Alrighty, i wanted to start with saying hifisponge that i read your thread about your long search for THE speakers - and it was fun to read your thoughts, since i listened to most of those speakers myself. So before talking about the Curves I wanted to give you a background of what i previously listened to and what i compare the Curves with.
At first my journey started since i wanted to invest in better speakers. I started as i guess most people do, by visiting a couple of hifi-stores (with a couple of CDs under my arm) and went trough what they had to offer, speaker and amplifier wise.
I live in Stockholm (Sweden) and we are lucky to actually have alot of good hifi-stores. One place is called Hifiklubben and they have many good brands: Denon, NAD, Cambridge, Dali and B&W, this is where it started for me (and many other Swedish ppl). I will be namedropping speakers i listened to during the last couple of years and short comments of how i (as far as i can recall) liked the sound. I guess the speaker flora could be somewhat different here i EU than in the US, but you guys can use google can't you (if you are curious what speaker I'm talking about)? B&W 804S
(NAD M3) - they were good, but too laid back, the magic never really happened. It could have been the room, but the bass was not what i wanted either.
Dali Helicon 400 MK2
(NAD M3) - Great speakers, i really like what Dali has done with the dome/ribbon combo - sounds great - especially womens voices. The looks really help too, the one thing i was missing, was the ability to move some more air and really get that punch in the chest-area.Dynaudio Sapphire
(Ayre unknown model of amp) - wow what a speaker, costly yes, and sorry to say not that good looking either. But the lower tones are terrficaly carved out with alot of structure and details, combined with a great tweeter, this is my number #2 all time favourite - only surpassed by the Curves (coming to them later).MBL 101e
(MBL:s own mono-block amplifiers)- This is really not a normal speaker, this is a monument, looking like something in a sci-fi movie. But man what a soundstage and dynamic these speakers put on. The special tweeter, midrange construction shoots sounds in all directions, creating a sense of you beeing wrapped around by music. This combined with a bass-element capable of producing sounds straight down to 20 Hz - this is as good as it gets. But this is not a normal speaker, that you put in a living room, therefore, in my book - the MBL101e does not count. But still they are the best speakers i have ever heard.
Focal Grande Utopia EM
(Bridge Audio Lab, BP-1 MK II)- I actually, for the first time, was a bit afraid siting in the sofa with these to staring at me, waiting for the music to start playing. It felt like, if the guys cranking up the volume did something wrong, i probably would blow away. It was a cool experince, but Focals sound is not for me, it's a little bit like B&W, sounds too correct, too boring for me. I actually did not even think they sounded closely as good as they "should have"Monitor Audio PL-300
(First time unkown amp, second Bladelius Ymer + Bladelius pre) - Ok i dont know if the amps i listened both are a catastrophic match (highly unlikely), but i feel i have a totaly different opionion than other persons about these speakers. The lower frequencies are fantastic - love them. But the ribbon tweeter - yeeez - it's so bright! Some people complaining about Dali speakers being overly bright - it's like silk compared to these guys. The ribbon is really something, it brings out so much details you cant almost believe it, more than even Martin Logan, but it gets so sharp on high volumes, you cant almost bear the sound - a complete no no for me to buy.
Martin Logan CLX
(Dont remember amp) - Same thing here, they did not sound closely too their price. The sounds was amazingly large yes, and extremly crispy and detailed, but it was like the worlds largest satelite speaker, since it couldn't even produce sounds below 45Hz or so. Ok add a subwoofer or two you say, yeah maybe so, but the speaker itself did not sound all that great.Heil Kithara
(Do not remember amp) - a ugly little son of a bitch, having the original A.M.T. drivers for highs and mid - and i have to say i really like it! If looks is of no importence to you, you would have a hard time finding better value for your money than the Kitharas - simply fantastic speakers.B&W 802D
(Classé Delta CA-5200 + Classe preamp) - Great highs and mids, once again i did not like the bass (could be room problems again). Sorry to say B&W are great, but they really don't do it for me, somekind of joy and magic in the music is missing, i think it's too correct for me or something TAD Reference One
(Krells new standing amps) - I got a great demo of these. Amazing speakers, The bass is fantastic and the midrange and highs are flawless - the speakers is in size so it's almost possible to have it in a living room - but it better be a big room
. The price though is trough the roof and i don't count these speaker as a "normal" speaker. It's up there with the MBL and Focal Utopias and such. And with that competition they fall short to the MBL:s, who has something more to offer than a speaker that looks like speakers usally do (just bigger).Dali Mentor 8
(NAD M15 + M25) - This is the setup i own, so maybe no huge suprise that i really like this setup
They sound has the same caracter as in the Helicon 400, but with the difference that they got some real punch with the double 8" bass-elements. It's not the perfect speaker, it can get overly bright sometimes, and they dont really like bad recordings. But in it's pricerange (which was the pricerange i was able to afford) they are really hard to beat. Only one i listened to, maybe doing so is the Kitharas. It's a close call
Alright, i listened to many other speakers as well, but i wrote all this to show you i aint the guys who listened to a speaker or two and just happened to bump into a pair of WB:s. In my opionion the Wilson Benesch speakers are truly great, compared to very many of the greatest speakers out there.
Now it's too late too keep writing, so sorry it will have to wait a day or two more, two give you a little story about my meeting with the Curves.