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#186976 - 12/07/07 06:15 AM Re: Just starting [Re: fredk]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7058
Loc: Canada
Thanks for the welcome and all the replies.

You guys are funny, maybe I should have put another 'very' or two in front of "limited budget". I wish I could afford something like the m80.

 Quote:
If you're patient

I've been watching movies on a 19" crt monitor for three years while I researched, saved and waited for the right price point on the right tv. I'm either very patient or nuts.

I was really hoping someone here might have had a listen to the Advents I mentioned at some point, and be able to peg them compared to some of the Axiom speakers. That would have helped me establish some sort of baseline for my "budget".

Tom, I think you are on the right track and a little more info is in order. Right now my music is mostly mp3 with a few cds. Unbeknownst to me, my brother gave away all the vinyl last year. In the long run, I will match the music format to my future system. The goal here is listening enjoyment.

Budget and time are somewhat fluid. It really depends on what I decide is the minimum sound I can live with. Form factor dosn't matter. I was reading a review of the m22 on audioholics.com and thought these speakers would be an ideal start until they mentioned the "anemic base"

The amp is part of the buying cycle. Speakers first, everything else follows...

Viewing is mostly me and my son. Considering what I am upgrading from, he (and I) will be blown away by the tv, even without surround.

Some other questions:

Just how big is big enough for the room size I mentioned? I would have thought that M80s would be too big for my space. By the time I crank the amp to a level to properly drive the speakers I would think that the neighbours might just object.

I do have concrete floors, but wouldn't the sound from a sub travel beyond my apartment? I find it increadibly annoying when someone pulls next to me with a woofer with wheels attached... er ... a car with woofers installed.

Reading some articles by the chief marketing dude at Axiom (actually, a couple of other sources as well) left me with the impression that surround was a definate step up from sterio with the right source material. Is that perhaps assuming that the system has a solid set of fronts (ie: more than bookshelf speakers)??

I happen to live in Canada a scant 5 hours away from Axiom and love canoing, so a visit and a listen is in order this spring if need be.

If M60s really are the starting point, its gonna be a while... hmm... I think I need to pick up a couple of good reference cds and go listening to get some idea of what I can live with.

Fred
_________________________
Fred

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Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#186986 - 12/07/07 09:29 AM Re: Just starting [Re: fredk]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6841
Loc: PEI, Canada
I have M60s and haven't hear any of the Axiom bookshelves but been hanging out on this and some other boards for a while and it sounds like you would be hard pressed to go wrong with whatever model in the Axiom lineup fits your budget. The M3's get great reviews and don't need a sub right away, like the super clear but not as deep M22s.


I'll try and take a stab at a few of the easier questions.

Since you won't be getting M80's anytime soon, I wouldn't worry about a high end receiver at this time. M80's have some specific requirements to run full throttle but the rest of the lineup are very efficient. Get one with the basic features you want and put the saved money towards the speaker purchase. Spending extra on the speakers will result in better sound than spending the extra on a receiver.

You can never have too big of speakers, as long as they fit in your room. Just because they are big, doesn't mean you have to play them louder than you would any others. They can be too small for a big room but only personal opinion on the looks decide if they are too big for a small room.

The concrete floors will help a lot with the sub traveling downstairs but it will likely pass through the walls as you mentioned. Unless, the builder has put a lot of money into soundproofing. Still, a small sub played at reasonable levels can still add a lot to music and movies without annoying the neighbors. You just have to be conscious how loud you play it.

5.1 sound for music can be very satisfying with a good source. However, I noticed most of your listening is done from MP3s and CDs. Some CDs will sound nice in 5.1 and many people do convert stereo to 5.1 because they prefer it, but only true 5.1 sources like DVD music and a few others are truly made to deliver exactly certain sounds to certain speakers. Again, for music, I would rather spend the extra money on main speakers for stereo then pick up surround speakers later on as time progresses. Surrounds and a sub are a big upgrade to movies though.

Also, you may find that as you move up to more expensive and much more 'accurate' speakers that the sound of good source material will greatly improve but the sound of poor material will appear to maybe decrease. With M60s I found that the majority of MP3s sounded so bad (because of the compression) that I spent months re-ripping all my CDs to FLAC format to make them sound like the CD again. (FLAC does use some compression but is considered lossless so it is pretty much identical to the CD sound).

M3s, from what I hear, would be much more forgiving to your MP3 collection.

In short, on a limited budget, my personal advice is spend most of it on the 2 main speakers. Spending dollars on the mains gives you more bang for the buck, soundwise, than any other combination. Yes, you will want to add a sub and surrounds if and when you can.

Personal choice on priorities really, better sound for music or more fun with movies.

I've seen some great suggestions if you are willing to disclose your budget amount. Don't worry, most everyone hear started small and built up from there.
_________________________
With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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#187002 - 12/07/07 11:45 AM Re: Just starting [Re: Murph]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8292
Loc: Tacoma
Geez, Murph has his game on today. Nice.

Fred, don't get sucked into the notion that you MUST have M60's or M80's. They are great speakers, but so are the bookshelf models. The additional time you get to spend listening instead of saving is worth something.

You should probably call Axiom directly. They are great people. There seems to be pretty broad consensus that M22's plus a sub (like the EP350) is a KILLER system.

I listened to "large Advent" speakers about 30 years ago. In context, I thought they were excellent. But modern technology - and Axiom's commitment to both R&D and to neutral speakers - is going to mean a very significant step up from there.

I want to underscore Murph's point about the revealing nature of the speakers. You are going to find that Axioms are very accurate. They make great recordings sound stunning but also reveal every blemish and shortcoming of recordings compromised during any stage of the process. If you are listening to 128k MP3's, you will quickly find yourself searching for quality source material.

Because I had to buy in phases and would never be happy without floorstanding speakers, I went through basically the scenario I outlined for you earlier. I would suggest that you "start" with either M60's or M22's plus a sub.

There are lots of decent receivers for about $300 or a little less, particularly previous generation Onkyo's.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#187003 - 12/07/07 11:59 AM Re: Just starting [Re: Murph]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Aha, the truth comes out, this system will see some music. All the advice to get the best main speakers you can is the way to go. If you can make it to Axiom to hear what they have and meet everyone there, (I am very jealous that you live that close and evenmore so having missed the GTG here last night), that will most certainly be the best way to find the right speaker for your preference of sound. 5hrs away from Axiom, there must be someone closer to you that would give you an audition, so you don't have to wait till spring

I still think the EP400 would be a killer for an apartment as it just doesn't hammer as hard to send the LFE through the walls. It just fills in the lower end oh so nicely, but does an admirable job when demanded of it for HT. Floorstanders take up quite a bit of room and in an apartment room is usually something there isn't much of, but if you have the room M50s might the way to go as you listen to MP3s more. Murph hit the nail on the head as I also find MP3s to sound terrrible on my Axioms(M80s and M22s), so change my original choices to M3s VP100(or M3) and QS4(or 2 more M3s) with the EP400, all for space saving and MP3 playback.
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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#187071 - 12/07/07 10:46 PM Re: Just starting [Re: fredk]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10398
Fred, disregard any comment that you read in Audioholics about "anemic base"; it isn't true and even the bass is quite adequate for most music(pipe organ recordings are excepted)when used without a sub. My in-room listening and measurements show good response down to about 50Hz and significantly weaker, but still usable, down to about 40Hz. The M22s are the Axiom bookshelf model having the most bass extension, being significantly lower than the M2s and slightly lower than the M3s, as would be expected from the larger enclosure which allows it to be tuned lower and the two drivers which provide more area to generate the bass frequencies.

As to using surround speakers when playing stereo source material, yes this is advisable and doesn't depend on the nature of the main speakers. Two channel material contains(in varying degrees)ambience which came from directions other than the front, and using processing such as DPLII, Neo:6 and Logic 7 to extract it and send it to the surrounds where it belongs makes the listening experience a little closer to reality.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#187090 - 12/08/07 05:27 AM Re: Just starting [Re: Murph]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7058
Loc: Canada
Thanks again for the replies gents.

Murph, its not that I don't want to disclose my budget (which is about $0 right now) but that I really don't know what any $ catagory will get me in terms of sound. My gut says the M60 is a little out of my range, but thats without having listened to them or anything comparable.

At $460, the M22 seemed like a really good start if I could improve on the sound quality for music by adding a sub later. The M22 + EP350 is almost the cost of the M80. Are the two going to give me equivelant sound for music? Would the EP175 add enough base to the M22 to give a sound similar to M50/60? (I need to talk to the folks at Axiom)

Tom. Since you have listened to the Advents, could you peg them compared to something in the Axiom line? That would help me a lot.

I need to get out and just listen to some speakers in different catagories to give me an idea of what sound I want. Are there any speakers out there comparable in sound to the M3, M22 or M60, but would be found in a store? This would allow me to audition the "Axiom sound" compared to others. I came across something in my reading that suggested that the B&W 701 might have similar characteristics to the M60.

I will be in Toronto with some time on my hands on Sunday as my daughter sucked me in to driving her and a friend to an anime convention. Seems like a good time to do some listening.

I have looked at the Hearing Things section of this site and it looks like the closest M22s I can audition are about 2.5 hours away. The good news is that I checked where Bright is on google earth and I am only 3 hours and 38 minutes away(though I suspect that the folks at google think us Canadians all drive like maniacs!)

Time to go to bed.

Fred
_________________________
Fred

-------
Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#187093 - 12/08/07 07:48 AM Re: Just starting [Re: fredk]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10911
Loc: Central NH
Good Morning Fred:

Welcome! Tom, Murph and the others gave great advice, but I thought I would throw out a few small tidbits:

~~ Don't forget that you could save a bit of money by buying at the outlet. The rule of thumb is that if you can find any blemishes at all, they're tiny. That will save $100 on M60s for example.

~~ Before I bought my M60 Axioms, I had concerns that they would need to be "cranked" to be appreciated. Not so; they are wonderfully clear, dynamic and articulate at soft volumes as well.

~~ As a musician, I truly believe the M60s, sans sub, center and surrounds, would be your best bet for now. Unless you have shelving that is at the perfect height and position in your room, you'll end up buying stands for any of the bookshelf speakers, bringing the price closer to the M60s anyway. And, you'll likely feel that you want a sub. The M60s negate stands and a sub for you.

~~ I LOVE concert DVDs in 5.1….but if I had a choice between M60s in stereo or a "lesser" system in 5.1, I would choose the M60s and I think, as a musician, you likely would as well.

~~ You can drive yourself up the wall in trying to decide this without hearing different models, but, for what it's worth, there are more similarities than differences in the Axiom lineup (this being said by someone who has only heard the M60s, but has read anecdotal postings here for several years). In short, I think you'll be pleased with ANY of the Axioms…it's just my opinion that the M60s will represent the best balance and value to you over the long run. Remember that electronics have a tendency to get swapped out here and there as new features become available; speakers are often considered a long-term investment!

~~ I was a fan of the original Advents in the 70's…. they had an excellent reputation. I'm sure I heard many but don't for the life of me, remember their "sound". Sorry I can't be of more help on that!



Edited by MarkSJohnson (12/08/07 07:50 AM)
Edit Reason: Added sunrise salutations....what's it to you? Huh? Why do you even care? Go read the next post, will you? Move along....move along....
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#187105 - 12/08/07 10:17 AM Re: Just starting [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Spoiler Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/03/06
Posts: 680
Loc: South Florida
Hi Fred,

The Advents were my first home speaker purchase in the seventies. I still have them, and they serve as my computer speakers today, driven by a an older Yamaha receiver. I'm not sure how many models they had back then, but I've got the two-ways with the ten inch woofers and those unique orange tweeters. As Tom said, I believe they were called the "large Advents". I had to have the foam surrounds redone once... they still sound wonderful!


As you can see by my sig, I own the Epic 80/500. Assuming you're talking about the same model Advents, making the absolute ROUGHEST of comparisons , I'd say they would equate mostly to the M50's.

That being said, I would still recommend as Mark and Tom have, that you start with M60's, or the M22/sub route... with a slight preference (IMO) to the M60's, and adding a sub later. Sirquack has indeed compared M60's to B&W 701's when he was considering Axiom, and thought they were comparable. In fact I've heard they compare to the whole 700 line. Axioms are also comparable to the Paradigm Studio line.



_________________________
Epic 80 / SVS PB13 Ultra
Denon 3805 / M2200 Outlaw Monos /
Sammy 55" LED

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#187109 - 12/08/07 10:53 AM Re: Just starting [Re: Spoiler]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8292
Loc: Tacoma
Hi Fred,

Get up. We're working for you, here. \:\)

I can't really add value to the contributions of Sir Mark of the Inscrutable Tidbits.

I trust Spoiler's comparison as valid. I understand that "audio memory" is somewhat less than 30 years, so I've got nothin'.

If you are accustomed to the Advent sound AND are listening to a lot of MP3's, the M50's might actually be an excellent choice.

I'm surprised you can't find somebody in Toronto to give you a listen on Sunday.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#187132 - 12/08/07 02:01 PM Re: Just starting [Re: tomtuttle]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7058
Loc: Canada
OK OK, I'm up already... (wheres that baggy eyed stubble faced smiley when you need it?)

Musicians must have a better audio memory because I still remember some of the wow moments those Advents gave me. One was a violin piece by Stomu Yamashta called rain (or something like that). My brother picked up this album shortly after I bought the system and when this track came on ... wow, so crisp and clear. It was like the violinist was right there. Same thing happened with one of the piano parts the first time I listened to Fragile. Those memories are etched in my mind forever.

Spoiler, glad you said orange tweeters, 'cause my advents didn't have them. I googled advent and 70s to jog my memeory. I had the small advents. That leaves me hopefull that even the M50 would also be a step up.

Anyway, what I loved about these speakers is their ability to accurately reproduce the sound of acoustic instruments; crisp, clear, precise. I thought the small advents lacked a little in the midrange and the base didn't have quite the same precission/crispness of the upper end. I remember longing for a midrange tone control I could turn up. In those days, equalizers were beyond my means.

Tom, I didn't want to impose on anyone for an audition just yet. The plan for Sunday was to listen to bookshelves vs floor standing speakers and something Axiom like vs other sounds to see what I like or can live with.

If it truely is something like the M60 that I would be happiest with, I'm looking at a year before I can buy... unless, of course, someone here gets upgrade-itis and wants to sell me their M60s for cheap ;\) .

Out of curiosity, what sort of reciever would you guys match up with the M60 to properly drive them? I want to get some idea of what I need to spend on this side as well.

Tomorrow is gonna be fun!

Fred


Edited by fredk (12/08/07 02:03 PM)
_________________________
Fred

-------
Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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