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#399574 - 12/27/13 10:10 AM Please describe the Axiom "sound"....
KobeeDog Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/27/13
Posts: 4
Hello all,

I've been looking for a pair of high efficiency speakers for my relatively low powered tube amp. The Axiom speakers seem to fit the bill. This is for a 2 channel, music only system - no home theatre.

However ... I have read in more than a few places that the Axiom house sound is somewhat bright. I don't mind detailed, or "precise", but bright will not work.

Is there any basis to this rumour that Axiom speakers are bright or harsh?

Thanks.

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#399577 - 12/27/13 10:36 AM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: KobeeDog]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6609
Loc: It's all about the location.
Welcome KobeeDog.

I would describe the Axiom sound as being similar to both Paradigm and PSB which makes sense since they all did most of their research through the NRC many years ago. All of these companies have strove to provide a flat frequency response, true to the recording. The "brightness" you may have read on some forums probably alludes to the earlier versions, but in most cases is probably second hand hearsay. The best description for Axiom(or Pdime, PSB), imo, would be that they are revealing...much depends on what speakers you are already used to, sometimes an adjustment period is necessary when auditioning different speakers.
If you can, you might find someone near you that could let you audition some Axioms. Good luck!!
_________________________
Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

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#399578 - 12/27/13 10:37 AM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: KobeeDog]
dakkon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 1845
Originally Posted By: KobeeDog
Hello all,

I've been looking for a pair of high efficiency speakers for my relatively low powered tube amp. The Axiom speakers seem to fit the bill. This is for a 2 channel, music only system - no home theatre.

However ... I have read in more than a few places that the Axiom house sound is somewhat bright. I don't mind detailed, or "precise", but bright will not work.

Is there any basis to this rumour that Axiom speakers are bright or harsh?

Thanks.



My Axioms sound very similar to my B&W's... I don't know if you've ever heard B&W's or not... but that's the most direct comparison that i can make.

I would not call them bright, i would call them accurate.

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#399581 - 12/27/13 11:07 AM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: KobeeDog]
KobeeDog Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/27/13
Posts: 4
Thanks for the replies guys.

I am familiar with B&W speakers. I have owned both the 685 and CM5. I actually found to the B&W sound to be somewhat laid back and most musical.

Would you have any particular recommendation of one Axiom model over the other for stereo listening? My room is small; 10' x 13' and acoustically treated to a fair degree.

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#399587 - 12/27/13 02:51 PM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: KobeeDog]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4077
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Originally Posted By: KobeeDog
Hello all,

I've been looking for a pair of high efficiency speakers for my relatively low powered tube amp. The Axiom speakers seem to fit the bill. This is for a 2 channel, music only system - no home theatre.

However ... I have read in more than a few places that the Axiom house sound is somewhat bright. I don't mind detailed, or "precise", but bright will not work.

Is there any basis to this rumour that Axiom speakers are bright or harsh?

Thanks.


I think you will find the "Canadian house sound principles" used in brands like Axiom, Infinity, Paradigm, PSB, Revel etc to sound brighter than a lot of other speakers on the market that take different approaches to speaker design and voicing of their speakers. But that said IMO, I wouldn't categorize each of these companies speakers as sounding extremely similar to one another either.
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#399589 - 12/27/13 05:54 PM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: KobeeDog]
Boomzilla Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 38
I'd, personally, object to likening the Axiom sound to B&W. I find the B&W tweeters painfully bright (except for their diamond series). I don't however, find the Axioms bright. My friend's M80s sound detailed but without any particular brightness. For a low-powered amp, and stereo only, I know of no better option on the market than Axioms. I'm contemplating buying some soon myself, but am waiting to check out two other brands before deciding. My needs are different, though, and I've a very large room. That being the case, I'm looking at the larger Axioms (M80 or M100), although I may yet be persuaded to go with a pair of M60s and subwoofers...

Happy shopping!

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#399590 - 12/27/13 08:15 PM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: Boomzilla]
KobeeDog Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/27/13
Posts: 4
Interesting how the audio hobby can be so subjective.

I don't find the B&W sound, or the tweeters specifically, bright at all, as mentioned.

For a personal frame of reference, I look at my Monitor Audio RS6 ... those were bright speakers with way too much attack with the wrong gear. Also, the Klipsch RF-62's. Man, THOSE are bright. In a lot of ways, the absolute worst speakers I have ever had to endure.

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#399591 - 12/27/13 11:55 PM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: KobeeDog]
Boomzilla Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 38
Originally Posted By: KobeeDog
Interesting how the audio hobby can be so subjective...the Klipsch RF-62's. Man, THOSE are bright. In a lot of ways, the absolute worst speakers I have ever had to endure.


And lots of folks just LOVE those Klipsches! I'm not one of them, but I can understand how they like the dynamics. Also lots of baby boomers in this hobby are starting to lose their high frequency hearing due to age. If that's the case, then the treble won't offend so much!

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#399596 - 12/28/13 08:57 AM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: Boomzilla]
KobeeDog Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/27/13
Posts: 4
Very true... another group that seems to appreciate them are people who have only ever owned HTIB type bottom of the barrel stuff, and dynamics and sizzle of the Klipsches are an eye-opener (or is that ear-opener?).

I suppose I could live with the dynamics of the of Klipsch, but it was more the complete lack of mid-range. There was tons of top end detail, and gobs of bass, but really no mids, where most music lives anyway.

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#399597 - 12/28/13 10:06 AM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: KobeeDog]
SirQuack Online   shocked
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13325
Loc: Iowa
Back in the day, if a speaker was called "bright" it meant "detailed" which is what you get with Axioms. Unfortunately, some over at AVSForum have twisted this word to be a bad thing. Basically, they are "true" to the recording you feed them, so crap in you will get crap out. On the flip side if you have something that is engineered correctly, you will have a grin from ear to ear.
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#399600 - 12/28/13 12:33 PM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: KobeeDog]
casey01 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 07/03/08
Posts: 764
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: KobeeDog
Interesting how the audio hobby can be so subjective.

I don't find the B&W sound, or the tweeters specifically, bright at all, as mentioned.

For a personal frame of reference, I look at my Monitor Audio RS6 ... those were bright speakers with way too much attack with the wrong gear. Also, the Klipsch RF-62's. Man, THOSE are bright. In a lot of ways, the absolute worst speakers I have ever had to endure.



And therein lies the reason why, unless the review is from an average enthusiast that actually owns them and has spent considerable time listening and has no agenda, so-called "professional" reviews, in my opinion, are essentially worthless. Speakers,as you so aptly put, and their performance are very subjective and where one person loves one thing another person does not. It has nothing really do with making comparisons as one being better than the other, it is juist preferences.

I am always intrigued with professional reviews of very expensive, i.e. $15-20,000/pair speakers and up. You will notice that the reviewer always states they sound wonderful BUT, they are never compared directly to anything else especially speakers that might cost considerably less. The same holds true for ultra expensive electronics.

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#399610 - 12/29/13 12:31 PM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: KobeeDog]
Boomzilla Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 38
Hmmm... Well, I wouldn't know about $15K to $20K speakers, but I have really good electronics (though not ultra expensive). I can hear a difference, and I don't mind comparing them to other boxes at any price, and I'm technically a "professional reviewer," (although I don't normally admit it). I think everyone reaches their own personal "good-enough-for-me" plateau and then berates anything more than what they have (sour grapes?).

I'm sure that there is better kit than what I own available, but I've not yet heard it. Some things that most reviewers drool over (Magnepan speakers, for example) just don't work in my room. I've heard them sound good in other rooms, but they don't sound their best in mine. I wouldn't pan them in a review, but I'd have to also note that they do their best in rooms with specific characteristics that my room doesn't have.

For the same reasons that Maggies don't work in my room, I'm not even interested in trying the omnidirectional Axioms. They won't do there best here either.

Cheers - Boomzilla

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#399611 - 12/29/13 01:03 PM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: KobeeDog]
Mad_Chesser Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/11/13
Posts: 195
Loc: B.C., Canada
I'm a new axiom owner and have had about 6 to 7 months on my M80 v3's. I put roughly, on average, about a 150 hours a month on them. So nearing closely to a thousand hours of listening time, here's my impressions:

The M80's are definitely not "bright". Someone here put it perfectly already. They have the true "Canadian" sound that you would expect from psb or paradigm. If I was forced to liken them to a speaker I've owned, I'd say they most closely resemble the pair of Paradigm Monitor 90P's I had. Those speakers had an external amplifier for the three 8" woofers(I believe it was 400 watts). These M80's can dig deeper and harder though, without a separate amplifier built on the speaker smile They are incredibly neutral and in saying that, incredibly revealing. I truly am no word of lie, rediscovering my music collection.

And on the note of revealing, some recordings sound down right awful(I don't listen to many mp3's anymore) and MANY are presenting themselves with things that can only be described as magical smile

The M80's will satisfy even the most dedicated bass junkies. I've blown people away with the fact I don't even have a subwoofer, yet.

I've owned a lot of speakers over the years and these speakers are, without a doubt, the best speakers I've ever owned. I'm enjoying them so much.

The only thing I notice is that when watching movies in stereo mode only, the sound changes quite noticeably when I get up off the couch and walk around. I guess this is the "off axis listening" people talk about. Loud music sounds great everywhere(and I've impressed many people at large get togethers already), but I notice a change when going off axis when it comes to movies. But that's not a gripe for me. I calibrate my system to a specific listening position for a reason.

The M80's are incredibly detailed and produce wonderful sound for any and all material.

I highly recommend taking advantage of their great return policy and customer service. I would bet money on the fact that you will be HIGHLY impressed with their sound.
_________________________
2 Axiom M80s v3
1 Axiom VP160 v3
2 Paradigm ADP-150
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#399695 - 01/03/14 12:17 PM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: Boomzilla]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4801
Loc: western canada
Originally Posted By: Boomzilla
I think everyone reaches their own personal "good-enough-for-me" plateau and then berates anything more than what they have (sour grapes?).

This is called 'ego' and it gets bruised easy in the world of audio. Like a butterfly landing on a pinot grape on the vine and the pinot comes out like it was hit by a Toyota with a stuck accelerator.

Originally Posted By: Boomzilla

I'm sure that there is better kit than what I own available, but I've not yet heard it. Some things that most reviewers drool over (Magnepan speakers, for example) just don't work in my room. I've heard them sound good in other rooms, but they don't sound their best in mine.

And this is why even sticking to one brand may not work. I've had three sets of speakers on my main floor and none sounded very good but of the three options, the best sound was not from the $6k Tannoys i've got there now, and nor were they Axioms.
The same three brands sounded great in our media room, but the set i don't own i preferred best (for midrange and high end, but were a bit bass heavy). Comparatively, the Axiom M60s we have exhibit a much more controlled bass but almost a muted mid and high end. Odd considering that i AM a person who has termed the Axioms as 'bright' in the past and no, that word doesn't mean 'detailed'.
If i could have married the Axiom bass and price with the other brand's mid and high end plus wood veneer finish, i would have my perfect speaker.

Room physics makes a huge difference for sound but when all else is equal, you may settle on more than speaker brand for your house depending on the room.

Originally Posted By: Boomzilla

For the same reasons that Maggies don't work in my room, I'm not even interested in trying the omnidirectional Axioms. They won't do there best here either.

Those are two very different sound principles (i.e. difference between Magnepan electrostatic design and Axiom direct driver, bipole-like idea). I really wouldn't jump to conclusions trying to compare those two.
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#399701 - 01/03/14 02:57 PM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: chesseroo]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16268
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Originally Posted By: chesseroo
I really wouldn't jump to conclusions trying to compare those two.


_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#399703 - 01/03/14 04:01 PM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: KobeeDog]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4801
Loc: western canada
What on God's green earth is that a picture of anyway?

Here's what i found for googling "random photo"

_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#399716 - 01/03/14 08:29 PM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: chesseroo]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16268
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
That is none other than Tom Smykowski, the inventor of the Jump to Conclusions mat. From the movie Office Space. If you have not seen it, you need to remedy that.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#400369 - 01/25/14 09:11 PM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: Boomzilla]
Soulshock Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/25/14
Posts: 4
Originally Posted By: Boomzilla
Hmmm... Well, I wouldn't know about $15K to $20K speakers, but I have really good electronics (though not ultra expensive). I can hear a difference, and I don't mind comparing them to other boxes at any price, and I'm technically a "professional reviewer," (although I don't normally admit it). I think everyone reaches their own personal "good-enough-for-me" plateau and then berates anything more than what they have (sour grapes?).

I'm sure that there is better kit than what I own available, but I've not yet heard it. Some things that most reviewers drool over (Magnepan speakers, for example) just don't work in my room. I've heard them sound good in other rooms, but they don't sound their best in mine. I wouldn't pan them in a review, but I'd have to also note that they do their best in rooms with specific characteristics that my room doesn't have.

For the same reasons that Maggies don't work in my room, I'm not even interested in trying the omnidirectional Axioms. They won't do there best here either.

Cheers - Boomzilla


I'm a new poster and 3 year owner of M60's. I'd love to hear from you what components you have matched your Axioms with?

I'm ready for an upgrade from the Yamaha receiver I'm presently using. I come from the Live Sound world and generally believe the best upgrade you can provide is a better amp.

I like the tonal balance of the M60's and actually chose them over a set of B&W 704's. Both were setup in my living room for a month with a Rotel 15 series integrated amp.

However my M60/Yammy setup lacks the transient and distortion performance I desire.

Ultimately, I want to start buying components that I will have for the next 20-30 years. Any thoughts or direction you can offer is much appreciated.....

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#400371 - 01/25/14 10:10 PM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: Soulshock]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10379
Soul, welcome. It's highly doubtful in most cases that a "better amp" will provide an audibly significant upgrade. The transient performance you mention is determined by the program material, the speakers and the room acoustics. Any competently designed amplifying device has to have sufficient transient response capability to handle the "fastest" frequencies of interest at the maximum output level.

You don't mention the max output of your present receiver, but the "distortion performance" is inaudibly low at that level, quite possibly less than the speaker or program material distortion. If you actually are playing at extremely high levels creating a possibility of permanent hearing damage, then amplifier distortion on peaks can be a factor. An amplifier with a far higher maximum output(at least 300 watts)is one remedy, but a more prudent one is to turn the volume down a dB or two.

At this point, without knowing more about your present receiver, the suggestion for replacing the Yamaha would be one of the Denon or Onkyo models with the top Audyssey MultEQ XT-32 auto calibration and room equalization.

As to other possible upgrades, you haven't mentioned what your other speakers and sub are, and this might be an area for significant improvement.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#400374 - 01/26/14 01:01 AM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: JohnK]
Soulshock Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/25/14
Posts: 4
Originally Posted By: JohnK
Soul, welcome. It's highly doubtful in most cases that a "better amp" will provide an audibly significant upgrade. The transient performance you mention is determined by the program material, the speakers and the room acoustics. Any competently designed amplifying device has to have sufficient transient response capability to handle the "fastest" frequencies of interest at the maximum output level.

You don't mention the max output of your present receiver, but the "distortion performance" is inaudibly low at that level, quite possibly less than the speaker or program material distortion. If you actually are playing at extremely high levels creating a possibility of permanent hearing damage, then amplifier distortion on peaks can be a factor. An amplifier with a far higher maximum output(at least 300 watts)is one remedy, but a more prudent one is to turn the volume down a dB or two.

At this point, without knowing more about your present receiver, the suggestion for replacing the Yamaha would be one of the Denon or Onkyo models with the top Audyssey MultEQ XT-32 auto calibration and room equalization.

As to other possible upgrades, you haven't mentioned what your other speakers and sub are, and this might be an area for significant improvement.


Thank you John K. Let me give you a little more info on what I want to accomplish and what I have.

Right now I have a Yamaha HTR-5990, middle of the road receiver (roughly 80wpc). Also I have a HP Media Smart extender. I am a music listener and though I have a surround receiver I do 90% music and 10% movies. Also I am probably 50% spotify and 50% uncompressed wav in terms of my sources.

The Mediasmart feeds my Samsung LCD via HDMI and I feed my receiver via Lightpipe (digital optical). My living room is not that large and I followed the Axiom recommendation of placing my speakers 5' from the side walls and 9" from the rear. I also keep them tilted in 10% or so to align the tweeter with my listening position 6-8' away.

I like the Axioms in that I find them to be smooth and not overly harsh(like to B&W's I had). However as a trained audio engineer I am very sensitive to low levels of distortion, unlike what you would find with a amp that is clipping. It's more like the signal is being choked off and can not fully "breath" like you would find in a live sound situation. That is what I want to reproduce as that is the way I'm accustomed to hearing music. You are correct that it's likely the room that's causing most of the lack of transients and I didn't think about that.

I don't want to buy super high end speaker because of the expense that goes into making them sound good (high end pre/pro, d/a converter/ amp/ cables etc). Not to mention that I'd have to spend over 10k on the speakers to get a significant bump in quality.

I'd rather get some decent speakers that can be optimized with high end amp's pre/pro's da's etc. as I can afford them. I want to piece my system together over the next few years step by step. But I'm looking for help to determine what units will be the best long term fits for me and how much of a performance increase I can get with the M60's and the right supplemental parts.

I hope this makes sense.......

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#400375 - 01/26/14 01:07 AM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: Soulshock]
Soulshock Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/25/14
Posts: 4
Also long term I plan to buy the Focal Diablo bookshelf speakers. However they are 10K and I can't justify that without having a proper Amp/Pre Pro/Etc. So it's more doable for me to having the other pieces in place before buying the speakers.

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#400376 - 01/26/14 01:52 AM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: Soulshock]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10379
As I indicated in my previous reply, neither my personal experience nor my knowledge of the principles of audio technology incline me to place a higher priority on amplifying equipment than on the speakers. One of the great things about the current audio scene is the availability of receivers(such as your HTR-5990)at modest cost which amplify signals with audible transparency within their designed power limits. So, I can't offer any help as to more exotic amplifying units.

My own listening is probably close to 99% music, but I never listen to 2-channel source material only on front speakers. If I followed your comments, you apparently listen to music using only the M60s. If so, my practice and suggestion to you is to use surrounds such as the Axiom QSs with a mode such as DPLII. This extracts the surround ambience that was picked up by the mikes and mixed into the front channels(there was no place else to put it)and sends it to the surrounds where it belongs, making for a more realistic listening experience.

Again, my view is that this is the way to go, rather than spending money on amplifying equipment.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#400384 - 01/26/14 02:35 PM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: KobeeDog]
Soulshock Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/25/14
Posts: 4
Okay cool...... Thanks John K.

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#400426 - 01/27/14 08:29 PM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: KobeeDog]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4801
Loc: western canada
Soul, i'd have to back alot of what John has mentioned here. In the various tests i had in the past of a few amps and receivers, using an instantaneous A/B switch, and when adjusted for sound pressure levels between amp units, there was a negligible difference in audio quality. That is to say, no one could tell them apart with enough accuracy to conclude a statistical probability of an audible difference.
I know that some audio buffs won't believe my word, but having done such a test myself, the proof is very clear.

John does comment about sound levels and amp power but with an assumption of a relatively close listening distance and that SPL of say 100dB is too loud. I sometimes listen to music while working in the kitchen 18 feet away and even when i'm sitting closer, i like 90+ dB SPL. As such, power IS a requirement. I've had a few runs with some lower power amps as well, 50 -80 wpc range and frankly, while sitting at my home office desk listening to music at SPL of a comfortable 75dB these receivers started to clip.
Not all amps/ receivers are made the same when it comes to power reserves, but i do believe they all sound the same when played within specs as John commented.

Now speakers, that is a whole different ballgame. There can be quite a huge difference between speakers and sound (and similar to wine, cost does not correlate with quality except in one's own subjective mind and what defines quality...around these forums it usually relates to linear response as the goal for ultimate speakers). Surprisingly, the difference between speakers is often not as 'night and day' as is often described. I think many of the Axiom folk who attended the last reunion that had a chance to hear a blind test of Axiom speakers vs. some B&W, realized just how small those differences are.

Room is a huge factor. Heck, position IN a room is a huge factor. I would definitely look to speaker position and room acoustic treatments (moving a couch, carpeting/floor rugs, wall curtains or specific sound treatments) as the first ways to look at changing the sound response (aside from considering other speakers).
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#400490 - 01/30/14 07:33 AM Re: Please describe the Axiom "sound".... [Re: Boomzilla]
Crimson Wrath Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/30/09
Posts: 86
Loc: NC
Originally Posted By: Boomzilla
Hmmm... Well, I wouldn't know about $15K to $20K speakers, but I have really good electronics (though not ultra expensive). I can hear a difference, and I don't mind comparing them to other boxes at any price, and I'm technically a "professional reviewer," (although I don't normally admit it). I think everyone reaches their own personal "good-enough-for-me" plateau and then berates anything more than what they have (sour grapes?).

I'm sure that there is better kit than what I own available, but I've not yet heard it. Some things that most reviewers drool over (Magnepan speakers, for example) just don't work in my room. I've heard them sound good in other rooms, but they don't sound their best in mine. I wouldn't pan them in a review, but I'd have to also note that they do their best in rooms with specific characteristics that my room doesn't have.

For the same reasons that Maggies don't work in my room, I'm not even interested in trying the omnidirectional Axioms. They won't do there best here either.

Cheers - Boomzilla


What is the reason the LFRs would not work in your room? Lack of sufficient space between them and the walls?
_________________________
M60|VP150|2xQS8|PSA XS30+Epik Empire|Pioneer Kuro 6010FD|PS3|Denon AVR-X4000|Parasound 5250v.2|

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