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#72945 - 12/22/04 11:18 AM Re: Using M60 as Studio Monitors? (compared to Mac
alan Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3188
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Hi Studioproject,

Thanks for posting the articles. Axiom does have curves from the NRC as well as data from our lab at Axiom, but we do not publish them, because most consumers misinterpret curves. Indeed, even the Soundstage measurements at the National Research Council do not include the complete "family" of on-axis and off-axis curves. You really need to look at all of these to make an informed interpretation as to what the tonal balance of the speaker will be in most average rooms. I'd also comment that the Soundstage curves of the M80ti are no longer relevant.

As former editor of Sound&Vision in Canada for many years, we did all our speaker tests double-blind, following the testing protocol of anechoic measurements established by Dr. Floyd Toole, a scientist and pyscho-acoustician (past president of the Audio Engineering Society world-wide). I used to run a compression curve along with our test reports of speakers, but readers did not understand it so I removed it.

I was part of a listening panel for some sessions commissioned by CBC (the national radiio&TV network in Canada) to choose new monitoring speakers for near-field purposes and in other applications. The listening panel included recording engineers, CBC music producers, and some consumer magazine editors like myself, who had long experience with double-blind tests. Some of the highly regarded pro monitors did very poorly (including a very expensive Urei) in both measurements and listening tests.

I can tell you that the power handling of the M22ti's is generally excellent. I can't comment on the Dynaudio, Mackie, etc. because I've not been part of any controlled listening tests of those brands. Historically, British and European speakers have not had particularly good power handling compared to some Canadian and American domestic brands.

Your comments on the Yamaha NS10 were amusing. I recall going into a studio in Toronto, and seeing a pair with Kleenex tissues taped to the tweeters. The NS10 was sold in Canada as a consumer product and in tests we did, it wasn't very accurate. If memory serves, a Paradigm mini-monitor (I think it was the Paradigm 3se mini; I still have a pair) outscored it by a large margin. I recall asking the engineer why on earth he was using the NS10 as a monitor.

Finally, I do know of several M3ti's and M22s have been sold to recording studios as nearfield monitors, including Mapleshade Records.

Regards,
_________________________
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

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#72946 - 12/22/04 12:50 PM Re: Using M60 as Studio Monitors? (compared to Mac
studioproject Offline
regular

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 8
Hi Alan,

Thanks for your feedback. Can you at least tell me how the M60's would fare as studio monitors? In listening tests I did in Toronto, I felt the M60's sounded more neutral and open. The M22's felt compressed at the mid-bass. I noted from the Impedance curves that the port resonance is somewhere around 50hz - don't know if this had an interaction in the listening room. The amp was a Rotel and the CD Player was a Denon I believe. I also remember the M60s were just as easy to drive as the M22's

Any comments and opinions you can make about the sound characteristics of the M60 compared to the M22's you can make I would really appreciate it.

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#72947 - 12/22/04 01:29 PM Re: Using M60 as Studio Monitors? (compared to Mac
alan Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3188
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Hi,

The timbral balance of the Axiom M22ti and M60 in the midrange and highs is extremely similar (likewise the current M80ti) so much so than in immediate comparisons, conducted with a subwoofer (not at extremely high SPLs) and at listening levels of about 85 dB SPL with occasional peaks to 95 dB or so, the two speakers are virtually identical.

In stereo, without a sub, the M22ti has limited bass, usable to about 40 Hz. And of course it won't have the same power handling as the M60. But in my view it gives up nothing in terms of transparency and timbral neutrality to the M60 or M80.

With the qualifier that Axiom does not design speakers intended for the pro market, I think the M60 would make an excellent monitor. If anything, they'll be easier to drive than the M22ti's. As to compression in the mid-bass with the M22s, being a compact speaker with fewer and smaller drivers than the M60s, that would not surprise me. But compression is a fact of life in any compact speaker driven to high levels. I think the M22s are less susceptible than many others because of the dual woofers.

Re Bridgman's comments, the M2i has far more midrange and upper mid clarity and detail than the fabled Rogers LS3-5A, which I owned for many years. The Rogers, in their time, were certainly a very nice and reasonably accurate speaker, but they had a kind of swayback dip through the midrange, which made them sound quite distant on vocals and choral works. They also had terrible power handling; indeed the Kef T27 tweeter used to change shape at high power levels--it actually began to melt-- which radically altered the dispersion and high-frequency response. When it cooled down, its performance would improve.

By the way, in general I've found B&W compact speakers to be somewhat muddy and colored through the midband, not at all neutral. That is not true of the 700 series, which seem to be quite good. I've not kept up on current Wharfedale models. In years past (pre-1996) they fared rather poorly in our NRC tests.

Regards,
_________________________
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

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#72948 - 12/22/04 01:56 PM Re: Using M60 as Studio Monitors? (compared to Mac
studioproject Offline
regular

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 8
Hi Alan,

Thanks for your opinions. They are very useful. When you mention subwoofer, do you mean the Axiom EP500 and EP600's? I am really interested in knowing how well the EP500 performs especially in terms of neutrality and detail. Can you comment on this?


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#72949 - 12/23/04 02:18 PM Re: Using M60 as Studio Monitors? (compared to Mac
Ian Offline
President
aficionado

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 808

Studioproject, below is the graph of an M60 with an EP500. The EP600 would add another 4 Hz to the low end response going flat down to 16Hz. This is an excellent combination for studio use if you can live with the size of the M60s. If the size is just too large then I would suggest the M22 instead with either an EP500 or even an EP600. A subwoofer cable of reproducing the very low frequencies of the EP500 and EP600 will ensure that you know what is going on way down there in your final recording.



The distinction between pro and hi-fi speakers for studio use has really nothing to do with performance. The usual difference is the pro studio speakers tend to have built in amplifiers for ease of connection to the board. The key to proper monitors is mainly linearity. Any colouration in the speaker will affect the mix in a detrimental fashion. Certainly the items mentioned in the article you posted re compression are also factors but there is no reason to think that compression is any less likely to occur in a pro speaker versus a hi-fi speaker. It really comes down to good speakers versus bad ones no matter their classification. Coincidently enough I measured some KRKs when we were setting up one of Aldo’s studios and they were appalling. The colouration was so bad that they were hard to listen to; this would certainly make for some poor end results in the recording. Hope all this helps you out.

_________________________
Ian Colquhoun
President & Chief Engineer

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#72950 - 12/23/04 02:49 PM Re: Using M60 as Studio Monitors? (compared to Mac
studioproject Offline
regular

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 8
WOW! That looks very very good. I'm very impressed with the M60 graph. Thanks for this information. Question, how did you wire it? Did you connect the sub to a receiver sub-out or did you send the speaker outs from the amp to the sub then let the sub do the crossover to the speakers?


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#72951 - 12/23/04 03:18 PM Re: Using M60 as Studio Monitors? (compared to Mac
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17781
Loc: NoVA


Ian actually posted! First time I've seen it since I've been on the boards.

Also, that graph looks incredible. Man, I want an EP500...
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#72952 - 12/23/04 03:39 PM Re: Using M60 as Studio Monitors? (compared to Mac
Ian Offline
President
aficionado

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 808
Studioproject; thanks for the compliment; our goal with the whole Axiom line is neutrality. This sub was wired with an XLR connector from the pre-amp to the sub and the sub x-over set to 60Hz. You could use the RCA or high level into the sub and it would work the same. The problem with a receiver sub out is that it tends to shut off in the stereo mode. This is actually a bug in the Cirrus chip but that is the chip the majority of receivers have.
_________________________
Ian Colquhoun
President & Chief Engineer

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#72953 - 12/23/04 03:58 PM Re: Using M60 as Studio Monitors? (compared to Mac
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17781
Loc: NoVA
Out of curiosity, Ian, can you post a graph of the current M50s? I've never seen one of those. BTW, welcome back!
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#72954 - 12/23/04 05:12 PM Re: Using M60 as Studio Monitors? (compared to Mac
Ian Offline
President
aficionado

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 808
kcarlile, it is great to be back. They let me out of the lab every once and awhile. Below is the M50 graph.


_________________________
Ian Colquhoun
President & Chief Engineer

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