There's quite a big difference. The originals had a sweetness and subletly to the mid range, which made them sound like considerably more expensive speakers. They could also go low for pretty small speakers but give them 12 inches from the wall behind and you should be able to control any boominess. Voices and acoustic instruments sounded pretty wonderful on these and though they rolled off a bit in the treble, they never sounded harsh. The new speaker certainly gained more HF extension but that silky mid range and the lovely coherence to the sound was gone imo.