Ok. More updates.
I spent several emails with Jon from the AudioInsider.
First off, I'd have to say his support has been awesome, great buying experience. One of the things he pointed out was that the Swans work much better with a solid mount and they totally do not recommend something like the Auralex pads underneath it. So, by following some of his pointers, I have put the Swans on the desk directly without the pads, and played around with placement a huge amount.
That and some more break-in time, and I actually think I've come to like the Swans either equal to or better than the Adams. And yes, given the price difference, I'm trying *really* hard to like them better :) The Swans seem to be *extremely* sensitive to placement, in particular with reference to their soundstage, and imaging.
The Adams seemed to be more forgiving, at least in my setup.
Also, they did better on the Auralex pads, however, I think a lot of that may be due to getting the woofer up off the desk. With the swans, both drivers are already sitting way higher off the desk, which may be why they do just fine on the desk.
That said, I suspect that the Adams would do well with a solid mount stand. However, I don't have the ability to test that. Trying to come up with the time and consistency to do a review, however, I keep fooling around with the Swans in particular, and end up having to redo my a/b.
At any rate, with the Swans coming in at basically $450 cheaper when you work with tax and the Auralex pads thrown in, I'm trying to figure out if the Adams have enough of an edge to justify the price diff.
One thing that ended up being a very interesting test. I tend to Video Skype with my folks so they can chat with the grandkids. My dad's setup has stereo microphones on a laptop. The other day with the Adams, I was startled to get an incredible placement of my parents voices relative to what I was seeing in the video. I had never really noticed this before with other speaker setups, and for that matter, I hadn't noticed it as much even with my T1s. Basically, one parent would be standing and the other sitting, and they were offset left to right, and with the Adams the voices were spot on to their picture placement in the video (both vertically and horizontall). As they moved, the voice placement moved.
A day or so later, I had the Swans hooked up, (still on the Auralex pads) and the placement seemed less precise. (My parents voices seemed to be coming from less distinct points) One of my chief issues with the Swans had been that I had felt the imaging to be less precise than the Adams. However, after todays setup, I'm feeling the imaging to be on par! So, I need to make another call soon to verify.
*EDIT* Ok I just switched back to the Adams, on the pads and in the same new spot I had found for the Swans. Imaging and soundstage from the Adams still seems to have a slight leg up on the Swans, but now it's a lot closer than it was.
Edited by ronrad - 1/25/12 at 11:46pm