I just got my av2(formally known as av1+'s) up and running. I've had a son-of-a-gun of a time with the paint I used. I WILL NEVER PAINT OUTSIDE AGAIN. if bugs were not getting stuck in the fresh paint it was a spec of dirt or something. It caused me to have to put on an extra coat of paint. Which for some reason reacted with something and crackeld and lifted from the wood. I don't understand it. Same problem on the stands too. For now I put a stop on production so one speaker is primer gray and the other is a hammered metallic/charcoal gray). I will be building new boxes that will be veneered. They will be one piece right to the floor. anyway they sit on some would blocks about 22" high which is a bit low but not bad. I cued them up with some Jewel first off. I was really blown away. I figured they would need a little breaking in first, which they did, but they still sound terrific. vocals were centred and instruments to the side. I was a little concerned about the volume being that they were so new but I said "what the hell" and cranked it to -10 on my marantz sr-7000. Oh and they are driven with a 5-channel rotel ampRB-985. They played loud. As loud as I'll ever listen. Should note that my previous speakers were Paradigm studio 40's. They were 6.5" drivers in those and the av2's played just as loud. At this point in comparison to the paradigms I have to say they were very close(not that I had them side by side) But after about an hour the av2's did something I hadn't expected and really loosened up. The presentation and imaging moved foward like the vocalist decided to get up off there chair and walk across the room. I switched to the coyote ugly sound track and qued up track 9. The devil came down to georgia. This is an awesome track that I played numerous times on my 40's. The av2's took it a step further than the 40's ever did. The vocals were much more realistic and floated above my head. the paradigms always kept the vocals to the front of the room directly between the front speakers. another thing I notice with the av2's is the drums and fiddle had a bit more "snap" and had more seperation. Sounds weird but I would have to say they were much more solid and clear. not that instruments weren't good with the paradigms, they were, just they sounded slightly less coeherent(sp) and lacked the attack and decay of the av2. My final test was metallica's new cd, which is horribly recorded. I never heard this cd on the paradigm reference 40's but did listen to it on the paradigm ADP's when I used them for a while up front. so I won't really compare. Anyway the drums is all I remember. They were so realistic. they had snap and a nice hollow thunk. cymbals were much more brassy than tinny. A couple quality's the paradigms had that I didn't like was sometimes they added sssssss to the end of vocalists words and cymbals sound a bit dry and tinny at times. I think the av2 is more realistic speaker. And vocals never have any sibilance or sssss. I only speant a couple hours with them but was impressed to say the least.the paradigms are a great speaker but I think there down fall is there tweeter. It can sound too harsh at times and lends itself too much to the music. the av2's have a superior tweeter and crossover and I feel this is what makes there sound so much more involving. soundstage and imaging were spot on for both speakers but the av2's just took the sound farther into the room. the attack and decay on instuments is really amazing on the av2's and if anything that is where it stands out.