A Kudos question: C20, 505 or 606?

Looking into upgarding my speakers from the current Focal 716v to Kudos. I’m aware of the C20’s great reputation (not sure if they exhibit the trebble spike like the Super20?).

I’m also aware that the 505 and 606 will be better than the C20 however is the difference in quality proprotional to the price increasse?

Also, is there much difference between the 505 and 606?

And finally, do these speakers ever get discounted through various sales (such as Black Friday, etc)?

@iliria Hi,

Black Friday deal. No - you might find some ex-dem.

As to the performance increase that comes with the Titans - yes but as to whether it’s worth it that’s only for you to decide.

Regards,

Lindsay

I can’t comment on the Titans but have owned C20’s and now S20’s.

They both sound very similar, the S20’s are more refined and more capable and revealing. Tonally they sound very similar and their size and placement is identical, it was ‘plonk and play’ when I switched over, a move triggered by a desire to change finish rather than upgrade but I got lucky with some ex dem S20’s in the right finish.

There’s a lot said about the ‘treble spike’. Certainly they sound more lively (or alive?) than some other speakers I have heard. The are not harsh sounding and they can convey the power of say a trumpet blasting far more convincingly than other speakers I have heard. If that’s bright then I can live with that as it sounds right to me compared to the real thing. They don’t pick the music apart like some Focals do for example and I don’t find them fatiguing and I came from Spendors (A5) previously which are poles apart in presentation.

I have found that the source makes quite a difference to this perceived brightness, a sign of a revealing speaker. A bare NDX whilst very capable could be a bit raw on occasions and improved significantly with an XPS DR powering it and with an NDS in place of the NDX is just sublime!

If you don’t like S20’s you won’t like C20’s and vice versa.

What is the rest of your system?

You need to have a listen for your self and decide which is better for you and which is worth the asking price. My preference is for the 505’s, they have a seamless, musical sound which for me is only better by the 808’s but I know others will disagree.

Thanks Lindsay. Considering that there are only a few small independent HiFi shops that carry these it will be very unlikely that I would come accross any ex-demo 505 or 606 anytime soon.

Just a Nova for now.

Would you happen to know if the trebble spike affects both C20 and S20?

If you consider that the C20/S20 has a treble spike then yes they are both tonally very similar. Have you listened to them or are you judging on hearsay?

Like a lot of other happy C20/S20 users I don’t consider that the so called spike is an issue but they will reveal inadequacies in the rest of the system as the Crescendo tweeter is very revealing.

My view is that I wouldn’t go above this level of speakers with a Nova. I drove my C20’s with an NDX/282/Hicap DR/250DR and they were wonderful. The subsequent owner drives them with 135’s and they sound really good. My S20’s sing nicely with an NDS as the source with the same amplification. Future upgrades will be focussed on the PS for the NDS and then the amplification.

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Purely on hearsay so far but I do intend to demo them in the next few weeks. Sounds like the 505/606 may be wasted on a Nova so the C20 will be my best bet.

I forget which Uniti it was but at the Bristol show last year there were very positive reports of the 505s with a one box name. @NigelB was there.

Indeed I heard the Nova, fed by a Core, driving 505s, that was it, at The Bristol Show a couple of years ago. For me this was one of the best rooms at The Show, but I would still recommend a thorough dealer demo and preferably a home demo to make sure it works for the individual.

The 505s will of course do justice to more elevated streamer and amplification combinations, but I see no reason why you could not ‘start’ with a Nova driving them.

Not personally heard the 505, but i’ve a fair amount of experience with C10/C20/S20, and to my mind the 606 is way way ahead. I could live with a pair easily, but the others not.

Like Nigel, I thought the Nova/505 combination was excellent - they paired very well on the day and exhibited no treble spike.

I’ve had S20s and now use 606s and my speaker journey is complete but as everyone else says, audition at home and match the speakers to your listening room.

The Titan range have a newly designed tweeter, a joint effort by Kudos and SEAS, the K3 I think it is dubbed. This is a little smoother that that fitted to the C20 and S20, which could explain the, let’s say less sharp, treble performance of the Titan range.

@iliria totally agree with @Polarbear - my choice will be the T505 are superb they will be my next speaker the T808 are the best speaker I have heard on the end of NAIM with a number of sources either analogue or digital -
on another note the T505 or T808 are very easy to drive

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I’d agree and if you are on a journey I wouldn’t underestimate what a Nova can do. I’m sure you would be satisfied wrangling every ounce from the Nova whilst ‘preparing’ for future upgrades. With different speakers, this is that path I am on and the Nova never ceases to amaze me.

Like Nigel I also heard the Nova/505 combination at the Bristol show and it was quite outstanding a superb way to listen to music.

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I had C20s, admittedly a good while ago. I tried very hard to like them, but ultimately had to trade them in (for PMCs). I found the treble too bright for my taste on many discs. I also found it hard to tame the bass, even though they’re bottom-ported. Ultimately, I realised I was avoiding listening to too many discs in my collection and decided to move them on. Apologies to C20 fans, but that was my personal experience in my listening room.

I have not had 505s at home, but I have heard them at a couple of shows and thought they sounded excellent and well worth their substantial price. To my ears, they offered a much more rounded and natural presentation than the C20s. Had I not recently fallen for ATCs, I had in mind to ask for a home demo of the 505s. I’d have run them with a 272/XPS/250 setup and you’ll have to take the word of others as to how well they’d work with a Nova. If you go that route, I agree with others that you’d ideally be looking to improve your source/amp in the long run.

Roger

I’ve also heard the 505s with the Linn one box Linn system and yes they were excellent.

Regards,

Lindsay

Yes, that was great, too. You could also go active within the same box.

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Hi Iliria,

I have had C20 for about 5 or more years. The Crescendo tweeters are top notch. Have not heard the Titan series, but the C20 is not bright. Airy they are. When new, they do take a while to cool down. Placement wise, rather easy, not boomy. If so, chances are, your room is the cause. Have had Harbeth C7 for a while and they are more tricky to position than the C20.

Have fun…