The speaker quest continues...
Done some speaker auditioning last week, and this is where I got by now:
Intrigued by JMacMan's posts on active speakers (and B&O in particular), I made an appointment in the nearby B&O shop for an audition of the BeoLab 9s. Very kind and helpful dealer. Music was played through a BeoSound 5 Encore streamer (FLAC from a USB-stick). The speakers happened to be installed really close to each other (some 60(!) cm between them), next to the wall, with all wires tidily hidden, so that they could not be repositioned ( ). We listened as was. The sound was very clear, crisp - analytical, I dare say - but the bass was muddy. Did the 500 W ICEpower amp lose its grip on the woofer? Don’t think so. The problem was more likely due to the terrible acoustics (all concrete, plaster, glass, with a suspended wooden floor... Why do they do that in hi-fi shops?). No soundstage worth mentioning, I suppose because of the small distance between the speakers.
When I discussed my objections with the dealer, he had an unexpected proposal (did I mention he was kind and helpful? ). He happens to live really close to me, and invited me to his place, to listen to his BeoLab 5s in better circumstances. I’ m not sure I want to take the risk to listen to the 5s, afraid I might really like them (but can’t afford them). But then again, it may give an impression of what the 9s are capable of in a well treated room. I think I might just give it a go!