Originally Posted by thucker
Great job on the build. They all look really nice. Would you mind sharing your listening impression of each of them and how they compare to each other? It would really help someone like me who's considering building any of them (Solstice and SR-71 for me).
I don't have the Solstice fully broke in yet so hard to say, they sound better every time I listen to them. I probably have 60 hrs or so on them. I like to give speakers 100 before considering them broke in.
Listening impressions for the Solstice this far is Very neutral midrange is just about as good as it gets out of any speaker I have ever heard. All vocals female and male, screams to whispers come across smooth and natural. I used to be a drummer so know what drums should sound like, Toms bass snare all sound lifelike and no reduction or small thin sounding. Highs are non fatiguing and crystal clear. I can hear every nuance of the drummers cymbal work, to a slight bell tap to some mistakes they probably thought no one would ever hear. I have heard things I have not heard on too many other speakers in my life. All instruments come across natural, a violin sounds like a violin a grand piano sounds just as it should, again nothing sounded reduced in size or small. Sound stage is quite large extending to outside of the speakers by quite a ways, It is also very persist, everyone and everything is in the correct place. They are pretty brutal of revealing the source though, if you have poor recordings they will sound poor and thin, but all my speakers are like this. Bass is extended deep and tight. It never sounds boomy or muddy and I was shocked by the amount of bass these two 6" drivers in this MLTL cabinet deliver. I was fully expecting to have to use my subwoofer but I have not used it at all since I got these. bass is better deeper and tighter than some Klipsch Forte II (12" woofer, 15" passive) I had. You should go to the parts express forum and read some other reviews on these as well, all of them are excellent.
The SR-71 are also neutral sounding, smooth and revealing. I have heard things on these I have not heard on other high end speakers. Non fatiguing, not laid back not forward, just a pleasure to listen to with or without a sub. No slouch on bass either down to 38 HZ. Note: I made mind a bit bigger 1.8 liter and tuned them a litter lower than the specs. Soundstage is not as big as the solstice though, but impressive for a "bookshelf" speaker. Sometimes thought they made me jump with some recordings, it sounded like someone was right next to me. The Solstice have done this as well. It has been real hard picking a winner between the two on mids up but will give it to the Solstice just because of its deeper bass and bigger soundstage. Both sound like speakers costing several thousand dollars if you got them from a big chain manufacturer.
One note, the Solstice need an amp, they are a 4 ohm load and a bit power hungry. I am running mine with a B&K Reference 125.2 S2. putting 185 watts RMS into each one and they sound plenty good and get loud enough for me.
The XLS Encore are an unbelievable bargain, a tad on the bright side of neutral but not bad at all and seem to sound good no matter what you throw at them. I have listened to them all day pretty loud and no fatigue. All the time I was listening to them I was thinking this kit cost less than 200 bucks?
I hope this helps. Kevin