Review of M100's from 'Biggar' on an other site;
Post by biggar on Aug 17, 2013 at 2:10pm
I took delivery of a pair of M100s just yesterday. I spend all afternoon yesterday and a couple of hours today (so far!) listening to them with classical, jazz, folk and rock. My previous speakers were the M80s. I find that the M100s have a demonstrably greater dynamic range. Even though the80 are very confident at high volumes, the 100s display an even greater confidence. I'm currently listening to Clapton's Layla - a rock record that is not just bunched up in a 10 decibel range. The 100s are throwing music at me in such a way that I cannot hear the separate speakers, rather, I can hear the music nicely separated into different instruments across the soundstage.
I think that positioning is important with these speakers. Mine are not in their final position by a long shot. My wife and I started that conversation this morning and our negotiation is going to take some time. In any event, my questions about the 100s are as follows. First, I'm used to the Axiom sound, these do sound like Axioms - is that too much for me - do I need a complete change - I don't think so. I had my KEFs for ten years, I'm a long term lover so if I keep these big guys they will be here for an long time. Second, am I drinking my own cool-aid when I say that these speakers are great - I don't know. I keep wondering what the Bryston Model Ts (made by Axiom at the same plant) sound like. The Bryston's not only look the same as the 100s, they have exactly the same number of drivers (although their woofers are 8" rather thn 6.5") and they use the identical Axiom tweeter and midrange to the 100s. However the Brystons are trip-amiable rather than bi-amiable like the 100s (I have mine bi-amped - after a fashion). The stupidity in these things comes to light when you look up reviews of the Bryston. Talk about over the top glowng reviews from all of the high-end mags and dealers. Turn the page and find peope who have not heard the Axioms criticizing them to the nth degree. Not sure how to explain the implied statement that Axiom made an excellent overachiever for Bryston and a dog for themselves. Yes, the Bryston has a different crossover arrangement to the Axioms but I ask again, why would the chief engineer at Axiom breed a top class crossover for the Bryston and a crappy one for themselves! Third, I've played lots of women's voices over the past 24 hours. I cannot detect any of the sibilance that some complain of in Axiom's. Both the "s" and "t" are pronounced with recision (except on a Joan Baez live album on which the sibilance is present regardless of the player and speaker). Mind you, I have to say that there was none of that sibilance or over brightness with the 80s either.
Lots of drivers, fewer drivers - in my opinion, it's just a matter of opinion and desired dynamics - how do you like your music delivered to your brain. I happen to like a big and well articulated bottom end, others like theirs to be subtle nobody is right or wrong on this. I'm sure that there are very many speakers that are better than the Axioms. When I bought the 80s, I looked at speakers in the $5,000-8,000 range and said no. Unless I'm completely wrong, that calculus will maintain itself with the 100's.
Parts of Chopin's piano concertos bring me close to tears. I can actually feel the emotion welling up in me. These speakers do not disappoint on this matter, the emotional grab of the old romantic is very much there. Violins high (as they should be) and totally in control. On that subject, there seems t be little to no dynamic compression in these speakers physiognomy. They seem to be relatively free of artifact.
Listening to the Moody Blues "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour". I've listened to these Moody Blues albums on everything from a clock radio to the highest end speakers - i know every note. Fantastic lower-mids drawing me right in. The speakers jump from high to low with great agility nothing seems to be compromised.
As you can tell, I'm not into the numbers when it comes to music. I just love music (39,000 tracks on my Sonos, hundreds of vinyl albums and still have my CDs). Someone would have to explain to me what the problems are with these speakers. I'll let you know more in the coming weeks.