I tend to judge high end speakers on the "chill' or "goosebump" principle. You can probably stop a chill from happening, but you can't initiate one by will. If a speaker makes me get chills in an audition I know it's a fantastic match with my ear and likes!
Yet --- Speakers are very subjective. What I like, what revs my engine, may not do anything for you. That's never been more evident than at the blind meet in Des Moines recently. I felt the JTR speaker were an absolute clean sweep over the Salk speakers in the A/B blind meet. 50% of the time I had chills with the Noesis and I never got a single chill at any time during the Salk audition at that meet. I absolutely thought the VAST majority of the attendees would say the same --- that they loved the first speaker audition --- when the results were revealed and we began discussing our favorites. it was such a hands down clear victory in my mind, but I learned that 6 of 11 people had voted the Noesis as their favorite and 5 of 11 had voted the Salk as their favorite on the music section. (and 7 of 9 for JTR on movies vs. 2 of 9 for Salk on movies) So take anything one person recommends with a grain of salt. Best thing to do is audition these speakers yourself and find out what pleases your ear!
I personally LOVE a live audio sound. I strongly dislike harsh treble (typical of horn tweeters or cheap tweeters), and I love feeling like I'm in an auditorium listening to live music on stage. The Noesis do well towards my subjective preferences more than any speaker I've ever heard. My top three speakers are the LS6, the Seaton Catalyst 12C and the JTR Noesis. Based on 'chill' or 'goosebump' principle it's a strong victory for the Noesis for me, but I'd be hard pressed to tell you absolutely one is better than the other, even for my own tastes, until I a/b/c'ed them back to back blind --- simply because I've experienced chills with each of these speakers, but being that the auditions were on different days, different rooms, and such - it's hard to gauge mood, energy levels, attention etc based on different days of auditions.
I heard the Catalyst 12s at the Wisconsin high end speaker meet. They were my favorite speaker there. I got chills many times and they were fantastic. In particular I remember female vocals being spectacular. Here is my writeup:
Though, not the focus of the other meets - I have heard the JTR Noesis at several meets; Omaha, Pennsylvania, Des Moines, and KC. I've had the Noesis in my own room for about a week. They are likely my favorite speaker I've ever heard, and if I had the coin I'd spring for them right now. I probably had chills for 20 minutes of 40 minutes at the Des Moines blind meet when auditioning these speakers (50% of a the audition leading to chilling, uncontrollable smiles, neck hair raising, pee stream finishing chills/involuntary shake is a first at any of the many audio meets I'd attended) and I had no verification/confirmation which speaker was which until after the blind testing concluded. I just KNEW I personally loved everything about them. On that experience and my several other VERY positive experiences I really admire the Noesis. Here is that writeup: