Buchardt S400 versus Buchardt S400 Special Edition

F1nutF1nut Posts: 43,594
edited February 3 in Speakers
Last year I purchased the standard S400 version and after my 30 day demo returned them due to their peaky/shouty nature. Right after I returned them Buchardt came out with a limited special edition, which a friend purchased. I listened to them at his house and liked what I heard, but he has very different gear and of course, a very different room. Fast forward to the present. He agreed to let me try his speakers at my house if I could lend him some, which I did.

I used 3 recordings that I remember revealed my issue the standard S400. Traffic - Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory (MoFi gold CD), Albert King - I'll Play The Blues For You (Stax SACD) and Aimee Mann - Bachelor No. 2 (MoFi SACD). Albert King loves to play his guitar loud and proud. With the standard S400 that was like ice picks in my ears at anything but very low volume. Listening to the S400SE at a good volume the guitar, while still loud and proud, didn't hurt my ears sounding like an electric guitar should. On the Traffic CD just after the beginning of the first song there is a sharp vocal attack, which on the standard S400 made me wince. Not so on the SE version. On Bachelor No. 2 there are vocal transients which get pretty loud. This was hard to take on the standard version. The SE handled them with aplomb. While listening to the SE I kept thinking how similar they sounded to my modded NHT SB3's with one exception, the Buchardt presents a wider sound stage....nice.

In a previous thread on the S400 I stated that I had a damn good idea what the cause of the peaky/shouty issue was, the Bennic/Dayton caps. The upgraded crossovers in the SE proved I was correct. It also proves that crossover components do indeed matter.

IMO, this is the only version of the S400 they should be selling. During the last year I demoed monitors in my office, which ranged from $5k to $7k, this SE version at $2600.00 beat all of them. If they do another run of the SE version I believe I'll have to buy a pair.

Link to previous thread, https://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/184028/zero-fidelity-reviews-the-buchardt-s400

Standard crossover.
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SE crossover.
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