Just to clarify - The ESS AMT drivers were being used with my hornshoppe horns and an OTL setup. The Tikandi was a complete speaker system using DEQX. Although the Tikandis were calibrated remotely, we never had the chance for the rep to come out and personally configure the system, although part of the configuration was to be the addition of a new front wall to create a more perfect physical space. This seemed a little extreme, considering the DEQX was supposed to correct for room anomolies. Nonetheless, with the system remotely calibrated by the rep there was a definite frequency bloom in the midrange which created a very forward and unnatural push in vocals, specifically female vocals. The side firing woofers also created somewhat of an issue in the room. Specifically, the room is 13x26 with a 9 foot celing. The side walls are 5' high and then there is an angled portion of the sidewall that eventually meets the ceiling. I'll post some photos when I have a chance. There are some basic absorbers and diffusers in the room - nothing exotic.
I had considered taking my two F112s out of my other system and using them with the 7t. Mind you, this is a two channel only setup. I brought one up to the second floor where my system is and gave it a test run. The difference, much to my surprise, was not night and day. With the sub playing I got a little more heft, but I didn't feel like I was missing much in the way of extension without it running. Again, two channel only - but I would be interested in hearing what Steve thinks by bringing the subs in and out during two channel playback.
How to they sound in the room? Sublime. Two channel stereo recordings take on another dimension. On Jen Chapin's recording of You Haven't Done Nothin' the saxophone hangs in a space higher and extended far more to the left than the television sound from Roger Waters' Amused to Death. Whereas Amused to Death uses phasing to create spacial effects, the Jen Chapin recording does not, and the saxophone presents in a clear, natural way (Craig mentioned I was a musician - I play saxophone, piano and guitar). With a recording such as Cantate Domino by Oscar's Motet Choir the pipe organ presents with extension, authority and clarity. As the crescendo builds it is as if the listening space becomes endless in all directions. Want to hear a Les Paul junior through a Laney Amplifier? Throw on Money for Nothing, sit back and listen. I own a les paul and a Marshall full stack. Not the same, but there is a certain quality to a guitar amplifier that is seldom captured on a recording. When I play Money for Nothing for my audiophile friends they ask if it is a special recording. It isn't - either is the recording of Pink Floyd's Speak to Me, where Gilmour's guitar amp could be sitting in the front left corner of the room. Piano? I won't even go there. I constantly hear people saying that their system sounds like a real piano. I have never heard a sytem that presents piano like a real piano. Never. Period. Not even this one. I have the fortunate circumstance of having a somewhat decent frame of reference for piano sitting downstairs in my house - a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial 9' 6" concert grand. This one:
It sounds like a piano. Pianos on every great audio system I've heard sound great, but it still doesn't sound like having a piano in the room. Close, yes - but not real like Knopfler's and Gilmour's Amps do on this system.
I could go on, citing examples from 2Ls The Nordic Sound, how individual choir members can be pinpointed with ease. I can tell you that one of the great things about having a system that can present clarity and realism is that at higher SPLs it can be so unfatiguing on the ears that I could easily fall asleep with the system running at a fair tilt after a hard day's work. All in all, it's just an amazing "little" setup. There is something to be said about the Synergy between the Theta-Aerial pairing - it just works. Cabling is Cardas Clear and power cords are Sablon Audio Gran Corona. No power conditioning. Here is the room set up with the old system (which used RSA power conditioning)
I'll get more photos of the new setup as soon as I have a chance.