So after the M80
big hole unboxing drama, I hooked up my new M80 v4 High Powers, and they're sounding mighty fine.image url upload
But stepping back a ways, I've owned the M80v3s since Nov 2011, and have been kicking myself recently b/c I didn't feed them properly.
The M80 v3 were my first "real speaker" after owning countless other CE store boomy towers from Polk, Cerwin Vega, JBL, etc. I originally bought the M60, wanted more umph, so returned them for the M80s.
I paired these speakers with what I thought was pretty good equipment at the time, a Marantz 8003 processor and Emotiva's 300wpc amp.
To supplement the bottom end, I have dual 18" Chase Home Theater subs powered by a 1,000 watt Dayton audio amp. My current display is a 50" Pioneer Kuro plasma. It all makes for a pretty satisfying home theater experience.
What I never really had, though, was 2-channel satisfaction. The M80s driven by the Marantz and Emotiva were beyond loud, but were shouty, dry, not musical at all. You can see in the picture the equipment I've since added to the room - a Chord Hugo DAC and two nearly 40 year old McIntosh's - MC2505 amp and C35preamp.
Same tires, different engine, Holy Smokes. I cannot stress the difference these components have made in finally giving me "the sound" I've been looking for.
And so, the "kicking" part.. all these years I've been looking at the Axioms with a sigh, yet another loud box. Where was that musicality I read about in reviews?
After I heard how the v3's sounded with my new gear, of course I had to upgrade and hear the v4's new tweeter, new crossover, and bookoo HP drivers. To my ears, the v4 is more neutral, flatter than v3, at least as they sound now, brand new out of the box. This isn't a criticism, I think it sounds good.
The new bass... the new bass.. it's thunderous. And it's lower and cleaner than the v3s. It hits lower with greater ease. This upgrade was worthwhile.
But to end, to circle back, I'm enjoying my Axiom speakers with music just a ton more now. Obviously it required a considerable investment in upstream gear, but the bottom line is that the speakers "scaled up" alongside my electronics quality.
Damn good product, very happy.