The E60 speakers arrived today!
My initial impressions are that they are very high quality, solidly built speakers. Mine are dark walnut finish. I might have preferred the cherry as it would have matched the surface of the chest on which they sit, but the dark walnut is beautiful, and the dark metal frame is more discrete than the light aluminum which is matched with the cherry panels. The dark walnut also blends better with the rest of the black equipment on the chest.
The speakers are heavy. I was expecting them to be heavy, but I also thought they would be bigger. They are smaller than what I was bracing myself for, and very dense. I love the metal grills. I don't know if they are removable, and as it is, I don't care, as I plan to keep them. Much better choice IMO then cloth. The bottom is a bit rounded, so they look a bit like they might rock in the left to right plane, but that is only a perception. Put on the flat surface, they stay put. I put the little silicon pads provided with them to minimize any vibrations.
I put them side by side to my current Kenwood LS-VH7 speakers. I bought the Kenwwod speakers used, and paid 16 bucks for the pair. So I was a bit apprehensive -- will the $500 (30 times more than what I paid for the Kenwood) speakers sound 30 times better? All I can say it is they do sound much better. I am currently breaking them with "Yo-Yo Ma Plays Enni Morricone" (Spotify URI spotify:album:1ZReq7RYxh0d0IqLONfBHk). I can feel that they are opening up with each hour. I did an A to B test with the Kenwood speakers by connecting them together to the A and B terminals, respectively. Since the Kenwood are 6 ohm and the Boston are 8, the Kenwood plays a bit louder than the Boston at the same position of the volume knob, but the E60 are so much more articulated, especially in the higher end. Very clear sound, without the hollow, boomy augmentation from the Kenwood cabinets. Mids are great, highs are very nice, too, and the bass is there, too.
I demoed them to my boys with Alan Parson's "Mammagamma" (spotify:track:2H2riBoltlfKrU7i495hvf) from his "Eye in the Sky" album, and to my wife with Jack Johnson. Mammagamma sounded really nice, with very articulated, punchy beat, and enveloping sound. Jack Johnson's voice was soft and mellow, rich.
There is a song which I consider challenging for most cheap audio setups I have listened to: a piano solo "Comptine d'un autre été, l'après-midi" (spotify:track:2AkcjsKlRbIBYGAgpQVFii) from the soundtrack to the film "Amelie from Monmartre" (btw, a wonderful film; if you haven't seen it, I envy you for what you are about to experience). This song is all mids, and most speakers or headsets I have listened to fail to play them correctly when played moderately loud. When I played it too loud through my Sony STR-DH100, I got weird scratching noises, something was definitely not right. I will blame it on the receiver. I am expecting a delivery on a Denon 2113CI, and will repeat the test once it is here.
Another album that has become my favorite of late is Cirque du Soleil's "Varekai" (spotify:album:6biRYjJbVZEYigG9R75Lz8). It has a very good mix of vocals and percussion. The E60 rendered it very well, sounding very articulate yet gentle.
Just for fun, I played Alan Parson's "Chomolungma" (spotify:track:37veAUXK18sLzKipleNWAB) from his "A Valid Path" album. This song is so full with bass, you can build a house on top of it. It is a long song; if you try to check it out and are impatient, go to position 3:00 and pump up that woofer! The E60 held up well, but boy, I am ready to spend $500 on a sub just to hear that song at full volume!
As I am writing this, I can feel the speakers opening up more. I can share my impressions in the next week(s), if anyone is interested.
BTW, I am only half joking about the $500 sub. I am short listing HSU STF-2 and VTF-2, and Outlaw LFM-1 EX and LFM-1 Plus. I see SVS is highly regarded, and I would have put them on my short list of they had a metal grill. I would hate to kick and damage an expensive piece of equipment, so I will probably go with down-firing sub.