Here's the current scoop. The NAD D 3045 i ordered is lost in the mail somewhere. Who knows when it'll show up, but Fedex can't find it. So i set up my old Denon AVR-1913 down in the basement where i decided to do the testing. The acoustics are much better there than in my office as the floor has foam tiles and the ceiling has insulation. It's a big oddly shaped room and it sounds pretty good. I used to do recording and music mixing/production stuff down there. Yes, the final home for the speakers will be my office and i plan to do some testing there as well, but I want to make my feedback a little more universal. I've also been struggling to get my sub manually setup in my office, the modes are a nightmare. So if i find speakers that can do well without a sub, all the better.
The receiver has two zones which makes A/B testing a little easier. So i have two sets of speakers up on stands at a time. They're 2ft from the back wall, about 6ft apart and my listening chair is about 9 feet back. There's a good 6ft from each speaker to the side wall and the room itself is 26ft long and has off shoots. Sort of C shaped.
The music i listen most often i guess is "indie" rock/pop. This covers ground from folk to rock to synthy stuff to some r&b. I listen to a lot of other stuff, though, so for the comparison i made a varied list, but also explored around the Tidal app to find other stuff. I tend to only listen to sections of songs so i'd prob cover 15 or so songs per test. The test playlist i made includes, St. Vincent, Fleetwood Mac, Miles Davis, The Weeknd, Radiohead, Steely Dan (obligatory Aja), Tame Impala, Sufjan Stevens, Fiona Apple, Andrew Bird, Tracy Chapman, Between the Buried and Me, Christine and the Queens, Vagabon, MGMT, Pink Floyd, Mac DeMarco, Queen, Jenny Lewis, Billie Eilish, and Beyonce. A good ol' mix. When i ventured off my playlist to explore i tended to look for hop hop and r&b to grab some more low end testing. So I'll prob describe generalities than specifics song by song. If anyone has an interesting test song, i'd be happy to check it out.
Cambridge Audio S30 vs Energy RC-10
So anyway, i started yesterday comparing my old Cambridge Audio S30s to the Energy RC-10s as a warmup. A few days aga when I was comparing the Vanatoos to the S30s, it became clear that the S30s had a cut in the upper mids somewhere. I think at first it sort of accentuates the highes and makes them sound sort of clear, but digging in more its clear it tends to thin out voices and make things a little nasally. Above this cut i think the treble is boosted a bit. The low end is then hyped a little. This response remained apparent in comparison to the RC-10s. It's like once i heard it and i couldn't unhear it. The RC-10s have nice mids and are flatter, but the low end and high end does roll off a bit. The RC-10s can sound slightly stuffy or boxy. But the mids are very nice and if you like a little more laid back high end these might be great speakers for you. Really this comparison didn't take super long as i'm pretty ready to dismiss the S30s. They sound sort of fun on their own, but next to something with a flatter response the begin to fall short. Winner RC-10.
Next up is the RC-10s vs the KEF Q150s.
Last edited by TXBDan; 04-26-2020 at 11:55 AM.