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KEF R3 OR BOWER & WILKINS S706 s2 ???

ROOSKIE

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I've said this in other posts on other threads but FWIIW, I did not develop a very strong affection for the KEF R3 despite liking the look, the build quality, the company, the design strategy, the main engineer in interviews, the affordable price for quality product ($1500 new on discount), and the numerous sources that demonstrate the speaker essentially tests very well.

I could perceive it subjectively as a clean, well performing speaker but never really looked forward to testing it further/listening to it again and never missed them for a second when I sold them. It was still a speaker I could recommend and if I did reviews I would... with the caveat that like essentially all current speakers it might not be quite right for an individual buyer despite being very well thought out and made.

I am not poo-pooing the R3, rather just noting anecdotally there is still a lot of variation in well measuring systems and this is important and can not be ignored. Add a bit of subjective preference into the mix and testing in your home against other options is a must for many folks.

Over the last few years I tried, in my home, more speakers than most people and have been surprised fairly regularly.

(edit* just realized I already entered this thread awhile ago with the same comments - woops, I though I was on a newer thread. Oh the perils of trying to hit ASR up for 10minutes)
 
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Steven Holt

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I've said this in other posts on other threads but FWIIW, I did not develop a very strong affection for the KEF R3 despite liking the look, the build quality, the company, the design strategy, the main engineer in interviews, the affordable price for quality product ($1500 new on discount), and the numerous sources that demonstrate the speaker essentially tests very well.

I could perceive it subjectively as a clean, well performing speaker but never really looked forward to testing it further/listening to it again and never missed them for a second when I sold them. It was still a speaker I could recommend and if I did reviews I would... with the caveat that like essentially all current speakers it might not be quite right for an individual buyer despite being very well thought out and made.

I am not poo-pooing the R3, rather just noting anecdotally there is still a lot of variation in well measuring systems and this is important and can not be ignored. Add a bit of subjective preference into the mix and testing in your home against other options is a must for many folks.

Over the last few years I tried, in my home, more speakers than most people and have been surprised fairly regularly.

(edit* just realized I already entered this thread awhile ago with the same comments - woops, I though I was on a newer thread. Oh the perils of trying to hit ASR up for 10minutes)
A comment and a question : Due to the nature of the question, we had to decide between either the R3 or the S706. If the member had posted 'what speaker should I buy if I'm going to......' this forum would run 25 pages. Now the question : so, what bookshelf speakers are you currently using?
 

ROOSKIE

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A comment and a question : Due to the nature of the question, we had to decide between either the R3 or the S706. If the member had posted 'what speaker should I buy if I'm going to......' this forum would run 25 pages. Now the question : so, what bookshelf speakers are you currently using?
Yes, I understand the comparison between 2 speakers.
I was basically reminding folks to listen in their room and be honest with themselves.

I would buy both speakers and listen for awhile and then return the less desired pair.

That is the only way.

I have never heard the B&W myself, only the KEF.

.................
As far as what I kept over the R3.

At the time I was able to compare them with several systems including the Revel M16, JBL L82, JBL 4309 and Klipsch 600m.
I actually preferred all of the above speakers to the R3. (Well actually the Klipsch about equal or maybe at touch less and that speaker did have a bit of PEQ employed)
I did the most direct comparing with the M16 and quite substantially preferred them to the R3. I enjoyed them so much I did end up buying the M126be standmounts. They are superb.(but don't pay full retail price, yikes)

So now my "reference" standmounts in house are the m126be, the curved cabinet BMR and the JBL 4309 which I find is much better than some tests suggest. Plus quite a few more budget models and some others and a ton of DIY stuff. Yes, for now way too many speakers but I have my reasons of course, mainly related to DIY projects in the works...
 

TrevC

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Amir's thoughts on the KEF R3 have come up in multiple places here, and everybody seems to ignore his edit:

EDIT: later testing showed that the room mode at about 105 Hz was impacting the tonality of the speaker. Once I filtered that, the sound was very good. I have since made this part of the protocol.
A bit of backtracking. The room mode would have also affected the Revels he compared them with. I would rather own a speaker that measured poorly than one that measured well but didn't sound as good. In any case, where are the measurements of the Bowers 706 that are so bad?
 

Beave

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Here are the only measurements of the 706 S2 that I have seen:

https://audio.com.pl/testy/stereo/kolumny-glosnikowe/3427-706-s2#laboratory

66349-bowers-and-wilkins-706s2-fot1.jpg


Here are measurements for the 705 S2 from the NRC:

https://www.soundstagenetwork.com/i...&catid=77:loudspeaker-measurements&Itemid=153

fr_on1530.png
 

Ageve

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Too many absolute statements. I had for 15 years B&W speakers before I moved on to KEF and ELAC currently. Are they they best? They sounded great to me.

Well, that's the problem. You can't compare B&W from 15-20 years ago (or more) with their current designs. They used to make quite neutral sounding speakers, but after the 800N series, that's no longer the case. The first 800S/D-series still sounded good, and were better in some ways, but worse in others.

The first model that I really disliked was the 804 Diamond, with it's bright treble and poor imaging. Unfortunately it's only gotten worse over time.
 

Steven Holt

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Yes, I understand the comparison between 2 speakers.
I was basically reminding folks to listen in their room and be honest with themselves.

I would buy both speakers and listen for awhile and then return the less desired pair.

That is the only way.

I have never heard the B&W myself, only the KEF.

.................
As far as what I kept over the R3.

At the time I was able to compare them with several systems including the Revel M16, JBL L82, JBL 4309 and Klipsch 600m.
I actually preferred all of the above speakers to the R3. (Well actually the Klipsch about equal or maybe at touch less and that speaker did have a bit of PEQ employed)
I did the most direct comparing with the M16 and quite substantially preferred them to the R3. I enjoyed them so much I did end up buying the M126be standmounts. They are superb.(but don't pay full retail price, yikes)

So now my "reference" standmounts in house are the m126be, the curved cabinet BMR and the JBL 4309 which I find is much better than some tests suggest. Plus quite a few more budget models and some others and a ton of DIY stuff. Yes, for now way too many speakers but I have my reasons of course, mainly related to DIY projects in the works...
Thank you for the reply. The 600m's threw me, now I'm going to have to revisit them. Tell me, is that the original 600m, or the 600m V2?
 

ROOSKIE

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Thank you for the reply. The 600m's threw me, now I'm going to have to revisit them. Tell me, is that the original 600m, or the 600m V2?
Original.
They threw me as well.
I only purchased them on clearance under $300, to test/learn and resell afterwards, ended up deciding to keep them as they are very good and the only narrow dispersion speakers I have. Plus my girlfriend really likes how they sound, I won't bore you with all of her feedback but her impressions were shockingly spot on and she has no idea how they are supposed to sound or perform at all. Essentially she said they sound the most like headphones of all of our speakers. (narrow dispersion)

They do need a bit of PEQ correction based on the Klippel data.
I did not use the published filters, rather just a touch in 3 spots - especially shaving a hair or two off of the upper treble and then man these actually have very smooth, resolving highs.

The dispersion is quite narrow, so very different from some others I like.
Yes, the sensitivity rating is BS, however they are about 3db louder at the listening position than normal dispersion speakers with the same tested 1meter sensitivity. I think this must be due to the narrow dispersion.

The narrow dispersion really transmits the recording ambiance IF the content has well recorded spatial qualities of its own. When the recording does not the speakers can sound small and dare I say mellow.

Honestly IMHOPO the 600m speakers are really really decent with a bit of fluffing up.
 

Steven Holt

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Original.
They threw me as well.
I only purchased them on clearance under $300, to test/learn and resell afterwards, ended up deciding to keep them as they are very good and the only narrow dispersion speakers I have. Plus my girlfriend really likes how they sound, I won't bore you with all of her feedback but her impressions were shockingly spot on and she has no idea how they are supposed to sound or perform at all. Essentially she said they sound the most like headphones of all of our speakers. (narrow dispersion)

They do need a bit of PEQ correction based on the Klippel data.
I did not use the published filters, rather just a touch in 3 spots - especially shaving a hair or two off of the upper treble and then man these actually have very smooth, resolving highs.

The dispersion is quite narrow, so very different from some others I like.
Yes, the sensitivity rating is BS, however they are about 3db louder at the listening position than normal dispersion speakers with the same tested 1meter sensitivity. I think this must be due to the narrow dispersion.

The narrow dispersion really transmits the recording ambiance IF the content has well recorded spatial qualities of its own. When the recording does not the speakers can sound small and dare I say mellow.

Honestly IMHOPO the 600m speakers are really really decent with a bit of fluffing up.
Thanks for the detailed reply. $300 is a good deal, I would have bought them too. I've decided I'm going to look into them a little closer, see if there are any deals in my area. Glad u like them and happy listening!
 

TrevC

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I notice that the 706S2 can be bought for £699 now the S3 is out. A bargain, surely.
 

Kachda

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A bit of backtracking. The room mode would have also affected the Revels he compared them with. I would rather own a speaker that measured poorly than one that measured well but didn't sound as good. In any case, where are the measurements of the Bowers 706 that are so bad?
How convinient. When he didn’t like the sound you used his quote. Once he found the problem and corrected his statement, it’s “backtracking”!

The room mode might not have activated as much on the revel because it doesnt dig as deep.
 

TrevC

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How convinient. When he didn’t like the sound you used his quote. Once he found the problem and corrected his statement, it’s “backtracking”!

The room mode might not have activated as much on the revel because it doesnt dig as deep.
The room mode wouldn't have changed the overall sound that much, only in the bass.
 
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Kachda

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The room mode wouldn't have changed the overall sound that much, only in the bass.
That’s exactly what I’m saying, the R3 goes lower/louder in bass and therefore having a more pronounced room mode
 

TrevC

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That’s exactly what I’m saying, the R3 goes lower/louder in bass and therefore having a more pronounced room mode

But the overall sound of the KEF wouldn't change, so ........
 

TrevC

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A meh speaker isn't going to become a sensational Revel (what is it about this brand?) by reducing a room mode common to both speakers being tested. Now have a drink.
 

Ageve

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I notice that the 706S2 can be bought for £699 now the S3 is out. A bargain, surely.

I wouldn't call it a bargain since I don't like the sound, but at least it's less expensive.

A meh speaker isn't going to become a sensational Revel (what is it about this brand?) by reducing a room mode common to both speakers being tested.

As Kachda explained, for a room mode to be audible, you need output at that frequency. If the speaker lacks bass, you won't hear it, since well... there's nothing there.
 

TrevC

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I wouldn't call it a bargain since I don't like the sound, but at least it's less expensive.



As Kachda explained, for a room mode to be audible, you need output at that frequency. If the speaker lacks bass, you won't hear it, since well... there's nothing there.
LOL. How many speakers do you know of that don't reproduce bass at 105Hz?
 
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