3 options: bookshelfs


The following options in my area:

Kef c55 (1989)
Boston acoustic CR 9 (’94)
Cambridge M-80 (2000s)

Spare the details, but I will be unable to audition these, so I need some guidance. These were all at $500-700 price point back in the day to the best of my knowledge. Leaning towards the BAs since I am more familiar with that brand.Fwiw, CR 9 was flagship model in that series. They developed the Kortec soft dome tweeter for this model and the CR 8. The other 2 are more of "wildcard" options. For lack of a better term, I listen to mostly 90% "classic" rock, 80s new wave, 70s punk. Source: Vinyl playback. Kefs are intriguing option but probably the biggest gamble in terms of maintenance. I believe this was the first UniQ series they produced (at least at this price point), and from what I gather, the tweeters are known to have some potential failure issues over time. However, the owner claims they are fully operational. They also are a 4 ohm load. CSW are known for their "value driven" lines, however, the M 80s were their flagship speaker in the M line. Question: of the 3, regardless of my musical tastes what, is the overall better product in terms of imaging, sweetspot, transparency? I assume Kef. Question #2: in a 10 x 15 space, with my tastes, what is the safest option? For this discussion, let’s focus on these 3. Thanks!
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I have the BA CR9's in a small home theatre and just for fun I throw them in my main sytem from time to time and they absolutley rock! I listen to similar genre of music and they are perfect for this.

For the poultry sum (usually around $100-150) the old BA CR series sell for on the used market they are a good bargain and much better than the usual suspects I've seen mentioned in the under $500 range like the pioneers and such. 

I owned the KEF C55s and they were wonderful speakers.  British design, Canadian made.  Paired them with ADCOM 545/ 500 II electronics.  They were my divorce present to myself.  Only issue I could see is that they are 27 years old.  I would think that the speakers surrounds, etc are showing their age.

If priced at a $100 or so, I might take the gamble. 

Rich 
Update: I ended purchasing both BA + Kefs. I sold the Kefs rather quickly due to the following: boxey, overly warm, flabby bass, and an overall 'wet blanket'. To be fair, their Uni Q technology was in it's infancy, but still, very disappointing. Reference comparison: vintage Snell from similar era. Note: due to their high quality manufacturing, BA made components for other high end companies, which Snell was one of (not sure if they had a hand in the Snells I used for comparison). At any rate, CR 9s sound like a much more expensive than they are. Deep, tight full range bass, very open midrange, nice balanced if somewhat polite sound. They moved on to the VR series shortly thereafter after with a metallic tweeter which, in some ways, was superior, but ultimately very fatiguing IMHO. BA has superior build quality as well, which was somewhat surprising. Nobody will ever confuse these with Sonus Faber or Revel, but BA was at the top of its game for this series. I always BA thought  was at its best with simple 2 way products, which was there starting point. In the 90s and beyond, there move to HT powered towers, etc was a downgrade IMHO. Highly recommended.