Originally Posted by tuxedocivic
I've never heard a soundfield monitor 1, but based on their web info;
The monitor 1 will be way smaller when you consider it's sub is built in.
The SEOS will be way more dynamic and have true bass with a real subwoofer (or go with Bill's designer series and no sub, probably still better bass than the 8" subs in the monitor 1).
Both should be fairly equal in terms of off axis listening. The SEOS will be controlled directivity and the monitor 1 is a coax, so that's good. It's really size vs performance. The SEOS + subs will be much bigger, but I'd say much better. Again though, there isn't much to go by on the monitor 1. A lot of coax tweeters have a ragged response. KEFs is pretty good, but many are not.
I have heard the SAM1.
Here are my thoughts on the comparison. The most important difference is that the SAM1 throws a much wider pattern than the SEOS: like 120ishº vs. 80-90º. Practically, that means IMO that the SEOS-based speaker can be closer to the sidewalls without image smearing, but the SAM1 will throw an image outside the edges of the speakers whereas I expect an SEOS design will be like other narrower-pattern speakers in throwing an image basically limited in width the cabinet edges. After that is the efficiency/output thing. I really only heard one point of minor weakness on the SAM1, congestion in the upper bass/lower mids at really high volume.
Another relevant and material difference is that one has to run both power and signal wires to the SAM1.
Also, I'd guess that the SAM1 would have a bass extension edge over the typical SEOS design. The 8" woofer he uses has more volume displacement than the typical "pro" 12" midwoofer - perhaps not something like the B&C 12TBX100, but most of 'em - and the high powered plate amp does offer dynamic benefits at the top of the sub's range. The SAM1 also benefits from subs, because the in room bass response of all un-augmented stereo speakers sucks. It's the room, not the speakers, that make it so.
Overall, my preference would more likely than not be a SEOS-based speaker, if cabinet width were not an issue. But I'm not building a set (or using my old Tannoy 12's) because for me (like a lot of people) cabinet width/bulk is an issue...