Product Purchased: K300
"At least 15 different models and makes of speakers have transited through my system in the last 30 years. These have included the likes of Sonus Faber, Opera, B&W, Mordant Short, Electro Voice, Infinity and many more. Speakers turnaround was rather high, until I stumbled in the Audio Note AN-Js, an updated version of the old and glorious design by the late Peter Snell. For 15 years, a pair of AN-Js has proven unbeatable in combination with a 10W AudioNote single-ended valve amplifier. Several attempts to upgrade speakers (or even the whole speaker plus amplifier combination) have proven futile. The AN-Js always won hands-down.
That was until I heard the Kerr Acoustic K300s. To my surprise, here was a pair of transmission line speakers that not only were very efficient and valve friendly, but also – for the first time – significantly improved the sound of what I still consider a near perfect system. Simply put, once I heard music through the K300s, most other speakers seemed compromised, their skilfully tuned trade-offs suddenly becoming less acceptable.
So what did I find so special about the K300? In a nutshell, it is all about their neutrality: neutrality as accuracy in frequency response, which is incredibly flat and extended at both ends of the spectrum; but also neutrality as accuracy in time response. Combined, these two aspects of the K300 make for precise timbre reproduction as well as grin-inducing macro and micro-dynamics. The purity and cohesion that spans the mid-bass to high frequency range allow the K300 to reproduce everything - from strings to voices, from brass to drum skins – in the most natural and realistic way. The astonishingly deep bass, completely free from any overhang, gives unbelievable scale and kick to music. The ribbon tweeters build on the immaculate bass depth and control to produce transients and attacks that have lighting speed. All this is achieved without a hint of harshness or unnatural emphasis on the high frequencies. This is quite extraordinary and something that I have not found in any other speaker (and not just in the price range of the K300s). Usually, fast speakers tend to lack harmonic richness and body, ending up sounding lean and forward. Not the K300s.
My diet of music is extremely varied – from jazz to classical, from old and indie rock to heavily processed electronic music. The K300 do justice to any genre of music. In fact, they don’t just do justice, they make any music sound as real and exciting as a live performance, while highly processed or electronic music sounds simply propelling and so mesmerisingly layered. My personal sonic highlights of the K300s include their ability to separate kick drum from double bass in any jazz piano trio; the way kettle drums are suddenly revealed in their pitch as well as power out the mass of orchestral sounds in any romantic symphony; how sung words in voices become so intelligible and yet emotionally involving; the way the shimmer and the decay of all sorts of crash and cymbals are no longer blurred and homogenised, but crystal clear and individually characterised. The absence of “mid-bass pollution” also means ultimate midrange purity and glorious synth sounds in electronic music such as Kraftwerk. Talking of which, their Minimum Maximum live recording of Man Machine, at around 2 minute in the track, projects some 30Hz sounds that you won’t believe can project so pure and powerful from the small K300s cabinets – the magic of their perfectly tuned transmission lines!
Something else worth sharing is that music from vinyl (free of tracking distortion, courtesy of my inexpensive and UK-made tangential arm) has reached new peaks of pleasure and realism, with so much detail, ambient information and amazingly clean and hard-hitting bass. I just can’t get enough of it. Fortunately for my stylus, digital music has also become way more engaging since adopting the K300s. My attempts at reducing jitter have been precisely guided by the monitor-like nature of the K300s and, like a surgeon looking through a high-resolution viewer, I have been able to tune digital sound reproduction to a completely new level of accuracy and naturalness .
Just as I thought that music could not get any better than played through the K300s driven by my 10W AudioNote valve amp, I discovered that the K300s sound also wonderful, in a different but equally spectacular way, when driven by an old school 100W Japanese amplifier from the 80s (Pioneer, Technics, Sony). And by the way, the K300 are the easiest speaker to place in any environment – I have yet to find a position that compromises their sound."
- Claudio M.
Product purchased: K300
“Firstly, the aesthetics. Before I even fire them up, everyone has commented on how good they look in the stock grey finish, particularly on the Custom Design FS 104 stands with optional larger top plate. So pleased we decided to err from the norm of veneer boxes in the lounge, we think these look great especially in a contemporary room.
From our previous transmission lines these are a massive improvement, the detail and weight of sound is stunning coming from a relatively small enclosure, the true ribbon tweeter seems to offer lovely smooth highs with no hint of harshness yet has the ability to claw huge detail out of the mix.
The bottom end of these speakers is just sublime, I love that almost characteristic transmission line low “thump” that many other high end speakers don’t seem to offer.”
- Andy Elsegood
Product Purchased: K300
"I bought a pair of K300 speakers to replace my floor-standers, and this is a summary of my experience in the first month of ownership. I had previously seen and heard them at a show, so I already knew how they sounded in a far from ideal performance space, and I was fairly confident that they would be fine in my over-furnished living room.The really nice thing for me is that the K300 is already showing that freedom from being boxed-in, and they look so good.
The speakers’ room-friendly design has made them very easy to place - I’ve put them close to and perpendicular to the rear wall, so they are aligned nicely with the existing furniture. I tried them in a more conventional arrangement but didn’t notice much difference. I’ve listened to a variety of music and A/V sound and the most apparent strength is their clarity, so the notes are edgy and not muddied or boxed in. For example, I’ve listened to a large orchestral piece on FM and had no doubt about whether the underlying bass riff was being supplied by drums or by double basses being plucked or being bowed. With the A/V I’ve now been caught out twice thinking a noise has come from elsewhere in the house.
I'm really happy with the breadth and balance of the sound I'm getting from the various sources that they have to handle. The bass is so nicely controlled and I think the top end has come in a bit more since the initial experience. I really am a very happy customer and am now thinking of upgrading my cartridge to match the superior sound."
- Julian Coates
Product Purchased: K300
“From the first time I listened to these fabulous speakers, the Kerr Acoustic K300s grabbed my attention with a spectacular, well-defined timbre and texture. The sound is simply astonishing and magical.
The balance and integration of the frequencies is far better than that of thousands of top-quality three-ways speakers. All frequencies are very well integrated and cohesive, yet extremely accurate and precise, with exquisite resolution.
The woofer is very fast with a rich, deep and agile bass response. The tweeter well focused and precise, even at the very highest frequencies.”
- Claudio Barbieri