To Hans Wetzel,
Interesting read on your choice of a new reference speaker. I, too, find myself in the same situation as I want to upgrade my speakers. I currently have Axiom M80 V2s with an Axiom center and surround speakers.
I jumped on a set of Energy RC-70s that once sold for $2200/pr., and got them for $800. I have had them for 30 days. Before I decide to keep them, I must say that they are not as bright as the Axioms and I find them three-dimensional. The Axioms are really forward-sounding, with the Energy on the recessed side. I could have gotten the GoldenEar Technology Triton 3 for $2000/pr., as well. I know the Energy speaker is around 2007 technology, and I'll have to live with this upgrade for a while. I also got the Energy Veritas center speaker, regular price $1000, for $500, and the Veritas mini-bookshelf speakers for $250/pr. What's your opinion on this particular upgrade? Sometimes when I listen to both of these models they sound similar and I'm afraid that over the long haul that there's not enough differences to consider the Energy as a huge upgrade.
I don't think you went wrong in your purchases, Gerald. Energy makes some good speakers, just as Axiom does. You may be right that the move from Axioms to Energys was more lateral than anything else, but both companies make overachieving value-oriented products, so it's hardly a damning assessment.
Yes, something like the GoldenEar would probably offer a noticeable upgrade, as would a few other speakers that are newer and incorporate more modern materials. But if it were me, for the moment, I would enjoy the good deals that you got on your Energy speakers. I was able to purchase my now-departed Mirage OMD-28 loudspeakers for $2300/pr., a steal considering they once retailed for $7500/pr. I knew that there were better speakers out there, but I thoroughly enjoyed their company for the two years that I owned them. If you decide in the future that you'd like to go a different direction, GoldenEar Technology would offer a good starting point. You might also check out -- in no particular order -- Paradigm, KEF, Definitive Technology, Aperion Audio, PSB or Sonus Faber. . . . Hans Wetzel