Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20

Posted by: pastuch

Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/14/10 04:16 PM

Showdown in O-town!

I just ordered M22 V3s. I'm picking up Klipsch RB61s tonight and maybe even the Energy CB20s (If they have the RC10 or the RC30 I'll get those instead).

Time to find out how they sound in my listening environment.

Big thanks to everyone that responded to my "Basement Theater Upgrade - Advice please" thread. I love this forum, lots of helpful knowledgeable people all in one place!
Posted by: fredk

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/14/10 06:27 PM

Excellent! Let us know the results. I always like to hear how other speakers compare.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/14/10 09:37 PM

Looking forward to the write up smile
Posted by: pastuch

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/15/10 12:03 AM

Warning: I am no audiophile. My untrained ears are just that.

My configuration: The room is 113 Inches Wide, 83 inches tall (7 foot ceiling), and 316 Inches Deep (great for multi rowed seating). SVS PB10-NSD Sub. AVR is a Pioneer 1019. Music source is my HTPC. Music testing is done with 80% lossless tracks (FLAC), 20% high bitrate MP3. HDMI to my PC with straight pass-though via PCM, no interference. Movies are DTS or Dolby for the HTPC, DTS HDMA and TrueHD for Bluray on my PS3.

Picked up the Klipsch RB61 and Energy CB20 today. Just waiting for the M22s to get here. My previous speakers are Sinclair Audio BT25s. Sinclair is a small Canadian speaker manufacturer.

SInclair Audio BT25s:
SPECIFICATIONS
Price: $330
Description: 2-Way,Double 5.25” Driver Tower with DALtech Sound Damping
Woofers: Dual 5.25”Woven Fiberglass Hybrid
Tweeter: 1” Polymer Integrated Soft Dome
Impedance: 8 Ohms
Sensitivity: 90dB
Power Handling: 150 Watts
Frequency Response: 45Hz-20kHz
Dimensions, mm (HWD): 850mm x 180mm x 222mm
Dimensions, inches (HWD): 33” x 7” x 9”

Opinion: I've had the Sinclair BT25s for about 8 months and they are decent. I compare them to a $800 pair of Mirage towers I bought second hand and they lack the warmth and bass of the Mirages. Like most new speakers these days they are bright and fatiguing. They look nice but thats the highest praise I can give them. I find them shrill and lifeless. Hence the upgrade.

Klipsch RB61:
Price: $370 - Sale price - Regular: $620
FREQUENCY RESPONSE 43Hz-23kHz +/-3dB
POWER HANDLING 100W RMS / 400W Peak
SENSITIVITY 95dB @ 2.83V / 1m
NOMINAL IMPEDANCE 8 ohms compatible
HIGH FREQ CROSSOVER 2000Hz
HIGH FREQUENCY DRIVERS 1" (2.54cm) Titanium diaphragm compression driver mated to 90x60 square Tractrix® Horn
LOW FREQUENCY DRIVERS 6.5" (16.5cm) Cerametallic™ cone woofer
ENCLOSURE TYPE Bass-reflex via front-firing port

I'm testing the Klipsch RB61 with Music first. The horn tweeters do sound different. With the smaller bookshelves pulled out from the corners of the room there is an improved sound stage. I'll give them a couple day break-in before giving my final opinion but initial impression isn't positive. They sound bright, not warm like the higher end Totems I've heard. They do blend MUCH better with my sub than the Sinclairs did. At higher volumes they are clearer than the Sinclairs but nothing like the Totems.
Posted by: grunt

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/15/10 02:48 AM

Thanks for doing the comparison. It’s always nice to have impressions from new members. Helps dust out the cobwebs of groupthink.
Posted by: Micah

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/15/10 03:01 AM

I don't think either of those other two speakers will put up much of a fight against the M22's. Still, I do love to see a good showdown. Thanks for your time and efforts. I look forward to your report.
Posted by: pastuch

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/15/10 09:20 AM

Originally Posted By: Micah
I don't think either of those other two speakers will put up much of a fight against the M22's. Still, I do love to see a good showdown. Thanks for your time and efforts. I look forward to your report.


I hope and expect the M22s to trounce all three other speakers, including the larger Sinclair towers and more expensive Klipsch. The Energys aren't really a fair comparison. The Energy RC-10s would be a better choice but I can't find them nearby.
Posted by: pastuch

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/17/10 01:31 AM

Gave up on the Klipsch RB61. They really don't do it for me. They just sound shrill and don't cause any emotion. The Klipsch RB61 has a wide and accurate soundstage but the bright highs are annoying.

The Energy CB20 has a killer midrange. They sound rich and definitely don't sound fatiguing. Not quite warm like I was expecting, just balanced. My Pioneer 1019 has no trouble driving the CB20s. They have solid base and I can't believe they only cost $350 regular price. I like these so much I would love to try the Energy RC70 towers. I bet they sound brilliant. The CB20s make me smile.

Energy CB20
System Type 2-way bookshelf, magnetically shielded bass reflex with rear-firing port
Frequency Response 60Hz - 20kHz
Recommended Amplifier Power 20-150 W /channel
Impedance 4 Ohms min./8 Ohms nominal
Tweeter 1-inch (25.4mm) hyperbolic aluminum-dome
Woofer 6.5-inch (165mm) w/Ribbed Elliptical Surround
Sensitivity (2 speakers in a typical room) 92dB
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/17/10 03:24 AM

Love that "2 speakers in a typical room" sensitivity spec, which probably translates to about 86dB anechoic.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/17/10 11:39 AM

I nearly bought a pair of Sinclair BT36's a couple of years ago from a local dealer. Since the speakers were new to the market, they were offered at a pretty steep discount, but who knows what the "real" price was. Anyway, they were selling them for half what I've seen them for since(up to $1200 Cad pr), not a bad speaker for the money(at half price)...didn't sound as good as the Paradigm Monitors I auditioned around the same time though.
Posted by: pastuch

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/17/10 12:37 PM

Really enjoying the Energy CB20s still. The Beatles are magic on them. The more I use them the more I like them. The Energys don't seem to need much break-in time. Again, I wish I could try the higher end bookshelves or a full sized tower. I am definitely an Energy fan at this point.

I started a thread on Canuck Audio Mart forum that is a little more concise and includes my Mirage M390-IS in the comparison. The Mirage M390IS is my best used audio purchase. They are a terrificly balanced sound with great bass that goes surprisingly low.

http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=16786
Posted by: Murph

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/18/10 09:25 AM

Glad you found something you like. My brother has Energy towers/sub combo (forget the model) and I like them as well. My M60s seem a bit more concise but the two systems are a province away o it's probably unfair to compare them directly.

By the way, most folks consider speaker "break in" a bit of a myth. With the parts used today, any break in occurs within a few seconds in it's first factory testing. At least that is what I have learned from experts who know much more than I. I think sales folks like to talk about it because they are either are not trained well or on the sneakier side, they realize that it takes a person's ears and brain a little while to settle into a new speaker and/or it might trick you into keeping them past thier easy return period.

You listening to the remasterd Beatles? I'm curious to hear more opinions on wether it's worth the investment.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/18/10 11:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Murph
You listening to the remasterd Beatles? I'm curious to hear more opinions on wether it's worth the investment.

I would say "yes". I have bought a few of the Beatles ReMasters and "Beatles for Sale" seems particularily good.
Posted by: pastuch

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/18/10 07:39 PM

Started using the M22s today. They sound bright to me. They have a ton of detail, they reveal everything on the original recording. They have a very clean and uncolored sound. I'm a little disappointed with the bass. I find them a little fatiguing. Maybe I would like the M60 or M80 more but they don't work in my room as well. I'm going to use the M22s for another couple days and I'm going to check out the Klipsh Heresy IIs. I really want to like the M22s more than I do because I love this forum and I dig that they are Canadian made.

So far, I can't say I like them as much as the Energy CB 20s. Yes the Energys are more colored, they don't go as loud and they lack the flat frequency response but I don't care. The Energy CB 20s had me tapping my feet the whole time I was listening.
Posted by: grunt

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/18/10 09:21 PM

Originally Posted By: pastuch

Gave up on the Klipsch RB61. They really don't do it for me. They just sound shrill and don't cause any emotion. The Klipsch RB61 has a wide and accurate soundstage but the bright highs are annoying.

The Energy CB20 has a killer midrange. They sound rich and definitely don't sound fatiguing. Not quite warm like I was expecting, just balanced. My Pioneer 1019 has no trouble driving the CB20s. They have solid base and I can't believe they only cost $350 regular price. I like these so much I would love to try the Energy RC70 towers. I bet they sound brilliant. The CB20s make me smile.

When you said this I expected you would prefer the CB20s to the M22s but I kept my mouth shut. If you don’t like the “brightness” of the M22s don’t bother with the M80s as the high and midrange are the same IMO. Not sure about the M60s since I haven’t heard them but some say they are a little more laid back than the M80s.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/18/10 09:45 PM

Me too Dean.

Colin, I would say you should send the M22's back and try the M3's on for size, they are less forward/detailed/bright whatever you want to call them, most likely very similar to the Energy's you like and I believe less money smile .
Posted by: grunt

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/18/10 09:52 PM

Good suggestion Jay.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/18/10 11:13 PM

I would listen to the M22's for a few days, then switch back to the Energy's just to be sure. Sometimes you need a couple of days with a speaker to get used to it from my own experience.
Posted by: pastuch

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/20/10 01:11 PM

I'm going to try them with my NAD amps upstairs but I would advise against the Pioneer 1019/M22 combo. Extremely bright and male vocals are horrid.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/20/10 10:06 PM

Originally Posted By: pastuch
I'm going to try them with my NAD amps upstairs but I would advise against the Pioneer 1019/M22 combo. Extremely bright and male vocals are horrid.


The NAD amps are not going to make any perceivable difference, tube amps might. The Pioneer, unless you are adjusting the treble controls should not add significant colouration to the sound. Placing the speakers upstairs in a different room might help but I suspect you just do not prefer the sound of the M22.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/20/10 10:17 PM

Colin, if the acoustical conditions are significantly different upstairs, the sound with the M22s will also be significantly different, but it'll have nothing to do with NAD vs Pioneer amplification, both of which are uncolored. As it stands now it's the M22s alone which strike you as "extremely bright". My experience with them for the past eight years shows nothing of the sort except on poorly-recorded material which exhibits that characteristic on an accurate speaker. However, if this continues to be your experience, then the program material which you prefer is best played on some other speaker.
Posted by: pastuch

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/21/10 09:29 AM

You guys were right. I tried the M22s upstairs in our record room and again in my theater and I was totally disappointed. Sending them back tomorrow.

The return shipping deal for $15 that Axiom gave me was great. Love the service.

Edit: I also listened to some Klipsch Heresy IIs yesterday and I have come to the conclusion I just don't like horn tweeters.

So far the only speakers I have tried that I like are Energys and my old Mirage M390IS.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/21/10 10:05 AM

Did you try any Paradigms or Monitor Audios? I suspect you would still prefer the sound of the Energy's from what you've said so far though.
Posted by: Micah

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/21/10 10:40 AM

Well just so's ya know, no hard feelings bro. This hobby is nothing if not subjective. No two ears are alike, nor like exactly the same thing. If the Energy's make you tap your feet and put a smile on your face then you should absolutely keep them and forget anything else anyone tells you. Go with what blows YOUR hair back, not what blew someone else's hair back. I'm glad you enjoy this forum and hope you decide to hang around from time to time even if you don't purchase any Axiom products.

Thanks for the reviews! wink
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/21/10 10:57 AM

Yes, thank you for your honest opinion.
Posted by: pastuch

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/21/10 01:58 PM

There was a great thread about "Big dumb warm speakers" on Canuck Audio Mart forum with all these people complaining they miss their old cheap and warm sounding speakers from the 70s and 80s. I'd like to think that still exists with the added accuracy provided by modern speaker design. Still looking for it though! wink
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/21/10 01:59 PM

Accuracy sort of negates that "big warm" sound, though.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/21/10 02:06 PM

True.
Posted by: Micah

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/21/10 02:35 PM

Which is why this hobby is so subjective. I would say before I stumbled into Axioms I was definately a 'dumb, warm' speaker kind of guy. I loved my music with a really fat boost in the bass and midbass range on the scale. I can honestly say if I'd discovered Axiom 5 to 10 years earlier than I did, I probably would have also sent them back for being too 'bright'. But I guess I've mellowed out to the point that when I first heard them (at SRoodes place), the absolutely stunning detail and revealing nature of the speakers appealled to me now.

And although I haven't revisited anything from my past days of listening, I can pretty comfortably predict that if I were to throw on some tunes on one of the 'warmer' set-ups I used to dig so much, they would probably sound a bit muddy to me now. Now that my ears are used to this flat response curve, I would say a colored signal would sound very off to me now. But, I do still remember when that was what I desired. So I can't critisize anyone who would rather listen to their music through a colored speaker. If that's what they like, then more power to them.
Posted by: pastuch

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/21/10 03:05 PM

Monitor Audio is a very difficult brand if you live in Ottawa. There isn't a single Monitor Audio retailer nearby. The closest is three hours away. I've heard some Paradigms and haven't been impressed. Many people say the M80 is very similar sounding to the studio 100.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/21/10 03:12 PM

The MA's lower models, bronze/silver would be what you are looking for from them if you ever find some to listen to. The Gold series is much more in line with the M22 clean/bright sound.

I still think you should send the M22's back with Axiom sending M3's out to you. Just looking for more reviews about them vs other speakers wink
Posted by: Philippe

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/21/10 05:08 PM

Monitor Audio BR2 vs Axiom M3 should probably be a good match. I think you should also take a look at Wharfedale speaker. They have this warm sounding you are looking for. I had for a while the Diamond 9.2. Plenty of base for a bookshelf and also nice design. Now thay have the diamond 10 series.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/21/10 05:14 PM

You might look at some Totems as well, to me they had a warmer type sound but are in a much higher price range.
Posted by: Glitchy

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/21/10 06:42 PM

I really like my Axioms, I still really miss my Advents for Jazz, loved the sound from those. Don't even remember what I did with them, probably gave them away "cause I wanted the new shampoo" ... ah youth!
Posted by: fredk

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/21/10 06:45 PM

Advents were really good speakers for the time. Much like Axiom, they offered very good value for the money.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/21/10 09:25 PM

Colin, as Ken and others point out, you either have an accurate speaker which among other things reproduces harshness in poorly-recorded material, or you don't. Terming a speaker(or any other audio component)"warm" is tantamount to calling it inaccurate. The treble tone control can help a bit when playing bad material on good speakers.
Posted by: Micah

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 03:35 AM

It's a valid point indeed. And I agree with you 100% unless you're implying that the 'warm' sound he prefers out of the Energy's is inferior to the accurate M22's. Because while there is no denying the fact that the M22's are probably giving the more faithful playback of the recordings, it's up to him whether he prefers a faithful reproduction or a colored version.

It seems to me that he's aware that the 'warm' in 'big, dumb, warm speakers' refers to the fact that they have a bloated bass response curve. But even though he knows they aren't the more detailed and accurate speaker of the group, he prefers the characteristics of the flawed speaker over the M22's anyway.

I suppose to his ear, the flat response curve of the Axiom is its 'flaw'. wink
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 03:44 AM

Micah, someone's personal preference for it doesn't lessen the inferiority of an object.
Posted by: medic8r

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 09:21 AM

Bazinga!
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 10:00 AM

How would you describe the vocals on the other speakers you auditioned? IMO it is important that you find a speaker that gives off the most natural sounding vocals to you because that is what we are most critical of since we communicate on a daily basis as part of our survival.

How often do we hear a live drummer playing in our house or someone playing a trumpet or a strike of a triangle?

You shouldn't worry to much about bass extension with a bookshelf because you can always add a sub. You also seem to like slightly rolled off highs which is a very common loudspeaker preference.

Are you returning the CB20?
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 10:13 AM

You can also tame the highs to some degree at the receiver as well.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 10:20 AM

I don't get people who say, "I don't like analytical speakers, I want something which sounds warm and fuzzy." But when told to use the tone or EQ controls in their receiver to get the sound they want, they complain, and say they want to keep the signal pure.
Posted by: pastuch

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 01:05 PM

I think male vocals on the M22s are really a weak point. To me it sounds like the male vocals are being put through a megaphone. The CB20s male vocals by comparison are natural sounding. Female vocals sounded about the same to me on the M22 and CB20. I like the CB20s but for what I paid I can get second-hand Energy RC30s or RC10s so I'll probably go that route.

I'm curious about the QS8 rear surrounds. I wonder how their Quad-polar design would compare to something like the Energy RC-R Quadpole/dipole (Switchable). I've read a lot of people prefer the quad design for rear-surrounds. That would be an interesting comparison I think.

Edit: Clubneon I don't think the Energys I've heard are "Warm and fuzzy". I think they have a brilliant balance. The RC70s I listened to (Even in a bloody futureshop) sounded perfectly balanced to me. Not bright, not muddy, just really musical. The M22s by comparison sound so analytical and super accurate that they take the joy out of the music.
Posted by: alan

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 01:31 PM

Pastuch,

I've been following this thread and I suspect the particular recording you are using of male vocals is at fault, or "horrid" as you termed it. The M22s, properly set up with great recordings has smooth natural uncolored male vocals, with none of the "fat", "ripe" coloration common to many speakers in the lower octaves and no sibilance unless it's present on the original CD. Even the Axiom M3 has a bit of a bass hump between 80 Hz and 150 Hz that makes it sound like it has more bass than it really has (without a subwoofer).

What is the recording of male vocals you've been using? It's very hard to find good recordings that are not EQ'd with a presence boost in the midrange. The one I've been using for years is a jazz trio recording with Harry Connick singing. (movie soundtrack for "When Harry Met Sally"). The vocal is completely natural, no sibilance, on any neutral speaker like the M22s, M60s, M80s, and very good on the M3s with a bit of the ripe quality that many listeners like and which many old beloved speakers from Advent, KLH, Acoustic Research, etc. delivered in spades, mostly because they used large woofer/midrange drivers that had rolled-off higher frequencies, sometimes by as much as 10 dB (AR). (I owned ARs for years in the 1960s).

I haven't heard recent Energy speakers except for the expensive Veritas line, which were very good and very similar to the M80, with a slightly more recessed midrange and a retail price three times that of the M80. The inexpensive Energy Take 5 series of small/sat subwoofer have a very zippy aggressive upper midrange that I found unpleasant.

Since Klipsch purchased Energy/Mirage/API, it's anyone's guess what they are doing with their product. I would hope they'd leave the better models untouched and not be tempted to add horn-loaded drivers to the line.

Regards,
Alan
Posted by: Murph

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 01:53 PM

I agree Alan.
This is one situation where not being horny is a good thing.
Posted by: Philippe

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 02:07 PM

Axiom speakers like any other brand will always sounds different depending on what you are listening them to. There is so many possibility out there. Who's the best to judge witch combination is the best ... you my friend, and sometime your wallet smile !
Posted by: snazzed

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 02:08 PM

Originally Posted By: pastuch
The M22s by comparison sound so analytical and super accurate that they take the joy out of the music.


This is a statement I've heard a fw times (not always re M22s). So flat and accurate that they kill the music... I don't get it. Once you acheive 100% accuracy and a completely flat response graph are you not hearing *exactly* what the artist played... and the producers and engineers tweaked?

I mean, I sorta get it... one of my favorite CDs sounds lifeless on my M22s but some others sound fan-freakin-tastic. Its not the flat, accurate speakers that render the recording lifeless its the people doing recording. The speakers are just the messenger... don't shoot them!

snazzed
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 02:21 PM

I completely agree with a speaker not adding or subtracting anything from the recording...the speaker is just a vessel to convey what the artist/engineer produced(good or bad). Energy was one of the speakers I auditioned(RC's) and came away rather disappointed. Wanted to hear some Veritas but couldn't locate any in or near my area(odd considering the location of the factory).
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 05:04 PM

When you refer to "trent" at the canuck forum are you referring to Trent Reznor from NIN?. I find The Downward Spiral and The Fragile to be well recorded albums. Are you using a sub when doing the testing or just full range without?
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 06:46 PM

Originally Posted By: pastuch

I'm curious about the QS8 rear surrounds. I wonder how their Quad-polar design would compare to something like the Energy RC-R Quadpole/dipole (Switchable). I've read a lot of people prefer the quad design for rear-surrounds. That would be an interesting comparison I think.


The QS8s still sound similar to the M22s, bright/analytical what ever, so I fear you would still prefer the Energy's, whether or not you could overcome the analytical sound to hear the difference in envelopment remains to be seen, uhh.....heard. smile

Quote:
The M22s by comparison sound so analytical and super accurate that they take the joy out of the music.


I have heard the M22's mentioned in this manner before, sounds to me like you just want to hear the music and not every little detail. This is where the M3 and I suspect the M50( I haven't heard this one) would be the speaker of choice for you from Axiom.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 06:55 PM

You're probably correct Jakewash, especially if it was a reference to Nine Inch Nails that he was listening to. If these listening tests on the M22 were done without a sub with that content, I can see how it would sound underwhelming, "thin" or "bright". I might call it "unbalanced" which might lead to those perceptions. If he was just listening to the M22 alone, without a sub he was getting a lot of content rolled off below 60hz and he would be missing some of the deeper bass and "slam" that makes some of the NIN albums a very enjoyable listening experience.
Posted by: fredk

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 08:16 PM

Originally Posted By: JohnK
Micah, someone's personal preference for it doesn't lessen the inferiority of an object.

Audio quality, along with truth, reality and a whole bunch of other things you would think 'just are' are all in the eye (or in this case ear) of the beholder.

A quick survey of the real world should confirm this.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 08:59 PM

It is funny how people misinterpret a lack of low end bass to an unbalanced sound.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 09:29 PM

As Alan points out.

Getting loudspeaker tone quality exactly right is really a matter of balance. Even slight variations in the relative contribution of bass, midrange and treble may dramatically alter our impressions of a loudspeaker. If you have too much bass output relative to the midrange, the mids and highs may seem a bit recessed or muted and less detailed. If a speaker is shy of bass, its midrange becomes more noticeable and we may describe its sound as “middy” or “thin” (lacking bass), because the midrange and treble are too prominent. (Alan Loft, 2010)

There is no doubt using a subwoofer "balances" the sound of a bookshelf speaker especially when that midbass is not boosted.
Posted by: fredk

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 10:17 PM

Quote:
It is funny how people misinterpret a lack of low end bass to an unbalanced sound.

Well, it is unbalanced in a way.. A chunk of the audible spectrum is missing. Though, it is more complicated than that as our brain is able to actually fill in the fundamental tones if all the harmonics are produced.

Quote:
Getting loudspeaker tone quality exactly right is really a matter of balance. Even slight variations in the relative contribution of bass, midrange and treble may dramatically alter our impressions of a loudspeaker.

Then you put the speakers in a room and all bets are off as room acoustics take over.
Posted by: Micah

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 11:08 PM

Well it seems to me that characterizing something superior/inferior is directly related to the goal in question.

Take the designers behind the M22 and liken them to an Indy car race team. Their whole goal is to produce the 'perfect' race car. And in that pursuit a big determining factor is how much usable horsepower the engine can achieve. So when they run off 1000+ ponies on the dyno-meter they're going to feel very good about it.

Now take the engineers who put together the Energy CB20's and liken them to the team responsible with developing the Toyota Prius. They could care less about how fast they can get around a track 100 times. Their whole objective is to get their car to go 100 miles on a single gallon of gas.

So when the Indy race team gets ahold of the Prius dyno-chart and laugh because their 'inferior' car only made 90 horsepower, well that doesn't mean diddly squat to the Prius guys. They never set out to produce huge horsepower figures in the first place. Their definition of 'inferior' is completely different. They would laugh at the Indy car only getting 8 miles to the gallon!

Different strokes for different folks. It's pretty obvious that not every speaker manufacturer on the market is dedicated to producing the most accurate speaker they can. That's because the is a HUGE market for 'warm' speakers. It's a simple law of business that companies must make products that consumers demand and will purchase... or you won't be doing business for very long.

So yes there is a demand for Axioms as well as other brands that reproduce an audio signal faithfully. But there's certainly just as much demand for Bose and others who color the signal. Therefore I have a hard time throwing a word like 'inferior' at them when they have a different goal and have taken a different path in achieving that goal.

And this business that, "the way the engineer intended the recording to sound is the best" is just as subjective as anything else IMO. Hell nature's intentions were for me to enjoy my life to the fullest unaltered... But I've found that the occasional beer gives life a nice, warm 'color' that makes normal life seem boring in comparison! laugh





wink
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 11:19 PM

Okay. What I got from that was...Don't drink warm beer while driving a Prius at Indy.


crazy
Posted by: Micah

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/22/10 11:49 PM

You got the basics. smile
Posted by: fredk

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/23/10 12:19 AM

Sorry, didn't understand your post Micah. Not enough words.
Posted by: Micah

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/23/10 03:06 AM

Are you trying to use reverse psychology on me Fred???
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/23/10 07:55 AM

Yes Micah. As people like Dr. Olive point out, under controlled, blind listening tests, individuals prefer a neutral and transparent sound. Uncoloured.

In real world conditions all that is thrown out the window. The look of the speaker, the brand, the type of tweeter, cone material, cost etc are all biases that factors into human perception. In real world conditions, consumers have preferences and some of those are for "warm" and "laid back" speakers despite what research says. There are even some that prefer "dark" speakers eek . The majority of "audiophiles" is neutral sound production. Still, there is no wrong answer either way.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/23/10 08:28 AM

Originally Posted By: Dr.House
There are even some that prefer "dark" speakers eek .

Man, I was hoping to find a second use for this:




Originally Posted By: JohnK
Micah, someone's personal preference for it doesn't lessen the inferiority of an object.

I agree with you, John, on 90% of your posts... but I think "inferior" is going a bit far.

There are nothing but subjective choices made throughout the recording, mixing and mastering stages of producing media. And though I agree that general neutrality should be the goal in most cases, the reality is that there is no "standard". From where mics are initially placed through the final mixing and mastering, hundreds, if not thousands of subjective decisions are made by engineers.

If there are no "standards" in producing the material, there really can be no "standard" in playback. Even speakers which are (admirably) flat in an anechoic chamber are going to have different responses in different rooms in different seats.

And, though I agree with you in having electronics which have ruler-flat frequency responses and reproduce and amplify a signal without change to any attribute other than gain, I have to disagree that a speaker that a person terms "warm" is "inferior".

"Less accurate", I'll give you. But "inferior", as Micah pointed out, is not true if the speaker has the response that the designers had intended and the listener finds pleasurable.

Otherwise, I might as well call a red car "inferior" to a blue one.
Posted by: Andrew

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/23/10 08:55 AM

As the head of the design team that created the Energy CB20, I have to refrain from making any subjective comments on sound quality. I can tell you that the design goals between Energy and Axiom were not miles apart. A far more elightening comparison would be the M3 vs. the CB20. Another important question to take into account is how the speaker will be used. Is it meant to be able to stand on it's own, or is it best suited to use with a subwoofer?

Andrew

Originally Posted By: Micah
Now take the engineers who put together the Energy CB20's and liken them to the team responsible with developing the Toyota Prius. They could care less about how fast they can get around a track 100 times. Their whole objective is to get their car to go 100 miles on a single gallon of gas.

Posted by: pastuch

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/23/10 11:23 AM

I have FLAC recordings of every Nine Inch Nails album. My speakers are set to small on my 1019 and my sub was on for the testing. Using Downward Spiral, Trents voice sounded awful to me.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/23/10 12:32 PM

I am always disappointed in the sound quality of all early NIN albums, with the exception of "Downward Spiral," which is in the top of my list of demo CDs for my system(depending on the audience.) Most others sound way to muddied, compressed or something for lack of expertise in describing sound.

HD-DVD or BR is another matter though. the "Somewhere in Time" performance is an example of how a live performance can actually sound hundreds of times better than 99% of studio CDs.

A repeat of what others say, but throwing in my opinion to add weight to their words.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/23/10 12:34 PM

I really like the song The Perfect Drug.
Posted by: pastuch

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/23/10 12:58 PM

Andrew I sent you a PM with some questions about Energy speakers. Thanks for your reply in this thread.

Edit: Murph meant to say "Beside you in Time" BR or HDDVD and yes it's the best live show I've ever seen in person and on disk. The sound quality is terrific. I have the HDDVD.
Posted by: Micah

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/23/10 01:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Andrew
As the head of the design team that created the Energy CB20, I have to refrain from making any subjective comments on sound quality. I can tell you that the design goals between Energy and Axiom were not miles apart...


Admittedly my example was exagerated for centext effect. The real point was that different brands have different goals, and to call brand X's goal inferior isn't something I am personally comfortable doing because it may very well be that the sound brand X achieved matched the goal they set out to reproduce in the first place.

In other words, if it was the design goal to sound exactly like the M22, then you failed. But if they reproduce music the way you had intended for them to do, then who am I to call it a failure, or consider them inferior?

Maybe I wouldn't like it as much as I would the M22, but obviously there are those who do.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/23/10 10:22 PM

Mark, I did in fact use the term "inaccurate". Micah introduced the more inflammatory "inferior", and I simply pointed out the truism that someone's preference for some object can't lessen its inferiority.
Posted by: Micah

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/24/10 12:37 AM

Did I? Oooops, my bad! wink
Posted by: Micah

Re: Axiom M22 V3 vs Klipsch RB61 vs Energy CB20 - 07/24/10 12:37 AM

There I go being all inflamitory again!!!


shocked