Where are you located? Who is your importer? Have you had a chance to listen to the Eric 3 yet?
If not, as you read this keep in mind that speaker sound is an extremely personal thing and very room dependent. Only you can decide what you like and what will work in your room. What sounds good to me in my room may be a bad thing for you in your room. Don't believe all the reviews because the reviewer always has his own perspective, likes, and dislikes, and is not listening with YOUR ears in YOUR room. For example, Ive read many great things about Omega single driver speakers, but when I listened to them for myself, I liked what they did well (midrange) but did not enjoy the overall sound quality of them (not to my personal taste, or lack there of).
With that said, here are some comments on the Eric 3:
The short version: I own a pair. Great speakers! Very musical. Detailed without sounding analytical. Youd have to spend a lot more to improve on them overall.
The long version:
Von Schweikert Comparison - Ill give my impressions of the Eric 3 compared to the Von Schweikert VR-2 and VR-4jr (I auditioned the VR-2 side by side with the Eric 3 and I own the VR-4jr and the Eric 3). I would place the Eric 3 between the VR-2 and VR-4jr in terms of sound quality. I feel the Eric 3 are a better value than the VR-2, if not the VR-4jr (close call). I feel the Eric 3 is actually more revealing of detail than either the VR-2 or VR-4jr but does not have the ability to bring the musicians in the room quite like the VR-4jr. The Eric 3 has a more forward midrange and high end than the VR-4jr, where the VR-4jr are a bit laid back-ish (the VR-4jr, being so smooth in the mid/high gives them a slight lack of that ultimate last little bit of fine detail, making them seem laid back). The highs of the Eric 3 are more etched and zippy than the VR-4jr. I attribute this to two things: 1) the VR-4jr are an EXTREMELY smooth speaker in the mid and treble range (at least to my ear) so many speakers will sound this way (brighter/zippy) in direct comparison to them, and 2) My Eric 3 do not have a lot of running time on them and are not broken in yet (I do not have them hooked up all the time and have not had the time to listen as much as Id like
its been a busy spring/summer). I expect my Eric 3 to smooth out over time (the broken in demo pair at the dealer are not zippy like mine). The VR-4jr go lower in bass than the Eric 3 but the character of the bass is somewhat similar. Both are tight and articulate and do not seem to favor any particular frequency (as can happen with ported designs). Imaging and soundstaging between the VR-4jr and Eric 3 are comparable on width and instrument placement but with the edge going to the VR-4jr in terms of depth. Let me say that my room and speaker placement requirements create a tremendous challenge to any speaker when it comes to imaging (way too close to walls, and basically only one spot for the speakers). The fact that either of these speakers is able to create anything resembling a soundstage in this room is incredible! They both do a better job when away from walls than when in my forced placement.
Paradigm Studio Comparison - I used to own the Paradigm Studio 100 v2. While I never compared the Eric 3 directly to them, I did lug the 100s into the dealer to compare them to the VR-2. As good as I feel the 100s are, the VR2 blew them out of the water in terms of musicality. And, as I stated above, to me the Eric 3 are better overall than the VR-2 so I can surmise that the Eric 3 would be much better in side by side comparison with the Eric 3. (One of my problems with the VR-2 is that they start to get hard/compressed/congested as the volume goes up. The 100s are a bit better overall at high volume than the VR-2. Don't get me wrong, the VR-2 is an awesome speaker, as is the Paradigm.) From memory, the 100s soundstaging was inferior to the Eric 3 in my room - less depth and often instruments would collapse to sound like they were coming from one of the speakers (blame the room though, as I have heard the 100s do a fine job when they are away from the walls).
Amplification I know nothing of McIntosh amps so I can not comment on them. I have run these at home with SS and tubes. I feel the Eric 3 work well with tubes. I have run them at home with the Sound Quest SQ-88 integrated amp using KT-88 (~55 watts) and EL-34 (~35+ watts) tubes. Both tubes sound great with the Eric 3 (and I prefer them on the 8 ohm tap rather than the 4 ohm tap). The KT-88 tubes provide better bass and more slam, and the EL-34 provide a more seductive midrange but less speed. My Krell KSA-50S also worked quite well with the Eric 3 providing exceptional speed and bass control. I like the tubes better though.
By the way, I own the pair of Eric 3 Drseid listened to in Las Vegas. I bought the THE Show demo pair. :-)
I hope this helps!