Finally! I heard the S1-EX's at HE'06 and they were everything I was hoping they would be! They just completely immersed you in sound. And what a sound. Pure, rich, incredibly dynamic. Easily the best sound at the show for their price range and in my top 5 overall, cost no object! But I definitely have to mention that the Bel Canto REF1000 amps were a significant factor in the speakers having such great sound. Here's why.
Towards the end of the last day, I stopped by for one last listen but the REF1000's weren't hooked up anymore. Now a highly respected hybrid amp was. I was curious to hear this combo but after the first few seconds, I could tell that the magic was gone. Now it sounded just like every other demo that didn't do anything for me at the show. What a difference!
Andrew Jones agreed with me about the negitive change, but was very gracious when the amp's rep came back to ask what he thought. This lesson taught me a couple things. One - the REF1000's are freaking amazing, and when driving the S1-EX's, they truly showed what this speaker could do. Two - Brits can make just about anything sound like a complement! You're one smooth talker, Mr. Jones.