We have already reached the final part of this triptych. Finally, we have heard fourteen bookshelf speakers pass by. That’s a lot of speakers. And we tested them not on one but on two amplifiers. So that amounts to 28 combinations and then on three tracks. A lot of listening, but incredibly interesting! This time we are going to listen to the KEF R3 Meta, Elac Vela BS403, Monitor Audio Gold 100 and the ATC SCM11. Again, four top notch speakers.
Now you would think that with fourteen pairs we have had all the bookshelfs. We haven’t. There are other brands and even a few larger brands that we haven’t listened to. The hi-fi world is a bit bizarre when it comes to the amount of choice you have. In fact, there is just too much choice. Please know that we did our best to invite everyone. We also know in advance that certain brands will not want to participate because they don’t like this concept. That is their choice… And also understandable, since there are always risks involved in comparative testing.
However, it is very interesting for you as a reader to see these kinds of mass tests, as you can immediately get an idea of the range on offer as well as read, hear and see what how product compares to its competitors. This allows you to judge for yourself which models are interesting to take a closer look at.
Part one of the bookshelf test
Part two of the bookshelf test
We used the exact same set-up, of course:
- Pass Labs XP-12 and X150.8
- Hypex Nilai DIY class D amp
- Sonnet Pasithea
- Alpha Audio PC with Jcat USB and ethernet card
- Pura Audio Dodo power supply (5V) for the Jcat cards
- Mutec MC3+ reclocker with AAI pucks
- Grimm TPM cabling
- Driade Flow cabling (speaker / interlinks)
- Isotek filters(Titan / Aquarius)
- YETI Power cables
- Flow Reference 808
As you can see, we are working with two power amplifiers. This to see how the speaker(s) cope with a class A amplifier with less damping and a focus on resolution, flow and scale and an amplifier with a lot of control and a slightly drier character. Both amplifiers are pretty neutral, know that. It is purely the way of energy delivery and control that differs.
Music in the test
- Beethoven, Symphony no.7, part 2: Adagietto. The Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Philippe Herreweghe.
- Mammal Hands – Three Good Things from the “Shadow Work” album
- Sohn – M.I.A. from the album “Trust”
- Elac Vela BS403
- ATC SCM11
- KEF R3 Meta
- Monitor Audio Gold 100 (G5)
Old KEF R3, by Erin
-> Shadow Flare Position Impact on Frequency Response
[ While using the speakers full-range is OK, I found that when I added a subwoofer (SVS SB-2000 Pro and SB-3000, separately), the entire sound became immensely more enveloping. Somehow, it even seems to increase the overall sense of “space” these speakers provide with the right recording. For that reason, I do suggest a subwoofer with these speakers. ]
KEF R3 meta measurements
You forgot: KEF R3 meta – decay – straight – 3ms.png
I think they still have not solved the problem of the woofer integration with the excellent coaxial, as it happened with the previous model, the R3.
I will listen again to the part of the test referring to them.
Thank you very much (to ALL) for your work.
– Greetings from Tarragona (SPAIN) –