After having read great reviews I'm considering them as first equipment in a second house, connecting them to my music server and DAC (Lavry DA 11). According to users they are extremely transparent but still musical and not tyring. Great bass, mids and highs. Sounds too good to be true.
Anyone who has had them or auditioned them at lenght and can comment on them?
Also looks like manufacturer changed the tweeters after sourcing issues. Has anyone been able to compare both versions?
(I'm re-starting this thread as I messed up in my first one, over writting the Question with my username. My apologies)
I auditioned them at professional studio. It's a very smart choice -- you definitely won't need an amp.
They sound precise and image very well. They also have built-in room EQ. They haven't been marketted into audiophile crowd and the price they're sold for IS a steal. They deserve the best rating indeed.
I owned a pair and liked them pretty well. They are well priced for what they offer in a smallish package; but they have somewhat different strengths than good audiophile speakers which may or may not match your needs and tastes. I wrote a review of sorts here: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=125416.0 Bottom line- not quite as refined and open in the mids and highs as the best audiophile speakers (which are more expensive, too considering amps, cables, etc.), ergonomically and visually challenging (pro audio connection options, power switches on back), but very powerful and lively, with very good bass and useful EQ in a small package. Hard to beat for the $, if you can live with their studio heritage features.
If I have understood well, main drawback for them could be their not fully refined presentation compared to top domestic speaker. Although I do not find them pretty, I do not really care about their raw looking.
One last question. Does their metal dome tweters have a big influence in the way they sound? Does it mean metallic, harsh high mids and treble? Or do you need to A/B them against a top notch soft dome to appreciate the difference. Does it intrude in the listening or do you need to really concentrate on it to realise their metal nature?
While I am looking for a very transparent system, a clinical sound is not what I am after.
Finally, I will use them at low volume. Can you comment on how they perform this way?
The tweeter is very clear, but it still has a trace of ringing. Not offensive or too hot, but compared to my RAAL ribbon tweeters or the Eton dome in my Daedalus they are not as totally natural. Still, the sound is very well integrated and balanced. The highs do not "stand out" from the mix. The K&H may well be better, but at a sizeable premium. The package price of the Opals is hard to beat. Low volume is ok; some older versions did have low level hum, corrected later.
KH seems to be a good alternative to Event Opals. While googling, I found the 120A which has amazing reviews and with a size more according to my needs. Main difference with Opals is that KH120 does not go as deep in the lower end, but some reviewers report better tonality. Price is also much lower. For the future, there is a matching KH sub if I decide to go the full range route.
I have decided to give them a try.
I'll report my findings to this forum once I have done a thourugh testing.
Bob_reynolds, Knowing that you are overloaded with your work I feel a little bit guilty on asking you some further questions. I'll try to keep it short: 1- Is detail loss so perceptable in the 120A vs the O300? 2- I have always seen pictures of 300's set up in landscape mode. Is there any reason why they cannnot be in portrait mode? Have you tried it?
Bob_reynolds, While googling for the ATC, I found out its tecnical specs which helped me to understand what you mean about potential issues with horizontal dispersion. Figures for the SCM 25 are: horizontal dispersion 80 degress, vertical dispersion 10 degress. Swithching the layout would produce an extremely narrow sweetspot. Clear now!
Also ATC seems to be a step ahead from KH in terms of resolution. Cost reflects it as well. That was quite shocking provided that many reviews give the O310 top ratings in this chapter...
As I would use them just for listening, not for mixing, I'm not sure if the difference would be worth. In any case I need to thing a little bit on how convenient a "portrait" position would be in my sitting room.
Maybe I need to order a couple of different speakers from shops with a one month trial period and make my decision based on what I hear.
I own the KH310A. They are an absolute pleasure to listen to. Being a sealed system, nothing is bloated or hyped. If the recording is good, it will sound good. If it's bad, well, you get the idea. This is what should be expected from a pro studio monitor. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a serious monitoring system. They may just end your search for the "perfect" speaker. And considering the fact that you're getting the power amps with the package, it's a no brainer.
I should have probably stated that I have not heard the Opals, so I can't really compare them to the KH 310. I owned the Focal Twin 6 BE monitors in the past, and thought they sounded great as well after a long break in period. I could easily live with them in my living room. Don't overlook them - you can usually find them used in the $2400 range. They sound superb and are impeccably built.
KH 310A are definitely at the top of my list. Only caveat is, they have to be placed horizontally, which makes for a more difficult setup. Also, I would need to get the right stands, as my current ones (some very nice, heavy ones) are designed for horizontal speakers (not a big deal though).
About Event Opal after some opinions and reviews highlighting some character in the treble and a less than refined nature, I have almost discarded them. I'm too sensitive to that part of the spectrum.
I have also read about the Focals Twin 6 BE. Not sure on this ones. Too many different opinions about them might be pointing out to some character in their sound (too mid rangy maybe?). Also they seem to be second to the O310.
All in all, looks like there is no real alternative to the O310 in their price range. And there is an amazing consensous on their sound qualities.
The Focals do sound a bit bright right off the bat, no doubt because of the BE tweeter. You really have to break them in good. Hundreds of hours good. If your ears are sensitive to the initial brightness, there are controls on the rear panel to tame the highs. I found that placing the Focals in the vertical position sounded better in my room than the landscape position. If my budget was low, I'd go for a set of used Focals and could easily live with them. They do sound really good. If you can swing the 310s, then by all means get them. They sound incredible right out of the box. It may be hard to find a used pair of 310s, since they are a new model.
Looks like a new, nice pair of stands would substantially raise total cost. I have decided to go with my current stands (artesania audio) for which I'll order in a local workshop custom made, larger top plates to better support the speakers.