I did have the opportunity to listen to the Stealth 8s at the Emotiva complex in Franklin Tn. Here is my two cents.
Attached â€“ my wife with the Emotiva mascot â€“ unfortunately I had to tell her Jackson was not for sale!
First and foremost, visiting Emotiva was a very pleasant and informative experience. Emotiva sales and engineering folks are world class â€“ knowledgeable, extremely professional and courteous. Both my wife and I felt relaxed and were treated like VIPs. They took their time to demonstrate all the various products and answered the many questions I had. This was actually no surprise given the experience Iâ€™ve had with them on the phone.
My original intention was to audition their amps and preamps â€“ not monitors. I was interested in the UMC-200 and XMC-1 (got to see but not hear) preamps along with the XPA-3 and XPA-2 amps for my HT overhaul. My curiosity had the best of me after reading so many positive Emotiva reviews. I just had to hear them myself. So I jumped at the chance to actually listen to them at the Emotiva HQ in Tennessee. All it took was a phone call and we were given the OK to stop by.
I am writing about the Stealth 8 monitors so I wonâ€™t say much about the amps, although I am very impressed â€“ audio craftsmanship at its finest, period!
Again, I had absolutely no intentions of listening to Near/Mid Field monitors. But it happened, I was given the chance to listen to the Stealth 8 monitors and they were quite a surprise. Before I actually listened to them I had to touch, partially lift, fully examine, etc., and came to the immediate conclusion these had a solid high quality build. OK, fire them up!
Wow, simply amazing! The soundstage gave the feeling the drum kit I was listening to was hovering in mid air, right in front of me. The lows were impeccable and powerful â€“ wonderfully palpable. Something Iâ€™ve missed from my current HT setup using Mackie 824s and 628s. The Mackie combination worked in a smaller room, but I have since moved and now have a larger HT room where the SPL from the Mackie monitors gets swallowed up. I even took the surrounds (624s) and paired with the 824s to get more SPL â€“ did not help much. I did not have time to audition vocals on the Stealth 8s, but what music I did hear blew me away.Bottom line
â€“ after listening to these Iâ€™m now considering ditching my pre/pro and amp separates with new tower speakers and matching center channel design to replacing the Mackies with the Stealth 8 monitors. New preamp and Stealth 8s â€“ done! This eliminates the need for new cables and separate amps. Just my thoughts.
Mackie 824 has a woofer size of 8.75â€ť, 100dB SPL @ 1meter and freq. response of 39Hz to 20K Hz +/- 1.5 dB. Low â€“frequency amp is 150 watts and the high is 100 watts with THD < .035%. Weight: 32 lbs. S/N > 102 dB, reference to 100 watts into 6 ohms. The 624s are similar and smaller.
Emotiva Stealth 8 has a woofer size of 8â€ť, 115dB SPL @ 1meter and freq. response of 30Hz to 23K Hz +/- 1.75 dB. Low â€“frequency amp is 200 watts and the high is 200 watts with THD not specified. Weight: 41.5 lbs. S/N not specified.
(specs summarized for convenience only â€“ ref actual specs at corresponding web sites)
Attached â€“ current setup with Anthem AV-2 pre driving Mackie 824s and 624s for fronts â€“ consider replacing with Emotiva Stealth 8.