It also images well, John Surman’s saxophone on the album Thimar seemingly disconnected from the cabinets altogether. These speakers are remarkably good at getting out of the way and letting the character of the music take the lead. Thus Barb Jungr’s rendition of ‘Who Do You Love?’ is vibrant and crisp, with lovely tone from double bass, acoustic guitar and voice alike.
The new tweeter makes itself heard when you play some trumpet, like Avanim’s Third World Love. This has tremendous immediacy and spatial resolution. What’s more there’s none of the usual break up that trumpets seem to induce in tweeter domes. Rather late in the day I realised that I was using a DNM interconnect on the Resolution Audio Opus 21 rather than my preferred Living Voice cable; switching them over both beefed up the bass and calmed the mid and was far better suited to the job (note to self: use the right wire for the job!). I could now turn it up more without the room joining in and continued playing as many favourite albums as I could lay my hands on. Rather a pleasant experience as you might imagine and one that I could happily carry on with if it weren’t for these darn deadlines. Another late revelation was that despite its size and bandwidth the EB1i needs a little bit of rear wall reinforcement to produce the best results. Most of my listening was done with them at the more open end of the room where the floor is more solid and the wall two or more metres back, but switching things around so that the wall was only a metre behind the front baffle seemed to work better. Cuts with excessive bass sounded excessively bassy, but most sounded better balanced. The Fink album in particular turning into a rather better recording than had previously been apparent. The low distortion is still the hallmark that allows you to hear so much fine detail and space from every record that is spun, but with this set up I found it was possible to listen at higher levels without discomfort – despite the presence of closer side-walls. The EB1i is a more open and sophisticated loudspeaker than its predecessor. The changes to tweeter, crossover and cabinet have brought about a reduction in distortion across the board that makes for a highly revealing and damned enjoyable loudspeaker. Now, what excuse can I find to hold onto them for a few months?