Okay, let me begin by saying that in no way do I consider myself an audiophile - So bear with me as I try to give my honest layman's opinions.
When I purchased my HT/Surround sound system I chose the RTi'12s, CSi5, and FXi5's - Obviously I was in awe with the RTi series compared with my 20 yr old Onkyo 2 channel. They blew me away! I heard things I NEVER heard before! (Like my wife screaming, Turn It Down.....just kidding). Then I discovered SACD's and DVD-A's - OMG!! Talk about a whole new dimension! (I don't mean to 'overuse' the exclamation point, but I can't help it - that's exactly how I felt - and still DO feel). I was simply amazed with the surround sound features and movies really came to life. The first movie we watched on the new system was LOTR/FOTR and we were blown away. The RTi's have great 'punch' in the bass department and sounded excellent overall. I really love listening to music and probably use the system 80/20 music/HT, respectably. After researching further, I decided I would like to upgrade to the LSi series and when Mantis had his lineup for sale, I pounced.
I could not do an actual A/B side by side comparison, so I played some material that I was familiar with on the RTi's then hooked up the LSi's and listened to them again. What an experience! For music, the RTi's seemed to have a rather 'flat' soundstage with pinpoint accuracy. You could definitely point out where each instrument was coming from. I also enjoyed the bass of the three woofers. On certain material they just really stood out being very tight and articulate. For HT they work fantastic. Coupled with the SVS 16-46+ the system literally shakes the room up!
Onto the LSi's - After getting them hooked up around midnite on a Friday after work, I sat and listened and finally got the 15's situated to produce a nice sweet spot. One of the comparison songs I put on was Mel Torme's 'Love Walked In' on Concord Records' SACD Sampler Vol 1. This was played in multi-channel and it produced the effect that Mel and the drums & piano were down on the front stage. I could visualize myself halfway up the seats in a venue and that the horn sections seemed to be playing in the balconies. Very Cool! Then when the trumpet solo came, it felt as though he was up in the far left balcony playing right towards me. The next disc I put in was Angela McCluskey: 'The Things We Do' in 2 channel. The first cut on the album is why I bought it, she has a natural 'lilt' in her voice that just draws you in - But it was on track 4: 'Know It All' that REALLY impressed me in 2 channel. My listening chair is an old La-Z-Boy recliner with a swivel base. Maybe it's the fact the my wife rearranged the room to have my chair more in the center or maybe it's the help of the high back of the chair, but I swear I was totally enveloped in sound! It was (and IS) truly amazing! Like being in a giant pair of headphones - only BETTER! I got a chance to demo it for a friend of mine that same weekend and he about soiled his drawers - I even caught my wife cracking a smile when she sat in the sweet spot - and she only listens to music in the background while doing chores etc., for the most part. I could even distinquish the 'layers' of the separate tracks when they were put down - Impressive! Then I put on Pink Floyd: WYWH in 2 channel - I could literally turn a half inch in either direction and the imaging would change with it. It felt as if I was a big compass and I could spin around and zero in on North - Awesome!! Again, like being in a giant pair of headphones - totally enveloped in the music! I could NOT stop smiling! Then on to Jeff Beck's Blow By Blow - back to Multi-channel - Again, the headphone effect! But with crystal high's and nice, tight bass! These are the best speakers I have ever heard and I am totally in love with them! You can probably tell that I haven't gotten out much in the audio world in the past decade or so. I cannot wait to attend one of the Polk gatherings to experience some of the other equipment you guys talk about on the forum. Honestly, I can't imagine it getting much better, but somehow I believe it does! Just can't wait to hear it first hand! Thanks to Mantis for such a great deal and thanks to all of you for everything I have learned over the past few months. You have made my life THAT much happier! What else can I say?