Layman's review/comparison of the Triad InRoom Platinums and the new Legacy Focus SE AMT - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 66 Old 03-19-2014, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Integra 7.9 AVR

Bryston 14SST driving the mains.

Seaton Submersive HP+ and Slave

 

 

I use layman in the title because I personally do not hold myself up to the level of many here who have much more experience in not only actually hearing and owning a lot more speakers of this level than I have but are a little more adept at authoring a review like this but I'll give it a shot.

 

I am mainly a 2-channel stereo guy so I'm always leaning that direction when I evaluate.

I had three people over. One brought his measuring equipment and we went through Audessy and did the room check with his omni-mic  and software. He is a Triad Platinum home theater owner so he has a better feel if things are setup right or wrong.  We all agreed that my room wasn't optimum but it was what I had. We dialed the Plats in pretty well with the Seaton HP+ and Slave subs.

I did not change out the center. We used the Legacy Marquis. The main reason for this is I was only interested in 2-channel and the center was not going to sway me either way. The centers are bears to move around.

 

The Triad Platinums were no slouches. We actually spent most of the time listening to them. The big comparo that made the Leagacy AMT stand out was listening to Nils Lofgren's "Keith Don't Go" track. When he hits those super high string notes the AMT's just sing and do it loud with ease where the Plat's seemed to reveal some strain at the higher levels. The other thing I noticed about the Legacy's is their ability to hit loud snare type drum hits with power and precision with their dual 12" spun aluminum woofers, where the Plat's needed to spread some of this over to the subs. I think a little dynamics gets lost in that spread.

 

We watched a bunch of movie material later ... all with the Plats.  They were flawless, loud and precise in this particular mode. Movie material is just so varied especially when you add all the surrounds and center.

 

After hours of listening, I still maintain my opinion that the Legacy Focus SE's simply could not be bested in terms of sound stage and tweeter "airiness". That AMT setup is just the cats meow. I also like the fact that the Legacy's are full range. They have less of a transition between tweeter/mid/woofer and sub drivers.

 

 

Triad InRoom Platinum:

 

+ Strong, precise, superbly damped... gives them a super quality sound. Smooth as velvet. Lots of punch and refined highs. A welcome sound after listening to compression tweeters a while back.

   The look, fit and finish of the Platinums is pure professional high end quality. Well designed, contemporary style. Designed specifically as a true high end home theater LCR requiring subs which allows them to concentrate on everything above 80hz. The tweeter design is probably at the high limit in quality of high frequency production for a domed design. Precise and easy on the ears.

 

- Although you can push them hard, they tend to show signs of strain in the high end at "too loud" levels. You can take that with a grain of salt as most don't listen to their systems that loud. Price point a couple of g's more than the Legacy's per pair.

 

Legacy Focus SE AMT:

 

+ The AMT upgrade made a huge difference from the non-AMT set I had last year. Sweet spot is quite a bit larger. The airiness of this tweeter system is I believe, a benchmark. Since this is a full range system, you really don't even need a sub but with a sub, WOW, what a nice continuum in lower bass. Dual spun aluminum woofers really pop with drum solos.

The finish quality of the cabinets are way over the top at this price point. Absolutely stunning.

 

- Some material can make these guys have a slight harsh edge. Not as refined, at times, as the Triads.     

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post #2 of 66 Old 03-19-2014, 02:00 PM
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Did you use the same crossover point for both?
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post #3 of 66 Old 03-19-2014, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes. Decided that 80 would be a good point for both since we were using the more than adequate subs.


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post #4 of 66 Old 03-19-2014, 02:07 PM
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Thank you for the review. Few people have ever heard either speaker (me included) and you had both in your room. I know they both have fantastic reputations. VERY NICE!!!!!
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post #5 of 66 Old 03-19-2014, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frohlich View Post

Thank you for the review. Few people have ever heard either speaker (me included) and you had both in your room. I know they both have fantastic reputations. VERY NICE!!!!!

 

Thanks. An audio retailer might have them both but yea, for someone to have both in a home setting to evaluate is kinda cool. 


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post #6 of 66 Old 03-19-2014, 02:31 PM
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Excellent write up! cool.gif Thanks for sharing.
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post #7 of 66 Old 03-19-2014, 02:42 PM
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I was fortunate enough to attend last night, along with a few other forum members. Thanks Mike, for having me over. smile.gif

I got there a little early and we took some measurements. We didn't really have an opportunity to do much tweaking, but we did re-run Audyssey XT using the Triads along with the Legacy Marquis and the Paradigm in-ceiling surrounds, as well as the Seaton Submersive Master/Slave combo.

Here is the result of the Audyssey run just for the bass response:



The green trace is pre-Audyssey and the purple trace is post-Audyssey. You can see that Audyssey did a nice job from 20 to 120 Hz. We used an 80 Hz crossover, so the nulls at ~130 and 200 Hz were caused by the speakers. A little tweaking of speaker placement could probably improve that. The spectrogram in the upper right was from the pre-Audysey run. I didn't save the spectrogram from the post-Audyssey run, but it greatly reduced the resonances at ~40 and 65 Hz. It didn't do much with the big one at 20 Hz, nor did it cut the big peak in the response there.

We did a couple of manual switches between the Legacy's and Triads, with Mike physically moving the speaker cables from one speaker set to the other. Therefore the A/B was not immediate or ideal. We did this listening in 2-channel with Audyssey's EQ off, but the levels and distances left unchanged. We probably should have done a manual recalibration for these tests, but we didn't have the time or the level of compulsiveness to mess with it. We listened to the Nils Lofgren track that Mike mentioned.

After that exercise, we listened to some other content on the Triads and the rest of the system, both in multi-channel and 2-channel. Mike's Panny DVD player would not play SACD's, so we couldn't check out the few of those I had brought along. Nonetheless, we had no shortage of demo material.

My first comment about the sound is that I was once again struck by how much effect the room has on the sound quality. Mike's room is a beautifully furnished wide open, rectangular room with the HT area off to the right side. It also has 2 large expanses of windows with no drapes. It has very little absorptive material other than an area rug and some leather furniture. As a result, the room imprinted a significant sonic signature onto the sound, especially when the levels got "spirited." It's a very "lively" acoustic space and the sound gets reflected around pretty strongly. The ringing and long decay times where pretty obvious with both sets of speakers. Mike and I talked about some things he can do to address the room acoustics. In any event, the room affected both speakers equally, so I tried to factor it out of the comparison.

I think these are both VERY capable speaker systems with excellent dynamics and sound qualities. However, they ARE different, very different. The Legacies have a more open and extended high end without being overly "bright." They reproduce cymbals and high frequency plucked strings with a very realistic presentation. The Triads have a "warmer" presentation with more emphasis in the low mids and upper bass. The Triads probably have a more accurate high end, but it's more "recessed" that the Legacies. Don't get me wrong, the Triads definitely have a high frequency "presence" and great detail and definition. The highs are definitely "there" and in proper balance, but I can certainly understand a preference for the high frequency presentation of the Legacies. Nonetheless, the Triads have a very powerful and forward presence and, overall, I really enjoyed them. (Disclaimer: I am a Triad Platinum owner.)

The Leagacies are "full range" speakers with dual 12' woofers. They extend to about 22 Hz (at least in a different room that I measured them in.) Nonetheless we set the crossovers at 80 Hz. There is no doubt the Submersives are "better" subwoofers than the Legacy drivers. Therefore, we felt the bass was best handled by the subs. If we had had more time, we could have tried some other crossover frequencies to see if something lower might have worked better. As it was, the splice at 80 Hz looked pretty good in the above graph.

We listened to some multi-channel music on the whole system, Triads, Marquis CC and Paradigm surrounds. I noticed a significant timbre mis-match between the L/R Triads and the Legacy Marquis CC. I suggested to Mike that, if he wants to really compare one "system" to the other, he should use the matching center for the L/R's he's using. That is a tough thing to do because these are MASSIVE CC's and it's not easy or quick to change them out. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to switch back to the Legacy's to listen to them with the Marquis CC.

We then watched a few scenes from Oblivion. Mike's Panny plasma has a beautiful image, but, as he said to me, "My sound is much bigger than my video now." smile.gif Nonetheless, it looked great and the sound of that movie is incredible. The system sounded terrific paying it back. The Submersives did a fabulous job of with the bass and shook the entire room. The floor was vibrating so much it felt like he had transducers. (Disclaimer: I'm also a multi-Submersive owner.) We also watched some scenes from a "Bass Spectaculars" disc Mike had, which sounded equally excellent on the SubM's.

Finally, we watched The Eagles, Farewell I Tour, Live From Melbourne. It was so close to "being there" that we all applauded when Hotel California ended. Great stuff!

Mike has a large commercial refrigerator in his back room, well stocked with an eclectic collection of craft beers. We enjoyed several over the course of the evening. Thanks Mike! Overall, it was a very entertaining evening spent with good people with a shared interest. Dave, Andrew and Mike, it was really great meeting you. The next GTG is at my place.

smile.gif

Craig

PS. I got to check out a really cool Maserati. That was worth the trip all by itself!!! Thanks Dave!
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post #8 of 66 Old 03-19-2014, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
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We had the lights out and I had a just-opened locally brewed Twin Lakes of Greenville DE sitting on the right end table. I walked off for something while the "Server room" scene was playing... crazy pulsating bass.

I came back and could not find my beer......    there it was poured out on the floor. The bass vibrated it off.


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post #9 of 66 Old 03-19-2014, 05:52 PM
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Mike, I know it's been a while but would also be curious of your thoughts regarding the Catalysts. Even subjective comments if you are ok with it. I have heard different things about compression drivers (both pro and con) but given that you heard it your room, I would be interested in your thoughts on the sound.

Thanks!
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post #10 of 66 Old 03-19-2014, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I talked about the Catayst's before on the GTG thread. They always sounded great to me in a well designed and treated HT but when I got them in my sparsely treated rec room,  I couldn't get used to them. 

Heck at the first GTG in 2013, they were the stars of the show along with the JTR's. Andrew's Yorkvilles were awesome too and were right there with them. But these are the more "professional" style speakers that all used compression tweeters. My take is compression tweeters require well treated listening areas or be used in large venues. Unless you need lots of power handling and earsplitting power, I'm not sure that is the way to go, especially with some one like me that enjoys a more "sterile" type speaker as others put it.

 

The Triad InRoom  Platinums are somewhat of a cross between a pro style HT LCR and an audiophile stereo speaker. They do both very well.

 

The Legacy's IMHO are more of an audiophile speaker but anyone that listens will agree they are powerehouses too.


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post #11 of 66 Old 03-20-2014, 06:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Also thank you Andrew (Gorilla83) and Dave (easycruise) for taking the time stop over and listen.


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post #12 of 66 Old 03-20-2014, 07:15 AM
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Did you guys take full frequency measurements of frequency response?

I've never heard Legacy speakers, but I do love the newer generation of AMT tweeters.
I have some Triad Platinums, and I agree that the upper bass is great, particularly when matching the sealed speaker with sealed subs.

It would be interesting to see if the AMT sound could be imitated by tweaking a target curve.
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post #13 of 66 Old 03-20-2014, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately we did not do a measurement on the Legacy's. We would have wanted to run Audessy but this Integra AVR is slow as molasses doing the calibration.  

 

I don't think the Plat tweeter can physically compete. Don't get me wrong. At moderate to loud levels the Plat tweeter really sounds great. It's got a real refined characteristic that is easy to listen to. When you play who can play the loudest is when you really hear a difference in ability to hang.


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post #14 of 66 Old 03-20-2014, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcohen View Post

Did you guys take full frequency measurements of frequency response?

I've never heard Legacy speakers, but I do love the newer generation of AMT tweeters.
I have some Triad Platinums, and I agree that the upper bass is great, particularly when matching the sealed speaker with sealed subs.

With two large and heavy sets of speakers, one a "Full Range" design, and the other an "LCR" design, there are so many options and possibilities for setup and tweaking that one could spend several days trying and measuring them all. I had about an hour. wink.gif

When I first arrived, I listened to a Donald Fagan DVD-A on the Plat's, and I could tell that something was missing, especially in the mid-bass. The measurement bore that out. The 2 depressions at 40 Hz and 125 Hz were causing what I was hearing. After seeing the measurement, we decided to re-run Audyssey to see if it could be fixed. We did a 5-position run across the main listening position and the result was the purple trace above. The missing content was mostly restored. But we didn't have enough time to do more than that. And, BTW, all "comparative" listening was done with Audyssey's Room Correction EQ turned off.
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It would be interesting to see if the AMT sound could be imitated by tweaking a target curve.
IME, it's not possible to set a "target curve" to make the Plat's fully emulate the AMT tweeters. Even if you try to raise the treble response, it still never sounds exactly like the AMT. It might be possible with something like a Dirac Live processor or a Xilica processor, but with standard treble controls, it's not an option. Also, raising the treble input, you can run into headroom issues, where you hit the limits of the tweeter at a lower overall system volume, and it begins to sound a little harsh.

To be honest, even though most of the time I love the sound of the AMT tweeters, there are times when I find the Legacies to be unnaturally biased to the treble, especially on recordings where the mix has some reverb added to a vocalist. On those recordings, I prefer the more natural sound of the Triad's silk dome, dispersion-lens-loaded tweeter.

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post #15 of 66 Old 03-20-2014, 09:12 AM
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Thanks to Mike for the invite! I got there late so I only heard the Triads. Can't wait to hopefully go back and hear the Legacies with the new AMT feature. The old version Legacies sounded great at Andrew's house at his GTG last year, although the listening sweet spot was small with them.

I have been to Mike's house before, listening to the Seaton Cat-12's on my previous trip. I liked the Triads much better for the high notes, the Cat's a little better for the lows. The high notes on the Triads were clearly not as harsh in Mike's untreated room. Given the handicap of the 10" woofer on the Triads vs. the 12" on the Cats, I thought the Triads performed admirably in the bass department.

I brought some music with me and played Eric Prydz's "Call on Me" to listen to the pounding bass note at the beginning of the song. . I thought the Triads' pounded it out pretty well with the small woofers. I also brought Rihanna's "Disturbia" to listen to the clarity of the Triads and they really excelled here. I did not think they sounded warm, but again, I did not hear the Legacies, as CraigJohn did say that the Triads were comparably warmer.

I agree with Craigjohn that the Eagles DVD concert was exceptional. Don Henley's voice was so clear and nothing in the music was muddled. When it came to movie watching, I was in awe. With the clips played, I thought the floor was going to split apart! LOL! I also thought he had transducers. The Dolby surround sound CD that Craigjohn brought was a gem. I recall that a reference favorite, Dire Straits, "Money for Nothing" played very well. I guess Mike has a well built house because I was shocked not to see any nail pops in the drywall!

I was very impressed with the Triads, and I am much more of a 2 channel enthusiast. But I came to the conclusion that a sub is needed with these. If Triad comes out with a Platinum model with 12" woofers or bigger, I am all over them. My wife does not care for the aesthetics of a sub. Maybe the Legacies are for me, I hope to soon find out. I still like those Yorkville's too. I already have 4 of the SHO-10's for the surrounds, I just need new mains and a center. The hunt continues...

Thanks to Craig and Mike for the good company, Sorry I missed you Andrew! I hope the baby is doing well.

BTW, speaking of Eric Prydz's "Call on Me", I leave you with most of the best videos of all time. Ha-Ha! This one will get your juices flowing!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=RDQQSYo_pC-QA&v=QQSYo_pC-QA

Dave
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post #16 of 66 Old 03-20-2014, 09:24 AM
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I was very impressed with the Triads, and I am much more of a 2 channel enthusiast. But I came to the conclusion that a sub is needed with these. If Triad comes out with a Platinum model with 12" woofers or bigger, I am all over them. My wife does not care for the aesthetics of a sub. Maybe the Legacies are for me, I hope to soon find out. I still like those Yorkville's too. I already have 4 of the SHO-10's for the surrounds, I just need new mains and a center. The hunt continues...

Dave

The Platinum LCR was designed as a true LCR and it must be used with a subwoofer. This was the design philosophy for several reasons. Usually, designing a full-range speaker mandates the sensitivity be lower. (Usually.) To get bass drivers to extend lower, sensitivity is sacrificed. Most high-sensitivity pro 15" drivers start to roll off around 70 Hz. But the main reason for making the Platinum a true LCR is the usual position for the left, center, and right speakers is never the best place for bass. The ONLY possible sonic advantage of having the "subs" built into the mains is better coherence at the crossover point. But even that is moot these days when we can calibrate distances in our AV processors. Also, it's possible to get far better, deeper, louder bass in a separate subwoofer system, with the driver optimized for 100 Hz and lower (not 300 Hz and lower), and a powerful, dedicated amplifier with DSP functions, limiting, EQ, etc.

That said, I love both of these speakers, and the comments have been spot on.

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post #17 of 66 Old 03-20-2014, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Well I'll be keeping this grouping set up for a while yet. Dave and anyone else interested in giving them a listen let me know. 


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post #18 of 66 Old 03-20-2014, 12:03 PM
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Also thank you Andrew (Gorilla83) and Dave (easycruise) for taking the time stop over and listen.

Thanks for having us over Mike! Very much wished I could have stayed a bit longer. I'd like to stop by sometime soon again before you sell off one of them. smile.gif

Craig - It was great meeting you as well. Looking forward to checking out your setup soon as well as having you guys back over at my place.

Dave - Sorry I missed you this time around!

As far as the comparisons - I was only present for the initial testing/demo session, but it was very cool. Had I a bit more time I would have brought some clips of my own to jam to. Both pairs were impressive in their own rights and my comments would be very similar to what Mike has posted. cool.gif
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post #19 of 66 Old 03-20-2014, 02:44 PM
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What volume levels were you listening to?

We were listening at reference levels with the Triad's at Craig John's on a recent visit to multiple movie clips and song clips and I didn't hear a hint of strain with the Platinums?

Was the strain heard on the movie or music clips or both?



I heard the Focus and Whisper line at demark1's on that same visit that I heard Craig John's room. Both were excellent speakers, but to my ears I think I preferred the Triad Platinums (at least in Craig John's room)...That said - two different rooms, hours between auditions, etc Are you going to reverse the host room and repeat the test for fun - or was this a once and done?

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post #20 of 66 Old 03-20-2014, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Often reference and some higher than reference. The movie stuff with the Triads was strong. I picked up the strain during the Keith Don't Go high notes. We were playing that hot. We immediately switched to the Legacy's and replayed without doing an Audessy setup. I don't want to bang on that strain because we were pushing hard. I should have been watching my amp cause it's even possible it was clipping. Bryston 14BSST. 900 WPC at 4 ohms but I noticed today some clipping signals. The green leds begin showing orange. I had the volume at 90. Don't think we were that high yesterday. It's a big room. Nonetheless, there is a big difference in character up there. 

 

It's a bear lugging these things around. I don't see me taking them over Craigs.

 

I would still like to have Dave and Andrew and anyone else over while I'm still in possession of both.

 

I can tell you this much... I think Craig really knows how to tweek. He had them singing here at my place so they must be incredible in his custom theater with time to tweek.


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post #21 of 66 Old 03-20-2014, 03:33 PM
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What volume levels were you listening to?

With me having the volume control during the Rihanna song, I had it almost all the way up, and the Triads kept sounding good all through and above the "power band", to use an automotive term. I'm 57 yrs. old and my hearing is not that good after many years of aural abuse. I always need above reference levels to discern what I need to. My neighbors hate me.
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post #22 of 66 Old 03-20-2014, 04:06 PM
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Often reference and some higher than reference. The movie stuff with the Triads was strong. I picked up the strain during the Keith Don't Go high notes. We were playing that hot. We immediately switched to the Legacy's and replayed without doing an Audessy setup. I don't want to bang on that strain because we were pushing hard. I should have been watching my amp cause it's even possible it was clipping. Bryston 14BSST. 900 WPC at 4 ohms but I noticed today some clipping signals. The green leds begin showing orange. I had the volume at 90. Don't think we were that high yesterday. It's a big room. Nonetheless, there is a big difference in character up there. 

It's a bear lugging these things around. I don't see me taking them over Craigs.
We might be able to talk DMark1 into bringing over a pair of Focus SE's.
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I would still like to have Dave and Andrew and anyone else over while I'm still in possession of both.

I can tell you this much... I think Craig really knows how to tweek. He had them singing here at my place so they must be incredible in his custom theater with time to tweek.
Let's make it a point to get you guys out here so we can compare them in my room. If Dennis can bring a set of Focus SE's maybe you can bring your Marquis center and we can really do an extensive comparison. Now THAT would be interesting. smile.gif

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post #23 of 66 Old 03-20-2014, 04:09 PM
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What volume levels were you listening to?

We were listening at reference levels with the Triad's at Craig John's on a recent visit to multiple movie clips and song clips and I didn't hear a hint of strain with the Platinums?

Was the strain heard on the movie or music clips or both?



I heard the Focus and Whisper line at demark1's on that same visit that I heard Craig John's room. Both were excellent speakers, but to my ears I think I preferred the Triad Platinums (at least in Craig John's room)...That said - two different rooms, hours between auditions, etc Are you going to reverse the host room and repeat the test for fun - or was this a once and done?


I was at demark1's and Craigs with Archaea and I also preferred the Triad's. I had a feeling that day though that if I could have heard the Whispers in Craig's room it would have been a different story.
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post #24 of 66 Old 03-20-2014, 04:15 PM
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I was at demark1's and Craigs with Archaea and I also preferred the Triad's. I had a feeling that day though that if I could have heard the Whispers in Craig's room it would have been a different story.
I agree... those Whispers are something really something special. The Xilica processor that comes with them is also a hugely beneficial part of what you heard. I heard the Whispers before Dennis had the Xilica dialed in, and they sound completely different with a correctly set processor. I'd love to hear them in my room, but that would be a multi-day process to move them and get them dialed in.

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post #25 of 66 Old 03-20-2014, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Would definitely be on board to bring the Marquis.


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post #26 of 66 Old 03-20-2014, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Guys, the Whispers are in another league. Not a fair comparison. $23,650 a pair list


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post #27 of 66 Old 03-20-2014, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhrischuk View Post

Guys, the Whispers are in another league. Not a fair comparison. $23,650 a pair list
It would still be interesting to hear the comparison. smile.gif
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post #28 of 66 Old 03-21-2014, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhrischuk View Post

Guys, the Whispers are in another league. Not a fair comparison. $23,650 a pair list

Or buy a pair that are only a year old for $14,000

http://app.audiogon.com/listings/full-range-legacy-audio-whisper-xd-loudspeakers-w-factory-installed-tri-amp-option-2014-03-16-speakers-91364-woodland-hills-ca--2
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post #29 of 66 Old 03-21-2014, 10:01 AM
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Guys, the Whispers are in another league. Not a fair comparison. $23,650 a pair list


That's just it though, the room we are in and what our ears are used to is SOOO important - more important than speakers costing thousands of dollars more IMO.

Here is what I mean. I prefer my speakers over the Whispers and mine are "only" 4500 a pair - BUT - that's comparing them in 2 different rooms. Honestly I don't want to know what the Whispers sound like in my room... eek.gif Ignorance is bliss. smile.gif I'm not saying my room has incredible acoustics or that DMark1's room has bad acoustics, I'm just used to my room.

At Andrew's GTG I liked the Danley's better than my speakers. Then a couple weeks later I was able to compare a higher end pair of Danley's to my speakers in my room and I preferred mine (loved the Danley's too though, they are VERY impressive). Others that heard the comparison in my room had different opinions, more liked the Danley's better and a few of us liked my speakers more.

However, I think there comes a point when what we are used to as far as the room goes flies out the window though, because I liked the sound of Craig's speakers in his room better than anything I've heard before or since including my speakers in my room.

I'm starting to ramble and losing my original point... if I had one... redface.gifsmile.gif
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post #30 of 66 Old 03-21-2014, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Yea I do realize that it's really not cool to jump out and say mine is better than yours. At this level of speaker you really can't anyway, just for the reasons just mentioned... rooms, treatments, personal preferences and so on.

Getting together and having some brews.. jammin other peoples stuff, learning more music and movies... a good time.


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