Yes, I was pleasantly surprised by the standard cherry veneer. Many of the pics I've seen of that veneer, including some at Legacy's own site, are really not representative of the "in person" tonality, at least not for the pair I have! In other pics, the cherry tends to look "washed out," yellowish, or even pinkish. Not attractive at all. So I was very happy to see the significantly more "lush" tonality and graining in the veneer. Very nice really. And the main reason I purchased the Sigs with the cherry veneer was pure cost! I do like the look of the other finishes very much as well. They do a good job at the price points for their speakers.
I will note, however, that the low-rez pics I posted above do tend to make the finish look slightly warmer than it really is. I'll get some better pics posted as soon as I can.
Also, one final word about the pics. The frontal images are a little distorted proportionally by the lens in the phone. The speakers are actually significantly more slender in frontal appearance than they appear in those shots. Less substantial looking, yes, but also a tad more graceful looking, too, much the same way a gazelle looks more graceful than a tiger!
My listening room is a little smaller than the dimensions you listed. It is almost 14' by 12', but has 9' ceilings with a truncated and vaulted ceiling and a 16" x 6' recess in the middle of one short wall, which is where I have my equipment rack, set back a bit and between the speakers. I estimate total room volume at around 1,600 cubic feet.
As for the differences between initial sound and after my 72+ hours of break-in, I can't say, because I had them covered up and facing each other and wired out of phase during that break-in period.
I can tell you I generally prefer acoustic suspension ("sealed box") bass over ported ("bass reflex") sound. And I do mean that very generally. Well executed designs of either type can sound excellent of course. It's just that in my experience I have heard the type of bass I prefer more often in acoustic suspension designs than in ported designs. I have not heard the Focus SEs at all, but I have read about how good their bass is. In my room, the Sigs (which are acoustic suspension of course) are fine and do not overload the room at all. I think the irregular shape of the ceiling and the basic dimensions of the room help in avoiding peaks and nulls, generally, as the bass performance in this room seems fairly consistent as you move about the room.
That said, if it's in the recording, the Sigs will reproduce it, albeit for the very very lowest few Hz or sound effects perhaps. The bass reproduction can be powerful, punchy, deep, and controlled. Having said that, I imagine those who are accustomed to truly great subwoofer performance and who listen to a lot of heavy bass content or explosive sound effects might find themselves wanting more, and it's true good subs can provide an overall sense of ease to the sound. But I can tell you that in my smallish room and listening only to music, I don't feel I'm really missing anything I want or need in the bass with these Sigs.
The other night I listened to the "Demon Days" disc by Gorillaz, expressly to see how the Sigs would handle the relatively prodigious bass content in some of the cuts thereon, including "Feel Good Inc." and "Kids With Guns." Reproduction was very very respectable. At a volume that was nearly all I could take, it was deep and punchy and very well controlled. I thought I could just begin to hear a little stress but it was difficult for me to tell if it was my amp or perhaps the 7" mid-woofer driver. I might have even been imagining it. When I sat in the middle chair (a true, finely adjusted sweet spot, as in that chair your head is around 7.5' to 8' from the speaker fronts), I didn't notice it at all. When I moved to the right chair, more nearly in front of the right speaker, to allow my wife to have a listen, is when I thought I MIGHT have heard that tiniest bit of distress. But again, I'm not really sure anything was there, or whether it might have been on the recording itself, etc. And to really stress the point, although I often listen "loud," this was at a level that I would not listen very long at all, and the rest of the reproduction was absolutely pristine. With these things, when you crank the loud knob, all you get is more sound. There isn't a change in character to the sound, it just gets louder.
On the other end of the volume spectrum, I am very pleased so far with the performance of the speakers at lower levels as well. Microdynamics are very good and reveal a lot of detail in a very informative yet not at all edgy way, at any volume, actually, at least not in my system. The ribbons are just silly quick, and you benefit on trailing edges of dynamics as well as leading edges as a result of that quickness.
For the record, I'm running a McCormack UDP-1 universal disc player as my main source, through a Wyred4Sound STP-SE preamp, feeding a vintage PS Audio 100C dual mono stereo amp rated at 200wpc into 4 ohms.
The response is very smooth but also very transparent and detailed. I replaced a pair of Thiel CS3.5's with these Sigs, known for their transparency and rendering of detail (some have called them "etched" and "bright" but I have found this not to be the case with my electronics). The Sigs are superior in rendering of detail and in their transparency, but remember my Thiels are about 25 years old, and all original! And they still sound very good. It is high praise in my book that the Sigs can best them in these particulars.
Dynamic swings with the Sigs are just a joy. Listen to Stanley Clarke's 2007 release "The Toys of Men." He plays several solo cuts on the stand-up bass as well as some nice punchy electric stuff. On one of the acoustic solo cuts, he gets into some serious plucking and string slapping on the neck of the bass, and the dynamics will make you jump! Very impressive.
I have heard more detail in things like the resonating of a glass slide on an electric guitar's strings where the slide is not completely compressed against the neck, or in the leading attack of a drumstick head striking a symbol or the head of a snare, etc, than I could ever make out with the Thiels. Again, in my book, that's high praise.
I could go on (and probably will as I listen more!), but you get the drift. At the price for these, they are very impressive indeed.
I will say, however, I am impressed enough with them that, perhaps a little like Andre, I am now wondering how long it might be before I get an itch for the Focus SEs!
Steve, I hope you remember me with the Sig's a couple years back. But I could not take it anymore and upgraded to the Focus SE, Marquis center and a Point One sub but with a 1KW amp. All I can say is WOW. The difference from the Sig's is better upper clarity, and big bass extension. I thought I knew what bass was with the two Metro subs but this system is just incredible!
I hope you are doing well! I haven't heard much from Dennis Markley anymore and hope he is doing good as well.