Buchardt Audio S300 MK II Speakers.
Price: $1200 (April, 2019)
Overall Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ¾
Many reviewers on YouTube and CNET review were praising Buchardt Audio S300MKII as new speaker God was born to save us from buying expensive speakers, some even said better than speakers from mainstream brands costing three four times as much.
My viewers were also asking me to review Buchardt speakers and share my opinion, so I bought the speakers with my own money to see how much of online hype is true and how much of Buchardt Audio saying is true, are they really giving us greatest bargain of the century.
Buchardt Audio says "No Frills. No BS. Just good sound. We've eliminated everything deemed unnecessary to the speakers, including expensive marketing, distributors, agents, and Hi-Fi dealers. By selling directly to the consumer, we eliminate 60-70% of the cost in comparison to other brands"
Base on the quote above, I will be getting one hell of a speakers, so I was thinking may be I'll be getting performance like KEF Reference 1 or B&W 805 D3 or may be something like Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolution. FYI: I have long history in manufacturing background, I know how much is cost to make a product in China and final assembly in Western Nation.
When I received the speakers from UPS International shipment, shipping box was in almost perfect condition. Speakers were nicely packed and well protected.
Immediately open the box to see how they look and feel, they were absolutely right about "We've eliminated everything deemed unnecessary to the speakers" because speaker cabinet looks a little better than Flea Market Subwoofer Box. I was looking to see what other quality parts it might have and I found good quality binding posts in the back. Thats about it for outside of the cabinets.
I will get to the drivers later.
It get me very curious to see whats inside the box, To see whats inside, I put my endoscope camera inside the cabinet of Buchardt S300MK2 speakers. As I went through the bass reflex port with camera I noticed that the whole bass reflex tube was made of hard cardboard to my surprised but ends were made of plastic, I have not seen cardboard bass reflex port tube in above $500 speakers, they were right about it again.
Further I went into the speaker I saw a tweeter with SB Acoustics logo and model number SB26STAC-C000-4($41.60 each) back of the soft dome tweeter, as I went further in I don't see any bracing or reinforcement for the cabinet.
When I get to the Bass driver, which is also made by SB Acoustics and model number is SB17MFC35-4 which retial for $60.30 each.
(All retail prices on Madisound website as of May,2019)
When I get to the bottom I saw the biggest crossover I have ever seen in two way monitor speakers. I realize this speaker was designed to sound it best with good crossover design with readily available off the shelf average drivers, instead of making propriety drivers for the design of the speakers. (NOTE; Average drivers means anyone can buy it)
Build quality of the speaker cabinet is about same quality as ELAC B6.2 ($299.98 retail) and I was not impressed with S300MKII in overall build quality but most important thing is sound quality, If the sound quality is great I can forget about cheaply build cabinets and off the shelf drivers, so I put them in unused bedroom to break them in at loudness level of 80-95db in daytime and 50-65db at nighttime for a little over two weeks for 24/7. After that break-in period I use them in TV room next to JBL Studio 590 speaker to see how they sound with watching movies, paired with Denon AVR. My wife immediately said dialogues are not as clear as 590s, I did notice that as well.,
So I use them in TV room for a few days and moved S300MKII to my music den.
I spent about another two weeks of listening to them, comparing with KEF LS50 speakers.
As I went through all my favorite music I noticed, this speaker was voiced to sound rich and sweet, not for accuracy, not for dynamics and attack. Bass is deep but not tight or fast, decently clean sounding but not satisfactory for my taste.
Midrange is good but not accurate and natural sounding, vocals were thicker and fuller than any speakers I've heard and reminds me of Monolith K-Bas Speakers.
Highs were smoothly rolled off and pretty musical but nothing really there to keep it as my everyday music listening speakers, so it is the end of the road for me with Buchardt Audio S300MKII Speakers, If not for SB Acoustics drivers and sophisticated crossover network I was going to call them Internet Direct White Van speakers, I was really disappointed with overall experience, I'm not sure how all those reviewers can sleep at night.
I can not give wrong information to anyone, after all, this Buchardt Audio S300MK2 is overly hyped product by manufacturer and dishonest people. I would gladly buy Wharfedale Denton 80th Anniversary if I'm after smooth musical sound, S300MKII is over priced speaker with okay sound quality, I don't understand how those people can praised the speakers publicly.
My advice is, when many people(reviewers) praising the very same speakers, they must be on something, don't forget, you are the one who's going spend $1200 for cheaply made product with decent sound quality but you can do better than that with $1200.
Highly Recommended to those who love smooth laid back sound with cheaply made cabinet for $1200 price tag.
"No Frills. No BS. Just good sound. We've eliminated everything deemed unnecessary to the speakers, including expensive marketing, distributors, agents, and Hi-Fi dealers. By selling directly to the consumer, we eliminate 60-70% of the cost in comparison to other brands"
The quote above is 100% true if they sell them at $600-700 for a pair, otherwise over priced and over hyped product. Because No Company paid retail price for components, we're looking at about 50-60% below retail price at wholesale for drivers and parts, reality is selling directly to consumer we keep 60-70% more in profits.
So, above quote doesn't mean anything to me other just plain BS.
Pros: Smooth Sound, Easy To Listen, Good Customer Service.
Cons: Average Build, Average Drivers, Not Enough Dynamics, High Price.
Build Quality: ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
Highs:⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
Midrange: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️½
Bass: ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Sound Stage:⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ½
Price: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ½
Associated Equipment List,
PSB Alpha P5
15" Apple MacBook Pro
Music by Bozzio Levin Stevens
Music By Grace Mahya
Denon Integrated Amp
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AudioQuest Big Sur RCA Cables
AudioQuest Type 4 Cables
KnuKonceptz eKs Banana Plugs
PS Audio AC-5 Powercord