all have to laugh at you. biggrin.gif
But it better be 300wpc. biggrin.gif

Yes, I would agree. Oh the shame if I did otherwise.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #405 of 411 Old 07-06-2012, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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It was a tough decision, but the dimensions of the Voice2 made it more simple. I am going with the Kef setup. For those with a larger listening area I would not hesitate to recommend the Revel as they are simply amazing also. But if you are going more for HT you may want to check out the sister JBL line. Or just go with Kef, heck just get all three. biggrin.gif

Thanks to everyone who helped with this part of the journey. Electronics are up next.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #406 of 411 Old 07-06-2012, 01:38 PM
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Thanks for keeping us updated. Speaker quests are the most fun to read.
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post #407 of 411 Old 07-06-2012, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Ordered the Integra 80.3 today, Oppo 93 likely next.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #408 of 411 Old 07-06-2012, 06:49 PM
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Ordered the Integra 80.3 today, Oppo 93 likely next.

They are both very fine pieces.

Now all you need are the amps. biggrin.gif

KEF 205/2 & 202/2, Integra 80.3, Oppo 93 - all great pieces.

Amps?
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post #409 of 411 Old 07-06-2012, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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As much as I'd like to get a Bryston 6B that doesn't look to be in the cards at the present time. So I am looking at ATI AT3003 for LCR and a Lexicon 8 channel class D for the surrounds and heights. If I get the ATI I will plan an eventual AB with Bryston as I am still in the camp where amps can matter. I believe ATI makes great amps, just would love to compare to Bryston and Krell, if possible.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #410 of 411 Old 07-21-2012, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I am loving the 205s but miss the Studio2s. Is this how it starts?

Anyway, I went a different route on electronics. Got the 80.3 but also bought the Bryston 4B. Love that amp. Going to try a Sherbourn PA 5-200 for the rest of the channels. If I don't like that I will get an ATI AT2005. I know the 5-200 is likely just a better made XPA-5 but I am hoping that with the larger power supply (vs the discontinued UPA-1) and since it will be driving the heights, surrounds and center it will work okay for that. Only concern is for driving the center, 202/2.

Living with the Denon DBP 2010ci for now as the Bryston damaged my budget even though I got a good deal. I am very impressed with the way the 80.3 interfaces with the IPod Classic with music recorded in Apple Lossless. No reason to mess with CDs. Of course HD needs to be upcoming as I am source limited. Just more to look forward to.

I saw that ADTG posted he is in the process of getting B&W 802D1s. I can't wait to hear his impressions on those. It must be tough deciding which system to listen to. biggrin.gif

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #411 of 411 Old 07-21-2012, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

I am loving the 205s but miss the Studio2s. Is this how it starts?

I saw that ADTG posted he is in the process of getting B&W 802D1s. I can't wait to hear his impressions on those. It must be tough deciding which system to listen to. biggrin.gif

Now you know why I could not just have one set of speakers. biggrin.gif

Yup. In the process of getting 802D.

I think the previous salesman did the 802D a huge disservice. In recalled the sound was not very crystal clear previously - as if some form of EQ was engaged (although the previous salesman said it was in direct mode).

That is why a lot of guys swear by ANALOG gears - they don't have room EQ and they can defeat the tones - some of them don't even have tones.

Anyway, this time the 802D + Rotel pre-pro sounded crystal clear - like truly pure direct mode - no EQ, RC, or DSP. Just that pure "analog" sound. biggrin.gif
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