The above is my impression so far: TL;DR... @Jeff Permanian
... I won't be sending these babies back!
Some background info:
My front stage comprised of the Polk Audio LSiM 703s and LSiM 706c. I also have the Jamo C103s which I use occasionally to spice it up. While these are nowhere near high end, they are all very capable flagship bookshelf/center speakers and present excellent bang for the buck. I sold the Polk speakers right after I placed an ordered for some JTRs. Therefore, I was using the Jamo C103s for L/R and a KEF Q100 as a make-shift center.
I am also very frugal and tend to put dollar sign on value. For subwoofers, it's easy with CEA2010 Max Burst numbers, not so for speakers. One Cap 4000ULF equals to 2 2400ULFs. I have read many people say certain speakers sound as good as the ones costing twice as much and so on but no one can explain how and why.
When I ordered the Neosis 212HTs, I was worried that I won't be able to appreciate them which are much more expensive and efficient than what I had before. Take Klipsch for example, people either love them or hate them, because of the horn. Jeff assured me that JTR speakers, just like the subs, have 30 day trial period. Deep down inside, I was still concerned because I had good speakers that I was happy with and never thought of upgrading from to begin with.
The music I have listened to so far:
Alex Clare - I Won't Let You Down
Boz Scaggs - Thanks To You
Evie Sands - While I Look at You
Andrea Bocelli and Katharine McPhee - The Prayer
Brand New Opry Vol.1 - Lowlands
Eagles - Hotel California from Hell Freezes over DVD
Roy Orbison - Only the Lonely from Black and White Night
Ed Sheeran - Shape of You
Ellie Goulding - Love Me Like You Do
Leo Rojas - Der Einsame Hirte
John Barry - Somewhere in Time (1998 Re-redording)
On Thursday, I couldn't fit everything on the pallet into my wagon so I left one of the custom speaker stands at work. Therefore, I unplugged the left channel when I started listening in stereo at MV of -18dB. First I listened to the Jamo 103, then in the middle of a song, switched over to the Neosis 212HT. Some of you might have the experience that someone had messed with the volume knob so when you started playing something it was so loud and you had to turn it down immediately. The 212HT's 101dB sensitivity made the music loud, but still crystal clear. I couldn't believe how clean it sounded, so I switched right back to Jamo 103. The Jamo 103 was much quieter, yet it was veiled and lacked definition. If the 212HT sounded this good in mono, I can't imagine listening in stereo! Therefore, I hooked up the right speaker and put it on a folding chair. As for the Jamo 103, I have not listened to it since I had all the 212HTs connected.
I am much more of a basshead than an audiophile. Immediately I noticed how potent the bass was from the 212HTs. Though on paper the 212HTs only dig down to 60Hz, they seem to hit deeper, harder and faster than the high 30Hz extension speakers they replaced. I even felt slight tremble from my recliner and some chest slam from the drums in Eagles - Hotel California
from Hell Freezes over DVD and the rhythm in Ed Sheeran - Shape of You
. The 212HTs shined so bright with rich male voices. When Andrea Bocelli started singing in the Prayer
MV, I got goosebumps and uttered out "Holy S-H-I-T". I have watched this MV dozens of times because of how Katherine McPhee looked in it. Now I have another reason to watch it. Maybe I will put Darth Vader's "I am your father" voice on repeat...
Roy Orbison - Only the Lonely
in Black and White Night was just ear candy on the Neosis 212HTs. The instruments were also very clear and the sound stage was just tremendous! After getting the Cap 4000ULF, I have not listened to Brand New Opry Vol.1 - Lowlands
because the MV does not have strong bass. Boy, the male vocals were just exquisite and the strings precise with great separation when each instrument entered the screen.
With the speakers (~87dB sensitivity) I had, I usually listen to music at MV of -18dB or so. I couldn't listen louder for extended period of time because it gets annoying after a few songs. With the 212HTs, I was listening at -20dB and did not feel loud at all. Then I went to the back yard for a breather and found that I was playing much louder than before. I almost freaked out because I didn't want to disturb the neighbors too much! When I got back inside, I noticed that the music did not appear that loud! Because the 212HTs could play loud with such low distortion, it still sounded pleasant.
Last weekend, I watched a movie (using the KEF Q100 as center) and found the dialogues just weren't as pronounced as before with a real center and therefore, the movie experience suffered. I missed the rich fuller sound from my last center speaker! Though I have not watched a movie yet with the Neosis 212HTs, I am positive that they will take movie viewing to the next level.
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