This is my first post to this forum, and a lengthy one at that. First some background...I was looking for a new pair of mains for my 5.1 system. I was running an all-Axiom setup, with their top center channel (VP150), mid-line surrounds (QS4), top sub from their previous line, and entry tower (M40). We moved into a new place about 6 months ago, with a much larger and "deader" rec room, and the M40 wasn't cutting it for 2-channel music any longer. The bass wasn't filling the room, but more importantly its laid-back midrange performance was making music seem rather lifeless. While the knee-jerk reaction was to consider towers higher up in the Axiom line (like the flagship M80), there were a few reasons I was thinking of other brands. First off, Axiom has raised its Canadian prices substantially in the last year, and the local Axiom dealer (an absolute moron anyway) wasn't offering big discounts from on-line prices. Secondly, we had a new baby, and I just didn't have the time to seriously audition the other brands available locally (Wharfedale, Paradigm, Klipsch, B&W). I asked Marc Hallam at the Audioshop what he thought of the new Dahlquist towers compared to the Axiom lineup he was liquidating. After a few informative e-mails, I took a gamble on the QX10 factory seconds for a difference of 50 bucks compared to a pair of M80s on clearance. I've had enough experience listening to the M40s, M80s, and Paradigm Reference 100s to make comparisons. My electronics are the Arcam AVR100 receiver and CD72 CD player. I listen to 2-channel via direct analog hookup with a bypassed stereo signal. Interconnects are Acoustic Research Pro Series, with generic 12g speaker wire. The room is carpeted, and about 350 square feet, with 200 square foot the dedicated media area, open on the right. I listened to a variety of CDs, including Sarah MacLachlan, Diana Krall, Blue Rodeo, Annie Lennox, Our Lady Peace, Renee Fleming, Eagles, Sting, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, and miscellaneous classical. While I also tried out a bunch of movies, I'm just going to focus on the QX10's music performance. The first thing I noticed is that for so-called factory seconds, I could not find a blemish anywhere. The lacquer finish was flawless upon reasonably close inspection, and the front baffle and drivers had no marks on them at all. Score one for the QC at Dahlquist for considering these B-stock. The QX10 in lacquer looks classy without being so big it dominates the room (like the Paradigms). It passed the Wife Test with flying colors. I set them up 6 1/2 feet apart, toed in 5 degrees or so, with the listening position about 10 feet away. I tried not toeing in as per Marc's suggestion, but this was suboptimal for casual movie watching. No break-in time is really needed, as the QX10s sound fantastic right out of the box. Music sounds absolutely "right", with terrific balance and no harshness or distortion. The QX10s are easy to drive with the modestly powered Arcam, but still like the volume past the 1/2 way mark to get the bass kicking. Speaking of which, bass is punchy and very well controlled, with a kick drum sounding exactly like a kick drum. Great low-level detail in the bass as well...for example, on Diana Krall's When I Look in Your Eyes album, you can easily hear plucking of bass strings. I didn't quite feel the slam of the Paradigm 100s, but the bass performance was far superior to to the 600 $Cdn M40, and the room was easily filled. Listening to "Woke Up This Morning (theme from The Sopranos)", I didn't have any hunger for more low-frequency kick. I don't have any hip-hop/rap CDs to see how low the QX10s could go, but playing Sarah MacLachlan's "I Love You" from Surfacing (with some mid-30s bass), I needed the sub on to make the walls shake. Highs are also exceptionally clean and crisp, with no irritating bite. Even playing some very poorly remastered Coltrane tracks on a Ken Burns CD, there is absolutely no fatigue listening to the QX10. I can easily make out every keyboard and triangle note on Annie Lennox's Medusa CD, and all of them float on the air sounding sweet. Whether this is because of the soft backing to the alloy tweeter I don't know, but the Dahlquist tweeter sounds better than the highly-touted Axiom IMHO. Highs on the Axiom M80 may sound crisper, but also irritate at high volumes. Imaging is very precise, tall far beyond the height of the speakers, and nicely layered with a good recording like Clapton Unplugged. The downside to this is that recordings one might think have a well-engineered soundstage, it turns out do not. Through the Axioms, Kind of Blue placed the saxophones in left-center and right-center of the soundstage. On the QX10, they are more rigidly in the left and right channels, with the drums and piano collapsed to the sides as well. I suspect this is the more accurate representation, however, because on Blue Rodeo's "Hasn't Hit Me Yet" from Five Days in July, the QX10 clearly delineates the lead singers' voices from one another, something I have never heard on my old Axioms, or through a friend's Paradigms. The QX10s clarity and transpacency isn't on the level of electrostatics, but was easily comparable to Paradigm and Axiom. The real magic of the QX10, though, is its performance with female vocals. Marc had described female vocals through the Dahlquists as more realistic, something I have to take exception to...female vocals are UNreal on the QX10! Renee Fleming, Diana Krall, Annie Lennox, heck even Alanis Morrisette...female vocals hang in the air with a vibrancy and sweetness that defies description, and DARES you to not turn up the volume. I'm talking about a more satisfying listening experience than from a pair of $6000 Royds (and 9K in electronics) I heard at an upscale AV shop in Toronto. Hands-down winner over Axiom and Paradigm in this category. I am totally satisfied with my blind purchase of the new Dahlquist QX10s, and give them my strongest recommendation to anybody looking for a ludicrous bargain in a high-end speaker. If anyone out there has been worrying about buying a pair without an audition, don't. They are the real deal, and one of the most genuinely satisfying mid-priced speakers out there. You won't be disappointed. ...And of course, another big recommendation to Marc at Audioshop for great advice and service.