Originally Posted by bthrb4u
So i've learned that at my price range i have to sacrifice somethings and pick the strong points out in the speakers i want.
EXCEPT, i did find that the KEF R300 absolutely blows everything i have heard at my price range out of the water. It does not however fulfill my speaker fantasy because of a couple reasons i will point out later.
The Kef keeps everything true to source and i love that about it. It even has such amazing imaging that it feels like i'm getting a full 3 dimensional concert.
All of the frequencies compliment each other and never did i feel like i could locate the tweeter like i could on a few other brands i heard. The highs come from an aluminum
tweeter. Plus side is, this is the most revealing and airy tweeter "I" have ever heard. I swear they pushed out everything that an aluminum tweeter could push out. It sounded simply amazing
Not quite a downside but i do feel like there are probably some tweeters that could have more energy to them although they were mesmerizing.
Now, these speakers do everything i gave them justice EXCEPT, i am missing that hair raising, drooling sensation of female vocals i get from the full bodied smooth mids of the b&w.
I wonder if a tube amp or pre-amp connected to the kef's would give me this sensation. So far the Kef's are the only speaker in my price range that i feel would do a tube amp justice (except the martin logans but they aren't my cup of tea).
All the other speakers i heard color the sound and or weren't detailed enough. No need to add color to something colored off the bat.
Would also like to mention that so far, of the coned speakers i have heard, Kef and b&w are the only ones i heard that i could not locate the tweeter which is a big thing for me. I heard psb's and i couldn't help but constantly hear were the highs were coming from and it simply irritated me.
That being said, i also found the Kef Q series to be a good value because they image much like the r series and certainly have the same dna, just not as fully developed. There is a some cabinet resonance but it actually almost adds body to the sound in a way they add reverb to some recordings to give it a more full sound. I have read people actually internally damp and brace these speakers themselves and they turn out quite amazing. The tweeter is not as airy or detailed but i would say about 70% of the performance of the R series. Might not seem like much but when you consider how great the tweeter on the r series is it's quite a bit.
Listening to the Kef's with rock was just AMAZING! Felt like Ted Nugent, From Autumn to Ashes and Seether were rocking the F out in my room. These were the first speaker where i felt any type of electronic music or even rap actually sounded at home. But where they really shined was anything acoustic or live. The highs were just dramatically real life. The voices sound so pure and lifelike. Even the drums produced such a large effortless real life sound that i was hypnotized. I didn't want to leave the store without these speakers. Unfortunately, even though i had done my taxes a couple weeks before, i found that the government isn't accepting any until Jan 30th so i have to wait.
I want to give some more respect to the b&w cm series. In fact, when i said that the kef's don't fulfill my speaker fantasy, it was because i will have to own a pair of cm5 bookshelfs too. These will be placed in my bedroom or if my new house has a fireplace, these will be on each side. The highs were not nearly as detailed as the kef's but they, like the mids of the cm series, had something special about them. They had a special energetically smooth way about them. It complimented the mids very well. Like i said before, the mids of the cm9 i heard did not sound natural on some types of music but for for any type of jazz with female voices and any orchestral music, they are hair raising.
Another speaker i will throw out there because it was a neat speaker, not my cup of tea, but for some it might be exactly or close to what they want.
The Revel Performa3's. I had been following these speakers for a while on the revel owners thread (where i made a few people not like me) and was the first person on the thread to audition them and post my thoughts
I say that these speakers aren't for me because of two reasons. 1) The imaging. If you've ever listened to a speaker and closed your eyes, sometimes you feel like you can somehow turn the sound into seeing the sound. Some speakers, like the kef are top notch and have the instruments and vocals sound like they are life like sized. Some, like the b&w have less depth to them ( a more laid back sound) and while the image isn't as natural, the speaker never feels like it's doing something wrong.
The performa3 M105 bookshelfs that i heard, sounded like the music was smashed onto a piece of banner paper. There was absolutely NO depth to the sound. Revel focused on making a very strong "phantom" center. The vocals are centered directly between the two speakers and NEVER comes forward at all in any way. It really is a neat trick but because the vocals fill up most of the "banner of sound" you focus more on it than the rest of the sound which actually tends to be quite small in scale to the vocals. To ME, i felt like it was a very unnatural way to produce music as music never sounds like that. Also, because of such an obtuse off axis horizontal dispersion, if you are not sitting directly in the sweet spot, a simple strafe of the head left or right merely six inches (maybe more) to each side would make one of the speakers sound like it cut off.
The all around sound was exceptionally smooth and this is one of the other speakers that i could not locate the tweeter.
2) Unfortunately, the highs, sounded like it was a midrange. I believe they crossed the highs over extremely low on this speaker so the vocals would be produced by the tweeter which, if you look at the tweeter it is surrounded by a computer generated waveguide that specifically throws the sound of axis to the extreme which explains why the vocals imaged the way they did. It also explains why the tweeter never sounded energetic or metallic or brassy or anything instrumental wise. The mids did sound organic like but had not body due to the depth less sound. With these organic mids coming out of the tweeter, how could you have a driver that does human voices so naturally and the highs or metalic highs of instruments at the same time.
So, i did not like that the highs couldn't sing or do anything special like some other tweeters i had heard, but atleast they did not annoy me like the psb or energy speakers i had heard.
After wrapping my head around this speaker (for quite a while, even to the point i think i started lying to myself, thinking i should like it) i think it is a good speaker that is quite elegant looking and to be honest with you is good sounding.
The biggest thing i had to wrap my head around was the imaging. Did i like it? I do, and i don't. I think that the depthless sound would compliment some peoples lifestyles VERY well. These speakers don't fill the room with sound which is nice. You'll never find yourself trying to really talk over the sound. They're actually kind of artistic in a sense that they compliment the room like a painting. I could image these speakers being a romantic speaker, two people eating dinner, sitting down on the floor, drinking their wine while the flicker of the candle in the dim room glares off the cups of wine all while the speakers are serenading in the back ground. In that sense, they are a great speaker and worth the money. I could imagine older, sophisticated people liking them.
The finish of the Walnut is simple astonishing to look at and almost makes the speaker worth buying even if it didn't produce any sound at all.
Unfortunately, i'm looking for something quite a bit different but i will look into the higher end revel line in the future.
Thanks so much to anyone that took the time to read my wall of thoughts.