My Loudspeakers

I bought a pair of B&W 703’s in about 2003 and they travelled with me all around Asia when I worked there as an expat for ten years. These are big loudspeakers with fantastic bass and mid-range articulation.

The treble may be a little forward for some, but for Jazz, big band and rock they are absolutely superb – exciting, visceral and sonorous . I would describe the sound as effortless with a slightly forward treble balance and they can go very loud. They image well and the bass is crisp, clean and goes very deep. They are an easy load to drive with sensitivity specified at 89dB/W. If you hunt around on the web, you can still pick up an imaculate pair for about $1500 in the US or about £1000 here in the UK. Here’s a review from 2009

The second pair of speakers I have are the highly regarded KEF LS50’s I purchased in 2017. These are near field monitors and in a small room are unmatched insofar as accuracy of reproduction and stereo imaging are concerned. My music space is quite large, so I cannot listen use them in near field mode, but the imaging and overall balance is still fantastic.

They do not go deep in a big space, although if placed near a corner (500mm – not closer) or wall, the additional acoustic reinforcement does extend the bass down considerably. I use a B&W ASW60 sub-bass that augments them below 80 Hz to flatten the response down to about 35 Hz. I use these speakers to listen to classical music, acoustic and jazz. If you have ever been to a classical concert, when you listen to these speakers, you will appreciate how accurate they are, and how well they image (much better than the 703’s which are not too shabby in this area either). You can read the Stereophile review here and another review here.

More recently, I purchased a pair of Dali Oberon 5’s for the living room (the speakers above are in my music room), powered by one of my commercial products, the Model 1707 integrated amplifier. The Oberon 5’s have received rave reviews (here’s another one) since their introduction in late 2019. For the £749 asking price new, these are amazing loudspeakers. Not a hint of sibilance, fantastic imaging to boot and an open, warm sound. They’re compact and well built and will fit in with almost any decor. If you are looking for a pair of speakers to fill a medium sized listening space and don’t want to break the bank, I highly recommend you audition a pair.


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