I liked them.
Slightly off-topic, I throw this out as a discussion topic, not necessarily a personal opinion:
I think we are seeing a wave of new, moderately-priced speakers that are delivering huge gains from new engineering and design tools plus new materials and manufacturing technologies and, as a result, present serious competition to some of the much higher-priced old guard of audiophile speakers. $2K - $5K gets you what you used to have to spend into 5 figures for. KEF, PSB, Paradigm, the forthcoming new Revel Performa line, etc etc.
Maybe I'll create a new topic. Sorry for the diversion.
Ever since I read TAS's rave review of the KEF Blade, I've been looking around for a lower cost alternative. I think the xQ series would have quieter cabinets, however. For good prices, check out Accessories4less.
also agree with drubin--$5k has become the new $10k. there seems to be a whole bunch of accessibly-priced speakers that compete with much pricier ones. i read that the new, $4500 revel f208 replaces (and allegedly outperforms) the $7500 f32. haven't heard the new revel, but i did hear the von schweikert vr-33 ($3750), which sounded awfully impressive; even better that the $6k vr4 and alot of megabuck stuff i've heard. i assume that manufacturers are outsourcing production and/or making aesthetic and other compromises to get costs down, but it's certainly a good trend for the audio buyer.
Another +1 for drubin's observation. I just read a href=http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/kef3/1.html>6Moons
review of the KEF R900 where the reviewer summarized this observation
Progress over the last few years has favored
... to which I'd add the more widespread use of neodymium magnets, curved
cabinet profiles, better bracing, longer excursion surrounds, and near-exotic
light and rigid diaphragm materials such as the Monitor Audio CCAM
(ceramic/magnesium) drivers. Their Gold Series even uses CCAM ribbon
tweeters in a $5.5K and under series.
Johnnyb53 I did a hour plus demo of the kef r900 s at a local.dealer who happens to carry many lines well known highend. His opinion is they are best yet at their price that he has seen. My thoughts are they are very compelling highly musical powerful yet refined and more. Also I had spoken with two other dealers that carry most of the popular high end lines. One had said is the best under 10k. The other had told me it is a fantastic speaker. Point being I believe you and drubin are right. Also I recommend that you check them out if you can. I am picking up a pair as soon as the dealer gets back from vacation.
This is becoming a very nice discussion, and thanks to Drubin's post, the comments are covering a wider topic than I originally presented. That's great .... keep the comments coming,.. we're learning together that high quality speakers are now at a much better financial plateau than they used to be.