Yeah $13000 was out of my $12/hr part time job budget, maybe when I'm not poor I'll think about em.
I did a side by side comparison with the axioms, switching back and forth with the receiver. I noticed two things.
a) Getting bare speaker wire into the bottom binding posts is close to impossible on the HK3480. Thumbs down to whoever designed them, it almost ruins an awesome receiver.
b) The Axioms + STF-2 combo vs CS3.6 +.. no sub combo showed me that the thiels had better integrated bass even with me adjusting my sub, and that the axioms are very tinny by comparison. Things sounded right with the Thiels where they sounded wrong with the Axioms, it was a more balanced and realistic speaker. The axioms sounded scrambled and messy by comparison. The axioms sound neutral, as do the thiels, but the thiels sound real, the axioms do not. I love my Axioms and would recommend them to anyone even if they were willing to spend $800 on a bookshelf speaker. It's really unfair to compare a $440 speaker to a $4900 speaker, but I don't think anyone would expect the axioms to win that anyway.
I was expecting them to sound like the Axioms with bass, and little more, since they're both touted and reviewed as a neutral speaker. And neutral is neutral, right? No, it's not. Either there are things other than neutrality and basic distortion ratings that determine how a speaker sounds, or the Axioms and the Thiels(one of the above, or both - I'm guessing the axioms due to the 11x price difference) deviate from neutrality.
I don't like using the term tinny since it implies the Axioms are bad.. which they are not, but that is the first and last impression I have when using them next to the thiels. The Thiels have very clear vocals, and a very clear guitar. Speakers that have a null in midrange output usually make those sounds appear subdued in the recording. The Axioms had louder mids in the wrong parts, it didn't put the vocalist/guitarist more forward in the recording, but sounded like