Talon Khorus x or B&W 802

whats best,talon khorus x or b&w 802,for jeff rowland 10 thanks
Hello...First, I must state a disclaimer that I am a Talon dealer and may be biased. With that out of the way, this is an unfair comparison (the X to the 802). A better one would be between the Khorus X and the Nautilus 800 Signature. The X and 800 are VERY different loudspeakers and most likely each would appeal to a different audiophile "crowd". The X has the fastest transients of ANY loudspeaker I have ever heard (from the lowest to the highest note). Driver integration and coherence of the X is the closest to the "holy grail" full-range single driver available. The X truly portrays the image as if it is coming from a single point source. Also, you will not need a nuclear power station to get the most out of the X, as it is much more amplifier friendly than the 800. The X is a VERY emotionally involving and musical transducer with a presentation that can literally bring you to tears at times. Bass response of the X is INCREDIBLE, both bottomless and FAST (customers ask me to turn off my Roc subs, which are of course not on). Imaging is to the point where my customers ask me to please turn off the center channel speaker, which is not on (demo room is theater and two channel). As you can probably conclude, I like the Khorus X very much. It comes the closest of all transducers I have heard to the ideal loudspeaker.

The B&W 800 is a fine loudspeaker but can be VERY clinical and is not near as "musical" as the Khorus X (this is the VERY reason that many recording studios like to use B&W). The 800 also has a very forward and "tipped-up" presentation and it is important that it is paired with the "right" upstream components. The Rowland 10 would not be my choice simply due to power issues. Keep in mind that none of these characteristics are necessarily "bad" things, just dpends on the way in which you like your music presented. Also, amazingly enough, I have found the bass response of the 800 to be seriously lacking when compared to the X (disappointing for a supposed "full-range" loudspeaker).

This is of course not near a detailed enough comparison that either of these fine speakers deserve. But it is a start and I hope you find it helpful. Finally, these are all MY OPINIONS, your mileage may vary.

Regards...Mike - Father & Son Audio
The Khorus X is a world class speaker. I was very surprised when I heard it. I think it's up there with some of the best I've heard anywhere at any price. It also has the advantage of being fairly efficient.

See the reviews at
FS_audio - what would the minimum room size be to realize the benefits of the Khorus X speakers?
Kthomas: As a dealer for Talon, I can tell you I have used the KhorusX's in both very large rooms and very small rooms. As with any speaker, a large room will pay big dividends in terms of openness and staging, while a small room tends to be easier to setup. The Khorus X works incredibly well in both. I have a customer running them in a room that is 11x18 and the sound is world class.
Since you're a dealer and obviously have a bias towards the product you sell (which is okay - you need sell products you like) - I fail to see the point of this post.

The Khorus X works well in just about any environment. We have run them in as small a room as 11'x15' with outstanding results. The only issue really is that the smaller the room, the less bass response, this is of course due to the long wavelength of low frequency notes.

Regards...Mike - Father & Son Audio

Sorry you feel that way. I clearly stated I was a dealer, there is no secret motive here to sell something. I simply shared my OPINION (which by definition is biased and is what forums consist of, a bunch of biased statements). Whether I am biased or not can only be decided by the forum readers. If you feel I am biased, no problem, I can live with that. My hunch is that you are a B&W owner and were offended by my OPINIONS (even though I clearly stated that B&W makes great speakers, they just aren't my "cup of tea"). If someone gained valuable information from my post, then THAT is the point. If not, then it will disappear into the mists of cyberspace. No harm done.

Regards...Mike - Father & Son Audio
Hey Mike,

Just want to compliment you on the very professional manner with which you handled, not only your initial response to this post, but your subsequent response to Xenon101's irrelevant post. The guy's only responded to 14 threads and is clearly not a major contributor to these forums. Kudos to you for being so diplomatic and professional.

BTW - You've got me wanting to seek out a Talon dealer!


I am a B&W owner. I appreciate your opinion regarding the Talon X speaker, dealer or not.

I WOULD like to say that you do not need a ton of power run the N802,N801, or the N800's. But if you really want to maximize the capabilities of these speakers, then one should pay extra attention to ALL of the upstream components..in my experience.

I have two questions:
Are the Talon Khorus and Khorus less forgiving and therefore more musical?

What is the best set-up you have heard using the Khorus or Khorus X speaker?

These questions are open to whomever would like to answer.
Dan...Thanks for the kind words, I appreciate it very much.

Avnut...You are correct, you don't need a ton of power with the B&W Nautilus series, but they really do sing with higher current amps. My "nuclear power station" comment may have come across that way, sorry about that. And as you stated, careful attention to upstream components (with ANY B&W speaker) is critical to get the best sound.

The Khorus (and the entire Talon line) are definitely more forgiving AND musical than the B&W line, IMHO. This is not egg on the face of either speaker, just a difference in the way they present the music.

The best set-up I have heard running the Khorus? Wow, that is a tough question...Mainly because I have heard them with so many different systems and they all had their pros and cons. If I had to pick just one it would be:

Acoustic Zen cables
Electrocompaniet EMC-1 MK2 CD Player
Edge M-8 Amplifier
Simaudio P-5 Preamp

Off the top of my head, other amps/preamps that I have been VERY impressed with running the Talon products are the latest Electrocompaniet, Rogue, Pass Labs, Simaudio, Jeff Rowland, Power Modules, and First Sound (I am sure there are others, just can't remember them right now).

Lately, we have been running the Khorus X in the showroom with a Power Modules (Belles) 350A and the Shanling CD-T100 direct into the amp with VERY good results.

Hope this helps.

Regards...Mike - Father & Son Audio
I am also a Khorus dealer and let me make a few comments about set up. The room size is not as critical as the fact that these are a rear ported speaker and do need to be placed at least a few feet into the room. Also they require a great deal of toe in so be aware of that when you are playing with their set up.

They are very easy to drive and we have driven them with everything from an 8 watt integrated to Pass X 600 mono blocks. The Khorus work very well with Rowland and for a few years showed with the Rowland gear. ( I will state that if you like to play your music really loud do not go with a 8 watt integrated amp.)

To answer the question are the Talon's more forgiving thus more musical? That has numerous interpretations so let me elaborate by saying that they will give you all the information that your system will provide except that they will do it with an uncanny delicacy and finesse that is never in your face. I would describe the Soundstage on the Khorus X as one that is very deep and draws you seductively into the music.

Does this make this speaker more musical? A very subjective opinion but I find them to be the most musical speakers that I have had the pleasure to have in the showroom and we have had alot of the very exotic and expensive speakers traded in on the Khorus X.

They are not cheap but for what they offer they are one of the great bargains in audio. There are also some being sold on Audiogon at this time very inexpensively. (None of the ones being sold am I in anyway associated with although I do know the customers selling them.)

Needless to say since some are being sold they are not the speaker for everyone. Some customers like a speaker that is more aggressive. Some a speaker that I might consider a touch bright but others may consider more detailed and transparent. There is no product in Audio that everyone will love!

But if you get the opportunity to listen to a pair I believe that you will be pleasantly surprised although it may take you a while of listening to appreciate what they do because the presentation is different than what many Audiophiles have experienced in the past!
Thanks to both who responded to my question about room size. Currently, I have a 14x18 room which I consider "medium" sized. I read about some speakers that sound like they'd be great, and then realize they wouldn't work in this size room. Nice to know that these would work even if I don't remodel my basement.

I'd also like to say this - thanks very much to all of the incredibly helpful dealers that post on Audiogon. Dealers reputations are getting the kicked in the teeth over the last several years, and a lot of it is deserved - snobby, only interested in the sale, etc. etc. I have made some of these complaints myself, as it has been my experience in visiting many high-end shops. On Audiogon, however, I have had the pleasure of reading several dealers posts that are incredibly informative, and I really appreciate it. Not only that, I don't get why everybody wouldn't appreciate it, assuming the bias and potential conflict of interest are identified up front. They're some of the best, most informative and well written posts I've read, and they're exactly what we all claim a dealer should provide. Only here, they have little to no chance of making a sale, and yet they're still taking the time to give their point of view to somebody who is asking for it. That's awesome and appreciated. Come back often. -Kirk
Thanks Kirk...You are correct, there are certainly many dealers out there that only care about profit. Unfortunately, many of the good dealers end up being lumped in with the "bad apples" and we end up being treated like used car salesmen. For the most part (there are a few "bad apples" even on Audiogon), the majority of dealers on Audiogon are great folks and really care about making the customer happy. The only reason I ever got into this crazy business was to share my passion for music reproduction with others, and so far, it has been a great ride. Although believe it or not, the amount of time and effort my dad and I have put into the business have not been directly proportional to our profits (maybe someday ;-] )

FYI...Stewart (SOS) who posted above is one of those "great folks" I mentioned. He is VERY knowledgeble and cares VERY much about his customers. Duke of Audiokinesis is also a dealer I respect very much.

Ok, enough of that ;-) Back to the music!

Regards...Mike - Father & Son Audio
While I agree the Talons are a great speakers(I own a pair of pre-Talon Khorus speakers) I find it very interesting that there been so many pairs for sales at 25-30% of their retail price.

Also, and this applies to many hiend speakers..the
Talons seem to need a very long break-in period to
sound their best. Knowing this, I don't understand
why hiend speaker makers don't break-in their products prior to shipping.


Hello...The main reason for the number of original Talon Khorus for sale is that these folks are upgrading to either the Talon Raven or Talon Khorus X. As good as the original Khorus was, the new Talon products are even better. If I may ask, what exactly is a pre-Talon Khorus?

You are correct that the older Talon speakers need a long break-in (VERY long). But, because of design changes and the fact that Talon does indeed now do partial break-in at the factory, the new Talon speakers break-in has been SIGNIFICANTLY reduced (only around 100-200 hours instead of 500-700 hours as it was with the original line).

Regards...Mike - Father & Son Audio
i got a pair of Talon Khorus (non x)
hooked to pass labs x250 , bat vk -40 and electrocompaniet
emc -1...
my non x pair are amazing as they are, had a chance to audition the x version and i'm tellin you
go with the TALONS brother,
they kick butt real bad !
Hey Mike, just interested why you liked the Edge, Sim, EMC combo the best? I bet it is incredible. BTW, echoing earlier posts, your input (dealer or not) is always most appreciated, and I would also add that as a dealer, your previous responses to my threads have always been at the forefront of business ethics-- E-mailing me personally, and not posting, for example, to avoid appearances of impropriety, etc. Thanks for all of your great insights.
...Sorry to ask the question inside this discussion but I'd also like to hear openions on how Khorus or Khorus X sounds on different loudness levels. What is the best loudness level for Khorus? How these speakers sound in low volume levels?
Mike- Prior to forming Talon, Mr.Budge sold a two Khorus
using Focal drivers. About the same shape, different cabinet materials. Mine are finished in Koa.

Why would a an owner of a $14K Khorus w/X crossovers "upgrade" to the $7K Ravens?

Kana813...Ahhh, understood. I always forget that Tierry was doing loudspeaker design long before Talon existed.

To answer your second question...The original Khorus w/X crossover upgrade is NOT the equal of the Khorus X. There are more changes to the Khorus X from the original Khorus than just the crossover. With that said, the Raven (at least to my ears) is a better speaker than the original Khrous w/X crossover upgrade.

Regards...Mike - Father & Son Audio
Dave (Makofkalaw)...I am a bass, dynamic range, and musicallity addict; the Edge, Sim, and EMC simply give me my "fix" better than any other combination that I have tried with Talon. In addition, this combo has a really liquid and lush mid-frequency presentation. However, as I mentioned in a previous post, the Shanling CD-T100 running direct into the Belles 350A might just take the top spot ;-) The Belles is also incredible with the EMC-1 and Simaudio. Although I prefer the Belles 20A preamp to the Sim with the 350A.

BTW: Thanks for the kind words ;-)

Regards...Mike - Father & Son Audio
Marakanetz...All of the Talon speakers sound great with low or high loudness levels. At the lower levels, you do lose some of the dynamics and small micro-details, but not to any large degree. With that said, the Talon line plays louder while still retaining the EXACT qualities at low volume levels, than any other speaker I have heard. In fact, when you first spend some lengthy time with Talon speakers, you have to be very careful because you will find yourself listening at louder levels than with other lines. The biggest reason for this is the extremely low distortion present in the Talon design. My dad and I have thrown EVERYTHING you can think of at the Talons and they have NEVER lost their composure. Usually, we end up clipping amps most of the time and I still don't think we are any where near the limits of the Talons.

I can remember when we got our first pair of the original Khorus some time ago and to break them in we would turn the volume to max and go outside for the day. The Khorus' NEVER even batted an eyelash. It was pretty funny actually because it seemed like the entire showroom was moving from the outside. We also had to wear firearm ear protection to go inside and turn it down and it was also pretty warm inside the listening room ;-)

The things we will do in this hobby ;-)

Regards...Mike - Father & Son Audio
Mike, or anyone, have you heard the sim/EMC/Edge/Talon combo with the Edge NL10? Do you think that the sound would be that much better than w/ 8? Seriously looking at the 10.
...I bet that no sound-proofing in the appartment building where I actually live will help to break-in Khoruses!:^)
***Sorry you feel that way.***

Feel what way? I didn't say I felt anyway. I clearly said that as a dealer you have to sell products you like. I used to sell audio equipment, and I've sold photo equipment and professional video equipment. I always liked selling my favorites better than other equipment, as I felt my choices as to quality per dollar spent helped the customer get the best bang for the buck. I assume that really was the point of your post. Don't spend money on B&W 800 series when you can get a much better speaker for the same money (couched in MY OPINION). Why not just make THAT statement and quit trying to run around the fact you want people to see? YOU think there's a better product for the money. That's fine -but just say it. Instead, you hide it in a comparison of "valuable information."

As to writing a comparison, this is a bit like an umpire owning a baseball team and claiming he can officiate a game with his team playing and be fair. I'm not offended by your "OPINIONS," or the "valuable information" you attempted to convey. I just don't find them valuable because I don't know that I can trust your opinion.

It's another Ford vs. Chevy, Nikon vs. Canon post that is essentially useless (MY OPINION - and I get to have those too) - because the person conveying the information is biased towards liking a certain product over another product, and will therefore, slant his opinions towards a favorite product.

I would be suprised if the person didn't find reasons to like his choice better than another product. I bet if I went to a Wilson Audio dealer, he'd find reasons to like the Watt Puppy 7 better than your Talon Khorus X speakers - and would be ready to convey much "valuable information" about his favorite product too.
OK guys. I think it goes without saying that by identifying himself as a Talon dealer everyone reading the post understands where he's coming from and approaches his opinions in a little different light. But don't we all seek dealer's advice when visiting their showrooms? They are obviously in the business because they love audio as much as we do. I don't know anyone who's become rich selling audio gear. We may not agreee with them but we can all be educated some how, for better or worse, by them. I wouldn't anticipate a dealer recommending a component or speaker to me that he didn't sell. Could it happen? sure, but not very likely, in audio or any retail business. To paraphrase Xenon, we wouldn't recommend an F-150 if we make our living selling Silverado's would we? I think we would all like to think that a dealer prefers a particular product after careful evaluation and feels it fills a niche in his offerings because he will sink a good amount of money and energy into displaying the product. But I lose respect quickly for those that run down or demean others' products based on pure subjective evaluations.

One good point, however, is that perhaps all members should have to reveal any affiliation with the industry, be it manufacture, service, or sales, lest any of us that aren't be lead astray in advice or opinions. If no one took advice from this forum then there would be no advice asked on the forum would there? We could pick and chose the information we feel is valid knowing up front if there are any agendas. The stereo mags have all become prostitutes to the industry so it would be ideal to have a forum that is as "pure" as possible.

There is nothing more subjective than audio. Just as I may prefer dynamic cones to electrostats, SS to tube, 2 channel to multi-channel, someone more expert than I may prefer the exact opposite. But that doesn't invalidate either personal preference. We all know that you must listen for yourself to form the only opinion that matters anyway, yet we still seek out opinions from our 'phile bretheren for various reasons.

I like to read posts and hear others' opinions because it's entertaining and I learn a lot. I may check out a component that I'm not familiar with as a result of these boards, but I'm not sinking my hard earned cash into anything I've not personally auditioned first, which rules out a lot of products to which I don't have access.

Thank you, Mike, for your honesty and for expressing your observations and I may just have to check out Talon next time I have the chance.

I put very little value in a review that says a product has no faults. Either the person won't own up or has a hearing problem.
To the dealers on this thread:

How good are the new Ravens? They seem to be a lot of speaker at their pricing point, which is thousands less than Sophias or Studios.

Thanks, and I enjoy your responses...going to hear Khorus Xs tomorrow in Anaheim, CA at an audiophiles house. Maybe I will like them :)
Keithr...The Ravens are one of the GREAT "bargains" in audio, IMHO. As you stated, they are a LOT of speaker for the money. Enjoy your auditon of the Khorus X, let us know what your impressions are, good or bad.

Here is a copy of some text of an email I sent to someone asking the same question about the Ravens...

There ARE differences between the Khorus X and the Raven, but not enough to justify the price difference if you are on a "budget". The biggest differences are:

1) The Raven doesn't quite extend to the same bass level as the Khorus X, but unless you are in a 3000 sq ft listening room, you aren't going to notice a difference
2) The Raven has a slightly smaller soundstage than the Khorus X with the imaging not quite as "razor" sharp
3) The Raven loses out to the Khorus X in the area of the last bit of upper-frequency extension
4) Upper-midrange presentation of the Raven is smoother (IMHO) than the X, where the X has a bit more "bite"

The main reason for 2, 3, and 4 above is that the Raven does not have the same mid to upper-frequency drivers as the Khorus X (Raven has the same tweeter as the Khite), but the mid-range/woofer of the Raven is identical to the X. The main reason the X has slightly more bass than the Raven is because of cabinet differences.

This is all according to my own ears of course. Hopefully Stewart of SOS will chime in to give a slightly different perspective.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Regards...Mike - Father & Son Audio
B&W owners, where are you??

Mike, thanks for your comments, I and others appreciate them. I have not heard the Talons, but am certainly am curious enough to do so. I have heard quite a few B&W's and although generally impressed by them, have only owned one pair so far. B&W has such a faithful following that I am surprised that there are not numerous posts claiming that they have found the 802N's and others to be superior. I have found them (the B&W 802N's) and others in the B&W line to sound wonderful, but out of my budget. Bottom line, listen to both properly set up, and buy the ones that work for you!

Happy listening,
Well I owned a pair of N805's. Currently own a pair of N803's and I am considering a pair of N802's. I haven't posted anything simply because I haven't heard the Khorus. The only Talon speaker I heard was the pair at the Stereophile show in 2001. I believe they were the Peregrine. I was unimpressed. Perhaps it was the room etc, but to me they sounded lifeless. As I recall many people who attended that show made similar comments here on A'gon. I dug up an old thread:


It would be unfair to make that generalization on a quick impression so I have not made a comment. To me speakers are a very personal choice. I sold a pair of ProAc 3.8's to eventually get the N803's. I found the 3.8's a little too polite and lush. I found the N803's lively and engaging. A very dynamic speaker to me. Amazingly enough, the person who bought my ProAc's had just sold his N803's because he found them too bright. He had owned a pair of ProAc 3.8's a few year ago and decided that after going through many other pair of speakers, he really missed them. Which shows we all prefer different things.

I know this is off subject, but the bottom line is it's great to ask for opinions, I do it all the time. At the end of the day though its you who has to live with your choice. If we all had the same hearing we'd all have the same gear. Wouldn't that making buying and selling on A'gon interesting?
own apair of Polk Audio Monitor 10b's want to upgrade to B&W matrix802 series 2 Driving with B&K EX442 200wpc and Audio research LS7 All tube or Adcom 565 what ere your thoughts Have dedicated sound room18 by20
Have had the B&W's now for a month, all I can say is WOW! Great sound staging good bass ,sweet hi end ,shows you whats on the recording. I'm very happy. If you cant afford the nautilus go for used matrix.