I must have had a bad pair of these speakers when they first came out ?
I bought them mail order, maybe they were refurbs, or someone had a bad day assembling them ?
The FIRST pair sounded truly dreadful.
I recently picked up a MINT pair locally.'
These are an ENTIRELY different animal altogether.
At first, they sounded really good.
But, then they changed!
Perhaps it was simply because they were not played at all in over 4 years ?
I don't know, but it has required my moving them around, and using different stuff on them.
I now have them singing again.
They are up against the following speakers at my house.
B&W 801 Matrix series 2's w/o the ferrofluid tweeter of series 3.
IMHO, the BEST dome tweeter I have ever heard!
Von Schweikert VR 4 Jr's
VMPS RM 40's
Lets get right to the point, they are no match for the low coloration of the 801, and can not equal it's tweeter.
The air and detail and sheer realism from the 801's tweeter is absent on the L7
On really great recordings, the 801's just walk away from the L7 in most every area.
DB Keele also reported this in his Audio Magazine Review of the L7.
DB Keele also used 801's as his reference speaker.
Same with the VMPS RM 40.
It too will eat the L7's lunch, as long as EVERYTHING is perfect.
This means EVERYTHING, source, and Amps, etc, etc.
The Von Schweikert VR 4 Jr's are a VERY musical speaker, and like the L7's, have a way to make most stuff sound good.
Their weakness is the ability to play LOUD, and their small woofers are delicate in comparison.
IF I lived in a smaller room, and didn;t get "crazy" sometimes, or have kids listening to RAP, the choice would be clear.
I would take my VR 4 Jr's over EVERY other speaker I own.
In a small to medium size room, at NORMAL levels, IMHO they have no equal for an all around speaker for the majority of music.
The 801's really ARE a monitor, and sound like it too.
There does not seem to be a happy medium with them.
IF the recording permits, they will drop your jaw.
If ANYTHING is less then it should be, you are gonna hear it!
The VMPS RM 40's are probably WORSE in this regard, being revealing of absolutely EVERYTHING.
Like the 801's, they can be stunning.
Now, let's get to L7 ?
First of all, my judgements of a speaker for ME is how does it sound on 25 different Cd's that represent a good example of music I actually listen to ?
L7 has the uncanny ability, like the Von Schweikert VR 4 JR, to make almost everything sound at least tolerable.
L7 also has an uncanny ability, shared only by the VMPS RM 40 to play REALLY LOUD, w/o strain.
It also is a revealing speaker in a soft stated way.
L7 is capable of generating an immense sound field, just a bit shortened in depth from the 801, and perhaps not as atmospheric as the VR 4 Jr's, but competent in this regard.
Because of its paper cone lower mid range driver, sound wise the L7 is most like the Von Schweikert that also employs a modified paper driver.
BTW, in this regard, L7 reminds me of my Yamaha NS 200 M Beryllium Monitors.'
They also use a paper cone driver.
B&W and VMPS both use carbon fiber and Kevlar cones for their mid ranges, and there is a difference in sound.
More Transparency, but less forgiving are the Kevlar drivers.
Playing classic Rock, L7 has no equal in my home.
Styx, Foreigner, Boston, Black Sabbath and Metallica are done nicely, and rendered not only listenable, but among the very best I have heard.
Rap is OK, Linkin Park likes the VMPS and 801's a bit better.
Usher sounds great on the L 7, as does Poison and Paula Cole.
I DO hear the change from the paper to the poly driver on some female voice, but it is not real annoying.
In short, I still do not think I have YET gotten the best out of these fine speakers.
I plan to vertically bi amp, using one separate amp on each, driving the woofers with one channel, and the mids.tweeter with the other channel
Also, I find these like a LOT of power and current.
L7 is making a strong case for itself to remain a keeper in my home.
I am quite impressed!
Hats off to you JBL !