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#8033 - 01/16/03 12:51 PM Impressions of my new M22's
rchiav Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 11/14/02
Posts: 20
Loc: Western NY
Last night when I got home from work, much to my delight, I had a pair of M22's waiting on the front porch. I pull in the garage, grab my stuff out of the car (which includes a newly purchaced 250ft spool of 12awg and banana clips), and b-line it into the house. Feeling like a kid at christmas, I bring the box in and start opening it without even taking my shoes, jacket or gloves off. Soon I realize that my gloves aren't helping matters much and I take the time to ditch those.

So now I've got my laptop bag sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor, the speaker wire and clips on the stairs and an open Axiom box in the middle of the foyer.

The first thing that stuck me was the box and packing. For whatever reason, when I think about the type of customer service I've read about here, I equated that more to a small Mom & Pop type place. This wasn't concious, but I was suprised at how well the speakers were packaged. Not that I should have been, but I was.

So after I realize that my wife won't be too happy if I drag snow and water into the living room, I decide to take off my shoes and jacket before taking the speakers out of the bags. I bring them into the living room and inspect them (they were from Factory Outlet) and I honestly can't find a single blemish. I went over both of them very closley and I didn't see anything. I was expecting to find a dinged veneer edge or a bad seam. Nothing. If there's some defect, it's too small to be seen on close inspection, and definately too small to be noticed by anyone not looking for a flaw.

I decide that I should let them warm up since it's 20F outside and they've been there since 1:50pm (I'd been checking the FedEx tracking info all day at work).

After about 30 minutes, everything felt about room temparature so I turned on the receiver and popped in a couple CD's (Clapton Unplugged, 10,000 Maniacs Unplugged, Shara Mclauclin(sp?), Tragically Hip). I listen to my old speakers for a couple minutes to get a point of refrence, but I'm a little worried that I'm not going to be able to notice much of an improvement. This isn't a knock on the M22's though. I've had tinitus (ringing in the ear, possible hearing loss) for a couple months now and music has seemed on the muted side lately.

So with this in the back of my head, I disconnect my old speakers and hook the M22s up to the same crappy speaker wire for a fair comparison. Now I'm not a speaker expert by any means, but I dabbled in music for a while, playing bass, and I've helped out in a college recording studio. I've been around a lot of music and I've spent a good deal of time listening to the music, each instrument, and not just humming along to a catchy chorus.

My fist impression was how even they sounded. I've read that some people find the trebble forward, but I didn't notice that. To me, it sounded like the bass (that they can reproduce) wasn't too punchy or loose. To me they just sounded "even". The highs were crisp, the mids sounded smooth and the bass for the range they extend down to was tight. Nothing seemed washed out. The bass that was present wasn't overly boomy to make up for the lack of extension. At first I noticed a perceived loss of bass over my other bookshelf speekers. After listening for a little while longer (while I was walking around the house doing other things) I'd catch myself and notice the bass. It's there, but the speakers don't try to over produce what's there. I really think that's the first time I've heard the lower-mid/upper-bass range that smooth. Not that I have a lot of points of refrence, but it was something that caught me by suprise. This could all be new purchace bliss, but to me it seemed like they do what they do and don't try to be something they're not.

The next thing I noticed was that I was hearing things that I'd never heard before. On some live recordings, there were times where I thought there was something wrong with one of the mids. I'd replay the part on the CD and reproduce the same sound. I moved up to a speaker and tried to hear which it was comming out of. There wasn't a problem with the speaker. It was basically a botched acousitc guitar chord. Well "chord" may be going to far. It was a botched muffled strum. They're part of the rhythm of the song, but this one was either very weak or half missed. The point being, I'd never heard that before.

The next thing was the sound dispersion. One of the more annoying things about my ear problem is that I can't determine the direction from which a sound is comming very well. This hasn't ever been a problem listening to music though. Well as I'm sitting on the couch, I have to keep turning down the receiver because it sounds like there's a noise comming from someplace else. Now I know that might not seem like a rave review, but I'm trying to do the best here given my current condition.

Now what I didn't notice, and I haven't noticed with any mucic lately, is depth. Unfortunately until I get this problem taken care of, I'm more than likely not going to hear that regardless of which speakers I'm listening to.

Anyway, I just thought I'd post and say you've got yet another satisfied customer. Over the next year I'll definately be investing in a CC and surrounds.

Thanks..

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#8034 - 01/16/03 10:00 PM Re: Impressions of my new M22's
asap2006 Offline
buff

Registered: 08/31/02
Posts: 48
You may want to try pulling the speakers out from the back wall more. The further from the wall the M22's are, the better the imaging and depth are, atleast that's what I noticed. Glad you're enjoying the speakers, it'll only get better as either your ears adjust to the new sound or the speakers break in, or maybe both? I was quite satisfied when I first listened to my 22's, now i'm extremely pleased and couldn't be happier.
Really experiment with your speaker placement, it makes a HUGE difference, even just a couple inches will most likely be noticeable.

-Brian

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#8035 - 01/17/03 07:52 AM Re: Impressions of my new M22's
rchiav Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 11/14/02
Posts: 20
Loc: Western NY
Thanks..

Actually last night I pulled them a couple inches out from the wall and I did notice a big improvement. I'll play around with them a little more once I get the new RPTV. I'll have to reposition them at that time anyway. I'm also building speaker stands for them to match the room.

At the moment they're sitting a little too high, so once I get the stands built I'll have to play around with things too. But I'm still sure they sound better than I can hear at the moment.

After listening to a wider virety of music on them last night, I can now say I hear the "forwardness" of the tweeters. It really depends on what you're listening to, but it's not something that I find a problem. It could be I just prefer it that way.

These speakers have really re-introduced me to my music collection.

These speakers have really re



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#8036 - 01/18/03 03:52 AM Re: Impressions of my new M22's
dwm Offline
buff

Registered: 01/18/03
Posts: 46
One thing about the 'forwardness' of the tweeters... there's a pretty steep slope on the off-axis response on the M22ti's where I'm using them, which is a fairly dead room. There's a huge difference between having my ears on-axis with the tweeters versus 10 degrees off axis in the downward direction. I've got them sitting on the overbridge of a Middle Atlantic ELURG studio desk, and when I'm at the desk, the tweeters aren't forward at all, because they're above my ears. When I stand up, they are definitely forward. They're in a small room (my home office), and are largely an experiment for the basement studio project (it's hard to find good monitors in this price range). However, if you're really bothered, keep the off-axis response in mind when you make your stands. In some cases (like a studio desk), it can make complete sense to lay them sideways to make sure you're not losing half your tweeter response due to being too far off axis. This is the one case where the tapered cabinet design is a bummer.

You could also buy a pro-grade equalizer, which I find indispensable in larger multi-purpose listening room like the family room. My personal preference is a Behringer DSP8024, because you really can't beat it for the price (24-bit A/D and D/A converters at 48kHz, RTA w/ auto room EQ, 100 programs, etc.): roughly $179, and you can take the rack mounting brackets off if it's not going in a rack. Of course it only has balanced +4dBu in/out... I use a Rane BB44X to connect it to consumer gear.

A lot of audiophiles shun equalizers, but the reality of many listening rooms is that they're very effective tools if you know what you're doing, and anyone can learn. The key for an audiophile is to avoid introducing significant noise, which rules out nearly every consumer equalizer I've seen in the last 15 years (many have S/N under 95dB, which in my mind is terrible for today's sources). Back when I was doing live sound, you couldn't get a decent equalizer for under $800 or so. That's no longer the case (Alesis DEQ230 and the Behringer DSP8024 both come to mind as inexpensive units with high S/N ratio and dynamic range).


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#8037 - 01/18/03 10:53 AM Re: Impressions of my new M22's
rchiav Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 11/14/02
Posts: 20
Loc: Western NY
I'm a little torn on the forwardness issue. I don't find the tweeters imposing and I have heard other speakers where the tweeters were too forward.

What I've noticed is that played at higher volumes, with source material that's bright on it's own, there's some harshness. Actually there's one CD I've found this on. Dire Straits - Alchemy. Private Investigations, there's some pretty bright and punchy guitar. At higher volumes it was a little harsh. Now this could be the recording itself or possibly even the crappy amp I have at the moment.

I'll soon be able to rule out the receiver because I'm looking to pick up something new in the next couple weeks. Either the H/K 325 or a Denon 1803.

I've also done some more playing around with positioning and I've been able to further improve the sound. Currently they're about 15 1/4 inches from the wall, and that's as far as I can bring them out.

Does anyone have advice on a range I should play with as far as distance between speakers?

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#8038 - 01/18/03 03:11 PM Re: Impressions of my new M22's
asap2006 Offline
buff

Registered: 08/31/02
Posts: 48
A good starting point would be to take the distance from one of the speakers and you're listening position, for example 8 feet, and times it by .667. Which would turn out to be 5'4" apart. Some also prefer an equalateral triangle between you and the speakers...experiment and see what you like.

About the harshness, that could very well be your amplifier, as you probably know lower end amps tend to lose their composure and get very harsh at louder volumes. It could also be a break-in issue or that you have a "live" room with too many reflections(don't know if you have carpeting or hard wood). Many reviewers as well as myself have noticed that the 22's out of the box are slightly harsh, the highs should be noticeably smoother after a few hours of play. Mine are no longer harsh to me, either my ears or the speakers breaking in...

-Brian


Edited by asap2006 (01/18/03 03:16 PM)

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#8039 - 01/19/03 01:53 PM Re: Impressions of my new M22's
rchiav Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 11/14/02
Posts: 20
Loc: Western NY
I'm pretty sure it's the amp. Come the first of the month, I'll be upgrading to either a Denon 1803 or a H/K 325. There's also probably issues with the interconnects. My whole HT setup has been negelcted for entirely too long.

It would have been a bad move to invest in this stuff before my now wife got her ring. I'm pretty sure that would have been the end of us . After we got engaged, the deal was that we'd get married, buy a house and then upgrade the HT. This is of course after she got her new furnature, fridge, oven and hutch.

So now we're on to the HT. My current components are about 10 years old (except for the DVD player of course). I'll be picking up a RPTV next month along with the receiver. In march my wife should be getting me a CC for my birthday. And all other family members are encouraged to get me SVS gift cards for birthdays and X-mas .

Then at some point I'll be upgrading the surrounds, potnetially moving to 7.1.

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