Axiom M2i's or Paradigm Atoms?

Posted by: salamero

Axiom M2i's or Paradigm Atoms? - 09/16/05 08:26 PM

I'm looking for small, great sounding speakers that have at least a 5" woofer but are no taller than 12". I have not heard either since no one carries the Atoms in my area and I don't know anyone who owns Axioms.

I am familiar with the Paradigm sound and quite enjoyed it. From what I have read, the M2i's are a bit more forward which I don't mind at all. Both get ridiculously good reviews.
I do listen to alot of multichannel music. I will be running a them with a sub; a JBL PB-10.

I just want the forum's opinion as to which would be the best overall speakers in terms of accuracy, full midrange, and clarity. Also, becouse of my setup, I need speakers that are somewhat forgiving in terms of placement with a larger sweet spot. I will likely ceiling mount the mains.

I will be running them via a Yamaha 1500 and I'm upgrading from a Energy take 5.2 setup.







Posted by: bridgman

Re: Axiom M2i's or Paradigm Atoms? - 09/16/05 08:55 PM

Quick answer -- M2s are more accurate, Atoms sound better without a sub. I own both... the main thing is that I was pretty happy with the Atoms as standalone speakers but the M2s were just a bit too thin in the bass for about half of the music I listened to...

With a sub, it's a different story. The M2s are extraordinarily good with a sub, and the only reason for getting bigger speakers at all is that they won't give you that "wall of sound" SPL without serious dynamic compression.

The Atoms will play quite a bit more loudly than M2s and sound pretty darned good -- the main downside with them is what seems like a big response peak in the 150hz range... probably a side effect of the tuning that gives them decent bass and lets them play loud.

My Atoms are going to go into a mini-HT setup for my parents; I'm keeping the M2s, if that helps. Here's an old thread with my comments on a cold Toronto night just after I bought the Atoms :

http://www.axiomaudio.com/boards/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=ST&Number=74331&page=&view=&sb=&o=&vc=1

EDIT -- it's a shame your height budget can't stretch to 13.5"... I think M3s give you the best of both worlds... very nearly as accurate as the M2s, able to play loud like the Atoms, but without as much of the resonant mid-bass peak.
Posted by: donaldekelly

Re: Axiom M2i's or Paradigm Atoms? - 09/16/05 10:56 PM

Ooh - good answer and good link bridgman

Is axiom paying you for your contributions yet?

I had the Paradigm Titans, then got the M3s, now have M22s and an M2 center.

Axioms were better to my ears. Treble comparable, Paradigm had accented bass which I tired of, midrange went to the Axioms.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: Axiom M2i's or Paradigm Atoms? - 09/16/05 11:49 PM

>>Is axiom paying you for your contributions yet?

Well, I got a sausage, two hamburgers, a t-shirt and a hat at the picnic. Does that count as getting paid ?

EDIT : Three sausages, four hamburgers and a pickle if you include what my dogs cadged from the kids... although dogs don't eat the buns so not sure if that counts for full points...


Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Axiom M2i's or Paradigm Atoms? - 09/17/05 12:52 AM

Dogs don't eat buns??? My dog is crazy about bread. What kind of freak animals have you got?
Posted by: bridgman

Re: Axiom M2i's or Paradigm Atoms? - 09/17/05 01:11 AM

I'm guessing your dog is bigger than mine. Real dogs are pathetically grateful for even the dryest most boring treat... little dogs will ptooie out most food unless the fat content is high... one of the dogs will only eat fries if they are dipped in mayonnaise. No, I don't want to explain how we learned that...
Posted by: BrenR

Re: Axiom M2i's or Paradigm Atoms? - 09/17/05 04:05 AM

By the way, nice pennant and scarf collection, too!

Mine's getting up there too...

Pennants:
-FC Bayern Munchen
-Ajax
-FC Kobenhavn
-AC Sparta Praha
-SK Slavia Praha
-Viktoria Zizkov
-FC Bohemians Praha

Scarves:
-FC Bayern Munchen
-Galatasaray

Bren R.
Posted by: salamero

Re: Axiom M2i's or Paradigm Atoms? - 09/17/05 10:46 AM

Actually, I could go for the M3s since I'll probably ceiling mount the mains so I can angle them down. As you can see I'm screwed in terms of placement options.But I figured that because of the M2s are more forward sounding than the M3 they would work better in my room. No??
Posted by: salamero

Re: Axiom M2i's or Paradigm Atoms? - 09/17/05 10:51 AM

Bridgman,

I see you're using the M2 as a center. I listen to alot of music and worry about the vp100's ability at lower frequencies. Is this why you decided to use the M2 as a center?
Posted by: bridgman

Re: Axiom M2i's or Paradigm Atoms? - 09/17/05 11:36 AM

Actually I used the M2 as center because I already had M2s, didn't know squat about multichannel sound, wanted to see how much difference a center channel made, and didn't want to spend any money until I knew more. This pic was taken during a series of experiments with one and two center channels in different arrangements around the TV and was only posted here for the dogs. At the time I normally ran the M2 inverted and vertical on top of the TV where it made a very good center channel; two M2s both inverted and side by side offered more detail (yes I tried to match the volume levels) but there was something I didn't like about the configuration; never figured out what I didn't like hope it wasn't just the appearance

This was the configuration I used the most, along with old no-name towers as surrounds :



I eventually went to a VP100 center anyways; partly for the video shielding and partly because the M2s looked kinda stupid on the top of my TV (the center channel was almost half the hight of the TV). Also went with QS8 surrounds and moved the M2s back upstairs for a bedroom system (now replaced with M40s).

For a music system I would probably have stayed with the M2 (ditto for surrounds), but movies put a lot of content through the center channel so you need a fairly hefty speaker there. In hindsight I probably should have gone with VP150 -- the VP100 works fine but when I look at the energy going through each speaker the VP100 seems like it should hit its limits first.

I do prefer M2s as surrounds vs. QS8s for pure music, although (a) I haven't done proper A/B testing to confirm, (b) the difference is fairly small, (c) I think the difference is direct vs. reflecting not frequency response but again not sure.

It's probably worth pointing out that the M2's LF response is not stellar, so on one hand I have a tough time believing that there would be much difference in sound from the VP100... on the other hand there is a slight but noticeable difference in how the pink noise test tones sound between the mains and the VP100 center, presumably because of the higher bass cutoff of the VP100 relative to the M60s... next time I am really bored I will put the M2s in as mains and see what that changes. I don't think the test tones go through the crossovers so the M60 vs. VP100 difference would be exaggerated; guess I should use the Avia disk instead of the receiver tones for a better comparison.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: Axiom M2i's or Paradigm Atoms? - 09/17/05 11:52 AM

>>But I figured that because of the M2s are more forward sounding than the M3 they would work better in my room. No??

In a typical listening room, at moderate volumes, I would still go with M2 over M3 with a sub. There are a few reasons I would think about M3s for your room :

1. Your room looks to be kind of bright, with exposed walls and lots of glass. The M3 will counter that a bit...

2. I don't remember how big your room is, but if it is at least medium sized you might find the M2s start to gently hit their volume limits on some music and movies while the M3s can go a few dB louder and be more satisfying as a result.

3. I still think I can hear some kind of artifact when listening to certain music with a sub; again unproven but I do prefer listing to some music with full range speakers rather than sat/sub -- going with M3s would let you experiment with that and see what you prefer. Note this is the smallest of the considerations...

I was wondering about the M2 vs. M3 sound and eventually borrowed a pair of M3s to compare. Link to the thread below, but the executive summary was that the M2s did sound more forward but the difference was very small; the best analogy we could come up with was that M2/22/60 sound like the singer is about a foot in front of the speakers; M50s sound like the singer is a foot further away; M3s and M40s sound like the singer is perhaps a foot behind the speakers, ie two feet less "forward" than the M2/M22/M60. Bottom line is that the M2 is definitely "in your face" more than the M3 but you only really notice the difference on specific albums, particularly albums with female vocalists and acoustic instruments. Take all this with a grain of salt, of course.

http://www.axiomaudio.com/boards/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=ST&Number=86248&page=&view=&sb=&o=&vc=1
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Axiom M2i's or Paradigm Atoms? - 09/17/05 01:29 PM

Good point-- the 50s do generally sound like the singer is in the plane of the speakers. Then again, it sounds pretty much like that in Stereo or in DTS Neo:6. DPL2 Music on the other hand, sounds like they just got locked in the other room... But that's a different conversation. I've never heard the M2s or the M3s, but the M22s are very very nice.
Posted by: thyname

Re: Axiom M2i's or Paradigm Atoms? - 09/17/05 11:48 PM

I didn't know we had a soccer fan here (apart from myself)!!!
Posted by: BrenR

Re: Axiom M2i's or Paradigm Atoms? - 09/18/05 04:42 AM

Yup, I bleed Bayern red.

Bren R.
Posted by: salamero

Re: Axiom M2i's or Paradigm Atoms? - 09/18/05 10:59 AM

I'm a huge soccer fan!
Posted by: 500

Re: Axiom M2i's or Paradigm Atoms? - 09/19/05 03:24 PM

LIVERPOOL!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: BrenR

Re: Axiom M2i's or Paradigm Atoms? - 09/19/05 03:29 PM

In reply to:

LIVERPOOL!!!!!!!!!!!



We said soccer... FA teams need not apply.

Bren R.
Posted by: thyname

Re: Axiom M2i's or Paradigm Atoms? - 09/19/05 03:32 PM

I watch and enjoy both English Premier League and Italian Seria A. I am actually happy that I can watch them in TV here in the States. No need to mention that I don't miss European Champions' League (thank God ESPN2 is broadcasting live two games a week this year, compared to only one before!!!) and the World Cup.

Forza Inter!!!!! They will make it this year, I am very confident.