Kudos Titan 808. The new Isobarik?

I’m seeing a lot of love for the Kudos Titan 808 on the Forum at the moment. Seeing as the 808 shares some fundamentals with the Linn Isobarik I’m wondering if anyone has experience of both speakers and if the new imbumbent of the isobaric throne betters it’s forbare by enough of a margin to justify the not inconsiderable outlay. Performance aside, I like the looks, especially in piano black. I’ve also noted that some favour them in active mode with 3 Nap 250DRs, which, Snaxo aside, would be a straight swap for me.

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I have no experience of the 808s unfortunately, but remember the isobariks well from 1979, along with my first Naim amps and a Linn sondek LP12. The bass extension was amazing, you could actually feel it through the floor! Wish I still had them today.

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You might want to discuss with Peter Swain at Cymbiosis. He uses the very system you would have (were you to replace your Isobariks with 808’s), to demo LP12 upgrades - albeit with a 552 rather than 252. Im sure he would be happy to slot in a 252 though. Never heard Isobariks, but have heard the 808’s at Cymbiosis - very impressive.
Given Peter’s long association with Linn I’m sure he can give you an informed opinion of the relative merits of Isobariks and 808’s.

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I’ve heard both but years (many) apart. Hugely impressed by both but the gap in time would make any meaningful comparison impossible.

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to me the Titan 808 are some of the finest speakers I have the pleasure of lisening too, I have just moved over to thier baby brothers

808 are easy to drive but IMO come into thier own when driven active, I know @Cymbiosis recently was active T808 with 3 x 250DR and the music was stunning

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I’ve heard a couple of Kudos floor standers, including active 707s with modern Naim amps, and did enjoy them. Obviously, they’re more neutral and clearer, but Briks (and Kans) are very musically coherent to my mind, in a way that’s hard to put into words. Maybe it’s that KEF B110 drive unit or the way they were designed and developed but I don’t recall Kudos speakers (or any speakers) working quite as well in this regard although it’s never been a side by side comparison. Very subjective I know, but wonder how folks compare the two in this respect?

Even today, Brik bass is very fine indeed, being natural yet controlled, even in passive config. They make most modern speakers sound over-damped to my ears - presumably in order to achieve the same bass control. So I’d love to hear what isobarik 808s can do as I’m sure the top end in particular is miles better than Briks.

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Im guessing you would want the Kudos variant of the SNAXO, mind. Not sure if an existing SNAXO can be modified to the Kudos variant.

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I recall the first time I heard the Briks - LP12, Ittok, Troika, full Naim 135 actives, only way to hear them apparently. Then Linn brought out their pre-power which was apparently fine in itself. Funny old world!

Yes one would Alan and the SNAXO362 is available for 808 and 707. The SNAXO242 is available for 606 and 505.
With existing SNAXOs, it’s not cost effective for an owner or Naim to convert to this specification.
However, I’m so happy that Naim offer these SNAXO variants :slight_smile:
KR, Peter

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Is the Kudos Snaxo variant the standard type or the floaty variant made for the Ovators?

As I understand it is made specifically for Kudos speakers.

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Yes the floaty one was produced only for the Ovators.

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I heard demos of Isobariks before buying a pair of Sara’s - which fitted my room (and budget) better. They were superb in their day. I replaced them with HH’s SL2s some years ago.
Kudos demonstrated 808s with active 300s a couple of years ago at Chester. The latter remains the best demo I’ve heard.
I’m all for nostalgia - but electronics and design have moved on - for me the 808s are a big step up from Isobariks. I might demo them at some point with a 500 amp as I don’t want the boxes needed for an active system.

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I owned Isobariks and played them active with a Linn system. Then I bought an active Naim system and played it with NBLs plus n-Sub.
Last year I replaced the NBLs with the Titan 808. It is difficult for me to compare Isobariks with 808 because I have also changed the source from Linn CD Player to ND555 with 2 power supplies. The improvements of the better source is obvious. My feeling is, that the performance of the 808 is much better than Isobarik in all aspects. Soundstage, details and even the bass performance.

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I have the 808s (in high gloss black - and yes - they look amazing in that finish!) and while I’ve never compared the two directly, Isobariks were my “ground zero” when it came to speakers, the sound I heard in 1987 at the HiFi corner of the Virgin Megastore in Leeds is burned in my brain.

The Kudos do the things the Briks do - perhaps without the euphoric halo the Briks always seemed to bring - but with MUCH more of the things that the older speakers are terrible at.

So - to my ears - they sound like the best of both, they’ve got the grooove and the presence and a touch of that sonic halo of the Briks, but with imaging and accuracy and drive.

I’m perhaps making it sound closer than it is, the 808s blow the IsoBariks away in my view. The one thing the Briks have is that euphoric halo, which is actually not what’s on the record, and is just a ghost of the past. A lovely one, but I’d not have them today.

So - yes - I think the 808s are as close as you can get to the good things of the Isobarik sound, without the less good aspects!

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Sounds like I’d better start saving up :laughing:

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Bear in mind all the Titan range are Isobaric - not just the 808’s. And they can all be driven actively.

You might find, for example, that the 707’s fit the bill. That would leave some cash to put towards a 552 :grin:

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808s seem to be the go to speaker around these parts and I know Acoustica have supplied a fair few too but they also do Dynaudio Conference range. The Conference 50 is fairy close in price and it’s one I’ve heard with 500 kit (superb) so who’s managed to demo both but still gone with the 808s?

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Pete suggested I listen to the Dynaudio but I really didn’t like the look of them, so didn’t listen

Ive currently got the 808 demo pair from Accoustica while mine are being assembled, I had the 707’s previously (which are great too by the way). The guys at Accoustica were pretty adamant that the 808’s are the speaker to go for, it took me a few hours of listening to the demo pair and my order was in to Pete.
Also, Pete & I talked a lot about active vs passive and in the end I went for the 552/500 combo, I didn’t really want the seven boxes that go with active. I’m blown away by the 808/Naim combo. I cant recommend the 808’s enough
An old boss of mine had had Linn Isobarik and I remember being impressed by them back in the 90’s, cant say I can really compare to the 808’s as its been so long ago but I can’t remember them sounding even close to the 808’s.

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