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Discussion Starter #21
Between those 3, I'd take the Ascend Sierra 2 by a long shot.

Of course, for Sierra 2 money you could get a pair of these:
http://philharmonicaudio.com/BMR Philharmonitor.html

Because those can easily go without a sub during music, you'd then be free to go with an HT oriented sub like the Hsu VTF-3 or 15H, which you'd use for movies exclusively.
Wow. Seirra 2 by long shot. And another option in the Philharmonitor...

Can you describe why the Seirra 2's by a long shot?

Compared to the R3 or R300, or Philharmonitor?

Have you heard all 3? Thx :)
 

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Wow. Seirra 2 by long shot. And another option in the Philharmonitor...

Can you describe why the Seirra 2's by a long shot?

Compared to the R3 or R300, or Philharmonitor?

Have you heard all 3? Thx :)
i usually agree with zorba's take , but this time i think he might be selling the r300's short , they are a pretty awesome 3 way from what i have read...
 

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Wow. Seirra 2 by long shot. And another option in the Philharmonitor...

Can you describe why the Seirra 2's by a long shot?

Compared to the R3 or R300, or Philharmonitor?

Have you heard all 3? Thx :)
I've heard the Sierra 2 and the R300. The RAAL tweeter in the Sierra 2 is at a whole other level. The R300 is not a BAD speaker by any means, I just didn't find its performance came anywhere close to justifying its pricetag.

The R3 I admit I have not heard, I just find its $2K/pr price a bit silly given the aluminum dome...can't say I've ever been crazy about metal domes, they impress at first but for prolonged listening they become a bit irritating---just my ears, of course. Some folks are fine with them.

The Phils I have not heard, however I know of one or two former S2 owners who found them to surpass the S2, which to me is not surprising given the larger cabinet and 3 way design while employing the same RAAL tweeter...and of course the designer of that speaker I have never ever heard of anyone having anything but effusive praise for, both his products and service.

So, I am basing my comments on a mixture of anecdotal evidence and personal experience. No empirical/objective/universal claims implied. :)
 
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@pase22 @Russdawg1 @gajCA


Also, I don't think 2 subs would be warranted with the KEF's because they had really good base in HT even without the sub.
The purpose of two subs is to defeat nulls and room modes. Whatever speaker you get, you should cross over and most likely crossover at 80Hz (give or take depending in room and speakers). There is significant advantages to two subs (although I get a pretty good response at my MLP out of my single Rythmik FV15HP in my living room).
 

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I've heard the Sierra 2 and the R300. The RAAL tweeter in the Sierra 2 is at a whole other level. The R300 is not a BAD speaker by any means, I just didn't find its performance came anywhere close to justifying its pricetag.

The R3 I admit I have not heard, I just find its $2K/pr price a bit silly given the aluminum dome...can't say I've ever been crazy about metal domes, they impress at first but for prolonged listening they become a bit irritating---just my ears, of course. Some folks are fine with them.

The Phils I have not heard, however I know of one or two former S2 owners who found them to surpass the S2, which to me is not surprising given the larger cabinet and 3 way design while employing the same RAAL tweeter...and of course the designer of that speaker I have never ever heard of anyone having anything but effusive praise for, both his products and service.

So, I am basing my comments on a mixture of anecdotal evidence and personal experience. No empirical/objective/universal claims implied. :)
So Is the R300 closer to being a value now that its price is at $500 a pair less than when you heard them?

As for the aluminum dome tweeter, the KEF "Tangerine Waveguide" on it seems to work wonders. People who have heard my R500 don't even realize it's a metal dome tweeter, and most consider the speakers to be a touch "polite" on the upper end of treble.

I should be hearing the new R3 first among the new R series, my dealer will have their R3 demo speakers in about a week and all of them by the 3rd week in October. They've done a lot of work to improve an already very good line of speakers. Prices are up $200 a pair (and the one center) on all but the top-of-the-line R11, that one stands at the same $5K a pair price as the outgoing R900.
 
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So Is the R300 closer to being a value now that its price is at $500 a pair less than when you heard them?

As for the aluminum dome tweeter, the KEF "Tangerine Waveguide" on it seems to work wonders. People who have heard my R500 don't even realize it's a metal dome tweeter, and most consider the speakers to be a touch "polite" on the upper end of treble.

I should be hearing the new R3 first among the new R series, my dealer will have their R3 demo speakers in about a week and all of them by the 3rd week in October. They've done a lot of work to improve an already very good line of speakers. Prices are up $200 a pair (and the one center) on all but the top-of-the-line R11, that one stands at the same $5K a pair price as the outgoing R900.
ah, I see that Crutchfield has it for $1300...yeah I would certainly pick it over the LS50, no question.

Vs the Sierra 2, I think I would be willing to sacrifice a little extra mid-bass for the "like butter" quality that @jjackkrash describes.
 

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Vs the Sierra 2, I think I would be willing to sacrifice a little extra mid-bass for the "like butter" quality that @jjackkrash describes.
I was a little skeptical of getting a speaker with a 6" woofer for my LCR, but the SEAS woofer is pretty potent for its size. That said, there are better options if you have space for a bigger speaker and value bigger dynamics and pounding midbass.
 

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ah, I see that Crutchfield has it for $1300...yeah I would certainly pick it over the LS50, no question.

Vs the Sierra 2, I think I would be willing to sacrifice a little extra mid-bass for the "like butter" quality that @jjackkrash describes.
LS50 is now $1200 a pair, $100 less than the R300. (I got my LS50's used, but mint condition with boxes, accessories and paperwork for $900. Limited Edition "Frosted Black/Blue Driver.")

The tweeter isn't more extended than my R500's according to graphs, but does seem to have better detail. Must be diffraction on the square box of the R500 vs. curved front baffle of the LS50.

Compared to the ribbon tweeter of the Sierra 2 it's not as lush, but does have better, more consistent off-axis performance.
 

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Keeping in mind that the Sierra 2's have the same type of tweeter as Martin Logan, go with what you've heard and liked, not what we think you might like.
 
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I've owned a Yamaha RX-473 AVR with Energy RC Micro System...
RX-V473?
I'll agree with those who say more $ on speakers, less on amplification. Further, I'd say sink ALL that money into speakers and just keep your AVR.I've long liked Yamaha and that seems like a nice one, I do not believe a "more powerful" AVR would deliver significantly more SPL in real life. Plus, adding a sub and highpass-crossovering will remove the lowest bass and effectively increase the headroom in the amp and L/C/R.

Please look at $2k+ speakers! I spent several hours at Upscale Audio with Monitor Audio Silver 300s and they just sounded great with everything. Steely Dan, jazz, classical, Swing Out Sister, Iron Maiden, even Motorhead live which makes most speakers collapse into whimpering heaps of distortion. The only problem with the Silver 300s was they didn't sound quite as good as the Focal 936s my buddy purchased that day :D. Other contenders:
- Wharfedale Reva 4 at Audio Element in Pasadena (very mellow fellow): also sounded great with many different styles of music, but not quite the driver-to-driver integration. $2k on sale for $1600 at Christmas.
- Revel Concerta F35 demo'd by the super nice folks at Brooks Berdan: very good sound, a stronger bass feel than the others. Not boomy, more like uptilted. $1600 IIRC.
Also Polk has periodic significant sales up to half off.

Now why am I talking about towers with a subwoofer? Three reasons compared to a bookshelf:
- The sub can be crossed over lower for less detectability
- The tower can more easily handle high mid-bass demand
- Having a separate midrange for me just seems to give a certain quality. Two-ways can be great, but the engineering challenges of crossing from a significant sized woofer to a small enough tweeter simply can never be satisfied completely due to physics. Also, the woofer motion then intermodulates the midrange.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
I've heard the Sierra 2 and the R300. The RAAL tweeter in the Sierra 2 is at a whole other level. The R300 is not a BAD speaker by any means, I just didn't find its performance came anywhere close to justifying its pricetag.

The R3 I admit I have not heard, I just find its $2K/pr price a bit silly given the aluminum dome...can't say I've ever been crazy about metal domes, they impress at first but for prolonged listening they become a bit irritating---just my ears, of course. Some folks are fine with them.

The Phils I have not heard, however I know of one or two former S2 owners who found them to surpass the S2, which to me is not surprising given the larger cabinet and 3 way design while employing the same RAAL tweeter...and of course the designer of that speaker I have never ever heard of anyone having anything but effusive praise for, both his products and service.

So, I am basing my comments on a mixture of anecdotal evidence and personal experience. No empirical/objective/universal claims implied. :)
Thanks. At the moment Crutchfield has the R300's on sale for $1,300. Usually $1,800... It still seems I should try Sierras also.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
So Is the R300 closer to being a value now that its price is at $500 a pair less than when you heard them?

As for the aluminum dome tweeter, the KEF "Tangerine Waveguide" on it seems to work wonders. People who have heard my R500 don't even realize it's a metal dome tweeter, and most consider the speakers to be a touch "polite" on the upper end of treble.

I should be hearing the new R3 first among the new R series, my dealer will have their R3 demo speakers in about a week and all of them by the 3rd week in October. They've done a lot of work to improve an already very good line of speakers. Prices are up $200 a pair (and the one center) on all but the top-of-the-line R11, that one stands at the same $5K a pair price as the outgoing R900.
I think so. When comparing the Ascend Sierra 2's @ $1,500, SVS Ultra Bookshelves @ $1,000, they're all in my budget range but do seem more of a bargain. But people rave about the Sierra 2's. The KEFS definitely win from an aesthetic standpoint which is a small factor for me.

At the store, what I was told is the R3 is the outgoing model... The R300 the new model.. Doing more pricing research Crutchfield has the new R300 temporarily at $1,300, usually $1,800. The KEF website makes it look like the R3 is the new model..

Is the new model R3 or R300? :confused:
 

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I think so. When comparing the Ascend Sierra 2's @ $1,500, SVS Ultra Bookshelves @ $1,000, they're all in my budget range but do seem more of a bargain. But people rave about the Sierra 2's. The KEFS definitely win from an aesthetic standpoint which is a small factor for me.

At the store, what I was told is the R3 is the outgoing model... The R300 the new model.. Doing more pricing research Crutchfield has the new R300 temporarily at $1,300, usually $1,800. The KEF website makes it look like the R3 is the new model..

Is the new model R3 or R300? :confused:
R3 is the new model, list $2,000. R300 is the outgoing model, list $1,800 but now @ $1,300.

Whatever store told you otherwise has an ill-informed employee.
 
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Yes, again it will depend on your listening habits...lots of music? then the Phil-BMR (I own, fantastic speaker) or Sierra 2 would be great...and worth even penny of the 1500/pr ish price. Mostly HT? then maybe the AA CMT340 front stage would be just fine.

I have heard both the SVS prime and Ultra offerings and while I think the Ultras are fine speakers, my feeling/opinion is they are overpriced. Just my opinion....if you can get them below list price or as part of a package deal with a really good sub, well, that is different!

I will amend something Geoff has said (gajca)...I have a/b my Phil BMR with my EMP tek for music and the Phils are so much better it is even close. I have a/b my Phil BMR versus my EMP for HT and there, the Phil are still great, the difference isn't quite as noticable- still the Phil- BMR are better in every aspect I have tested them and they should be, at 4x the cost. But the difference is more noticable in critical music listening...If I were going to have one system for all my audio needs, the Phil- BMRs would be it. However, I have a 2 channel music system for just for music in a bedroom and that is where i do my critical music listening...
 
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@pase22 @Russdawg1 @gajCA

Went to BBuy. Listened to B&W 606 and 607 (new model bookshelve's), Martin Logan MO15 (smaller bookshelves). I liked the Martin Logan much better so [email protected] is out.

Then I went to a local store and listened to the Same Martin Logans compared to KEF R300 and R3 bookshelves. The KEF's blew away the Martin Logans.

I listened to hi-fi music thorough the brand new KEF R300 bookshelves, and older R3. They were both awesome, I couldn't really tell the difference without spending more time with them. Then a movie (older KEF R3 only) and they were really, really sweet. Powered by a Marantz SR8013 in stereo only.

I can get the R3's from them for $1300, the new R300 for $2000. I'm thinking of getting the R3's.

2.1, 2.2. or 3.2 max is where I want to be. It almost seems like I'd be fine with the KEF's set up 2.1 for movies and music... If I get the KEF R3 I may need to get the matching center now because its the old series. They have reference KEF Center 2c for $700. So $2000 for the R3 fronts and center combined.

Has anyone compared the KEF R3's (or R300) to Ascend's 1 or 2? Or SVS Ultra?

I feel like with the Ascend reputation I should try them out but could they really be better than the KEF R3 or R300?

Do they sound the same?

Also, I don't think 2 subs would be warranted with the KEF's because they had really good base in HT even without the sub.


Edit: Crutchfield has the R300 on sale now for $1,300. Regularly $1,800.
The Martin Logans and B&Ws are very good speakers not to your taste so if the KEFs blew you away I'd just go with your gut to be honest as it sounds like you have the money.

$2500 or so sounds like a lot for the front three, (about what I spent), but when you amortize it over the 10+ years you are likely to keep and enjoy them it is really not that much to be honest.

You could always order them from Crutchfield, (or offer the store you heard them at to match Crutchfield), and order the cheaper LS50s (if you can put three up front vertically), and send back the loser.

I auditioned my speakers at home, (the floor models), over the two days the store was closed and that was that.

Have had them 10 years or so, (not KEFs but that's immaterial), and have zero desire to replace them as I love them even though there MIGHT be "better" speakers for ME out there.

If I find some something I love I go for it rather than wondering if the grass is greener on the other side.
 

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Discussion Starter #38 (Edited)
Thanks to all who contributed. I ended up getting KEF R3's. I had a great night listening to them and now feel like my next purchase should be a better AVR... Or AVR and integrated amp with home theater bypass.

My personal reference sound as far as base response was my old Energy RC micro setup with small ESW-CS8 sub (8" 36 HZ-180 HZ) so with two R3's the base is close to what I was getting before...

The R3's show a frequency response of 52 HZ to 28 KHZ so these two speakers cover almost the whole frequency response of the Energy setup... I'll be OK for a while without a sub or two. Plus as far as I can tell it's not totally necessary for listening to music which it seems I will be spending most of my time on until I figure more of how to best dial these in...

@head_unit I wanted to try 2K plus speakers but figured I better draw the line with the KEF R3's knowing I can still might spend many more K's on good electronics, subs... possibly center. :)
 

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Congratulations! Very cool.

Quite a step up from your original budget. I do suggest you get the front baffle to the edge of those tables, or just over it. Though the R3 cabinets are REALLY well-damped, you might benefit from isolating the speakers from the resonant wood tables by getting a pair of IsoAcoustics Aperta or similar isolation stands if those have to stay on the tables.
 
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Discussion Starter #40 (Edited)
Congratulations! Very cool.

Quite a step up from your original budget. I do suggest you get the front baffle to the edge of those tables, or just over it. Though the R3 cabinets are REALLY well-damped, you might benefit from isolating the speakers from the resonant wood tables by getting a pair of IsoAcoustics Aperta or similar isolation stands if those have to stay on the tables.
Thanks! I took the advice of many posters who recommended spending more of the budget on speakers... Plus my budget is pretty flexible anyway..

Those stands should be temporary. I just haven't found anything else I like yet so I used my bedroom night stands. I had the same thought about getting the baffles completely exposed..

The R3's are pretty heavy so I'm going to make sure they are protected by whatever stands I eventually get..
 
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