It is a very exciting day at Axiom today. Over the past few years we have been working on a number of major improvements to our entire line. Today we will officially launch Version 3 on our website.
Version 3 brings some major improvements to the sound quality of every model along with some pretty cool cosmetic changes. The changes that affect the performance of the products began being incorporated about one year ago (longer for some of the woofers) and were completed on all models a few months ago. As of a few weeks ago the cosmetic changes were incorporated into our manufacturing and today our website will change to reflect these changes.
The main cosmetic changes are the aluminum dust caps, which are now made from the same material as our cones, and the elimination of the grille pins with the introduction of magnet grilles. It should be noted that the in-wall products will remain with grille pins as the female grille pin in the baffle is the access point for the screws which control the swing arms to mount these products to your wall.
As for changes to the performance we have redesigned our tweeter, all of our crossovers, and most of our woofers. I think the best way to describe the difference in performance may be to simply quote from an e-mail I received from a customer who has moved from Version 2 to Version 3 M80s.
“The changes that you've made to the M80s are not subtle. It is that different! The first thing that I noticed was that the sound stage increased, dramatically. I describe it now as voluminous, wide and deep but at the same time, minutely precise. It's like the curtains were pulled back away from the stage. The sound field increased in all dimensions. I especially hear a lot more spatial depth. It's much easier to locate the position of performers in the sound field. The sound is especially seductive. It wraps around you.
The sound seems much more uniform over all frequencies. These speakers are so musical; I feel it necessary to make an analogy to the operatic voice. In vocal study, one strives to even out the registers in a voice so that a singer's sound is seamless throughout the entire range (so no one can detect a break when going from chest to head voice, etc). This is how I feel about these speakers. My impression is that you've particularly smoothed out the transition between the mid range and highs.
I am particularly blown away by the high end of these speakers. There's a new precision and GREATLY increased detail in the sound. In playing a stringed instrument (I've studied the 'cello), we pay attention to the 'core' sound of the strings making sure that when we bow the instrument, we always 'dig in' to the string adequately in order to make sure that the 'core' of the sound is always there. It is especially essential when playing something very softly. This is how emotion is subtly conveyed through sound. I'm hearing the 'core' of the sound with all music through this system like never before. Solo instruments and voices sound live, with minute detail in the sound. I can hear this will all instruments. In particular, operatic singers' voices now blossom as they sing a high loud passage. It takes my breath away! You have blown the top off the ceiling of these speakers. I listened to a lot of music louder than one probably should and the sound was not fatiguing. There's so much space around the upper frequencies. While I'm not even remotely a sound engineer, it seems to me that the proper way to 'warm up' sound in the upper frequencies is to add space around it (this is what my voice teachers said about proper vocal production) not 'soften' it by 'rounding off' or 'decreasing the treble'. That would rob you of reality. Additionally, there's a nice big fat, spacious area in the mids. Also of note are trumpets and brass. Rather than going 'ouch' on a loud passage, you get chills. Again, 'expansive' comes to mind.
Ian. I want to thank you for allowing me the privilege to experience this. You've created some real magic with these speakers. As I said at the beginning of this note, you have made a MAJOR change to the M80s with these modifications and it's THRILLING!!!! Many, many kudos to you and your staff at Axiom.”
It is very fitting that the release of Version 3 coincides with our 30th year in business. They are both big milestones in Axiom history.