Morel's Floorstanders

I discovered the Morel Octave 6 stand-mounted speakers ($2500/pair) at the 2015 CES. I liked them so much I wrote a review for our February 2016 issue. I spent a large number of hours—days, weeks, even months—listening with them. I thought they sounded liquid and exciting and musically provocative—but perhaps a bit over-saturated in the 50–120Hz region.

This time, Morel's USA distributor, Nir Paz, was demonstrating the bigger Octave 6 Limited Edition floorstanders ($6000/pair). He was driving them with the new 250Wpc (into 8 ohms) Hegel H360 integrated amplifier ($5700).

I was a little worried, but I was also excited to see if my 2016 experience in the Morel room would confirm (or invalidate) my findings with the Octave 6. (An ego is a terrible thing—especially in a reviewer.) It is exactly a year later and I have learned and listened a lot during that time. However, my experience in the Morel room was nearly the same this year as it was at CES 2015.

I am still a complete sucker for how the Morels play large classical works. I am still beguiled by their way with electric guitar and blues harmonica. These bigger Octave 6s have the same hyper-colorful midrange that attracted me in the first place. That Morel tweeter is top-shelf, world-class smoothness personified. Unfortunately, the bass is still (to my ears) a bit too ripe and juicy in a way that dulls transients and subverts music's more spritely rhythms. Now it is your turn: go listen and tell me what you think.