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B&W 800 D3 vs KEF Blade. Let's discuss.

bandit

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Hi guys, this is my second post on this forum, I know you're more science oriented so I apologise for posting something more shallow. I am by no means being lazy but I cannot read a measurements graph and I am therefore asking for your help to decide which, in your opinion, are the better speakers between the two I have mentioned.
I have read a very positive review on the KEF R3, posted by Amir. This does not imply that their higher models are equally well performing but it shed some light on a brand which I had previously not considered. I am planning on buying my lifetime speakers (we all know this is never the case) and I am really undecided between the 800 D3 and the Blades, does anyone feel like helping me out? I have not seen much love for B&W on this forum, which I previously considered to be among the best speaker brands on the market, can anyone elaborate on why this isn't the case? Thank you in advance everyone!
 

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tuga

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The 800D3 doesn't produce a flat frequency response but will perform just as well or maybe better than the Blade in most other parameters.
Ultimately the differences will be mostly down to tonal balance and soundstage/envelopment.

Personally I would never buy speakers this expensive, let alone make a lifetime purchase, without listening. Most people will tell you to get the Kefs but there is still a fair chance that you might prefer the B&Ws. Most symphony hall and classical music label control rooms use 8-series B&Ws, they can't be that bad...
 
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bandit

bandit

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The 800D3 doesn't produce a flat frequency response but will perform just as well or maybe better than the Blade in most other parameters.
Ultimately the differences will be mostly down to tonal balance and soundstage/envelopment.

Personally I would never buy speakers this expensive, let alone make a lifetime purchase, without listening. Most people will tell you to get the Kefs but there is still a fair chance that you might prefer the B&Ws. Most symphony hall and classical music label control rooms use 8-series B&Ws, they can't be that bad...
thank you for your comment! Just like the benchmark ahb2, which I've heard of on this forum, are you aware of any underdog speakers which would significantly outperform the ones I've mentioned? You said you would never spend this much on speakers; Is it solely due to the budget or because they can be outperformed for less money?
 
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bandit

bandit

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800D3 is a thoroughly primitive design next to the Blade. Unfortunately audiophiles outside ASR are largely ignorant of the engineering and care only about the stories and myths built up over time.
I fall right into the category of the ignorant audiophiles :) Are you suggesting that their design translates into poor performance? If so, could you kindly mention how? Thanks
 

q3cpma

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underdog speakers which would significantly outperform the ones I've mentioned?
Constantly mentioned on this forum: Kii three (+ BXT), D&D 8c, Genelec 8351B/8361A (+ W371A), GGNTKT's upcoming M2. And that's only because you mentioned the Blade, which I'd like to see measurements of, otherwise the B&W is also bested by more traditional designs like Neumann's KH420.
 

Matias

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bandit

bandit

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Constantly mentioned on this forum: Kii three (+ BXT), D&D 8c, Genelec 8351B/8361A (+ W371A), GGNTKT's upcoming M2. And that's only because you mentioned the Blade, which I'd like to see measurements of, otherwise the B&W is also bested by more traditional designs like Neumann's KH420.
I am new to the forum and hadn't noticed most of the speakers you have mentioned apart from the Genelecs, thank you for bringing those up. It's a dumb question but I'm gonna ask it anyway: if active monitors outperform traditional hi-fi systems with passive speakers, regardless of how expensive they are, wouldn't it be the most logical decision to get rid of all the components and just settle for active speakers? If that's the case, are people pretending not to see the truth to keep enjoying their hobby or there are downsides to active speakers that you haven't mentioned?
 

q3cpma

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I am new to the forum and hadn't noticed most of the speakers you have mentioned apart from the Genelecs, thank you for bringing those up. It's a dumb question but I'm gonna ask it anyway: if active monitors outperform traditional hi-fi systems with passive speakers, regardless of how expensive they are, wouldn't it be the most logical decision to get rid of all the components and just settle for active speakers? If that's the case, are people pretending not to see the truth to keep enjoying their hobby or there are downsides to active speakers that you haven't mentioned?
You basically get it, as far as objective performance goes. The only downside of active speakers is that reliability becomes a major concern, as electronics failing inside mean a dead speaker; which is why Genelec is also quite trusted even if not as next-gen as D&D or Kii.
 

Matias

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Guess I forgot to add "more". Something at least as detailed as S&R or ASR; but if we just look at stereophile, the horizontal dispersion is strange.

Agreed.. For such a high tech speaker the normalized horizontal dispersion, specially in the upper bad area, is a key down. But still better than the alternative here.
 

Pearljam5000

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I am new to the forum and hadn't noticed most of the speakers you have mentioned apart from the Genelecs, thank you for bringing those up. It's a dumb question but I'm gonna ask it anyway: if active monitors outperform traditional hi-fi systems with passive speakers, regardless of how expensive they are, wouldn't it be the most logical decision to get rid of all the components and just settle for active speakers? If that's the case, are people pretending not to see the truth to keep enjoying their hobby or there are downsides to active speakers that you haven't mentioned?
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ds/why-do-passive-speakers-still-exist.17729/
 

watchnerd

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Ultimately the differences will be mostly down to tonal balance

+1

B&W has a distinct house sound that falls outside the Harman preference curve.

(which, even in Harman's own research, not all test subjects prefer the consensus curve)

Some people like this sound and B&W has built their brand around that.

B&W sounds so different from KEF that I wouldn't consider them substitutable goods.

You either like their house sound, or you don't.
 

Chromatischism

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I would buy neither and instead get a pair of good towers + 2 subs placed ideally in the room, delayed and equalized properly.

If it's a small room that doesn't have high SPL requirements, standmount speakers can be just as good.
 

tuga

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thank you for your comment! Just like the benchmark ahb2, which I've heard of on this forum, are you aware of any underdog speakers which would significantly outperform the ones I've mentioned? You said you would never spend this much on speakers; Is it solely due to the budget or because they can be outperformed for less money?

Not that I could afford speakers at that price, but I said that I would never spend that much money without listening because it's through listening that one can determine whether one likes a speaker.
I use measurements for shortlsting but the final arbitrer is the ear.
 
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watchnerd

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I would buy neither and instead get a pair of good towers + 2 subs placed ideally in the room, delayed and equalized properly.

If it's a small room that doesn't have high SPL requirements, standmount speakers can be just as good.

My room isn't that small, but this is the route I've chosen. Dual subs + stand mounts, high-passing the mains.
 
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