This weekend, I borrowed the Monitor Audio Silver 8i loaners from the local stereo shop. In addition to the 8i's, i'm considering B&W 604s3 and Paradigm Studio 60. My goal is to pick the front speakers and buy appropriate rear channels for each. Unfortunately, I was not able to borrow the demo of the B&W and Paradigms this weekend also. So, I planned to compare carefully with a set of old speakers I have at the house (ADS L1090's). The ADS speakers were a donation from my father-in-law, so I have no idea of their quality. He bought them around 1990 and says they cost about 1000. I am some of a neophite, so I repeatedly listened to the same tracks on each speaker. Each time, I concentrated on either the high, middle or low frequencies. Also, I listened both at moderate volume and high volume. My current receiver is a Yamaha 80w per channel pro-logic unit (I dont remember the model). At moderate volume, the 8i's did not seem to go as low but seemed to have tighter bass. Mid was slightly brighter. High frequencies slightly more detailed and crisp. The 8i's seemed to be more efficient. I preferred the 8i's but by a small margin. So small, I question the logic of spending $1500 to upgrade the ADS speakers. Of course, the answer is to get a fully matched HT system including center channels and surrounds. At high volume, the 8i's bass was tighter and seemed to "hit" harder. The mid and high frequencies were harsh in comparison to the ADS L1090's. The L1090's (even after adjusting volume upwards to compensate for them being less efficient) were much easier to listen to. The 8i's I borrowed are the store's demo and floor model. Given that this store is known for being a high end audio dealer and knowing their stuff, I assume that they broke the 8i's in. It would be stupid for them not to. But, I will ask tomorrow. I bet the answer will be that they were not broken in and the sound will improve and mellow with time. Unfortunately, I am not sure if I should believe them. If the same thing happens when I home-demo the Studio 60's and the 604s3's, I may be looking for a center channel that will match the ADS speakers!