And yes a Pionerr SX-1250 from the late 1970's.........
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Hifi Critic is an idiot, the speakers are breath taking however, as with any really high resolution loudspeaker system matching is critical, also if you enjoy the sweeter sound of a soft dome tweeter you will probably not like the highly detailed sound of the KEF 201, with that being said if you want: a huge soundstage
superb treble accuracy
shocking dynamics for a compact monitor
extremely tight well defined bass
I use the 201.2 often with a sub woofer, they don't go that low by themselves, and any monitor which doesn't scream with artificial mid bass emphasis is going to sound not too involving. As with anything it is the setup, a Ferrari with Cooper Bias Ply tires and 82 octane gas is still a Ferrari it just won't drive like one!
I'm using the KEF 201 (original w/super tweeters) and an Onkyo TX-SR876 receiver in a 5.1 all KEF system.
This combination actually sounds similar to music!
The Audyssey room correction helps but the global negative feedback (of the Onkyo) limits the overall resolution.
The Onkyo lets you tap into unused channels to either hotrod (double wattage) the main L/R speakers or bi-amp if your speakers allow (also double wattage).
I have not tried either.
I recently put together an alternate "weird combination" around vintage Pioneer and can report that you're onto something fun and potetially very rewarding to the ears. And of course your SX1250 dazzles the eye. My office system: Pioneer SX1980, CDP is Rega Saturn, speakers are Linn Katan, and sub is Velodyne SPL. Warmish (but not too), crisp/detailed, and tons of effortless muscle when called upon.
I have not heard the KEF 201/2 so can't directly answer your question, but I too have been interested to audition the 201/2s, and will when the opportunity presents (potentially for the main system at home, the office rig is sweet and set). Be sure the Marantz CDP is of their higher end. The SX1980 sings with the Saturn but was only good, not great, with a Marantz DV8400. If you pair the SX1250 with the KEF 201/2, please post your results.
Thanks Whitecap, that sounds encouraging. I quickly learned there aren't a lot of KEF dealers for the Reference series and only one here in Colorado. He is two hours away, but will have a set of 201's in to audition in about ten days. I will hang tight and definitely audition them first, even though most people rave about the KEFs.
One I have decided to buy buy them (More than likely), I will let you know how they sound with the SX-1250. BTW, the Marantz CD player is more of an upper end unit, so I anticipate it performing well with this eclectic setup, if and when it happens.
Thanks for your post.