Brian I think may not have got to grips with the technical side of system matching which is all the more surprising given his in-depth physics knowledge! We exchanged a few messages some years ago when he was using big 845 or similar single ended monos trying to drive Shahinian Obelisk speakers he then owned. Worked for him but I can't imagine a worse matched amp/speaker combo for control. Nice chap who values his music (obviously given his past uni days!). Give me AN/J's, or better still, original Snell J's over AN/e's any day of the week!
I did wonder about that given he's a physics professor why he would go for valves and such odd, coloured speakers. But I suppose he has what he likes as we all do.
Not much to dislike about the bouncy fun of Snell K or J's. Accurate? not in the uncoloured sense but good fun. E's? Nah....especially An/E'S. They use the cab panel resonance as part of their bass/system sensitivity along with tight to wall bass lift (ie no baffle step) to get their claimed bass extension output (which I think is cheating). Like all large thin wall designs of this nature (apart perhaps from the older active Harbeth M40s which needed a large space to work properly) they sound muddy and incredibly coloured in the lower bass, unsurprisingly. Their slate fronted one is better in this respect as it isn't acting as much like an out of phase large panel driver in it's own right!
AN-E are a real mixed bunch depending on the variant. Some, usually the lower priced ones, can be pretty decent in terms of neutrality. It seems the more you pay the more colourations you get - I have heard some truly appalling high end models (no names ). Jake Lordmortlock had a pair not too far up the range that were very listenable.
mainly Qobuz Hirez streaming > Lexicon DC-1 DAC/pre > various and varying power amps and cables > MBL116f speakers
Headphones are fun - Shure1840, PSB M4U, Philips X2, Stax SR3, B&O H6, Sony MDR CD1700, Beyer T90
There's nothing wrong with the mid and top on them it's just that bass. First time I heard them I just couldn't get over it.
Audionote in general - I get where they are coming from and I get why for some people it's the end game. Despite the bass they still have some of the more 'listenable' rooms at shows. It's just not for me.