KEF Reference 1 vs. B&W 805 D3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-16-2018, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Question KEF Reference 1 vs. B&W 805 D3

I can't decide!

What are your thoughts??

I will be using them in a room around 12' x 16' with sides open to foyer and kitchen and using them for a 50/50 mix of music and HT. Preamp is Anthem AVM-60 and amplifier is Rotel RMB-1075.

Part of me loves the sound stage from the concentric drivers and the beautiful rosewood finish of the KEFs, but the other part of me loves the diamond tweeter and more modern design of the B&W's. Is the port location something I should consider? They will be within about 5-6" from the wall, so maybe the front firing port of the B&Ws is better?

Any thoughts would be appreciated!!

Thanks,
Anil
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-16-2018, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anilpani View Post
I can't decide!

What are your thoughts??

I will be using them in a room around 12' x 16' with sides open to foyer and kitchen and using them for a 50/50 mix of music and HT. Preamp is Anthem AVM-60 and amplifier is Rotel RMB-1075.

Part of me loves the sound stage from the concentric drivers and the beautiful rosewood finish of the KEFs, but the other part of me loves the diamond tweeter and more modern design of the B&W's. Is the port location something I should consider? They will be within about 5-6" from the wall, so maybe the front firing port of the B&Ws is better?

Any thoughts would be appreciated!!

Thanks,
Anil
Still hoping to get some advice as I'm looking to purchase soon.

Does the fact that the KEFs are a 3-driver configuration make this a no-brainer?
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-17-2018, 03:08 AM
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If you don’t have a subwoofer I’d get the Reference 1’s, if you do I would get the 805D3’s. Pull them out more than 6” from the wall if possible to give them the best chance for sound quality. The AVM60 will help them sound their best with the ARC, but the best placement possible is a good way to start.

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post #4 of 12 Old 11-17-2018, 04:46 AM
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It depends what type of music you listen to, but I don't find the 805d3's any worse without a subwoofer than even my (laughingly rated to 16hz) 802d3's to be honest. Both need a subwoofer, or I guess don't need a subwoofer depending on your tastes.
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-17-2018, 05:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markmon1 View Post
It depends what type of music you listen to, but I don't find the 805d3's any worse without a subwoofer than even my (laughingly rated to 16hz) 802d3's to be honest. Both need a subwoofer, or I guess don't need a subwoofer depending on your tastes.
I wasn’t suggesting a subwoofer only because of low bass, but if turned up louder and running full range, the 3 way design of the KEF’s might have clearer mids at higher volumes.
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-17-2018, 05:27 AM
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The KEF is objectively a far better loudspeaker, with the goal of providing a neutral on- and off-axis sound.
The B&W, while well built, isn't really flat anywhere with a directivity issue as well.
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-17-2018, 09:15 AM
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From what I remember I like the overall sound of the Reference 1’s better, but the D3’s are a step up in clarity.
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-17-2018, 09:36 AM
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That's because their high treble is quite hyped. John Atkinson's stereophile measurements confirm this - the Reference 1 is far flatter.
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-17-2018, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the responses everyone! I am planning to use the speakers with a subwoofer, probably a pair of REL T7i's if budget permits.

I listen to a mix of music mostly jazz, rock, and pop, with some classical mixed in. I've read that the B&W's excel at classical, but how do they do with other genres of music and HT?
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-17-2018, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimVG View Post
That's because their high treble is quite hyped. John Atkinson's stereophile measurements confirm this - the Reference 1 is far flatter.
Not just the treble but I found the mids a little clearer too. Partially because of the rise that you said and also because the D3’s tweeter is world class and the Reference tweeter is aluminum.
But myself I prefer the Reference 1’s all around sound quality and they are the ones I’d get out of those 2 speakers.
Extreme clarity is nice but the Reference is close and I prefer their flatter response and smoother sound.
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post #11 of 12 Old 11-17-2018, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anilpani View Post
They will be within about 5-6" from the wall, so maybe the front firing port of the B&Ws is better?
I'm using Ref 1s in a setup, and I'd guess 6" from the rear wall is a killer unless you use a sub crossed at 80 or 100 Hz to minimize bass from the Ref 1s. Otherwise, you might not want a rear-ported speaker. I haven't heard that particular B&W, but I don't care for the sound of their larger speakers, too in-your-face.

db
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post #12 of 12 Old 11-17-2018, 03:30 PM
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huge B&W fan but I prefer the KEF Reference 1 over B&WD805. When it comes to the bigger speakers I think B&W Diamond 800 sounds better than any KEF (Except Muon perhaps)
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