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KEF R3 OR BOWER & WILKINS S706 s2 ???

Ageve

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LOL. How many speakers do you know of that don't reproduce bass at 105Hz?

Oh, so you're still talking about the R3 review. I hope you realize that different speakers can produce a different result, based on wall proximity and port tuning.
 
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Ageve

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That's not what I said. The room has a huge influence on frequency response below 500Hz. Based on wall proximity, port placement and port tuning, it can affect different speakers in different ways. It has nothing to do with whether a flat frequency is preferable or not (it is).

The Fletcher Munson curve was based on how people perceived sound at different sound pressure levels. As you can see, louder = more flat. So are you suggesting that B&W speakers sound great at low volume, but horrible at high SPL? You can't (and shouldn't) build a passive speaker that follows that curve.

Anyway the 706 wins hands down.

Against what?
 

TrevC

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That's not what I said. The room has a huge influence on frequency response below 500Hz. Based on wall proximity, port placement and port tuning, it can affect different speakers in different ways. It has nothing to do with whether a flat frequency is preferable or not (it is).

The Fletcher Munson curve was based on how people perceived sound at different sound pressure levels. As you can see, louder = more flat. So are you suggesting that B&W speakers sound great at low volume, but horrible at high SPL? You can't (and shouldn't) build a passive speaker that follows that curve.
Of course you can, and the result can be very pleasing if you do. The LS3/5A for example. Even at high levels a flat response isn't necessarily perceived as the best sounding, and the room has an influence at all frequencies. For an example of that look at the Stereophile curves in the lab versus Mr Atkinsons living room. 705
As you can see there isn't much of a midrange dip, and the treble peak all but vanishes in room.
 

Ageve

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and the treble peak all but vanishes in room.

No, it doesn't. The tweeter level is >5dB higher at 10kHz, compared to the LS50.


A loudspeaker that offers a flat on-axis response and well-controlled lateral dispersion gives a gently sloped-down treble in the spatially averaged room response, due to the increased absorption of the room's furnishings at high frequencies. By that criterion, the 705 Signature produces too much energy in-room between 6kHz and 11kHz.

The excess of high-treble energy can also be seen in fig.9
, which compares the B&W's spatially averaged response (red trace) with that of the Marten Oscar Duo, which Michael Fremer reviewed in November 2020 (blue trace), and that of the KEF LS50 that I reviewed in December 2012 (green trace).


See thread title. Amir didn't really like the sound of the R3, but I love the sound of my 706s.

I don't know why you keep repeating this. Amir explained the reason why, in the review. And the listening is subjective. The measurements show that the R3 is a good speaker, which in turn means it's an interesting contender when choosing speakers to audition. It does not mean that all good speakers sound exactly the same.

A speaker that measures poorly however, can not produce a good/accurate sound. I have listened to the larger B&W 705 S2. That was actually the reason why I looked at the measurements in the first place. I wanted to know why it sounded as thin and bright as it did. The measurements explained it.


Skärmavbild 2022-10-20 kl. 22.53.22.png
 
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TrevC

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The KEFs are excellent value, but the Bowers & Wilkins offer a more transparent window into the music, as well as deeper lows and airier highs.
 
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MrOtto

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The general trebble boost on B&W speakers is really annoying. If you turn the volume up to hear more of the bass instruments, the trebble gets even more annoying. This kind of speakers tires you out in minutes. I am much more happy with my Wharfedale Diamond 225 which replaced my B&W 705 that cost three times as much.

Definitely go for the KEF R3.
 

TrevC

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The general trebble boost on B&W speakers is really annoying. If you turn the volume up to hear more of the bass instruments, the trebble gets even more annoying. This kind of speakers tires you out in minutes. I am much more happy with my Wharfedale Diamond 225 which replaced my B&W 705 that cost three times as much.

Definitely go for the KEF R3.
If you got tired out in minutes by the 'trebble' you surely would have returned the speakers.
 

Steve Dallas

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That was a direct quote from the Stereophile review on the 705 S3. The KEF mentioned is the LS50.
Two points:

1. The 705 will obviously have better bass, considering its larger cabinet and 6.5" woofer as compared to the smaller cabinet and 5" woofer of the LS50. This is not a valid comparison.
2. Stereophile subjective reviews are little better than nonsense. The 705 MUST have 'airy' highs or whatever, because of the big tube tweeter thingy mounted to the top of the cabinet. It makes AIRY-NESS, dammit!

Not sure why you are so invested in this comparison. If you like Batman sound, enjoy your B&Ws. If you like accurate sound, enjoy KEF R3s.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BTW, for those following this whole thread [both of you], I posted on page 1 or 2 that I owned and enjoyed a pair of 804s and a pair of 805s for 21 years before passing them down to my son. I lost the in-room measurements of those speakers over the years, unfortunately, but they were very accurate, and I loved them. I did not mention that I also had a pair of CM4s purchased in 2001 or 2002, which represent the beginning of the B&W house sound. I do have in-room measurements that I took of those speakers in 2020 before giving them away. Behold the AIRY-NESS of Batman Begins!

CM4 Left and Right Frequency Response.png


CM4 Stereo In-Room Uncorrected Frequency Response.png


(Both plots were taken with the speakers toed in about 15 degrees. Smoothing is very generous on my part. Ignore < 500 Hz.)

And their anechoic response as published in Sound and Vision at the time:

CM4 Anoechoic Horizontal Response.jpg


Look at the abhorrent directivity error between 1K and 5K and the on-axis peak at 10K. The treble was piercing if the speakers were pointed directly at the listening position, but toeing them out from there sucked out all the mids. Weird how the treble does not just "disappear into the room." The only solution was to point them at the LP and EQ the treble. Of course, we did not believe in EQ back then... We used them as TV speakers in the den. They were fine for that, but expensive for what they were.
 
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MaxBuck

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The KEFs are excellent value, but the Bowers & Wilkins offer a more transparent window into the music, as well as deeper lows and airier highs.
That's just nonsense.

I have no problem with people preferring the house sound of B&W, but this sort of magickal argument needs to be called out as the BS it is.
 

wjp007

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I got a hold of some 705 S2 demo units at a nearly half off. My current speakers are KEF LS50 Meta. I also have a sub. I have Dirac, so I used it on both speakers. I have different stand so the tweeters on both are similar height.

Here's what I found:
1) The 705 S2s sounded great without any EQ which wasn't the case on the LS50s, when it comes to transparency I actually thing the LS50 Meta is better.
2) With Dirac on both, the sound profile was fairly similar with the 705s having better bass.
3) My biggest gripe was the small woofer on the LS50s results in fairly high distortion starting at 200hz and I could hear this, the 705s sound much cleaner
4) Alternatively the imaging on the LS50s is amazing. Both speakers place instruments similarly, but the LS50 seems to have better separation.
5) And the LS50 just sounds more dynamic.

I'm likely going to return the 705s. The LS50 is just more fun sounding speaker and brings a smile to my face every time I listen to them. The 705s sound great and clean, but just don't have that "wow" sound factor.
 
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preload

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I wonder how many people who think B&W's sound bright are listening to them toed-in so that the listener is 0-deg on-axis (which is what you would do with a Genelec or a Revel). Spinorama measurements and the Harman blind listening tests are also all based on a 0-deg on-axis listening/measurement reference.
 

TrevC

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That's just nonsense.

I have no problem with people preferring the house sound of B&W, but this sort of magickal argument needs to be called out as the BS it is.
I posted that to get a reaction and got one!
I wonder how many people who think B&W's sound bright are listening to them toed-in so that the listener is 0-deg on-axis (which is what you would do with a Genelec or a Revel). Spinorama measurements and the Harman blind listening tests are also all based on a 0-deg on-axis listening/measurement reference.
Most, if not all, of the folks on here have never heard the 706S2, but as a consolation they have measured different speakers that they attempt to extrapolate from, thinking that is valid. I have tried the LS50, (not meta version) and was not impressed. Good midrange presence but severely lacking clean bass and sparkle.
 

fpitas

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I wonder how many people who think B&W's sound bright are listening to them toed-in so that the listener is 0-deg on-axis (which is what you would do with a Genelec or a Revel). Spinorama measurements and the Harman blind listening tests are also all based on a 0-deg on-axis listening/measurement reference.
That might help. My own preference is toed-in, pointed at me, for the most direct sound. Plus, looking at that directivity data above, toed-out may not work well in any event.
 
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wjp007

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I posted that to get a reaction and got one!

Most, if not all, of the folks on here have never heard the 706S2, but as a consolation they have measured different speakers that they attempt to extrapolate from, thinking that is valid. I have tried the LS50, (not meta version) and was not impressed. Good midrange presence but severely lacking clean bass and sparkle.
The Meta tweeter makes a big difference. The non-meta tweeters sound veiled. The bass is still not clean though.
 

Ageve

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I wonder how many people who think B&W's sound bright are listening to them toed-in so that the listener is 0-deg on-axis (which is what you would do with a Genelec or a Revel). Spinorama measurements and the Harman blind listening tests are also all based on a 0-deg on-axis listening/measurement reference.

B&W use their speakers toed-in, in their own demo rooms. See attached images. Having owned several older B&W speakers through the years, I can't remember any advice against 0-deg / on-axis listening.

You can't make a general rule, since dispersion is all over the place with B&W these days. Some models have fairly even dispersion (but unfortunately uneven response to begin with), while others are horrible.
 

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