I had a great time Saturday hosting the Noesis demo and have enjoyed listening to them the past 5 days. I removed the LS-6's from the living room and setup the Noesis speakers on some chairs with them toed in a little. I use a Bosch measurement laser to try to get them identically placed to within 1/8" of each other. The front of the speakers was 36" from the sidewalls and 30" from the rear walls.
Here is the playlist for the demo:
Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture (88kHz 24bit from HDTracks)
Pomp & Pipes - The Vikings (44Hz, 16bit from HDTracks)
Black Light Syndrome - Duende (CD)
Eagles - Hotel California (XRCD)
Pete Belasco - Deeper (CD)
Elton John - Madman Across the Water (96kHz 24 bit from HDTRacks)
Master of Chinese Percussion - Poem of Chinese Drum (K2 HD mastered CD)
Cassandra Wilson - Strange Fruit (CD)
Nils Lofgren - Keith Don't Go (CD)
Chris Botti in Boston - Shape of my Heart with Sting and Josh Groban (Blu-ray)
Michael Jackson's This is It - The Way You Make Me Feel (Blu-ray)
Fellowship of the Ring - Cave Troll Scene (Blu-ray)
Flight of the Phoenix - Crash (Blu-ray)
The Incredible Hulk - Cop Car Scene (Blu-ray)
War of the Worlds - Pods Emerge (Blu-ray)
Last night I listened to the entire Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances album (96kHz 24bit from HDTracks). I've also listened to some sections of Open Range, used them for college and NFL football, watched Charlotte's Web with them, and listened to too many other songs to list.
My LS-6 (line source) speakers are flat down to 20 Hz in my room. The Noesis speakers rolloff on the bottom at around 60 Hz so I used them with an 80Hz crossover and my infinite baffle subs system handled the bass. Th LS-6 speakers start rolling off at the high end at around 12,000 Hz while the Noesis speakers are completely flat to 20,000. The last two octaves of the Noesis are actually slightly louder than the other octaves. This gives them a tiny little bit of a brightness in my room, but will help greatly in a room with a lot of acoustical treatments and AT screen that tend to lower those octaves.
I was surprised at how clear the Noesis speakers sound compared to the LS-6. I'm not quite sure how to describe it, but when switching speakers it is immediately noticeable to me. I'm not sure if it is because of their higher efficiency (101 db vs 91 db/1 watt) or the horn or what. However, as soon as music or movies start the speakers just seem so transparent. It could just be a difference in horn vs ribbons. The Noesis speakers are also a little more dynamic than the LS-6's. When the volume on the quiet portions is similar to the LS-6's, when there are loud passages or effects, the Noesis seem to go louder. In other words, there are higher dynamic peaks.
The soundstage is better with the LS-6's, but that could be because I've spent more time setting them up. Instead of a diffuse, yet wide soundstage I've heard with other speakers, the LS-6's have a detailed and wide soundstage. At first, I wasn't able to get a very wide soundstage with the Noesis. I played around with placement and ended up using less toe-in and the speakers a little closer to each other. It still isn't the same presentation as the LS-6's, but most that use the Noesis speakers will be using them for movies and also have a center speaker.
Both speakers are incredible for movies with an advantage probably going to the Noesis speakers if you want maximum impact, volume, dynamics. However, the LS-6's are no slouch. I played them at the Tour with a 40 Hz crossover to my infinite baffle system and they did everything they needed to do. We reached peaks of 127 dB with Flight of the Phoenix without any distortion at all.
Here are some thoughts on the Noesis Speakers:
They sound great at all volumes. I've had other speakers that don't sound good until about 80 dB and then can't handle anything above 90 dB. These have tremendous clarity and detail at any volume level. Symphonic Dances has some extremely quiet passages and some very loud passages. With a silent room, you can hear all the instruments in the quiet passages and they maintain their clarity.
They are extremely dynamic. The gunshots in Open Range are the most real I've ever heard. The speakers provide instant SPL levels that seem much higher on dynamic peaks than other speakers.
They are easy to listen to. I didn't get any fatigue or irritation from listening to them for hours at a time and at loud volume levels.
The midbass is tremendous. Songs like Duende or Poem of Chinese Drum really show off the ability of the dual 12" drivers in each speaker. Duende has some great bass guitar played by Tony Levin. John Janowitz of Acoustic Elegance recommended this song several years ago. I bought the CD and really like the song (and others). The Poem of Chinese Drum was included on a Burmester demo disc, but I bought the entire Master of Chinese Percussion CD. The drums hits are extremely fast and dynamic. There is incredible power in them that requires lots of displacement to render properly. The Noesis speakers easily showed off the speed and power present in the song. My only complaint on the album is that there is some background hiss that is probably more noticeable with these high sensitivity speakers.
You can hear all the nuances of voices. I picked my demo songs based partly on the variations in voices. From the Eagles to Cassandra Wilson, everyone sounds so, so good. With the clarity you can hear more of the breaths and mouthing nuances that make everything so realistic.
The Noesis speakers are probably one of the most neutral sounding speaker I've listening to. They offer incredible output from 60 Hz up to 20kHz with an almost flat frequency response. I like them better than the CHT SHO-10's, ED Cinema 12's, and JTR Triple 8's that I've heard. The Noesis is a "no regrets" type of speaker that will be exceptional at most things and excel at just about everything.Edited by desertdome - 11/8/12 at 10:42am