Well, first off thanks as always to Andrew for being a more than gracious host to us nut jobs
Also, thanks to everyone for bearing with us in the morning while trying to get the SEOSR set up and running. I totally underestimated the time it would take and we ate up most of the morning. I'll keep comments on them short, but overall I think they have the foundation to be the ultimate HT speaker, just need some more tweaking. In reality, the four woofer seosr was complete prototype and concept only until the morning of the GTG...everything was designed 100% based on anticipation of response/performance and the gtg was the first time they were ever fired up. We'll get cracking and have em' dialed for the next one, which hopefully I'll have my room done to host.
On to the assessments. Please keep in mind that I was one of the "movers", so I wasn't blind to any of the setups with one funny exception. Speaker A had been planned out and set up, at which point I went up stairs to have a beer and chat a bit. Little did I know that the line arrays were swapped out with the CATs while I was up there, and I came back down thinking I was listening to the CBT
I was immediately floored with how dynamic they could be and in a state of disbelief that the line arrays could sound that big. When we sent everyone upstairs to change to speaker B and the screen came down I was flabbergasted. It was great to get a feel for what the blind attendees would experience for the rest of the day! So here are my opinions based on knowing what was playing for the rest of the day. I should preface with the fact that I was unfamiliar with much of the demo material and probably would have chosen a bit different, although I didn't give any suggestions, so I'll shut my trap about that
Speaker A (CAT12)
Large sound, very clean and image great. I did think the sounded a bit lean for my taste, which was odd because I thought the opposite in April. I truly think this had to do with the fact that I thought they were the line array at first and the power of the human mind will really mess you up. All in all, I still say the CATs, although not the cheap, are an incredible value. When you consider what you get speaker wise, amplification and dsp, it's hard to go wrong.
Speaker B (Line array)
I was surprised at how well these did actually. Imaging was very nice and the overall sound was a pleasant one that you could really sit and listen to for a long time in a relaxed environment. I did hear some breakup on the more dynamic tracks, and not quite the "size" of sound had by the others, but in fairness these speakers were designed with very different intentions than the others. I think Rick did a great job with these and they'd make a great critical 2 channel setup for someone not looking for rock concert levels.
Speaker C (Danley)
Son of a.....man did these sound clean! Super open and just effortless sound. They were actually the only one that I think I could have picked out of the bunch had I listened blind. Beast said something to me when we listened to the Blake track on my speakers about how they were able to really reach up and make it happen on that one build up and I think the Danley's openness allowed them to do that as well. I think the excelled over all the others in this area. I also think they were a great matchup with Rilla's room. As a side note, Andrew, Matt and I listened for a bit this morning to the Yorks back in place with Audyssey run and the presentation was similar. IMHO, the Danley's ability to excel over the others in being placed in the room with no eq, no Audyssey etc, and present as well as the speakers that are installed in the room and tweaked to work their best in there, is a real feather in their cap. Also, the vocals on Spanish Harlem sound f'ing fantastic!
Speaker D (Noesis)
I really liked the Noesis at the April GTG. I remember thinking they were great then and maybe have to attribute my thoughts at this GTG to the fact that they were last of the day and my ears were worked. Right away on the first to tracks I thought they were a bit edgy. They are super clean and capable, but I felt that they bit the ears a bit up top. I thought they had some of the best midbass of the day.
Overall, I would be happy to have any of them. We listen to 100% music (with the exception of one clip) at the GTG and my interest in any of them is purely HT listening. most of my music listening is done in "party" mode, while hanging outside or socializing, or at lower than ref levels. The insane levels are reserved for movies in my house, and all three of the big HT offering kick serious a$$ in that category. These last two GTGs were great and I look forward to more. Great to see everyone again and also meet some others for the first time.
Sorry about Disturbed Jim