KEF, Focal, Megnepan, B&W, Sonus Faber, which brand is better suited for piano and orchestrative music?

Hi all,

I recently acquired a pair of M700s and a DirectStream DAC, feeding my KEF LS50s and my previous integrate(Yamaha S2000) now acting as a pre-amp only.

I’m really happy with sound and planning to upgrade to a BHK pre-amp in the near future.

As my post title entails, which brand will have a more “realistic” presentation for piano solo work and orchestravtive music with an all PS audio front end? Or any other brand that I should look into?

My budget is up to 12000k, will considered 2nd hand speakers as well. Of course less the money I spend, the better.


Welcome to the forum

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Welcome, @wudai_e !

Are you thinking large orchestra works, or chamber music? Or both?

Welcome to the forum. I have that setup with Focal Aria 948’s and love how it sounds. Unfortunately I cannot compare it to any of your other mentions. I am waiting on some Magnepan LRS’s but haven’t heard them yet. If you haven’t made the decision by the time they show up I’ll let you know how they sound.
Good Luck whatever you choose. Hope you can get some samples b4 you have to make a selection, speakers can be room dependent as well as personal taste dependent.

Large orchestra works, dynamics is a very important factor for the new speakers.

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I won’t be pulling the trigger on the speakers for a while, BHK preamp will be the next step, please let me know what you think about the LRS compares to the Focals.

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Oh, thanks for all the welcomes, good to be here.

Come into money, did ya?

When I was shopping for speakers a couple of years ago I did a side by side comparison of B&W and Sonus Faber. I don’t listen to a lot of classical/orchestral music but my first thought when hearing the Sonus Fabers was if I did listen to that type of music I would buy the Sonus Faber without a doubt. Good luck on your journey and let us know what you end up with.


I listen to a lot of orchestral music, and I love my B&Ws (800D2).

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Hey wudai e Welcome to the forum…

With the budget you are considering…The Focal Kanta 2 with be
tweeter would be my choice…

You see I am biased with Focal as I have the 948 Arias and in my system
they perform superbly…providing and amazing soundscape, soundstage with
all manner of layering and musical 3d holographic imaging along with spades
of depth, width and height …as in an x y z axis…

Can’t go wrong…

Best wishes in your journey

For classical music, you might consider upgrading the M700 to the M1200 to go along with the BHK Pre (after you get one). I have a BHK Pre with M700 combo, and classical music does sound very good, but I will most likely be upgrading to the M1200 (or BHK 250), as I need another layer of tubes in my system.
Another possibility is to go all tube, something like a Conrad Johnson ET or PV series preamp mated to a MV or classic series poweramp.

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The only speakers in that neighborhood that I’ve ever heard are the Magnepan 20.7s, and I loved their sound on that kind of music. My brother has a pair driven by a BHK 250 and listens almost exclusively to classical (the more avant-garde the better for him).

EDIT: He’s recently upgraded to a pair of BHK 300s.


For me, it is a good choice upgrading the speakers. The ls50 are beautiful sound, but very far from full range.

Exceptional sound you will find in the Boenicke w8 or w11. You won’t regrets it. Also, the Dynaudio line also sounds very sweet playing classical. You might consider auditioning

Last, you could have an immediate upgrade in sound quality taking the yamaha out of the chain, and connecting the ds dac directly to the amps (and use the dad’s volume control). At least, give it a go.

Hey davida

Thanks for the welcome, Kanta 2 is among my top 3 atm, in your opinion is 18x13 too small of a room for it?

Thank you.

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Thank you for your input.

I have a well blended sub with the ls50, to be honest, I don’t really know if any speaker at any price can sound much better than my ls50 with a sub in my room.

Main reason I want new speakers is more to do with itching for an upgrade just because we can’t freakin travel anywhere, might as well spend the travel budget on something that will not only sounds better, hopefully, but also look imposing in my living room.

First thing I’ve tried when I got the new DAC and amp is to drive the speakers without the Yamaha, however, the sound is just too thin, dry and less bodied without the Yamaha in the middle. And the speed of the transient is lost a bit.

Doesn’t make sense to me but it is what it is. I’m looking into your speakers recommendation, thanks again.

I’m looking into the 1.7i, only thing that’s holding me back is their looks, 20.7 might be too big for my 18x13 room, donno, Thanks!

No question, 20.7s would absolutely dominate a room that size. I’d think the 1.7i would be a great fit. And save you a bundle off your budget figure.

Hey wudai e Focal used to recommend room sizes for a given speaker
size…I tried searching but could not find the information…

My thinking is that your room size may be just fine. As in all our
systems your speaker placement will have a significant impact on how
they will respond to your listening position.

In my case with my previous set of speakers most of my “homework” with
speaker placement was already done. When my Focal 948s arrived it didn’t
take much time or effort to place them in the “optimum position” where they
now reside.

Going to the Kanta 2 will be a major step up from the KEF…as you have a larger
cabinet with more refined drivers plus the be tweeter. My thinking is that you stand
to gain a lot in the x y z axis of sound stage dimensionality… better detail bass, mids
and highs.

You will really enjoy the Kanta2s!!!

God’s good Grace willing one day soon will move up as well…but for now my Aria 948s
are tough to improve on.!!

Again welcome to the forum!!!

Best wishes wudai e

Thanks davida,

Kanta 2 is now my 1st on the list which was the KEF R11 originally. What I learned from this crazy upgrading-to-top-front-ends experience is how crazily the KEF LS50 scales with better source… When dialed in with the DSD and M700, I’m almost lost for words…

There were couple tracks that I’m very familiar with that tears me up with the new setup…

I do have the KEF LS50 wireless in my bedroom, and now that pair all of sudden sounded very “mediocre”. The key is that well blended sub however, without it, it’s just an LS50.

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