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#399459 - 12/23/13 06:52 PM Which Axiom for me?
Boomzilla Offline
buff

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 41
I've listened to a friend's M80s (v3) in my room (he was nice enough to bring them over). However (and this is VERY significant), the only power amp I had at the time was a Crown PS-400 pro amp which is highly sloppy sounding in the bass with four-ohm loads. Although the amp does fine with 6.5 ohm on up loads, it really, really limps when the impedance drops.

That said, the M80s sounded like bookshelf speakers in my 25x15 foot room. No bass at all. We also had to bring the speakers rather close together to get any imaging from them.

I now have an amplifier that is significantly more agile with four ohm loads. I very much liked the transient speed and detail of the M80s. I could add a subwoofer or two to add more bass if needed.

So now to the questions: I'm considering three potential Axiom models - The M80, the M80 with high power woofers, or the M100. I do NOT want the bi or omni directional models due to some right-to-left asymmetry in my listening room.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of the three choices? I'm thinking that if I plan to use a subwoofer, that the high-power woofers (or the extra woofer of the M100) may not be such big deals?

Other pertinent information: I don't listen loudly; all my sources are 44.1 CD-standard audio; I have plenty of power at the 4-ohm impedance of the Axioms; My room has acoustic treatment panels and doesn't echo.

I'm also looking at other brands of speakers, and am not in a rush to buy.

Thanks for the suggestions.

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#399465 - 12/23/13 09:56 PM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10383
Boom, your comment that "I don't listen loudly" pretty much answers your question in my view. The extra woofer of the M100 or high power woofers in the M80 provide a capacity for playing more loudly. The Axiom specs show no difference in bass extension(and none would have been expected), so the standard M80, which is already very good in power handling ability, should be amply sufficient for your needs.
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#399467 - 12/23/13 10:38 PM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
brwsaw Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 1018
JohnK is the man (I've come to trust his opinion) but I'd want to hear from Axiom on this one.

Ian quoted in the high power driver thread "there are lots of gains down low and even more than is evident in these graphs because they will play much louder before compression in the lower frequencies."

I know I'm expecting to hear a difference, specifically when watching movies where the "playing louder before compression" matters most to me.

My system already sounds great. That said if gun shots and those moments with a huge jump in dynamic range can feel and sound even more realistic and or impressive, I'm all in.


Edited by brwsaw (12/23/13 10:39 PM)
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#399469 - 12/23/13 11:54 PM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
Socketman Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 1189
Loc: Whitehorse YT
Bass is all about moving air, if you don't turn it up you wont experience it. No Speaker will produce bass that isn't already there in the original recording. Using a subwoofer will aid by the fact that you can alter its output and you can exaggerate the bass to your tastes..Larger rooms require more/larger drivers to pressurize the room.
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#399472 - 12/24/13 05:42 AM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
buff

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 41
Thank you kindly, gents. I also failed to mention that my priority is music rather than movies. I know that for true low bass, such as organ pedal tones and deep synth, I'll need a subwoofer or two. Assuming that the subs can be an option, then I'm thinking that the choice leans even more heavily toward the "plain" M80?

My audio source is fully digital, and there won't be any wow, rumble, or flutter as there might be with a phono or tape setup.

Lastly, I know that the advent of the "high power" woofers and improved other drivers used in the M100 herald the approach of "Version 4" for all Axiom speakers. How soon is that transition expected, and is it worth waiting for to get the other benefits of the new drivers? Or, to frame the question another way, is the M100 worth buying solely for the newer design midranges and tweeters (despite the fact that I won't need the woofer's power capacity)?


Edited by Boomzilla (12/24/13 05:47 AM)

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#399475 - 12/24/13 09:04 AM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
JBG Offline
devotee

Registered: 06/14/02
Posts: 406
The M80's high powered will not give you the extra bass you are looking for, they just play loader than the regular M80's. For more bass go with the M100's if your budget will allow, they have the best bass out of all the axiom speakers. (LFR1100 with new woofer kit excluded) It's not about how loud they play but more about sound quality. If you are only going 2 channel stereo for music.. consider going with LFR1100's

Seasons greetings,
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#399476 - 12/24/13 09:37 AM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: JBG]
Powell8 Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 12/03/13
Posts: 14
So, if I understand the above conversation I should have no issues with the high powered M80's and the use of the EP500 for movies in surround mode and the occasional virtual surround setting for music?


Edited by Powell8 (12/24/13 09:39 AM)

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#399477 - 12/24/13 09:47 AM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17767
Loc: NoVA
Even with my regular old M80s and a relatively nice Onkyo receiver, I get a lot of bass for music without the sub (which is put away to make room for the Xmas tree). I have to wonder if there were some strange settings on the preamp/receiver you were using.
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#399478 - 12/24/13 09:56 AM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
JBG Offline
devotee

Registered: 06/14/02
Posts: 406
If I had to choose between M80's or M100 (having own both), I would choose the M100's but any axiom floor standing speaker with a sub will do, the tweeters and mids on all the axiom tower speakers are mostly the same as per the M100 except for cast basket on the mids, where it really changes it's the new 3 bass speakers that give you the extra bottom end on the M100's. Like I said in an other post the M100 have what the M80's are missing!
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#399479 - 12/24/13 09:59 AM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
buff

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 41
Hi JBG -

When you say "the extra bottom end on the M100's," you're referring to extra volume and not deeper bass extension? The specs on the M80s and M100s are virtually identical for LF roll-off. If that's the case, then since I don't listen at loud volumes, the extra volume capability of the M100 won't make a bit of difference to me. Is this correct?

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#399480 - 12/24/13 10:04 AM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
JBG Offline
devotee

Registered: 06/14/02
Posts: 406
Originally Posted By: Boomzilla
Hi JBG -

When you say "the extra bottom end on the M100's," you're referring to extra volume and not deeper bass extension? The specs on the M80s and M100s are virtually identical for LF roll-off. If that's the case, then since I don't listen at loud volumes, the extra volume capability of the M100 won't make a bit of difference to me. Is this correct?



quoted from an other thead


Originally Posted By: Lampshade

All of Canada should be proud.

Visual: They are big, in a majestic way.

Sound: My first impression was "wide open middle". Think Nebraska. You could drive a truck across the sound stage. The separation between instruments and individual voices is the very best I have ever heard. Presence presence presence. Every sound is exactly where they should be. You never associate the music with actually emanating from the speaker. For all your ears know, the speakers are just wooden boxes in the room and even as big as they are, you are going to forget about them.

The bass is boss. Deep and clean.

Percussion instruments are a joy. They arrive with precision and leave gracefully. Brass instruments and saxophones were eloquent and ultra realistic. These speakers are amazing. I am a little angry with myself that I didn't take part in the upgrade offer. How much better than the 80's could they be? For the way that I enjoy music and movies? Ten times better. I am that smitten with them.


I agree, the M100 have what would make the M80's perfect ...extra bass or more lower end. the bass is not overwhelming they just add that extra low end.

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#399482 - 12/24/13 10:25 AM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
buff

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 41
My other concern is that within the next two years, I'm going to downsize my house. When that happens, the new (smaller) house is unlikely to have as expansive a listening room. That means that I'll be listening from almost "near field" conditions (probably 10 feet or less from the speakers). That being the case, I have concern that the M100s, being even larger than the M80s will cause me to hear the drivers as discreet rather than integrated. My friend, who currently has M80s in a smaller room than mine says that he occasionally has this problem. Comments?

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#399483 - 12/24/13 11:22 AM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7042
Loc: Canada
MontrousBoomDude. I had the pleasure of listening to various Axiom speaker setups at the factory before buying and here is what I found:

All of their speakers share the same detailed flat response. The difference between the M22 M60 and M80 are quite noticeable in the bass (we haven't had a bass post in a while smile ) range, but quite subtle in the mid range and treble.

In direct A/B comparisons, I found the mid range a little better in the M80 and noticed certain things like cymbals had a transparency not quite equaled by other Axiom speakers.

Without the direct comparison, I don't know that you would remember (notice) differences outside of the base.

All that said. If you are worried about space in a smaller home, the M22 + sub would be an excellent combination in that the M22 probably has more flexibility in placement. I'm pretty sure the M80 won't fit on a shelf. grin

FWIW, I sit 8-9 feet from my M80s in my 11 x 20 foot living room and they sound quite good to me.
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Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#399487 - 12/24/13 01:37 PM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
buff

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 41
Thank you, Fred. I've wondered about the smaller Axioms with a sub combo... My friend with the M80s says "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! My current room needs at least the M80s and preferably the M100s, even with the sub." (He's a "go big or go home" kind of guy).

I'm still reluctant to commit to the M100 in case my future room is MUCH smaller.

Decisions, decisions...

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#399488 - 12/24/13 02:13 PM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1014
Boom:

I listen to my audio system at about 11' back. It is comprised of M2s + 2 X EP400 subs that fill my rather large, open room with articulate, quality sound. It is easily driven by my low powered tube amp & the robust, distortion free bass is most impressive.

My long & satisfactory experience with Sats + Sub(s) systems over the years does not jive with your friend's strong opinions. IMHO, there are just not many towers that reach as deeply as quality subs unless they are monsters with a price to match.

Check mine out in the gallery here & notice how my systems have morphed into what I think is my present killer setup:

http://www.axiomaudio.com/blog/home-theater-pictures/?album=1&gallery=139

Furthermore, Sats + Sub(s) systems have the distinct advantage in being able to dial in the bass level as you like it - but don't overdo it, ha!

TAM

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#399489 - 12/24/13 04:20 PM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
J. B. Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 1269
Loc: Quebec, Canada
my system is carefully setup and i sit at around 6 ft. from the M80s;
my room being 9 x 9 x 16 Ft.

to my ears, all frequencies are well integrated in the sound field,
and i never hear any driver or speaker attract attention to itself.
it might be different if i was sitting closer, but have never tried it.

the sound can be mind boggling in its realism and i can hear lots of things i had never heard before i got those Axioms.
pls check the links in my sig.
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#399490 - 12/24/13 04:31 PM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
buff

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 41
Thanks, exlabdriver -

That was my feeling, but my audio buddy is adamant that I'll regret it should I get ANYTHING less than the M80s. I respect his ears and his opinions. That said, his M80s didn't work too well in my room (probably because of the amp). Even he agreed that the M80s just didn't sound anything like he thought they should.

I'm thinking that with the amplifier I now have, that there will be no bass reticence from any speaker used in the room. I'll also have sufficient damping factor that woofer control won't be an issue.

The speakers I'm now using (Paradigm Eclipse BP) have an anechoic -3dB of 28 Hz. They have great bass in my room, but the midrange and treble are somewhat recessed. From what I've read online, Paradigm deliberately voiced these to have a reduced tweeter output with the expectation that the speakers would be used in a "live" room where the rear tweeters would supplement the total treble output.

Alas, in my room, I've got ATS sound absorber pads directly behind & between the speakers and another immediately behind the listening couch. These make the room non-echoey. The M80s sounded AWESOME from the midrange on up (far, far better than the Paradigms) in this room, which is why I'm still strongly considering Axiom Audio speakers. I believe that the M80s have the potential to produce stronger bass in my room than what we previously heard.

Nevertheless, a pair of subwoofers would also work well here. I've previously used subs in this room with other speakers and had excellent results. The room is blessed with NO bass pile-up modes, and has absolutely flat frequency response from 25 to 90 Hz. (per measurements from the listening position).

So the ultimate question becomes: Assuming that I will use subwoofers, what do I give up by going to a smaller Axiom speaker? Obviously, the treble ultimate volume capacity that comes from having two tweeters...What else?

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#399492 - 12/24/13 06:47 PM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1014
I doubt if you'll give up anything unless you want to drive them to ear damage levels - I don't. Perhaps towers would have the edge there but they don't look as nice to me. My listening area maxes out at about 90 Db.

For a little more power handling with a similar sound signature, the M22s would work just as well. I use a pair of those in my separate HT that are mated with their own Velo 10" ported subs.

Both models are equally capable & produce quality, accurate sound.

It is puzzling to me that your amp would have such a detrimental effect on the M80 sound during your audition. Doesn't make sense to me unless it is defective - perhaps it's some kind of nasty room interaction going on....

TAM

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#399493 - 12/24/13 09:14 PM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
Socketman Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 1189
Loc: Whitehorse YT
Fortunately Axiom offers a 30 day risk free trial. Depending on you locale and what return shipping might cost its the best way to go. Not every speaker works in every room, your best bet is to get some and move them around to where they sound best and if they don't work for you , then you can always return them. I had the same speakers for 25 yrs, they sounded different in every house ( apprx 10 ) I moved to. The fact you plan to downsize complicates things since I would recommend the M100's for your current residence but having them in a smaller room may be too much. I would recommend the M80's and add a sub if you want floor standers or go the M22 and subs. I ran M2's with 2 - 8" subs in a 16x 14 room and it sounded great, though I now have 2 large 10's and the M80's ( I love bass smile ) in the same room.

richard
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I blame my terseness on my keyboard. smile

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#399500 - 12/24/13 11:24 PM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Socketman]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4825
Loc: western canada
Originally Posted By: Socketman
I had the same speakers for 25 yrs, they sounded different in every house ( apprx 10 ) I moved to.

Good lord, are you on the lam or what?
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#399507 - 12/25/13 12:54 AM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10383
Boom, since it appeared that you'd made up your mind to go with tower speakers, I didn't comment further as I had in your previous thread about the merits of M22s plus a good sub. The first thing to keep in mind is that big enclosure doesn't necessarily mean big sound, except in the lowest bass assuming that it's correctly designed. The size of the enclosure largely controls the extent to which it can be tuned for greater bass extension(i.e., lower frequencies, not greater volume). Note that driver and enclosure design are what "control" woofers, and amplifier damping factor, at least anything in the double digits, doesn't add anything. In the mid-range and treble the design and number of drivers determines the ability to play loudly, but enclosure size has no direct influence(has to be big enough to hold the drivers, of course).

As applied to the M22, it should be noted that the all-important mid-range is covered by the same two 5 1/4" drivers in the M22 and M80. The loudness capability of the M22 is essentially identical here and the greater M80 enclosure size is not a significant factor. In the treble, as you comment, the dual M80 tweeters allow for playing more loudly in those frequencies, but more treble volume capability may not be significant in most home listening scenarios, and if so, nothing is being "given up".

The M22 with a good sub(or subs)has superior bass extension and volume capability and essentially identical mid-range and treble quality. This is what I use and suggest for my listening, which is almost entirely classical music.
_________________________
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#399509 - 12/25/13 02:19 AM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
brwsaw Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 1018
FWIW I admit the M22 should have been my first choice. Now that I've let my towers shine in music and HT I can't go back.
For better or worse M80HP's will be on route shortly.
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Not sure which is better,a little extra money in the account or days off.

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#399522 - 12/25/13 04:19 PM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: JohnK]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4825
Loc: western canada
Originally Posted By: JohnK
In the mid-range and treble the design and number of drivers determines the ability to play loudly, but enclosure size has no direct influence(has to be big enough to hold the drivers, of course).

And this is why i went with the M60s over M22s.
They just didn't fill the room with sound.
The larger speaker does that much more effectively.

I'm not sold on this recurring idea that M22 plus sub sounds like a M60/M80 either. For the record.
Aside from a vastly different driver size on the sub. vs the tower speaker drivers, most may not locate the M22 right on top of the sub so you now have a location change with this pair compared to the tower speakers that have an 'all in one' location.
We started with M22s and a sub WAYYYYY back when. Still had the M22s when the M60s arrived.
It was a long time ago but my recollection of this comparison was that it wasn't so similar.
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"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#399535 - 12/25/13 09:37 PM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: chesseroo]
Socketman Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 1189
Loc: Whitehorse YT
Originally Posted By: chesseroo
Originally Posted By: Socketman
I had the same speakers for 25 yrs, they sounded different in every house ( apprx 10 ) I moved to.

Good lord, are you on the lam or what?


No just running away from myself, but every where I went there I was.
_________________________
DOG is GOD spelled backwards.
I blame my terseness on my keyboard. smile

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#399540 - 12/26/13 11:12 AM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
buff

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 41
Well, this "large satellite vs. small satellite" question is the absolute crux of the question. If I plan to use subs crossed over at 80 Hz. anyway, then theoretically, even an M2 with frequency response down to 70 Hz. should be good. If I want to abide by the rule of "roll the satellites off one octave above their -3dB point," then I'd need at least the M50 towers for an 80 Hz. crossover. To use a 60 Hz. crossover, I'd need the M80s.

The only reason I'd see to need that rule is if I were playing the speakers at maximum volume. At lower volumes, the absolute output capability should not be an issue. Despite this, my friend insists that the M80 is the minimum Axiom I should consider for my room (and he also encourages me to get the "high-power" woofers).

The cost rises rapidly as one ascends the Axiom model line, and at the $2K on up level, there is SERIOUS competition from other manufacturers' products. Cost is NOT the main concern for me, but if I'm to spend that level of change, I want the best option.

I like Axiom's philosophy of spending on the drivers & crossover, not the cabinet finish (unless the customer wants to go there). I do think that some of Axiom's options should be available for less (particularly the outrigger feet for the towers).

And finally, I want to hear some speakers with ribbon midranges & tweeters before I buy. Of "conventional driver" designs, though, the Axioms (and the Thiels) sound the best that I've heard.

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#400657 - 02/05/14 12:38 AM Re: Which Axiom for me? [Re: Boomzilla]
MichaelTrottar Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/10/13
Posts: 84
If you are concerned about area in a compact sized house, the M22 + sub would be an outstanding mixture in that the M22 probably has more versatility in positioning. I'm fairly sure the M80 won't fit on a display.
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