ATC is not accepted by the Mrs
In th beginning of this year, I got to convince the other half into floor standers and the Tannoys did more work than me.
Till now curved cabinets, not too tall / huge are the ones that are being generally liked with more wood veneer. Some times you do not want your other half to get too involved in the hobby but she is my blind test target so I have to give her some thing in HiFi (the looks atleast, given the fact that the Speakers are / will be in living room)
804Ds are accepted with more of resistance (the top loading tweeter seems not to be liked by every one). Kef R series is liked alot and the reference series needed a bit of persuasion. So that is where it is from the acceptance view point.
Coming back to SQ (the real deal), R700 is no brainer to me. They are really well priced especially if I look down from the 804D and 203/2 price range.
R700 has everything I need (i heard them and quite impressed. Have not demoed at home but not too doubtful about their performance at home)
804D sounded a lot smoother than R700 but I am constantly concerned about the sweet spot. The way I understand the technology only Tannoy and KEF have the tweeter in the mid range design (with their own names) which adds to a wider sweet spot. I am not even sure how true it is but at least with all the speakers I demoed at home, the Tannoys do a wonderful job with spreading the sweet spot. If this is true and 804D has a very narrow sweet spot then I would be truly disappointed. Though during my audition I focussed on various other things along with sweet spot I can not tell it for sure till the time I hear it at home. Also, I feel that B&W charges quite a bit premium (we all want the best bang for buck ; ) )
KEF Reference series - Never heard it but given the R700 sound and Cno's gear it is a definite strong contender. I was thinking about 203/2 but I get to understand that 205/2 offers even better performance. So if budget is same then 205/2 might make sense. And as it happens, just today I get to know through a contact that there is a 205/2 on offer at the price of 203/2 Satin RRP but the caveat is it is in Gloss Black color (We both do not like the gloss black at all) and the validity of this deal will be checked in next few days
I wish some time soon the speaker color could be changed very easily (I do not know how but may be the way they do the wall paper but slightly sophisticated and evolved to get the finish right. Would be cool 8) ) so that such deals are not put on a lower priority
So it is quite exciting and do keep your comments / views coming in.