Original article link : https://www.avforums.co.za/index.php/topic,73919.0.html
The Journey on the way to finding Bentleys
Have recently joined the Forums, and the last week have been pretty much down the rabbit hole, but has been awesome so far.
So I was hoping I could get input from the boards, as you may have seen from earlier posts, I am in the process of gathering info (by way of these forums & others, various interwebz resources & demo'ing) for an imminent upgrade to my Sony HT system.
The upgrade began with the AVR from a Sony 7.1 STR DH520 to a Marantz 5012.
I am now looking at speaker options, the upgrade will begin with the left & right floorstander, and hopefully I'll be able to do the centre at the same time, followed a while later by replacing the 1 current sub for 2 new (OR adding an additional sub to this current, but in all honesty I'd rather just bring in 2 units the same & not have to worry about phasing and, and, and) & then lastly the 2 surrounds will be replaced...much further down the road I will look at potentially adding some form of Atmos either front or ceiling height.
The system is used almost entirely in a HT setup watching either Netflix, or own media via Bluray or NAS server (& I can say the only time I listen in stereo is when the content is provided in that manner) so some content on netflix is stereo, but I can say that I don't think I've listened to a CD on this system ever, but do watch a lot of live bluray concerts. my room is an upstairs loft, that measures 5x8 and there are pictures linked in imgur in another post.
As mentioned in other posts, I heard a pair of Klipsch 280f at a friend's place, they were good...but they didn't blow me away and actually found them to be extremely bright and tiresome on the ears.
I then demo'd a pair of the Klipsch 28F and they absolutely blew me away, I found them to show very little brightness (or sharpness) and had no noticeable fatigue when listening, infact I found them to be a pleasure to listen to.
I went back sometime later & listened did another demo of the Klipsch 28f again & again they sounded really superb (& to be honest at this stage I wasn't considering any other speakers) but after this demo, the guy then demo'd a pair of Monitor Audio Silver S200's and they too sounded really fantastic (they seemed "clearer" (isn't the right term) but less 'base-y' than the Klipsch, but for their size as they are much smaller put on a very impressive performance, but my only issue is that the Monitor Audio Silver s200 are just out of my price range, so I am looking at the Monitor Audio Bronze 6 (I am yet to demo, am hoping to do so this weekend to compare) & really these were what I was looking at.
on the suggestion of a retailer they mentioned the Paradigm but also haven't ever heard them or no very little about them (I will demo them as well to compare) & on the recco of Mr.C on the forums via the heads up forum a pair of B&W CM9 came available as pre-owned I wasn't even considering B&W speakers as always seemed out of price range, but now I see a retailer in JHB is having a sale on the B&W 683 S2's (slightly more than the 28f's, and also slighty more the bronze audio MA) I am going to demo them this weekend to get a feel if they warrant the extra spend.
But basically would appreciate any input or feelings on the above models from forum members, & where you would prefer to put your cash.
I am looking to spend R14k on the fronts (upto R19k if it's warranted for the extra quality) but ideally my sweet spot is a max of R16k which will allow me to then spend R5-6K on a decent centre to match
I am very aware of the "brightness" of the Klipsch, the 'musicality' of the MA, but have very little on the Paradigm or B&W other than than internet reviews and any further light you could shed would be helpful
Thanks in advance!
I have heard the 28f's and they are awesome. I have not been able to compare them against the Monitor's (bronze 6's specifically which are comparative in price to the 28's) or the Paradigm's (& now the bentleys) as discussed I am not interested in adding further power amps to the chain & where I heard the 28's powered by a Denon 2400 they were awesome
Yep, quick update, the Monitor Audio Bronze 6 did not compare to the Klipsch when driven by the same amp (a denon 2400, my amp is Marantz 5012, so will be very similar in the way it drives the speakers).
While I can imagine that the Monitor's would sound unbelievable if powered directly by an additional power amp or bigger AVR, when powered by the 2400, they needed to be cranked way up to get close to the Klispch. I felt as though the sound stage presented by the Klipsch was just so much broader (we demo'd in stereo only) than the Monitor's, while the monitor's had a slight precision they just couldn't come close to the 28f's, in my very humble opinion (they just didn't sound great to me when compared directly next to the Klipsch)
And yes, demo'ing the Bentleys this coming Saturday
While many are fans of them, Q-Acoustics & Mission have never been brands I've ever considered (personally) either for looks, build, price or sound...could've been the models I'd seen or heard. similar to the current range of Jamo...I enjoy certain of the old classic jamo like the 707i's, but the newer models don't press any of my buttons unfortunately/unfortunately.
the polk I'm not sure of...I may add them to the list (Polk, definitive technology, denon, marantz, HEOS, Classe & Boston acoustics are actually all owned by the same holding company, Sounds United)...I maaaayyy add them to the list to compare...either look at the SIG55 (although I don't love the look of), or the RTIA5 (although these I'm sure are massively power hungry, the recomended amplification is 30-250w per channel , so taking my comments on the B&W & Monitors, probably puts the RTIA5's out as well & probably not worth demo'ing at all...I'm sure they are amazing however when powered by correct power amplification & very deep pocketed wallets)
I haven't put KEF onto the list either, I was always a massive fan of KEF (about 15 years ago), their builds then was just so...mesmorizing (I'd liken them back then to what an apple product is now for most, I could just stare at a KEF speaker, or eye out the detail for hours on end, much like I can most Apple products) but feel that everything I have seen from KEF over the last 2 years either is completely out of my price range or I strongly strongly dislike the look of...
To me really it doesn't matter if they are the best sounding speakers in the world, if I can't look at them it doesn't matter what they sound like...
I get 100% that with speakers its what you hear that counts...but when eating a meal taste is what counts, & you eat with your eyes first.
Howsit Larry, Have listened to the Klipsch 28f, and Monitor Audio bronze 6's, skipped the B&W's, demo'ing bentleys tomorrow. thoughts so far on Klipsch & MA's on I think page 2 of this thread. added the paradigm & Dali to the list.
Update from the demo I did yesterday on the Bentley's
I went with the intent of having them sway me off the Klipsch 28f, which sat atop my list off my recent demo's...(but secretly I thought it wouldn't happen)
We at Morne and we got stuck straight into some stereo demo's on the f150s. Kicking off with some great female vocals (Diana Krall, Jasmine Thompson) & off the bat the 150s present this broad sound stage, broader than I had heard on any of the demos to date. My wife immediately commented on not only the presence of stage, but the precision & clarity "it feels like they are sitting right here singing" is what she said almost immediately.
While they project this really broad sound stage at the same time the imaging is incredibly precise...this really came through when we moved onto Stevie Ray Vaughan, and about a third of the way through Tin Pan Alley, I thought to myself my John Mayer live will sound AMAZING on these. You can hear every guitar pluck, breath of voice with insane clarity
We move onto some more modern stuff, imagined dragons, Jesse Glynne at a third of the way on the amp the base is clear, has tone but isn't overpowering. My wife asks for the second time "are you sure this only from these 2 speakers?", my only comment on the base I liken to a boxing analogy...I feel like the klipsch base delivery hits you like gut shot right to the stomach, whereas the Bentleys base hits you with body shots all over (liver, stomach upper/lower,chest) really all the sweet spots.
Before moving onto a movie we just give the fr100 bookshelves a go on the same stereo setup & they sound amazing, clear tone, warmth, big sound stage, image THE WORKS. I hadn't demo'd any bookshelves to compare against but these sound better than my current Sony floorstanders.
In my mind, I keep thinking it isn't possible that they could be this good
We moved over to 5.1 to try batman vs superman on bluray and the center really shines in amazing harmony with the 150s.
We did also demo Morne's awesome cinema room where he has the 120s as fronts and they perform almost better than the 150s driven by the bigger Yamaha, they just again project this immense stage of clarity...also the atmos just adds a whol,new level to the experience
And the whole rest of the day all I could think was it just isn't possible that they can be that good...they are so good in fact that I'm unsure if I'm going to bother doing any other demo's...they are just such excellent value for money.
I may go and get another listen on the Bentleys but yah...I'm actually slightly upset as I was pretty deadset on those 28f's...
So I have pulled the trigger and gone with the Bentleys... I dropped the bomb with them this morning that I'm going the Bentley route.