We probably only played three songs on the No Quarter and Jon's NeoD. Very good comments from the guys on the No Quarter, especially Tom but I think he'd had some wine by then
We never really had a chance to crank them up and I didn't get to hear Jon's Ardent either
RMAF left me unimpressed with the same spartan music that makes everything sound decent, but nothing really impressive. Coupled with poor room and setup it's hard to make any judegments abotu anything I heard that day, other than some speakers showed promise and a coupe were offensive, with a bunch in between that were just mediocre. The most promising designs were the JBL S9900, Revel Ultima Salon2, TAD Reference One, and the Wilson Beneasch (sp?), and speaker from a little builder called Intuative Audio. GR Research's open baffle was a little spitty, and the Audio Physic open baffle was just plain harsh. Listened to the MBL omni and once again was astounded by how that much money and engineering can result in such an offensive sound. Listened to an open baffle Lowther field coil and I still don't "get" the fullrange fascination. So pretty much a day of half starts that left me with more questions than answers.
At Tom's we only had a short time to listen to music. To be honest I've come to sort of dislike the room we have the auditions in. It seems to make everything sound small and dull. Even the NeoD, which I know certainly would not be the case in other rooms, given the drivers' dispersion characteristics. I have a particularily live room, but even speakers I've played at friends' homes has sounded much more like my room than Tom's. I wish we could use his HT room, but that has monster line arrays that just aren't feasible to move.
The DE160 is a much smoother driver than I expected. No sibilance or spittiness that some domes get when pushed even reasonably hard. I think proper aiming is going to be much more critical for soundstage and spaciousness than a conventional speaker. At my house the soundstage is pretty much the same as my Delphi's which are similar to the NeoD in using small, wide dispersion drivers. But my room is pretty reflective. I want to try the setup in the JBL trailer with the S9900 which are spaced far apart but aimed directly at the listener. Sounded like big headphones. I'd also like to cross them in front of the listener ala Geddes. Anyway I think they will require more optimizing due to teh directivity than conventional speakers.