Yes ladies and gentlemen, its time for another one of my non scientific, it is what it is reviews! Yay!
Today I will be reviewing the Stereo Integrity TM65 Mark II mid woofers and the SI M25 tweeters. I need to thank Steve Hayles for letting me steal his pair of tweeters and Nick for yet again giving me great service in getting me a set of the TM65s to play with.
So starting off with the specs. The tweeters are rated for 25-75 watts RMS and play from 1500hz all the way to 30,000hz. Nick has a great video of them playing full range and its amazing what they can play down to.
They are over 1" deep (30mm) so you need some space. They are about 1.5" and need a 44mm hole. The Fs is 1300hz and they have a sensativity rating of 91db at 4 ohms.
They have an XBL^2 motor so control should be great.
The TM65s are a 6.5" mid woofer with a shallow 2.4" depth. They too are XBL^2 and have an amazingly strong neo magnet setup. I accidentally placed one next to the MK 1 prototype and it took two of us to separate them. They have a 9mm xmax, an Fs of 69hz, are rated for 120 watts rms and have a sensitivity of 88db.
Okay, now that all thats out of the way lets get to how they look and feel!
The tweeters..... LOVE THEM! They feel substantial and are very simple looking but you can feel the quality just holding them. Everyone that came to the shop as we were mocking them up fell in love with them right away. Being 100% unlabeled nobody could figure out what they were. I have $800 tweeters that dont look and feel as nice as these $70 a piece tweeters.
Now the TM65s I think are a thing of beauty. I love the smooth cone and "S" surround. Something about a speaker with no markings just pleases me. There is nothing shouting "Hey look at me!" They are just pure. They also now have very nice spring loaded terminals eliminating the issue of the fist gens. Again many people picked them up and just fell in love with how they looked and felt and just how heavy they are. Its a shame to hide them.
I really like them over the first gens. Now granted the one here is the prototype so it does not have the glossy cone or shiny magnet but they are just a better looking speaker. I also like how Nick listened to what was said about the first gen ones and made appropriate corrections to really make these perform wonderfully.
So on to my impressions. I am running a very simple setup here with an Alpine GM-X007 deck using its on board time alignment and EQ as well as crossover. They are running passive with a two way crossover that has a 12db slope at apx 2000hz. They are being powered by an Arc Audio XDi amplifier rated at 150 watts RMS. I have the woofers high passed at 31.5hz (yeah, nuts right?) with an 18db slope and have the subwoofers slightly overlapping at 63hz low pass with a 24db slope. For most of the testing I had the subs switched off and unless I wanted to shake the house I had no need for subs with these speakers.
I was instantly impressed with the overall sound of this combo and was amazed how little equalization I needed to smooth everything out. My biggest cut is 2db at 315hz and my largest gain is 1db at 10,000hz (I like slightly sharp highs). I have given them a very thorough and HARD break in. I just cant make them distort throwing everything the Arc amp has at them. I know the XBL motor has a lot to do with this lack of distortion but these just dont seem to want to "bottom out". Same goes for the tweeters. They play down low so the sound stage is nice and high right at eye level and never smears or tries to pull to one side no matter what volume level I have them at.
The tweeters are very natural sounding and very smooth yet also crisp with that little bit of boost I have on them at 10k. Their output is extraordinary and seem to be one of the loudest tweeters I have tested. I can throw all the amp has at them and they are never fatiguing or harsh. Just smooth and accurate. I love it when you can hear a singer take a breath or when you hear that pick hit the string on a guitar. Doobie Brothers "Another Park, Another Sunday" was an excellent listen. The high hats were crisp and detailed and I could hear the xylophone notes very well like they were in the truck with me.
Fleetwood Macs "Over My Head" was an experience. Christie MacVee (sp?) voice is so airy and pleasant sounding I just sat there smiling like a simpleton with a new pack of Pez in his Iron Man dispenser. I was always a fan of Mick Fleetwoods drumming and again the cymbals were just spot on.
I played just about everything and TRIED to hurt them with some Nero and some techno music but nothing made them miss step.
Pink Floyds "Time" opening with the clocks and bells is a great way to destroy a tweeter when you push them (been there, done that to the tune of a few grand) and these just dont disappoint at all. They just play it as if the clocks were there. They dont "scream" the notes at you, they simply reproduce what was recorded at a very impressive level.
These are true to DIYMA style, cheap and spectacular! They put many tweeters that cost 10x as much to shame.
Now these MKII mid woofers were what really blew my socks off. I was a fan of the MKI but (to me anyway) anything past 1500hz and they would get sloppy. Sometimes certain vocals would be muffled and un natural and some instruments would be sharp and just unpleasant. In a 3 way setup stopping them at 1000hz or less cured this but I wanted a two way setup and they just lacked definition when off axis past 1000hz. Nick actually listened to me when I pointed this out and has corrected this with the MKIIs. I dont know if its the new smooth cone or the surround or basket changes but the MKII is just pure joy playing to 2000hz. Pete Townshend "Rough Boys" vocals are wonderfully clear. The guitar is spot on and the back ground singers come across just as you would ever want.
And drums! Holy crap can these things reproduce drums to perfection! I could go on and on but they are seriously impressive. If my multi thousand dollar Sinfoni Opus woofers sound like these i will be a happy man.
Whats very impressive is just how low they dig. These dig deep, really deep. Zac Brown Band "Junkyard" has a deep growl that I have yet to hear another 6.5 reproduce so well. Its more impressive when you remember this speaker is reproducing this deep growl while at the same time handling the vocals and an aggressive electric guitar at the same time without distorting. When the banjo plays its quite spectacular. Again these are true to DIYMA at only $130 a piece and out-performing speakers I have spent THOUSANDS on.
Now I know some of you are thinking I am nuts or stupid (or both) for letting them go all the way down to 31.5hz while shoving 150 watts at them but really, they dont care. They just play and play hard!
Throwing techno at them is an experience. "Five Hours" by Deorro is what really sold me. Running them with the subs off I was floored by how they just reached down there and reproduced the bass without complaint. The control and sound is just wonderful.
The opening of Korns "Never Never" at about 19 seconds when that deep bass note comes in makes all the mirrors in my Denali shake. It actually made me notice I need new wipers as I saw the end of the rubber on the ends had split as they vibrated on the windshield.
Now look, I bought these. Full price, no discount. I dont work for Nick. I am not being biased by "freebies" or anything. These are just excellent speakers! You really can run them without a subwoofer and never be bummed out by lack of bass because there is no lack of bass. They remind me of the AD Vipera F6 for low end extension but have the ability to really get into the higher octaves which the F6 simply can not do.
I give this setup a BIG double thumbs up. $400 for the whole setup makes me feel like I stole them. I have piles of $800-$2000 components that these will just humiliate.
So there it is in a nutshell. Cheap, loud, clean, accurate and just a pleasure to listen to. I have several customers awaiting availability of more.
I wish I could convey through a video just how good they sound but alas we know how that does not work. So instead here is a slow motion video of them playing "Five Hours" so you can see just how well they can dance.
Not sure how to embed a youtube video on here so I just threw in all the links. lol
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