anybody here ever listen to these? gotta say that the apparent value on these models seems extraordinarily high
Not many folks have owned these speakers so don't expect very many if any replies. I used to own the 1st version of the 645's. I thought they were nice sounding speakers for 2 channel music listening and one of the better ribbons I've heard. There are tweaks you can do but I never got into any of that. I wouldn't recommend them for HT. Certainly not your average looking speaker with the stove pipe look. I'd say they are worth the money if your going to use them for music. Once in a blue moon you'll see a used pair of an older version for sale.
Some audio history:
I own a set of their R630's and absolutely love them. By far my favourite speaker over all the other speakers I own such as Monitor Audio's GX50, PSB Imagine B, Dynaudio DM2/6.
I think their design has a lot of merit. Most ribbon speakers cross a lot higher. Like 2.3 kHz for my GX50's for example. The R630's ribbon plays down to 1 kHz though. Its sheer 30" size allows it to go that low and yet still put out the necessary dB levels. A smaller more conventional ribbon could not put out enough dB level that low down without major distortion. And then the fact it's extremely narrow and more free from baffle bounce. Not to mention the other benefit of 1K and up acting as a line source.
They sound very detailed yet natural and lifelike. Soundstage is wall to wall and very 3D. They have certainly cured my upgradeitis. I can't think of any other speakers I would prefer to be using without going into a substantially higher price range. If I have some money burning a hole in my pocket one day, I may look at upgrading them with the active crossover package.
I have no problem with them performing a HT role as well as for music. I have them crossed at 80hz to subs and use the Monitor Audio GX50's as my side surrounds and a Monitor Audio GX150 center. So long as you can have at least 6 or 7 feet descent from them to your listening position... they don't work as a nearfield speaker.
I do think Newform Research is a very underrated company and would happily recommend them.
And that seems to be a recurring theme amongst owners of the R630's and R645's...