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#196639 - 02/16/08 03:48 PM Re: Metal [Re: StuntGibbon]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13333
Loc: Iowa
Santanic? I didn't realize Slayer and Santana merged. \:\) ha ha lol
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#216648 - 07/29/08 01:16 AM Re: Metal [Re: SirQuack]
demetman Offline
old hand

Registered: 04/03/08
Posts: 72
Loc: NJ
Hello, I have a huge concern and need your opions please! I am hesitant to purchase an epic 60/500 system (maybe a different sub)do to reading several opinions regarding the musical reproduction of Axiom speakers. It seems as if Axioms sound best with classical and orchestral type recordings. This is a real problem for me because I love metal, as well as other genres of music. I have read many Axiom owners state "metal is too bright for Axiom speakers". This sounds preposterous but $3,500 is too huge of an investment to take a risk. I'm not into purchasing something and then going through the trouble of returning it if I'm not happy with the performance.

Please give me your honest oppinions. Some of my favorite bands are King Diamond/ Mercyful Fate, Jag Panzer, Manilla Road, Opeth, Hexenhaus, Momento Mori, Candlemass, Nevermore, Eidolon, Pagan's Mind etc. Any speaker characteristics would be greatly appreciated. I look foreward to any replies. Thanks
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#216664 - 07/29/08 05:08 AM Re: Metal [Re: demetman]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Have you tried to find someone nearby that you could get an audition from? This way you could try your own music and see if you like it. I haven't found any problems with metal or another genre, as long as it has been recorded well. Axiom's are just very acurrate and will show the flaws in any recording but good recordings sound incredible.
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#216668 - 07/29/08 07:56 AM Re: Metal [Re: jakewash]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6820
Loc: PEI, Canada
Since becoming a regular on this board a couple of years ago I also still read AVS and some other audio forums from time to time and I rarely see those comments and then they are usually like yours, in the form of a question and the answers are normally that they are indeed not bright at all. So I'm a bit confused why this keeps turning up. Therefore I did a bit more research with a real quick Google search. My search did turn up lots of examples of the words 'Axiom + speakers + bright' but for every question asked, there are multiple responses or professional reviewers stating that in fact, Axiom speakers are not bright.

So why is this question so common? My personal theory is that, like myself, most of us in the 'rocker' category either grew up listening to metal when we couldn't afford 'accurate' speakers and loud was really the only criteria. Also, the younger generation today are still listening to metal (I love that the music of my youth has survived a couple of generations!) but their experience with audio fidelity is influenced by iPods and heavily compressed MP3s.

In short, the boomboxes of old, older speakers built to look big, over emphasize the bass and be very loud, right up to today's ultra common, poorly made earphones are all very 'forgiving' of poorly engineered recordings. The recording industry knows this and have become lazy, using compression techniques designed to replace the dynamics and clarity with loudness.
Why? Because on non-accurate speakers that can't present the detail anyways....loudness sells.

I myself found it difficult to go back and play some of my CDs and most MP3s when I upgraded to Axiom Speakers. Luckily I played some really well produced CDs first, by chance really, and was TOTALLY blown away by the detail and sound quality that I never even knew existed before. However, I started noticing that some CDs and practically all of my MP3s actually seemed to sound worse than I remembered. I now have a wide variety of music in my library but metal is still a big part of it and unfortunately, this category did seem to have a larger ratio of more disappointing sound quality.

However, I soon realized that this wasn't the fault of the speakers. They were not too bright, they were not too cheap... They were too good. They were playing the music EXACTLY as it was recorded by a crappy producer who used compression techniques to make the recording have the illusion of sounding as loud as possible. If the song was further compressed into an MP3 or other file format, it only makes it worse.

Just how good speakers like Axiom truly are becomes blatantly obvious when you play a well made recording. It will simply blow you away. You will want to spend days listening to every CD or piece of music you own all over again, as if it were your first time.

Since most of my listening was done via MP3s streamed to my receiver via a Squeezebox, I solved most of my problems by re-ripping every CD I owned into a lossless format. I used flac, instead of MP3. I still retain a library of MP3s for my MP3 player as it doesn't matter as much there. An MP3 player often can't play music all that well to begin with so, you don't notice the difference as much. MIght as well save some space.

Moving away from MP3s, whenever possible, on my bigger system improved things greatly. However, I can still definitely tell the difference between a well recorded album and and poorly made one.

In short I don't believe Axiom speakers are too bright but they will teach you about poor recording qualities. I don't think they are wrong for metal as they are equally accurate with any kind of music.

Metal (rock in general) does have more than it's fair share of poor recordings compared to classical so I think this is where most of the "too bright for metal" comments may be coming from. Depending on your sensitivity, perhaps an audiophile grade speaker is not going to be your best choice but it will be important to remember that ANY well made and truly 'accurate' speaker will give you the same experience in bringing out what is truly recorded in music. However, if you dive in, I think you will find that you will be so happy listening to the good stuff that you will realize it was an Excellent choice and you will wonder how you ever lived without them.

Hope this doesn't come across as an Axiom defense tactic. it isn't meant to be. In fact I tried to refer to 'accurate speakers' in general, rather than just Axiom. Just sharing how another metalhead came to learn a little more about how audio really works and share his conclusions about his speakers.

The best advice is above though. Find somebody in the audition list in this forum who lives near you and listen to them for yourself. I'll add just a bit to it in saying bring some music you are very familiar with and also search this forum and others for some suggestions on metal that is well recorded and bring that too for a comparison. Be warned though, once you hear music on any system that compares with Axiom or is Axiom, there is no going back......

Sorry for the long reply. It helped me pass the time on two conference calls and made me look busy enough that the office lurker kept wandering by instead of pulling in to chat.
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#216718 - 07/29/08 11:54 AM Re: Metal [Re: Murph]
Ken.C Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17775
Loc: NoVA
Opeth, Tool, NIN (not really metal, I know), most newer Metallica and the remasters (ducks), and the like sound quite good on my M80s. There are some metal albums that are poorly recorded, certainly, but you're going to run into that in many genres.


Nevertheless, I'd try to find someone whose speakers you can audition--but make sure you tell them about your musical tastes first!
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#216752 - 07/29/08 02:37 PM Re: Metal [Re: Ken.C]
anthony11 Offline
local

Registered: 04/15/08
Posts: 267
Loc: Seattle WA
I'm curious if any of the processing modes -- "concert hall", "jazz", etc -- on modern AVR's mitigate the effect some have observed of poorly-recorded CD's sounding bad on M80's. I wonder if there's perhaps extraneous high-frequency information on such that lesser speakers simply aren't putting out.

If the first two Scorpions albums (which were recorded badly) don't sound good on M80's, I'd be very sad.

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#216768 - 07/29/08 06:00 PM Re: Metal [Re: demetman]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7042
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
So why is this question so common?

First impressions linger, and sometimes fester. I remember a sales guy at a company I once worked for who planted false seeds of doubt to win a $3m contract. Quite amazingly, despite a lack of any real or manufactured evidence, it was enough to swing the customer in our direction. BS works.

The M60 is less detailed/more forgiving than the M80, but in the end you need to listen and make up your own mind. You could also consider the M50 if you are not happy with the sound the M60 delivers.


Edited by fredk (07/29/08 06:01 PM)
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#216830 - 07/30/08 10:05 AM Re: Metal [Re: fredk]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6820
Loc: PEI, Canada
Very True Fred.

Also, for the post above it. Playing with tone controls can definitely improve the sound of a 'poor recording' by masking some of the flaws. I have pretty much resigned myself to leaving them all turned off though. Just too much work to keep adjusting them as I normally listen to my entire collection on random mode and I refuse to tweak on a song by song basis. I never tend to like any of the "presets" that you speak of. They change the sound way too radically, but that's just me.

It's rare anything sounds so poorly recorded that I'm actually tempted to adjust or not listen. It's all relative. Good is SOOO good on Axioms that calling some stuff 'poor' is probably a bit unfair.

By "first two Scorpions albums", are you going all the way back to thier first release in 1972, "Lonesome Crow" or are you talking the first one to have big commercial success in North America, "Love at First Sting"? I have some CD version of "Love at First Sting." it certainly won't win any engineering rewards but it will still Rock You Like a Hurricane on my M60s. I get a little nostalgic shiver down my spine every time that opening guitar riff comes up.
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#216834 - 07/30/08 11:20 AM Re: Metal [Re: Murph]
anthony11 Offline
local

Registered: 04/15/08
Posts: 267
Loc: Seattle WA
Yes, Lonesome Crow and Fly to the Rainbow.

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#217474 - 08/05/08 11:11 PM Re: Metal [Re: anthony11]
Official Ninja Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/04/08
Posts: 64
I like listening to metal on my M22's. Sounds fantastic.

Also because this thread is about good metal and good sounding metal......

Black Sabbath just released a box set called The Rules of Hell. 5 discs from the bands days with Dio as singer. The remastering is excellent and all metal fans should have this set. If not only to listen to the much underated Dehumanizer album.

Also (you can tell I'm a Sabbath fan?) If you can find any of Black Sabbath's not so well know albums with singer Tony Martin, you should grab them. Headless Cross, Eternal Idol, Cross Purposes. These albums were over looked because of changing times, IRS not being able to market in the US, and the old "if its not ozzy its not sabbath" thing. They are awesome metal albums and again, all metal fans should give them a listen.

Charlie
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