Andrew Quint of The Absolute Sound included the AudioKinesis Bienville Suite among his five "Most Significant Products" list in the category of speakers under $20K at the 2016 Axpona show:http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/axpona-2016/
(scroll down about 2/5 of the way)
A bit of background: Andrew listened and was apparently intrigued by what he heard and got up to have a closer look at the speakers. He looked around back and saw the rear-firing drivers and questioned me about them. I explained that they added beneficial late-arrival reverberant energy, and he was skeptical about the net benefit. He asked me if that wouldn't mask the acoustics on the recording. I said no, that it would actually make it easier to hear the acoustics of the venue on the recording.
Andrew challenged that with a thumb drive, asking us to play a classical piece recorded in a hall that he was very familiar with (I don't remember the piece or the hall), among others. Fortunately for me, Brian Walsh was there to run the system so we were able to play the selections Andrew wanted to hear from his thumb drive. When we were finished, I asked Andrew how we did. Paraphrasing (because my brain was still foggy from lack of sleep), he said "It passed. It's not a gimmick, it works. I could clearly hear the such-and-such hall."
So that was a really nice validation of what we're doing in the Bienville Suite.
I think that was on Friday; wish Andrew had come by late Saturday or Sunday, because by then the speakers were finally "dialed in". You see, I had been overly conservative in setting the level of the Swarm, as I didn't want a bass-heavy recording to give anyone the impression that the Swarm was boomy. Jtwrace and some of his friends came by, and he told me that he thought the Swarm needed to be turned up about 2 dB. I resisted but after a while decided he was right, so I made the adjustment. This was Saturday morning.
But with the Swarm now set properly, the top end was a bit soft. I planned to make a change to the resistors on the back of the cab at the end of the day Saturday, but the opportunity arose earlier while Brian was preparing to play a record. I raised the top end by about 1.5 dB, and imo that's when the speakers really "clicked". We began getting compliments from people who had heard the same recording of "Fanfare for the Common Man" in some of the megabuck bigrooms, who said that it sounded more natural in our room. In my opinion this illustrates one advantage of the adjustable top end (via the resistors-in-cups on the back of the cabinet): We can restore subjective system balance after making an adjustment to the bottom end of the spectrum.
My personal biggest feather-in-the-hat moment came Sunday afternoon, when a vision-impaired audiophile came in and listened for quite a while. At one point I asked him if he could tell that he was listening to horns, and he said no, he couldn't. YESSSS!! <fistpump> That was the best validation I could hope for that we're doing horns right. Turns out the vision-impaired audiophile was Audio Asylum member "Mr, Peabody", who posted his impressions of this and other rooms on the Audio Asylum General page yesterday.
I had fun telling people that we were going to demonstrate a combination that is seldom found together: deep bass, tight bass, and hotel room. I think the Swarm came through very well; the integration was judged to be "seamless" by many who commented, and in my inevitably highly biased opinion we were getting some of the most natural-sounding bass I've heard at an audio show by the time I had made the Saturday afternoon adjustments.