B&W 800's vs. Kef Reference for Home Theater - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 09-07-2013, 07:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am comparing a couple of speakers that i like for Home Theater purposes.
I believe B&W and Kef have different sounds. I've heard the following set of B&W:

- B&W 803 Diamond (Fronts) (x2)
- B&W HTM2 (Center) (x1)
- B&W 805 Diamond (Rears) (x2)
- As for Sub they had a good sub, but i will add 2 SVS PB-13 Ultra (x2)

Now i would also like to hear Kef Reference, but i cannot hear them in my area. But i am also considering this set:

- Kef Reference 205 (Front) (x2)
- Kef Reference 204 (Central) (x1)
- Kef Reference 201 (Back/Side Surrounds) (x4)
- SVS PB-13 Ultra (x2)

I've heard amazing things about Kef Reference and there is a Setup that i saw photos that seems to be amazing.

http://images2.static-bluray.com/htgallery/98496.jpg

Anyone has experience with Kef Reference? In 2008 Audio Cinema Choice made a review on those and they gived 5 Stars, only positive points were mentioned.
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post #2 of 17 Old 09-07-2013, 07:47 AM
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I have 205/2 with the 202/2c. I personally believe that Kef does better with HT than B&W but a Diamond setup would still be awesome. Did you mean a 207/2 for center or perhaps the 204/2c?

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 #3 of 17 Old 09-07-2013, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi
I mean the 204 for Central because it has the same power of the 205's and the Central speaker is extremelly important.
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post #4 of 17 Old 09-07-2013, 09:13 AM
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I would get KEF Reference or Revel Ultima or RBH SX or SX-Reference.

So many great speakers out there.

You have the usual low efficiency speakers & a few high efficiency speakers. The 92dB/2.83v/m RBH SX-T2N (non-powered) speakers are kind of in-between. Just get five SX-T2N and you will have ten 10" subs right there. No need to buy any addition subs. biggrin.gif

Dealer cost is about 40% off MSRP, so a nice dealer may be able to get you a great package deal in this tough economy. biggrin.gif
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post #5 of 17 Old 09-07-2013, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

I would get KEF Reference or Revel Ultima or RBH SX or SX-Reference.

So many great speakers out there.

You have the usual low efficiency speakers & a few high efficiency speakers. The 92dB/2.83v/m RBH SX-T2N (non-powered) speakers are kind of in-between. Just get five SX-T2N and you will have ten 10" subs right there. No need to buy any addition subs. biggrin.gif

Dealer cost is about 40% off MSRP, so a nice dealer may be able to get you a great package deal in this tough economy. biggrin.gif

I see you have ATI Amplifiers right? How do they sound with Kef? Kef Sound has good Bass? Does it has good dynamics for movies?

How do ATI Amps compare to Emotiva?

Was checking the RBH Speakers at their site. Are these comparable to waht speakers? Klipsch THX Ultra and B&K? Are they better?
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post #6 of 17 Old 09-07-2013, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was checking RBH more seriosly...WHAT IS THIS? 500WATTS PER CHANNEL???eek.gifeek.gifeek.gif

Didn't know this brand, and speakers look so nice, specially the "Towers" WOW

They work as a normal speaker right? You spoke about the speaker being "non-powered", i don't understand...
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post #7 of 17 Old 09-07-2013, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by MV_Cinema View Post

I was checking RBH more seriosly...WHAT IS THIS? 500WATTS PER CHANNEL???eek.gifeek.gifeek.gif

Didn't know this brand, and speakers look so nice, specially the "Towers" WOW

They work as a normal speaker right? You spoke about the speaker being "non-powered", i don't understand...

First, I want to reiterate about auditioning first before buying.

RBH is made-in-USA B&M brand. Their flagship is the 8T "towers". Next one down is their $20K+ SX-T3P/R and $10K+ SX-T2P/R.

They are modular tower designs. Basically the concept is that single cabinet towers cannot compete w/ dedicated subs regarding bass. So some companies turn to modular design, which incorporates a real dedicated subwoofer cabinet with a midrange-treble cabinet.

You know how most people XO their subs @ 80Hz? The $180K Focal Grande Utopia uses a large "Sat" atop a 16" "Sub" & XO @ 80Hz just like you would with any sub.

Anyway, the RBH modular towers work two ways - as a regular tower system or as a sat + sub system. I prefer the Sat + Sub setup. So five T2 towers would literally be having 5 subs. Or 4 T4 would be having 4 subs.

The SX-T1 sat are very dynamic and can play extremely loud & accurate. There's also the SX-T1/R, which stands for Reference. They have a sensitivity of 92dB/2.83v/m, so they can output a lot. Well, just look the picture for the SX-T2 tower and you will see how big they are. biggrin.gif

Right now I actually have 5 RBH SX-1010 subs. I place my 5 KEF 201/2 on stands atop each RBH SX-1010. But if I ever sell all my speakers, I would just get 5 RBH SX-T1 & place them on my 5 SX-1010 subs.

When I auditioned the T2 speakers, I thought they sounded phenomenal. But at that time, the SX-series were not yet released. The old box-shaped series looked kind of ugly. smile.gif But the SX's curved cabinets look great to me.

Okay, about powered (P) versus non-powered (N) & Signature (SX) versus Reference (SX/R).

Powered means the SX-1010P sub has built-in amp. Non-powered means the SX-1010N does NOT have built-in amp; you need to use your own amps. I use my ATI amps to power all my speakers & all my subs. biggrin.gif

I hate subs and speakers w/ built-in amps. I prefer to use my own cool amps. cool.gif

Yeah, I like ATI amps. They are stable down to 2 ohms (Audio Critic tested the AT6012). And they are dead silent. And made in the USA. Of course, they sound awesome. Yes, I am too smug to own Emotiva. You kidding me? biggrin.gif Other people can own EMO, I'll stick to ATI thank you very much. wink.gif You know ATI makes some amps for Mark Levinson, Lexicon, JBL Synthesis, Cary Audio, Theta Digital, B&K.

Oh, yeah, the SX-Reference line is supposed to be a little bit higher quality, but I can't hear any difference at all, so I am perfectly happy w/ the SX-line. See, I'm not THAT smug. biggrin.gif
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post #8 of 17 Old 09-07-2013, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How much do the 8300SR/R cost? eek.gifeek.gifeek.gif

You are talking in 20k and 10k, i tought they would cost around $8000 Pair maximum....
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post #9 of 17 Old 09-07-2013, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Are they an online company or so?
I see they also have very high end speakers, don't need to go for the 8300...they also have the 6300 for example. My room is only 20 Square Meters anyway. I have to check more carefully their specs, and the discount i can have from them also....

Their SX-6100C/R DEDICATED CENTER CHANNEL SPEAKER seems to be a hell of a center speaker...WOW
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post #10 of 17 Old 09-07-2013, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MV_Cinema View Post

Are they an online company or so?
I see they also have very high end speakers, don't need to go for the 8300...they also have the 6300 for example. My room is only 20 Square Meters anyway. I have to check more carefully their specs, and the discount i can have from them also....

Their SX-6100C/R DEDICATED CENTER CHANNEL SPEAKER seems to be a hell of a center speaker...WOW
They are not internet direct company. They sell via dealers.

Dealer cost is like 40% off MSRP.

Anyway, RBH, KEF, & Revel are the 3 brands I recommend.
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post #11 of 17 Old 09-07-2013, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you know what i think...

The speakers seem great, and i think that comparable to the Kef 205/2 i am considering, are the RBH SX8300, but the RBH seem to have a poor finish, like "MDF Compressed wood", while Kef are more refined. What do you think? Klipsch also has that "cheap" finish...

For Home Theater, RBH seems to have more DNA due to the fact it works alot the "bass" with their integrated subs (and here correct me if i'm wrong).

As for the amps, those babies (SX-8300) will require some 3 nice powerfull Monoblocks for the 3 Front Channels to work 100%, don't you agree?

I would say some 3 Parasound Halo Monoblocks or something...
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post #12 of 17 Old 09-07-2013, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would like so much to consider the EMOTIVA XPR-2 (Fronts) and XPR-5 (Center and Surrounds) with an amazing 600 and 400 watts per channel, but i read several complaints that they don't work well with 220volts...
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post #13 of 17 Old 09-08-2013, 03:02 PM
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I think if you have the money to buy the
- B&W 803 Diamond (Fronts) (x2)- B&W HTM2 (Center) (x1)- B&W 805 Diamond (Rears) (x2)
then you should definitely go with them.
I own B&W Centre, Left, Right FPM 4's, and they are powered by a Pioneer Elite 84txsi (140 watt/channel),
and i have never once heard any three front speakers that i would rather have playing music for me.
In addition i have never heard any bower wilkins speakers that did not meet my standards as an audiophile.
That being said i do not know your reciever/amplifier setup so i cannot say whether or not those speakers will work for your current setup.
Finally if you were still thinking about going with KEF, don't do it. They have got to be the most bland, dull, speakers i have ever heard. To me their whole sound is just too laid back and it doesn't give enough punch in the mid, high, and low ranges. The High's are muted, the mid range is there but there is no WOW factor (as in I cant see myself listening to them for long before getting bored) and the low range just is not there for me. In all go with whatever speakers you can afford and whichever ones best fit your ears, but I would NOT get KEF's.
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post #14 of 17 Old 09-08-2013, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by AudioMeister View Post

I think if you have the money to buy the
- B&W 803 Diamond (Fronts) (x2)- B&W HTM2 (Center) (x1)- B&W 805 Diamond (Rears) (x2)
then you should definitely go with them.
I own B&W Centre, Left, Right FPM 4's, and they are powered by a Pioneer Elite 84txsi (140 watt/channel),
and i have never once heard any three front speakers that i would rather have playing music for me.
In addition i have never heard any bower wilkins speakers that did not meet my standards as an audiophile.
That being said i do not know your reciever/amplifier setup so i cannot say whether or not those speakers will work for your current setup.
Finally if you were still thinking about going with KEF, don't do it. They have got to be the most bland, dull, speakers i have ever heard. To me their whole sound is just too laid back and it doesn't give enough punch in the mid, high, and low ranges. The High's are muted, the mid range is there but there is no WOW factor (as in I cant see myself listening to them for long before getting bored) and the low range just is not there for me. In all go with whatever speakers you can afford and whichever ones best fit your ears, but I would NOT get KEF's.
A colleague of mine preferred Paradigm Monitors to B&W CMs so everyone has their own preferences. I would certainly not dis 800 series but Kef Reference measures better. One should audition and decide on your own preferences.

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 #15 of 17 Old 09-08-2013, 07:07 PM
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People who prefer B&W are in the "measurements don't mean anything" camp. biggrin.gif

People who prefer Revel, KEF, & RBH are in the "measurements mean a lot" camp. smile.gif

But there are other things in life - such as preference of a certain aesthetic. Some people gotta have that shinny Marlan head of the 802D2 & 800D2. wink.gif

Honestly, if it weren't for the ornate aesthetic of the 802D2, I would never touch any B&W with a ten foot pole because (with the exception of the spectral decay/ resonance measurement) B&W measure almost like crap. eek.gif

Well, better than crap because Wilson measure like crap and Zu & Bose measure worse than crap. biggrin.gif
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post #16 of 17 Old 09-08-2013, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioMeister View Post

I think if you have the money to buy the
- B&W 803 Diamond (Fronts) (x2)- B&W HTM2 (Center) (x1)- B&W 805 Diamond (Rears) (x2)
then you should definitely go with them.
I own B&W Centre, Left, Right FPM 4's, and they are powered by a Pioneer Elite 84txsi (140 watt/channel),
and i have never once heard any three front speakers that i would rather have playing music for me.
In addition i have never heard any bower wilkins speakers that did not meet my standards as an audiophile.
That being said i do not know your reciever/amplifier setup so i cannot say whether or not those speakers will work for your current setup.
Finally if you were still thinking about going with KEF, don't do it. They have got to be the most bland, dull, speakers i have ever heard. To me their whole sound is just too laid back and it doesn't give enough punch in the mid, high, and low ranges. The High's are muted, the mid range is there but there is no WOW factor (as in I cant see myself listening to them for long before getting bored) and the low range just is not there for me. In all go with whatever speakers you can afford and whichever ones best fit your ears, but I would NOT get KEF's.

Can you let me know which KEF speakers you are referring to. I have owned the B&W CM speakers and recently demoed the KEF R series and thought that the R series was superior. I have also been doing a comparison of the 805d to the 201/2 and thought the bottom end of 201/2 was better, but the 805d had better high end.
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post #17 of 17 Old 09-09-2013, 02:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you let me know which KEF speakers you are referring to. I have owned the B&W CM speakers and recently demoed the KEF R series and thought that the R series was superior. I have also been doing a comparison of the 805d to the 201/2 and thought the bottom end of 201/2 was better, but the 805d had better high end.

I mean the Kef Reference 205/2 (Front); 204/2 (Center); 201/2 (Back).
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