Speaker Recommendations

Hi I am using a Rega P10, with a Rega IOS Reference through 52/135 combo with PMC 20.26 speakers. While it sounds good and fast and precise with some music. With quite a lot of music it sounds pretty harsh and not that airy. So I have been considering some different speakers unfortunately living in the Middle East I won’t really have the opportunity to listen to them before purchasing. I am currently thinking of picking up second hand Ovator s-600 or Kudos Titan t88 or alternatively new Sonus Faber Nova 3s.

Using a CDX as the front end previous I have had SBLs which I liked and Sonus Faber Electa Amator’s which I really liked. But both were in smaller rooms with lower ceilings.

Any advice is welcome.

Hi James

I can’t say first hand I’ve heard the 20.26 and can’t say I have ever heard them being described as harsh.
What speaker cables are you using?
Suggestions for speakers without hearing them is just a wild guess. They all sound different and different again in your particular room.
You can change elements of your speakers with cables and maybe worth exploring.




Hi the speaker cable I am using is Naim NACA5 admittedly it is quite old. The speakers sound better with the CDX they don’t seem to work as well with the Rega at the front.

I know nothing about vinyl maybe someone else can comment. If that is the case possibly the issue is the cartridge?

I use Kudos T88s
Source : ndx2/xpsdr and 01 tuner
The T88s are fantastic- mine are in a very big room
Previous speakers Focal 1038be and Piega C8 Ltd

The Titans easily best I’ve had. Great second hand value if u can nab a pair

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I had PMC 20.23s for many years and recently replaced them with Kuods 606s, which to me was a very significant upgrade sound quality wise. My reason for the upgrade is very similar to what you are experiencing - the PMCs sounded harsh on some tracks.

I also demoed the new PMCs, but thought they were getting too expensive, even though I really liked the new 25.26i, but they were same price as the Kudos after some dealer discount, which to me was a better speaker.

How long ago have you serviced the 52 and 135?
As for speakers, you can’t go really wrong with Sonus Faber. If you can’t try at home, I would choose that brand.
Kudos can sound wonderful but also in your face and a bit bright ( from what I read from some users here). It’s more risky.
Sonus faber need a lot of power. With 135 , it should be very fine. Perhaps not the speakers for Metallica fans, but they sound so natural, disappearing, open, well balanced, textured and colourful…

Thanks for your reply. The 52/135 was serviced earlier in the year by Naim. I agree I love the sound of the old Sonus Faber’s I have not heard the newer ones some of the reviews I read on the Nova seemed to suggest that the sound had changed and to be honest though I have the price is cheaper here than in the UK it’s about 9k still quite a lot though.

Thanks for that I have. I have never heard the Kudos but if to you replaced your PMCs for them that is a good sign

I’ve had 600s and Sopra 2s and now have moved onto Spendor 9.2s. I had 135s but for a few years have had 300s (now the DR version). I love the Spendors and so did the dealer when he came to remove the Sopra speakers and install the 9.2s.
Very well made too and just the place in an older property - unlike my Sopras!

Nice thing for me is that the speakers are made in the same county in which I live - OK, so it means something to me!

I didn’t know much about kudos until recently when I demoed a short list of speakers largely based on recommendations from my dealer and from this forum - which consisted of the PMC 25.23-26, Proac d20, d30r, K3, Kudos 606, 707 and Magico A3.

To be honest it was a very difficult decision in the end, as they were all excellent speakers. But wife preferred the looks of the Kudos. In terms of sound quality, I thought the A3s were sublime, and these were the speakers I would have picked. But they are a little trickier with placement and wife wasn’t too impressed by their industrial exterior.

We have had the 606s for about a month now, and I really like them - a very substantial upgrade to the PMC 20.23s we had. Although initially the sound was definitely on the bright / thin side - and made some albums eg Taylor Swift’s 1989 unlistenable. However, they have settled in a lot with burn in, the thin top end is almost all gone, and just sound increasingly wonderfully coherent.

Out of the three speakers you mentioned, I had the S400s before, which sounded great but needed room to get the best out of them. And I thought they were bettered by the 20.23s. I have not heard the bigger Titans, but judging by my 606s, the T88s should be wonderful speakers.

Thanks I had not thought of the Spendor. How did the 600s and the Sopra sound?

I’ve dabbled recently with trying a few different speakers thinking I could perhaps build on the excellent sound of my Olympica 1’s. So far only dealer demos but may try one or two at home at some point.

It’s a very, very personal thing; lots here like Kudos and Dynaudio for example. I like the big Kudos, with top flight Naim, but the Titan 505, 606, etc weren’t for me, nor Dynaudio. I have heard PMC sound good, but again not my choice. Sonus Faber have a magic, which if you get it, it’s difficult to move on. I heard the Magico A1 which was ok, it did the 3D effect that Sonus Faber do so well, but it seemed tuned more towards detail rather than the natural presentation I like.

One speaker that did grab my attention which I will explore further in the new year and may be worth your attention if you enjoyed the Amators, is the Franco Serblin Accordo. There’s a stand mount and floorstander; both give a beautifully silky smooth top end and wonderfully fluid mid range. Not the last word in low level detail like the Magico, but so much more involving to me. They did the emotion thing very well.

If budget doesn’t stretch to this level, you could do worse than the Olympica range. I’ve been trying stuff well over twice their price and been walking away thinking how well they hold up to the (much more expensive) competition. They really are very good for the money, particularly if you buy second hand. Good luck!

Love my D7.2’s and can imagine, how good the 9.2’s are!

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Sopra cleaner with a cleaner bass. Better all round to the 600 I’d say. At the end of the day my choice of music (classical and jazz) was better suited suited to the Spendor 9.2s. As my dealers said if Rock is more your thing then the Sopra is a good fit. The household also pushed against against keeping the Sopras as they were were classed as ugly! I liked them personally but always seemed to be dusting them! I have a feeling that I’ll be living with the Spendors for a while. My dealer certainly seemed very impressed. They’re also very well made indeed.

I think I heard the stand mounts at a show a few years back but it was the Ktêmas that appealed most, they all seem to need some space behind though.

is this really a speaker problem?

How clean / old/ good is your stylus? Could be your speakers and Naim system are somewhat too revealing for the humble P10?

How clean is your mains?

Upon what is your turntable placed?

You are serious Loki? REGA P10/ IOS Reference is not enough good source for 52/135 ?
It’s on the level of klimax lp12, I could have compared both some years ago.
( Rp10 at that time).

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You say it sounds better with the CDX. That’s surprising as the CDX can be rather bright and uncouth. I’d expect the P10 and the IOS to sound considerably better. You don’t say which cartridge you have but, as has been mentioned above, is the stylus ok? Is the cartridge set up properly? Is the tracking weight correct and alignment ok?

The apheta 1 was a bit uneven but the later ones were reputedly better. It would be good to know which cartridge is in play and roughly how old it is and if not a Rega whether the arm has been shimmed to set VTA.