On the whole, I found the Take Classic to be even better for music playback than for movies, perhaps because music more often lets the system’s inherent smoothness and finesse shine through. If, for example, you’ve never heard Feist’s The Reminder [Cherrytree/Interscope] played through a good system before, then hearing it through the Take Classic system can prove a real eye-opener. Feist’s high, pure voice combines hard-to-reproduce sonic qualities that include wit, sincerity, and vulnerability, mixed with a touch of self-aware toughness—qualities that the Energies reveal and handle gracefully.
But if The Reminder shows how lovely the Take Classic system can sound, it can also expose the system’s dynamic constraints. On the popular track “My Moon My Man,” for example, heavily modulated bass passages occasionally overwhelm the system, temporarily muddying its characteristically clear midrange. You can restore clarity, of course, by turning the volume down, but the point is that you’ll encounter the Take Classic system’s dynamic limits earlier and more often than those of other— admittedly larger and more costly—systems in our Buyer’s Guide.
But let me be clear; given its compact size and modest prize, the Take Classic system is a mighty impressive performer. In terms of tonal balance it is one of the most honest and uncolored systems in our survey and its imaging and soundstaging qualities are quite good, too—qualities that make this system not only a bargain, but a delight.