Upgrade time! Boenicke W5

Hi-FiOutlaw

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Apr 20, 2011
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Yup! After 9 years give or take, I’ll be upgrading my Dyns X12... The contenders; well to be honest, it will be a stand out between Dynaudio and Boenicke....

Today i’ve Picked out a demo pair of Boenicke W5 in Oak, I can buy them with a great drop in the price from new.... Great, I love a bargain but will need to demo the Dynaudio Special 40 to made up my mind...

The Boenicke W5 have a smaller box, as you can see in the pictures, side by side. I will need to abstract myself from that fact, the size...

After plug them to my Pathos and listening to 3/4 musics I can distinctly say that the worries about size is out of the equation, they can play as big as the Dyns or even bigger. They blend in nicely with my system, and with my ears as well, the tone is not that far off from the Dyns, and that’s a BIG plus as me and my wife are very used to the Dyns.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/158888945@N03/shares/Ed36hm
 

insider9

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What an interesting shootout. I've not heard either. I did listen to W8 and thought they were most impressive. I'm still not sure I'd pay that kind of money for speakers that size (ever).

I know from speaking to owners of W8 is that they like as much power as you can give them. Which Pathos are you using? Is it a high power hybrid? Also what sonic aspects are you looking to improve?
 

CnoEvil

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Can't help with your decision...but just wanted to say hello. I hope life is treating you well.
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

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Hi insider9, i’m Using a Pathos Classic One mkIII 80wpc hybrid amp. Like the Dyns the Boenicke are not very efficient, they have between 83-86dB, the Dyns are around 86dB all at 4Ohm. My Classic One is not the the best match I know but in 1 or 2 years i’ll Be upgrading the Pathos as well to some thing more convenient (or powerful ) to cope with powerhungry speakers. Something full class A like Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP.

But for the time being i’ll keep the Pathos with the Dyns or the Boenicke.
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

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Hi Cno, the fist time I heard about the brand was in Lisbon Audio Show from last year, I was so impressed that I’ve posted a video on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=VURueHZXY5o

Boenicke are hand made in Basel, Swiss, they can sound so natural, creating a live stage right in front of you, they are quite unique.

And what about you and your back? did you upgrade your KEFs...?

all the best
 

CnoEvil

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Hi-FiOutlaw said:
Hi Cno, the fist time I heard about the brand was in Lisbon Audio Show from last year, I was so impressed that I’ve posted a video on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=VURueHZXY5o

Boenicke are hand made in Basel, Swiss, they can sound so natural, creating a live stage right in front of you, they are quite unique. 

And what about you and your back? did you upgrade your KEFs...?  

all the best
My adventures are detailed here: https://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/out-new-in-old

My back was great until last Summer, when I over did it in the Gym. I think I'm slowly recovering.
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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Interesting, I've looked at Primaluna myself. It can get a great power for a valve amp with valves upgrade. Sorry, it looks live I've missed your signature. You're looking at very interesting gear regardless.

There tech behind Boenicke is quite impressive. I guess it would go down to preference dynamics and bass vs imaging and coherence. That's where I'm expecting the differences to be at least. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong as you've got both pairs and I'm only speculating. I wish I could be more helpful.

What are you initial thougts on W5s?
 

mond

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Jan 11, 2011
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Those Boenicke speakers look very interesting, I often google products when I read the posts here to see what people are talking about...........would certainly like to listen to a pair of those ............
 
Hi-FiOutlaw said:
Hi insider9, i’m Using a Pathos Classic One mkIII 80wpc hybrid amp. Like the Dyns the Boenicke are not very efficient, they have between 83-86dB, the Dyns are around 86dB all at 4Ohm. My Classic One is not the the best match I know but in 1 or 2 years i’ll Be upgrading the Pathos as well to some thing more convenient (or powerful ) to cope with powerhungry speakers. Something full class A like Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP.

But for the time being i’ll keep the Pathos with the Dyns or the Boenicke.
An excellent choice of amp if I may say so, particularly if you upgrade to the KT120 tubes.

Cannot comment on speakers as I have heard neither.
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

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Apr 20, 2011
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I will try to describe Boenicke speaker the best I can, but please bear with me as I’m not a reviewer or a journalist of some kind and I don’t post in forums for some time now... Online you can find almost all reviews from Boenicke range of speaker from the W5 up to the W13, and a funny fact is that all reviewers have the same finds; the real sense of being in the presence of a live performance.
After two days and a bucket load of music and even 2 movies, I can say that this speakers (W5) are going nowhere , the same as my Dyns that I’ll keep for sentimental reasons and value, to be fair, the 350 or 400€ that I would keep from the sale, I can’t buy anything that came close to the X12 performance.
The Dyns have lived with us for almost 10 years, the longest that any piece of gear stained in my system, the same as the BK sub and some cables...So, the Dyns have proved to be a very competent pair of speakers for the money, and a brand that I absolutely love very much!Heard a ton of Dyns models, from Contour, Confidence, Focus and Evidence, and IMO all across the range I can find that especial timber of Dynaudio, for me is like being home with the flippers on when I’m listening to a pair of Dynaudio speakers. I always thought that I would stay within the brand for the rest of my life, maybe the new Contour 20 or the Speacial Forty would be a nice replacement for the X12. With that in mind, Boenicke speakers came into my life for the first time in 2017 Lisbon Audio Show, the room was huge, and a pair of Boenicke W11 were feed by a Parasound combo Pre/power (you can watch my video on YouTube posted above) and produced a gigantic sound stage, with the bass filling the room in a natural and almost real/palpable sounds. I had to ask if it was any sub in the room just to be sure that all I was earring came only from those relatively small floorstanding boxes. After following the brand closely and reading every reviews and discussions forums I had at least try them in my system. Last week I came upon the W5 add on the Portuguese dealer webpage, their pair of W5 was up for grabs just for 2890€, they retail for 4490€ less 1600€... And this is only the entry level, you can buy the W5 SE or the SE+ with a considerable price tag increase. The placement of the W5s were not easy, as I never had a pair of speakers with side woofers and a little ambient Twitter on the back, so had to move them more that 15/20 times before finding the right placement. Boenicke speakers are made from solid wood, the “W” stand for wood, you can read online the Boenicke philosophy (http://www.boenicke-audio.ch/about.pdf) and what is behind Sven Boenicke speakers design. In a close look you can see the attention to detail and a very nice hi-end finish only accomplished by a few brands. Started by listening with all my fav musics and my demo play list (will post it in the end) My first impressions of the W5 were that they had a very close timber to the Dyns, and that for me was a good start, as we (me and the wife) never had a listening fatigue with the Dyns, but After 3/4 musics it was evident that the similarities between the two models ended there. Boenicke speakers are known for reproducing a real sense of live performing, and I could ear it easily, studio recorded music is displayed like you are in the recording booth with the singer and not on the other side of the glass. Musics from the same album can be displayed with quite some differences , never had that sense of transparency or intimacy with smooth sounding treble. My audio diet doesn’t include classical music, primary because my wife don’t appreciate it, but every time she goes out I try to listen to some classical music, but find myself always distracted with something else or just because two ways speakers are not suited for a full representation of the busy sound stage of a classical symphony , so I rather listen to a pianos, cellos or violins concerts.But the Boenicke W5 proved me rong, It seems like a full scale representation from a far bigger speaker, you can’t quite believe that what you are earring can came from such small package. Funny fact:So you think that you know all your favorite musics start to finish? And even if it’s played backwards you still recognize it? Right? Rong! First I thought I was earring things, little nuances, small representation of noises created by the artists in the recording booth, or the flux of air entering a flute, the resonates of a violin wood, this little nuances make you believe that you are in the middle of the action, it representantes reality in a palpable way. The sound stage is airy, wide and with a sense of depth like I’ve never felted before. The Dyns X12 have a fixed point representation of the artist,but the Boenicke W5 do that and beyond, they can represent a full image of the band. I know that this kind of achievement is possible, I’ve earn it some times with very expensive equipment, never ever thought that I could reach such quality with this speakers and my system.
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

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Apr 20, 2011
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insider9 said:
Interesting, I've looked at Primaluna myself. It can get a great power for a valve amp with valves upgrade. Sorry, it looks live I've missed your signature. You're looking at very interesting gear regardless.

There tech behind Boenicke is quite impressive. I guess it would go down to preference dynamics and bass vs imaging and coherence. That's where I'm expecting the differences to be at least. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong as you've got both pairs and I'm only speculating. I wish I could be more helpful.

What are you initial thougts on W5s?
hi insider9, Primaluna is at the top of my list when finances allow to upgrade my Pathos.... For now the new element in my system will be the Boenicke W5, and what incremental upgrade I just did....

Regarding your thoughts about the main differences you are quite spot on, only misses on the bass representation,in fact the BK was turned off for the stereo, that’s how good this LITTLE giant slayer are.
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

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CnoEvil said:
Great review....and I'm glad you are enjoying them.
Thanks Cno, one of my reservations were if the Pathos had enough power to drive the W5, but this Italian stallion can drive them quite nicely, and archiving considerable volumes with great sound quality, as you are the Pathos godfather and all...
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

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Apr 20, 2011
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Al ears said:
Hi-FiOutlaw said:
Hi insider9, i’m Using a Pathos Classic One mkIII 80wpc hybrid amp. Like the Dyns the Boenicke are not very efficient, they have between 83-86dB, the Dyns are around 86dB all at 4Ohm. My Classic One is not the the best match I know but in 1 or 2 years i’ll Be upgrading the Pathos as well to some thing more convenient (or powerful ) to cope with powerhungry speakers. Something full class A like Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP.

But for the time being i’ll keep the Pathos with the Dyns or the Boenicke.
An excellent choice of amp if I may say so, particularly if you upgrade to the KT120 tubes.

Cannot comment on speakers as I have heard neither.
in one or two year I’ll try to hunt a pre owned or a demo unit, as I can’t pay the full price...
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

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Apr 20, 2011
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Al ears said:
Hi-FiOutlaw said:
Hi insider9, i’m Using a Pathos Classic One mkIII 80wpc hybrid amp. Like the Dyns the Boenicke are not very efficient, they have between 83-86dB, the Dyns are around 86dB all at 4Ohm. My Classic One is not the the best match I know but in 1 or 2 years i’ll Be upgrading the Pathos as well to some thing more convenient (or powerful ) to cope with powerhungry speakers. Something full class A like Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP.

But for the time being i’ll keep the Pathos with the Dyns or the Boenicke.
An excellent choice of amp if I may say so, particularly if you upgrade to the KT120 tubes.

Cannot comment on speakers as I have heard neither.
in one or two year I’ll try to hunt a pre owned or a demo unit, as I can’t pay the full price...
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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I'm glad you're enjoying them. It reads as they're very much sound like the W8, with bass that shocks when you consider the size of drivers. One of the most interesting speaker design I've seen and I like unusual things. Might I add a great deal you're getting.

I remember, I really enjoyed listening to them while standing up. The sweetspot was big and it showed off huge height to soundstage.
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

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Apr 20, 2011
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insider9 said:
I'm glad you're enjoying them. It reads as they're very much sound like the W8, with bass that shocks when you consider the size of drivers. One of the most interesting speaker design I've seen and I like unusual things. Might I add a great deal you're getting.

I remember, I really enjoyed listening to them while standing up. The sweetspot was big and it showed off huge height to soundstage.
Funny you mention the weigh of the sound stage, as I forgot to mention it on my “kind of review”, in fact, besides new speakers seems like I’ve got a new pre/power combo.

The W5 design seems to defin the laws of physics, it’s a breath of fresh air throughout all my music library. The voices are clearer and with more presence in the sound stage.

When you listen to Boenicke speakers you instictly know that you are in the presence of a great quality hi-end product...

And it’s a small brand, with the owner at the production line, every speaker is assemble by Sven and his small operation team, I think 3 or 4 at the total.

You can talk with him on Facebook, he always reply’s, and even have offer me the chance of visiting Boenicke facilities in Basel.
 

newlash09

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This was hifi - outlaw. A great review by any measure, even if it was your first :)

Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. In my humble opinion, it might add lots of value for newbies like me, if details of the room and speaker positioning are also mentioned in detail. Gives an instant perspective on suitability in reader's rooms.
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

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newlash09 said:
This was hifi - outlaw. A great review by any measure, even if it was your first :)

Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. In my humble opinion, it might add lots of value for newbies like me, if details of the room and speaker positioning are also mentioned in detail. Gives an instant perspective on suitability in reader's rooms.
hi newlash09, thanks for the thumbs up! It was not my first review, the problem was that I didn’t post for a long time now...

You are right about sharing speaker placement, but my new living room is so unorthodox that I will post a picture later on to help visualizing the positioning .
 

newlash09

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Aug 28, 2015
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Hi-FiOutlaw said:
newlash09 said:
This was hifi - outlaw. A great review by any measure, even if it was your first :)

Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. In my humble opinion, it might add lots of value for newbies like me, if details of the room and speaker positioning are also mentioned in detail. Gives an instant perspective on suitability in reader's rooms.
hi newlash09, thanks for the thumbs up! It was not my first review, the problem was that I didn’t post for a long time now... 

You are right about sharing speaker placement, but my new living room is so unorthodox that I will post a picture later on to help visualizing the positioning .
Didn't seem like a first timer's review either. Was awesome in everyway :)
 

Hi-FiOutlaw

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Playlist
Some Devil - David Matthews - Some Devil Roadhouse & Automobiles - Chris Jones - Stockfish Records No Sanctuary Here - Chris Jones - Roadhouse & Automobiles Eye in the Sky - Alan Parsons Project 16/41 and 24-192 hi res I Heard it Through the Grapevine - Antonio Focione Live - Naim Records Why Should I Care - Diana Krall - When I Look Into Your Eyes A Case Of You - Diana Krall - Live Paris You’ve Changed - Etta Cameron - Cameron and Nikolaj Hess With Friends Tall Trees In Georgia - The Best of Eva Cassidy Grand Torino - Jamie Cullum - The Pursuit The Cost of Freedom - Marla Glen - This is Mala Glen Pease Send Me Someone to Love - The Best of Sade Mr Bones - Steve Strauss - Powderhouse Road - Stockfish Records Any Anxious Color - Jene Loves Jezebel The Three of Us - Ben Harper - Welcome to the Cruel World Mother - Pink Floyd - The Wall Saint Agnes and the Burning Train - Sting - The Soul Cages She Is So Beautiful - The Waterboys - The Whole of the Moon Ride Across the River - Brothers In Arms Guitar Concerto de Aranjuez - II Adagio Step Outside - The House Martins You and Your Friend - Dire Straits - On Every Streets Cotton Fields - Harry Belafonte - Belafonte Sings the Blues Blue Spanish Sky - Best of Chris Isaac Golden Leaves ( Acoustic ) - Passanger - Whispers Fade Into You - Mazzy Star - So Tonight That I Might See Into Dust - Mazzy Star - (same album) Desire - Ryan Adams - Demolition Between the Bars - Elliott Smith - Either/Or Wait - M83 - Hurry up We’re Dreaming Fake Plastic Trees - Best Of Radiohead Sanibel - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Looking Forward Sunday Morning Coming Down - Best Of Chris Kristofferson Silent Lucidity - Best of Queensryche Hard Monkeys - Ten Year After - A Space in Time When Your Young and in Love - Original Flying Pickets Detlef Schrempf - Band Of Horses - Acoustic at the Ryman Is There a Gost - Band Of Horses - Case to Begin Dust in the Wind - Kansas - The Best of Cansas New Dorp New York - SBTRKT - Wonder Where We Land Promise - Ben Howard - Every Kingdom
 

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