I live in south central USA. There is absolutely no chance of demoing any speakers. I have Focal Maestro Utopia’s. I would really like to hear 808’s in my room. If I buy a pair at 10% off retail how much would I lose selling them if I don’t like them as much as the Focal’s? I’m guessing $5000 max USD, that would include freight to me and to new buyer.
Say what lost me
What a horrid calculation. Trouble is that no one can tell you what they will sound like in your room. If you take the plunge I hope you love them.
Simple. I’m willing to take a hit to listen to a pair of speakers in my room, no demos. Kudos 808’s.
One would think that $5000 would be a “reasonable” hit to take. After all, the speakers would still be basically like new with very low hours. Problem is, that’s not how it works in the real world marketplace. They are now used speakers and the depreciation is brutal. Add on top of that - Kudos are basically unknown in the USA outside of the Naim crowd. Your buyer pool is very small.
Might be worth a plane ride to Tyler’s shop and at least hear them against the Focals in his demo room. If you love them, then the risk may be worth it. The 808’s are not fussy in set up and tend to blend in well in both large and smaller rooms. I feel your pain but there is no easy way to demo and flip this speaker without taking a big hit…imo. Good luck!
That’s sound advise. He’s my dealer. I just hate to fly and I’m really lazy.
It’s terrible. I do need to book that appointment with the psychiatrist @hungryhalibut I know you don’t favor focal. I’m 62 and want to hear a similar quality speaker. What do u recommend?
No US speakers that float your boat ? Mágico S3mk2, Wilson Sasha DAW etc? There are happy users of both (and others) with Naim
I have no clue. Would love to go on a travel cruise to listen to speakers. Not going to happen. I could put pressure on my dealer to demo some, but that is not fair to him. I may hate them. I’d rather buy them outright and then resale whichever pair I don’t like. I’ve spent worse money. That way I known.
I am not sure a $5000 hit would make me rest easy, but I see how being lazy can lead you to the hit.
Maybe I misunderstood, but if you can buy them, why can’t you demo them?
Or perhaps you can just offer to pay/ organise the delivery and return fees? How would that work?
Do they have to be new? Why not buy s/h or ex-dem form the UK/Europe or NA (if possible)? Would limit the downside risk.
I suppose the question is really ‘what’s wrong with your current speakers?’ Why are you not happy with your £120,000 stereo? You’ve always said how much you like your speakers. I think it would be completely and utterly barking to buy a pair of 808s without the chance to try them at home for a few weeks. They may be Forum darlings that make people go moist at the very thought of them, but who knows if you’ll like them?
New speakers lose money like autumn leaves and you’ll probably lose 40% if you buy them and don’t like them. And if you do like them, think of what you’ll lose on the Focals. Will the Kudos be better, or simply different?
I would only consider a speaker that you can try at home, and if that rules out the Kudos then so be it. There are lots of US speakers that must be worth trying and which are much more readily available - Wilsons and Magicos spring to mind. You’ll get far better value for money and won’t risk losing thousands. Think of the good that those thousands could do. You really shouldn’t risk chucking them away on a whim.
It’s an interesting one and a difficult one trying to put one’s self in your shoes:
The good Zack wants to be a financially responsible consumer.
The bad Zack wants to play.
Can you reconcile the two?
Well in the uk, a dealer had some 808’s for sale not that long ago, from a trade in, these he had up for £15k, so thats £10k less, plus i guess the dealer had a few quid in that as well.
So as others have said, you will take a mighty hit on them.
@hungryhalibut is right, I love Kudos speakers and I think they are pretty room friendly and I’ve never been entirely comfortable with the high end Focals but this is one helluva gamble. Always worth remembering that Hi-Fi forums are full of people who regret changing things that they thought were working well.
@hungryhalibut once again you are the voice of sound reason. 40% is too much to satisfy my curiosity. I do like my current speakers, but I will always wonder. I’m in no hurry, may find a demo or used pair where the hit to resale would be less. If I asked, my dealer would send a pair across the country to me. I would feel bad to send them back. But not 40% bad. I may after all this settles down, go visit his showroom and have a listen. Not the same as a home demo but better than nothing. You are all correct my plan is nuts.
I changed my speakers last year, during lockdown. ProAc sent me their own pair, which they use at shows and to demonstrate to prospective dealers, to try. After a few days with them at home I decided to buy a pair. I ordered them via a dealer and ProAc delivered them direct to me and picked up their own pair. But they only weigh about 5Kg each and fit in a little box, so it’s far easier. Doing the same with the 808s would obviously be a far bigger challenge. They make a K6 Signature that may well work for you. I know Chris Bell on here has some, which replaced Kudos 88s - not the 808 though. The K6 might be worth a look when you get a chance. They cost about £18,500 in the U.K.
Fly to Chicago and demo the Titan’s at Tyler’s. Then go over to Pro Musica in Chicago and listen to the K6 Signature’s. I know what I prefer, but you should decide for yourself. Both are Naim dealers and you will get a good idea of how they’d sound at home.
I think I know someone who replaced Focal 1038s with Kudos Titan T88s- without a demo of the Titans
Guy was nuts but I understand he is very happy… though of course they were “preloved” and well cared for.
With his new source (ndx2/555dr) they are wonderful.
I heard the guy is quite pleased that he took the risk.
Why don’t you call him and tell him you will pay 100% up front for the speakers. That you will demo them for, fill in the blank ( ) amount of time. If you do not want them you will have them shipped back and ask him what the charge would be for the demo. It would have to be cheaper than selling for a a big loss. It can not hurt to ask and will save you from flying around the country or possibly taking a huge loss.
Just a thought… Good luck with your decision.