The Fuss About Kudos Titan 808s
The Fuss About Kudos Titan 808s
The definition of a flagship speaker typically indicates it’s the model at the top of the range, often physically larger with a better finish or specification…
This is indeed true of the Kudos Titan 808, however, there’s more than just ticking boxes involved here. We love the Titan 606 and 707 so I have to be careful how I phrase this… The 808 isn’t just a bigger and better model, it is simply on another level.
Straight away I can hear more ease, more scale, more definition but ultimately a speaker that even when ‘plonked’ in an odd position to run in, should not sound this good. There is something just so ‘right’ about what they immediately produce, that I can honestly say I’ve never been drawn into a speaker so quickly, and especially when one is at a 40 degree angle to the other (yes this was to take an interesting picture!)
As is life, the phone rings, and we were taken away from the unboxing and running in, but within half an hour I found myself wandering into the demonstration room at least twice for further listening. With Roon playing on random, I just couldn’t help but be intrigued. I wish I had noted the tracks, however, even though they were the new to me, were instantly engaging on the Titans.
Disclaimer… we didn’t use Naim on this occasion. There is a huge misconception that Kudos are Naim speakers, and I don’t disagree, but this is far from an exclusive club.
What And How Do I Go Active?
The Titan series have been designed with many applications in mind, they are superb in passive mode and can even be passively bi-amped which is unique to the 808 model. The active configuration takes them to another level, and we have great experience of doing this with both Linn and Naim electronics.
To expand upon the above we have several options, and to keep things simple, let’s focus on Naim amplification…
To work actively, the 505, 606 and 707 require a Naim Snaxo 242, this is due to them being 2 way speakers which requires 4 channels of amplification (typically 2 x stereo amplifiers, twice your usual).
The above allows you to bypass the crossover in the speaker, providing direct connection between the amplifier and the drive units. Effectively you have moved the crossover into the electronics which is far more accurate and removes the limitation of the crossover components in the speaker, allowing the drive units to run full range. The Snaxo has been signed off by Derek Gilligan (owner and chief designer at Kudos) maximising synergy for their speaker.
The picture shows our Snaxo 242, used with our 606s. There are four outputs, labelled HF and LF (A and B). Dedicated low frequency and high frequency outputs to feed to the amplifiers directly driving the LF and HF drive units. The A sockets will be used with NAP200 or 250’s as they take a stereo connection through one cable, A and B are to be used for NAP300 or 500’s as they take the signal to each channel down individual cables (dual mono design).
Armed and Ready for Action
The Titan 808’s are a 2.5 way speaker that comes in the form of two boxes. I love the abstract angles where they meet and the port configuration between them means they’re very flexible to place in a room, even near a real wall if needs be!
Pictured above, you’ll notice passive inputs as well as active. The active ones are linked to make them work in passive mode and complete the crossover. For active you’d remove the links and feed directly to the drivers, ignoring the passive inputs
The top unit houses the tweeter and mid-bass driver whilst the lower cabinet houses the two bass drivers in isobaric configuration, if you’re a bass junkie these will certainly appeal but it’s not their sole purpose. The bass is fast, open, textured and detailed. Yes, they rock and yes, they go low, but oh my are the 808 refined and delicate whilst doing so!
The 808 requires a 3 way crossover, the Snaxo 362. It then needs 6 channels of amplification and the system starts to grow both in size and quality of performance. You’ll need to be obsessive about music to pursue this level of performance. I can’t think of anyone who has regretted the decision, however.
Some of you may be thinking that we’ve had 808’s before and their performance shouldn’t be news to me. True, but we’ve been taken aback by just how they’ve struck us this time. Something sticks in your mind and stays there. It feels like an epiphany and a newfound appreciation for Kudos and Derek Gilligan, the brains behind the Titan series and the whole Kudos family.
The 505 and 606 are amongst the best and most popular speakers we have at the barn. They are excellent at their price points and Kudos have worked wonders with their isobaric drivers and THAT tweeter…. which remains consistent in the 80
Are You Ready For Them?
We would be delighted to show the Titan 808s here at The Barn, followed by bringing them to your home for an extended home audition to see how they work in your space. To find out more, or book a demo, please drop us a line!
Jack & The Audiobarn Team