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"...it's like going to the optician, getting new glasses and seeing everything clearly for the first time."
"So, some early impressions of the Eos HDs, even though listening time has been restricted to a few short hours -- or maybe it seems like that because I always seem to WANT to spend more time just listening.
"The good news is the Green Mountain black magic works just fine here Downunder, though you probably already knew that. Despite the limitations of an excessively bright living room (soon to be rectified), my ears are VERY happy and the rest of me is thrilled.
"My initial observation to hearing the speakers was the immaculate depth of detail...they go way deep don't they? I know you like to say it feels like the artists step out of the speakers into the room, but I think they're even better than that. When I close my eyes it feels like these little black time machines transport me to the precise time and place of the recording/concert and sit me down in the best seat in the house. Or to employ another metaphor, it's like going to the optician, getting new glasses and seeing everything clearly for the first time. Suddenly the world comes into focus and you realise how much you've been missing.
"Like so many of your other Happy Ears friends I'm hearing things in all my discs I've never heard before. Even the TV monitor is magic through the Eos HDs. For example, earlier tonight I found myself gazing at a music TV show with some spotty faced band bashing out some piece of crap; all whiny singing and dodgy playing, and you know what, even though they were rubbish, it was great SOUNDING rubbish.
"As I write this I have a Miles Davis disc playing from an old live show with Bill Evans on piano. Not only do I hear every nuance, every breath Miles takes, the delicate touch of Bill's fingertips on the ivorys (I grew up listening to a piano because my mother was a piano teacher), I'm pretty sure I can also hear the sweat beads running down Miles's face. Or maybe I'm just imagining that bit. Whatever, I'm there.
"So there's a few first impressions of my brand new Eos HDs. You say they'll get much better with a couple of hundred more hours on them and I find it hard to imagine how, but I'll take your word on it. After all, it's obvious to me now you aren't really a math dude at all, you're some kind of alchemist! Thanks for the magic, Roy.
Now, two years later, I cannot thank you enough for the Eos HX upgrade. Musci has never felt so wonderful!"
--Ray C., Australia
"...if you’re here, who’s playing the guitar in the family room?..."
"I just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know how things are developing with further break-in. The sound is glorious! I think two brief anecdotes best describe how things are coming together.
"The first of these took place on New Year’s day when we had some friends over for lunch. Once everyone was seated in our dining room (from which you cannot see the stereo system in the family room), I went to the system and popped in a CD of Segovia playing Bach. After a few seconds of enjoying the unbelievably realistic sound, I returned to the table. One of the guests looked alarmed when I returned and asked, "if you’re here, who’s playing the guitar in the family room?"!!! The guests were so flabbergasted that the sound was coming from the stereo, they all got up from the table to go to the family room and verify that I was, in fact, telling the truth. They all agreed they had never heard sound reproduced that accurately before.
"The second informative incident involves one of our dogs, who has extremely sensitive ears. With my prior speakers, I would always try to fool him by playing Pink Floyd Dogs to see if he would think a dog was actually barking. He wasn’t convinced and showed no interest whatsoever.
Likewise, he was never convinced by recordings of human voices. This particular dog gets very excited if he hears people speaking in our house and does not recognize their voice, because he presumes this means we have company that he needs to meet and greet.
"The other day, I was listening to a Chris Botti CD and the dog was asleep in our office. On track 2, as Andrea Bocelli began singing, our dog came charging at full speed out of the office and rushed into the family room trying to identify the "visitor." He ran in circles barking frantically and looking at me sitting in my listening chair chuckling, unsure why he couldn’t find the "guest."
"He then moved very slowly towards one of the speakers and sat down in front of it, cocking his head to one side and looking alternately at me and at the speaker quizzically as if trying to understand how a person could fit inside the speaker.
The same thing occurred when my wife was listening to a meditation CD with spoken voices. The dog got very upset at her that someone was in the house speaking and my wife was not looking for the "visitor."
"I think these two instances sum up the realism that these unbelievable speakers produce in our home. Thank you so much for such a wonderful piece of engineering that allows such accurate reproduction of sound."
--C.P., Nevada, USA
Follow up email: "Attached are 2 photos, one of each of our dogs (Aang, top; Zuko, bottom) listening intently to the Eos HD’s as they reproduce an audio track of the human voice. It’s a track of a man talking providing instructions for checking whether the speakers are in phase. Just after snapping the photo of Zuko, he inserted his snout into one of the ports and began frantically sniffing, I guess trying to find the source of the voice. These speakers are really amazing and just seem to keep getting better and better. Thank you so much!"
--Best regards, C.P., a GMA customer for life!
"...they already run circles around our prior speakers no matter what I’ve thrown at them..."
The following was sent to our Retailer in San Francisco, Silent Lucidity: "Thanks so much for the call on Friday to check on the safe arrival of my Eos HDs. I had them unpacked and set up within about 15 minutes of speaking with you and wasn’t sure what to expect after hearing both your and Roy’s advice about needing a lot of break-in time to sound their best.
"All I can say is, WOW! I can’t imagine what they’ll sound like after break-in, because I’ve never heard anything like them. I can hear instruments I’ve never heard before, even when I listened through really good headphones. The sound of the Bach cello suites was so beautiful, it was very close to tear-provoking. I guess we’ll get to re-discover our entire CD collection over the next few months.
"Amazingly, the Eos HDs are sounding even better as they go; each hour they sound better than the last. It’s like a dream-come-true. They’re so small compared to our previous 225lb. monsters, yet the sound they produce is so much bigger, fuller, and richer. The sound is just gorgeous.
"Thank you so much for all your help, for your fantastic service, and for allowing us to listen to all our CDs when we came down to San Francisco. It was a very good decision to get the HD’s, and I’m sure they will provide a lifetime of joy and satisfaction. I’ll keep you posted as they break-in further, but they already run circles around our prior speakers no matter what I’ve thrown at them; even large loud orchestral music was glorious right out of the box!
"Thanks so much again, and I think your analogy was right on the money when you said I sounded like a kid at Christmas; it’s just how I feel!"
--C.P., Nevada, USA
"...the ass indentations in my couch are growing to epic proportions..."
"I'm just writing to say holy s**t sir. The EOS HDs are just sounding so good that that the ass indentations in my couch are growing to epic proportions. That in itself does not come as a great surprise to anyone who knows me. The really interesting part is what has brought out the current level of splenditude from your marvelous speakers.
"A while back I had become curious about all of the buzz surrounding the Eico HF-81 integrated amps, a kit design from the late 50s/early 60s. These are commonly available fully restored, for well under $1,000. I figure that mine is just old enough to have it's own AARP card, but you'd never know it. The sound is just so lively and musical.
"As a psychiatrist, doing much work in substance abuse, I am well aware that most individuals spend their entire addicted career vainly trying to chase their first highs. The same can be said of us audiophiles. I've had a dizzying array of components in and out of my system, but despite the quality leaps, little has recaptured the enjoyment that I got with the Proton receiver and Spica TC-50s that I had in my first apartment, so many years ago.
"Today, I am enjoying such a natural presentation, with such out of the box imaging, ease and musicality, that I feel transported to those earliest days. Back then listening to the music was what mattered; not picking out individual instruments or sitting in awe of audiophile "tricks," but just appreciating the organic wholeness of the experience.
"Since you've been so kind and generous with your time, and since what you do is clearly a labor of love for you, I figured that you might appreciate a latest update from a user in the field. If you ever get a chance to lay your hands on an HF-81, you might want to give it a try. You might be tickled."
--G.R., Michigan, USA
"...so life-like and with such exact timing...heard only at live performances..."
"Unpacked speakers today, plugged them in and the very first impression from Jacintha's "California Dreaming" (...Goes To Hollywood, Groove Note) was very familiar in a good way -- reminded me of the JM Lab Micro Utopia Be's BUT without the excessive sibilance and tearing of high notes caused by Utopia's tweeter. I remember them so well because I was about to purchase a pair of Micro Utopias last year but was turned off by their beryllium tweeter incompatibility with my ears. The best part for me today was to experience music flowing from speakers without any effort and vocals appearing very transparent as if the singer was in the same room. I also noticed that Eos HD is able to do this even at very moderate volume levels.
"Actually what amazed me was the reproduction of the acoustic guitar, played by Eric Clapton (Tears in Heaven) and by Sting (Fragile) -- so life-like and with such exact timing that I have heard only at live performances. Also the fact that I was now able to listen to four albums in a row without noticing any fatigue to my ears, is a very welcome new feature for me. The conclusion is that I can finally let my trusty B&W 805 Matrix's completely retire and start enjoying the Eos HD. I would like to thank you again for designing the really spectacular pair of unique speakers and for excellent customer service!"
--P.O., Tallinn, Estonia
Follow up email: "This weekend I got more experience with the speakers and Audio Magic IC (interconnects). I am very happy with the speakers, it seems that in every listening session I discover something new in the music from my old CD collection, even with CDs that I thought had bad mastering -- not so sure about that anymore."
--P.O., Tallinn, Estonia
"When the end of the album came I just started again and again."
"Hello Roy, So, how does the system sound? Just spent more than an hour listening to Mark Knopfler's Kill to be Crimson. And guess what! I turned up the sound loud!! Oh my goodness, I think I was in Mark's mind! By the time I got to the track, The Fish and the Bird, I thought things could not get better. I just bobbed up an down on an ocean that might as well been real. When the end of the album came I just started again and again. Worth every bit of the journey, Roy."
--S.P., Brisbane, Australia
"Instruments and voices are abundantly real, natural, and musical."
"I had read about, discussed and anticipated the Eos HD so much that I didn’t expect to be too surprised. They were going be better than the Callistos, which were better than my Europas. Namely, the midrange and treble would have even more clarity, detail and sparkle. One could expect to see and hear further into the music. The bass would be fuller and go deeper. The sonic signature would be the same but would rise to a higher level of performance. This would all prove to be true. But, to do justice to the remarkable sound of the Eos HD requires a clearer description that explains how and why this is so.
"Both my wife and I agreed without hesitation: If we had to choose one word to describe the Eos HDs, it would have to be "pure." To be more precise, Merriam-Webster defines pure as: free from harshness or roughness and being in tune; free from what vitiates, weakens, or pollutes; containing nothing that does not properly belong; having exactly the talents or skills needed for a particular role. We also agreed that the Eos HD sounds "lush." Again, according to Webster: characterized by abundance; appealing to the senses. Another way to put it is to say that it conveys the richness of the music in a way that just sounds right and feels right. Instruments and voices are abundantly real, natural, and musical. The distinct timbre of each instrument can be heard and felt. The music is vividly clear, palpable, and has an immediacy that is pleasing in every musically meaningful way."
--J.C., North Carolina, USA
"There's so much good about these speakers...it's hard to find fault..."
"I heard the Eos HD on the 15th and ordered a pair on the 17th. I have been looking for a new bookshelf speaker for a while now now. Heard plenty including Usher, JMLabs, Wilson (too expensive), ProAcs, Coincident, Thiel, AE, Harbeth, Dyn, Tannoys (full size), list goes on...I liked the Reynaud Offrande at RMAF...also the Tannoys and Audio Notes with WE300b...very nice.
"The pair I heard had just been polished and Roy was setting them up for me. Besides testing, I'm pretty sure I heard the first music on them. (He used an) Edge amp, Birdland DAC, and some low-end transport. There's so much good about these speakers...it's hard to find fault (I quickly dropped my sound analysis (about 4 or 5 songs in) and dumped my usual evaluation and just sat back and took it in).
"It's also hard to describe what I heard since it is so different than what I've been hearing...I will say I heard some traits common in single drivers like Audio Notes or Tannoys but just some. If you've heard GMAs before then probably already know about lack of grain, the imaging, sound stage, dynamics, smoothness, speed, etc....besides those, bass authority (this bass also goes pretty low), clear perfect highs, without fatigue were what really stand out to me...
"Speakers I've been hearing have been frying my ears after a while even though they have the nice high-fidelity. Neil Young's "Down by the River" chorus is one test I have for compression when all voices join in. Typically things get messy on most of what I've heard. On my speakers, I usually turn the volume down a bit and get by it. Not here...opened up above the speakers and distinct voices with space. Very nice.
"The Who "Real Me" is my bad recording (also compressed test). Most speakers I hear in an attempt to image Moon's drums typically get different parts in each speaker. Not here again, everything behind the speakers, a bit to the left but again, space indicating placement of each drum. This song also plays with Daltrey's voice. Sometimes recessed and sometimes forward. I didn't notice any large variation like I typically do. Also, I've heard the bass guitar in this (which is the greatest bass rift ever, IMHO) vary from bookshelf to bookshelf. Sometimes the drums stand out, sometimes the bass.
"On the Eos HD, it's the bass which is typically how I hear it on floor standers. One other note, I was enjoying this quite a bit then Roy came in and said, "This song needs to be played loud" and cranked it. I mean cranked! I've had dealers give me the "be careful look" before...not Roy, up it went and it was fantastic."
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