Russel K's

Hi All. Off to audition some Russel K 120’s and 150’s tomorrow at Decco in Aylesbury.

Current speakers are Monitor Audio Silver 6’s (the old ones) I know MA are a bit of a marmite speaker, but I do like them, Bass and mid are wonderful, and they are no slouches, but the top end can be a bit too ‘HELLO LISTEN TO MEEE’ sometimes!

Wandering what to expect from the Russel K’s compared to the MA’s any thoughts?

Taste in speakers is perhaps more personal than any other hifi component. I’ve heard some of the Russel K range a few times at shows, but they never quite did it for me. Whilst an exiting listen, I felt they didn’t manage to pull together bass and treble into a coherent, realistic sound. I judge speakers by their ability to create the illusion of musicians playing in front of me and I didn’t hear that when I was listening. But others love them, so this might be more of a reflection of my tastes in music and musical reproduction.

I’d be interested in your view, so please do report back on your audition.



I like RK speakers and the models I’ve heard have always been nothing less than very entertaining, but tricky to wax lyrical on here without creating expectation bias. As PeakMan states, speakers are a very personal decision. They are voiced quite differently to many brands and it takes a while to adjust to their presentation. I tried them at home, and thought they worked well, but the off axis response (which I need) didn’t quite work. I’d like to try them again at some point as I’ve rejigged the room since.

Set up is key to getting the best from them too. Russell always goes to great length when setting up his demos at shows to create the sweet listening spot. I watched (and heard) him do this at one show where his CDX2/282/Hi-Cap/ 250 based system didn’t seem to gel correctly in the room, so important to discuss this with the dealer.

I really look forward to reading your observations after the dem. Also, do you have other speakers on the list? I’d also shortlist the Neat Ekstra too.

I have always found them a very exciting in your face listen…….but could not listen to them for a long time.

I notice they also carry Proac so hopefully get chance to try them.

Would also like to try some Kudos, but that would have to be at a different dealer.

Funny thing, phoned them just to check its OK to bring a memory stick with music on (secretly hoping they have the same Naim streamer as I!) they dont, and can only play Vinyl or CD. I have some Vinyl, but most of my listening nowerdays is streaming, or from my NAS. So I am off into the loft later to dust off the old CD collection!

Yes, definitely compare RK with Proacs. From the following they have gathered on the forum they seem to have synergy with Naim. I’ve yet to hear (any) Proac speakers with Naim so I do look forward to that at some point. Neat, as mentioned, and also Kudos have acknowledged synergy with Naim too, perhaps also worth checking out ATC as well. Whatever sways you, always very helpful to try them at home.

Perhaps you could take your streamer along with you?


Actually considering taking the MA,s as well. But if the RKs float my boat in the shop I will do a home trial anyway. Learnt the hard way things can sound very different at home

I heard the RK50s and then the 120s, 50s I knew within seconds wouldn’t work for me but the 120s were rather lovely when I heard them.

They were so impressive I bought the SN3 and Rega Aria phono stage that was demoing them, to upgrade my Xs2 and stageline and my Gurus at the time just got better with the additions.

I did contact Russell and he was kind enough to reply and did say the 50’s either sound stunning or nowhere near and take some real setup and synergy to show their best.

The k120s he said are much easier to get the best out of, have to say I was impressed.

Wonderful morning at Deco Audio.left alone to listen.

My initial thoughts both the 120 and 150 are exceptionally engaging with voice and instrument. Piano and violin being very enjoyable. Gregory porter’s voice is sublime. Very musical indeed.

To compare the 2. The 120 produced surprisingly low bass but felt somehow constrained, like the taps never fully opened. They were at their best with classical, folk, jazz blues ect. Bass heavy electronic music such as the Tron soundtrack or Jon Hopkins were detailed but didn’t immerse as I would have liked. But these are not big speakers at all.

The 150s …effortless! Similar voicing to the 120 as you would expect but more in every department especially base depth and weight They are considerably bigger so perhaps not so surprising. Note decay is very good.

The character is interesting, with vocals they sometimes have a very slight 'woody ’ nature, somewhat indeering.

To compare to the MAs, and bear in mind the RKs are nearly 3x the price of the MAs so maybe not fair.

The MAs deliver all of the detail and depth, all be it the top end is a little harsh

The RKs deliver the depth and detail of the beginning and end of the notes, are better balanced (for my ear). I can’t say if they are studio monitor accurate, but they are an engaging and enjoyable listen.

Now at home for a trial. So will report back. Initial impression is positive. And I haven’t switched on my Sub yet!


150s are a little large!


Having seen Russell setting up his speakers a number of times he is very particular about the dimensions of speakers to walls, each other etc. He is a true gentleman and I have spent some time with him at my dealers. As you like them, i would email your picture to him via his website contact email and ask for advice on how best to position. Best of luck.


Nice to see your setup.

I know what you mean about bigger speakers being more effortless.

Will you try any other brands or is it a case of 150s or stick with what you have?

Good idea. I doubt you’re getting the best performance out of that left hand speaker being so close to the wall

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May try other brands, going to live with these for a week or so.

I know what you mean about the LH speaker. Like many I am some what constrained by the room layout, entrance to the kitchen is behind the listening seat so hard to move over! I do have a bass trap behind it though, you can just about see it in black

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I can understand that I mentioned in the shop that the bass sounded a bit bloated, we moved the speakers away from the wall and things clicked into place

So I’ve pressed the button on the 150s! Be about a month until they arrive but the guys at Deco are letting me keep the demo pair until the new one arrives. Really pleased about that as having been spoilt for the last few days i didnt fancy going back to the MAs.

I dont have the experience to convey how they compare to other speakers. And i am keen to avoid slipping into clichés. So I will try this!

The MAs are like a teenage drama student at their first big audition. Full of exited energy and enthusiasm, doing a great impression of what they think acting should look like!

The RK 120’s are Patric Stewart performing Macbeth. Engaging, emotional memorable.

The RK 150’s are Marlon Brando, subtle sometimes, powerful, without screaming, and engaging.

Not very technical, but listening to music isn’t is it?


Congrats on the purchase, and very nice set of speakers you have on order there.

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Hi Spb, try and get those speakers moved to an equal distance to the side walls and see what you find. You could be positively surprised :+1:t3:. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the ‘woodiness’ you are referring to lies within a less than optimal set up. ATB Peter
PS…… and for the furniture in between :bomb::rofl:

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Way ahead of you Peter!

I have found moving the speakers into the room so the front face is further in than the corner of the wall makes a huge difference.

Not popular with the wife that one! So they are on pieces of MDF so i can slide them into position when i really want to listen! Mind you she s a bit happier as i found one of the bass traps wasn’t really doing anything with the RKs so thats gone.

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