It took me another decade plus to secure a mint condition pair, (located 3 states away in a church in South Carolina) then re-edge rotten coam surrounds, as well as install better binding posts and upgrade crossover caps. The coupe de’ gras was adding a pair of Mc 501 autoformer mono-blocks, MX135 preamp-processor and later a C2500 preamp in pass thru mode to allow true 2 channel or surround. The combined sound is stunning, from a few tenths of a watt to full power and beyond. I added a a pair of XRT 30’s for another room which I located in between for a good price using the same model amps. The differences between the older and newer line arrays is not dramatic, the older pair are more sensitive and use power more efficiently, but the lower distortion drivers in the newer models add refinement. Either system sounds stellar, whether playing analog or digital material, CD, or high resolution transfers. You can’t go wrong with a decent set of line array speakers. My ears tell me its the best of all worlds together, like attributes of best Point Source and Planar speakers mixed together. You don’t hear the room, you hear the music, with a depth and realism I never knew possible till I heard the XRT 20 and was blown away by what I heard.
I do still own several sets of point source speakers as well, and the work perfectly for me in the smaller rooms I have them set up in. But if I want to hear a performance, I listen to either the 20’s or 30’s depending on my mood. The room the 30’s are in is a tad smallish for them, however they still rise to the challenge, effortlessly reproducing whatever music I play.
I’ve had these speakers longer than any other pairs and don’t ever see a need or have the desire to replace them with anything out there I have heard, even mega buck offerings such as the Wilson Maxx, or the lesser price but still fairly expensive B&W 800 Diamonds that many people still couple with the big McIntosh amp offerings and a Mc tube or SS preamp. The B&W's are power hungry, requiring the big 1.2KW amps if you wish to get anywhere near concert levels. While the Wilson Maxx's are substantially more expensive with excellent sound reproduction and in a league of their own, for my ears they are nowhere near as satisfying as the line arrays are. To each his own I suppose.