Well, I spent some quality time with the 685s the other day. I really like them. Can't seem to find fault with them except maybe the soundstage isn't as huge as larger speakers I've heard, but still quite good for bookshelves. They imaged very well, more precise and pin-point than my C-9s. They've got that "band in the same room with you" realism at times, which was great. The highs were vibrant, but not harsh in the least. Made my Energy's seem bright and strident, which they kinda are. I noticed it was much easier to "see" the drummer riding the hats and cymbals, where as with my speakers, those sounds can very easily get mashed together into a kind of sibilant stew of metallic sound. The 685s were very clear and articulate in the highs.
Only one thing upset their fantastic transparency and that was what I perceived to be a slight boxy resonance in the lower mids or upper bass. The ones I heard were not broken in at all, so I'm not sure if this would go away with time or what. It didn't ruin my listening experience, just kinda made me go "Aww, these aren't perfect. Darn."
I think perhaps it wouldn't be a problem if they were high-passed over to sub. Anyone else notice this at all?
They were being run from an entry level Yamaha CD changer and Denon receiver. I think my nicer electronics could get more out of them.