Originally Posted by markmon1
Sorry man but this thread is full of people that have upgraded to the D3 series and *kept* them - including me. I use to think they were a little harsh but then I dumped my emotiva amps and got McIntosh and now they're not in the slightest bit harsh. The 804D3 was definitely too bright. The 800, 802, and 805's are not harsh sounding. The 803 and 804 with the smaller drivers are definitely brighter.
Compared to the old series, the old kevlar midranges sound like they're playing through a tunnel or with your hands cupped around your ears. I completely agree that current 802D3 > previous 800D2. Many others have felt the same on this.
There maybe those that have "kept" them but that is not what the ownership trends are showing especially those with clout. People, primarily of industry, that I know of personally, have moved on and in short order and these are people that could be considered as loyal followers of the brand.
I have spent much time evaluating the 804D3, 803D3 and the 802D3 using, primarily, top flight McIntosh gear that many would consider to be the ideal synergistic coupling. I found the 802D3 to be the smoothest and most civilized of the three but the upper end of the spectrum is still mildly aggressive. Although I expected the D3 to perform better than the D2 I remain somewhat skeptical that it does in ways that seem to matter most... long term listenability. Are there improvements? Yes. Are there differences? Also, yes. Does it sound better overall? Somewhat doubtful over the long haul.
The historical suck-out in the midband that you are referring to is still present in the new series, albeit to a lesser degree. But as any good speaker designer should tell you the drivers and cabinet contruction are only half the equation. The crossover network is equally, in my experience more so, important to the sound/characteristics of a loudspeaker. The company decided to use the inferior Evo Silver/Gold capacitor for the upper midrange and treble crossover point for the D3 series whereas the D2 uses the superior Supreme Silver/Gold/Oil variety. This choice seems to have had major implications to the somewhat harsh overtones that I detect.
The Evo capacitor stands out with its articulate and realistic brightness and fine detail but it settles in on the top side of neutral most of the time and places a greater emphasis on sibilance. On the other hand, the Supreme capacitor exhibits smooth harmonic overtones and excels at image depth, openness and spatiality although with some top-end emphasis too. Listening to the the D3 is like having a fling, seems exciting but only at first, whereas listening to the D2 is like having a romance, seems to get better with time.