Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

To Hans Wetzel,

I just read your article and I must say that it felt like déjà vu. Like you, I was one click away from buying a pair of KEF Reference 1s and half a click from buying a Devialet 200. What stopped me was the price and the question to myself of how happy I would be with the purchase compared to what I already have. Both factors acted as an albatross, always hovering hauntingly above, causing me to question the need for another purchase.

My current system is composed of an Anthem MRX 710 receiver; Paradigm Signature S6, C1, S1 speakers (all v.3); and a Definitive Technology SuperCube 4000 subwoofer. My source is a 2008 MacBook Pro with Audirvana, and an Apple TV for when I stream from my iPhone. As you know both the Devialet and Reference 1s are a considerable amount of money, and while I can afford them, there is no doubt I would have to make a few sacrifices for a few months to pay for them. Do I want to make those financial sacrifices? For both products the answer is always a 95% yes.

The second question is always what gets me. How will it compare to what I already have? I know the Devialet will sound better than my Anthem without room correction, but it may not when I have my room correction on. As you have written before from personal experience, I have also purchased speakers too large for my room. I live in a 600-square-foot condo and bought the largest speakers that I could without going too crazy. The S6es sound mostly fantastic! Imaging, highs, and mids are great. But the bass is like trying to contain a raging bull; in this case, the bull cage is the volume control. Playing an R&B track at any decent volume without room correction overloads my room with heavy bass that takes away all the enjoyment from listening to my speakers. Once I turn on the room correction, everything sounds as it should, or at least as I think it should.

Considering all of this I thought to myself, well, if I want to enjoy a Devialet then I should buy smaller speakers; hence, the urging sensation of wanting to buy a pair of Reference 1s. But wait, then those two questions come back to haunt me and have kept me in check. Anyways, I just wanted to tell you that same damn albatross that haunts me probably haunts you and many others. Do I want to shoot the albatross? Will it make me happy after I do?

Keep up the great writing.

Chester W.

Misery loves company, Chester! Come on in, the water’s warm. . . . Hans Wetzel