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Super Wammer

Thanks Richard, Ditto my own purchase, though of course mine weren't (officially) on trial, I bought and paid for them which is rather different. The key here is not to critique anyone's shipping policy or charges but to ensure that a wammer who is considering auditioning some speakers asks the question so is not unduly deterred.

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Super Wammer

Okay here goes and I hope all parties will be at least believe that i am genuine in my own personal view . On Monday due to the very kind offer by Paul (Maverick) I got the chance to hear a pair of W8's that were fully run in and in an environment that the owner knows well . Firstly a huge thank you to Paul both for the invite and for being a very generous host it was a real pleasure to chat and listen to music not mention sample some Farm produced Pork Pie and Bacon .

Okay here goes . Firstly these are very musical speakers , they are not Hi Fi  you will not find nine foot acoustic guitars or gut wrenching base. Instead they are what I would term a very neutral speaker that do not impose any colour or emphasis of their own . Instead they present what is on the recording warts and all so if the recording is good then they let this shine and voices sound natural and real and they are placed in a definite sound stage and unless they are manipulated in the recording they stay in one place easy to identify and point to . 

I could live with these speakers they image very well and they go very loud if asked to . I do think they handle slower and less base heavy music better than something like Dub but they perform well across all types of music . 

Now my issues , firstly I can not afford these speakers and if I could i am not sure it would be were i would put my money . There is added costs for this speaker in that as well as the cost of buying it you also need a hugely powerful amplifier to make them sing and perform as they should. This sort of power needs to delivered cleanly and with control and that costs money .  Then there is the positioning , other owners on here may disagree but for me these are a very fussy speaker for placement . Exact position and toe in or in my case lack of it made a huge difference . With a toe in the sound stage is fine but for me was only between the speakers and no sense of height once the speakers were adjusted and fired straight ahead this changed and suddenly the sound stage was wider than the speakers and there was real height to singers. Very strangely and I have no proof of this only my opinion when you moved these speakers even just a little they changed but di not fully show any improvement till they had been left in the same position for around half an hour then they seemed to open up even further. I know should not happen maybe even did not happen but I did notice this and commented on it to Paul .

The only area were I was a little disappointed was speed .Since I have switched to active units and used ESL's this is one area were both excel there is no overhang notes stop and start quickly and cleanly . My test for this is always the same finger snaps , I know all those of you can roll your eyes now . However to record and then reproduce a real finger snap (Elvis recording of Fever , many Cassandra Wilson tracks) is very demanding it a hugely fast rise time and an equally fast decay (unless lots of false reverb is used) . But snap you fingers and listen to it you will know it is real . Then listen to it recorded and it can be a little flat and sound false no echo around it and this makes it sound processed . W8's can produce a finger snap but for me without the real attack and decay . 

I can see why owners of these speakers not only bought them but love them and are evangelical in there strenghts . As I have siad i could easliy be told this is all you can listen to and be very happy . I can say without any doubt that hearing them in Pauls was very different to hearing them at Kegworth  which I know now did not really do them any favours or let the really magical quality they do show shine. 

Thank you Paul your time and patence was very much appreciated and i hope you enjoy these speakers for a very long time. 

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Hey Bencat, thanks for the report.  It is interesting you mention Elvis’ Version of Fever as I have been hearing that increasingly at Hi-Fi shows. It is a masterful recording. As I know it very well I can use it as a great reference.  Often his vocal delivery sounds flat, or the double bass thin, or the drum fills sound empty. To me I have heard it at its best twice: Van Gaylord played it in Munich and Bristol with their lovely valve monos and their own speakers. It was incredible. His voice was just perfect: warm, oleaginous, and singing right at you.  The downside was the bass was a bit sloppy and the drum fills not dynamic. And the second best time is with Boenickes in  my front room. The Boenickes shine like diamonds on this song. Whilst the valve sound of the Von Gaylords have the edge on the voice, the Boenickes (with Vitus amplification and DAC) make the whole song just sing.  The drum fills fill with a snap, the voice is warm and mellifluous, the space in the recording is incredible.   Maybe the fingers don’t snap with the speed of a magico, but the whole song is rendered perfect in its sonic balance which no other speaker can get near to. 

Bliss. 

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Super Wammer
1 hour ago, bencat said:

Okay here goes and I hope all parties will be at least believe that i am genuine in my own personal view . On Monday due to the very kind offer by Paul (Maverick) I got the chance to hear a pair of W8's that were fully run in and in an environment that the owner knows well . Firstly a huge thank you to Paul both for the invite and for being a very generous host it was a real pleasure to chat and listen to music not mention sample some Farm produced Pork Pie and Bacon .

Okay here goes . Firstly these are very musical speakers , they are not Hi Fi  you will not find nine foot acoustic guitars or gut wrenching base. Instead they are what I would term a very neutral speaker that do not impose any colour or emphasis of their own . Instead they present what is on the recording warts and all so if the recording is good then they let this shine and voices sound natural and real and they are placed in a definite sound stage and unless they are manipulated in the recording they stay in one place easy to identify and point to . 

I could live with these speakers they image very well and they go very loud if asked to . I do think they handle slower and less base heavy music better than something like Dub but they perform well across all types of music . 

Now my issues , firstly I can not afford these speakers and if I could i am not sure it would be were i would put my money . There is added costs for this speaker in that as well as the cost of buying it you also need a hugely powerful amplifier to make them sing and perform as they should. This sort of power needs to delivered cleanly and with control and that costs money .  Then there is the positioning , other owners on here may disagree but for me these are a very fussy speaker for placement . Exact position and toe in or in my case lack of it made a huge difference . With a toe in the sound stage is fine but for me was only between the speakers and no sense of height once the speakers were adjusted and fired straight ahead this changed and suddenly the sound stage was wider than the speakers and there was real height to singers. Very strangely and I have no proof of this only my opinion when you moved these speakers even just a little they changed but di not fully show any improvement till they had been left in the same position for around half an hour then they seemed to open up even further. I know should not happen maybe even did not happen but I did notice this and commented on it to Paul .

The only area were I was a little disappointed was speed .Since I have switched to active units and used ESL's this is one area were both excel there is no overhang notes stop and start quickly and cleanly . My test for this is always the same finger snaps , I know all those of you can roll your eyes now . However to record and then reproduce a real finger snap (Elvis recording of Fever , many Cassandra Wilson tracks) is very demanding it a hugely fast rise time and an equally fast decay (unless lots of false reverb is used) . But snap you fingers and listen to it you will know it is real . Then listen to it recorded and it can be a little flat and sound false no echo around it and this makes it sound processed . W8's can produce a finger snap but for me without the real attack and decay . 

I can see why owners of these speakers not only bought them but love them and are evangelical in there strenghts . As I have siad i could easliy be told this is all you can listen to and be very happy . I can say without any doubt that hearing them in Pauls was very different to hearing them at Kegworth  which I know now did not really do them any favours or let the really magical quality they do show shine. 

Thank you Paul your time and patence was very much appreciated and i hope you enjoy these speakers for a very long time. 

thanks Andrew, glad you enjoyed it. Obviously, no pig died in vain in the making of this review :D

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Sorry, one further addition to my Fever post above: and my amp is only 25W - the oft-mentioned thing that Boenickes need a ton of power isn’t necessarily true.  

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Super Wammer

ok, but aren't your speakers semi-active so not really comparable with W8s?

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11 minutes ago, Maverick said:

ok, but aren't your speakers semi-active so not really comparable with W8s?

I demoed W8s for an extended period and used Fever as a great test recording. The W13s just make it a slightly bigger sound, the qualities remain the same. 

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Super Wammer
1 hour ago, Duckworp said:

I demoed W8s for an extended period and used Fever as a great test recording. The W13s just make it a slightly bigger sound, the qualities remain the same. 

I was meaning that you are not really driving the W13s with 'just' a Vitus amp. let's leave it there eh?

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4 hours ago, bencat said:

Firstly a huge thank you to Paul both for the invite and for being a very generous host it was a real pleasure to chat and listen to music not mention sample some Farm produced Pork Pie and Bacon .

He got me hooked into this "pork" addiction too. I reckon he (Maverick that is) is Broster's main pusher!

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26 minutes ago, Maverick said:

I was meaning that you are not really driving the W13s with 'just' a Vitus amp. let's leave it there eh?

Have I said something wrong?  I am saying how good the Boenicke’s sound. 

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4 hours ago, bencat said:

Okay here goes and I hope all parties will be at least believe that i am genuine in my own personal view . On Monday due to the very kind offer by Paul (Maverick) I got the chance to hear a pair of W8's that were fully run in and in an environment that the owner knows well . Firstly a huge thank you to Paul both for the invite and for being a very generous host it was a real pleasure to chat and listen to music not mention sample some Farm produced Pork Pie and Bacon .

Okay here goes . Firstly these are very musical speakers , they are not Hi Fi  you will not find nine foot acoustic guitars or gut wrenching base. Instead they are what I would term a very neutral speaker that do not impose any colour or emphasis of their own . Instead they present what is on the recording warts and all so if the recording is good then they let this shine and voices sound natural and real and they are placed in a definite sound stage and unless they are manipulated in the recording they stay in one place easy to identify and point to . 

I could live with these speakers they image very well and they go very loud if asked to . I do think they handle slower and less base heavy music better than something like Dub but they perform well across all types of music . 

Now my issues , firstly I can not afford these speakers and if I could i am not sure it would be were i would put my money . There is added costs for this speaker in that as well as the cost of buying it you also need a hugely powerful amplifier to make them sing and perform as they should. This sort of power needs to delivered cleanly and with control and that costs money .  Then there is the positioning , other owners on here may disagree but for me these are a very fussy speaker for placement . Exact position and toe in or in my case lack of it made a huge difference . With a toe in the sound stage is fine but for me was only between the speakers and no sense of height once the speakers were adjusted and fired straight ahead this changed and suddenly the sound stage was wider than the speakers and there was real height to singers. Very strangely and I have no proof of this only my opinion when you moved these speakers even just a little they changed but di not fully show any improvement till they had been left in the same position for around half an hour then they seemed to open up even further. I know should not happen maybe even did not happen but I did notice this and commented on it to Paul .

The only area were I was a little disappointed was speed .Since I have switched to active units and used ESL's this is one area were both excel there is no overhang notes stop and start quickly and cleanly . My test for this is always the same finger snaps , I know all those of you can roll your eyes now . However to record and then reproduce a real finger snap (Elvis recording of Fever , many Cassandra Wilson tracks) is very demanding it a hugely fast rise time and an equally fast decay (unless lots of false reverb is used) . But snap you fingers and listen to it you will know it is real . Then listen to it recorded and it can be a little flat and sound false no echo around it and this makes it sound processed . W8's can produce a finger snap but for me without the real attack and decay . 

I can see why owners of these speakers not only bought them but love them and are evangelical in there strenghts . As I have siad i could easliy be told this is all you can listen to and be very happy . I can say without any doubt that hearing them in Pauls was very different to hearing them at Kegworth  which I know now did not really do them any favours or let the really magical quality they do show shine. 

Thank you Paul your time and patence was very much appreciated and i hope you enjoy these speakers for a very long time. 

Nice review of your findings. The only thing that I would point out is that you were listening to a system and a room - not just a pair of speakers. It is possible with a different system the attack and decay you were looking for might be more apparent. Or not. The great thing about hifi is that we can bespoke a system to satisfy any audio proclivity. 

The pork pie certainly sounds interesting.....

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Super Wammer

@Duckworp I think the point being made is that W8's are very inefficient speakers and in order to compensate for this if you want a decent volume level you are going to need Watts and lots of them . We are not diagreeing that other speakers in the range such as yours sound good just that as the W8's are passive and the W13's have part of the speaker actively driven they would represent a muc easier load so that as you are doing a smaller output amplifier may well be enough to drive them very well . 

I have not proof of this as i do not own a pair of W8's so have not heard the result but I would expects that a high quality but low powered amplifier driving them may well make them sound very good at low to medium levels but would struggle and not sound very good at higher volumes. All of this is of course dependant on how loud you play your music so it is a personal judgement .

I am sure that no one adding to the thread were making direct comments aimed at you just trying to be fair to what I had reported and felt. As you indicate you tried the W8's before settling on the W13's you may well have felt that the amplifier you mention was good enough and for you that may well be correct. My view is that I would not be happy using a low powered amp in to this sort of load . But as always I could very easily be wrong. 

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Super Wammer

@HouseElf  - Very true and you are correct to make that proviso . Sadly the chances of being able to hear another set of these speakers in a room that I already know is remote . I have to report what I found as best i can and let the experienced listeners on here make their own judgements . I would seriously love to be able to have a pair on trial for around a month at home and really give them a test with how I listen and in surrounding I know but this is unlikely to happen . I am really just grateful that I have heard a pair and liked much of what i heard. I truly hope that no one feels my comments were heavily negative that is not what I wanted to convey but in my real world the cost of these units is very high and in order for me to be comfortable with that sort of spend then I need to be very sure that it is very close to perfect . 

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Super Dealer

Gents,

I do not routinely post, as this is your 'club' and area, to be vocal with good, bad or indifferent views on your experience with Boenicke and many other brands. However there is one thing I do need to clarify and clear up: delivery for ownership and demo. 

There are many ways to skin a cat, and move goods from point A to point B in the UK. For example we can quite easily ship an Aqua Formula DAC (circa £12k) within the UK for £20.00 fully insured and packaged to arrive safely. The cost of the unit when dealing with our shipping partner(s) trade accounts by in large, bear no relevance to value. Conversely and to demonstrate this, I have to send Audio Physic Classic 15 Speakers (Circa £2.2k) by another method, that costs £125.00. This is due to the fact that Audio Physic insist on them being shipped on a pallet (please see one of my unboxing videos that shows their packing stating this) and the pallet delivery costing this amount. 

As for the Boenicke range they are shipped as follows:

W5 - DPD £20.00

W8,11,13 - Pallet £125 within UK on a standard service

Why a pallet? Simple really - safety of the goods. Most couriers have neither the time, staff or equipment to consistently transport items like speakers in card boxes without there being serious risk of damage. Hence why Audio Physic insist on it. Experience tells us that you're better safe than sorry. Would you want your new £8.5k W8SE speakers arriving rattling around in the back of the proverbial white van? 

Hopefully that explains the delivery method, cost and reasons for this. I should also state that where clients have not been invoiced with a delivery charge it is purely down to the price invoiced on that occasion including delivery. Some clients prefer things written this way. Nothing more sinister. 

In terms of how we manage a demo situation it is mainly by negotiation. I fully accept that everyone wants a home demo; in fact I strongly encourage it! That stated we are not 'next door' to every customer so if someone cannot drive to us then the options become limited to delivery only. In this type of situation we spend a lot of time discussing the owner's current system and goals. We do so to limit the chance of the speakers not being 'right' By adopting this approach we rarely see returns, and even if there are, the client normally goes on to make a purchase of another speaker. The shipping costs then being worked in to everything overall and explained. 

This leaves us with the last situation that has been highlighted, and the one that is perhaps the most tricky to deal with: the multiple or 'casual' demo. I've had clients who have multiple units to demo. I've run through the delivery options, and most have agreed that given the level of investment, and after gaining an understanding of our shipping methods and why, that it's a fair amount to charge as it is a cost to the business that we cannot absorb due to our location, or indeed the clients. All have been totally understanding of this, and again been told they'd be more than welcome to visit and collect - free of any delivery charge! The same applies to the 'casual' demo client. The only difference being it perhaps sharpens their mind on to whether the speaker is right for them in the first instance.

It is important to add that we remain committed to making all our customers happy, and will work tirelessly to ensure common ground is reached, products tested, sold and supported. As I constantly and consistently tell clients (much to my colleagues annoyance of the same line) 'I am an enthusiast as well, and I know how important this is to you, so let's get it right' 

Thanks, and enjoy the forum! 

David

PS. If anyone would like to discuss please do not hesitate to give me a call

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