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#15753 - 07/21/03 04:46 AM Just in case you cared :) (my Axiom impressions) LONG
ZeN Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/09/03
Posts: 125
Loc: San Diego, CA
**posted originally on avsforum.com, my Axiom audition has been a long time coming**

/Begin Axiom Update

So I finally had a chance to listen to the Axiom M80ti today - and ended up spending 3 or 4 hours over at Mike's house. Doing a little of this and a little of that, lots of chatting, etc. A great day, and another great person met through the internet. His wife was a great sport as well, putting up with us playing out in the theater room, and taking lots of grief from Mike on just about every possible topic

So here are my impressions -

First off, I was really worried that they would be repulsive looking speakers. Ive read everywhere that they are just vinyl covered, and "cheap" looking. I didnt find this to be the case. The grain in the vinyl was believable, and the total lack of seams was a very cool effect. The 3 port holes (one front and 2 back) did indeed look like the back side of a giant gorilla, but hey, you cant have it all

The physical speakers were also smaller than I had imagined. Having auditioned the B&W Friday, these looked tiny in comparison. Based on my physical investigation, I expected these speakers to really lack in low-end frequency, but be totally solid on the mids and highs (Hell, this is the first speaker I have auditioned in close to 30 pair, that has 2 tweeters, and 2 mids). Well I was half right. The Mids were superb - no distortion, and a wonderful and clear sound. Surprisingly same with the lows - nice and full, very clear, and no distortion - even when pushed by songs that had some really low frequency stuff - it did an excellent job of reaching the really low stuff (I'd guess in the 40-60hz range, but this is by no means an actual measurement).

Where I was really shocked is the clarity of the highs. Never have I heard certain parts of these songs. The slight ting an acoustic guitar makes when its plucked, or the high shrill of Bjork's voice - amazing.... but only to a point. These speakers were SO high, and SO bright, it almost hurt - honestly, I blinked (more than once), not out of bewilderment, not out of amazement, but out of pure natural shock - the kind of thing the human body does when its not prepared for something (pain, hurt, a seriously pungent odor, fingers on a chalk board)...

We messed with covering one of the tweeters with a hand towel (highly scientific mind you, they were both identical "dark green" hand towels - we werent fooling around folks, pure science here ) and turning down the treble to -2dB - both seemed to produce a sound that was just as pleasing, yet without the piercing pain.

Mike and I talked for a while about them, and he informed me that Axiom has 3 different resistors that they offer to ship out to M80 owners (maybe other models, but I didnt ask) that you can install on one of both of the tweeters to try and get the sound to your liking. A kind of odd solution to the problem - but as I hear it (hearsay, not first hand) this isnt a problem with their speakers... They are reproducing the sound as it was recorded onto the CD. This might explain why orchestral and classical music sounds so good on Axioms - It could be a possibility that they are recorded for higher end speakers - speakers that can replicate these frequencies. And conversely, mass marked music is recorded for the opposite side of the spectrum, crappy car audio, and that boom box you had when you were 14. I dont know the answer, but it would be fun to do some further, truly scientific investigation...

When it was time to leave, Mike had all but decided to call up Axiom to get the resistor set sent to him - he plans to fiddle with different resistors on each of the 4 tweeters to get those things sounding the way he likes. I'm quite interested in the result. (as I'm sure many of you are as well)

On a side note, I think Mike might go out and get himself some Bjork and DMB CD's - I think the old fart liked them

Well, thats about it for now. I'm really close to my decision - I've heard all the speakers I set out to hear, I've had a great time, met some great people, and learned a great deal in the process.

I'm still going to try to hear the M60ti tomorrow, as well as go back to re-audition the Paradigm's - they were one of the first speakers I auditioned and a lot has happened between now and then.

I'll be sure to keep you updated - thanks again to all that have made suggestions.

I hope that this thread has been at least slightly useful to someone else - but if not, Its been a GREAT way for me to keep track of my thoughts and impressions.

Anyway, I started this thing with the goal of being a quick update, I'm tired, not at home (I'm at my grandparents house using their *gasp* dialup connection ) and I need to go to sleep.

/End Axiom Update
__________________
-ZeNergy



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#15754 - 07/21/03 04:49 AM Re: Just in case you cared :) (my Axiom impressions) LONG
ZeN Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/09/03
Posts: 125
Loc: San Diego, CA
**The follow up after hearing the M60's**

Just an FYI to you all, I forgot to mention that at Mike's house, his room is not at all ideal for sound. It has tile floors, and almost completely flat un-altered walls. I mentioned this to cschang when I was at his place today - and after some discussion (ok, so he told me ) that could have definitely affected the speakers, possibly causing the piercing pitches.

I agree with pretty much everything here - but I'll quickly restate it as the speakers relate to my tastes.

One note of comparison/clarification - the Ascends were up on bookshelves (at about head level while standing) and the Axioms were on the floor (about waist level while standing)

The Axioms and Ascends both were amazingly clear. The big difference came through in the mids. The M60 did a "good" job of replicating these mid frequency sounds, and the CMT-340's did a "great" job. In my head though, two things muddy the situation. The Axioms highs were so crisp and clear that they were almost a focal point. I dont consider this a bad thing, but it really could have been playing with my ears/head. The other, is that the Ascends had very little low frequency response (They are bookshelves after all - not meant for that )

Over all, Id have to give the nod to the M60's - with their full range, and brilliant highs - its hard for me to say no

After hearing the M60's at cschangs, I'm much more confident that the room dynamics, coupled with the Denon receiver changed the feel of the tweeters in the M80's.

At this point in my search - Ive got my choices narrowed down to 3. Tomorrow I plan on hitting the two HT stores that cary the Paradigms and B&W again to hear them "the day after" if you will...

So now for the REAL short list: In alphabetical order

1. Axiom M80's
2. B&W 604's
3. Paradigm Monitor 7/Studio 60 (I really need to audition these again)
__________________
-ZeNergy



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#15755 - 07/21/03 04:51 AM Re: Just in case you cared :) (my Axiom impressions) LONG
ZeN Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/09/03
Posts: 125
Loc: San Diego, CA
**Last reply HONEST **

I just wanted to say thanks to MIKEY for letting me hang out at his pad for 3 or 4 hours this weekend. I had a great time, and really enjoyed listening to the M80's with him.

I've met nothing but great people so far, and it has made this experience that much better.

Night!



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#15756 - 07/21/03 04:49 PM Re: Just in case you cared :) (my Axiom impressions) LONG
MIKEY Offline
devotee

Registered: 07/23/02
Posts: 331
Loc: ORANGE COUNTY CALIF
No problemo mi amigo.. It was interesting to have someone stop by and give a listen to what I had..
Yes, I just called Axiom and left a msg about those resistors.. Until I get some sound baffles up on the walls, and the big curtain on the front wall, it's just too bright to enjoy at higher volumes.. Besides, my wife made me put those two hand towels "..right back where I found them !!"
Say, I was expecting a little more from ya on the M80 - M60 comparison ? You think those would have been the better way to go with my size room ?

_________________________
LFE ! The rest is just details..

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