Happy Good Friday, everyone!
Well, my X16s arrived today!!!!! I am now officially a Dynaudio owner!!!
As some of you have read, about a month ago, I demoed the B&W PM1, Monitor Audio RX8, B&W CM9, Paradigm SE3, Dynaudio X12, and Dynaudio Focus 140 (in that order but at three different stores). At the onset, my goal was a 2.0 system, preferably using bookshelf speakers, costing around $2K, including amplification. While I was blown away by the X12, I never had the chance to audition the X16. And as much as I liked the RX8, it was a larger speaker than what my living conditions would ideally permit.
After listening to the X12 and Focus 140, I had the feeling that my "sweet spot" was in between with the X16. And today I finally found out that my assumption was correct: the X16 has the "efficient" sweetness, to include the imaging and "3D" spaciousness, that I love about the X12 with the the added mid and lower oomph that I like about the Focus 140. While I have only listened to them for about 2-3 hours today and they are still being broken in, they sound amazing. Audio bliss!
In summation, I do want to give my props to Monitor Audio because the RX8 that I demoed was indeed great. But according to my ears, the X16 offers just as much speaker for about $150 less in a bookshelf format. And the X16, without question to my ears, leaves speakers like the B&W PM1, CM9, and Paradigm SE3 in the absolute dust. These latter three make me really scratch my head, wondering what those drivers are doing in those floor-standing speakers that have 2-3 or more drivers in them. Because when it came to the CM9, even with a high-end Bryston setup, I just wasn't hearing it. I don't know how Dynaudio does it, but none of the other bookshelf speakers I've heard to date manage to come close in outputting the same levels and quality of sound.
I would also like the add that my HK 3490 offers PLENTY of power for my needs. I can't turn it up all the way. I can get to around -10 on the dial but then it just is too loud. No clipping or anything like that to my ears. I have my BR player connected to the receiver via digital coax. Audio from the HDTV/HTPC comes via the TV's S/PDIF audio output.
Over six months ago I knew my goal would be to construct a "high value" 2.0 system. And I am quite confident that my mission has been accomplished...for now.
Of course I couldn't have done it without all of your kind help. A big THANK YOU to all.
Happy Easter. And Happy Listening!
(After I do some cleaning, I will try to post some pics.)
Edit: I would also like to thank Dave over at JS
Audio for all of his help. If you live in the DC Metro Area, give him a call.