Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson
All true but, if the OP has not heard other things in other settings, he has no reference for what he gets. How will he know if they are as good or better than the competition unless he buys several?
It is the "other settings" that are the problem for me. They certainly have their place to get a general idea of the look, feel, build quality and initial sonic characteristics.
Unless I have the speakers connected to the electronics I will be using, sitting in their intended room and playing my favorite source material for a day or two (longer if possible), I really can't judge whether they are the right choice for me.
Case in point: a few years ago I bought a pair of B&W CM7s. I connected them to a Denon/Crown pre/pro/amp combo in the living room and they were downright awful. Even after several days of "getting used" to their sound, they just weren't making it for me.
I moved them into the bedroom and connected them to an all Rotel system: preamp/amp/CD. Totally different experience. They have been in there ever since as part of a music only system.
As a side note, after several months in the bedroom I moved them back out into the living room one day as an experiment. Same results as I experienced initially. They went back into the bedroom very quickly.
I'm of the belief that you can't just plop a set of speakers in a room, maybe where they look good, and expect satisfactory results. Sometimes moving them closer or away from a wall, re-arranging the furniture, adding sound treatment, and/or changing the connected equipment can make a tremendous difference in the sound.