Just wanted to rant a little bit about a trip I had today. I'm fortunate enough to live within a 5-15 minutes drive of 3 high end audio stores that have amazing listening rooms and carry tons of brands. I've auditioned speakers in the $500 to $165,000 range (X-2 Mk.II Alexandria Floorstanders ) which is pretty awesome to be able to do.
Today I took a listen to the Vandersteen Model 5 ($16,900), the Quad 2805 ($10,000) and several other speakers that I can't recall the names of in the $10,000 plus range. I listened through lots of high-end tube gear with both vinyl and digital as the source. All in all, I'm extremely proud of how the SDA's stood up to much more expensive gear in much better rooms. In fact, I was kind of blown away to hear my system when I got home!
The Vandersteens were very impressive. I don't think they necessarily destroyed the mid range and top end of the SDA's, but they smoked them in bottom end clarity and definition, one thing I feel is lacking in my SDA's. I can hear the kick drum and upright bass through the SDA's fine, but they don't have the definition, air, or space around them that I've heard other speakers portray far better in my room with the same electronics.
The Quads 2805's were a treat to hear. Last time I auditioned them in the same listening room I wasn't impressed at ALL. Today, they were connected to top of the line Conrad Johnson tube gear (the ET5 Preamplifier, ET250S amplifier). I was blown away at how insanely BIG the music was, but more specifically, the vocals! It really sounded like I was standing right in front of the vocalist and he was singing directly into my ears. The entire wall sounded like 1 unified speaker lol.
I heard some PSB's, little Quad floorstanders, that weren't all that impressive. I decided that I'm gonna take a trip with a friend and spend a day auditioning speakers to find what my "flavor" is. I'm definitely not a fan of magneplanar's anymore after owning the 1.7's.
Anyway, I was a fool for thinking about selling the SDA's! I took them out of the closet and have been running them for a few days with the new Emotiva XPA-2 when the neighbors leave hehehe. All I have to say is AWESOME.