I originally had a pair of Dynaudio Contour S3.4 on my 250DR. That was a great combination. Then I got a pair of Confidence C2 Platinum. They also sounded great on the 250DR, but I upgraded to the 300DR. That’s really what the C2 needed. I still have that combination.
Sonus Faber Concerto’s here; 25 years old and still going strong. I took them with me for a demo in 2021 and my dealer said I would need to spend at least £4-5K to improve on them! This is probably the only future change I may need to make if they start to deteriorate. Btw, has anyone had their SF speakers serviced or at least checked over?
Magnepan LRS(+) “Poor mans ELS57”. O.k. floorstanders and sounds best 60-70cm out. But are just 2cm deep. 120cm x 37cm. Weight only 7kg so easy to move out of the way for background music. The old LRS model cost me EUR 1000. The new + model add a few hundreds,
A box-less speaker with full-range low-mass ribbons is really something special. But these are not for bass-heads or really high-levels. 3-4ohms (mainly resistive) and inefficient. If you enjoy LS3/5a:s, Proac Tabs or Quad ELS they are worth a listen. Worked well with a 250DR over Christmas. Fast, tight and extremely transparent.
Today was serious listening day.
Spoiler: despite all the great replies here I focused on the speaker I mentioned in the initial post. Why? Did I totally ignore the great information here? No.
- My dealer gives excellent service so I give preference to something they sells and suggest.
- Space issues at the moment weighs very heavily coupled with the wish of a speaker that will remain a showstopper even if space is no longer an issue later.
- Personal taste.
On demo was:
- Boenicke W5
- Boenicke W5 SE +
- Boenicke W8
- Graham Audio LS5/9
Half an hour listening on a NAP 200 fronted by an atom HE on the W5 was followed by half an hour on the W5 SE +
The W5 astounded me while the W5 SE + left me speechless. After that the floor standing W8 and the Graham Audio could not compete. Yes they had just more bass but the way the W5 SE + creates the soundstage, how the speaker disappeared and the utter stunning control was missing.
They look astounding, they fit anywhere and the sound is not a case of compromising for the space constraint but something I fell in love with.
Maybe if I run down the list here I could find a competitor. But I think that this is the way I will go after all.
Next step is a home demo.
Thanks again for all the input. Even though I most probably won’t be using it in my choice it was super helpful in being sure that there is not another form factor of speaker that will be the same or better as Boenicke.
The Ovator400s are a perfect match with the 250dr. I have listened to many other type’s but these have supreme and funky kick ass rhythm.
My Neat Orkestra’s have finally hit their straps, I’m impressed with the deep and controlled bass.
They certainly seem to suit the 250.
So further news about my journey.
After a weekend test at home of the Boenicke W5 SE + speakers I have pulled the trigger and ordered a set made from wallnut.
They really gave me everything I wanted in my situation. Fit into the space and knock the socks off with their performance.
Only negative point that I can come up with is that they can be pretty punishing of some recordings that are very treble biased. But selecting speakers that treat those more kindly would mean losing the nothing-short-of miraculous mid range these speakers manage to render in my room.
It is also quite mind boggling how they manage to produce so much base.
As this brand does not feature much here I will start a thread on them once they are delivered.
I got to compare at length B&W 804 D3s and Neat Xplorers - we have both, for different rooms. In some rooms, the B&Ws do some things (e.g. breadth and clarity in stereo image, max bass) better and nothing worse, but it’s jolly close. In another room, while they didn’t sound identical, there was no SQ winner at all, with marginal wins for each on different aspects. Given the difference in both size and cost between these, I think that makes the Xplorers into ‘giant killers’.
I have an Olive 250 and it powers a pair of Dynaudio Special 40s, they they sound awesome as well as being relatively small…
Very interested to read that when you post. I am considering the W8’s at the moment for my 282/250DR. I haven’t heard them yet and obviously a demo will be the decider, but looks and size-wise they’re top of a very short shortlist. What did you make of them?
Like the W5 they are beautiful speakers.
I did not listen to them very long and here is why. The W5 and W8 turned out not to be in each others upgrade paths. They are totally different beasts and I do not only mean size wise.
The W5’s are bright and open. They seem to disappear and create a room filling soundstage unlike anything I have heard before. The midrange is to be heard to be believed. Of course, due to their size they do not produce the bass that something like the W8 can but I still kept feeling like that level of bass cannot come out of those boxes. Also, as I said above, the brightness can be punishing on treble biased recordings.
I listened to the standard W8’s after listening first for half an hour on the standard W5 and then half an hour on the W5 SE+. Instantly the wide sound stage got pulled right back to the speaker boxes. The W8’s are warm somber speakers IMO. Of course they can create bass that the W5 is physically incapable of doing but I still ended up choosing the W5.
Take into account that the W5 SE+ costs more than the standard W8 as well.
I think both are excellent speakers but they are built for very different tastes and needs. If I were you I would throw a pair of W5 SE+ into your demo lineup with the W8. And also the W8 is served in standard, SE and SE+ versions. For the W5 there was a large difference when going to the SE+ but that version costs double the price of the base edition, also with the W8.
I have no idea how the W8 SE+ would compare.
Neat Ultimatum XLI’s. I have had them years. I suspect they remain up there.
Dynaudios Focus 260 with my 250DR
I like the Rhythmic abilities of the Naim / Dynaudio pairing …
I had Naim NBL’s on the end of a 250 when I first bought the NBL’s.
I only had them like this for a few weeks as the 250 thermal cut-out kept on activating, particularly when listening to vinyl at higher volumes.
A trial of a 300 bought about a noticeably better listening experience and didn’t cut out as readily but, I then tried 3 x 250’s and never looked back.
I still have the NBL’s and 3 x 250’s.
I have a set of B&W 802 D4 at EUR 28,000, driven by a 10 years’ old NAP250.2 costing EUR 4,300 at the time. A bit of a mullet, time for an upgrade!
ATC SCM19’s on Atacama HMS 2X stands (as recommended by ATC) weighted with sand. Started many years ago with Mordaunt-Short. Then went on to KEF columns, Linn Index+ and Proac D15’s, which stayed with me through the vinyl-CD-streamer transition.
I took a chance on putting the 19’s in a small listening space even though intuition told me I should go for the 11’s.
Anti-intuition proved a winner. They present so well. All the musicality is there as well as the “hifi” stuff in one rich authoritative package.
They’ll see me out, quite happily.
NBLs have stuck with me too, though I never had any trouble with the 250-2 cutting out on them with 3 1/2m of A5 and I used them for a few years like that while I upgraded upstream before getting a 500. They even survived the move to a room with dry lined walls, albeit a bit further out (33.5 rather than 5.5cm) to find the bass.
Not sure they count as giant killers though, they are the giants.
It was only when driven loud - almost party like volumes and whilst playing vinyl which can cause issues with any amps running hot. Never tripped out using 3 x 250’s though
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