you should've mentioned your electronics amps in particular.
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i don't know if i need to replace them at all but i might consider it if the concensus is that speaker tech has come far enough in the past ten years that say $600-900 speakers will do everything better than what i have- i listen to acoustic jazz, classical, some pop and bluegrass. i'm just not sure what's out there now, but i'd certainly be ok with keeping my KEF's for a while- i like monitors but i had a chance to listen to the meadowlark swifts and liked them but it was a brief audition and not in my system- alot of the good dealers are about 110 miles away
Quads look nice. Heard them with older Arcam stuff which is sort of flat sounding. Even so, I thought they tended to be bright. Read Brit-mag review and they said could be bad with bad recordings.
Hard to find but try ATC SCM 7's (I think www.flatearthaudio.com). Also B&W CDM 1 NT, DynAudio Audience 52's.
Hello, I'm not familiar with your speakers but I still use some KEF 104 from 1976 (with updated crossovers making them 104 aB). I face same problem...I have heard the Quad 12L with some NAD amplification. Quiet nice, dynamic a bit too brigth for me. But I still enjoy more my oldies KEFS for the music I listen to: Jazz, blues, rock.
So I don't know...I was advised to add a quality sub from REL (for example). Did you think of that option ?
Olivier-your KEF's are pre uni-q, which i beleive is a whole different animal- I've heard differing opinions on the KEF's with uni-q, from those who believe they are polite to others who think they are bright and foward- having never tried any other speakers in my system i'm not sure but i think they are a better match with my CJ amp than the PSB silver's that the dealer demoed the amp with 2 years ago- those were a bit too laid back with the CJ which seemed to "open up" when i got it home with my KEF's- so if KEF's are bright, bright is Ok with me- i hear the quad's have quite nice bass response for their size- something i could use a bit more of- how much are the 12l's anyways?
Correct, my KEF are pre Uni Q. But the point is that, in my opinion, it's not because they are old that they are completely outdated. Probably because I like neutral, laid back sound.
12L are about 170 - 200 Euros more expensive. It has a larger driver but does not seem to go lower than 11L (45Hz)bubut has a better sensivity (88dB). I'd think the 11L would be a better deal. The 12L I heard had a very good bass response given the size.
If you go Quad...go with the 12Ls...they have a much fuller presentation...and just to let u know...I would hesitate to call them bright... they are very revealing in nature...and sound nothing like rolled of SPendors or other "old-school" brit monitors...their 3-d imaging and bass is impressive...and in the QUad tradition...they are very transparent....
ALthough the Swifts have garnished much praise...I have not been impressed with their sound...to me they sound thin,hollow, and very lean....I much prefer the original KEstrals...
Phasecorrect, i agree, i heard the hot rod kestrels a couple years ago hooked up to some cheaper (goldentube) equipment and they were pretty stunning- so transparent, holographic imaging and good clean bass response- i wonder how the new Kestrel II will be, but thats a whole other price range- the imaging from the swift's was pretty holographic but they may be a bit lean as you said- at the time i thought maybe it was the amp- also, they sit kind of low for my ears, making images a little short- but hey, less than $1000 new- i'm intrigued by the quads but i think they'll be hard to find here in oregon
I very much doubt that speaker technology has improved to where a $600 new speaker would even come close to a $1200 10 yr old speaker. Perhaps a $1200 new speaker would improve ... which is not bad considering inflation.
I think you'd have to try, but I'd be very surprised if you sell the KEFs.
If you wish for more bass then I saw someone else suggested a separate powered sub ... it's worth considering ... I added one to my 10yr old spica angelus and it made an immense improvement. I think I'll still have the Spicas in another 10 yrs now I have the sub.
All things being equal...a ten yr old $1200 speaker should at least equal a newer $600 one...but I wouldnt get too caught up in price ...there are simply not that many good speakers in either price range...and both the $600 Paradigm Studio 20 and the Quad 11L outperform a number of more pricey monitors(both old and new)....a higher pricetag can be just that...I value performance over price
I was in a similar situation, thinking of replacing my KEF's with Meadowlark Kestral. The Kestral was definately impressive with jazz. The instruments were very, very well defined. The KEF's threw a bigger soundstage which I like for rock. The Kestral has a rear port which might cause placement problems if too close to the wall.
I decided that I should upgrade my electronics before I went shopping for speakers. Now, a year later, the KEF's sound great (Ref 1's with UNI-Q). The imaging is really good but still lacks the soundstage depth that I remember from the Kestrals. If you want to play with your system I would recommend: vibration components for your cpd (vibrapods and rack), NOS tubes for your amp, possibly try a different cdp. Also, good IC's and speaker wires are always worthwhile.
As to the Kestrals, they may be a nice step up for you since you like mostly jazz and acoustic. Many people prefer the Swifts but they sounded thin to me also. The new Kestral 2's might be worth auditioning.
My recommendation to you, especially since you live far from the dealers, is to buy used on Audiogon. I think that Kestrals are going for about $700. You can have an extensive in-home demo for as long as you like. Then re-sell if you want. I buy only from sellers with good A'gon ratings and I've had very good luck.