Originally Posted by BassThatHz
Yep, they are 21's.
Sonus Faber Stradivari (the most expensive speaker I've ever heard) wasn't bad overall, it had a nostalgia to its sound, like sipping an expensive Cognac on a rainy day by a cozy cabin fire nook type sound.
Very inviting... but it sounded too warm in the mids and too thick in the bass for my tastes. Not aggressive or bright; more like overly laid back.
Everything in the B&W line below the 804's, sounded like excessively bright, overpriced poop to me.
I've only ever heard of a few brands before: Sonus faber, Paradigm, Klipsch, Polk, Energy and B&W. So I'm no expert. I should expand my horizons before my next upgrade.
By comparison, the B&Ws sound very analytical and transparent, almost to the point of being overly sterile, they tend to be extremely aggresive, and totally unforgiving of source and upstream equipment.
Overall they are not an inviting speaker to listen to most of the time, I can totally understand why that drives many people away from them.
I think you summed up Sonus Faber vs B&W well. I heard them 5 minutes apart and had the exact same impression - Sonus Faber was liquid smooth but overly warm and with less than tight bass ( driven by valve amps ). B&W sounded much more like a studio monitor than an audiophile speaker - more "accurate" but also harder to enjoy ( was driven by some solid state stuff ).
It's funny how some reviewers ( even more than a decade ago ) write that today high end is so good that they are all basically perfect ... what nonsense
Certainly that is true of wires, it may be true of the higher-end electronics ... but not of anything that has moving parts in it.
If you have never heard Martin Logan you may want to check them out. But they must be driven with a good amp - i know that's a cliche but with these i think it is actually true - probably has to do with capacitive impedance load. When i heard them on a regular receiver they sounded like a completely different speaker compared to when i heard them on a proper amp. On a good amp they almost combined the smoothness of Sonus with the brightness of B&W. There was still room for improvement in the bass though.
also may be impossible to use Martin Logan in the same setup with 21" subs as they might modulate the membrane into hitting the stators. this is the main reason why i'm not seriously thinking about electrostatic options - because i really loved the sound.
I think we may still in the future experience a system that is going to be an order of magnitude better sounding than anything we have heard - and i don't mean an order of magnitude in terms of specs - but in terms of actual experience. I think it should be possible for a system to sound SOBER as good, or ALMOST as good as a decent system sounds when stoned