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This doesn’t yet cap the soundstaging topic. The M6 did something else I’d not heard before. In my experience thus far most speakers produce their highest imaging precision or performer localization when the distance between them is equal to or smaller than the distance to the listener. That’s the famous equilateral triangle of listening seat and speakers.
With the M6 I noticed no ill effects when enlarging the distance between them beyond the listener distance. Quite the contrary. Best results came with a listening distance of 2 meters and speaker distance of 2.4 meters. It otherwise didn’t sound poor but this geometry truly locked in the staging. Take the instrumental "Film Theme" from Simple Minds’ early Reel to Reel Cacophony. With proper setup the hi-hat should completely decorrelate from the speakers and take up position about a half meter outside the right box whilst a crash cymbal does the same on the left. A narrower speaker setup keeps these instruments inside the triangle. What one fancies more is matter of taste but I ought to stress that despite this lateral expansion I didn’t incur any loss of depth layering. Hence this Cineramascope placement really had my vote.
With Manfred Krug having comprehensively covered vocals already, let’s revisit the instrumental of "Film Theme" to describe the M6’s tonal balance top to bottom. This number sports delay percussion with a quite deeply tuned snare, a few synth layers, quite broadly layered distorted electric guitars and a solo synth whose timbre changes like an inebriated chameleon. Here again I noted the squeaky clean ultra-resolved yet never hyper-present treble. The same held true for the midband which tracked how the synth’s tone colors morphed by gaining upper harmonics in places before going duller again. The transition into the bass felt seamless. Even so the bass system’s quite manly appearance to the eye didn’t translate into noticeably ‘bassy’ heft to the ear.
Similar to the Abacus combo of APC24-23/C monitors with sub stands, I heard more of a linear descent than upper-bass lift or true low-bass might. It’s fair to say then that to my ears the Swans M6 played it clean and even across the range but applied a special magnification focus on the mid/treble registers. In the true low bass which "Film Theme" visits with its synth-enhanced bass guitar, the M6 found its way around but felt a bit lightweight. The speaker ‘kept up’ and ‘made it’ to the bottom but did so with a certain dynamic reticence.
Let’s inspects dynamics more closely. Here Linton Kwesi Johnson’s LKJ in Dub is a good bench mark for Dub Reggae with strange sound effects, sharply mixed drums with reverb trails to clock time and de rigueur low bass. Now one has to confess that certain competitors hit harder. First of those would be the PSB Synchrony One I hosted last year for bass with true shove and power. The Swans M6 was noticeably gentler. This also impacts tonal balance. The Synchrony One applies a small emphasis in the power zone where the M6 sails through straight. The Swans also handles attacks with more ease than punchy violence.
For Dub Reggae where Olympic speed records are never the thing, this still fit nicely. But once something like Nada Surf’s latest The Stars are indifferent to Astronomy enters with the singles cut-out "Teenage Dreams", true Rock’n’Rollas might miss a bit of raw attack crunch.