I have not heard the S-1EX although I have heard the S-2EX (3-way monitor) at a local dealer; they are $7000/pair list. Stands are extra and if I recall correctly, they list for $1500/pair (ridiculous price but the stands are unbelievably nice). My impression: the S-2EX struck me as possibly the best monitor no one has ever heard of, so I have no doubt the S-1EX is a real winner. This Pioneer line of speakers has to be the most poorly marketed product line in contemporary audio. I've previously owned B&W 805S, have auditioned the current B&W 805 Diamond, and now have the B&W 804 Diamond. The S-2EX blows the 805S and 805 Diamond out of the water, hands down. It's not even close. And for my tastes, it is also sounds a cut above the 804 Diamond although not by as much. The dealer offered to sell me the S-2EX with stands for dramatically less that he would sell 804 Diamonds, which list for $7500 (obviously no stands involved). And the S-2EX's were not a demo model; I literally watched the dealer take them out of their sealed boxes to play them for me. But, I opted to buy the B&W 804. Reason: Precisely because of what you wrote, no one seems to know about this line of Pioneer speakers, and I didn't want to be stuck with something that would be hard to sell if the spirit or the need moved me. Even though the S-2EX had the better sound and the lower price as compared to 804 Diamonds, I went with B&W primarily because of brand recognition and the ability to hold value. And of course I really like the 804 Diamond. But if I knew that I would be keeping whatever I bought until the grave, I would definitely have gone for the Pioneer.