Originally Posted by GTDTS
I auditioned 6+ brands before deciding on the Prestige...Focal, Martin Logan, Klipse, B&W's high end, Def Tech/Golden Ear...couple others. I did not get to hear the Revel's.
From your description, it reminds me of how mine sound when playing something from a dubious source like Apple Air Play or whatever. I also thought them a bit fatiguing before break in and room correction. I can 100% attest that what you heard does not coincide with my experience.
I can say that the Kef R series is way more laid back than the Prestige's. I auditioned the R-700's on $40,000 equipment and they had a soundstage that was deep and impressive. I ended up purchasing a pair of the LS50 Wireless as it would have its own DAC and more user friendly. In a post a long while back, I wrote what I thought the difference was between KEF and Paradigm...I still believe that this day.
I have had dozens of folks listen to both at my home, and everyone that hears the Prestige's is in complete awe of what they sound like...without fail. It is so bad that we don't open up my office/music room to company anymore because they won't leave. They just keep requesting different songs. Everyone has their opinion, but just know that they warm up over time. As far as reviews go, some I agree, some not so much. I used reviews to help me settle on what to audition. I think this line is just incredible for music...I simply could not be happier.
Good that you're happy with the choice but my experience was different.
The prestige simply lacks the crisp treble , the mid soundstage and overall transparency for 2 ch. music playback that other speakers in a similar price range or more expensive can provide. All you're getting is an alumimum dome tweeter with the prestige.
The KEF latest R series (not the older R300/700 models) are not as laid back as older models and were pretty good. The B&W's i auditioned -700 and 800 diamond series- struck a nice balance between crisp highs, more forward sounding mids and overall transparency.
My old monitor audio gold 300 with the ribbon had crisper highs than prestige, the B&W 700 series (702 S2) was a little better and the B&W 800 diamond series (802 D3) easily beat the prestige 85F with the crisp highs and overall transparency. Don't kid yourselves to think the prestige is anywhere close to a 802 D3 with the proper amplification and a good source (though granted it is a more expensive speaker), the persona series might compete with it, but with music i couldn't be sure. That speaker was a musical treat, and it's not paradigm prestige level territory, the sound that speaker was putting out would compete with the higher Wilson Audio, Marten and Zu speakers, IMO.
The speakers i recently auditioned at the dealer with dedicated amplification and using my own red book CD's and a few stereo sacd's (i dont do streaming) included B&W, KEF, Paradigm, Focal, Polk audio..here's how i would rate them for 2 ch. music playback, also including my old Monitor Audio gold 300 added into the mix:
B&W 800>Monitor Audio gold> B&W 700> KEF R series (their latest R series)> KEF LS50> Paradigm Prestige> Focal 9xx> Polk Audio LSiM
That's for 2 ch. music, with movies the paradigm prestige as well as focal rate much higher. It seems paradigm prestige (and also focal) are engineered more with home theater in mind rather than dedicated stereo.
Some people here also recommend Totem Acoustic for music playback, i'm sure that's a great recommendation from what i've read of them and they would rate very highly, but my dealer had no totem speaker in stock, so i could not audition it.
Eventually from all that i heard, i would like to get the B&W 800 series but they are rather expensive and due to budget limitations, i may have to compromise and settle on the B&W 700 series in the coming days. I have a media room that has to double as a stereo and multichannel system (with music as a priority), if i build another dedicated room for only movies in the future, i may look at paradigm again. For now, no.