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