There were a few things wrong with the 4.Ai. The one that was forgivable was the bass that had a low-to-mid-bass focus which gave the bass a bit of smoothness and presence to it. Despite being non-ruler flat, I enjoyed the bass quite a bit and really didn't have too many bad things to say about it. The issues delved around that dip that Inks talked about as well as above the 10kHz range. The dip caused a couple problems. First was that the lower treble lacked presence and detailing. A snare snap just didn't snap, and if it did, it was weak and rarely had any presence while you were listening. It took quite a bit away from many alternative, rock, and pop songs unfortuantely. That same dip also impacted the upper-midrange, mainly the vocals. Vocals tended to be beautifully lush with lots of depth and emotion. However, the top end energy and power just wasn't there with the 4.Ai. The fact that the 4.Ai didn't extend above the 10kHz range was also problematic for the upper treble. I should note that I was not the only one that felt this way about the 4.Ai (I had at least 2-3 people PM me about this exact issue)... Many were, but they were too afraid to speak up because of how negative words about the 4.Ai were being attacked constantly.
I made these statements, more than once, but every other person minimized this issue simply saying they didn't hear it. Bringing it up always brought up some conflict and arguments, and in a thread full of hype, you do get attacked for making that statement I just made above. There are lots of things that the 4.Ai do amazingly though, don't get me wrong. Vocals are beautiful (if you don't look at the upper end of things) and they are extremely easy to listen to while detailing is retrieved in a strong fashion, but without being aggressive. Clarity is ample without being overdone. If anyone still has their 4.Ai, listen to some pianos on it, they sound absolutely gorgeous.
Thanks for that, its a truly detailed example.