Beolab 17 better than Beolab 9?

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Home Forums Product Discussion & Questions BeoLab Beolab 17 better than Beolab 9?

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  • #42133
    WP61
    BRONZE Member
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      Beolab 17 vs Beolab 9 – no comparison?

      These are very different speakers so they cannot be compared – or so you might think.

      But that’s exactly the position in which I found myself and I’d be interested to see what others who have heard both speakers think.

      I wanted some smaller speakers to replace my sonically perfect but too large Focal Diva Utopia.

      I was prepared to sacrifice some sound quality and after a lot of looking, came up with BL9 and BL17 on the shortlist. I wasn’t going specifically for B&O, there just seemed to be no other options.

      A friend has a pair of the BL9 and I have always been impressed by their effortless power and tautness BUT whenever I heard the BL9, I also found the treble to have a harsh edge. Coming from the Utopias I thought this was perhaps not surprising as I had got used to the super smooth Be tweeter on the Utopias, which are renowned for being very sweet while still utterly revealing.

      I then saw a rave youtube review of the BL17. But I almost ruled them out straight away as they only have a 6” bass speaker – far too tiny for my large room I thought.

      Happily a local dealer had both some second-user BL17 and BL9 on demo so I went along.

      My conclusion

      –          BL9 tweeter definitely harsh – not just down to the individual pair owned by my friend

      –          BL17 completely amazing, no treble harshness while every bit as open as the Utopias.

      –          BL17 did not sound small! It wasn’t a case of “For a small speaker, these are great” They were just fantastic.

      Yes the BL17 do lose out on the full scale of the BL9 but that’s a small price to pay.

      So – I have the 17’s and I have paired them with a Rel sub (S5) which adds the bottom end power that the BL17 lack on their own. The BL17 do go very low but not with huge power

      So – I’m curious to know what do others think about the BL9 vs BL17?

      And does the BL20 have a better tweeter than BL9?

      #42134
      Curly
      GOLD Member
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        Another win for BL17! Any thread that extols their virtues has my attention. The BL17 fandom never gets old. I love mine. While I expect to soon have a surround setup consisting of Theater, BL28 or BL50 front and BL17 or BL18 rear, I sometimes think having a 5.0 system of Theater + 4x BL17 would be plenty and spectacular. What an underrated and wonderful product. I really hope it gets a replacement.

        And I’m so glad you enjoy yours, WP61.

        #42137
        Mr10Percent
        BRONZE Member
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          Today, I just pulled the tigger on a used pair of BL17’s. These will go as my Office speakers and the office BL3’s will move to height speakers with the Theatre.

          I considered the keeping the BL3s and adding a BL11 but in the end kept the simplicity. Ill give the BL17s a review and see if they are worth the fuss.

          My direct opinion on the BL17 per the threads above is that it seemed to me to be an unrealistically expensive loudspeaker. It looked like BL4000 but at its EoL, B&O were charging I think £3600-3800. Compared with other offerings – no matter how good the Bl17s are/were, that looks a lot of cheddar for a small simple-looking loudspeaker.

          #42138
          Sandyb
          BRONZE Member
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            The 17s were 2600 GBP at launch.

            But as you say, the price rose to a point that when I bought my 18s in 2015, the 17s were only a bit cheaper….so I went with 18s quiet happily.

            That said, now that I have 50s up front (18s now gone), I am changing my rear 3s in my living room for rear 17s…..and am quite looking forwards to it!

             

            #42139
            Curly
            GOLD Member
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              I think there’s an argument to be made about whether many B&O products are worth their retail price relative to competitive products. This includes the 17s, which were I believe about $5,000 USD at EOL (not including floor stands or wall mounts–floor stands were another $800 for a pair).

              $5k -6k can buy a significantly larger, more full-range speaker with bigger sound. (For simplicity, I’m ignoring other total system costs including amplification and sources.)

              BUT… price aside for a moment, I think a listen to the 17s will always show them to be a very capable and great sounding speaker. They sound much larger than they look.

              And price back into the equation now, since we can get 17s pre-owned for far less than retail, I think they make more sense in the context of an all-B&O system. KEF LS50 Wireless IIs are about $2800 USD. So, 17s at around $2k seem reasonable.

              Congratulations to a few of you who are just buying 17s now. You are in for a real treat.

              #42140
              WP61
              BRONZE Member
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                Interesting to bring up LS50 wireless.

                Has anyone A-B the LS50 wireless vs BL17’s?

                #42135
                WP61
                BRONZE Member
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                  I really hope it gets a replacement.

                  ———————————————————–

                  I suspect the reason for no BL17 replacement is that if the secret really was out (of just how capable the BL17’s are), it would take sales away from the more expensive offerings, just as you are pondering.

                  But for those for whom the larger offerings like BL28 are not an option (due to size or expense) the only alternative would be the Balance. I’ve not heard this but by all accounts the BL17 are superior.

                  I did listen to BL18 a while back. They are also quite large and imposing in a room and I found the mid-bass to be quite muddy.

                  #42136
                  LeMirage
                  BRONZE Member
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                    Also adore my set of 17’s!

                    Interesting  analysis by the way regarding “cannibalization” of the 28’s ! I have read many times that sales ratio 18 vs 17 was about 10 to 1 so that probably being the reason the 17’s had such a remarkable short commercial B&O career . But there could be something more indeed…

                    I have already wondered myself if a well tuned 17/19 combo versus a pair of 28’s actually would be the easy win for the 28’s that a man would expect looking at difference in size (of the pricetag….)

                    If only the OEM floorstands where a bit higher, that would have made them even more suitable for a dedicated stereo setup , with a 19 or alone.

                     

                    #42142
                    WP61
                    BRONZE Member
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                      OK – I guess B&O & KEF don’t mix here….

                      To return to BL9 tweeter harshness – do people agree?

                      How does BL20 tweeter compare vs BL17?

                      #42141
                      Sandyb
                      BRONZE Member
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                        doubt anyone here has…in the end B&O customers are very unlikely to have auditioned the LS50’s.

                        For the record though, I suspect KEF have done plenty of things well with the LS50s, given how successful they’ve been.

                         

                        #42143
                        BeoTool
                        GOLD Member
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                          OK – I guess B&O & KEF don’t mix here….?

                          “Now the music divides
                          Us into tribes
                          You choose your side and I’ll choose my mine”
                          ~ Arcade Fire

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