Originally Posted by andrewtodd
As I said, I really don't know what word best describes the difference I noticed. I used the term laid back for the 212s because I felt like you could listen to them all day long without fatigue. I found the Meridian, B&W and KEF speakers to be very exciting but I'm not sure I could listen to loud music on them for 4 hours straight.
I actually prefer more a directive speaker so maybe It's not just a matter of taste but also that I need to seek medical help.
I was comparing the 212s to 802s/803s and 1 or 2 of my other favorite audiophile speakers. They sounded very different to me but I'm no where as near as knowledgeable about speakers as most people on the JTR thread. I just know my preferences when I hear them. I probably shouldn't say too much more as I think I'm about 1 comment away from being mistaken for a bose acoustimass lover.
Your opinion is just as valid as mine. Some people don't like subjective descriptions, but I think it can be helpful, combined with the objective stuff. Without the objective stuff, it's easy to go in circles.
Here's how I use the "audiophile" terms:
Smooth treble: Treble that isn't harsh/edgy/fatiguing.
Laid back treble: Upper treble rolls off to make it more smooth.
Smooth & detailed treble: Treble that is smooth despite not being rolled off. This is achieved by low distortion, especially odd-order harmonics. Also, good dynamic capability and lack of ringing can help with the detail.
Some speakers have a characteristic sound with either lacking or distorted treble.
In some speakers, it only appears at higher volumes.
Another common issue with treble is that not many tweeters are capable of high dynamics that are needed to create life-like impact. In general, higher frequencies require less energy, but dynamic peaks are the exception. This really helps to create a life-like sound.
The room also plays a big role. A room that's too reflective can make the treble sound harsh and without detail.
Once you have a speaker that has good capability in terms of frequency response, distortion, off-axis response, and dynamics, a lot of the other differences can be adjusted using a good EQ system. For me, Dirac has been great in this regard. I used to be super-concerned about a speaker's un-EQ'ed response since I hard a hard time correcting it with EQ without doing more harm than good. That hasn't been the case for me with Dirac, but not for everyone.
Anyway, I also was very impressed by 802s. In that price range for 2 channel, also check out Legacy Aeris. (I prefer the Aeris.) I just have a home theater, though, not a separate 2 channel setup. For my home theater, I prefer the 212s + 4 subs + Dirac over anything else I have heard. (I haven't heard 215s, Seatons, Danleys, or M2s.) One of the things that really impressed me with the 212s was that the treble quality was up there with the 802s and Aeris, but with better dynamics and directivity control. The remaining differences were easy to fine tine with EQ.