If you read the reviews at www.cllements-prc.com they pretty much say it all. Very good sound at a very good price. I only pald $480 Canadian from a rep who was getting rid of them. Turns out that when he brought them in to demo most stereo stores were worried about picking them up. Mainly because side by side comparisons with other "big name brand" speakers weren't even close. These $850 speakers from Clements were blowing away the other $1000-$2000 mass produced stuff and the major "big name brands" reps didn't like it.
They are basic black but attractive enough to not look plasticy or cheap. Imaging is particulary good and bass is quck, taught and punchy, but not super deep and powerful. But highly effective and I don't feel lacking at all listening to music, even though I know I've heard more powerful bass.
I eventually upgraded the binding posts which on mine were cheap gold plated brass and plastic to solid Cardas copper. This gave a very minor but sharper increase in detail and minor but nicer improvement in transient speed and attack.
I also opened them up and did a better job of damping the interior. Mine came with a basic sheet of fabric which was acceptable but not great. After these damping upgrades the sound was improved significantly and opened up a lot more. Detail was very accurate and full of subtleties. From listening to a huge number of audio equipment over the years, I can say these now easily rival any 3-4000$ speakers out there. They have just been unbelievable value for me considering the price I paid.
They are highly efficitent so even basic recievers can power them well. When used with a high powered solid state or tube system, they are unbelievably good. If you have just mid fi components, they are above average, but they really shine with hi resolution equipment, which is ironic because they are so inexpensive.
If you can get a pair for a good price I would highly recommend auditioning them. They may not be right in every system, but you may be completely surprise by what they can do in a good system.
I give them 4 stars, because I'm rating them against Merlin's, Joseph audio's, Pro-ac etc etc. Against mass market stuff I'd give them 5 stars.
For over two years I owned a pair of the smaller Clements 107's which I love. Visiting GNP Audio one day (big mistake!!), I discovered a pair of the much larger floor-standing Clements 308's for sale.
(Since there's no listing for these, I'll describe them here -- they're somewhat bigger than the 206's)
I had been listening to wonderful speakers from Dynaudio and others in the $3000 and up price range. I was all set to buy a pair, when I spent an hour listening to these slightly scratched black-only Clements 308's. I kept wondering if there wasn't something wrong with me -- they sounded every bit as good as speakers costing three times as much, yet their list price was not much more than $1,000. They made the music sound rich, full, clear, just wonderful. They had none of the bass harshness or headachey quality a lot of other far more expensive speakers gave me. The highs were clear and sweet, not harsh or edgey.
When the salesman said they were a returned pair (apparently the wife objected)b/c of a small scratch or chip, and they were "remaindering" them for about half price of $500, I could not resist. So much for my dream of owning hugely expensive speakers giving superb sound. I guess I'll have to settle for less expensive (really cheap!!) speakers giving at least 98%, if not more, of the superb sound of far more expensive speakers--or for all I could tell, 100% of their sound.
GNP may not carry them any more because of perceived lack of careful finishing such as slightly rough metal edging around the speaker cones. As for me, the finish (black only) seems very good, the construction quality excellent, and I've been listening daily for over a year now and they get better and richer all the time. An amazingly fortuitous deal for me, but still a stone cold bargain at around $1K.
I've had these speakers for almost four years now and they sound better than when I got them. I'm no audiophile but I've read that speakers often sound better after a break-in period. My musical tastes run from Classic Jazz to Classic Rock to Acid Jazz to New Rock. Everything sounds superb. I even use them as the front channels for my surround sound system. I coupled them with Clements 107di's in the rear and 206C in the center to ensure similar voicing. It's literally a moving experience as they shake the house with crystal clear sound.
I have never had a problem with these either. Plug them in and forget about them! I strongly recommend these speakers.
After the first review, all I can really add is that he is absolutely correct. The 206di's are exceptional speakers for the price and compare favorably with many higher priced speakers. If anyone gets an opportunity to listen to the Clement 206di's, you are in for a treat. If your budget for speakers are under $2,000 should try these out.
I am an audio enthusiast with equipment on the low end of high end components. Last December I got a Rotel RA 985BX amp to replace a Nakamichi tuner/amp that was 10 years old. The Nakamichi had given me problems for years with a right channel that might or might not be there, depending on its mood, and I had not bothered to have it fixed.
The difference was amazing. There was a much higher level of clarity and definition with the Rotel. It made me want to listen to all my CDs again, one of the tests of improved equipment.
Recently I was looking for a pair of speakers to give my parents, along with my old Nakamichi, which had been fixed -sort of. At that time I was introduced to Clements loudspeakers. I was so impressed with the Clements 105di that I got a pair, even though they cost more than I had intended to pay. The 105di compared favorably with the Ryan MCL-1 speakers I had gotten ten years ago. I didn't think anything could beat the Ryans, which were a bargain at $400 and had received rave reviews for the exceptional value they represented. But here was a pair of smaller speakers for $250 that gave the Ryans a run for their money.
As a result, I listened to the Clements 107di, which were about the same size bookshelf speakers as the Ryans. I was so impressed I decided I would probably get a pair.
Wanting to hear the 107s again, I stopped off at a dealer in Prescott, AZ listed on the Clements website. This was on my return trip from dropping off the Nakamichi and 105s at my parents in New Mexico.
When I walked in the store, I saw refrigerators and washing machines, plus a few TVs. "Great," I thought, "A wild goose chase." This could not be a place for audiophile components.
But tucked in a humble cove was a small area set aside for speakers. There I spotted a bunch of speakers just set on a couple of shelves, and low and behold, among these were some Clements, which happened to be on sale because the store wanted to get rid of them. Later it was explained that the nice folks in these here parts (being obviously possessed of tin ears) liked the good-old name-brand stuff such as Polk and Infinity. It made me cringe. When will people learn to listen - literally?
Though the conditions were ghastly, I asked to hear some speakers. The salesman, who turned out to be the manager, was very nice and extremely accommodating, so I started in. I asked to use some CDs I had brought along and the listening began. The 107s were excellent, just as before. They were on sale for $399, down from $499 list. I compared them to a pair of floor-standing Monitor speakers that cost $599 and to my ears, the Clements were more pleasing. They were much more fluid and had greater depth. At $399 they were a real bargain and a tremendous value.
However, I also wanted to listen to the 206di which happened to be there. They list for $850, but I was considering treating myself to a higher-priced speaker and wondered how they would compare.
Under the conditions, it was difficult to tell at first whether the 206di was better or just different from the 107di. I was trying to decide whether the 107di was more transparent or just thinner in sound. The answer was clear when the CD I was listening to (Andreas Wollenweider "White Winds") had an oriental string instrument of some kind and it jumped to the front of the sound stage with a clarity on the 206di that just wasn't there on the 107di.
The manager said he had a pair of the 206di he wanted to get rid of. Apparently floor-standing speakers were harder to move than the bookshelf speakers. He said he would let them go for $699, below the original marked-down price of $749. The bargain was getting difficult to resist.
In the course of listening, he put the test CD on a pair of $2000 Monitor speakers. I liked the Clements 206di as well or better. That helped make up my mind. I was given a final price of $669 for a pair of the 206di. They had made me an offer I couldn't refuse.
I managed to get them loaded in my little Toyota Tercel and still have room to drive home. I was apprehensive about buying a set of speakers almost 300 miles from home. They would be a pain to return if they weren't what I expected.
Fortunately, that was not a problem. Once home, the 206di proved to be better than at the store, this even before they were properly burned in.
I don't have a tremendous vocabulary of audiophile terms. I can't go on about electrical phase curves, impedence compensation, spatial revelation and such things. But as the cliche goes, I do know what I like, and I like the 206di.
Sound is exciting on these speakers. They have a fuller, deeper soundstage than any bookshelf speaker I have heard, and I have heard some great bookshelf speakers. Of course, they should sound better given their design and higher price. But I have learned that cost is not the key in truly outstanding audio components (let alone in similarly-priced mediocre components either, i.e. Polk, Infinity et al). And remember the qualities of these speakers compare favorably, or beat, the sound of a $2000 pair of Monitor floor-standing speakers.
The midrange is solid and very satisfying. I am not a fan of booming bass lines, but I like a clear, well-defined bass. That is just what I get with the 206di. In Delius' "Florida Suite" there are subtle timpani phrases that were a little muddy and seemed just out of reach on my Ryans. I wanted a step up from that and got it. With the 206di these same phrases are still subtle, as they should be, but they now have a pleasing clarity that was never there before.
The highs are outstanding on these speakers, crisp and clean, just the way I like them. I listen to a lot of classical music and good highs are needed for the violins, flutes, cymbals, etc.
The 107di is well worth the money, and I would recommend them highly if you want an exceptional bookshelf speaker. But if you can afford to, it's worth stepping up to the 206di, even if you're not as lucky as I was and have to pay list price. Of course, there are more expensive speakers out there and they are better. But dollar for dollar, it is hard to beat the 206di.