I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers

Posted by: jerrymb

I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/04/10 07:01 PM

I've had speakers from Polk,Infinity,Cambridge Soundworks, Boston Acoustics, etc. over the years. But I was never really thrilled with them. Something always seemed to be missing from their sound. I'm hoping the M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers I just ordered will be a significant improvement over the speakers I listed above. I have my fingers crossed. How long should delivery be to New Jersey? I ordered them today 8-4.
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/04/10 09:18 PM

I would ask Axiom. If they are from the factory outlet then the wait is pretty much what they state on the website.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/04/10 10:21 PM

I think you will most likely enjoy the Axioms. A lot depends on your room size, listening tastes, loudness, etc... If you ordered brand new speakers in stock finish, I would think it should only take 2-4 days. Factory Outlet (still new) can take longer.
Posted by: FireGuy

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/05/10 08:42 PM

If they are not a custom finish or factory outlet I would expect delivery in about three to five days. Jersey is not that far for them...and, I was just there (northern section) this past weekend. I think you're gonna be very pleased with these transducers. I've made comparisons to Polk, Celestion, Infinity and even an older pair of Genesis bookshelves. The M3ti's hands down are the best. If positioned correctly, which isn't difficult, they image like a champ and become transparent. Are you adding a sub for the low end?
Posted by: Cork

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 01:00 PM

I have to ask, why did you go with the M3s over the M22s?

I loved the M3s until I got the M22s; now I would only get the M22s. I don't know what the return sjipping costs, but I'd seriously consider getting both and sending back the one you like the least.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 04:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Cork
I have to ask, why did you go with the M3s over the M22s?

I loved the M3s until I got the M22s; now I would only get the M22s. I don't know what the return sjipping costs, but I'd seriously consider getting both and sending back the one you like the least.


I knew it wouldn't be long before this happened. I read so many rave reviews for the M3's that I was sure the M3's were the right speaker for me. Now you're telling me that the M3's aren't really that good and that I should have ordered the M22's? I have a very small listening area so I thought that the M3's would be better. I have a pair of speaker stands that will work well with the M3's but not with the M22's. I give up. I really do. When the M3's arrive next week I just may refuse the order. Every time I order what I think is a good choice later I'm told that it wasn't really a wise choice and that speaker B or C is a much better choice. My order just shipped so it's too late to cancell. I'm almost
tempted to just keep the crappy speakers I have and refuse this order!
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 05:06 PM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
Originally Posted By: Cork
I have to ask, why did you go with the M3s over the M22s?

I loved the M3s until I got the M22s; now I would only get the M22s. I don't know what the return sjipping costs, but I'd seriously consider getting both and sending back the one you like the least.


I knew it wouldn't be long before this happened. I read so many rave reviews for the M3's that I was sure the M3's were the right speaker for me. Now you're telling me that the M3's aren't really that good and that I should have ordered the M22's? I have a very small listening area so I thought that the M3's would be better. I have a pair of speaker stands that will work well with the M3's but not with the M22's. I give up. I really do. When the M3's arrive next week I just may refuse the order. Every time I order what I think is a good choice later I'm told that it wasn't really a wise choice and that speaker B or C is a much better choice.


This is pretty extreme based on one individuals subjective evaluation between the M22 and M3. From an objective standpoint the M22 has a more linear frequency response. For those looking for the most accurate Axiom bookshelf the M22 is the model. The M3 has a midbass hump that some prefer and its sound signature is more laid back/less forward than the M22. The M3 also uses an unconventional crossover design which also gives the M3 its unique sound characteristics. Here is a comparison of the two speakers. Now what are you looking for in a speaker?

http://www.soundstagemagazine.com/measurements/axiom_m3ti/

http://www.soundstagemagazine.com/measurements/axiom_m22ti_se/
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 05:10 PM

The M3's will be used without a subwoofer just for 2 channel listening at very moderate sound levels in a small listening area. Nearfield.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 05:14 PM

The M3s are the way to go in that case. Don't stress on it.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 05:16 PM

Jerry, if you are not using a sub then the M3 may indeed be the better choice(if you look at the freq graph it has some bass boost lower down). The M22 would, for many listeners, be the better choice when combined with a sub or for more emphasis in the midrange freq's.

You can always listen to the M3s for a bit, then if you feel you might prefer the M22's, just send the M3's back...you don't pay double on the shipping. They are both good speakers, they are slightly different though. The other scenario that's already been mentioned, is get them both, then keep the ones you prefer. In this case, you would have to pay to ship back the one pair you don't want, but consider it like a rental OR gas money to drive around auditioning other speakers.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 05:18 PM

The M3 is the better choice IMO over the M22 without a sub because of its non linear frequency response. It will give off the illusion of a more balanced and "fuller" overall sound. The M3 bookshelf is more designed to be a stand alone speaker than the M2 and M22 which work best with a sub. On the other hand in comparison, subjectively, many owners find the M22 without using a subwoofer to sound "thin". This is because the midrange/high is more pronounced relative to the midbass and lower frequencies compared to the M3. With the M3, the midbass is more pronounced than the midrange ( which is recessed) giving off the illusion of that fuller sound.

The M22 without a sub will still be more "accurate" but it might not be as pleasing to listen to without the sub. This is what you will have to find out for yourself.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 05:25 PM

Thanks for the advice. I should add that the M3's will be for music only no movies. I knew that the M22's were possibly somewhat better speakers but my listening area is so small that the M22's seemed like overkill.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 05:45 PM

Jerry, relax and enjoy the M3s.

There is no "right" speaker...all this stuff is subjective. Many, many people think the M3 is awesome and some prefer it to the M22.

Again, no right. no wrong. Just smiles.

Breathe.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 05:48 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
Jerry, relax and enjoy the M3s.

There is no "right" speaker...all this stuff is subjective. Many, many people think the M3 is awesome and some prefer it to the M22.

Again, no right. no wrong. Just smiles.

Breathe.

Thanks. I should have them by the middle of next week. I got the black finish. I think the cherry looks better but I think that black makes the speakers more invisible. I always seem to focus on cherry speakers and then I'm reminded where the sound is coming from. Does that make any sense?
Posted by: merchman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 06:04 PM

Congrats on finally ordering the M3's. I remember you were considering them 2 1/2 years ago when I got mine.

I'm sure you will be very happy with them.

Get your music collection ready to go and get to jammin' when you receive them.

Be sure to let us know how they work out for you.

Now, kick back, grab a beer and start watching out the window for the FedEx truck! grin
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 06:05 PM

First cd I play is Al Stewart Year of the Cat.
Posted by: merchman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 06:06 PM

What are you gonna be using for a receiver?
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 06:08 PM

I have an Onkyo 8555 100 wpc receiver.
Posted by: merchman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 06:10 PM

That should be a great setup.

Enjoy!
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 06:12 PM

Thanks. These better sound better than what I've been buying the last several years. Polk.Infinity etc.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 07:28 PM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
Thanks. These better sound better than what I've been buying the last several years. Polk.Infinity etc.


The M3's should be able to compete with Polk and Infinity in their respective price classes. What models did you own previously from each respective company?
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 07:28 PM

OMG! NOT BLACK! YOU SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN A DIFFERENT FINISH!!??!~! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING????? grin
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 07:29 PM

See, I was so tempted to post that... but unlike Mark, I have some self control.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 07:30 PM

Polk Monitor 40. Infinity Primus 150. Cambridge Soundworks Model Six.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 07:32 PM

What's wrong with black? I like all my speakers to be black. I don't like any other color. I like all my components to be black also.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 07:34 PM

Mark's just yanking your chain. Pay him no mind.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 07:37 PM

OK.I just find that any color other than black draws my attention to the speaker. I want the speakers to be invisible. I don't focus on black. The cherry would look so nice I wouldn't stop staring at them and then I would be reminded of where the sound is coming from.
Posted by: merchman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 07:48 PM

Do you have any or all of the other speakers you listed to give a direct comparison?

That would be the best way to know if the M3's are actually "better" than the others.

Audio memory is very short term.

I think you will be very impressed with the M3's, but I have not compared them to any of the speakers you mentioned. I have run them A-B with my M80's, but that's apples and oranges.

Sure hope they live up to your expectations. smile
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 07:53 PM

I still have the Polks. I'll know the second the music starts playing how they sound. I've always bought cheap budget speakers.
Posted by: merchman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 08:00 PM

I think you will be impressed with the M3's.

I would never consider them (the M3's) cheap budget speakers.

They are fantastic speakers at a budget price. IMO. I would never give mine away, as I have with many other speakers I have owned.

Definitely do some A-B testing with the polks when you get them.

Be sure to post your views on the two.

I would be interested in the comparison.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 08:04 PM

I'll let you know next week!
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 08:22 PM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
I still have the Polks. I'll know the second the music starts playing how they sound. I've always bought cheap budget speakers.


What did you not like about the Infinity's? They seem like some exceptional performers at their price point. If you were not using a sub I can see where they would fall short though. The M3's might be able to fill this void.

Apparently, some places sell the 150 at much less than $200.

Here is a review of them. While they are budget in price, they are certainly not crappy speakers.

http://www.stereophile.com/budgetcomponents/404infinity/
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 08:32 PM

Those graphs are from the ti series and may not be highly relevant to the much newer V3 model you are getting.

And graphs don't really tell you diddly-squat about how your ears are going to perceive music in your room.

For two-channel without a sub, I would certainly highly recommend the M3's, perhaps over anything else I can think of in that price range.

Plug in, relax and enjoy.
Posted by: merchman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 08:36 PM

Quote:
Plug in, relax and enjoy.


Great mantra! smile
Posted by: michael_d

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 08:42 PM

The M22 is not "better" than the M3, or M2, just different - as already been pointed out by many. I have both. I enjoy both of them equally. They both impress the hell out me and I often find myself in a state of disbelief that speakers so small can sound so good and fill up a space much larger than one would think. I've heard a few Polk and Infinity. I don't like either, but that doesn't mean anything as my tastes are mine, not anyone else’s.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 08:56 PM

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Those graphs are from the ti series and may not be highly relevant to the much newer V3 model you are getting.

And graphs don't really tell you diddly-squat about how your ears are going to perceive music in your room.

For two-channel without a sub, I would certainly highly recommend the M3's, perhaps over anything else I can think of in that price range.

Plug in, relax and enjoy.


They are still relevant. Just compare them to the graphs on the website. The M3 still shows that midbass hump which is exactly the unique sound characteristic of the M3 coupled with a more recessed midrange. The M22 graph looks very close to whats posted on soundstage. So when comparing the graphs they are not far off at all.

Objectively the M22 is the more accurate speaker. How one defines better is ultimately up to the end user and the application its being used for. I agree, the M3 is probably the best choice to standalone without a sub.
Posted by: FireGuy

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/06/10 09:25 PM

To endorse kcarlile, yes the M3 V3 is the way to go w/o a sub. That engineered midbass hump (in my opinion) gives the speaker a unique level of smoothness and sense of sophistication. Although not quite as linear as the M22's they articulate sound astonishing well. I still can't believe Axiom can do this for the price. I've considered an upgrade to the M22's but haven't yet acted...just don't want to part with the M3ti's. I think that non-action says something. It may change however when I make the trip to the factory in Sept. I'll be able to then hear them first hand.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/07/10 12:27 AM

Originally Posted By: Dr.House
Objectively the M22 is the more accurate speaker.


Anechoically, measured with a microphone.

My room isn't anechoic and I listen with my ears.

Room acoustics and speaker placement make a huge difference in frequency response and listening enjoyment.

Continuing to harp on "accuracy" and "objectivity" while simultaneously admitting that enjoyment is subjective and that some listeners prefer clinically "less accurate" signatures doesn't make sense to me.

Fundamentally, I just don't believe you can measure and quantify everything about the listening experience.

Many speakers that are widely regarded as excellent have truly crappy looking graphs.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/07/10 01:29 AM

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Many speakers that are widely regarded as excellent have truly crappy looking graphs.


I can attest to that. I have a sprinkler that is widely regarded as excellent but have crappy looking grass.
Posted by: grunt

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/07/10 01:45 AM

Quote:

I can attest to that. I have a sprinkler that is widely regarded as excellent but have crappy looking grass


Then pick out the seeds and stems or start growing better stuff. wink
Posted by: a401classic

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/07/10 08:27 AM

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle

For two-channel without a sub, I would certainly highly recommend the M3's, perhaps over anything else I can think of in that price range.

Plug in, relax and enjoy.


+1.

I got my Dad a pair of M3's for his office (12 x 13) and they are truly a joy to listen to (and look at - I got him semi-gloss rosewood). I hope you find the same thing. IMHO, give it more than a second to figure it out if you like them. The first time I turned on my M80's they sounded like crap. Turned out to be a wrong setting on my pre-pro. So play them for a while. Twist the various knobs on your AVR and give 'em a chance.

Scott
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/07/10 09:22 AM

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Originally Posted By: Dr.House
Objectively the M22 is the more accurate speaker.


Anechoically, measured with a microphone.

My room isn't anechoic and I listen with my ears.

Room acoustics and speaker placement make a huge difference in frequency response and listening enjoyment.

Continuing to harp on "accuracy" and "objectivity" while simultaneously admitting that enjoyment is subjective and that some listeners prefer clinically "less accurate" signatures doesn't make sense to me.

Fundamentally, I just don't believe you can measure and quantify everything about the listening experience.

Many speakers that are widely regarded as excellent have truly crappy looking graphs.


Yeah, giving someone two different perspectives at looking at a situation and letting them decide based on their preferences doesn't make sense. Whatever.


Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/07/10 10:15 AM

Originally Posted By: a401classic
The first time I turned on my M80's they sounded like crap. Turned out to be a wrong setting on my pre-pro.

Yeah, don't make Scott's mistake.

Many people inadvertently turn the knob on their receiver to the "crap" setting and can't understand why things don't sound good.

Personally, I'm baffled as to why Denon still includes the setting.


Posted by: Adrian

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/07/10 10:49 AM

HaHa!

Is this similar to the "Steven Seagal" button Onkyo used to have in the 90's? or am I thinking of the Vin Diesel setting Marantz was looking at a few years ago?
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/07/10 11:33 AM

Originally Posted By: pmbuko
Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Many speakers that are widely regarded as excellent have truly crappy looking graphs.


I can attest to that. I have a sprinkler that is widely regarded as excellent but have crappy looking grass.

You have to turn it on...
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/07/10 11:36 AM

I'm late to the party but feel the need to repeat what everyone else is writing. Don't sweat it.

I have a pair of M2s that I use for centers. I took them down to my brothers place for him to have a listen to a decent set of speakers. I was amazed at how good the midrange on the M2 was. The trebble was good and the only thing wrong with the bass was what was not there (compared to my M80s which is not a fair comparison.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/07/10 11:39 AM

Originally Posted By: fredk
Originally Posted By: pmbuko
Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Many speakers that are widely regarded as excellent have truly crappy looking graphs.


I can attest to that. I have a sprinkler that is widely regarded as excellent but have crappy looking grass.

You have to turn it on...


FredK, leave this turned off.


Posted by: bridgman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/07/10 12:03 PM

I've seen that graph before...

You know, I love the way these threads morph -- first we're talking about speakers, then we're talking about sprinklers, and now we're talking about speakers from a company that rhyme with "hose" wink

EDIT -- on the off chance anyone is still thinking about the M3 vs M22 issue, I *really* like M3s and the only reason I don't own a pair is that I picked up a pair of M40s (M40 is basically M3 in a big cabinet) when Axiom was clearing them out.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/07/10 12:37 PM

The termed "bass module" tipped that one off? LOL.
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/07/10 12:38 PM

Stop veering on topic dammit!
Quote:
then we're talking about sprinklers, and now we're talking about speakers from a company that rhyme with "hose"

So, if you hook your hose up to the Bose and turn the water on does it give you liqid smooth mids?
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/07/10 12:41 PM

Originally Posted By: fredk
Stop veering on topic dammit!
Quote:
then we're talking about sprinklers, and now we're talking about speakers from a company that rhyme with "hose"

So, if you hook your hose up to the Bose and turn the water on does it give you liqid smooth mids?


Where all the grass is dead and spotted, that is where the water rolled off. Didn't get enough water.
Posted by: CV

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/07/10 12:43 PM

Moo it, don't spew it.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/07/10 04:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Dr.House
The termed "bass module" tipped that one off? LOL.


Disturbingly enough, no. I actually recognized the response curves.

On the other hand, I completely missed the reference to "bass module" blush
Posted by: JohnK

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/07/10 09:34 PM

Mark, I heard that on the new xx11 models Denon did drop the "crap" setting. Reminds me of one of the sections in Dr. Toole's book where he illustrates a speaker dial with settings "Me", "Sam", "Susan", etc., in a sarcastic comment on the belief of some that "personal preferences" should be accommodated.
Posted by: a401classic

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/08/10 08:43 AM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson

Yeah, don't make Scott's mistake.

Personally, I'm baffled as to why Denon still includes the setting.



That's AWESOME !!!! And I don't even have a Denon.

Scott
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/09/10 12:35 AM

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Originally Posted By: Dr.House
Objectively the M22 is the more accurate speaker.


Anechoically, measured with a microphone.

My room isn't anechoic and I listen with my ears.

Room acoustics and speaker placement make a huge difference in frequency response and listening enjoyment.

Continuing to harp on "accuracy" and "objectivity" while simultaneously admitting that enjoyment is subjective and that some listeners prefer clinically "less accurate" signatures doesn't make sense to me.

Fundamentally, I just don't believe you can measure and quantify everything about the listening experience.

Many speakers that are widely regarded as excellent have truly crappy looking graphs.


Holy Samolies !!! Tom Tuttle is a mystic after all. Tom, I agree with everything you said in your post. Subjectively speaking, I have a pair of M22V2s and still have a pair of M3V2.5s as well. Subjectively speaking, there is no comparison as far as I'm concerned. I'll listen to the M3s all day long without a sub. M22s? about half an hour if I'm distracted.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/09/10 09:03 PM

Well, Phil, I guess your sig line finally sunk in smile
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 02:27 AM

Very well said Tom, I couldn't agree with you more. It doesn't matter how many times I put my ear up to all these graphs I still can't hear any difference. wink
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 07:57 AM

I didn't know the anechoic chamber purpose was just there to look pretty in the factory.
Posted by: medic8r

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 09:32 AM

It's for CV to sleep in at our big party.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 11:35 AM

Anechoic chamber testing and data analysis are necessary for the designer to determine a base line and give them further data points to help understand what it is that they are doing when they change something.

It is a data point, nothing more, nothing less. Just like the finish is a data point, nothing more, nothing less. If I like black, and the speaker is black, my metal tally gives it another point over the white speaker.

One thing to remember with regards to Axiom, is they use the anechoic chamber quite a bit, but they also follow up with blind listening evaluations.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 12:23 PM

Yup. And studies by the likes of Dr. Olive show exactly that there is a correlation to the Anechoic measurements and listener preferences as shown here.
______________________________________________________________
Do High School Students Prefer Neutral/Accurate Loudspeakers?
Given that the high school students preferred the higher quality music format (CD over MP3), would their taste for accurate sound reproduction hold true when evaluating different loudspeakers? To test this question, the students participated in a double-blind loudspeaker test where they rated four different loudspeakers on an 11-point preference scale. The preference scale had semantic differentials at every second interval defined as: 1 (really dislike), 3 (dislike), 5 (neutral), 7 (like) and 9 (really like). The relative distances in ratings between pairs of loudspeakers indicated the magnitude of preference: ≥ 2 points represent a strong preference, 1 point a moderate preference and ≤ 0.5 point a slight preference.
The four loudspeakers were floor-standing the models (slide 22): Infinity Primus 362 ($500 a pair), Polk Rti10 ($800), Klipsch RF35 ($600), and Martin Logan Vista ($3800). Each loudspeaker was installed on the automated speaker shuffler in Harman International’s Multichannel Listening Lab, which positions each loudspeaker in same the location when the loudspeaker is active. In this way, the loudspeaker positional biases are removed from the test. Each loudspeaker was level-matched to within 0.1 dB at the primary listening location.
Listeners completed a series of four trials where they could compare each of the four loudspeakers reproducing a number of times before rating each loudspeaker on an 11-point preference scale. Two different music programs were used with two observations. At the beginning of each trial, the computer randomly assigned four letters (A,B,C,D) to the loudspeakers. This meant that the loudspeaker ratings in consecutive trials were more or less independent (slide 23).
Results: High School Students Prefer More Accurate, Neutral Loudspeakers
When averaged across all listeners and programs, there was moderate-strong preference for the Infinity Primus 362 loudspeaker over the other three choices (slide 25). In the results shown in the accompanying slide, as an industry courtesy, the brands of the competitors’ loudspeakers are simply identified as Loudspeakers B,C and D.
As a group, the listeners were not able to formulate preferences among the three lower rated loudspeakers B,C, and D, which were all imperfect in different ways. For an untrained listener, sorting out these different types of imperfections and assigning consistent ratings can be a difficult task without practice and training [5].
The individual listener preferences (slide 26) reveal that 13 of the 18 listeners (72%) preferred the Infinity loudspeaker based on their ratings averaged across all programs and trials.
When comparing the student's rank ordering of the loudspeakers to those of the trained Harman listeners (slide 27), we see good agreement between the two groups. The one exception is Loudspeaker C, which the trained listeners strongly disliked. The general agreement between trained and untrained listener loudspeaker preferences illustrated in this test is consistent with previous studies where a different set of listeners and loudspeakers were used [5],[6]. As found in the previous study, the trained listeners, on average, rated each loudspeaker about 1.5 preference rating lower than the untrained listeners, and the trained listeners were more discriminating and consistent in their ratings[5],[7].
The comprehensive set of anechoic measurements for each loudspeaker is compared to its preference rating (slide 28). There are clear visual correlations between the set of technical measurements and listeners’ loudspeaker preference ratings. The most preferred loudspeaker (Infinity Primus 362) had the flattest measured on-axis and listening window curves (top two curves), and the smoothest first reflection, sound power and first reflection/sound power directivity index curves (the third, fourth, fifth and sixth curves from the top). The other loudspeaker models tended to deviate from this ideal linear behavior, which resulted in lower preference ratings. Again, this relationship between loudspeaker preference and a linear frequency response is consistent with similar studies conducted by the author and Toole [9],[10].
Finally, sound quality doesn't necessarily cost more money to obtain as illustrated in these experiments. The most accurate and preferred loudspeaker - the Infinity Primus 362 - was also the least expensive loudspeaker in the group at $500 a pair. It doesn't cost any more money to make a loudspeaker sound good, as it costs to make it sound bad. In fact, the least accurate loudspeaker (Loudspeaker C) cost almost 8x more money ($3,800) than the most accurate and preferred model. Sound quality can be achieved by paying close attention to the variables that scientific research says matter, and then applying good engineering design to optimize those variables at every product price point.
Conclusions
A group of 18 high school students participated in two double-blind listening tests that measured their sound quality preferences for music reproduced in lossy (MP3 @ 128 kbps) and lossless (CD quality) formats, as well as music reproduced through loudspeakers that varied in accuracy. In both tests, the high school students preferred the most accurate option, preferring CD over MP3, and the most accurate loudspeaker over the less accurate options.
While this study is still in its early phase, these preliminary results suggest that these teenagers can reliably discriminate among different degradations in sound quality in music reproduction. When given the opportunity to hear and compare different qualities of sound reproduction, the high school students preferred the higher quality, more accurate reproduction over the lower quality choices.
The audio industry should not discount the potential opportunities to provide a higher quality audio experience to members of Generation Y. The popular belief that they don’t care about or appreciate sound quality needs to be critically reexamined. This data suggests there are opportunities to sell good sounding audio products to Generation Y as long as the products hit the right features and price points,. The audio industry should also provide these consumers the necessary education and information (i.e. meaningful performance specifications) to identify the good sounding products from the duds. Science can already do this (review slide 28), it’s simply a matter of making the information more widely available.
References
[1] Joseph Plambeck, “In Mobile Age, Sound Quality Steps Back,” New York Times, May 9, 2010.
[2] Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, “Could a Pair of Headphones Save the Music Business?” Financial Times, June 12 2010.
[3] Robert Capps, “The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple Is Just Fine” Wired Magazine, August 24, 2009.
[4] Dale Dougherty, “The Sizzling Sound of Music,” O’Reilly Radar, March 1 2009.
[5] Nora Young, Full Interview: Jonathan Berger on mp3s and “Sizzle”, CBC Radio , March 24, 2009.
[6] The Loudness Wars: Why Music Sounds Worse, from All Things Considered, NPR Music, December 31, 2009.
[5] Sean E. Olive, "Differences in Performance and Preference of Trained Versus Untrained Listeners in Loudspeaker Tests: A Case Study," J. AES, Vol. 51, issue 9, pp. 806-825, September 2003. (download for free courtesy of Harman International).
[6] Sean Olive, “Part 1 - Do Untrained Listeners Prefer the Same Loudspeakers as Untrained Listeners?” Audio Musings, December 26, 2008.
[7] Sean Olive, Part 2 - Differences in Performance of Trained Versus Untrained Listeners, Audio Musings, December 27, 2008.
[8] Sean Olive, “Part 3 - Relationship between Loudspeaker Measurements and Listener Preferences”, Audio Musings, December 28, 2008.
[9] Floyd E. Toole, "Loudspeaker Measurements and Their Relationship to Listener Preferences: Part 1" J. AES Vol. 23, issue 4, pp. 227-235, April 1986. (download for free courtesy of Harman International).
[10] Floyd E. Toole, "Loudspeaker Measurements and Their Relationship to Listener Preferences: Part 2," J. AES, Vol. 34, Issue 5, pp. 323-248, May 1986. (download for free courtesy of Harman International).
Posted by: michael_d

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 01:47 PM

I've love to participate in a blind listening test with cool equipment like that one in the study where everything is controlled, level matched, etc.

I also find it funny that some folks don't think a teenager has any preference to sound quality. I think they forget that teenagers usually have better hearing as they have not been exposed to those things in life that cause irreversible hearing loss.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 02:07 PM

Looking into the notion of cross-cultural preferences to sound quality is interesting as well. This is a good read.
---------------------------------------------------------
Are There Cross-Cultural Preferences in The Quality of Reproduced Sound?


Do we need a new user menu where you dial in your nationality to match your taste in sound quality?
[click on image to see a larger version].



The field of audio is ripe with myths and unsubstantiated opinions. One of the most enduring opinions is that there are cross-cultural preferences in the sound quality of reproduced sound. Some of the more common cross-cultural assertions I hear repeated among audiophiles, audio reviewers and audio marketing executives include these:

1. Americans prefer more bass than Europeans and Japanese
2. Japanese prefer less bass and more midrange (and listen at lower volumes)
3. Germans prefer brighter sound
4. The British prefer “tighter” or more over-damped bass

To my knowledge, these statements are anecdotal, and have not been tested in any rigorous scientific way. Marketing has already given us misguided menus in media players and automotive head units that adjust the equalization based on music genre (e.g.jazz, classical, hip hop, rock, country music, Christian music, and heavy metal, etc). Do we really need another one based on where we were born? What could the “Canadian” sound have in common with a predisposition towards liking cold long winters, hockey, Molson beer, maple syrup, beaver tails, national health care, and the music of KD Lang and Celine Dion?

While it is easy to dismiss the importance of cross-cultural preferences, the subject is gaining serious attention from audio manufacturers expanding into new markets like China, India, Russia and South America. Now the same age-old questions are being asked: Are there cross-cultural preferences in the quality of reproduced sound or is good sound universal and transcend cultural differences?

Possible Reasons Why Cross-Cultural Preferences in Sound Quality May Exist
Very little research in cross-cultural sound quality preferences exists. Nonetheless, here are some proposed reasons why they may exist according to various sources.
Language, Dialect, Music
Certain spectral balances may compliment and enhance the timbre and intelligibility of different languages and dialects. Similarly the culture’s ethnic music and its instrumentation may be enhanced from certain loudspeakers or EQ. Wouldn’t this enhancement be added to the recording by the artist or the producer when it was mixed? If so, why do we need to duplicate in the playback chain? Is there such a thing as too much enhancement (think Dolly Parton)?
Influence of Regional Building Construction and Room Acoustics
One explanation for regional tastes for certain types of loudspeakers is related to the design and construction of the region's homes and apartments. This would affect the noise isolation and acoustical properties of the room, and its interaction with the loudspeaker. Massive, rigid plaster walls commonly found in older construction in Europe would provide more noise isolation and less absorption of bass than less massive and rigid walls used in typical American construction today. It is argued that a loudspeaker with less bass might sound better in the European room. It should be pointed out that if the different rooms and loudspeakers combine in ways that in the final analysis produce the same sound, this doesn't really constitute a difference in preferred sound quality. Different means are being used to achieve the same end goal. Fortunately, there are technological solutions for dealing with loudspeaker-room interactions at low frequencies so that decent bass performance can be achieved regardless of the room’s size, dimensions and stiffness of its walls.
Influence of Social Norms and Practices
Cultural practices and norms may influence how much bass people like, and how loud they listen to their music. For example, Japanese apartment dwellers may prefer to listen to reproduced sound at lower volumes to avoid disturbing their neighbors, which is a serious social infraction. On the other hand, American urban apartment dwellers may be more tolerant of bass and higher playback levels due to better noise isolation from the wall construction. Tolerance to your neighbor's subwoofers and loud music comes more easily if you know they own a handgun. The right to listen to loud music and bass in America is sort of protected under the second amendment (i.e. the right to bear arms). smile

Possible Reasons Why Cross-Cultural Preferences May Not Exist or Matter
The following arguments do not directly prove that cross-cultural sound quality preferences do not exist. They do provide evidence that the cultural entertainment, broadcast, recording and audio industries have largely decided to ignore cross-cultural preferences. Either they don't believe they exist, or if they do, catering to them doesn't make sense from a business or philosophical viewpoint.
Audio Manufacturers: One Product, One Sound
Most audio companies sell the same model of product in every country, only changing the language of the packaging/owners manual and the power supply voltage to meet the local requirements. Measurements of loudspeakers from different countries of origin tend to aim towards the same performance target. There is nothing in the objective measurements or the listening test results that indicate a unique sound, voicing or preference that can be attributed to the country of origin whether the loudspeaker is British, German, Canadian, American, French, Italian, Danish or Japanese [1]-[3]. Accurate sound seems to be the common universal attribute that matters most. These studies did not formally or systematically study the culture or race of the listener as a factor in loudspeaker preference, so the definitive study remains to be done.
Recording/Film Industries: One Product,One Sound
To my knowledge, record companies do not release different mixes of their recordings to satisfy different cultural tastes in sound quality. Fans of Lady Ga Ga apparently equally like (or dislike) her sound on the recordings whether they are in America, Europe or Asia. Similarly, there is no option in the iTunes store where you indicate your nationality or culture before downloading your music.
Universal Loudspeaker / Audio Standards in Broadcast
If you look at international audio standards for broadcasting (AES, IEC, ITU, EBU), and read the loudspeaker papers written by researchers within the BBC (British), CBC (Canadian) and NHK (Japanese), you will find a common set of performance criteria: flat on-axis response, extended bandwidth in bass and treble, smooth off-axis response and low distortion. At the broadcast level, the playback chain in different countries is not being influenced by cross-cultural preferences in the targeted audience where the content will be heard.
Concert Halls and Live Music Performance
Acoustical design of concert halls have generally followed well established standards and practices based on research using international listening panels. Qualities such as spatial envelopment, reverberation, clarity and richness of timbre are universally accepted as desirable qualities. The classical and romantic composers specifically wrote their music for these particular acoustics, and to radically alter the acoustics would not well serve the art.
The Global Economy
In the new global economy, the political, cultural, socioeconomic and technological barriers have been largely removed. As communication between different cultures improves, this will likely influence their attitudes, tastes and perception towards culture, music and sound reproduction. If there are cross-cultural differences in sound quality preferences, it seems likely that in the future these differences will converge, and taste in sound quality will become more homogeneous (hopefully, in a positive way).
Audio is science in the service of art
This philosophy assumes that music, its performance and recording are part of the art, and the goal of sound reproduction is to accurately reproduce the art. To serve the art, there is no room for cultural preferences or individual tastes in the design of the audio equipment used for reproduction of the art. It is presumed that any cultural sound quality preferences will be encoded in when the music when it is performed and recorded, and doesn’t need to be added again in the playback chain.

Here is a parallel analogy in painting: When a Monet art exhibit travels to different countries, the art is not altered, transformed or "improved" to suit the local tastes of the country. Art lovers want to see the original Monet, not a new and improved version with edge enhancements, higher contrast and 3D effects. The same is true of the sound of Vienna Philharmonic when they do a world tour. When they tour Japan, they don’t leave half the bass section at home because the Japanese do not supposedly like bass. So why would we want to tamper with the original sound of the Vienna Philharmonic when playing recordings of them through our audio system?

Research in Cross-Cultural Preference in Sound Quality of Recorded and Reproduced Sound
In the realm of perception there is an essential pan-human unity, and that most differences among cultures is only a “fine tuning” [4].
To date, very little cross-cultural research has been done in the perception of sound quality. One of the challenges in cross-cultural research is ensuring that the listener instructions, sound quality descriptors and semantic definitions of the scales have the same meaning across cultures. Fortunately, there are methods for removing language from the perceptual task. Multidimensional scaling allows listeners to judge different pairs of sounds based on their similarity. Then the perceptual attributes of the sounds (e.g. timbre or spatial related) can be identified through multivariate statistical methods like principal component analysis. In a study of different guitar timbres, Martens et al. found that native speakers of English, Japanese, Bengali, and Sinhala perceived the same underlying dimensions, but used different adjectives/semantics to describe the attribute [5].
In another study that compared Japanese and English speaking listeners’ perception of music recordings made with four different 5-channel microphone techniques, the authors found a common understanding of three critical dimensions in which the quality of the recordings differed [6].
Recently, we have begun testing cross-cultural sound quality preferences of music reproduced through different loudspeakers, equalizations, and automotive audio systems using American, Japanese and Chinese speaking listeners. While this work is still ongoing, the preliminary results do not show any evidence of cross-cultural preferences among the different groups. Accurate sound reproduction seems to be the common link across the preferences of the different cultures.

Conclusions
Very little research has been done in cross-cultural preferences in the sound quality of reproduced sound. What we know is that differe Preliminary investigations by the author in preferred spectral balance of music reproduced through loudspeakers have not revealed any significant differences in cross-cultural preferences to date. If cross-cultural preferences exist, the music and audio industries have largely ignored catering to them, instead distributing products that are optimized for a single universal audience.
Finally, an important question is whether audio companies should even be catering to these cross-cultural preferences if research eventually finds that they indeed exist? If the audio industry takes an “audio science in the service of art” philosophy where the goal is to faithfully and accurately reproduce the art as the artist intended, the question of cross-cultural preferences becomes moot. If certain cultures don’t like the sound of the art, then that becomes an issue between the artist and the recording producer/record executive - not the audio manufacturer.

For more discussion on this topic, please head over to WhatsBestForum.

References
[1] Floyd E. Toole, "Loudspeaker Measurements and Their Relationship to Listener Preferences: Part 1" J. AES Vol. 23, issue 4, pp. 227-235, April 1986. (download for free courtesy of Harman International).
[2]Floyd E. Toole, "Loudspeaker Measurements and Their Relationship to Listener Preferences: Part 2," J. AES, Vol. 34, Issue 5, pp. 323-248, May 1986. (download for free courtesy of Harman International).
[3] Sean E. Olive, "Differences in Performance and Preference of Trained Versus Untrained Listeners in Loudspeaker Tests: A Case Study," J. AES, Vol. 51, issue 9, pp. 806-825, September 2003. (download for free courtesy of Harman International).
[4] John W. Berry, Ype H. Poortinga, Janak Pandey, Handbook of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Volume 1 Theory and Method, 2nd edition, Aug. 21, 1996.
[5] Martens, William L.; Giragama, Charith N. W.; Herath, Susantha; Wanasinghe, Dishna R.; Sabbir, Alam M.” Relating Multilingual Semantic Scales to a Common Timbre Space - Part II,” presented at the 115th Audio Engineering Convention, preprint 5895 (October 2003).
[6] William L. Martens, Sungyoung Kim, Atushi Marui,”Comparison of Japanese and English Language descriptions of piano performances using popular multichannel microphone arrays,” J Acoust Soc Am. 2008 May ;123 (5):3690
Posted by: medic8r

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 04:25 PM

It's hard for me to know which parts of that post were your contributions and which parts were the copied article. Can I offer some constructive criticism helpful advice? A little bit of work with formatting such a big post goes a long way and is much appreciated. For me, it made the difference on whether I was able to read the whole thing (I was not).
Posted by: medic8r

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 04:30 PM

You know, like editors do in magazines, put your ideas in italics in brackets [like this].

And separate the sections with line spacing and bold headlines.

That way, I bet you get a lot more people reading your post.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 04:30 PM

That's why I added the line separation, not to confuse the two. If you want a more comprehensive look at the studies in proper format they can be found here with a variety of other excellent readings.

http://seanolive.blogspot.com/
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 05:07 PM

Ahh, it's much nicer to read in the blog format. Plus, if I don't want to read it now I don't have to scroll past it to get to more forum ports.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 05:14 PM

You will also have the ability to click on the links present within the study with the blog format that is missing on the forum post. BTW, the studies from the link are not isolated, you have to search (scroll) down for them. While you are there, you should check out all the history. A wealth of information is contained within that blog.
Posted by: Ichigo_Kurosaki

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 05:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Dr.House
Yup. And studies by the likes of Dr. Olive show exactly that there is a correlation to the Anechoic measurements and listener preferences as shown here.
______________________________________________________________
Do High School Students Prefer Neutral/Accurate Loudspeakers?
Given that the high school students preferred the higher quality music format (CD over MP3), would their taste for accurate sound reproduction hold true when evaluating different loudspeakers? To test this question, the students participated in a double-blind loudspeaker test where they rated four different loudspeakers on an 11-point preference scale. The preference scale had semantic differentials at every second interval defined as: 1 (really dislike), 3 (dislike), 5 (neutral), 7 (like) and 9 (really like). The relative distances in ratings between pairs of loudspeakers indicated the magnitude of preference: ≥ 2 points represent a strong preference, 1 point a moderate preference and ≤ 0.5 point a slight preference.
The four loudspeakers were floor-standing the models (slide 22): Infinity Primus 362 ($500 a pair), Polk Rti10 ($800), Klipsch RF35 ($600), and Martin Logan Vista ($3800). Each loudspeaker was installed on the automated speaker shuffler in Harman International’s Multichannel Listening Lab, which positions each loudspeaker in same the location when the loudspeaker is active. In this way, the loudspeaker positional biases are removed from the test. Each loudspeaker was level-matched to within 0.1 dB at the primary listening location.
Listeners completed a series of four trials where they could compare each of the four loudspeakers reproducing a number of times before rating each loudspeaker on an 11-point preference scale. Two different music programs were used with two observations. At the beginning of each trial, the computer randomly assigned four letters (A,B,C,D) to the loudspeakers. This meant that the loudspeaker ratings in consecutive trials were more or less independent (slide 23).
Results: High School Students Prefer More Accurate, Neutral Loudspeakers
When averaged across all listeners and programs, there was moderate-strong preference for the Infinity Primus 362 loudspeaker over the other three choices (slide 25). In the results shown in the accompanying slide, as an industry courtesy, the brands of the competitors’ loudspeakers are simply identified as Loudspeakers B,C and D.
As a group, the listeners were not able to formulate preferences among the three lower rated loudspeakers B,C, and D, which were all imperfect in different ways. For an untrained listener, sorting out these different types of imperfections and assigning consistent ratings can be a difficult task without practice and training [5].
The individual listener preferences (slide 26) reveal that 13 of the 18 listeners (72%) preferred the Infinity loudspeaker based on their ratings averaged across all programs and trials.
When comparing the student's rank ordering of the loudspeakers to those of the trained Harman listeners (slide 27), we see good agreement between the two groups. The one exception is Loudspeaker C, which the trained listeners strongly disliked. The general agreement between trained and untrained listener loudspeaker preferences illustrated in this test is consistent with previous studies where a different set of listeners and loudspeakers were used [5],[6]. As found in the previous study, the trained listeners, on average, rated each loudspeaker about 1.5 preference rating lower than the untrained listeners, and the trained listeners were more discriminating and consistent in their ratings[5],[7].
The comprehensive set of anechoic measurements for each loudspeaker is compared to its preference rating (slide 28). There are clear visual correlations between the set of technical measurements and listeners’ loudspeaker preference ratings. The most preferred loudspeaker (Infinity Primus 362) had the flattest measured on-axis and listening window curves (top two curves), and the smoothest first reflection, sound power and first reflection/sound power directivity index curves (the third, fourth, fifth and sixth curves from the top). The other loudspeaker models tended to deviate from this ideal linear behavior, which resulted in lower preference ratings. Again, this relationship between loudspeaker preference and a linear frequency response is consistent with similar studies conducted by the author and Toole [9],[10].
Finally, sound quality doesn't necessarily cost more money to obtain as illustrated in these experiments. The most accurate and preferred loudspeaker - the Infinity Primus 362 - was also the least expensive loudspeaker in the group at $500 a pair. It doesn't cost any more money to make a loudspeaker sound good, as it costs to make it sound bad. In fact, the least accurate loudspeaker (Loudspeaker C) cost almost 8x more money ($3,800) than the most accurate and preferred model. Sound quality can be achieved by paying close attention to the variables that scientific research says matter, and then applying good engineering design to optimize those variables at every product price point.
Conclusions
A group of 18 high school students participated in two double-blind listening tests that measured their sound quality preferences for music reproduced in lossy (MP3 @ 128 kbps) and lossless (CD quality) formats, as well as music reproduced through loudspeakers that varied in accuracy. In both tests, the high school students preferred the most accurate option, preferring CD over MP3, and the most accurate loudspeaker over the less accurate options.
While this study is still in its early phase, these preliminary results suggest that these teenagers can reliably discriminate among different degradations in sound quality in music reproduction. When given the opportunity to hear and compare different qualities of sound reproduction, the high school students preferred the higher quality, more accurate reproduction over the lower quality choices.
The audio industry should not discount the potential opportunities to provide a higher quality audio experience to members of Generation Y. The popular belief that they don’t care about or appreciate sound quality needs to be critically reexamined. This data suggests there are opportunities to sell good sounding audio products to Generation Y as long as the products hit the right features and price points,. The audio industry should also provide these consumers the necessary education and information (i.e. meaningful performance specifications) to identify the good sounding products from the duds. Science can already do this (review slide 28), it’s simply a matter of making the information more widely available.
References
[1] Joseph Plambeck, “In Mobile Age, Sound Quality Steps Back,” New York Times, May 9, 2010.
[2] Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, “Could a Pair of Headphones Save the Music Business?” Financial Times, June 12 2010.
[3] Robert Capps, “The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple Is Just Fine” Wired Magazine, August 24, 2009.
[4] Dale Dougherty, “The Sizzling Sound of Music,” O’Reilly Radar, March 1 2009.
[5] Nora Young, Full Interview: Jonathan Berger on mp3s and “Sizzle”, CBC Radio , March 24, 2009.
[6] The Loudness Wars: Why Music Sounds Worse, from All Things Considered, NPR Music, December 31, 2009.
[5] Sean E. Olive, "Differences in Performance and Preference of Trained Versus Untrained Listeners in Loudspeaker Tests: A Case Study," J. AES, Vol. 51, issue 9, pp. 806-825, September 2003. (download for free courtesy of Harman International).
[6] Sean Olive, “Part 1 - Do Untrained Listeners Prefer the Same Loudspeakers as Untrained Listeners?” Audio Musings, December 26, 2008.
[7] Sean Olive, Part 2 - Differences in Performance of Trained Versus Untrained Listeners, Audio Musings, December 27, 2008.
[8] Sean Olive, “Part 3 - Relationship between Loudspeaker Measurements and Listener Preferences”, Audio Musings, December 28, 2008.
[9] Floyd E. Toole, "Loudspeaker Measurements and Their Relationship to Listener Preferences: Part 1" J. AES Vol. 23, issue 4, pp. 227-235, April 1986. (download for free courtesy of Harman International).
[10] Floyd E. Toole, "Loudspeaker Measurements and Their Relationship to Listener Preferences: Part 2," J. AES, Vol. 34, Issue 5, pp. 323-248, May 1986. (download for free courtesy of Harman International).


One of the most interesting articles I have read so far.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 05:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Ichigo_Kurosaki
Originally Posted By: Dr.House
Yup. And studies by the likes of Dr. Olive show exactly that there is a correlation to the Anechoic measurements and listener preferences as shown here.
______________________________________________________________
Do High School Students Prefer Neutral/Accurate Loudspeakers?
Given that the high school students preferred the higher quality music format (CD over MP3), would their taste for accurate sound reproduction hold true when evaluating different loudspeakers? To test this question, the students participated in a double-blind loudspeaker test where they rated four different loudspeakers on an 11-point preference scale. The preference scale had semantic differentials at every second interval defined as: 1 (really dislike), 3 (dislike), 5 (neutral), 7 (like) and 9 (really like). The relative distances in ratings between pairs of loudspeakers indicated the magnitude of preference: ≥ 2 points represent a strong preference, 1 point a moderate preference and ≤ 0.5 point a slight preference.
The four loudspeakers were floor-standing the models (slide 22): Infinity Primus 362 ($500 a pair), Polk Rti10 ($800), Klipsch RF35 ($600), and Martin Logan Vista ($3800). Each loudspeaker was installed on the automated speaker shuffler in Harman International’s Multichannel Listening Lab, which positions each loudspeaker in same the location when the loudspeaker is active. In this way, the loudspeaker positional biases are removed from the test. Each loudspeaker was level-matched to within 0.1 dB at the primary listening location.
Listeners completed a series of four trials where they could compare each of the four loudspeakers reproducing a number of times before rating each loudspeaker on an 11-point preference scale. Two different music programs were used with two observations. At the beginning of each trial, the computer randomly assigned four letters (A,B,C,D) to the loudspeakers. This meant that the loudspeaker ratings in consecutive trials were more or less independent (slide 23).
Results: High School Students Prefer More Accurate, Neutral Loudspeakers
When averaged across all listeners and programs, there was moderate-strong preference for the Infinity Primus 362 loudspeaker over the other three choices (slide 25). In the results shown in the accompanying slide, as an industry courtesy, the brands of the competitors’ loudspeakers are simply identified as Loudspeakers B,C and D.
As a group, the listeners were not able to formulate preferences among the three lower rated loudspeakers B,C, and D, which were all imperfect in different ways. For an untrained listener, sorting out these different types of imperfections and assigning consistent ratings can be a difficult task without practice and training [5].
The individual listener preferences (slide 26) reveal that 13 of the 18 listeners (72%) preferred the Infinity loudspeaker based on their ratings averaged across all programs and trials.
When comparing the student's rank ordering of the loudspeakers to those of the trained Harman listeners (slide 27), we see good agreement between the two groups. The one exception is Loudspeaker C, which the trained listeners strongly disliked. The general agreement between trained and untrained listener loudspeaker preferences illustrated in this test is consistent with previous studies where a different set of listeners and loudspeakers were used [5],[6]. As found in the previous study, the trained listeners, on average, rated each loudspeaker about 1.5 preference rating lower than the untrained listeners, and the trained listeners were more discriminating and consistent in their ratings[5],[7].
The comprehensive set of anechoic measurements for each loudspeaker is compared to its preference rating (slide 28). There are clear visual correlations between the set of technical measurements and listeners’ loudspeaker preference ratings. The most preferred loudspeaker (Infinity Primus 362) had the flattest measured on-axis and listening window curves (top two curves), and the smoothest first reflection, sound power and first reflection/sound power directivity index curves (the third, fourth, fifth and sixth curves from the top). The other loudspeaker models tended to deviate from this ideal linear behavior, which resulted in lower preference ratings. Again, this relationship between loudspeaker preference and a linear frequency response is consistent with similar studies conducted by the author and Toole [9],[10].
Finally, sound quality doesn't necessarily cost more money to obtain as illustrated in these experiments. The most accurate and preferred loudspeaker - the Infinity Primus 362 - was also the least expensive loudspeaker in the group at $500 a pair. It doesn't cost any more money to make a loudspeaker sound good, as it costs to make it sound bad. In fact, the least accurate loudspeaker (Loudspeaker C) cost almost 8x more money ($3,800) than the most accurate and preferred model. Sound quality can be achieved by paying close attention to the variables that scientific research says matter, and then applying good engineering design to optimize those variables at every product price point.
Conclusions
A group of 18 high school students participated in two double-blind listening tests that measured their sound quality preferences for music reproduced in lossy (MP3 @ 128 kbps) and lossless (CD quality) formats, as well as music reproduced through loudspeakers that varied in accuracy. In both tests, the high school students preferred the most accurate option, preferring CD over MP3, and the most accurate loudspeaker over the less accurate options.
While this study is still in its early phase, these preliminary results suggest that these teenagers can reliably discriminate among different degradations in sound quality in music reproduction. When given the opportunity to hear and compare different qualities of sound reproduction, the high school students preferred the higher quality, more accurate reproduction over the lower quality choices.
The audio industry should not discount the potential opportunities to provide a higher quality audio experience to members of Generation Y. The popular belief that they don’t care about or appreciate sound quality needs to be critically reexamined. This data suggests there are opportunities to sell good sounding audio products to Generation Y as long as the products hit the right features and price points,. The audio industry should also provide these consumers the necessary education and information (i.e. meaningful performance specifications) to identify the good sounding products from the duds. Science can already do this (review slide 28), it’s simply a matter of making the information more widely available.
References
[1] Joseph Plambeck, “In Mobile Age, Sound Quality Steps Back,” New York Times, May 9, 2010.
[2] Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, “Could a Pair of Headphones Save the Music Business?” Financial Times, June 12 2010.
[3] Robert Capps, “The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple Is Just Fine” Wired Magazine, August 24, 2009.
[4] Dale Dougherty, “The Sizzling Sound of Music,” O’Reilly Radar, March 1 2009.
[5] Nora Young, Full Interview: Jonathan Berger on mp3s and “Sizzle”, CBC Radio , March 24, 2009.
[6] The Loudness Wars: Why Music Sounds Worse, from All Things Considered, NPR Music, December 31, 2009.
[5] Sean E. Olive, "Differences in Performance and Preference of Trained Versus Untrained Listeners in Loudspeaker Tests: A Case Study," J. AES, Vol. 51, issue 9, pp. 806-825, September 2003. (download for free courtesy of Harman International).
[6] Sean Olive, “Part 1 - Do Untrained Listeners Prefer the Same Loudspeakers as Untrained Listeners?” Audio Musings, December 26, 2008.
[7] Sean Olive, Part 2 - Differences in Performance of Trained Versus Untrained Listeners, Audio Musings, December 27, 2008.
[8] Sean Olive, “Part 3 - Relationship between Loudspeaker Measurements and Listener Preferences”, Audio Musings, December 28, 2008.
[9] Floyd E. Toole, "Loudspeaker Measurements and Their Relationship to Listener Preferences: Part 1" J. AES Vol. 23, issue 4, pp. 227-235, April 1986. (download for free courtesy of Harman International).
[10] Floyd E. Toole, "Loudspeaker Measurements and Their Relationship to Listener Preferences: Part 2," J. AES, Vol. 34, Issue 5, pp. 323-248, May 1986. (download for free courtesy of Harman International).


One of the most interesting articles I have read so far.


If you follow this link. http://seanolive.blogspot.com/ there is a comments section which you can send your thoughts or questions to the author.
Posted by: Ichigo_Kurosaki

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 05:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Dr.House
Originally Posted By: Ichigo_Kurosaki
Originally Posted By: Dr.House
Yup. And studies by the likes of Dr. Olive show exactly that there is a correlation to the Anechoic measurements and listener preferences as shown here.
______________________________________________________________
Do High School Students Prefer Neutral/Accurate Loudspeakers?
Given that the high school students preferred the higher quality music format (CD over MP3), would their taste for accurate sound reproduction hold true when evaluating different loudspeakers? To test this question, the students participated in a double-blind loudspeaker test where they rated four different loudspeakers on an 11-point preference scale. The preference scale had semantic differentials at every second interval defined as: 1 (really dislike), 3 (dislike), 5 (neutral), 7 (like) and 9 (really like). The relative distances in ratings between pairs of loudspeakers indicated the magnitude of preference: ≥ 2 points represent a strong preference, 1 point a moderate preference and ≤ 0.5 point a slight preference.
The four loudspeakers were floor-standing the models (slide 22): Infinity Primus 362 ($500 a pair), Polk Rti10 ($800), Klipsch RF35 ($600), and Martin Logan Vista ($3800). Each loudspeaker was installed on the automated speaker shuffler in Harman International’s Multichannel Listening Lab, which positions each loudspeaker in same the location when the loudspeaker is active. In this way, the loudspeaker positional biases are removed from the test. Each loudspeaker was level-matched to within 0.1 dB at the primary listening location.
Listeners completed a series of four trials where they could compare each of the four loudspeakers reproducing a number of times before rating each loudspeaker on an 11-point preference scale. Two different music programs were used with two observations. At the beginning of each trial, the computer randomly assigned four letters (A,B,C,D) to the loudspeakers. This meant that the loudspeaker ratings in consecutive trials were more or less independent (slide 23).
Results: High School Students Prefer More Accurate, Neutral Loudspeakers
When averaged across all listeners and programs, there was moderate-strong preference for the Infinity Primus 362 loudspeaker over the other three choices (slide 25). In the results shown in the accompanying slide, as an industry courtesy, the brands of the competitors’ loudspeakers are simply identified as Loudspeakers B,C and D.
As a group, the listeners were not able to formulate preferences among the three lower rated loudspeakers B,C, and D, which were all imperfect in different ways. For an untrained listener, sorting out these different types of imperfections and assigning consistent ratings can be a difficult task without practice and training [5].
The individual listener preferences (slide 26) reveal that 13 of the 18 listeners (72%) preferred the Infinity loudspeaker based on their ratings averaged across all programs and trials.
When comparing the student's rank ordering of the loudspeakers to those of the trained Harman listeners (slide 27), we see good agreement between the two groups. The one exception is Loudspeaker C, which the trained listeners strongly disliked. The general agreement between trained and untrained listener loudspeaker preferences illustrated in this test is consistent with previous studies where a different set of listeners and loudspeakers were used [5],[6]. As found in the previous study, the trained listeners, on average, rated each loudspeaker about 1.5 preference rating lower than the untrained listeners, and the trained listeners were more discriminating and consistent in their ratings[5],[7].
The comprehensive set of anechoic measurements for each loudspeaker is compared to its preference rating (slide 28). There are clear visual correlations between the set of technical measurements and listeners’ loudspeaker preference ratings. The most preferred loudspeaker (Infinity Primus 362) had the flattest measured on-axis and listening window curves (top two curves), and the smoothest first reflection, sound power and first reflection/sound power directivity index curves (the third, fourth, fifth and sixth curves from the top). The other loudspeaker models tended to deviate from this ideal linear behavior, which resulted in lower preference ratings. Again, this relationship between loudspeaker preference and a linear frequency response is consistent with similar studies conducted by the author and Toole [9],[10].
Finally, sound quality doesn't necessarily cost more money to obtain as illustrated in these experiments. The most accurate and preferred loudspeaker - the Infinity Primus 362 - was also the least expensive loudspeaker in the group at $500 a pair. It doesn't cost any more money to make a loudspeaker sound good, as it costs to make it sound bad. In fact, the least accurate loudspeaker (Loudspeaker C) cost almost 8x more money ($3,800) than the most accurate and preferred model. Sound quality can be achieved by paying close attention to the variables that scientific research says matter, and then applying good engineering design to optimize those variables at every product price point.
Conclusions
A group of 18 high school students participated in two double-blind listening tests that measured their sound quality preferences for music reproduced in lossy (MP3 @ 128 kbps) and lossless (CD quality) formats, as well as music reproduced through loudspeakers that varied in accuracy. In both tests, the high school students preferred the most accurate option, preferring CD over MP3, and the most accurate loudspeaker over the less accurate options.
While this study is still in its early phase, these preliminary results suggest that these teenagers can reliably discriminate among different degradations in sound quality in music reproduction. When given the opportunity to hear and compare different qualities of sound reproduction, the high school students preferred the higher quality, more accurate reproduction over the lower quality choices.
The audio industry should not discount the potential opportunities to provide a higher quality audio experience to members of Generation Y. The popular belief that they don’t care about or appreciate sound quality needs to be critically reexamined. This data suggests there are opportunities to sell good sounding audio products to Generation Y as long as the products hit the right features and price points,. The audio industry should also provide these consumers the necessary education and information (i.e. meaningful performance specifications) to identify the good sounding products from the duds. Science can already do this (review slide 28), it’s simply a matter of making the information more widely available.
References
[1] Joseph Plambeck, “In Mobile Age, Sound Quality Steps Back,” New York Times, May 9, 2010.
[2] Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, “Could a Pair of Headphones Save the Music Business?” Financial Times, June 12 2010.
[3] Robert Capps, “The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple Is Just Fine” Wired Magazine, August 24, 2009.
[4] Dale Dougherty, “The Sizzling Sound of Music,” O’Reilly Radar, March 1 2009.
[5] Nora Young, Full Interview: Jonathan Berger on mp3s and “Sizzle”, CBC Radio , March 24, 2009.
[6] The Loudness Wars: Why Music Sounds Worse, from All Things Considered, NPR Music, December 31, 2009.
[5] Sean E. Olive, "Differences in Performance and Preference of Trained Versus Untrained Listeners in Loudspeaker Tests: A Case Study," J. AES, Vol. 51, issue 9, pp. 806-825, September 2003. (download for free courtesy of Harman International).
[6] Sean Olive, “Part 1 - Do Untrained Listeners Prefer the Same Loudspeakers as Untrained Listeners?” Audio Musings, December 26, 2008.
[7] Sean Olive, Part 2 - Differences in Performance of Trained Versus Untrained Listeners, Audio Musings, December 27, 2008.
[8] Sean Olive, “Part 3 - Relationship between Loudspeaker Measurements and Listener Preferences”, Audio Musings, December 28, 2008.
[9] Floyd E. Toole, "Loudspeaker Measurements and Their Relationship to Listener Preferences: Part 1" J. AES Vol. 23, issue 4, pp. 227-235, April 1986. (download for free courtesy of Harman International).
[10] Floyd E. Toole, "Loudspeaker Measurements and Their Relationship to Listener Preferences: Part 2," J. AES, Vol. 34, Issue 5, pp. 323-248, May 1986. (download for free courtesy of Harman International).


One of the most interesting articles I have read so far.


If you follow this link. http://seanolive.blogspot.com/ there is a comments section which you can send your thoughts or questions to the author.

Thanks for the tip and for the post! Two thumbs up for you!
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 05:27 PM

I nominate Dr. House and Ichigo for most egregious use of quote tags. wink
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 05:29 PM

Originally Posted By: kcarlile
I nominate Dr. House and Ichigo for most egregious use of quote tags. wink

I second the nomination.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 05:30 PM

I should have my M3's tomorrow. I've already got some cds lined up to play to test them out. On the Fedex tracking page it says 15 lbs weight for the package and I know that the pair of speakers weighs well more than that.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 05:32 PM

Sometimes the weight numbers are wrong; some other times the shipments are done separately. The M3s come one in a box.
Posted by: Ichigo_Kurosaki

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 05:33 PM

Originally Posted By: kcarlile
I nominate Dr. House and Ichigo for most egregious use of quote tags. wink
Thanks anyway! wink
Posted by: Ichigo_Kurosaki

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 05:36 PM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
I should have my M3's tomorrow. I've already got some cds lined up to play to test them out. On the Fedex tracking page it says 15 lbs weight for the package and I know that the pair of speakers weighs well more than that.
Can't wait to hear your impressions about the M3. I am also considering getting a pair to myself so I can get some nice sound on the kitchen.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 05:36 PM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
I should have my M3's tomorrow. I've already got some cds lined up to play to test them out. On the Fedex tracking page it says 15 lbs weight for the package and I know that the pair of speakers weighs well more than that.


Sometimes only the weight of a single speaker appears in the tracking even though multiple items have been shipped. 15 pounds corresponds to the weight of a single M3 + packaging (box, foam inserts etc).
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 05:43 PM

How are the highs on the M3's as far as sibilance goes? I've had some speakers where for certain artists their voices were very sibilant. Less so with other speakers.
Posted by: merchman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 05:57 PM

I don't think you will have any issues with sibilance with the M3's as long as you are listening to good recordings.

Be sure to give them a good work out, with many different cd's. You can't judge them by just one or two songs.

I have heard the M22's and have M80's. The M3's are more "laid back" for lack of a better term.

I really enjoy my M3's for two channel listening without a sub. Hope you do to! smile
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 06:07 PM

Originally Posted By: merchman
I don't think you will have any issues with sibilance with the M3's as long as you are listening to good recordings.

Be sure to give them a good work out, with many different cd's. You can't judge them by just one or two songs.

I have heard the M22's and have M80's. The M3's are more "laid back" for lack of a better term.

I really enjoy my M3's for two channel listening without a sub. Hope you do to! smile


Thanks. Naturally Fedex will come at 5pm!
Posted by: RickF

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 06:11 PM

It's got to be 5 o'clock somewhere. grin
Posted by: merchman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 06:14 PM

Originally Posted By: RickF
It's got to be 5 o'clock somewhere. grin


That's what I'm thinkin' grin
Posted by: Ichigo_Kurosaki

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 06:14 PM

Originally Posted By: RickF
It's got to be 5 o'clock somewhere. grin
Here it is 7 am! LOL In Mexico city it is 5 pm now.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 06:20 PM

For those that own the M3's what was the one single thing that surprised you the most the first time you heard them?
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 06:25 PM

Originally Posted By: merchman
I don't think you will have any issues with sibilance with the M3's as long as you are listening to good recordings.

Exactly. Alan has pointed out that sibilance is present in a number of recordings. If you have a speaker capable of reproducing all the sound on a recording, you will get all the sound on a recording including compression, clipping, distortion, sibilance.

I have some recordings like those by Yes that are disappointing. I have some extra material on the otherwise decently recorded Thick as a Brick that is painful to listen to.

I also have other recording such as those by Chick Corea, Hiromi Uehara, Dire Straits and others that are pure joy to listen to.

The highs on your M3s will play very cleanly.
Posted by: merchman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 06:25 PM

The bass and how loud and clean they really can play. They like to be fed a healthy dose of power. I know, that's not a single thing but hey.....

Your onkyo should be a good match for them.

Hook them up and crank them up, you will be smiling like I was when I got mine. smile
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 06:28 PM

Several years ago I had a pair of Onix xl-s speakers from AV123. I never liked them and I ended up returning them.
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 06:55 PM

There was a lot of hype around all things AV123 up until recently.
Posted by: RickF

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 06:58 PM

Is there any difference in sound between the M3s and the Outdoor Algonquins?
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 07:05 PM

Originally Posted By: RickF
Is there any difference in sound between the M3s and the Outdoor Algonquins?


The cabinet material is different (plastic vs mdf), the internal bracing might be different from the stock M3 because of this which can influence sound. They both use the exact woofer, tweeter, crossover design and crossover point. Should be close.
Posted by: RickF

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 07:12 PM

One of the guys I work with has a pair of the Algonquins on the back deck of his house that leads to his hanger and he tells me that while in the hanger (about 200' away) they sound amazingly crystal clear with really good bass, says he really is impressed with them.

I need to get over there and take a listen one of these days.
Posted by: merchman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 07:14 PM

I'm thinking about getting a pair for our camper. That will make all the neighbors happy! cool
Posted by: RickF

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 07:17 PM

Get two pair Ed, you can send me a pair.


grin
Posted by: merchman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 07:21 PM

Done, my friend! grin

Let me know what color you prefer? wink
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 07:35 PM

Rick. When I was at the factory outlet they had just released the Algonquin. I was told that they could not tell the difference between the M3 and the Algonquin in blind testing.
Posted by: Jc

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 08:06 PM

Originally Posted By: RickF
Is there any difference in sound between the M3s and the Outdoor Algonquins?


Hi RikF,

They are almost identical. Some of the blind test panelists prefered the Algonquin over the regular M3 bookshelf. I always suggest to the new Algonquin owners to give them a serious auditon inside their home before installing them outdoor. They are always impressed by their sound quality. Many Algonquin speakers are installed indoor.
Posted by: Glitchy

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 08:33 PM

For my whole house audio I have a Onkyo stereo amp for the "great room" and a Sherwood stereo amp for the other 4 zones. I think the Sherwood is 125w per channel. Im using 3 of the A/B/C/D channels on the Sherwood. But plan on a fourth zone

Would this amp (Sherwood) be sufficient to drive the Algonquin's

They would be replacing some "rock speakers" on zone 3 now.

Thanks
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 09:17 PM

I find sibilance more noticeable with poorly recorded television programs vs music. I've only found it very distracting on the M3 with a few non-HD stations/programs (two channel).
Posted by: JohnK

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 10:13 PM

Jeff, the usual answer still applies: it depends on how loud the volume level at your listening position is and how wide the dynamic range of your program material(to allow enough power for brief peaks)is. For most situations typical receivers with power ratings anywhere in the 100-150 watt area are plenty for speakers with average sensitivity, such as the Algonquins.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/10/10 11:12 PM

RE: Sibilance

Chess and I did a wee experiment a few years back. Wee being, I burned a few CD's of songs that I found to be sibilant, (but recorded well) when listening to them on my M80ti's, sent them to Chess and he gave them a whirl listening to them with his M40s (or were they M50's??, I don't recall). His speakers were regarded as being "more forgiving" than the M80's.

Now when I say "recorded well", I mean that the recording in general was well done, but yet, for some reason, still sounded sibilant. Most of the sibilance was due to the vocals. (Breaking Benjamin was one of the CD's)

The verdict was: that they were sibilant, regardless of the speakers.

Several years later, I played a few of the same songs on some different speakers of mine. They're still sibilant.

So the moral of this story is; garbage in, garbage out, no matter if you make it wear a pretty dress and put a pretty bow on it or not.

Where's Mark??? This thread is due to go off topic again. Common slacker....pick up the pace.
Posted by: grunt

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 12:40 AM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
How are the highs on the M3's as far as sibilance goes? I've had some speakers where for certain artists their voices were very sibilant. Less so with other speakers.


On which speakers did you find the voices sibilant and which didn’t you? If the sibilant ones were “accurate” speakers at least from the mid to high range then the M3s should also sound sibilant on the same material that the other speakers did.
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 12:41 AM

If you dress Mark up in a pretty dress and a bow and put him in a square room will he sound sibilant? ... or maybe petulant.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 12:17 PM

Fedex just deliverd my M3's. I'm still hooking them up. One speaker was missing the red and black caps that snap into the openings on the speaker connectors. Also when I looked into one speaker I saw lots of poly fill but the other speaker has no poly that I can see and all I see is a white wire hanging there.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 12:18 PM

The poly does tend to shift around. You sure the caps aren't in the box or the bag? They're quite loose.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 12:20 PM

No. I checked everywhere. But what's that wire that I see?
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 12:20 PM

It probably connects the tweeter to the crossover.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 12:26 PM

Right now I'm less than thrilled. The missing speaker opening caps bugs me and that wire just hanging there does too. I'm listening to them now and I hope they get better than this. They really don't sound that much better than my previous speakers.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 12:29 PM

Those small colored caps won't stay in the holes anyway. There is a + and - printed near each terminal to go by. The music vibrated mine out, then the cat got them.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 12:56 PM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
Fedex just deliverd my M3's. I'm still hooking them up. One speaker was missing the red and black caps that snap into the openings on the speaker connectors. Also when I looked into one speaker I saw lots of poly fill but the other speaker has no poly that I can see and all I see is a white wire hanging there.


Hi jerrymb,

I just decided to take a flashlight to the port hole (couldn't see anything otherwise) and one M3 has no wire sticking out, you can just see a little bit of poly. The other speaker has a blue wire sticking out into the opening, into the port hole and it is covered in poly. As long as it is not touching the drivers I don't think there will be a problem.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 12:59 PM

Thanks. They sound good but I'm not knocked over by them. To be honest they do sound better than other speakers I've had recently but not that much better.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 01:01 PM

Start playing around with placement in the room. You'd be surprised how much an inch or two adjustment can change the sound.
Posted by: cb919

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 01:38 PM

Hi Jerry, make sure to give the M3's (or any speaker you try) time for you to get used to them. There often is a 'human' break in period when switching speakers. As others have said, play with the placement and your AVR settings to get the optimal sound for you in your room.

Even if after several days you decide you don't like the M3's, try switching back to your previous speakers before you pack them up. I recall a thread a few months ago where someone had bought M60's and wasn't impressed by them at first. But after a week or so decided to plug back in the old speakers for comparison and suddenly realised how much he preferred the M60's. Bottom line is it takes time for any speaker, so whatever you do give it time to settle before you make a decision. Hope that helps.

Cheers,
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 01:42 PM

What I'm trying to find out is if the speaker that has no visible poly fill in the port opening is OK. The other speaker looks like it's packed with poly fill.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 01:50 PM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
What I'm trying to find out is if the speaker that has no visible poly fill in the port opening is OK. The other speaker looks like it's packed with poly fill.


There is no real science to installing the poly after the desired amount is chosen for the enclosure. Its usually just placed in loosely. If you are that worried, you can remove the woofer and see for yourself.
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 04:31 PM

Two questions:

1. what material are you listening to?
2. What is it you were looking for that you don't find with the M3?
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 05:07 PM

Originally Posted By: fredk
Two questions:

1. what material are you listening to?
2. What is it you were looking for that you don't find with the M3?

I listen to classic rock. But classic rock on the softer side. Paul Simon,The Beatles,Cat Stevens etc. I guess my cheap Polks and Cambridge Soundworks Model 6 didn't really sound that bad after all. The M3's do sound better but I'm not sure I needed to spend $330 to get a speaker that sounded a notch or two above what I already have.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 05:27 PM

Just curious... Which AVR (Make/Model) are you powering them with?
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 05:31 PM

Originally Posted By: CatBrat
Just curious... Which AVR (Make/Model) are you powering them with?


I have an Onkyo 8555 100 wpc receiver. 2 channels only. Stereo only.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 05:40 PM

Unless a speaker is really poorly designed, I don't think you should expect night and day differences because they all have their limits. Certainly enough difference to rank preferences though. From looking at the models you previously owned - Infinity, Polk and Cambridge models, the night and day or "blowing them out of the water" differences probably don't exist. It seems you have gone through a lot of different bookshelf speakers and all will have limits without a subwoofer. Picking up a quality subwoofer is probably the best thing you can do to boost performance.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 05:41 PM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
Originally Posted By: CatBrat
Just curious... Which AVR (Make/Model) are you powering them with?


I have an Onkyo 8555 100 wpc receiver. 2 channels only. Stereo only.


Most people on this forum won't agree with me but I think you are sacrificing sound quality when you go with a cheaper AVR. I think that upgrading the AVR to a much better quality one will make all the difference in the world.

I know this because when I bought my M22's, I went cheap and from newegg.com bought a Sony STR-DH500 for around $150-200. It was a 100 wpc 5.1 receiver. My M22's had good high end and good mid but absolutely no bass.

I changed my mind and decided to upgrade to the Pioneer Elite VSX-21THX receiver for $630. The difference was like night and day. I get much better sound quality and a lot of bass.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 05:43 PM

One thing I will say is that the M3's are much cleaner sounding then what I'm used to. No boominess and cleaner highs.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 05:50 PM

That's what it's all about.
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 06:24 PM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
One thing I will say is that the M3's are much cleaner sounding then what I'm used to. No boominess and cleaner highs.

That is pretty much what you should get from any Axiom speaker. I would describe that as a night and day difference, but maybe there is not value in that difference for you.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 09:43 PM

Jerry, if you mean that poly is partially blocking one of the tuning ports, that's the one to have some concern about, not the one where no poly is visible. The precise location of the fill within the enclosure isn't of particular significance, but if the port is partially blocked you should clear it and poke the poly back into the enclosure.

As others have said, take some time to get used to the sound. Also, as has been said, treat with sarcasm comments such as "huge", "night-and-day" or "blows away" when comparing competitive, competently-designed audio equipment. There are audible differences in good speakers, but they aren't of that magnitude.

The reason to disregard claims about better-sounding receivers is that there's no factual support for them. The design of these involves cold, hard principles of audio technology and leaves no room for subjective illusions.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/11/10 10:57 PM

Concerning the better-sounding receiver. I think that the difference I was talking about earlier was raw power. The more expensive one had a bigger, more powerful power supply, therefore able to power the speakers with much more force than the smaller one could. When it comes to any other aspect, there probably isn't much difference, except for built in functions and options.
Posted by: snazzed

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/12/10 12:31 PM

On the reciever side, I also find Sony tends to overstate their Recievers Power ratings until you get into their top end gear. I checked a few years ago and it was funny... all their lower end recievers seemed to magically sit around the 100W/ch rating.

- Bottom ones didn't state @THD or tested refquency range.
- Mid Range stated @THDs, but not frequency...
- Upper end stated both.

...yet they ALL started around 100W/ch!

Sony HTIBs, if you dug deep enough were 1000W (200W x 5ch) into a 3 Ohm load @10%THD with a 1kHz tone.

snazzed
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/12/10 08:02 PM

I've listened to at least 2 dozen cds on the M3's since I got them yesterday morning. I'm not sure If I'll keep them. They're just too bright for me. I can hear it on vocals. The vocals sound a bit too metallic sounding. Not natural. I read somewhere that Onkyo receivers were a perfect match for the M3's so I was expecting good results with my Onkyo receiver.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/12/10 08:29 PM

Maybe you would be happier with a tube pre/amp? I haven't heard any myself, but have heard they add a unique sonic character some folks like.
Posted by: Spoiler

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/12/10 10:08 PM

Jerry has tried the M3's and it appears that so far they aren't for him. If they sound too bright, and vocals are too metallic sounding then perhaps , indeed, these speakers are not for him. I'm glad you gave them a shot, but I don't think offering you more suggestions would really help considering you're using the same electronics and room you did with the other speakers. If more time with them doesn't improve your opinion, then perhaps you should consider another speaker brand, or a different Axiom speaker. I've been following this thread with interest and I'm sorry the M3 hasn't seemed to work out for you, so far. Hopefully you'll find the solution you're looking for soon.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/12/10 10:11 PM

Agreed.
Posted by: grunt

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 12:53 AM

Yes, thank you.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 03:30 AM

I played a few CDs to demo the sub-$1000 M3V2.5 system I put together for my friend. I'm using a 5 watt per channel Muse T-Amp and a 3.5 Amp Pyramid Power Supply for power. The Dayton HT120 subwoofer helps out. I'm using the Sony CX90ES 200 CD player as a source. I played a Columbia CD of Santana Abraxas. Sounded thin and lifeless. It's a bad recording. I played Getz/Jobim Verve CD. It was great (a little chesty at times). I played tracks 9 and 11 from the Miami Vice CD. Sounded great. I played Paul Simon's Graceland CD. It sounded thin and lifeless. I played Loreena McKennett's Elemental, it sounded great.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 01:23 PM

Just more proof everyone hears things a little differently and that we have different preferences to sound reproduction.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 01:28 PM

I have a pair of Polk Monitor 40 speakers that I swear sound warmer than the M3's and they seem to sound much fuller also. Maybe my hearing is finally shot.
Posted by: cb919

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 01:32 PM

I don't think that means your hearing is shot - it just means you prefer that kind of sound. Find the speakers you're happy with, grab your favourite beverage, sit back turn it up and enjoy!

Cheers,
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 04:59 PM

The M3's are going back. I'm just a bit confused after reading so many rave reviews and then not hearing what others are raving about. I didn't hear one reviewer comment on how unnatural some vocals sound on the M3's and yet I clearly hear it.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 05:02 PM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
I didn't hear one reviewer comment on how unnatural some vocals sound on the M3's and yet I clearly hear it.

Honestly, your experience is rare. Reviewers haven't said that about the M3s because they haven't heard it. I'm sorry they don't please you, and I hope you're able to find something that does.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 05:05 PM

I have my eye on a few other speakers. Mainly Aperion. I hear the vocals on the M3's as very bright,kind of cold and mechanical sounding. It's not my receiver. I have it set to flat.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 05:33 PM

I have all of Mark Knopfler's solo cds which are probably some of the best sounding cds out there and even these cds sound bright and brittle on the M3's. Normally Mark's vocals sound as smooth as can be on these cds but when listening with the M3's even these normally smooth vocals start to sound hissy.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 05:38 PM

Honestly, Jerry, I'm sorry you don't like the speakers, but I don't think anyone here has had that experience, particularly with Mark Knopfler recordings. They sound great on my M80s, they sound great on my Audiobytes, and they sound great on my M50s.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 05:41 PM

I have my M3's toed in quite a bit. Will that affect the perceived brightness?
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 05:43 PM

Possibly. Try aiming the tweeters away from your head a bit. My M80s are straight on into the room, but every room is different. How do you have them set up right now? Distances, height, etc?
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 05:43 PM

Are the walls bare and the floor without carpeting?
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 05:47 PM

There is carpeting on the floor. But the walls are pretty much bare. I have the M3's on 24 inch stands about 7-8 feet from my listening postion toed in towards me.
Posted by: Lampshade

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 05:58 PM

Jerry,
the first time I heard Axioms were M2's that I ordered. I agree with your statement completely. Metallic. I had them a short time but they had to go back because customs had sliced one with a box cutter. When I went to demo M60's, I was expecting to hear the sound that you described. I figured it was the metal tweeters,(my other speakers have silk tweeters). But the M60's were amazing. I wish I could have listened to M3's at all, and M2's again so I could advise you. I would keep them as long as the trial period allows. Who knows.

good luck ! Audio can be a callous mistress.
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 06:07 PM

Jerry. It sounds like you prefer your highs rolled off quite a bit.

You are right, anything by Knopfler is very well recorded. Keep the M3s a little longer, but I would be surprised if you change your mind.

Personally I am the other way around. I find rolled off highs to be veiled/muffled.
Posted by: Lampshade

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 06:18 PM

Even if you don't care for his music.....Roger Waters' Amused to Death and The Final Cut are excellently recorded cds and good for reference.
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 06:26 PM

I picked up Amused to Death on the reviews and was a little disappointed. I'll have to give it another listen. Anything Pink Floyd was well recorded.

It does not sound like the recording is the issue.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 06:27 PM

I have never ever heard any sibilance on Knopfler's vocals before. Now I hear it. On the one hand everything is much clearer and cleaner sounding now like my old speakers had wet towels covering them. On the other hand everything sounds kind of cold and clinical now.
Posted by: Lampshade

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 06:30 PM

Fred I completely understand. I do not like every song.
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 06:38 PM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
I have never ever heard any sibilance on Knopfler's vocals before. Now I hear it. On the one hand everything is much clearer and cleaner sounding now like my old speakers had wet towels covering them. On the other hand everything sounds kind of cold and clinical now.


OK, that is just plain strange. The M3s have a very slightly recessed midrange, and I mean very slightly. There should be no sibilance there in vocals.

I almost wonder if there is something wrong with the M3s you have. I was very surprised at how good the midrange in my M2s sounds.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 06:41 PM

I'm listening to Knopfler's Get Lucky right now. When he hits the S's on some words the sibilance is very noticable. But only on the S's the rest of the vocals are smooth. But of all my recordings Knopfler's were always sibilance free.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 06:47 PM

Just flipped to Quality Shoe on my iPod/Audiobyte combo. I don't really get extreme sibilance, but if you're used to a recessed treble, I can see it sounding bright to you. I don't have Get Lucky, unfortunately.

To me, it just sounds like he's enunciating. There's naturally a little sibilance when you say Sses and the like.

What volume levels are you listening at?
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 06:48 PM

Very moderate levels.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 07:28 PM

OK I'm now convinced that something is wrong here. Just for the heck of it I hooked back up a pair of Cambridge Soundworks Model 6 speakers that I had packed away when I got the M3's the other day. The Model Six's cost me $99 per pair a few months ago. They normally sell for $149 per pair. I connected the Six's back up and left the M3's hooked up also. I put in a good sounding cd and A/B the 2 speakers.The Model Six's sound better. Shockingly better. The M3's have a higher sensitivety than the Model Six's do but yet they play much softer? I have to turn the volume up 10 points higher on the M3's to match the volume of the Six's even though the M3's are supposed to be more efficient.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 07:36 PM

Could be a defect, all right.

I'm listening to "Get Lucky" right now on my M60's and I just don't hear anything close to "sibilant". And I'm really trying to talk myself into it. It's just not there.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 08:12 PM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
The M3's have a higher sensitivety than the Model Six's do but yet they play much softer? I have to turn the volume up 10 points higher on the M3's to match the volume of the Six's even though the M3's are supposed to be more efficient.
That does sound like there is something wrong, I would give Axiom a call and see what they have to say.

I thought I would mention SVS has some highly regarded speakers that you might be interested in as well as Emotiva and Elemental Designs should the M3s not stick around your home.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 08:13 PM

Are you sure that all 4 drivers are operating? Is it possible that one of the speakers has a woofer that's not playing?
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 08:16 PM

Originally Posted By: kcarlile
Are you sure that all 4 drivers are operating? Is it possible that one of the speakers has a woofer that's not playing?


All 4 drivers are running. The Model Six's blow the M3's away. I've been sitting here for over an hour A/B both speakers and there is no comparison. The cheap Model Six's sound fuller and cleaner and more open than the M3's. I'm sitting here scratching my head.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 08:18 PM

Well, a volume difference will do that, but it really seems like there's something else going on here. That something else could be that you just like the Model Sixes better, of course...
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 08:18 PM

Buddy, I'm no fan boy. But your M3s are simply busted. M3s that sound bright, metalic, brittle, unnatural? M3s that are not stunningly wonderful at reproducing vocals? That's not the sound of any Axiom M3 I've ever heard and I've heard M3Tis, V2s and V2.5s which they tell me are really V3s.

Obviously, there's nothing wrong with your Onk because you report your other speakers sound fine. The sibilance you report could be the result of a defective tweeter. Of course, I'm no doctor, so I don't know what's wrong with your M3s but what you're reporting is not an issue of mere personal preference.

Sorry that you're not getting the good M3 experience because they are a wonderful sounding speaker ... my personal favorite from among all Axiom's offerings.

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
OK I'm now convinced that something is wrong here. Just for the heck of it I hooked back up a pair of Cambridge Soundworks Model 6 speakers that I had packed away when I got the M3's the other day. The Model Six's cost me $99 per pair a few months ago. They normally sell for $149 per pair. I connected the Six's back up and left the M3's hooked up also. I put in a good sounding cd and A/B the 2 speakers.The Model Six's sound better. Shockingly better. The M3's have a higher sensitivety than the Model Six's do but yet they play much softer? I have to turn the volume up 10 points higher on the M3's to match the volume of the Six's even though the M3's are supposed to be more efficient.

Posted by: jakewash

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 08:19 PM

It could very well be you just don't like the M3 sound. I am not a fan of them myself. I prefer the M22 for it's clean midrange and great top end, but I would be very hesitant to recommend them to you as many find them bright, even more so than the M3.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 08:25 PM

I waited so long to get the M3's. I did so much research on them. I guess I learned a few lessons the last few days. Does anyone know how long it takes Axiom to send the email with the return shipping labels? I got an email yesterday saying it would be coming.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 08:42 PM

Return shipping labels: I usually get them right away (within a day or 2) from Noreen. I've sent speakers back 2 different times.

My first purchase was 2 M22's and 2 M3's. I bought the M3's, and a receiver, as a gift for my son. The M22's and another receiver for myself. I listened to both for a while. Overall I preferred the M22's. But if I had never heard the M22's, the M3's would have been just fine. A little less pronounced mid-range in the M3's. Neither speaker sound bad in any way. But I am at a disadvantage in that I've not listened to any other speakers in a long time.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 09:28 PM

Jerry, your description of your experience differs so greatly from the typical listening(and measurement)results on the M3 that it doesn't appear to be realistic to term it a mere "personal preference". The "something's wrong" comments appear to be more likely, especially considering your report of a significantly lower volume when compared to a nominally slightly less sensitive speaker.

Although you've said that all drivers are operating, what you've described would be consistent with a mid-woofer providing little or no output. Testing the relative bass volume levels, by ear if necessary, using a bass test tone or at least a bass-heavy musical passage, should be tried.

You've spent too much time and effort picking Axiom to just send them back as quickly as possible and go away with bad feelings. Spend some more time to try to discover the real cause of the problem.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 09:43 PM

Originally Posted By: JohnK
Jerry, your description of your experience differs so greatly from the typical listening(and measurement)results on the M3 that it doesn't appear to be realistic to term it a mere "personal preference". The "something's wrong" comments appear to be more likely, especially considering your report of a significantly lower volume when compared to a nominally slightly less sensitive speaker.

Although you've said that all drivers are operating, what you've described would be consistent with a mid-woofer providing little or no output. Testing the relative bass volume levels, by ear if necessary, using a bass test tone or at least a bass-heavy musical passage, should be tried.

You've spent too much time and effort picking Axiom to just send them back as quickly as possible and go away with bad feelings. Spend some more time to try to discover the real cause of the problem.


The Model Six speakers that I compared the M3's to are acoustic suspension which should require more volume to play as loudly as the M3's unless I'm wrong on that. Yet with the volume remaining the same when I switch back and forth between the two the Model Six's play much louder than the M3's and the M3's are supposed to be have a higher sensitivety than the Model Six's.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 09:59 PM

that really is not a valid test, as if you re-run the calibration with the SPL meter or built in receiver calibration, you would end up with different settings for each speaker. you can't just use the A/B switch on the receiver for a true representation. also, how do you have your settings for the speakers, large, small, and what crossover. are you using a sub?
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 10:01 PM

Is this the speaker here?

http://store.cambridgesoundworks.com/Cambridge-SoundWorks-Classic-Model-Six-TwWay/M/B0034ZZ5W6.htm
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 10:01 PM

I have a 2 channel stereo only receiver.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 10:02 PM



Yes
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 10:11 PM

Their general stated sensitivity rating is 90db. Which is on par with the Axioms. I know some 3rd party measurements of the earlier M3 was stated at 86db but haven't seen anything from the V3 model but it is stated at 92db and 96db (in room). Of course, in room, these ratings will change. It is possible that your Cambridge model speaker is more sensitive. Not really a big deal either way IMO.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 10:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Dr.House
Their general stated sensitivity rating is 90db. Which is on par with the Axioms. I know some 3rd party measuerments of the earlier M3 was stated at 86db but haven't seen anything from the V3 model. Of course in room, these ratings will be different. It is possible that this speaker is more sensitive.


I know that of all the recent speakers I've had over the last several years I have to turn the volume up higher on the M3's than any of my previous speakers. Not a lot higher but higher enough to notice.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 10:34 PM

I've driven M3s with a 5 watt per channel SET tube amp, and with a T-Amp which doesn't put out much more than 5 wpc. The M3s are sufficiently sensitive to play at normal listening levels, and capable of playing at high volume with these low powered amps.

The problem is not the M3s sensitivity. Your Onkyo should be able to drive your M3s at higher volumes than you'd ever want.

BTW, the combination of a pair of M3s and a nice tube amp is just wonderful.

Something is wrong with your M3s or your set up.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 10:38 PM

It doesn't seem like he is having problems powering the M3's to the listening levels from what I understand. Just more surprised that they need a little bit more dial on the amp than his other speakers?
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 10:41 PM

So what is the issue then? smile If he said the Cambridge blows the M3's away on sound then there is definately something wrong with the setup..
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 10:42 PM

He simply likes them better? I am sure there is a lot of emotion he is experiencing. It is very common with new purchases, especially when there is some level of disappointment involved.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 10:45 PM

I give up for tonight. I've been fooling around with the M3's since 6pm. I also have an older pair of Sony floorstanding speakers that I just got out of storage.I did a quick A/B with the M3's and I'm hard pressed to hear much of a difference between these two. I think I need some sleep before I do any more A/B testing.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 11:05 PM

Are you absolutely certain you have everything wired cleanly and in phase? How do you have the speakers connected?
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 11:08 PM

Everything is hooked up perfectly. I've been doing this for many years. I double and triple checked everything.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 11:08 PM

How are the speakers positioned in relationship to each other, and to the seating distance? If you have them right next to each other the sound can be colored by the cabinets being to close or on top of each other. Also, if they are at different distances from the walls around them that can make a huge difference in what you hear. Have you verified the wiring is in proper polarity? Sorry for all the questions.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 11:14 PM

Originally Posted By: sirquack
How are the speakers positioned in relationship to each other, and to the seating distance? If you have them right next to each other the sound can be colored by the cabinets being to close or on top of each other. Also, if they are at different distances from the walls around them that can make a huge difference in what you hear. Have you verified the wiring is in proper polarity? Sorry for all the questions.


I have them positioned away from the walls in the middle of the room about 6 feet apart. Same position as I've had all my other previous speakers. The polarity is correct. I'm using heavy guage wire. Everything is as it should be.

Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/13/10 11:59 PM

Hey Jerry. You're working pretty hard at this. Hope it pays off in some way.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 12:00 AM

Well if everything is as it should be then, there is nothing wrong.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 12:31 AM

Have you pulled out your old transistor radio for an objective comparison with your M3s? How'd the M3s do?

Not so good, eh?
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 12:38 AM

Originally Posted By: 2x6spds
Have you pulled out your old transistor radio for an objective comparison with your M3s? How'd the M3s do?

Not so good, eh?

I thought you weren't a fanboy??
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 12:41 AM

I'm not, but I have the feeling that someone is pulling my leg and not in a good way.
Posted by: snazzed

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 01:44 AM

On the needing to turn it louder... Now... I'm not saying anything to the Model 6s specifically. Never heard them and overall I respect Cambridge Soundworks...

I found that cheap and heavily coloured speakers sound "fuller". I find that clean uncoloured speakers lack the same presence, seem thin and need to be turned up higher to sound like they fill the room. They could be said to be metallic or brittle as well.

If you are used to, and enjoy, that "full," "warm" sound, Axioms may not be your cup of tea.

Having said that, I've never heard the CS Model Sixs and I could be wrong.


my 2 cents

snazzed
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 05:03 AM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
I give up for tonight. I've been fooling around with the M3's since 6pm. I also have an older pair of Sony floorstanding speakers that I just got out of storage.I did a quick A/B with the M3's and I'm hard pressed to hear much of a difference between these two. I think I need some sleep before I do any more A/B testing.


Hi Jerry,

You said earlier that your speakers are toed-in. As a last ditch effort play with the toe-in. For starters reduce the toe-in halfway to what you have now and play those recordings you were referring to. Next, try no toe-in (straight ahead) and do some listening. And again, slightly toed-out and some more listening. Check to see if you can note any changes.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 12:35 PM

I'm wondering if the receiver line out's to the M3's is faulty. I know I have an older Kenwood receiver with an A/B speaker function and the "B" is broke.

Jerry, just to rule this possibility out, can you swap the M3's to the other output? If nothing changes, then a call to Axiom is in order. You should not have to crank the volume much to level match the M3's to your Cambridge speakers.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 01:19 PM

Thanks for all the advice but at this point I'm still waiting for the email from Axiom with the return shipping labels. It's been 3 days since I got the initial email regarding the return. I honestly don't have the energy to try and figure out what's going on. I'll just return them and try something else. Like I said before I really put a lot of time and effort into choosing the M3's. But right from the start I was let down. First off a red cap was missing from the speaker connector. Then when I looked into one of the rear ports I can see a white wire just hanging there. I'm sure it's connected properly but when I look into the other port on the second speaker I see nothing. Also on one speaker where the top black finish meets the finish on the speakers side there is a very rough edge like the top and side didn't meet smoothly. Just one big let down overall.
Posted by: CV

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 01:25 PM

Here's hoping you find the speakers you're looking for without too much more waiting and continued grief.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 01:46 PM

Good luck in your speaker journey Jerry. Do let us know what you end up getting that ultimately leaves you satisfied.

Cheers.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 01:58 PM

Originally Posted By: Dr.House
Good luck in your speaker journey Jerry. Do let us know what you end up getting that ultimately leaves you satisfied.

Cheers.

Thanks everyone. I may just stick with cheap budget speakers. This is the second time in the last few years that I bought speakers that had gotten rave reviews and both times I was dissapointed. And both the speakers were internet only companys.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 02:08 PM

If you can find an audition of the Energy RC-10, they might be your cup of tea along with the Aperions. Aperion has free return shipping, so there is no risk involved. Not sure if the Energy model is still in production.
Posted by: Lampshade

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 02:34 PM

Hi Jerry,
one of the "best" pairs of speakers I ever bought were a pair of used Ohm's for 40 bucks. You just never know. I am sorry this turned out to be frustrating when it should be lots of fun.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 03:19 PM

I just scanned through this thread from the beginning and I didn't see whether these M3's were purchased "Factory Outlet" or not.

jerrymb, did you pay full price, or did you get the "Factory Outlet" discount?
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 03:22 PM

Originally Posted By: CatBrat
I just scanned through this thread from the beginning and I didn't see whether these M3's were purchased "Factory Outlet" or not.

jerrymb, did you pay full price, or did you get the "Factory Outlet" discount?


Full price.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 03:27 PM

I hope that when Axiom gets these speakers back that they check them out real good and let us know via this thread what they found out was wrong with them. Hint, Hint.
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 03:27 PM

I think you are making the right call Jerry. If you look at other speakers, look for somehting that is a little warm with a rolled off high end. It sounds like that is your preference.

As an experiment, try turning down the trebble on the M3 to see if that changes your impression of the speaker.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 03:41 PM

Originally Posted By: fredk
I think you are making the right call Jerry. If you look at other speakers, look for somehting that is a little warm with a rolled off high end. It sounds like that is your preference.

As an experiment, try turning down the trebble on the M3 to see if that changes your impression of the speaker.

I noticed a difference as soon as I turned the treble down. But then they pretty much sounded like the speakers I currently have!
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 03:56 PM

I agree with Fred that you probably prefer rolled off highs as well. It also could be that you are not finding balance without the use of a subwoofer. So what you are experiencing is trade-offs within the different models. I bet most of the problems you have experienced with your bookshelf journey can be drastically helped with the use of a subwoofer.

The Energy RC-10 seems like it might fit your preferences. The Aperion 6b as well. While it doesn't have the rolled off highs of the Energy, they will have pretty good extension for a bookshelf and you might find that balance there. The trade off with the Aperion 6b is that they will be below average in sensitivity.

Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 03:58 PM

I don't like subwoofers at all. I'm not crazy about bass either. I prefer a very moderate amount of bass.
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 04:09 PM

Quote:
I noticed a difference as soon as I turned the treble down. But then they pretty much sounded like the speakers I currently have!

That what I expected. You are used to the sound of speakers that fall in line with what you currently have.

I suspect that you are more sensitive to sibilance because you are not used to the normal sound of the way an s is enunciated and are simply not used to the extra detail that a truely neutral speaker delivers.

I also agree with Dr. House. If you go to a speaker that delivers more in both the top and bottom end, you will perceive it as more balanced.

You have the M3s for a month. I would take advantage of that. Find a good Audio store close to you and listen to a bunch of different speakers. Come back to the M3 and compare the same material on the M3. I think at some point, you will find a speaker that delivers more of the detail you like with a more refined upper end that does not sound bright or sibilant to you.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 04:15 PM

The M3's will be on their way back on Monday or Tuesday next week. I took my Polk's back out of the closet and hooked them up a few minutes ago. I put in a cd, hit play and went AHHHHH! That's what I'm used to I guess. The Polks sound warm and smooth and comforting in a strange way. When I listen to music on the Polk's it's like I'm hearing music. When I listened to music on the M3's it was like I was listening to a recording if that makes any sense to anyone other than me.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 04:19 PM

I have had that happen just from switching from a "closed" to "open" model headphone.
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 04:23 PM

What you are saying is that you are perfectly happy with the speakers you have. Thats good. Stick with them and enjoy.

Johnk is fond of saying its the music that its all about. smile
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 04:27 PM

Originally Posted By: fredk
What you are saying is that you are perfectly happy with the speakers you have. Thats good. Stick with them and enjoy.

Johnk is fond of saying its the music that its all about. smile

Every now and then I get this itch for new speakers. I'm not sure why or even what it is I'm expecting to find in a new pair of speakers. Just seems that after awhile my current speakers, whatever they might be, start to sound flat.
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 04:38 PM

Quote:
Just seems that after awhile my current speakers, whatever they might be, start to sound flat.

That is why I suggested taking advangage of your time with the M3s to see if you could find something which delivers more detail without being over the top for you.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 05:29 PM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
I don't like subwoofers at all. I'm not crazy about bass either. I prefer a very moderate amount of bass.


I used to say the same thing, until I bought an EP350. There's a huge difference. I didn't really care for it at first, but now it's hard to get by without it. If you live in an apartment, or share with other non-bass lovers, then I would understand also.

Edit: I turn the Subwoofer off when I crank it up really loud, like when I'm in another room on a treadmill, otherwise about all I can hear in the other room is bass.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 05:58 PM

Does Axiom only post positive reviews for their products? I've never seen a negative review.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 06:01 PM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
Does Axiom only post positive reviews for their products? I've never seen a negative review.

I'd say that probably all speaker manufacturers post only positive reviews. I've posted negative things about my experiences with Axiom speakers in the forums here. I guess I was expecting too much from the flat on-wall speakers. I love the box speaker sound. The M22's much better than the M3's. But that is because I liked the extra detailed sound of the M22's.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 06:05 PM

Define detailed.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 06:54 PM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
Does Axiom only post positive reviews for their products? I've never seen a negative review.

I don't think ANY manufacturer is going to post negative reviews of their product, that wouldn't make good business sense. However, I give Axiom full credit for not shutting down a couple of threads I've seen where it was clear that certain persons had an axe to grind for whatever reason.
Posted by: RickF

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 06:57 PM

I certainly wouldn't.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 07:03 PM

I'm gonna take a 24 hour break from listening to any music at all. Before the M3's go back early next week I'll give them one more shot tomorrow after a break from music. I really want to keep them but not if I can't get into their "sound." I can't give up on them just yet.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 07:18 PM

Jerry, do you have a Paradigm or Monitor Audio dealer near you? I would suggest that you give those a listen as well and if they are not to your liking, you may find you prefer a more subdued speaker/rolled off highs, as some have mentioned already.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 08:09 PM

You could ease yourself into the flatter frequency response of the M3s, by starting with the treble pulled down a little on your receiver. Every day increase it a bit, until you have the controls flat again.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 11:04 PM

I don't know if your receiver has this or not, but on the Pioneer, it's called X-Curve. It allows you to tame down the high end, but it looks like it does it a little better than just turning down the treble would be, providing a more gradual roll off for a more flatter freq. response.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 11:09 PM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
Define detailed.


When I listen to my car CD player, I hear the music, but it seems to be more of a jumbled mess of sounds, blurring it somewhat.

When I listen to the M22's I can hear each individual instrument and sometimes more, like the air being blown across a flute, or the more pronounced sound of fingers sliding on the strings of a guitar.
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/14/10 11:36 PM

To me, the more detailed speaker gives a more life like presentation of any well recorded music. You can also notice the extra detail in the cymbals. On really cheap speakers like my old micro stereo, the just sounded like a smeary mess compared to the M80.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 10:41 AM

It's been over 24 hours without listening to any music. I hooked the M3's up for probably one last time. I have to admit they don't sound that bad now. I did have my Polks hooked up for the last few days. Do Polk's have a bloated sound? That's the best way I can now describe what I'm hearing when I just hooked up the M3's. Compared to the Polk's the M3's sound thinner. The Polk's sound fuller but is that fullness accuracy or just a certain frequency bumped up to give the illusion of more speaker?
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 10:54 AM

The second, most likely, assuming there's nothing wrong with your M3s.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 10:56 AM

Its probably the latter Jerry. At these price points it is very tough to get best of both worlds without a sub. Budget bookshelf speakers just don't have the bass extension, that is why you see certain frequencies bumped to give off that illusion (fullness). You will find a lot of budget bookshelf speakers that roll off below 100hz, have an excellent frequency response from 100hz and up. Hence, they will need a sub to sound balanced. Hitting certain price points there are trade-offs. There is no way around it. You will likely have to spend more money on the speakers themselves when not using a sub. The Ascend Sierra-1 is another example that comes to mind, but it is around $500 more than what your budget permits or willing to spend.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 12:18 PM

Judging speakers is *really* tricky. For about 6 months (a long time ago) my friends and I had a number of speakers between us, most of which were considered "best of breed" and which would probably have been raved about on the internet if there had actually been an internet back then. We all lived in the same area so swapping speakers and bringing them together for comparison testing was easy (helped by the habit of bringing several sound systems together when throwing a party):

EPI 100
Advent Speaker
2 way KEF with 8" woofer, 3/4" tweeter and KEF crossover, sealed cabinet
3 way KEF with 9x13 woofer, 5" mid, 3/4" tweeter and KEF crossover, transmission line cabinet
2 way Rogers LS3/5a with 5" KEF woofer, 3/4" KEF tweeter, sealed cabinet, plus Rogers passive sub
3 way Philips Deforest (10"/5"/1") with Philips crossover, sealed cabinet
2 way Philips servo feedback with 8" woofer, 1" tweeter, sealed cabinet with built-in power amps

All of these were highly regarded by their own "support groups", all sounded very good, all sounded quite different from each other. Nobody agreed on which was best, except on specific albums.

One of the challenges when buying speakers is that some recordings seem to be mixed for playback on less-than-accurate systems and therefore do sound "thin and harsh" if you play them back on an accurate system. I have some recordings which sound fantastic in the car (typical crappy car system) but not good at all on my home system.

In a perfect world this variation in content would be going away as home theater systems (which don't need to deal with this historical variation in recording/mixing practices) become the norm and allow "mixed for flat and accurate speakers" content to dominate, but I fear that we're probably seeing some of the opposite trend - mixing albums to sound good on portable media players with compressed digital content and $3 headsets.

It shouldn't be this hard wink
Posted by: CV

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 02:18 PM

I went from Polks to Axioms myself, and my immediate reaction was that they sounded thin, too. I loved the detail, but I thought something was perhaps missing, and this was with M80s. Still, I listened to them more, and when I finally heard the Polks again, they did sound bloated and muddy compared to the Axioms. I haven't looked back since. I wouldn't say the sound is perfect, as I do think the highs could be a bit smoother (which is why I'm curious about the v3 M80s), but augmenting my system with more amplification and great subs has balanced the sound quite a bit. It certainly knocks the pants off the local theaters, and I don't know anyone with a better system for music. Not all recordings sound great on my system, but the great-sounding recordings sound really great.

I realize I've invested quite a lot into my setup, so it's not a direct comparison to your own experience, but I think our Axiom vs. Polk impressions sound similar.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 02:25 PM

I think most recordings are mixed to sound LOUD for radio play.

That fuller bloated sound is common among lowerend speakers, they usually have very tapered off highs leaving only the lower midrange and bass. This sounds warm and fuzzy but the finer details are lost in the mix. When you start getting the finer details the bass levels are not as pronounced until you get into floorstanders which have the cabinet size to properly reproduce the lower frequencies, this is why many good bookshelf speakers sound thin to many. The M3 actually has recessed mids and a bit of a hump in the upper bass which gives them a sense of more bass than the M22 and a slightly more laid back sound.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 02:32 PM

Originally Posted By: bridgman
but I fear that we're probably seeing some of the opposite trend - mixing albums to sound good on portable media players with compressed digital content and $3 headsets.



This was true for the last 20 years but this trend of compressed audio and formats such as MP3 is slowly dying. The shift has already occured with manufacturers. There is a shift happening in consumer preferences as well to lossless formats. Economies of scale and dropping prices in storage devices (HDD, Micro-SD cards, SD etc) as well as affordable and quality music players, computers, home theatre PC's is definitely encouraging. Lossless audio formats are a basic feature set on portable players costing less than $40. Now that manufacturers are marketing these features instead of MP3, consumers are now becoming educated on the benefits. This will all lead to a shift to lossless as the standard and in tastes. Affordability is key, and it is already present in the market. It will just better.

If this takes hold, production/mixing will most likely shift as well. It did at least hold true during the "loudness/mp3 wars". Believe it or not vinyl is actually starting to come back in a big way as well.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 02:39 PM

Axiom is sending me another pair of M3's. I still can't figure out why I seem to have to turn the volume up higher on the M3's than I'm used to. Unless it's because they are quieter? No bloat? We'll see what happens. I really don't want to give up on the Axioms. All these posts in this thread have given me a better understanding of an accurate speaker compared to a speaker that is not accurate. I'm learning.
Posted by: CV

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 02:46 PM

I'm glad you're trying a different pair. At least you'll be able to eliminate any issues with your current set as being the culprit.
Posted by: grunt

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 03:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Dr.House

This was true for the last 20 years but this trend of compressed audio and formats such as MP3 is slowly dying. The shift has already occured with manufacturers. There is a shift happening in consumer preferences as well to lossless formats. Economies of scale and dropping prices in storage devices (HDD, Micro-SD cards, SD etc) as well as affordable and quality music players, computers, home theatre PC's is definitely encouraging. Lossless audio formats are a basic feature set on portable players costing less than $40. Now that manufacturers are marketing these features instead of MP3, consumers are now becoming educated on the benefits. This will all lead to a shift to lossless as the standard and in tastes. Affordability is key, and it is already present in the market. It will just better.

If this takes hold, production/mixing will most likely shift as well. It did at least hold true during the "loudness/mp3 wars". Believe it or not vinyl is actually starting to come back in a big way as well.


It will be interesting to see if what you suggest happens. I work with a lot of tech savvy people and not one of them knows or understands anything about “lossless” audio. I think the manufactures need to do a whole lot of educating before mp3 gets unseated in the eyes of the masses. I was a big lossless fan until I started doing extensive tests of 320 mp3 and found that except on my Sennheiser HD600s at all volumes or my M80s turned up loud can I even sometimes hear the difference. If lossless does take hold back from mp3 I think it’s going to be more because of peoples egos and having bragging rights than from actual sound quality.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 03:15 PM

Originally Posted By: grunt
Originally Posted By: Dr.House

This was true for the last 20 years but this trend of compressed audio and formats such as MP3 is slowly dying. The shift has already occured with manufacturers. There is a shift happening in consumer preferences as well to lossless formats. Economies of scale and dropping prices in storage devices (HDD, Micro-SD cards, SD etc) as well as affordable and quality music players, computers, home theatre PC's is definitely encouraging. Lossless audio formats are a basic feature set on portable players costing less than $40. Now that manufacturers are marketing these features instead of MP3, consumers are now becoming educated on the benefits. This will all lead to a shift to lossless as the standard and in tastes. Affordability is key, and it is already present in the market. It will just better.

If this takes hold, production/mixing will most likely shift as well. It did at least hold true during the "loudness/mp3 wars". Believe it or not vinyl is actually starting to come back in a big way as well.


It will be interesting to see if what you suggest happens. I work with a lot of tech savvy people and not one of them knows or understands anything about “lossless” audio. I think the manufactures need to do a whole lot of educating before mp3 gets unseated in the eyes of the masses. I was a big lossless fan until I started doing extensive tests of 320 mp3 and found that except on my Sennheiser HD600s at all volumes or my M80s turned up loud can I even sometimes hear the difference. If lossless does take hold back from mp3 I think it’s going to be more because of peoples egos and having bragging rights than from actual sound quality.


IMO, the key will ultimately be in education from marketing and storage costs. The biggest key is if storage devices become cheap enough where the higher file size demands of lossless formats become mute. In that case most consumers will rip everything to lossless when given a choice.
Posted by: grunt

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 03:29 PM

I’m not sure what they will be ripping since most of them don’t buy hard media. They all get their music via the internet virtually. Hell I’ve even fallen in line with that and the only hard media I’ve purchased in the last year are a few SACDs because I wanted multi-channel versions. But those are getting harder to find.

I do agree the key will be marketing and educating the consumer as to why the “need” lossless. One thing in favour of this is that AFAIK the standard mp3 is 128 which is IMO noticeably inferior to lossless. Just not sure how inferior it sounds on ear buds or most car stereos.

I guess it’s a good thing that people are so easily convinced that they need to keep up with the Joneses as I really think that will be the driving factor if it’s going to happen.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 04:15 PM

"Keeping up with Joneses" definitely holds true for us so called audiophiles. Upgraditius and cognitive dissonance are two big driving forces for many that treat this as a hobby in relation to their purchases. For Jane Doe and Joe Schmoe (the MP3 market) on the other hand I don't see that. Education, accessibility and affordability (storage) are bigger driving factors IMO for this group of people.
Posted by: CV

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 04:28 PM

The coolness factor definitely figures into the portable music market, or the iPod wouldn't have been nearly the runaway success it's been.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 04:41 PM

Definitely CV and it that is a excellent point. I would argue that individuals were keeping up with an image based on marketing more than the superiority of the features/device itself. The popularity of compressed music goes hand in hand with Apple's success with iTunes and in the portable market. Either way it relates to Grunts point really well.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 04:51 PM

Originally Posted By: Dr.House
...where the higher file size demands of lossless formats become mute.

When the practical significance of an argument is eliminated, it is said be be made "moot".
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 05:17 PM

Opps! My subconscious was telling me to turn down the background music.
Posted by: grunt

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 05:36 PM

Keeping up with the Joneses is one of the major motivators in most marketing campaigns (envy is a part of every human psyche not just enthusiasts) the other primary motivator being practicality. IMO you have the markets reversed in that people like us, enthusiasts (this forum in particular), value the practicality of getting “the most bang for the buck.” none of us are immune to the psychological factors you note but with education we often overcome envy for practicality. Well the ones with weak egos don’t. OTOH more people buy Bose than probably all ID brands combined because they see Bose being touted as great and know that everyone else also sees those adds (envy). Come on, how good can Axiom really be if they can’t even manage and ad during a football game?

Most people don’t want to go to the local Best Buy or order a CD from Amazon when they can push a few buttons on their cell phone and have the album downloaded from the mp3 store in minutes. I understand your argument that with storage capacity (I would add internet and mobile bandwidth as another requirement) not being factors then compression isn’t necessary. I just don’t see everyday people demanding the change to lossless because of this, especially since most people can’t tell a 320 mp3 from lossless anyway. There just isn’t any practical advantage for the average person to switch to lossless from mp3 so the only thing I can see motivating them is “lossless envy.”

From the manufacturers standpoint the only advantage to drive losses that I can see is to get people to pay to replace their existing mp3 collections for new lossless ones. If anything at all will drive the conversion it’s going to be this. And the only way I see music companies convincing people to upgrade is to simply stop offering mp3 versions and/or convince people that they need to have the latest and greatest format to be cool like that other guy. However, are the music companies going to put everything on lossless w/o some sort of heavy handed DRM?

A while ago there was a discussion of standard DVDs being bundled with BD movies. I argued that except for niche markets and some big titles it’s not going to happen extensively. Almost if not everyone else in the discussion said yes it’s going to happen as it costs the manufacture virtually nothing to do it. It hasn’t happened because there is no market for it since there is no practical reason for most people to own both formats and no envy driving the inclusion of a DVD with a BD copy. Everyone arguing on the side of DVDs being included with most all BD movies were thinking logically. Marketing (i.e. human nature) is emotional not logical, (note that practicality for most people is also driven by emotion). There is simply no logical reason for people to upgrade from mp3 to lossless music which leaves only emotional, like keeping up with the Joneses, reasons for doing it.

Like I said it’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out. I do agree with you that lossless will likely replace lossy eventually but I think envy not SQ will be the driving factor.
Posted by: Scamp

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 05:56 PM

Meh.

I've heard lossess off iTunes. I'm not impressed. Give me Blu-Ray audio.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 06:01 PM

You pretty much nailed mainstream marketing. Excellent point about the bandwidth requirements.
Posted by: CV

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 06:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Scamp
I've heard lossess off iTunes. I'm not impressed. Give me Blu-Ray audio.


Hey, as long as it's lossless Blu-ray audio.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 06:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Scamp
Meh.

I've heard lossess off iTunes. I'm not impressed. Give me Blu-Ray audio.



Lossless is lossless. The final level of quality of that lossless track still depends on the recording itself. With Blu-ray you might get a lossless multi-channel soundtrack.
Posted by: CV

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 06:08 PM

Originally Posted By: grunt
I just don’t see everyday people demanding the change to lossless because of this, especially since most people can’t tell a 320 mp3 from lossless anyway.


Not that this changes the argument much, but you keep mentioning 320 kbps like that's the popular bitrate. The two most popular online stores that I buy from are iTunes and Amazon.com, and they both sit at 256 kbps for the most part. Apple's 256 kbps might be a wash with 320 kbps MP3. I haven't read enough to know. I doubt I would be able to tell the difference between 256 kbps and lossless for a lot of material. I'd probably have to listen to stuff that was picked to highlight the inadequacies of the lower bitrate. Anyway, I was just nitpicking.
Posted by: grunt

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 06:16 PM

Originally Posted By: Dr.House
Originally Posted By: Scamp
Meh.

I've heard lossess off iTunes. I'm not impressed. Give me Blu-Ray audio.



Lossless is lossless. The final level of quality of that lossless track still depends on the recording itself. With Blu-ray you might get a lossless multi-channel soundtrack.


I think you’re right that the multi-channel is a big plus. I’ve also noticed that with many of my SACDs even the 2ch ones the real improvement is that they have been re-mastered.
Posted by: grunt

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 06:19 PM

Originally Posted By: CV
Originally Posted By: grunt
I just don’t see everyday people demanding the change to lossless because of this, especially since most people can’t tell a 320 mp3 from lossless anyway.


Not that this changes the argument much, but you keep mentioning 320 kbps like that's the popular bitrate. The two most popular online stores that I buy from are iTunes and Amazon.com, and they both sit at 256 kbps for the most part. Apple's 256 kbps might be a wash with 320 kbps MP3. I haven't read enough to know. I doubt I would be able to tell the difference between 256 kbps and lossless for a lot of material. I'd probably have to listen to stuff that was picked to highlight the inadequacies of the lower bitrate. Anyway, I was just nitpicking.


I wasn’t assuming that 320 is all that popular just that it’s the best I’ve found. I actually assumed that 128 was the most common since I get most of my mp3s off internet radio and that is the most often streamed format. I agree that most people wouldn’t be able to tell 256 from lossless either especially considering the systems they are playing it on. For that matter they probably couldn’t tell the difference with 128 either.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 07:14 PM

I still have the M3's hooked up. Regarding the volume problem I had before. This is what I noticed. Some cds are mastered louder than others. The loudly mastered cds play without having to turn the volume up higher like I complained about before. But for some reason the quieter cds require me to turn the volume on the M3's higher than I remember having to do with my other speakers. Even on my other speakers I always would have to raise the volume on quieter cds. But with the M3's I seem to have raise the voluime even higher. Is there a reason for this or am I just nuts?
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 07:16 PM

Speaker sensitivity?
Posted by: grunt

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 07:37 PM

I think there is also a clarity factor. I find that the clearer the presentation, call it better mastered more dynamic range (usually not mainstream rock or pop songs) the higher I want the volume to hear and feel the dynamics of the recording.


Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/15/10 11:00 PM

I agree with Dean. I listen to music quite a bit louder with my M80s. For fun, I should try to get my micro system up to the 85db I often listen to music at.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/16/10 12:39 AM

Another thing, using one's ears to judge relative sound pressure levels isn't going to be accurate. I'd be curious what an SPL meter says about the playback levels of the two sets of speakers with the knob set in the same position.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/16/10 02:49 PM

I think it is the fact you are used to a 'wall of sound' that a lesser speaker will produce over the more detailed sounds from better speakers. You are used to a bloated lower end and to achieve a similar feeling for the music you turn the volume up. I went from Bose 201's to M22's and experienced this sensation but I didn't need to turn the volume up as much as you have described.

As Chris has mentioned it would be interesting to see on an SPL meter if the speakers are playing the same volume levels att he much different settings.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/16/10 02:58 PM

Originally Posted By: jakewash
I think it is the fact you are used to a 'wall of sound' that a lesser speaker will produce over the more detailed sounds from better speakers. You are used to a bloated lower end and to achieve a similar feeling for the music you turn the volume up. I went from Bose 201's to M22's and experienced this sensation but I didn't need to turn the volume up as much as you have described.

As Chris has mentioned it would be interesting to see on an SPL meter if the speakers are playing the same volume levels att he much different settings.


That makes sense.
Posted by: grunt

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/16/10 03:33 PM

Originally Posted By: jakewash
I think it is the fact you are used to a 'wall of sound' that a lesser speaker will produce over the more detailed sounds from better speakers. You are used to a bloated lower end and to achieve a similar feeling for the music you turn the volume up. I went from Bose 201's to M22's and experienced this sensation but I didn't need to turn the volume up as much as you have described.

As Chris has mentioned it would be interesting to see on an SPL meter if the speakers are playing the same volume levels att he much different settings.


I think you and I use the term “wall of sound” differently as I consider the M80s to produce a “wall of sound” that is also quite detailed. In that they can sound like there is a concert performance right in front of me while simultaneously each instrument and singer is discreetly placed including hearing musician’s fingers sliding along guitar strings.
Posted by: a401classic

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/16/10 03:37 PM

Originally Posted By: grunt
I consider the M80s to produce a “wall of sound” that is also quite detailed. In that they can sound like there is a concert performance right in front of my while simultaneously each instrument and singer is discreetly placed including hearing musician’s fingers sliding along guitar strings.



+1 For my M80's and my Dad's M3's

Scott
Posted by: BobKay

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/16/10 04:14 PM

That's 4 times the "B" word was used here in print.

I though that was disallowed! Unless, like 901's, one wears their underwear backwards.
Posted by: BobKay

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/16/10 04:15 PM

Semper ubi sub ubi!
Posted by: Adrian

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/16/10 04:18 PM

That's an early Roy Orbison song, isn't it Bob?
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/16/10 04:18 PM

Kudos to you Jerry for the effort you are going through. As I wrote before. Take full advantage of the 30 days and look at all your options.
Posted by: BobKay

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/16/10 04:25 PM

Yes, Adrian, it was. From his late 60's Latin rhythms period;-)
Posted by: a401classic

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/16/10 06:28 PM

Originally Posted By: BobKay
That's 4 times the "B" word was used here in print.

I though that was disallowed!


I thought all 4-letter words were disallowed smile

Scott
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/16/10 06:52 PM

The M3's will be on their way back tomorrow. I think I'll give another speaker company a try. I have my eye on either the Ascend 340's or the Aperion Intimus 6B. I like the big chunky look of the 6B's.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/16/10 07:01 PM

Best of luck with your search. Please stick around around the forums and let us know what you think of the new speakers.
Posted by: a401classic

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/16/10 07:02 PM

Keep us posted on how you like them!

Scott
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/16/10 07:08 PM

Any recommendations other than the two speakers I mentioned above? These will be just for music listening at fairly close range.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/16/10 07:50 PM

Jerry, if I were you, I wouldn't take recommendations from us! Our tastes clearly aren't the same as yours. wink
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/16/10 07:53 PM

Originally Posted By: kcarlile
Jerry, if I were you, I wouldn't take recommendations from us! Our tastes clearly aren't the same as yours. wink

You may be right! Thanks anyway.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/16/10 07:54 PM

I used to like the Bose 901's.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/16/10 08:31 PM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
Any recommendations other than the two speakers I mentioned above? These will be just for music listening at fairly close range.


Maybe Paradigm Mini Monitors ? Only concern is that they may be closer in sound to the speakers you already have than to the M3s.

Your challenge is that you've sort of moved past looking for the "best" speaker and are now looking for "the best speaker for you". You're going to have a tough time finding a "better" speaker than the M3 in that price range, but you've listened to enough speakers to start zeroing in on "your" ideal speaker.

My guess is that you'll like the Ascends. The 170 is obviously a closer match to the M3 than the 340 is, but it sounds like the extra size & output might be what you need. The Ascends are also reported to have a bit more of a "mellow" sound compared to the M3s which might help.

Anyways, you're basically at the point where different speakers offer slightly different tradeoffs at the same price point, and one of those sets of tradeoffs will appeal to you the most.

Or you'll end up spending $1000 on pair of speakers. Sometimes that happens too laugh
Posted by: Adrian

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/16/10 10:31 PM

If you're curious, and want some speakers with a very different approach, give the Mirage OMD-5's an audition. They are roughly in the same price group as the speakers mentioned but may offer you a very different listening experience.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/17/10 12:32 AM

I had mentioned earlier to take a look at SVSound, Emotiva and Elemental designs for some good sounding (by reviews) budget speakers.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/17/10 12:38 AM

Dean, I couldn't think of any other way to describe the way a poor speaker plays other than it is like a wall, I was thinking flat. It is a wall lacking in detail/texture unlike the M80.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/17/10 02:19 AM

The wall of sound.

Once you've experienced it, you will find anything less unsatisfying. I have had the pleasure with my 5 watt per channel SET tube amp driving a pair of M22 like tweaked Michaura M55s and even more so driving a pair of Michaura M66s helped by a Velodyne 12" sub and sourced by a tube output Ah! Njoe Tjoeb. The 'wall' is a uniquely satisfying musical experience where the sound stage extends seemlessly from the centerpoint between the speakers, to far outside the vertical centerline of the drivers, to a virtual space behind the speakers and above them as well.

It is an awesome, pinacle experience of musical reproduction.

Other than that, I think you have it pretty right there Jay.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/17/10 03:54 AM

B15 .
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/17/10 12:14 PM

Nice looking piece of equipment there John. Do you think it will help us enjoy the music?

That's a terrific price. Have you heard the B15s and if so, how would you compare the sound quality to our M2 or M3s?

Thanks for the heads up on that great sale.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/18/10 07:35 PM

Axiom should have my M3's back tomorrow. Here's my quandry. I have my eye on the Ascend 340's or possibly the M22's. But since I had the treble problem with the M3's I'm hesitant to try the M22's. I can't imagine that it will sound that different than the M3's? I've really driven Axiom crazy the last week with all my questions and emails!
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/18/10 08:20 PM

Honestly, I don't think either of those speakers will suit you. MAYBE the Ascend 340s, but the M22s will seem thinner to you.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/18/10 08:54 PM

I haven't heard the M22s, but from what's reported, I think that would be moving in the wrong direction if you don't like treble.

On the other hand, regarding the M22s: If you're looking for treble, you've come to the right place.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/18/10 09:13 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
I haven't heard the M22s, but from what's reported, I think that would be moving in the wrong direction if you don't like treble.

On the other hand, regarding the M22s: If you're looking for treble, you've come to the right place.


I like treble but the treble on the M3's was kind of harsh to my ears. Unless I was hearing exactly what was recorded? But every single cd I played on the M3's I heard sibilance. Even when I played some of the best recorded cds I own.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/18/10 09:27 PM

Jerry, the treble area in the M3 and M22 should be essentially identical(if the M3s you had were operating correctly, which I still doubt). The M22s, which I've used for eight years with great satisfaction, have a more accurate response in the lower mid-range and upper bass, and more closely approach the ideal of a high fidelity unit. If Hi-Fi is still the name of our quest(those who answer "What is your quest?" differently shall be catapulted into the abyss), the M22s are superior speakers.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/18/10 09:36 PM

Here's the strange thing with the M3's I had. On very well recorded cds like Mark Knopfler's I heard sibilance which I had never heard before on his cds with other speakers. Yet with other less well recorded cds I heard no sibilance. Shouldn't it have been the other way around?
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/18/10 09:46 PM

this does suprise me, I hear no sibilance with my Knopfler "flying to ..." CD on my M80s, M22's, or M22 on walls.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/18/10 09:51 PM

I really wish I understood what was going on with the M3's. To be honest I never heard vocals so sibilant and so unnatural as I did with the M3's. Yet on some cds they sounded just fine.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/19/10 03:38 PM

You could certainly try the M22s as they are a more balanced sound with better midrange to compliment the highs, they sound more natural to me than the M3's. You only have the cost of the upgrade and return shipping if you still don't like them.

Have we asked this before? Is there someone nearby with Axiom's that you could audition with?
Posted by: merchman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/21/10 08:16 PM

Hey Jerry, have you made a new speaker choice?
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/21/10 08:52 PM

You're gonna think I'm nuts but I asked for another pair of M3's. I just don't have the energy to keep ordering speakers online. I used a pre paid debit card to order the Axioms so I would have to wait for a refund before buying another pair someplace else. I didn't like the looks of the wire hanging there in one port. It wasn't a good week for me in general and maybe my frame of mind wasn't too good when it came to new speakers.I don't think I gave the M3's enough time.
Posted by: merchman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/21/10 09:06 PM

Sorry to hear you were having a bad week before you got your speakers. Glad to hear that you are going to give them another shot. Hopefully, they will work out for you.

After you posted about your problems, I brought my M3's back in to my main listening room and could not find any of the problems you were experiencing.

If your new pair is without any visual flaws, be sure to give them more than a day or two to judge them.

I know you have been reading alot about them, both good and bad, but they really are a good little speaker. Being sibilant is not anything I have ever read or heard about them. Nor have I ever noticed such.

Be sure to keep us informed when they get there and you have a chance to give them a run through.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/22/10 12:08 AM

maybe a nice, sweet, low power (+-5 wpc) single end triode integrated amp to go with your m3s. They make a perfect match. sweet, full, beautiful music ... assuming you're not listening to head bashing grunge of course.
Posted by: a401classic

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/22/10 10:14 AM

I haven't kept up with the entire thread, so in case this hasn't been mentioned, don't be afraid to try David's suggestion on speaker placement. It worked wonders for me to play with toe-in to pull the sound stage together - like the difference between sitting in the back row where everything seems to come from one spot vs sitting in row 10 where you can pick out different instruments in their various locations on stage.

Scott
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/22/10 10:26 AM

I'll give it a try but I'm almost never sitting in the right spot when I listen to music. I'm usually off to one side or lying down.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/23/10 03:29 AM

On the subject ... how far apart are your M3s?
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/23/10 08:35 AM

Originally Posted By: 2x6spds
On the subject ... how far apart are your M3s?


6-7 feet.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/23/10 01:27 PM

That sounds right to me. You may have already answered this, but are you using a subwoofer with your M3s?
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/23/10 01:30 PM

Originally Posted By: 2x6spds
That sounds right to me. You may have already answered this, but are you using a subwoofer with your M3s?

No subwoofer. I don't have the M3s now. Another pair is on the way.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/23/10 02:22 PM

Well, the M3s put out a surprising amount of low mid bass for a small speaker, but they are still small. They integrate easily with a subwoofer which will make a HUGE improvement to sound quality because together they will reproduce a larger segment of the audible frequency range.

The budget system I just put together for a friend (Bob, please pick it up!!) still on my kitchen center island, uses a Dayton 12" HT120 subwoofer (about $170 delivered as I recall), a Sony CX90ES 200 disc changer ($1,100 MSRP, $150 used mint); M3V>2<3 cherry gloss finish speakers; the Muse T-Amp (about $30.00); Pyramid 5 amp power supply (about $30.00); TCC TC-754 RIAA Phono Preamp from Amazon.com (about $80 delivered).

Jerry, this system, even sitting on top of my center island, sounds GREAT. It can't make a bad recording sound good, but it sure can make a good recording just make you smile, and do for you whatever it is music does for you.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/23/10 02:27 PM

I was looking at the EP125 sub here but I don't see any photos of the rear of the sub unless I missed it.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/23/10 02:54 PM

[img:center][/img]
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/23/10 02:56 PM

[img:center][/img]

These are cell phone picures but, you can see the Dayton has an internal cross-over, although the spring tab input/output tabs are pretty flimsy. The sound quality is good and the Dayton blends well wth the M3s.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/23/10 03:08 PM

EP125 then click on photos and you'll see where to click next.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/23/10 03:10 PM

Got it thanks.
Posted by: wbedford

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/23/10 04:32 PM

2x6,

Is that the custom vinyl cherry gloss finish? Damn they look good.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/23/10 06:16 PM

Originally Posted By: wbedford
2x6,

Is that the custom vinyl cherry gloss finish? Damn they look good.



Vinyl high gloss cherry - beautiful. Yes.

[img:center][/img]


[img:center][/img]
Posted by: merchman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/23/10 06:25 PM

Those are really nice! smile

When is your friend gonna take his new set up?
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/23/10 06:48 PM

cell phone picture. They look even better for real.
Posted by: wbedford

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/24/10 08:49 AM

Originally Posted By: 2x6spds
cell phone picture. They look even better for real.


Wow, you have me re-thinking my finish decision....
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/24/10 03:31 PM

Ola Merchman, I wish my friend would pick them up. I'm afraid something is going to happen, a splash, a child poking a sticky finger into the dust cap ... but, in the meantime, that's the system I listen to while in the kitchen. Sounds great. Looks beautiful.

The finish is very much like that on the Michauras.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/24/10 04:46 PM

I just got an email that my second pair of M3s shipped. Hopefully these will work out OK. And just to make all of you who don't like the black finish happy this time I ordered the cherry. grin
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/24/10 05:35 PM

Did you just recently change your user name? Didn't yours used to start with an i, and you are from Japan, or has Alzheimer's officially set in for me?
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/24/10 05:37 PM

Originally Posted By: CatBrat
Did you just recently change your user name? Didn't yours used to start with an i, and you are from Japan, or has Alzheimer's officially set in for me?

Who me? Nope.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/24/10 05:52 PM

Ok. I see where I went wrong now. I was thinking that he started this thread, but it was you instead. Sorry bout that.
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/24/10 09:29 PM

You've got a bad case of catznheimer's dude.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 10:58 AM

You guys won't believe this!!!! I spoke to Brent last week and and told him to send me another pair of M3s. I told him cherry this time. He said ok cherry. I just received them and they are black! What the heck is going on here? I spoke to Brent on the phone. I just took one speaker out of the box and the silver logo is broken off. I give up!
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 11:08 AM

I've received 7 different shipment of speakers over the past year and not one of them had a problem. It must be your karma.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 11:11 AM

I was going to just accept the black finish and leave it at that. I removed one speaker from the plastic wrap and the part of the M from the Axiom logo hit the floor in pieces.
Posted by: Jc

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 11:22 AM

Jerry,

One thing that you can be sure of is that Axiom will not let you down. As per our previous conversation and communication concerning this last unfortunate event, Axiom will give you total satisfaction.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 11:28 AM

Thanks JC. This has been very frustrating.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 11:43 AM

Have you hooked them up to find out if they sound different than your previous M3's? I know you were worried about them being defective last time.
Posted by: EFalardeau

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 11:45 AM

Do they sound like you wanted, at least? If they sound like the previous pair, it may change the way you want the transaction to be handled.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 11:47 AM

Definitely set them up and listen to them like Efalardeau stated. If they sound better than your previous pair than getting a replacement in Cherry should not be a problem and vice-versa (if they sound the same).
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 11:50 AM

Originally Posted By: EFalardeau
Do they sound like you wanted, at least? If they sound like the previous pair, it may change the way you want the transaction to be handled.

At this point I think it's best that I just get a quick refund and try another speaker company. I don't have a second pair of speakers so each time I return the M3's I'm without any speakers. This is getting very tiring. I'm not making any of this up. I'm just really fed up.
Posted by: alan

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 12:11 PM

Jerry,

I've been following this thread from the beginning. Your case of finding the M3s "sibilant" is so bizarre and atypical that I've asked that your M3s be checked out in our lab when they arrive from our Michigan depot. They are expected today.

I regret the errors in the finish as well as the broken logo for the replacement pair. As you know we will stand behind the product. IN all my years with Axiom (8), no one has ever described the M3s as sibilant, which makes me think that there may be a defective woofer in the original pair you got (unlikely, but possible). I'm worried there is something very wrong in your setup.

Anyway, please listen to the replacement pair of M3s. They truly are a really fine speaker, more natural, neutral and pleasing than many high-end 2-way bookshelf models that sell for $2,000 per pair.

Regards,
Alan
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 12:17 PM

My setup is too simple to have anything wrong with it. I have a 2 channel receiver. I have it set on audio direct bypassing any tone controls.
Posted by: wbedford

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 12:17 PM

Originally Posted By: alan
Jerry,

I've been following this thread from the beginning. Your case of finding the M3s "sibilant" is so bizarre and atypical that I've asked that your M3s be checked out in our lab when they arrive from our Michigan depot. They are expected today.

Alan


The results should be interesting...
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 12:37 PM

This just gets worse. One speaker grill has black rubber covering the silver magnetic tabs on the rear of the grill and the other grill does not!
Posted by: alan

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 12:52 PM

Just hook them up and listen to them, will you? We'll replace them with your preferred finish--Boston Cherry--if the replacement pair you received pleases you.

Try and put the history out of your mind so you don't do the listening feeling angry. Mood does affect your perception of audio quality.

Also keep in mind that lots of pop/rock CDs are mixed with a "presence peak" in the midrange, which will exaggerate sibilance on any reasonably linear speaker.

Alan
Posted by: Murph

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 01:04 PM

Tales from Atop the Volcano. Episode.... Somthinorother.


Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 01:57 PM

I played both and they sound good. Really good. But I'm really upset with the broken logo and the general shoddiness of the grills. One grill has rubber covering the silver magnetic tabs. One grill doesn't. If I were to agree to another pair in cherry can the shipping be expidited so I don't have to wait another week? And could someone at Axiom personally inspect each speaker and grill before shipping? Thanks.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 04:59 PM

Originally Posted By: alan
Jerry, I've been following this thread from the beginning. Your case of finding the M3s "sibilant" is so bizarre and atypical that I've asked that your M3s be checked out in our lab when they arrive from our Michigan depot. They are expected today.


Alan, and the answer is.......???? (drum roll)
Posted by: wbedford

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 05:14 PM

Originally Posted By: CatBrat
Originally Posted By: alan
Jerry, I've been following this thread from the beginning. Your case of finding the M3s "sibilant" is so bizarre and atypical that I've asked that your M3s be checked out in our lab when they arrive from our Michigan depot. They are expected today.


Alan, and the answer is.......???? (drum roll)


I am anxious to hear about this too. Pls share the results Alan.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 05:47 PM

We know Jerry was complaining on how much turning the volume "dial" with the M3 compared to his other speakers with the same recordings. If Jerry can repeat this process with this pair and with the same recordings, then we can distinguish if there was a defective woofer with his previous M3's or if it is just a matter of the sensitivity differences between the speakers.

Have you noticed any volume differences Jerry relative to the dial on those recordings with this new pair compared to the old?
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 05:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Dr.House
We know Jerry was complaining on how much turning the volume "dial" with the M3 compared to his other speakers with the same recordings. If Jerry can repeat this process with this pair and with the same recordings, then we he can distinguish if there was a defective woofer with his previous pair or if it is just the sensitivity differences between the speakers.

Have you noticed any volume differences Jerry relative to the dial on those recordings with this new pair?


No. I still have to turn the volume up several points higher to get the same level of volume I had with my previous speakers.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 05:51 PM

The exact same from the last pair?
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 05:51 PM

and you're not checking SPL with a meter, right?
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 05:53 PM

Pretty much. I have an Onkyo receiver. With all my previous speakers if I set the volume control to 30 it was loud enough for me. Sometimes I would even have to turn it lower than 30 on some recordings. With the M3S I have the volume control set to very close to 40 to obtain the same volume.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 05:56 PM

So you would say the two pairs are consistent in that regards? How about the sound quality? Any notable differences?
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 05:58 PM

Consistent. Sound is the same so I guess the problem lies with me and not the speakers. Of course the order I received today was less than perfect cosmetically.
Posted by: sonicfox

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 06:00 PM

Bummer about the cosmetic flaws, Jerry. But, I agree with you...when you are spending that kind of money on non-factory outlet speakers, you would expect them to look nearly perfect. I bought my speakers from a dealer a LONG time ago (when they had dealers), and while it's a minor imperfection, it bothers me that one of my binding posts doesn't have a hole drilled through it. I prefer bare wire to connect my speakers...but with that one, I can't.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 06:03 PM

The grills on the M3S seem to be the weak link with them. When they are packaged the logo is pressing up against the white memory foam strip in the box so any pressure on the outside of the box will push right up against the logo. The grills should be packaged in a seperate cardboard box inside the main box! That's probably what caused my broken logo.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 06:05 PM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
Consistent. Sound is the same so I guess the problem lies with me and not the speakers.


But you just said:

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
I played both and they sound good. Really good.

Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 06:12 PM

Originally Posted By: kcarlile
Originally Posted By: jerrymb
Consistent. Sound is the same so I guess the problem lies with me and not the speakers.


But you just said:

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
I played both and they sound good. Really good.



You know at this point I'm just tired of this so I may have misspoken. It may just be best for me to ask for a refund and move on. I've purchased $100 speakers off the internet with less problems and less cosmetic defects. The customer service has been superb as has everyone on the forum but I can't keep returning them each time a pair arrives defective. I would have kept this pair had the logo and grill not been bad.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 06:18 PM

I get the feeling that the grills are not made by the same group of people who make the speakers. The speakers are beautifully built but the grills look like they are hastily slapped together. How do these defects escape quality control?
Posted by: Dave B

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 07:10 PM

If the company is willing to replace anything that is loose or broken, why does the appearance matter at all? You make a post that says they sound "good, really good" and then say you're giving up because an M fell off? How does that make any sense?

I understand that you're frustrated with the adventure, but sometimes that stuff happens. If they sound good, keep them (or, rather, the replacements). How they sound is all that counts.
Posted by: wbedford

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 07:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave B
If the company is willing to replace anything that is loose or broken, why does the appearance matter at all? You make a post that says they sound "good, really good" and then say you're giving up because an M fell off? How does that make any sense?

I understand that you're frustrated with the adventure, but sometimes that stuff happens. If they sound good, keep them (or, rather, the replacements). How they sound is all that counts.



+1. Well said.

Hopefully Alan can post further information when he gets test results from the 1st set of speakers......
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 07:18 PM

Why does the appearance matter? I spent $330 for these speakers. I didn't just charge these to my card. I don't have a credit card. I had to save up to get these. I'm not well off. It actually took me quite awhile to save up for these. So appearance matters to me. Everything about the speakers matters to me. I just think that when you spend $330 on something these problems shouldn't keep occuring.
Posted by: sonicfox

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 07:24 PM

I wonder if you can just have them send you some new grills instead of dealing with the hassle of sending the speakers back. confused
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 07:27 PM

I thought of that. But I was supposed to get the cherry today and I got black. I thought of a lot of things. I'm just tired of having to constantly contact Axiom with a problem. I think at this point they are so disgusted with me that they'll probably suggest a refund!
Posted by: sonicfox

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 07:32 PM

Maybe you should keep the black since I know you started with black to begin with. I agree the other finishes are beautiful, but I prefer my speakers in black...because if you want to change your furnishings, black goes with everything. Also, black speakers look great along side your tv if you ever use them for home theater use. smile
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 07:36 PM

Originally Posted By: sonicfox
Maybe you should keep the black since I know you started with black to begin with. I agree the other finishes are beautiful, but I prefer my speakers in black...because if you want to change your furnishings, black goes with everything. Also, black speakers look great along side your tv if you ever use them for home theater use. smile


At this point maybe your right. I don't want to have to keep returning boxes to UPS. Axiom at this point probably thinks I'm a mental case. This has literally been the worst speaker buying expierience I've ever had.
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 07:47 PM

Jerry. You've posted here a number of times that you are frustrated and about to give up, but you don't. It seems like you really want this to be a good, no, exceptional experience and so far its been anything but.

Most of us here had a great experience with Axiom and I am sure I'm not the only one that really wants you to have the same experience.

I hear you on the money. I worked hard and saved up for my system and at the time it was a real stretch for me.

If Axioms are the right speaker for you, Axiom will make it right in the end. If you have to return them, I hope you find the speaker that really turns your crank.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 08:08 PM

How are those knopfler recordings sounding with this set? Are you hearing any sibilance?
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 08:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Dr.House
How are those knopfler recordings sounding with this set? Are you hearing any sibilance?

I'm hearing the same thing with Knopfler only when he sings a word with an S on the end of it. I guess what I originally thought was sibilance was just something that was there on the recording all along. It's just more pronounced on the M3S.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 09:10 PM

You were doing quite a bit of switching to compare - have you tried the M3s on both the Speaker A and Speaker B connections? Just grasping at straws here. You should be happy, not frustrated. If you don't like them, send them back.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 09:20 PM

They're going back. I have no choice but to wait for a refund and try something else. I just have never had an expierience like this when ordering speakers online before. I've ordered several pairs of speakers online. Some really cheap ones and they seemed to have better quality grills than the M3s. How can so much attention be paid to the actual speaker(M3s) and so very little attention be paid to the grills?
Posted by: merchman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 09:26 PM

Sorry to hear that it didn't work out for you Jerry.

Hope you find a pair of speakers the meet your expectations! smile
Posted by: JohnK

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 09:40 PM

Jerry, on the sibilance matter. I returned some items to the library Saturday and while there picked up a Bach organ recording because of a question in another thread. I also thought of your report and picked up the Knopfler 2-disc set "Private Investigations". I listened(I'd never heard him before)to Ss and Ts in particular and heard the normal amount of natural sibilance on my M22s, which should have a nearly identical upper mid-range/lower treble as the M3s. Sibilance is in fact a natural part of our speech, especially on Ss and Ts, and the "sibilance range" is roughly the 4KHz-8KHz octave. A well-recorded disc, played back on good speakers should reproduce this normal amount of sibilance, and that's what I heard.
Posted by: Dave B

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 10:17 PM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
Why does the appearance matter? I spent $330 for these speakers. I didn't just charge these to my card. I don't have a credit card. I had to save up to get these. I'm not well off. It actually took me quite awhile to save up for these. So appearance matters to me. Everything about the speakers matters to me. I just think that when you spend $330 on something these problems shouldn't keep occuring.


Oh, I know it matters. It matters to me too.

But you've already got written assurance that that part of the equation will be taken care of. Thus, to me, that renders it a non-issue when deciding whether it's the speaker you want in your system.

If you're unhappy with the sound, then by all means. Noone's going to argue with that.
Posted by: LT61

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 10:22 PM

Quote:
I've had speakers from Polk,Infinity,Cambridge Soundworks, Boston Acoustics, etc. over the years. But I was never really thrilled with them. Something always seemed to be missing from their sound. /quote]

[quote] Several years ago I had a pair of Onix xl-s speakers from AV123. I never liked them and I ended up returning them.


Quote:
What's wrong with black? I like all my speakers to be black. I don't like any other color.


Quote:
I've always bought cheap budget speakers.


Quote:
How are the highs on the M3's as far as sibilance goes? I've had some speakers where for certain artists their voices were very sibilant.


I saw this coming.....too bad.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 10:30 PM

Saw what coming? The defects in the grill and the broken logo don't exactly instill confidence in me with regards to the speaker. I've had lesser quality speakers that I was happy with. I'm not in the habit of returning speakers at all. In fact this is the first time that I've ever had to return speakers.I know that Axiom wants to make it right but I'm out of energy and frankly I don't have much confidence left when it comes to any assurances from Axiom. I appreciate Axioms efforts up until now. They have been wonderful. But what should have been a pleasant expierience has become a marathon of frustration.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 11:13 PM

I'm also wondering if maybe Axiom is experiencing some problems like every other company is experiencing and they are cost cutting. I just have a feeling that the V3's are perhaps a cheaper made product. Like using plastic on the backside of tweeters instead of metal. Not supplying the pointy tip feet anymore. Lack of proper quality control, etc.
Posted by: grunt

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 11:37 PM

Originally Posted By: LT61

I saw this coming.....too bad.


Same here.
Posted by: grunt

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 11:41 PM

Originally Posted By: CatBrat
I'm also wondering if maybe Axiom is experiencing some problems like every other company is experiencing and they are cost cutting. I just have a feeling that the V3's are perhaps a cheaper made product. Like using plastic on the backside of tweeters instead of metal. Not supplying the pointy tip feet anymore. Lack of proper quality control, etc.


Pretty huge leap from a couple of unsatisfied posters in the last month. I imagine Axiom has a reasonable sales volume. Plus considering unhappy people usually voice there opinions more than happy ones and I don’t see there’s much to read into any of this.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/27/10 11:43 PM

There could well be a couple of teething problems when the changes were made to V3 and hopefully that's all it is. I doubt if there would be much saving from switching metal to plastic on the backside of the tweeter if any. I do think that the spikes may have been "optionized" as an alternative to increasing the prices on the speakers and it seems, to me anyway, that the majority of people don't use the spikes anyway. I respectfully acknowledge that a couple of people were upset by the fact they did not receive the spikes...perhaps when a person orders, they could choose the spikes OR the rubber feet rather than Axiom shipping out both with the speaker only to see the customer using one or the other but not both, obviously.

Dean, you mentioned sales volume..I suspect that Axiom has picked up a bit since last year when we all thought the next depression was upon us and people were generally holding on to their $$.
Posted by: CV

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/28/10 12:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Adrian
perhaps when a person orders, they could choose the spikes OR the rubber feet rather than Axiom shipping out both with the speaker only to see the customer using one or the other but not both, obviously.


They probably settled on a default option in order to limit mistakes. An either/or might invite a lot of problems.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/28/10 12:46 AM

Originally Posted By: jerrymb
I thought of that. But I was supposed to get the cherry today and I got black. I thought of a lot of things. I'm just tired of having to constantly contact Axiom with a problem. I think at this point they are so disgusted with me that they'll probably suggest a refund!


I think Axiom should offer to upgrade you to a pair of M60s. JMO.

Or the Axiom mob could just all turn on you and blame you for the screw up.
Posted by: wbedford

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/28/10 09:41 AM

Originally Posted By: 2x6spds
Originally Posted By: jerrymb
I thought of that. But I was supposed to get the cherry today and I got black. I thought of a lot of things. I'm just tired of having to constantly contact Axiom with a problem. I think at this point they are so disgusted with me that they'll probably suggest a refund!


I think Axiom should offer to upgrade you to a pair of M60s. JMO.

Or the Axiom mob could just all turn on you and blame you for the screw up.


I suspect that if Alan posts "within standard tolerance" test results of the previously returned speakers, this thread could get heated. I do not believe that we will be privy to those test results either. If normal results were confirmed and posted it'd be like an indirect swipe at the OP.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/28/10 09:51 AM

An easier solution. laugh


Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/28/10 10:09 AM

Thanks for all the replys. I originally ordered the M3s. They sounded sibilant to me so some people here suggested that I ask for another pair which I did. There was also the problem with poly fill being visible in one port but not the other port. And a white wire dangling there in the open port. I spoke to Brent on the phone last week and set up the order for another pair of M3's this time in Cherry. They arrived yesterday morning. Honestly I was thrilled that I had them again and that this would be it as far as returns go. I don't enjoy returning anything. I rarely if ever return any audio equiptment. Never speakers. I never had to. I open the box and remove the first speaker. I remove the clear plastic bag the speaker is in and something small hits the floor. I pick it up and it just looked like junk at first. Until I turned it over and could see that it was part of the logo!!! The other logo on the second speaker was fine. I checked the grill and noticed the two grills were very different. One grill had black rubber coverings on the 4 silver magnetic tabs. The other didn't! But on the grill that did have the rubber coverings on the tabs two of the coverings were way of center when they were glued on the tabs! And to top it all off one of the rubber coverings was not even round to match the silver tab. It was just roughly cut and slapped on the tab. The speakers are well built. The grills cannot possibly be made or quality control checked by the same people that are doing the speaker. I've always had cheap speakers. I've slowly been building a halfway decent 2 channel system. I've had my eye on the M3s for several years. Three weeks ago I had the money and decided to do it. You would think that after the first order going back that the second order would be perfect. Like I said before I don't buy things audio related and then send them back unless something is really wrong with them. I don't normally email audio comapnys constantly with emails either. Usually when a new pair of speakers arrive I am perfectly happy with them. If you saw what I saw yesterday when I opened the box you would be scratching your head too. At this point I think Axiom should hand deliver a new pair to me! grin
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/28/10 11:12 AM

Jerry. The grills are sub standard. Nobody is going to argue with you on that. I'm sure Axiom would make it right, but I don't think there is much point.

I am going to repeat something I posted much earlier in this thread. You seem to prefer a speaker with more rolled off highs.

I would suggest you return the M3s and do some listening at local audio shops that have proper listening rooms. Start with something like the B&W 6 series as I think they would be closer to what you are looking for. Once you have found something more to your liking you have a number of options open to you.

1. Buy new and be done with it. Since money is tight, this probably won't be an option (though you never know...).

2. Look for the speaker you have found on the used market. Audiogon.com is a good place to buy used. You can also look in your local Craigs List.

3. Go to an audio site like audioholics.com, post you preference in speakers and ask for alternative recommendations. There will be tons of people willing to help you find something that fits both your budget and listening preference.

I'm confident that you can find a speaker that fits your needs and I hope you do.
Posted by: fredk

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/28/10 11:14 AM

Originally Posted By: 2x6spds

I think Axiom should offer to upgrade you to a pair of M60s. JMO.

Or the Axiom mob could just all turn on you and blame you for the screw up.

I see you have advanced from poking a big sharp stick in the eye one member at a time to the whole community at once. Nice to see you moving up in the world.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/28/10 11:41 AM

It's really fascinating how he goes from "playing nice" with members here for a few weeks to a statement like that.... time and again.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/28/10 12:09 PM

I'm sure there is a clinical definition for that behavior Mark.
Posted by: Wid

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/28/10 12:54 PM


I've been kind of looking through this dismal thread. What a waste of space.

Send the damn speakers back and buy something else for Gods sake.
Posted by: jerrymb

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/28/10 12:58 PM

Originally Posted By: wid

I've been kind of looking through this dismal thread. What a waste of space.

Send the damn speakers back and buy something else for Gods sake.


I am.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/29/10 11:57 AM

Thank you ... thank you very much. I read dr. House's post with chagrin when I realized I missed an opportunity to insult an entire nation.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/29/10 02:46 PM

Infinity just released an updated version of their Primus speakers. Here is the P363 which is based on the critically acclaimed P362.


Posted by: a401classic

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/29/10 03:57 PM

DEad horse beaten and beaten again. Let it go. Just let it go, man. Some people can't be helped.
Posted by: Spoiler

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/29/10 05:10 PM

Originally Posted By: a401classic
DEad horse beaten and beaten again. Let it go. Just let it go, man. Some people can't be helped.


I gave it a shot way back on page 14. Didn't work then... hopefully this is it. smile
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/29/10 08:06 PM

doedadoedadoedadoe DOH
Posted by: CV

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/29/10 08:12 PM

I like how it only shows the "I just ordered a pair" part of the thread title on the main page. I should probably order a pair at this point, since I'm obviously not growing a pair.
Posted by: merchman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/29/10 08:16 PM

Quote:
I'm obviously not growing a pair.


Don't tell Regina that! wink
Posted by: CV

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/29/10 08:18 PM

Ha ha, I guess I'd better go grab the letter out of the mailbox before the letter carrier comes to pick it up.
Posted by: merchman

Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers - 08/29/10 08:18 PM

laugh