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KEF based monitors vs. Yamaha - who's better?
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centaurus
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:54 pm    Post subject: KEF based monitors vs. Yamaha - who's better? Reply with quote

just got a message saying i need to post or lose my account.

i recently bought a nice pair of Yamaha NS-1000M. i also have KEF Calinda. i like them both as they each represent the seminal monitor sound of eacch country. here's an old article in hi-fi world basically bashing KEF based monitors (think ls3/5a),

http://www.hi-fiworld.co.uk/hfw/oldeworldehtml/yamahans1000m.html

they state that bextrene drivers (KEF) are "soft, bland Bextrene-coned BBC monitors" and hence found the Yamaha NS-1000M "forward and fatiguing and prone to harshness and fizz."

if you read the article, they state that KEF drivers are veiled which worked out well because Quad, Naim and Linn amplification sucked too Wink

discuss...

Robby
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ColinR
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember David Price is a complete and utter tosser and such articles are designed to sell copy and therefore have little credence with those of us who take music reproduction seriously, but prefer to go to a live gig whenever possible.

If you do want to clear a room quickly though the NS1000 when overdriven by a 1980 250W Naim coupled with a Linn, Ittok, Basik playing Tubular Bells, works flawlessly - Hi-fi World Show Midland Hotel Birmingham City Centre May 1980 Twisted Evil .
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centaurus
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bwahahahaha!!!! you are a funny man!

yeah, I've never heard my NS-1000M on solid state gear. never had a chance to hook them up to my Quad 405-2 or Quad 909 as i had already sold them.

they sound awesome with my McIntosh MC60s though.

i will say this. true, the NS-1000 has an almost ESL like quality to the mids and highs thanks to the beryllium drivers, but given that their price has near tripled in the last 6 years, their sound/price ratio has dropped considerably. for the $400 they went for in 2001, you'd be hard pressed to find anything better. at the $1,000+ they go for now, their deficiencies become apparent. tight, but rolled off bass, vague imaging and they sound awful with anything but TOP NOTCH solid state gear.

lastly, do the NS-1000M outright slaughter my KEF Calinda? NO! they are just different. both have their respective merits and like the NS-1000M, i find the T27 sounds PAINFUL with anything but tube gear. and both tweeters have to be absolutely on axis to your ears or they will screech.

on a side note, i sold my KEF 104/2 last week. i will miss them, but they went to a good home and will be powered by more appropriate electronics. he's using a nice McIntosh MC-2105 solid state amp. which should control those bandpass woofers better than my tube McIntosh MC60s.

see ya,
Robby

ColinR wrote:
Remember David Price is a complete and utter tosser and such articles are designed to sell copy and therefore have little credence with those of us who take music reproduction seriously, but prefer to go to a live gig whenever possible.

If you do want to clear a room quickly though the NS1000 when overdriven by a 1980 250W Naim coupled with a Linn, Ittok, Basik playing Tubular Bells, works flawlessly - Hi-fi World Show Midland Hotel Birmingham City Centre May 1980 Twisted Evil .
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allanson
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:57 pm    Post subject: Only for zero posters Reply with quote

Robby

With 97 posts to the forum there is no chance that your account will be revoked. I will be deleting zero posters just in case they are here for mischief rather than to talk about speakers.

Keep posting - but as I am sure you know there is no chance that your account will be deleted.

Evil or Very Mad
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IsakAlexander
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got a pair of Yamaha ns-615b, early version of the infamous ns-10m. Quite revealing, sounds bright on poor equipment. A comparison to my Concertos will come later on.
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Gary
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ColinR wrote:
Remember David Price is a complete and utter tosser and such articles are designed to sell copy and therefore have little credence with those of us who take music reproduction seriously......


Arrr, lad, there be a lot of people like that! Laughing

Don't forget the old advertiser influence problem when one speaker company is spending thousands of pounds (or dollars) in advertising. They tend to get a good review. And there's the type who just like to cause trouble on internet forums. Or have their own trouble causing site so others can refer to it to back up their wild claims....

I really can't comment on the differences between KEF and Yamaha (because I've never heard Yammies) other than I believe dedicated speaker companies tend to make better speakers than the 'general merchandise' companies.

But I can tell you that there is no way that I will change my speakers based on a review or one person's opinion. Smile
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suffolk2
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

" just got a message saying i need to post or lose my account "

Kef vs Yamaha

if this is your last minute attempt to save you login account, the topic
is appaulling................... you need to do better than that Very Happy

I have heard the yamahas and they sound quite clinical, not a warm
sound you associate with the Kefs.

The only warm sound I've heard from Yamahas are their motobikes Very Happy
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speakerguru
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

suffolk2 wrote:
"The only warm sound I've heard from Yamahas are their motobikes Very Happy


I've heard some very nice Yamaha guitars Cool
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proffski
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(I've heard some very nice Yamaha guitars).

The pianos are not too bad either... (NS1000 fan).
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ColinR
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Yamaha NS-1000M is a nice speaker, a Japanese Spendor BC1 with attitude Cool .

Shame they lost the plot with the larger NS-2000, which is another pentatonic boom and ting machine.
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proffski
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(The Yamaha NS-1000M is a nice speaker, a Japanese Spendor BC1 with attitude).

Yup, the BC1 is always ultra polite...
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Parts
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry,

I like both the Yamaha NS-1000mand the Spendor BC1, but think they are complete opposites!
The Yamaha is nothing like a Spendor BC1.

The Yamaha's are far more forward and detailed, with much quicker drivers and far tighter bass and a dryer sound, quite a pain as they show any roughness of the amplifier up, hence their un-popularity with reviewers when first released here.

The BC1 on the other hand (and this depends also on which model, with the Alnico blue magnet bass driver having superior mid performance) has no where near the power handling or driving problems of the Yamaha, it has a slow bloated bass, with that plastic cone quack, and slightly rougher less detailed treble, these give a more consistent sound with either valves or solid state than the Yamaha.

Of course I also prefer the later Rogers Studio 1 to the later BC1, more so for the better power handling, I do not think there is much in a performance difference between the later BC1 and Rogers, but the earlier BC1 with the Alnico driver is the one which had the magic touch. (Though my own preference is for solid state power amps with both of these)
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IsakAlexander
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q26/IsakAlexander/Bilde002.jpg
Smile
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proffski
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We all agree with what you are saying, certainly not disputing the entirely different attributes of the loudspeakers in question at all.
I could quite happily live with the Rogers, BC1 or the Yamaha.

Bit like arguing the difference between Laphroaig and Macallan, both completely different both excellent!

Anyway, are we not going somewhat off the subject here?
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Parts
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes we have got a little of subject,

To be honest I believe the Yamaha to be the more acurate and better speaker, but couple this highly accurate monitor to the wrong amp and it can get tiring, it also requires using the trim pots to reduce mid and treble in most cases.

The Kef Calinda, with its two way driver config with passive ABR is never going to have the tightness and speed of a 12" paper driver in a large sealed enclosure, nor does the Calinda couple as well to the room as the 12" driver.
You also have the added benefit of a mid dome and treble unit made of berillium compaired to the bextrene cone passing over to the plastic coned T27.

I personaly prefer three way to two way. And out of these two would rather have the Yamaha.

As has been mentioned, it's more a matter of taste, and is largly affected by room, positioning and ancillary choice.
Personaly I would modify any such Yamaha (they are capable of imaging), but that would be another thread if ever the chance passed by.........

As for the soft sound of bextrene, with a heavier cone this is to be expected, but these are also a lot less coloured than other manufacturers drivers of the period, and speakers and ancillaries have developed since.

Coupling any early "MINT" example of a bextrene coned speaker, IE with fully refurbished drivers and components, with a suitable amp and you will find it aint all soft and bloated. I believe most early well used examples sound soft because of tired drivers. Stick an old Crown DC 300, or newer NAD C270 power (both suitable power amps regarding spec on paper) on the end of a well used 105.2 and you may well get soft bloated bass and tizzy treble with receded mid performance (I don't believe these amps are the most suitable).
Have all the drivers of the 105.2 refurbished and have the crossovers rebuilt and stick em on the end of something like a little Bryston 3Bsst and they will sound like a completely different animal.

A classic example would be Hi Fi worlds well reviewed Music First Silver passive with Nu-Force reference Monos, these have had good reviews used with the Yamaha's and the Yamaha's in question for these reviews are mint. Have we seen a fair review with any fully refurbished early KEF, NO and we are not likely due to kef drivers suffering more with age and costing more to refurbish (even an early review of a pair of "tired" IE not fully refurbished IMF TL monitors was questionable regarding amplifier choice and speaker driver age and condition). Yet I believe the speed and transpareny of the above amps would also be superb partners for any early KEF systems.
Stick the Yamaha's on the end of a Crown DC 300 or the NAD C270 power and guess what, not superb performance. Use something like Pass Labs and you may find the presentation through the Yamaha less palatable than what you may get with early KEF ? What does this tell us ? Amplifier taste and preference may affect one's perception of a speaker, hence Hi Fi Worlds biased opinion ? Hell I don't think one can trust reviewers, even Alvin Gold missrepresented the 105 MK1 with the 105.2 in a recent hi fi magazine discussing this classic.

What with people who like soft bloated amps thinking certain speakers are bloated and people with sharp forward amps thinking certain speakers are sharp and forward, and then in the middle people who find the best of both worlds amp coupled with the best of both worlds speakers producing a bland lifeless presentation, when does it get noted that one aint better than the other, its the sum of the parts, the synergy, that is important.

Hi Fi world reviewed a mint pair of BC1 from Germany, and these got very favorable reviews, this, and I cannot help but feel a lot of the back page classic recomendations are based on their personal opinion and what experience they have had with older systems.
In my experience, and this view was shared by many reviews, KEF reference speakers with the B110 had the same elusive mid quality of the classic Spendor BC1, one of the more highly regarded performers in this area, yet we do not read about this trait, only about slow bass due to heavy cones ? Anything to do with younger reviewers getting to hear these old speakers in their later life with tired drivers and unsuitable ancillaries ?

As many who owned mint examples of the BC1 or siblings like the Studio 1, many of the bextrene coned KEF Reference had drier tighter better bass performance than the BC1 designs, and the KEF were more even over the lower frequency range. Couple these with high current capable power amps and this soft bloated Character is reduced, in a similar way many users of the Yamaha pair it with valve amps to tame the forward bright presentation, and there is the crux ! as valves and the Yamaha are used and thought highly of by the Hi Fi World team they get favorable reviews, and though they defend the Yamaha and how it was percieved during its initial release, yet they condemn their own proffesionalism by actualy stating most british amps sounded poor (though not mentioning the amplifiers were suitable and perfectly acceptable with most of the available british monitors of the time) and that it was the japanese class A and US valve amps which drove the Yamaha's superbly (the same amplifiers which sounded poor with british "heavy cone" designs). All they are actualy stating is the difference in taste and sound preference from two different countries during that era, and showing that neither solid state or valve, bextrene or paper, is any better, just different with different ancillaries proving more suitable with one over the other, just as the first british reviewers found to their own displeasure during those early years, Horn speakers with Naim ? Oh dear !, Valve amps with large TL monitors ? oops a daisy ! etc etc Wink

I myself have no problem with the sound of early KEF, with my Technics Class AA SU-MA10 amp some softness is apparent but this is cleary a lack of drive on the amps part, not so with Krell or Classe amplification, very dry and tight with superb speed and definition with no paper quack. Similar results with Linn Klout and MF A370 and NuVista 300 amplification.
And guess what, that little forward tizzy bass light so called horror called the Linn Kan Mk II, it does not sound tizzy or bass light with my choice of amps ? funny thing that synergy.

I also think the 105.4 is slightly better sounding and more room and amp friendly than the 105 and 105.2, and that a mint pair of 105.4 are a match for the Yamaha NS-1000m, personal taste though. T33 usually require a refurbish as do a lot of the berillium tweeters of the Yamaha, and the both the 105.4 and Yamaha are held back slightly by S-top and trim pots.

So there you have it, Yamaha is better than the Calinda, and most magazine reviews are highly opinionated, as am I Laughing
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