RBH MC-6AW Listening Tests
CD: Yes - The Ladder
As always I started listening to Yes. The MC-6AW’s carried the energy that I am used to on this CD which got me involved in the music. Jon Anderson’s voice was forward and the midrange was very smooth. I started to compare the sound to my reference speakers and realized that these were indoor/outdoor speakers and that wouldn’t be fair or would it? The RBH’s were sounding surprisingly good at this point and I couldn’t wait to see how they did in the transparency and airiness tests.
CD: Enya - Shephards Moon
The light wispy airiness and transparency in Enya’s voice portrayed by these speakers on the “Marble Halls” track was awesome. I could hear the good sibilance and I started to think that these speakers were too good to go outside.
CD: Terence Blanchard – Jazz Suite
On “Malcolm Makes Hajj” the sax sounded smooth and clean but lacking a bit of realism although that is not something I expected from these speakers. I turned the volume up quite a bit for the trumpet solo and it did have the realism, just the right amount of edge from a trumpet. I did not hear perfect imaging and sound stage but remember they were not set up the way they were designed to be at this point.
CD: Flim and the BB’s – Big Notes
On “Funhouse” the detail and clarity was very good. It had good pseudo imaging although some of the highs were a bit piercing. After listening to “Funhouse” I wanted to hear a little more vocals.
CD: Annie Lennox – Lord of the Rings
For the first vocals I put on “Into the West” By Annie Lennox. Her voice sounded nice and forward but a bit less captivating than I am used to.
CD: Suzanne Vega – Solitude Standing
Next I played “Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega. The midrange in her voice was excellent and it sounded appropriately forward.
CD: Steely Dan – Two Against Nature
Finally for some male vocals I played “Gas Lighting Abbie.” Donald Fagan’s voice stood out well while the guitar was very distinct. The detail was great; there was no blurring of sound. All of the midrange sounds were smooth.
SACD: Matt Bianco - Matt’s Mood
I wasn’t intending to listen to anything but my CDs initially but I was so impressed with these little speakers I decided to try playing the great detail of SACD’s in two channel mode (as opposed to 5-channel). I started with “La Luna” and Basia’s voice was nicely forward and the instrumental detail was excellent.
SACD: Tchaikovsky - Overture of 1812
is probably the best recording I own. Although I’m a bit more used to the 5 channel recording of this SACD in 2-channel it still sounds excellent and the MC-6AW’s did not let me down. Everything
sounded clear and detailed and very involving.
After installing the speakers on the patio I listened again to some of the previous material except for the SACD stuff. The environment outside is obviously completely different. There were not 4 walls, there were only two block walls and tile floor. There are also outside noises to overcome such as cars and jets (I live in the flight path to the airport). There was no acoustical treatment set up, just the speakers and the outdoors. I had a preconception that they sounded good in my pristine listening environment but probably won’t on the patio. I was wrong. They also sounded great on the patio. Of course I couldn’t hear all the nuances that are heard on my reference system but I would surely be proud to show these off to any guests. Although I thought these speakers needed a bracket that could have been angled downward, I found that it was unnecessary. The dispersion was excellent. The first thing I noticed was that the sound stage was very high, ha ha (they are mounted near the ceiling). I definitely heard the better bass response from the boundary gain caused by mounting them on the walls. The Yes tracks carried the same involvement that I am used to hearing. I still heard the highs and detail very well like in Funhouse from Flim and the BB’s. There is a part in it that has a chime that I could hear with great detail. Even in the outside environment “Into The West” carried the dynamics well and Annie Lennox’s voice was still captivating enough. On “Malcolm Makes Hajj” the instruments sounded real and had good detail. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to talk about the sound stage in this environment though. On “Tom’s Diner” I could hear a lot more reverb due to the block walls and tile floor but it still sounded good. Hearing all this detail with the speakers mounted so high told me that the dispersion was excellent and that can be seen in the measurements to follow.