I've decided to start a new thread as the old one was getting a bit long and rambling.
Plus I have entered a new era and have the lash-up sounding pretty good. good enough that I have actually - gasp - been buying some new music to listen to, instead of playing the same old stuff trying to work out the problems.
This is the first time since 1995 that I have actually been reasonably happy with the sound of my system.
Anyway this morning I am in a hi-fi shop!
Or am I? No, it is just my living room and loudspeakers are piling up.
On the stands are the B&O MC120.2 that I have just acquired. What a great speaker these are, a total cut above. I like 3 way speakers and I like mid-range domes so thought I would have a try of them. As I'd hoped they are capable of doing that out of box imaging thing, hanging a big soundstage that you can watch like you are watching a film. This is the thing I like about the Akais (also pictured) - you forget that you are listening to loudspeakers altogether.
The B&O do not have the same dynamic freedom as the Akais, since they are significantly smaller, but there is not a massive difference. And they won't play at the same SPL without complaining either, but they are sufficient for any reasonable listening level.
As you might expect they are a little more 'refined' than the Akais, which can spit a little with high-octane rock music. The B&O are smoother, but just as open in the mid and top, bass being just a little on the warm and rich side of tight and neutral. Imagine ATC crossed with Harbeth (if you can!) and you sort of have the character of these speakers.
Since all of my quality speakers are vintage, or need work (like the big IMFs also pictured) I wanted a modern-ish speaker to give me a second opinion on the rest of the system. I did have a listen to Alan's B&W 602 that he kindly brought over a few weeks ago but this gives me the chance for a longer comparison.
The verdict? As I said at the start it is sounding pretty good. No real foibles in the sound. Sins of omission I can live with but not sins of commission. I can't hear any sins of commission here. Could things be better on the amp and source side? Well possibly, I suppose the CD player could be bettered and maybe the power amp, but I am not in any desperate need to upgrade them. I will abide and see what comes along that is of interest in those areas.
Back to the B&O and one point I think must be made - why buy brand new speakers when bargains like these are available on the forums for £200 that are several levels up in terms of quality over what you will get for that money even in a store that does offer good budget value like Richer Sounds?
I leave you to mull over that one.