Joseph Audio RM7si loudspeaker Chip Stern October 2002
I have used the stand-mounted, sweet-sounding RM7si Signature ($1799/pair-$1999/pair, reviewed by John Atkinson in August 2000), as my reference speaker because of its realistic timbre and dynamics, spatial depth, precise imaging, high-frequency clarity, and revealing midband. While I remained a big fan of the original Siggie '7, over time I found its highs to be somewhat subdued for my tastes; and when I pushed the speaker hard (as is my wont), certain notes in the transitional zone between the upper mids and the lower treble tended to get a little peaky and the overall presentation a tad brassy, along with a degree of bass compression (a frequency anomaly that didn't affect soundstaging cues).
Jeff Joseph has revisited the original design for the RM7si Signature Mk.2. He now claims that the injection-molded metal basket of the new aluminum-cone woofer provides better alignment of critical components and reduces sound reflections, air-flow noises, and cavity resonances. Joseph also says that the application of the Asymmetrical Infinite Slope crossover technology, first explored in Joseph Audio's top-of-the-line Pearl and RM33si models, results in better definition and image focus, improved coherence, and truer timbres.
A knuckle-rap test of the RM7si Mk.2's cabinet yielded a much higher frequency, indicating a more robust level of internal bracing commensurate with that of the original RM22si, and thus a much stiffer cabinet. Indeed, the first thing I noticed about the new RM7si Signature Mk.2 was a much stronger foundation of bass extending through the lower midrange. In head-to-head comparisons, the older model sounded more thin and bright; I was immediately impressed by how much bigger, fuller, clearer, and more open the new version sounded. There was more tangible weight and impact, greater transient speed and dynamics, with enhanced midrange presence, detail, and focus. Better yet, the top end seemed more fleshed out and extended, which contributed to better soundstaging depth and height.
In addressing some of the issues JA had raised in his listening evaluation and measurements of the RM7si, I had never really heard the plummy midbass quality he spoke of (well, maybe I liked it). Now, however, I noticed a definite improvement in lower-midrange clarity—and when I auditioned a number of piano recordings, no notes jumped out with unnatural emphasis as the music ascended into the higher frequencies.—Chip Stern