So...I've been living and listening to my LSi7s for several weeks now - got over 100 hours of time logged on them from movies, tv, and alot of music.
Like a nice pair of shoes - they feel broken in and I'm getting used to them.
But - I still have the RTiA3s and decided to do another round of comparisons between the two.
I used 3 CDs and some cable music to do this set of comparisons:
1) Peter Gabriel's "So"
2) Loggins and Messina (untitled)
3) Bryan Ferry's "Boys and Girls"
I chose these because there are several songs that are spacious, layered, and have good mixes with some dynamics to them (to me they don't suffer from the loudness syndrome).
I turned off any PEQ and GEQ on my avr and went with flat settings for both speakers.
I can't decide! :D
Each speaker has strong points and weak points.
The LSi7s, I think, look better on my rig and 'fit' better.
They are sonically dense and cohesive - especially when pushed hard and loud. They don't strain, the sound stage stays intact and calm and doesn't collapse.
But - they lack detail in the mid-range and treble when compared to the RTiA3s.
When listening to layered music with the LSi7s, you can sense there is sound from the ensemble of instruments - each contributing something to the sonic effect, but its hard to 'push' into the layers with my ears to hear the individuality of the instruments. The sound is there - just quite can't get a good sense of 'seeing' the sound.
The RTiA3s are much more detailed in the midrange and treble - with the layered music I can easily move in and out of each layer and hear detailed sound of each contributing instrument. Crisper edges - more open.
But - the RTiA3s are a tad 'hot' on the high end. And when pushed hard, in comparison to the LSi7s, they strain and it tells. The sound stage starts to close down and the highs can get to be a bit much.
At lower volumes - the RTiA3s are in their element - airy, detailed, open, spacious. The LSi7s sound dull in comparison and it takes some prodding to get the LSi7s to 'wake up'.
If you like to do some serious listening at seriously loud (I was at -1.0db and the Leds on the Carver were vigorously dancing up and down!) room filling volumes, the LSi7s don't even break a sweat and deliver sonically dense rich sound whereas the RTiA3s loose dynamics and tend to sound strident on top when the mixes are busy.
Red wine or white, blondes or brunettes, ribs or steak, water skiing or snow skiing - I can't decide! :p