- Written by Jim Milton
- Published on 01 March 2010
For movies, I watched (and listened to) Baraka, Star Trek, and Phantom of the Opera. Baraka not only has stunning images captured in 8K resolution, but has a high definition soundtrack that contains instruments from around the world.
Drums with pulsing deep bass, cymbals and flutes that dance delicately, and sweeping musical vistas were all well reproduced on the S-2EXs. I heard subtle nuances within the music as well as the engulfing roar of the dynamite explosion in the chapter 15.
Star Trek provided special effects of phasers, flyovers, explosions and some great dialog effects from people talking off screen. When voices panned across the picture, they remained stable and intelligible. Good dialog is usually a testament to good mid range reproduction. Phantom was a good choice just for the sweeping musical score. Due to some mastering problem with HD-DVD, I had to crank the volume more than usual to get the soundtrack to hit realistic levels. It paid off though as the S-2EXs really came alive when cranked.
My musical choices where varied. In order to evaluate these speakers, I sampled everything from classical to the Beatles (newly re-mastered, of course). Prokofiev's Symphony No.5 allowed me to hear deeply into the orchestra and hear subtleties such as the breath intake of a horn player. Crescendos were easily handled and bass had a strong impact. The piccolo had a good deal of "air" and the beryllium tweeters played them without a hint of harshness or metallic ringing. It reminded me of some well designed silk-dome tweeters. A sweet and smooth treble.
The Beatles White Album is made up of individual musical expressions from all four members.
Their music swings from introspective ("Mother Natures Son") to frivolous ("Bungalow Bill"), hard rocking ("Back in the USSR") to acoustics ("Julia"). The re-mastered version sounds amazing on speakers that can achieve high resolution. The S-2EXs sounded very good with the Fab Four. Imaging was wide and deep and the details…I could hear things in the music that I never heard before… a softly spoken word, a musical note or some background banter. Little things that I had not noted before were revealed with the S-2EXs. Even "Revolution 9" was fun to listen to with all of the sonic details. It was like rediscovering an old friend. And as an aside, these speakers can be pushed pretty hard. In fact, the harder they are pushed, the more open they sounded. I never got them to say "uncle", and the warm articulate sound they produced was perfect for music and movies alike.