OK, it has been a long time coming, and for that I aporogize to all, but here is my review in full:
I am just going to run down my experiences over the entire weekend. To start, I had the pleasure Thursday night of getting to check out Popa's theater and boy was that a good time!!! Even with just 8 of his subs running, being in such a small place kinda cordoned off from the rest of the basement basically was like sitting in the front chamber if of a bandpass box and it was AWESOME!!!! We had a great time checkin out some scenes and tracks and it really was a good start to the long weekend!!
I was surprised to see that I was the first to arrive and Rilla's Friday afternoon, but took that as a great opportunity to get to know the room and kinda what Rilla had in mind for how things would roll! I had offered to be part of the moving crew, and, by the time people starting showing up, we had a good spot setup to start stacking up the speakers until we were ready to get them downstairs. We also got to listen to a few of Sib's offerings and the SVS's upstairs in Rilla's living room, so I had at least a little more experience with those to be slightly more prepared for the next day's festivities.
Friday night at Andrews was really fun to get to know several of the guys a little before the big day. It helped me to actually lock a few names and faces down before the onslaught that I knew was coming the next day. We had a great time grabbing some grub and getting the tracklist trimmed down afterwards. I have to say I was mega stoked when I came down and saw that Andrew had the Yorks going already, as they are one of the main speakers I was wanting to hear that weekend. Cheers to Rilla for getting them last second and adding them to the lineup!!! How awesome!!! Needless to say by the time my head hit the pillow that night, I was so wrought with anticipation it was virtually impossible to knock off.
So here we are, the day of the big event. We started hauling speakers down as fast as they were arriving and as the stack of different offerings grew in the back, so did my anticipation. We had some serious woofage goin' on!!!! We were pretty much on time getting started so without further useless recollection:Monitor Audio RX8
So being a part of the moving crew and seeing these little guys stacked in the theater next to speakers like the legacies and the LS6's they just looked tee-tiny, but please believe me they are more than meets the eye!!! We got these cranked up as our first offering, and there was no jitters or first to go nervousness from the monitors. Great looking speaker, awesome capable. They really took us out of the gates well and were a great start to the event. I didn't write any notes on these mainly because we were still getting some stuff moved down, and I didn't really have any reference to compare what I was hearing feeling yet. I will say that the Monitor's didn't seem to have any trouble reproducing the low end and I was actually quite surprised at how well pronounced it was coming from a box that size!!!
I had looked a some designs a while back with the RAAL tweets, and was looking forward to hearing these once I looked a little more into their specs. I had a little experience with Ascend as I previously owned the 240SE's and thought they were great!!! Using SEAS woofers, which I also used in my old car setup, I knew they would be capable. Well I wasn't dissappointed. I was amazed at how well they did with female vocals, and the top end of most of the tracks was spot on for me. When it came to passages with guitar I was split decision, as I felt like it did quite well with the bass guitar lines but when we got into the more rock genre section, the electric guitar was not presented as well as I thought it should be. The only other hole I would poke in my listening to these was in some of the very fast technical kickdrum passages, I felt they didn't have as much impact as I prefer. These speakers really did well with the more casual music and I felt overall they were an excellent package.
SVS Ultra Towers
Well I had gotten to hear a little bit of these the night before, and for someone not really wanting a sub, but still a big fan of a little extra "Umph" down low, well these are your speakers boy! There was much more output down low than the previous offerings, but hey, that is exactly why the 8inch sub was built into the bottom to begin with right??? I felt the sound carried well throughout the room and they were a pretty neat looking design with the angular rear face. I still felt these were a little harsh on the rock/metal tracks but the kickdrum area was improved on from the previous offerings, but I didn't feel it was due to the lower extension but more they could handle the quick hits of the drum a little better. On Tron I could really hear the breathing which was neat, but as has already been stated, this may have been more since they ended up a little hotter than the other offerings thus far.Beast's LS6s
Well these are mine, and I love them dearly for music, so I will leave my review at that. After a little hiccup getting these level matched, I think everyone enjoyed their presentation and I agree with many of you that they really throw a phenomenal soundstage, probably the best I have heard in all my systems and certainly up there with all the offerings that day. I do wish we could have given these some juice later on but time didn't allow. Perhaps they can show their face again sometime Legacy Focus SE
One word here, subdued. The Legacies were just clear, crisp and the top-end to me was never overbearing. I could literally listen to these without fatigue for days, not to mention look at them as well...Very laid back
These did everything quite well and they should have IMO. Lol. These got the rock and fast kick passages well while excelling quite well at the vocals and smoother tracks. Now here is the rub, I never once really got a "Wow" moment with these and that is what I live for when listening to music. Where these great at presenting the material? Heck yea! But on some of the most discerning passages, where there were big dynamic peaks or tough to handle nuances, they didn't quite give me the "holy crap" moment that the most inspiring speakers I heard that day did. For what it was worth I was listening to these pretty darn close to the sweet spot directly behind the couch and enjoyed watching the wak-a-mole session going on in front of me as people slowly discovered the smaller sweet-spot that these had compared to some of the other speakers. Others have stated the same, but these are a one-seat wonder when it comes to a sweet spot, and with them voiced the way they are, the room would be pretty nice with minimal treatment I would have to guess.
KRK 10-3s (played at the end of the event)
(reviewed at the end of the review)FULL RANGERSArx A5
I can't pass judgement on these as I didn't get to give them a full dedicated listen but from what I did get to hear, they were an INCREDIBLE value at where they are priced. The Neo ribbon was a smaller variant of what I have in the LS6's so I knew the top end would be good, and the XBL tech while may not have gotten to stretch it's legs fully, still filled in well and the sound was excellent and not lacking really in any area.SEOS Fusion 8s
Well running a pair of SEOS 12 inch speakers in my theater right now, I was more excited to see the surprise on everyone's face when they learned of the performance/value of these little guys. Sibuna did a killer job on the build and I was actually amazed at the ability of these to do as well as my 12's!!! These were the first set that incorporated horns and the difference in them compared to all the others thus far was pretty obvious. Much more foward and that sound that I relly like when I am running hard and enjoying verty dynamic music.JTR Single 8’s
Man, what a rediculous little performer here!! Light, powerful, and able to take an absolute beating. 1800 watts to this little guy is what Jeff said he had given it once and the drivers started to cry not too far away from clipping. I just want to know who else was listening at that point cuz wow!!! I felt these had a little more midbass than the fusion 8s when listening to a couple of the tracks. If you are looking for a good surround speaker for your big front stage, these can take it just fine, don't you worry one bit. If you are just looking for a quality small front stage, well, these are your guys too. If you are looking to get pretty close in performance, and don't like the price-tag, and don't mind building out a speaker, then see the previous speaker mentioned above. Both are just awesome for what they do.SEOS Tempests
Gonna post these both together as I kind of let others get front seat area on these as having a similar build to the sents, and knowing the Tempests would be similar to the fusion and sentinel combo, I knew others would enjoy hearing just how far a DIY build could really go. I wish we could have shown some folks the sentinel's potential down low but it's all good. I absolutely LOVE what has come up over the last few months using the SEOS horns and I bet the best is still to come...(Right Chop?)Yorkville U215s
Boy oh boy were these some big speakers, and THEY WERE ON WHEELS!! haha. It didn't matter to me. As I have stated previously in the thread, I couldn't care one bit about what a speaker looks like. Yes looks do matter at some point, but I tend to be on the mentality of performance speakers for itself. Well, anyway, I was already familiar with what these could do after editing the tracks down using them the night before, and needless to say they didn't dissappoint. They were my favorite speaker thus far and I tried my best to sell the LS6's so I could possibly walk out the door with them
haha. Remember Rilla, that bird's eye maple matches your hardwoods quite nicely upstairs!!!!! I didn't really have an optimal seating spot on these but the unity horn design just got my goat even a little off axis. dual 15's obviously had no issues handling the bottom end and these could absolutely crank without any issues with the 4311's power. This was the point where we really started putting the coal to the offerings and the beer was starting to go to our heads a shade, but was also the same time where we really started to stretch the limits of some people's comfort zone. I don't really have one, and will probably pay for it at some point, but right now as young as I am, I feel I can squeek out some heavy sessions every once in a while. I mean, it's not like standing next to a 10000 horsepower top fuel dragster, so it's not too bad. Hehe...JTR Noesis 212
In my opinion and what many are probably wanting to hear, (Or not) is that I feel they are a good step above the triple 12's. I had a pair of the triple12's and the 2way BMS is just a step above when it came to the clarity. What a ridiculous speaker and when we ran it with the EP4000 they were just crazy clear and nothing major to poke in their performance other than the fact that part of the reason I moved away from the Triple12's is I wanted a mains speaker that was able to run full range on it's own. Well these definitely need a sub, but once they take over around 80hz, to me it is just sonic bliss. The high shrill on the one track was just peircing and I LOVED IT!!!!
Seaton Cat 12Cs
What can I say about these that hasn't already been said. When we played a couple of real low bass tracks on these and i saw the stinkin 8" midrange moving about an inch back peak to peak I immediately knew it was something i wanted and would stop at nothing until I found it. Ok perhaps a 2000 watt on board amp is somewhat unfair playing ground, but when we actually were listening to the track list the first time through, they just seemed to me to be the most balanced, throughout the spectrum, and effortless. These were simply something for anyone to find a pair and listen to when they get a chance. It made me learn a few things about my tastes and what I want in my front stage. I have not heard a pair of submersives, but with two of the seaton 12c's I heard the most capable front stage that could plum the depths so easy it was crazy. Using a similar 12" woofer from AE right now, I was afraid to push mine to levels that I watched Mark just laugh at with the Cats. These full range are something that I won't stop until I can recreate somehow, someway. If I never find that, then I will just have to win the lottery and buy a pair of the 12c's!!!! Just a truly amazing speaker and breathtaking to watch work!!!!!
Rilla for getting all of us together and opening up his home to a big S-fest full of amazing speaker demoing!!!!!
Rilla's wife for her understand and flexibility to just take off for the weekend
Rush for selflessly handling the mix and making sure we all stay on point all day long!! As well as taking all of our editing requests and bickering and just cruising right along!!! Thank you for all the work you put into the weekend!
Jeff and Mark for bringing their flagship offerings and letting us really take control of their wonderful speakers while just sitting backseat and watching all of us enjoy their amazing builds!!!!
Popa for treating me to his theater before we got the insanity started. Man what an excellent weekend all around!!!!!
What many have not mentioned and I felt was one of the greatest things I took away from the even was the knowledge in general. Being in Western NC, I have a few enthusiasts around that can appreciate what we all around shoot for, but my regular crowd just thinks that I am plain insane with this stuff. I had an absolute blast shooting ideas back and forth between many of the attendees and it was just a breath of fresh air to be around so many other guys that are going for those systems that are "over the top" and will make any commercial theater scream in shame. I gained so much from seeing-hearing how other people approach system setup, design, etc. that I have to say even though I immensely enjoyed listening to all the speakers, what I took away from the event was so much more valuable. For any of you worried about ever attending one of these events because you don't feel "ready" or knowledgeable enough yet, just forget about that. We had every type of enthusiast there from new entrants into the hobby to two of the premier ID speaker designers (Thanks again for making the trip guys!!!!), but we were all there for the same thing, enjoying good speakers, company, and fellowship.
With all that said, I came back with some new ideas and designs in mind, and hope to take some of these on sooner rather than later.