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#101099 - 07/02/05 09:17 AM M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very long
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
Well I finally got to listen to some Axiom speakers. To be more specific I got to listen to squirrelyz’s (hereafter referred to as Billy) Epic 60 350 setup. I believe he has upgraded the center channel to the 150 but I’m not certain about that. Anyway I thought I would post my first impressions.

First I would like thank Billy for making me feel so welcome in his home. Since I was arriving around dinner time I brought some beer and pizza. Somehow in our emails to try to get the evening set up Billy mentioned not being able to do it earlier because he had a photo shoot blah, blah, blah. This freaked me out because I’m a photographer also. As a matter of fact the first two people I made connections with in the forums both turned out to be photographers. How weird is that? So When I got to his place we had a couple of beers and slices and talked about our respective areas of the biz for a while before getting down to the audition. Billy is a great guy. He seemed very laid back and I felt comfortable right from the get go. Billy… thanks again and I hope you’ll take me up on the tour of the studio and lunch. Give me a call whenever it’s a good time for you. Now on to the audition.

I explained that while I wanted to hear the whole system with DVD and 5.1 that I was most interested in the M60’s and stereo playback first. He set the system to “direct” and took the sub out of the mix. I brought some carefully selected cd’s chosen for their high quality mastering and sonic qualities. Billy loaded them up into his Sony 5 disc player and after pointing me to the sweet spot he handed me the remote and we began.

I listen to all sorts of music but I find I listen to jazz, folk & blues , classical and adult alternative ( I hate that classification) the most. We need to come up with a better name for that genre. I just mean singer/songwriter or rootsy stuff. I started the audition with Marcus Roberts “The Truth is Spoken Here” this is Marcus’s debut from 1989. It is an incredible album and if you haven’t heard it I highly recommend it. Marcus is an outstanding piano player who on this CD is accompanied by Reginald Veal on bass Wynton Marsalis on trumpet and Elvin Jones on drums. That is some nice company for his debut album eh? This CD was chosen for two reasons
1. The difficulty of reproducing the piano faithfully and
2. there are two cuts on this CD which feature some amazing cymbal work with both brushes and sticks by Jones.
I was concerned by the volume of posts that the “Sibilence” thread generated here recently. So I wanted to thoroughly test this out for myself. The 60’s, to my ears and the ears of both Billy and Tom(my audiophile friend from work), passed with flying colors. This was especially interesting because the floors in Billy’s listening area are hard wood partially covered with an area rug. The walls were clear with the exception of a framed prints here and there. A leather couch and chair completed the room. I don’t believe there were any window treatments or absorbent wall hangings anywhere. In addition to the cymbal work the piano tinkling in the upper registers sounded vividly detailed and rhythmically true. The upright bass with it’s walking beat sounded full and tight enough on this type of music. Although there was nothing here to really push the lowest lows. That test would come later. So we were off to a very nice start. I gotta tell ya the “Sibilance” thread nearly scared me off the Axiom brand but listening to Jones on those cymbals and hearing all that detail in the piano lines never left me feeling that the tweeters were over aggressive or fatiguing.

Next up was one of my favorites, Cassandra Wilson’s “Blue Light ‘til Dawn” Actually if I could only use one CD to audition a pair of speakers This might very well be the one I would use. It has everything, acoustic & national resphonic guitar, deep deep upright bass, velvety vocals, violin, percussion, clarinet and accordion and then some. Suffice to say that this recording is a sonic delight full of surprises and starts. One cut Black Crow has no less than six percussionists playing. The percussionists span the soundstage from right to left and back in broad sweeping strokes. Bells, whistles, triangle and wood block strikes, all faithfully and to my ears accurately revealed on the M60’s. It was this this CD that made me ask Billy to be sure that the sub was not in the mix. The acoustic bass went so low. He assured me that it wasn’t but I had to get up and check anyway. Cassandra voice occupied center stage while this myriad of percussion instruments swirled around her. It was quite incredible and produced goose bumps.

Now it was time to test some male vocals. I wanted to make sure the M60’s did not produce that “chesty” sound I hear on so many speakers. My test CD for this was a Delos live recording. It’s called Joe Williams & Friends June1985 “I Just Want to Sing”. Joe has a big deep sound to his voice anyway and I wanted to see how the speakers would handle it. Well he sounded like velvet. Deep, rich and smooth as can be, but never chesty or unnatural sounding. I have loved this recording for years but I have never heard it sound quite so good. This CD could just have easily been titled “I Just Want to Swing” because that is exactly what these cats do.

Most people recognize Gil Evans for his collaborations with Miles Davis during his modal period. Evans is a master of sound and timbre. He approaches his arrangements like a master painter with broad strokes of color and shading. Evans and Ellington are my favorites for this style. Sit back, close your eyes and watch the colors fly. The CD is called Helen Merrill, Gil Evans “Collaboration”. It’s on Emarcy and was released in 1986. Be warned on this one that Helen Merrill’s vocal style is very laid back. She was nick named the “sigh of new york”. My wife has told me she thinks the CD is a cure for insomnia. While it is for the most part very low key Merrill has a sense of time and measure that makes her unique. There are some up tempo tunes on the disc and it was one of those that I wanted to hear on the 60’s. The Roger’s and Hammerstein classic “People Will Say We’re In Love” kicks in with a full orchestra attack at a very up tempo pace and then Merrill comes in with the opening verse and slows it down just a notch as if to say ok boys let’s not rush it I want to savor this. Evan’s shows some great arranging for the full orchestra and Jimmy Knepper has a fine trombone solo before the band wraps it up. The track is only 2:49 but it is soooo good. I briefly scanned through some of the other tracks just to get a feel. Then I figured I better get this off before Billy fell asleep.

At this point I figured I better pick up the pace a little bit. Emmy Lou Harris
Crescent City from Cowgirl’s Prayer would be just the thing. I can’t get enough of this great tune. The band opens up hard and Emmy Lou sounds like she is at the top of her game. Sam Bush’s (no relation to the singing Bush) fiddle solo conjures up smells of jambalaya and seafood gumbo. Spicy!

At the beginning of this diatribe (you’d think I was getting paid by the word) I mentioned liking folk and acoustic music. I had to test that out too, so I brought another one of my favorites, Joni Mitchell. Most of Joni’s stuff has been re-released on HDCD. I have read that HD processing is transparent when played back on players that use 16 bit decoding.
Well I have to say that I do not think that is the case. When I play Mitchell’s “Hits” HDCD on my Music Hall HDCD player at home it sounds fabulous. Even through my less than stellar 901’s. Hey at least I didn’t use the B word! My apologies to the forum censors, it won’t happen again. Any way on Billy’s system and through the M60’s my favorite track “Raised on Robbery” sounded thin and anemic. I quickly shuffled through a few of the other tracks and it was the same thin sound. I wished I had the Music Hall to try it through the M60’s. But that might require a 30 day in home demo. 8>)
Anyway if anyone has any thoughts on HDCD’s played on regular CD players or DVD players I would love to hear them. It was very surprising and the only disappointment in the trials.

We put the sub back in the mix and went back over some of the same material. Especially the Cassandra Wilson track mentioned above where I thought the sub was on. There was quite a difference. Like so many others have said if I buy the 60’s I would probably ideally run them with a sub. But based on their stand alone performance I do not think I would be in any great rush to add it. I don’t think I’d missing much in most of the music I like to listen to. I would love for Axiom to come out with a model with an 8 inch woofer or two that still maintains the clean mids and high’s. No artificial bump down bottom and a beautiful wood veneer I would be all over that.

Next Billy put the settings of his system back to normal. It was time to hear the full HT set up. He started us with the opening scene to Saving Ryan’s Privates. No, no check that! It was the other one. The sound was incredible Tom and I were enveloped in the sound . The bullets were making me jump. I had forgotten how incredibly horrifying that opening segment is. Actually the only time I saw that movie it was on regular 27 “ TV. No surround. It was too much for me. I felt a little ill after that. Next up Billy treated us to a segment of the David Gilmore in concert DVD. Multi channel sound with the QS8’s was very nice. I was thinking if my stereo music only system should grow to a multi channel due to interest in SACD or DVD A, I was going to go with 60’s or 80’s with 22’s and a 500 sub for closer timbre matching. Not sure if I would go with a center channel or run it in phantom. Do you guys have any thoughts on that?

So my overall impressions of the Axiom60ti’s were very positive.
Decent appearance though I would like a wood veneer better and I for one would be willing to pay more.
The middle frequency handling very, very good. Axiom really got it right here. Perhaps a little forward but definitely not agressive
The high’s… again very nice. In spite of trying to introduce sibilance through bright source material, pushing the volume etc. I could not detect any sibilance in the high or upper mid frequency’s. No fatigue here. Ssssorry guys! It just wasn’t there.
The bass was better than I thought. Clean and tight and I think enough for most kinds of music. Billy had his speakers very far off the wall. I wondered how much boost one would get by moving those rear ports a little closer to the wall. I would experiment with that in my own set up. Not sure if I would add a sub at this point or not.
I would want to live with them for a while and listen to a lot more music before making that decision. Words that came to mind when listening to the 60’s
Clean, Detailed, a “little” forward but not aggressive, rhythmic or time coherent your choice, accurate, great sound stage, airy and an ability to disappear. Did I say detailed?
I hate to add the value qualifier. In every review I read about Axiom speakers they say it is one of the best speaker in that price range. I’m not particularly budget driven. If I like the 3,000 dollar speaker better that is what I’ll get. That said I have never been opposed to paying less for equal quality. I couldn’t help thinking while I was listening that this speaker set cost $900.00. These speakers can run with the big boys and they may actually be a step ahead of some of them


Now I guess it’s time for the mandatory disclaimer. I do not work for nor am I related to anyone who works for Axiom. For that matter I don’t even own any Axiom products. Yet! So does this mean that I will be placing my order for the 60’s. Very possibly, but not yet. There are still a few other speakers to demo. Though I have to admit, it has been very hard to restrain myself from picking up the phone and ordering.

Speakers I have tested:

Paradigm Reference 100v3(very nice if I had had the money in my pocket I probably would have walked out of the shop with them)
Meadowlark Blue Heron (Hey! I can dream can’t I?)
Totem Acoustic (nice)
Triangle Celius (very nice) I could get this at a steep discount. May return for a second listen. Beautiful finish.
Sonus Faber Grand Piano (I wanted to like these. The demo set up at Hi Fi Buys was bad The speaker did not impress me. I think it was the poor listening area not the speaker. The sales guy said I could take them home for a weekend trial. I may do that.
Vienna Acoustic (very nice) Had my friend’s in my house for about a month trial.
Martin Logan (barf)
Axiom 60’s (very nice) They hold their own in some very good company.

Speakers I still want to test
Spendor
B&W
Revel
Monitor Audio

Sorry this got so long. If you have any thoughts on my points above I would love to hear them. Especially on the HDCD issue and my thoughts on timbre matching setup for SACD and DVD A listening.
Thanks
oz


_________________________
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101100 - 07/02/05 09:36 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very long
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13311
Loc: Iowa
Great review Oz, and I'm glad you were able to find someone to audition Axioms. I like to use Diana Kralls "Live in Paris" 6.1 DVD also, feels like I was right their on stage.

I know the veneer's topic comes up from time to time. You have to admit though, for veneer, it is probably the best finish you'll see out there. Keep in mind, Axiom does offer a variety of custom finishes for a small charge, if you don't want the standard colors.

Again, very great review, and I'm glad it turned out so positive. Axiom makes fabulous speakers.

Randy

60s 150 350 4-Qs8's
Denon 2805
Sanyo Z2 projector
Panasonic S97S Dvd
Samsung HD OTA

_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#101101 - 07/02/05 10:06 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
Oh yeah... there is no doubt that the veneer is about as good as I have seen. I guess I should have noted that it was a minor quibble. Actuallly I think the look of the speaker is great regardless of the finish. I have checked out the custom finishes, but I think the Boston cherry is the closest to our furnishings. I'm fine but the wife's skin crawls when I tell her the finish is vinyl even though I have shown her photos.
oz
_________________________
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101102 - 07/02/05 10:16 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very long
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6214
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Just a GREAT write up, Oz. Loved it.
_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#101103 - 07/02/05 10:17 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very long
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6717
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.
It is a good one.
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#101104 - 07/02/05 10:28 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very long
craigsub Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 1306
Very well done.
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Remember, this is a HOBBY

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#101105 - 07/02/05 12:08 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very long
bugbitten Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 04/06/05
Posts: 2339
Loc: Madisonville, KY
Ditto!

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#101106 - 07/02/05 01:05 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very long
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7373
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Wow, great write-up Oz! Sounds like your gonna be pretty busy listening to all those speakers. You lucky dog!
Thanks for the review of the M60s. Very refreshing to hear detailed descriptions of the sound.
_________________________
***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#101107 - 07/02/05 01:42 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
F107plus5 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 2034
Loc: Fla. Orig. Mich.
Wow! Great review!

Reguardless of whether you get a pair of M60s or not, you gotta stick around and at least contribute info on whatever you do run across!!

Good job!!

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#101108 - 07/02/05 01:49 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very long
bray Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 1791
Loc: Colorado
Nice write-up Oz.
Glad you finally got to hear the M60s.
Sounds like your having fun on your quest, keep us posted.
_________________________
LIFE IS SHORT.
DON'T BE A DICK.

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#101109 - 07/02/05 02:05 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very long
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10675
Loc: Central NH
Great Review!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#101110 - 07/02/05 02:08 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very long
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6214
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
In reply to:

I was thinking if my stereo music only system should grow to a multi channel due to interest in SACD or DVD A, I was going to go with 60’s or 80’s with 22’s and a 500 sub for closer timbre matching. Not sure if I would go with a center channel or run it in phantom. Do you guys have any thoughts on that?


I realized I had forgotten to address this question. 80's or 60s with 22s as rears would be a great system. I would prefer to have a center, but there are those around here who prefer a phantom center. Your call.

As far as the surrounds go, it would depend on your ratio of movie watching relative to SACD/DVD-A listening. The QS8s are such great surround speakers that you don't lose much when using them for SACD/DVD-A. It's just my opinion, but I think you would lose less using QS8s for SACD/DVD-A (I've done this), than you would using 22s for movies. On the other hand, though I've not had 22s as rears, others have, and have made good reports.

_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#101111 - 07/02/05 02:30 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very long
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10675
Loc: Central NH
If you listen alone and sat exactly in the sweet spot, the lack of a center may not be a problem. But remember how often vocals are mixed to the center on mult-channel recordings and weigh that importance "into the mix".

Personally, I would want to be able to move a foot or two left or right on occasion!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#101112 - 07/02/05 03:00 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
Jack
Thanks for commenting on the multi channel audio pice of my review. My impression was that the QS8 would be very good. When we listened to David Gilmore DVD it was great. My buddy Tom from work whom I mention in the review is so adament that not only the drives have to be matched but the cabinets design and size must be exact as well. I guess I was just looking for others views on this. I don't think I'm quite as anal as that but wanted to hear opinions.
Now does anyone have any thoughts on the dissapointing HDCD experience also mentioned.
Thanks
oz
_________________________
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101113 - 07/02/05 03:06 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
Mark
I'm sure you are right. In due time. In due time. Everyone is so impressed with the wide soundstage I just thought. But your right they are mixing the tracks for that center channel. But maybe I won't miss it too much while I save my allowance. 8>)
I'm not even sure I will get into multi channel at this point. As close to perfection as I can afford in 2 channel is my goal right now.
oz
_________________________
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101114 - 07/02/05 03:11 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
Thanks I may just do that. This is a great group. I have learned so much from you guys. What I relly like is when something starts to get a little heated someone chimes in with some comic relief. I have seen it more than a few times. Reminds me of U2's "How to Diffuse an Atomic Bomb" You guys are great
oz
_________________________
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101115 - 07/02/05 03:13 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7373
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
I've found that some older recordings sound bad on "good" speakers. It doesn't really matter if it is HDCD or SACD--if it wasn't recorded well to begin with nothing can improve it much. My brother-in-law brought over one of his Billy Joel SACDs and it really sounded thin and anemic on my speakers. What you may end up getting with some CDs is a "high definition" reproduction of a poorly mastered recording. It's like putting turtle wax on an old rusty VW (I used to own one ). I know, not the greatest analogy, but I'm in a hurry. Gotta go to work. . .
_________________________
***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#101116 - 07/02/05 03:53 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
Yeah it takes a lot of running around to find this stuff. I'm glad I'm in a decent sized city. Don't know what I'd do if I lived in Fumbuck or somewhere like that. Actually can't wait till its all over and I know what I'm getting.
oz
_________________________
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101117 - 07/02/05 03:58 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
Thanks Brey
How is that booking working out? Hope all is well with you. I know things are picking up around here. It was fun in the beginning but I just want to make a decision and get them. I keep telling myself to be patient.
_________________________
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101118 - 07/02/05 04:10 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6214
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
In reply to:

I'm not even sure I will get into multi channel at this point.


Well if you ever DO, do NOT make Diana Krall's "When I Look Into Your Eyes" SACD, or for that matter, ANY of her multichannel recordings, the first multichannel disc you listen too. That's what I did. Her SACDs are so well mixed and mastered that I've yet to find any that sound as good, and it's driving me NUTS (I know, I know! For me, it's a short drive )
_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#101119 - 07/02/05 04:18 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
biggsly5000 Offline
local

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 205
Loc: Atascocita, TX
You definitely like to try out speakers. I am kind of lazy myself, I listened to some stuff at CC and BB and was not impressed, read a lot of reviews and said "Hell with it, if they suck I will send them back". I also went to a couple of "high end" shops but the prices and the attitudes were a real turn off. I wound up with the M80's and I actually boost the treble a little and my ears have yet to bleed, imagine that! I never noticed a problem with sibilance either. I think these are the best speakers I have ever heard personally, and would pull a Tharkun if I had the money. I guess the money factor was a issue for me, I can't justify spending more than 5 or 600 on a speaker no matter how good they are at this financial point in my life, and maybe never will anyway. Be sure to post and let us know what you wind up with, sounds like you will be pretty well informed. Thanks for the CD ideas too. I am making a list of cd's that people use to test music and am going to start buying or at least listening to a lot of new music I have never listened to before. There are so many different kinds of music and different artists in each category it is hard to just pick one at random and have it be something you like. Thanks for the ideas.
_________________________
M80ti's, VP150, QS8's

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#101120 - 07/02/05 05:32 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very long
tigweld Offline
buff

Registered: 10/14/04
Posts: 42
oz350Oz,

I have found HDCDs to sound very transparent on regular 16 bit decoders, however I agree they often sound thin. Maybe we have different ideas about the term transparent. To me, if refers more to the midrange and top end than the bass. Not that bass can't be transparent, it's just that bass transparancy comes from cues that are higher in the frequency range (skin of the drum, fingers on strings, etc.) 20 bit decoding always sounds much richer to me. Also I think dedicated cd players typically have more drive (16 or 20 bit) than the common dvd player.

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#101121 - 07/02/05 08:44 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
In reply to:

To me, if refers more to the midrange and top end than the bass. Not that bass can't be transparent, it's just that bass transparancy comes from cues that are higher in the frequency range (skin of the drum, fingers on strings, etc.)

In reply to:



Tig
What i meant was the people behind HDCD have said (and I'm para-phrasing here) Don't worry if you see the HDCD label on a CD and you don't have the hardware that decodes HDCD format. The disc will play on machines that decode 16 bit and you won't hear any difference. The disc I played at Billy's sounded thin and almost anemic. Yet when I play that disc or any of my HDCD's on my Music Hall they sound great.

When I think of transparency in terms of a speaker I think that nothing about the limitations of the speaker,cross over,enclosure,grill or for that matter the mastering during the original recording session etc. etc, gets in the way of the sound. We all have our perception of what an instrument or a live show sounds like. If we want total transparency then we want the sound of our speaker to have... well no... actually we don't want our speaker to have any sound at all. We want no color or brand characteristic whatsoever. When I listen I want to close my eyes and have the speaker box disappear. That is transparency.

What you were referring to, skin of the drum and fingers sliding across the fret board are what I refer to as detailed. The M60's to me are very detailed speakers. Transparency on the other hand is (to me anyway) an absolute lack of detail. It's an absence of anything at all. I don't know if that even makes sense. Transparency in a recording or in a CD or HDCD player I can only explain this way. Let me take classical because it is the best example. You know when there are extreme quiet passages or long pauses where there is no music or a slow build up of music. Most electronics wil have noise audible in those sections. It can be very noticeable if you use good headphones. I have heard those quiet passages referred to as black space. The darker that black space is the more transparent the recording or the components are. The noise I'm referring to is unwanted noise. A live recording that contains the sounds of the hall and the occasional cough or foot kicking a mike stand can still be be very transparent.

That said, I love transparency in my speakers and I love detail in them as well. Axiom has both. Anyway I am not an authority on any of this. This is strictly my take on things.
oz

_________________________
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101122 - 07/02/05 08:48 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
In reply to:

pull a Tharkun if I had the money

In reply to:


Sorry?

_________________________
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101123 - 07/02/05 08:53 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
Jack
Second time mentioning that. I like her sound. I'll jhave to get that. But I promise I won't listen to it right away.
_________________________
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101124 - 07/02/05 08:58 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6717
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.
Tharkun ( Dennis ) runs 5 M80s and 2 QS8s in his system.I almost forgot,he also has 2 EP 600s.
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#101125 - 07/02/05 09:03 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
That's just another reason I like these forums. We can help each other steer clear of bad products. Let's not forget how many times do these labels have to profit from basically the same performance. Vinyl,8 track, cassette,cd, sacd, dvd. Ok, yeah so what, I'm old enough to remember and have spent my hard earned cash on 8 track. Some of those I had to buy 3 times just because the deck ate the tape. God I love CD's
oz
_________________________
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101126 - 07/02/05 09:07 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6214
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
In reply to:

Sorry?


Heh Heh! Tharkun, is the screen name of a very nice member of the forum named Dennis who has a remarkable Axiom system consisting of 2 M80s for the left and right manis, 1 M80 for a center channel, 2 QS8s for surrounds, and 2 M80s for rear surrounds. He tops that off with 2, count 'em, TWO, EP600 subwoofers. We are all convinced that the next California earthquake will be caused by Dennis playing the 1812 Overture at his normal listening volume.



EDIT: Rick has faster (but fatter) fingers than I do. Cut me some slack cuz I included a photo.
_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#101127 - 07/02/05 09:10 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
Holey Eardrum Batman
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"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101128 - 07/02/05 09:11 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6717
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.

I was just to lazy to look for the pics .Ya got to give Jack credit,I just hope my fingers still work when I get as old as him
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#101129 - 07/02/05 09:14 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6214
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Sigh! I don't get no respect.
_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#101130 - 07/02/05 09:16 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6717
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.

Ya know we love ya Jack .
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#101131 - 07/02/05 09:22 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
tigweld Offline
buff

Registered: 10/14/04
Posts: 42
If the detail is transparent, then we really have transparency. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know my experience listening to HDCDs played back on 16 bit decoders agrees with your own - thin sounding bass to be sure. I have also had bad luck with some dual layer (SACD/Redbook) disc as well.

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#101132 - 07/02/05 09:50 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta

That's what I'm talking about.
_________________________
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101133 - 07/02/05 10:19 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5256
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
re: Dennis (Tharkun)'s system -- don't forget the stack of big-ass Halo power amps that keep the voice coils glowing gently. Dennis also did some very nice carpentry and design for the cabinets and shelves that house everything. Here's a link to the site :

http://www.numenor.org/haxiom.html

Pmbuko and kcarlyle have visited Dennis, heard the system, and were duly impressed. Apparently it was too heavy to carry out the door (even in 10 or more trips) so they left it there.

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#101134 - 07/02/05 10:34 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17696
Loc: NoVA
Yeah, we didn't bring the right vehicle for it. If we'd come in the station wagon(s) we could have had some reeeally nice setups. Although we'd probably be fighting over who got the QS8s, EP600, and the 5th M80.
_________________________
I didn't do it, no one saw me, you can't prove anything.

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#101135 - 07/02/05 10:51 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5256
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
BTW sorry about mis-spelling your name. I realized after the 15 minute edit limit had passed...

I thought EP600's came with wheels. Did you not have a trailer hitch ?

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#101136 - 07/02/05 11:12 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
thyname Offline
aficionado

Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 552
Loc: Oakton, VA
Wow, this seems to be a very popular thread - so many post in less than a day I haven't visited Axiom boards.

Great review Oz, very professional!! Great you have the patience to wait and audition so many other speakers. I didn't, I ordered my M60s same Sunday evening after I auditioned them at captPikard's, and I am not sorry. However, I auditioned a few other speakers such the usual ones in BB and CC and Tweeters, B&W 6xx, 7xx, and 8xx series, Boston Ac., and Paradigm studio reference 100 V3.

Very glad you did not notice the sibilance, very important. It may be some recordings, but I have ended up to believe that in my case is my room accoustics to blame (large window area, openings to kitchen and foyer, walls, etc).

Good luck with your decision, and please, keep us posted.
_________________________
Axiom M60s, QS4s, VP100 Onkyo TX-SR804 Oppo 970HD Rotel RB-1080/RCD-1072 REL Q150E sub, PS 3

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#101137 - 07/03/05 12:04 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17696
Loc: NoVA
Nah, for some reason Peter hasn't put one on his Maxima. Can't think why not. No worries on the name, it's been worse. Usually is, on the phone.
_________________________
I didn't do it, no one saw me, you can't prove anything.

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#101138 - 07/03/05 09:03 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
thyname
Well I'm about done. It's getting hard not to pull the trigger. But I must hear the Spendor first. I heard so many good things about them. It's hard to explain I almost have a bias and I've never even heard them. But I don't blame you for ordering the 60's right after hearing them. All the way home after listening to Bill'y I kept saying "I'm gonna do it" Oh just go ahead and order them what are you waiting for?"

I would be very interested in your impressions of the 60's versus the Paradigm 100's if you get a chance. I was very impressed with the 100's and if I had a check book or charge card at the time I would have bought them on the spot. Many have commented on my patience and how do I do it. Well my secret is out . When I go to hear a speaker I leave the credit cards and check book at home
Later,
oz
_________________________
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101139 - 07/03/05 10:06 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6214
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
In reply to:

When I go to hear a speaker I leave the credit cards and check book at home.


OOOOOOOOOOOO! Good Thinking! Wish I'd thought of that. Of course if you're looking at Axioms or other internet brands on your home computer, what are ya gonna do?

_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#101140 - 07/03/05 10:28 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
Jack
I thought you liked me. You had to point that out. Damn puters make shopping to easy. Now if they could just make decisions for me.
oz
_________________________
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101141 - 07/03/05 11:02 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4733
Loc: western canada
That's a good review Oz, very thorough.
The post on sibilance was a subject still under discussion, but the long and short is that the speakers don't make the sibilance. That comes from the recording.
A speaker could make a bright sound, if it had peaks in the upper frequency ranges. The recording could also be bright, if it were mixed with a bumped treble.
I do find the Axioms to be forward in their presentation. I have never found them to be sibilant.
I recently tested, in A/B blind format, the M40, M60 and some Tannoy Definitions D700s to review these ideas, and will post the last results later in the thread.
The M60s are an excellent speaker for their price, but they are certainly not the only speaker of quality out there. The rest of your expected auditions should prove to be interesting. The A/B switcher i recently borrowed has been extremely helpful in elucidating the difference in sound character b/w speakers without having to rely on audio memory (notablly unreliable method).
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"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#101142 - 07/03/05 11:39 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
Hey Chess!
Yes... I have been following that thread closely. I will keep checking. That has been the problem, all of my testing is not A/B switching. So I am left to memory, which by the way is not so good anymore. Too many senior moments these days. Anyway it gives a good overall impression hearing these different speakers. At least I'll feel like I did my homework.
oz
_________________________
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101143 - 07/03/05 10:37 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
thyname Offline
aficionado

Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 552
Loc: Oakton, VA
Yes Oz, I actually liked the Paradigm 100s, they were good. Comparing them to Axioms they had a "bigger" bass, not necessary better. I like the "refrained' and tigh bass of Axioms. Also, I had the impression they had a better soundstage, but again, this was at dealers' room, and I know they have all the acoustics treatment and so on. I almost bought them (able to get them down to $2100) but I decided to wait. I promised myself that I'd buy something close to their sound (Axioms ARE close in sound with them) and cheaper, and here I found: AXIOMS!!

As for sibilance, I don't think it is only on the recordings. As I said, and after talking to people who know much more on audio than me, my room has bad acoustics. A simple test somebody tought me: clap your hands, does the sound hurt your ear? here you go... (I know sounds dummy but a simple test it is). Besides, before I got my Axioms I had a pair of JBL Northridge E60s floorstanders with my Rotel Stereo receiver that I don't have any more, and never had a problem with sibilance. I am not saying the JBL are great, and of course there is a reason I sold them, but... Anybody can explain this?!
_________________________
Axiom M60s, QS4s, VP100 Onkyo TX-SR804 Oppo 970HD Rotel RB-1080/RCD-1072 REL Q150E sub, PS 3

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#101144 - 07/03/05 10:58 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6214
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
It is my opinion that the higher a speaker's quality, the more revealing it is, and the more important becomes the quality of what's on that little disc that goes into your DVD/CD player. As long as there is no mixing and mastering standard to which each disc must be held, some discs are going to sound better than others.

Axioms are very accurate, revealing speakers and some discs will NOT sound good on them. But, the majority will sound exceptional. Lesser speakers, like your JBLs will tend to level things out, rendering the "UGH" factor of a poorly mixed or mastered disc acceptable. But, likewise, they will diminish the "WOW" factor of a fabulously wonderful disc, reducing it to..........well..........only acceptable.

So, with quality speakers, even though some discs will sound "teeth gnashing, fingernail on chalk board, irritating," once you've experienced "goosepimpling, hair raising, breath taking incredible," it's mighty damned difficult to settle for every disc sounding merely "acceptable."

Just my theory.

_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#101145 - 07/04/05 12:29 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4733
Loc: western canada
thyname,
The definition of sibilance is (from www.thefreedictionary.com):
sib·i·lant Pronunciation (sb-lnt)
adj.
Of, characterized by, or producing a hissing sound like that of (s) or (sh)

Sibilance is not found in the sound of a clapping hand. Sibilance is only in voices in a recording. It is part of speech, not part of an exact sound frequency but instead varies by individual voice. Sound frequencies in general can be affected by their environment but the S will always be in the English language no matter how high or low it is pronounced by the human voice.
Often cymbols are deemed 'sibilant' because the sound they make is similar to a sss type sound one could pronounce, although it is not the same. The cymbol sound may however cross into a frequency range similar to that of most human voices on average.
I knew a guy once who could make trumpet sounds pretty effectively, but it was still no where near a real trumpet.

I have to agree with Jack. It is likely the JBL speakers have a wicked dip or huge hump which is masking a common range of vocal sounds or instrument sounds making the harsh notes seem less harsh. Turning down the treble knob does the same thing, but you lose alot of detail with such methods.
An A/B test with both speakers would be more useful in determining if this is such a huge difference b/w these models. Going by audio memory is notably unreliable and therefore near impossible to answer questions like "why when i added this component did such a sonic character disappear/appear...etc.".
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#101146 - 07/04/05 07:59 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10675
Loc: Central NH
Ba-ba-ba Benny and the Jetsssssssss....
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#101147 - 07/04/05 11:49 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
chess
I don't think that thyname was implying that hand claps are sibilant by nature. I think he was implying that the brightness of his room might be contributing to his sss problems. On every speaker demo I have conducred the first thing I do when I get in the room in clad my hands together once. The echo factor tells me much about the liveleness of the room. In the original post of the review I mentioned the Sonus Faber and the Martin Logan demo rooms had so much echo I asked the sales person how he expected to sell speakers costing this much money demoing them is such an acoustic cave. They might as well set them up in the tile bathroom. Excuse if I misunderstood your comment but I think the hand clap is a good start to any audition.
oz
_________________________
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101148 - 07/04/05 11:53 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
Jack
Well said! These are trade offs. I guess we have to decide what we're looking for in the audio experience. I want all the details of the recording. If the recording sounds like crap I will then try to adjust as best I can or I just won't play that disc as often as I might if it were mastered better.
oz
_________________________
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101149 - 07/04/05 02:27 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3820
Loc: Up yonder
Oz,

I wouldn’t let the whole Sibilance thing scare you off. Chess described my issues exactly when he mentioned cymbal crashes and them being in the same frequency range, which is the irritant I have with some of my music. I wasn’t bitching about the speakers in that thread, but just trying to learn a thing or two. It basically boils down to the fact that some CD’s will sound like crap on the 60’s. And I’ll even wager that those same CD’s will sound like crap on any bright/detailed speaker. When I listen to those CD’s, I bump up the bass a little, and it sounds just fine. If hard rock/metal was all that I listen to, then I’d probably get a different set of speakers. But I listen to just about everything, and just about everything sounds great to me. Jazz and blues in particular. The instruments sound as if the musicians were in my living room. I do not regret buying the 80’s, not one bit, and am perfectly content to keep them. I have absolutely no desires to rush out and buy something different. When I buy a second system for the HT room, it’ll most likely be an Axiom system too. Excellent customer service has become something that I will not sacrifice any more. I have enough BS in my life to where I don’t need to deal with warrantee claims and pissy service reps. Just that aspect alone makes Axiom a brand of choice for me. Making a great sounding speaker is just the icing on the cake. If someone were to drop a set of Studio 100’s on my floor and ask to trade my 80’s, I’d trade them. But not because I prefer the way they sound, just the way they look. And then I’d regret it, because I’d loose some comfort over sacrificing customer service.

_________________________


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#101150 - 07/04/05 09:59 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
thyname Offline
aficionado

Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 552
Loc: Oakton, VA
Thank you Ozz for correcting Chess about the sibilance issue and clapping - nothing to do with each-other. I mentioned clapping just an example of a simple test for room acoustics, and that's all I meant, just to illustrate the problems with my listening room.

I posted the sibilance issue in Club Rotel as well, and I got many responses. It makes more and more sense to blame my room acoustics. I like my M60s and would probably keep purchasing Axiom when I build my HT. Again, Ozz, I didn't mean to scare anybody off with the sibilance issue, I am sure that I would experience the same with other nice, accurate speakers similar to Axioms.

And, BTW, I totally agree with some of the comments made on JBLs.
_________________________
Axiom M60s, QS4s, VP100 Onkyo TX-SR804 Oppo 970HD Rotel RB-1080/RCD-1072 REL Q150E sub, PS 3

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#101151 - 07/05/05 12:23 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4733
Loc: western canada
My understanding is that the general thought being put forth was 'room acoustics make the music more sibilant.'
This simply isn't possible.
If i misunderstood then i stand corrected.
But if i did get the point right, a bright or rather a reflective room, will enhance all sound frequencies, not just S sounds, with our ears being more sensitive to those in the mid and upper range. The t, k, a, c, r, s, and [pick any hard sound letter] will all be highlighted.
That's why some guy screaming in a heavy metal song can really be blasting on the ears with good, forward speakers whereas some softer whispery music/vocals just sound fantastic and clear.

_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#101152 - 07/05/05 06:42 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
Bottom line is I'm no longer concerned about the sibilance or about the Axiom's sounding too bright in my environment. My room is not excessively lively and it is not excessively dull either. I think we'll be in the ballpark. I apppreciate everybody's feeback. I have learned a great deal hear. (pun intended)
Later,
oz
_________________________
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101153 - 07/05/05 07:01 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
Actually no harm done. The s thread generated a lot of good posts from many knowledgable people.It also made me pay a little more attention in my listening audition. People are all different with different likes and dislikes. Rooms are all different. Posts like that are good. They generate a lot of information. Take as much in as you can and do with it what you will. In the end "my ears" and my wallet will guide my decision. In the mean time I'm here to gather as much information as I can. My problem tends to be I get too much information and then I can't make a decision. There are always tradeoffs for us mere mortals who have to operate within budgetary restrictions.
later,
oz
_________________________
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101154 - 07/05/05 10:24 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
bray Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 1791
Loc: Colorado
"My problem tends to be I get too much information and then I can't make a decision."


Oz
Must be a photographer thing.
I tend to have the same problem.
I also want to say if you end up getting a different brand than Axiom, please feel free to keep posting here. Its good to have you here and other informed input is always good.
Although most of us here do run Axioms, there are several who dont, and this board wouldnt be the same without them.


Edited by bray (07/05/05 10:26 AM)
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LIFE IS SHORT.
DON'T BE A DICK.

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#101155 - 07/05/05 11:16 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7373
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
In reply to:

also want to say if you end up getting a different brand than Axiom, please feel free to keep posting here. Its good to have you here and other informed input is always good.
Although most of us here do run Axioms, there are several who dont, and this board wouldnt be the same without them.




Absolutely! It is always nice to have different viewpoints, and also to learn about people's experiences with other speakers.
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***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#101156 - 07/05/05 11:36 AM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
Thanks Bray. You too on the decision making hey? I drive my wife crazy. I think I'll be sticking around a while. I like this group and everybody has made me feel very welcome
later,
oz
_________________________
"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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#101157 - 07/07/05 07:03 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
squirrelyz Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/16/04
Posts: 106
Loc: Atlanta, GA
oz,

Hey, man. If you ever want to take a day and bring that Music Hall over and test your HDCD's, just give me a call. We can make a day of it...have a low country boil or smoke ribs or something.

Glad you enjoyed the visit.

^billy
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#101158 - 07/07/05 08:04 PM Re: M60ti's audition finally. Impressions Very lo
oz350z Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 562
Loc: Atlanta
billy

Where you been? When are you coming to the sudio? What an invite. I might have to take you up on that. I never did get to listen to any classical on thos e fine speakers of yours.
oz

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"Life is what happens while your busy making other plans" John Lennon

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