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Earthquake Sound PN-2515 LCR Speakers and MiniMe P8 Subwoofer

Part II

September, 2007

John E. Johnson, Jr.

 

The Sound

For the listening tests, I used a McIntosh MCD201 SACD Player, Denon DVD-5900 DVD Player, Lexicon MC-12B SSP, Lamm L2 Reference Preamplifier, McIntosh MC602 Power Amplifier, McIntosh MC1201 Power Amplifiers, and Class CA-5200 Power Amplifier. Cables were Nordost and Legenburg.

Mozart composed overtures to his operas, and this CD (Virgin Classics 0-94636-32842-3) has a lot of them. They can be thunderous.

I cranked up the volume here, and listened to how the instruments were separated. They sounded perfectly distinct (including violins and woodwinds) except at very high volume (over 100 dB), which we shouldn't be listening at anyway.

The timbre was very neutral, which is desirable. And that goes all the way across the soundstage, even when in surround modes due to the speakers all being the same.

 

Grieg's "Piano Concerto in A Minor" (on Virgin Classics 0-94639-13692-6) has one of the most recognized introductions of any piano piece ever composed, and it goes from the highest registers all the way down to the lowest. And, the pianist here - Leif Ove Andsnes - practically pounds the keys through the floor.

The 2515s handled the intense transients beautifully, and the piano sounded very natural. The MiniMe took care of the lowest notes without any problem. No boominess either.

 

Rachmaninov's Vespers (Virgin Classics 0-94639-13752-7) has chorus without orchestra, so it is a good disc to hear the timbre of voices, and many at the same time.

The 2515's handled this with clarity and detail. I could easily distinguish the various groups (soprano to bass voices), and they didn't sound mushy.

 

One of the things I like about Baroque music is that it often does not have a huge number of instruments.

For example, on this CD (Virgin Classics 0-94639-13782-4) has tracks where it is just stringed instruments, and they all sounded crisp, with the right amount of edge to give them life, but not so much as to make them harsh in the slightest. Silk dome tweeters are famous for this characteristic.

Movies in 5.1 surround were really very interesting using the Earthquake setup. Since these are monopolar speakers and quite small, the sound was very focused. The sound was easily localizable, and some consumers may prefer a more diffuse sound, especially in the rear. On the other hand, because they are all identical, the overall sound was equally enveloping all the way around. You have to decide what you prefer. The subwoofer was OK as long as I didn't turn up the action films too loud. For the majority of movies though, especially in a small room, it would be fine.

Go to Part III.

Copyright 2007 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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