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Article: Review | Buchardt Audio A500 Speaker System


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Thanks, Bob!  Great write up on some very cool speakers.

 

Hats off on their sales model as well.  Too many great products are available at too few dealers, and only a dope or hopeless optimist would commit >$4K without a trial.  Unless a manufacturer has a true national network, such as McIntosh's for example, they need to enable direct or etail trials for a modest fee/commitment.

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Great looking (and I guess sounding :) ) speakers, and a very friendly sales/business model.  And your review style is different, well laid out, and refreshing.  I also have a real soft spot in my heart toward waveguides, so....kudos.  Congrats!  I imagine the next several weeks/months they will settle in to you space even better.  👍

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1 hour ago, ted_b said:

Great looking (and I guess sounding :) ) speakers, and a very friendly sales/business model.  And your review style is different, well laid out, and refreshing.  I also have a real soft spot in my heart toward waveguides, so....kudos.  Congrats!  I imagine the next several weeks/months they will settle in to you space even better.  👍

Ted,

 

Thanks for the note.  I am sort of casual in what I do.   We have to have fun with it.  And there is a surprise coming in the next couple of weeks! 

 

I am starting a thread on the site in a bit discussing all of the software issues with related equipment that I had trouble with this summer. Roon and everybody else.

 

Bob

 

 

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A500 is a revolution, a revelation. But it's hard to trust a reviewer that says Apple Music user experience is stellar. Use Spotify and come back to compare. Apple missed the boat on this one. Sure it's better than Tidal, which is just frustrating on a mobile, but it's way way way behind all the easy functionality that Spotify offers for music aficionados. Anyway thanks for the review. Comparing this to Kii Three etc was not very clever. 

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1 hour ago, juleepriest said:

A500 is a revolution, a revelation. But it's hard to trust a reviewer that says Apple Music user experience is stellar. Use Spotify and come back to compare. Apple missed the boat on this one. Sure it's better than Tidal, which is just frustrating on a mobile, but it's way way way behind all the easy functionality that Spotify offers for music aficionados. Anyway thanks for the review. Comparing this to Kii Three etc was not very clever. 

Spotify is rolled off compared to Tidal Hifi, try this album:

Screenshot_20200319_113928.thumb.jpg.f4f0101792c5c89b4bfef983a1498bee.jpg

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I do not have experience with the LX521, I do understand they sound amazing.  The staging on A500 speakers is amazing.  I think it is in part the design of the tweeter subsystem.  They really do punch-above-their-weight!   Over the last 8 weeks they have settled in rather nicely.  Their presence is very good. Sitting in the sweet spot they almost disappear and the image really locks in!  Just sitting in the room it is closer to feeling of being there with the music.

 

 

 

 

In closing they do not have quite the weight of the Dutch and Dutch 8C.  The Kii Threes have a bit more detail and with the BXT the Kii's dynamics are amazing.

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6 hours ago, Tait said:

Great review, made for excellent reading.

I'm guessing that if you are using the analogue inputs on the A500's, then you cannot take advantage of the room correction software inside the hub?

 

You are correct that the Room Correction is only in the hub.  I have some correction ability in my Altair G1 also.

 

 

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5 hours ago, bobfa said:

I do not have experience with the LX521, I do understand they sound amazing.  The staging on A500 speakers is amazing.  I think it is in part the design of the tweeter subsystem.  They really do punch-above-their-weight!   Over the last 8 weeks they have settled in rather nicely.  Their presence is very good. Sitting in the sweet spot they almost disappear and the image really locks in!  Just sitting in the room it is closer to feeling of being there with the music.

 

 

 

 

In closing they do not have quite the weight of the Dutch and Dutch 8C.  The Kii Threes have a bit more detail and with the BXT the Kii's dynamics are amazing.

Think I’ve found an answer 

 

While the soundstage wasn’t especially deep, it was very wide, with solo and grouped instruments in clearly defined positions.”

 

https://www.soundstagesimplifi.com/index.php/equipment-reviews/145-buchardt-audio-a500-active-loudspeakers-and-stereo-hub-wisa-transmitter
 

So this matches what I would expect for the design of speaker.

 

They sound like great speakers mind.

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A bit random question, but in your opening statement you state

"the Kii speakers are an incredible system, but they are out of most "normal budgets."

 

Sorry if I'm missing the point, but what does you owning the Kii's have anything to do with anyone else and or others budgets?  I get simplifying, but the Kii's seem to be a killer system and something you definitely enjoyed immensely?  Additionally, other then size their pretty simplified as is, being active.  Anyway just curious.👍

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1 hour ago, Foggie said:

A bit random question, but in your opening statement you state

"the Kii speakers are an incredible system, but they are out of most "normal budgets."

 

Sorry if I'm missing the point, but what does you owning the Kii's have anything to do with anyone else and or others budgets?  I get simplifying, but the Kii's seem to be a killer system and something you definitely enjoyed immensely?  Additionally, other then size their pretty simplified as is, being active.  Anyway just curious.👍

 

I may not have elaborated this well enough.  OR maybe I did not articulate my me situation, feelings.  Budget is an overriding factor in most system designs.  I have spent a year and more money that I care to count to keep up with the Kii's.   I built spaghetti USB solutions and more.  That is where the complexity came in.  I got lost in it.  Of course it was my business at the time!    

 

I have backed all of that down and started something simpler.  In my testing I have found a path that seems to fit me well.  My AURALiC Altair G1 is an all in one solution that provides and analog XLR variable level output that amazes me for the price.   This has become the target core of my system.   This is still rather expensive!  I am still hoping to drop this further down.

 

 

While I was still operating my business I got the Dutch and Dutch 8C system.  They still have the potential to be a complete stand alone system once they get direct streaming.  

 

Over the summer I started with the Elac NAVIS ARB-51.  They were a long shot for me.  They really perform well, but not to the level I wanted.

 

When the Buchardt Audio A500 came along and a couple of the reviews were rather stunning I knew I had to try them.  Out of the box they really impressed me.  After almost two months of use they have really grown on me.

 

During this testing with the Discovery Connect and the WiSA hub pop up as very interesting alternatives that cost much less than the Altair G1 system design.

 

I am pretty close.  I will have to see what happens with the Hansong Hub software so I can fully evaluate it, can it replace the Altair G1?  

 

And lastly there is a bit of FOMO going on here.  Buchardt has started shipping their A700 system.  Mads Buchardt describes them as having the same character as the A500 with more flavor! The A700 is a floor stander that has some interesting built-in isolation technology.  While they are more money, if they do not need the GAIA isolators that reduces cost. Then with no stands thinks look cleaner.  FOMO abounds.

 

Maybe it never ends!

 

bob

 

 

 

  

 

 

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3 hours ago, bobfa said:

Maybe it never ends!

Bob, just a suggestion: you need to find something you are happy with and stop the FOMO. Judging from your posts. I'm pretty sure you can do it. Perfect is the enemy of "it's really good and I can be happy with it" as it were.

 

IME, when you get off the constant upgrade path music listening is much more enjoyable - you stop thinking about how to "improve' things all the time and just enjoy the music.

 

Do you find you are seriously missing something with the A500 or D&D? If so, what? How much $$$ will it take to get there, and is the improvement really worth the cost to you?
 

Do you think the A700 might get you there? Just from reading about them and the A500, the A700 seems like it could be a final stop for lots of audiophiles who don't want to be victims of "nervosa". With that in the house, you could be left to play with only sources/UI. Much less daunting and probably much less likely to cause constant upgrade-itis.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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@bobfaDo the speakers have auto on/off functionality?  Not much mentioned in the manual. 

 

I hope you get the A700s to review, that's the one I'm considering.  Too bad they can't do the room correction from the phone app direct to the speaker, thus bypassing the need for a hub.  I just use Roon with Qobuz and my NAS.  I would only need the XLR input.  It would be better if it was AES.  Or better yet Ethernet input on the speakers.  The price of the hub isn't my concern, just not needed in my case but I would deiffenitly want room correction.  BTW nice video. 

PC/NAS/JRiver/Roon - PS Audio P5 Regenerator - KEF LS50 Nocturne - Rel 328 subwoofer - PS Audio AC5 Power cables 

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They only talk about an iPhone in their literature. Can you also do the setup from an iPad?

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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1 hour ago, ShawnC said:

@bobfaDo the speakers have auto on/off functionality?  Not much mentioned in the manual. 

 

I hope you get the A700s to review, that's the one I'm considering.  Too bad they can't do the room correction from the phone app direct to the speaker, thus bypassing the need for a hub.  I just use Roon with Qobuz and my NAS.  I would only need the XLR input.  It would be better if it was AES.  Or better yet Ethernet input on the speakers.  The price of the hub isn't my concern, just not needed in my case but I would deiffenitly want room correction.  BTW nice video. 

Shawn,

 

All of the speakers I have been testing do echo the quality of the source.  The analog inputs on all of the speakers I have tested sound really great.  Make sure you have that part of the audio chain well in hand.  I have used Roon room correction and that works well.

 

To echo my goals, simplicity, budget, and sound quality. I am very interested in the WiSA hub that goes with the Buchardt's!

 

I will pass on your comment on the Video.  My two friends and I have a lot of fun with our YouTube channel. Tony does the video production work, he is great.

 

bob

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22 minutes ago, firedog said:

They only talk about an iPhone in their literature. Can you also do the setup from an iPad?

The app that does the room correction on the WiSA Hub appears to be an OEM product from Hansong.  There are other speaker systems using the same hub and they also private label the app.  It is my understanding that they have tested/modeled iPhone microphone systems to optimize the inputs.  I have not tested this by running the software on an iPad to see what the curves look like.

 

bo

 

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