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.