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Boenicke

Bi Focal

Perpetually changing tuners
Wammer
Jul 2, 2011
232
29
43
West Wales
AKA
Nick
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Because Boenicke speakers are pretty rare, and even rarer secondhand, I can’t find anyone (apart from dealers who have a vested interest) that has actually heard either:

W5 vs W8 vs W11
or either of these variants as standard version vs SE

anyone out there with first hand experience to share?

I ask because I heard W8SE at the Ascot show and thought they sounded amazing (didn’t check what source and amp they used) but I’ve no idea what drop in sound quality you get with standard W8 (much cheaper)

Then there’s the potential comparison of an SE version of W8 vs a standard version of W11 - which sounds better and in which ways?

Finally it seems impossible to find the frequency responses for each model - the lowest Hz for each. Anyone know where to find this? It’s not on the Boenicke website and I haven’t seen it in reviews
 

Fourlegs

WAVE Digital Cables
Wammer
May 5, 2014
6,391
4,011
183
Melton Mowbray
www.wavehighfidelity.com
AKA
Nick
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
Because Boenicke speakers are pretty rare, and even rarer secondhand, I can’t find anyone (apart from dealers who have a vested interest) that has actually heard either:

W5 vs W8 vs W11
or either of these variants as standard version vs SE

anyone out there with first hand experience to share?

I ask because I heard W8SE at the Ascot show and thought they sounded amazing (didn’t check what source and amp they used) but I’ve no idea what drop in sound quality you get with standard W8 (much cheaper)

Then there’s the potential comparison of an SE version of W8 vs a standard version of W11 - which sounds better and in which ways?

Finally it seems impossible to find the frequency responses for each model - the lowest Hz for each. Anyone know where to find this? It’s not on the Boenicke website and I haven’t seen it in reviews
@TheFlash which Boenicke did you (briefly) own?
 

TheFlash

Inactive
Wammer Plus
Jun 22, 2013
12,436
8,254
198
Rural Leics [system 1] & Kendal [systems 2 & 3]
AKA
Nigel
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
@TheFlash which Boenicke did you (briefly) own?
I had the W8, with the excellent custom swingbases made by @Knipester. I can’t comment on how they sound vs the SE version.
Having heard and loved these at shows several times before I bought my pair, I’d strongly encourage prospective buyers to hear them in their own listening space and using their own amplification before committing. Auditioning preowned means they will have already had their extensive recommended burn-in time so it should take only a few hours/days to confirm whether their rather special presentation is for you; if auditioning new, ensure you have 30 days to decide as the first 2 weeks will be burn-in.

Hope this helps. It’s an important decision given the price; even the “base” W8 is close to the price of the ATC SCM40A actives I now enjoy and which are my keepers. The Boenickes blow them away aesthetically, but it’s vice versa sonically.
 
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Nopiano

Wammer Plus
Wammer Plus
Jul 19, 2016
8,130
5,615
183
Monmouthshire, Wales
AKA
Nick
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Because Boenicke speakers are pretty rare, and even rarer secondhand, I can’t find anyone (apart from dealers who have a vested interest) that has actually heard either:

W5 vs W8 vs W11
or either of these variants as standard version vs SE

anyone out there with first hand experience to share?

I ask because I heard W8SE at the Ascot show and thought they sounded amazing (didn’t check what source and amp they used) but I’ve no idea what drop in sound quality you get with standard W8 (much cheaper)

Then there’s the potential comparison of an SE version of W8 vs a standard version of W11 - which sounds better and in which ways?

Finally it seems impossible to find the frequency responses for each model - the lowest Hz for each. Anyone know where to find this? It’s not on the Boenicke website and I haven’t seen it in reviews
There are reviews if you hunt for them, such as this one: https://audiophile.ch/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/test-boenicke-audio-w8-australian-hi-fi.pdf

I can’t find the full review of the W8 from Hifi News, but that also showed its crushingly low sensitivity and peculiar frequency response. You can find the abbreviated version from the 2017 year book though.

Clearly, some people love them, but they seem to me to be unnecessarily bizarre and demanding for the end result. They’re undeniably attractive however. Definitely one for the subjectivist, so if you’re interested in frequency repsonses you might be looking in the wrong place!
 
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Bi Focal

Perpetually changing tuners
Wammer
Jul 2, 2011
232
29
43
West Wales
AKA
Nick
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I’ve read as many reviews of Boenicke as I can find but not comparisons of one model / variant against another

Something else a bit odd is that most reviews barely mention the music they are playing. You read references to the accuracy of an instrument of a vocal but I’ve not read anything about how they cope with rock/dance/pop. When I heard W8SE at a Hifi show it was fairly MoR music from what I recall…..

So do/can they rock??
 

TheFlash

Inactive
Wammer Plus
Jun 22, 2013
12,436
8,254
198
Rural Leics [system 1] & Kendal [systems 2 & 3]
AKA
Nigel
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I’ve read as many reviews of Boenicke as I can find but not comparisons of one model / variant against another

Something else a bit odd is that most reviews barely mention the music they are playing. You read references to the accuracy of an instrument of a vocal but I’ve not read anything about how they cope with rock/dance/pop. When I heard W8SE at a Hifi show it was fairly MoR music from what I recall…..

So do/can they rock??
You just need to hear a pair in your own home. I know, I know, in some ways that’s the least helpful most predictable thing anyone can say on a hifi forum… but it could also save you from a hugely expensive mistake, so there really is only one way to find out. Would you really consider blowing an extra £4,000+ on the basis of anything we or a reviewer say? I’m calling this out as questionable for that £:
  • Added electromechanical parallel resonator to bass-midrange.
  • Added Bybee Quantum Purifiers.
  • Added proprietary phase linearization network.
If you read between the lines of my earlier post you’ll perhaps work out that, while I qualify as a bona fide Boenicke owner, it was for a record-breaking less-than-one-month. Another wammer is now enjoying mine immensely!
If you really need to scratch the itch, buy used and if they turn out to not be for you then you’ll get all or most of your money back.

I can say with absolute confidence that if you auditioned Boenicke W8 or W8SE, with any integrated or power amp of your choice, vs ATC SCM40A with 6 integral power amps, you’d buy the ATC’s. Prove me wrong!
 
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Bi Focal

Perpetually changing tuners
Wammer
Jul 2, 2011
232
29
43
West Wales
AKA
Nick
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Absolutely right that there is high risk spending £4K+ on speakers I haven’t heard or properly tried out. That argument is even stronger as I’ve heard ATC 50 actives and they weren’t as good as passive Boenickes!
 

bencat

Amplifier Destroyer
Wammer Plus
Feb 6, 2010
8,041
5,066
193
Liverpool
AKA
Andrew
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Not helpful I know but I prefer ATC 40 Active to ATC 50 and I also prefer the ATC to Boenickes . With the ATC much will depend on the room size if your room is very large then the ATC 50 may well suit the room better but in normal sized rooms I prefer the ATC 40 they fit in and sound right .
 

Bi Focal

Perpetually changing tuners
Wammer
Jul 2, 2011
232
29
43
West Wales
AKA
Nick
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
i know there are many who love boenicke on here so here is a few threads to enjoy

this showroom visit

http://www.audioshark.org/speakers-10/boenicke-showroom-visit-14303.html


I’ve only just noticed the showroom videos. They all seem to have vocal, jazz, or heavy on strings. There’s no doubt they are amazing for this type of music (I heard W8SE) but it could be telling that they never appear to demonstrate rock?

I own W5s that I only really use for radio listening. Today I’m putting something heavy duty through them !

will report back …..
 

Maverick

Moderator
Staff member
Jun 24, 2013
9,541
3,458
183
Huddersfield,W.Yorks
AKA
Paul
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
I own W8 (std) and use a heavily breathed on Musical Fidelity A5 integrated (level 2 mods) which now throws out well over 500w into 4ohm, we have also used a John Wood KT88 amp (200w/4ohm) to great effect at the 2x Kegworth shows.

Do they rock? Oh yes, our demo choice for this was Pete Tong with The Heritage Orchestra Conducted version of Killer, cue a room full of grinning listeners (one visitor came back 4 times). Were trousers flapped? Well no, but really how many of us play at that level at home, I'd hazard a guess, not many.

My current preference is good vocal material such as Loreena Mckennitt, / Jennifer Warnes / Natalie Merchant, which can have great backing musicians displayed in a great sound stage. My vinyl collection starting around 1970, does have heavy doses of Bowie, Springsteen, Chris Rea, Mark Knopfler, however I also have around 30% post-2000 and hence lots of indie bands and electronica. I don't do noodley jazz :D

As to 'run in', well I'd advise caution here; yes they a need minimum 200 hours but that can be quickly achieved running non-stop with say radio or a CD on repeat turned down low (I have run 2 pairs in). However, the full bass only develops after 6 months use!

The W5s are very impressive and I have heard both W8s and W5s in the same system and I say which you chose would depend upon your room, the W8s need a LOT more space around them, particularly space between the speakers. My muso friend Mark heard the W5s for the Cranage show and now has serious want (he has a challenging small room for his system).

My W8s with custom swing bases driven this time by the A5 with both vinyl and streaming sources will be at the 'wam show in Stoke on Sunday 2nd October, come along with requests. There is an outside chance that I might be able to borrow a pair of W5 for Stoke, will post here if that happens.

kind regards,
Paul
 

JANDL100

Wammer
Wammer Plus
Dec 5, 2006
18,502
4,335
208
Forest of Dean, Glos
AKA
Jerry
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I'd love to hear a pair of W13.
Audio Emotion say they'd pose a real challenge to my MBL 116F which I bought from them over a decade ago.

Any experience of the W13 on here?
 

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