Had a really good demo session at The Audiobarn this morning.
Ben and Jack both made me feel very welcome and at ease.
I’m replacing my 35yo KEF 104.2 and looking for speakers for my Atom HE / NAP250DR.
They had 4 speakers lined up for me- using Atom and the new NAP250
- Wilson Benesch Precision P2.0 Floorstanding Loudspeaker
- Audiovector R 3 Arreté
- Focal Kanta 2
- Kudos Titan 606
The speakers are narrow, but tall, deep and very heavy - they’re not going to look like part of the furniture.
The sound was impressive, detailed with a very much ‘right in front of you’ sound with plenty of punch.
Listening to Leonard Cohen ~ You Want It Darker - with eyes closed, he was right there just in front of me - staggeringly realistic.
A clear, crisp, very detailed and live sound
Good looking speakers and a really good sound.
Solo piano sounded more natural to me than the WB, but orchestral music was not as detailed and instruments not so precisely located as the WBs and Leonard Cohen was not quite in front of me.
I was disappointed, but these speakers are about £4k cheaper, so not really a fair comparison. My fault - I should have asked to demo the Kanta 3’s, but they weren’t to hand.
Much smaller than I was expecting.
Solo piano sounded very natural and it was a rounded and well-defined sound.
More so than the Arrete I thought.
Orchestral music was not as crisply defined as the WB but there was a roundness to the sound that I didn’t get with the other speakers.
The two I really liked are the WB P.20 and the Titan 606 and are almost identically priced.
Titan 606 - I think these would be easy to listen to for long periods and have a lovely sound.
WB P2 - it’s like being in the front row
Brace yourself, here come the mullet comments….
If left uncertain, with each better in a different way, I’d suggest hearing other speakers, as you want the ones you buy to do everything right. That was only 4 out of several times that number in same price bracket…
And in the end after hearing all realistic options, if still in this sort of position see if there is chance of auditioning both in your own home, at least in one session, but better one for a couple of days then the other likewise? That would probably help clinch it for you in favour of one or the other
Oh, and did you hear with the same amp as you have?
Mullet comment No 1 - kind of.
I went to the Audiobarn when looking for speakers for my Atom. Jack, very naughtily, introduced me to Kudos 505s - start of a very slippery slope. I ended up with 606s driven purely by the Atom for a while - the ultimate Mullet. I added a NAP300 and then the Atom was replaced by 222/300. The 606s are very very capable, temptation to upgrade your front end will be very strong.
Wouldn’t that be the 808 (sticking with Kudos)?
No “mullet” matters if it sounds good and enjoyable to the user - and you know you can always make the speakers sing better in the future with a better amp and/or source, so can be the start of a love affair that turns into a real long term relationship. You just have to be sure it is the right mullet for your ears!!
That made me smile. Next to the Atom/NAP250 was a an NSC 222 and Ben said it would sound much better than the Atom, and as it was so close it seemed churlish not to ask for a listen - there was a significant improvement. I’m trying to forget that moment
I think I warmed to the 606’s as they sounded like a much improved version of my old KEF 104.2
The WB P2.0 is a very different listening experience. I thought they had a more exciting and real sound than the 606’s, but that may become tiresome.
Subject to a home demo - I’m pretty sure I’d be very happy with the 606’s.
But if the WB P2’s with their front row sound worked in my lounge, I think I’d probably go with them.
I’ll have a think over night and call Ben tomorrow.
Get one of each, problem solved!
If Audiobarn are reluctant to permit you a home demo it might be worth contacting WB direct, they lent me a pair of vectors for a week or so when I last changed speakers.
I went to see Jack with a solid expectation of 505s. Left the store with 606s🤣
Speakers can sound hugely different at home, so I would strongly advise you to try to borrow them for a good few days. If you are thinking of getting a 222 or 333/332 or whatever, later down the line, it would pay to use those as the basis for the decision. They will let you hear more of what the speakers are capable of, and therefore enable you to make a more future-proofed decision. If one is more ruthlessly revealing than the other, you may decide against it with an Atom HE, but for it with say a 222/300. It’s a lot to spend, and you want to get it right.
Big thumbs up for the guys at Audiobarn.
They’ve very kindly agreed to let me audition the Titan 606 and Wilson Benesch speakers in my lounge.
They’re delivering the 606s on Saturday and leaving them with me for about 4 days, then they’ll swap them over for the Wilson Benesch for another 4 days.
It’s not as if they’re just around the corner either.
That’s the perfect arrangement to allow you to arrive at a balanced decision. Respect to your dealer!
I hear what you’re saying but I’d be going down that rabbit hole which I can’t afford atm.
If I really feel the urge that I want ‘better’, then in a couple of years I’ll be in a position to splurge
Might I suggest you also consider the KEF Reference 3 Meta speakers - similar price to the 606’s. The Kef’s really are quite astonishing and, in my room, the 606’s were a distant second.