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#318607 - 08/14/10 11:09 PM Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers [Re: jerrymb]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5914
Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
Originally Posted By: jerrymb
Define detailed.


When I listen to my car CD player, I hear the music, but it seems to be more of a jumbled mess of sounds, blurring it somewhat.

When I listen to the M22's I can hear each individual instrument and sometimes more, like the air being blown across a flute, or the more pronounced sound of fingers sliding on the strings of a guitar.

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#318613 - 08/14/10 11:36 PM Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers [Re: CatBrat]
fredk Online   happy
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7150
Loc: Canada
To me, the more detailed speaker gives a more life like presentation of any well recorded music. You can also notice the extra detail in the cymbals. On really cheap speakers like my old micro stereo, the just sounded like a smeary mess compared to the M80.
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#318635 - 08/15/10 10:41 AM Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers [Re: fredk]
jerrymb Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 117
Loc: New Jersey
It's been over 24 hours without listening to any music. I hooked the M3's up for probably one last time. I have to admit they don't sound that bad now. I did have my Polks hooked up for the last few days. Do Polk's have a bloated sound? That's the best way I can now describe what I'm hearing when I just hooked up the M3's. Compared to the Polk's the M3's sound thinner. The Polk's sound fuller but is that fullness accuracy or just a certain frequency bumped up to give the illusion of more speaker?


Edited by jerrymb (08/15/10 10:42 AM)
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#318636 - 08/15/10 10:54 AM Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers [Re: jerrymb]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17792
Loc: NoVA
The second, most likely, assuming there's nothing wrong with your M3s.
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#318638 - 08/15/10 10:56 AM Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers [Re: jerrymb]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4080
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Its probably the latter Jerry. At these price points it is very tough to get best of both worlds without a sub. Budget bookshelf speakers just don't have the bass extension, that is why you see certain frequencies bumped to give off that illusion (fullness). You will find a lot of budget bookshelf speakers that roll off below 100hz, have an excellent frequency response from 100hz and up. Hence, they will need a sub to sound balanced. Hitting certain price points there are trade-offs. There is no way around it. You will likely have to spend more money on the speakers themselves when not using a sub. The Ascend Sierra-1 is another example that comes to mind, but it is around $500 more than what your budget permits or willing to spend.
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#318640 - 08/15/10 12:18 PM Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers [Re: BlueJays1]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5433
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Judging speakers is *really* tricky. For about 6 months (a long time ago) my friends and I had a number of speakers between us, most of which were considered "best of breed" and which would probably have been raved about on the internet if there had actually been an internet back then. We all lived in the same area so swapping speakers and bringing them together for comparison testing was easy (helped by the habit of bringing several sound systems together when throwing a party):

EPI 100
Advent Speaker
2 way KEF with 8" woofer, 3/4" tweeter and KEF crossover, sealed cabinet
3 way KEF with 9x13 woofer, 5" mid, 3/4" tweeter and KEF crossover, transmission line cabinet
2 way Rogers LS3/5a with 5" KEF woofer, 3/4" KEF tweeter, sealed cabinet, plus Rogers passive sub
3 way Philips Deforest (10"/5"/1") with Philips crossover, sealed cabinet
2 way Philips servo feedback with 8" woofer, 1" tweeter, sealed cabinet with built-in power amps

All of these were highly regarded by their own "support groups", all sounded very good, all sounded quite different from each other. Nobody agreed on which was best, except on specific albums.

One of the challenges when buying speakers is that some recordings seem to be mixed for playback on less-than-accurate systems and therefore do sound "thin and harsh" if you play them back on an accurate system. I have some recordings which sound fantastic in the car (typical crappy car system) but not good at all on my home system.

In a perfect world this variation in content would be going away as home theater systems (which don't need to deal with this historical variation in recording/mixing practices) become the norm and allow "mixed for flat and accurate speakers" content to dominate, but I fear that we're probably seeing some of the opposite trend - mixing albums to sound good on portable media players with compressed digital content and $3 headsets.

It shouldn't be this hard wink


Edited by bridgman (08/15/10 12:47 PM)

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#318646 - 08/15/10 02:18 PM Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers [Re: jerrymb]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11240
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I went from Polks to Axioms myself, and my immediate reaction was that they sounded thin, too. I loved the detail, but I thought something was perhaps missing, and this was with M80s. Still, I listened to them more, and when I finally heard the Polks again, they did sound bloated and muddy compared to the Axioms. I haven't looked back since. I wouldn't say the sound is perfect, as I do think the highs could be a bit smoother (which is why I'm curious about the v3 M80s), but augmenting my system with more amplification and great subs has balanced the sound quite a bit. It certainly knocks the pants off the local theaters, and I don't know anyone with a better system for music. Not all recordings sound great on my system, but the great-sounding recordings sound really great.

I realize I've invested quite a lot into my setup, so it's not a direct comparison to your own experience, but I think our Axiom vs. Polk impressions sound similar.

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#318647 - 08/15/10 02:25 PM Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers [Re: bridgman]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10399
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
I think most recordings are mixed to sound LOUD for radio play.

That fuller bloated sound is common among lowerend speakers, they usually have very tapered off highs leaving only the lower midrange and bass. This sounds warm and fuzzy but the finer details are lost in the mix. When you start getting the finer details the bass levels are not as pronounced until you get into floorstanders which have the cabinet size to properly reproduce the lower frequencies, this is why many good bookshelf speakers sound thin to many. The M3 actually has recessed mids and a bit of a hump in the upper bass which gives them a sense of more bass than the M22 and a slightly more laid back sound.
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#318649 - 08/15/10 02:32 PM Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers [Re: bridgman]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4080
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Originally Posted By: bridgman
but I fear that we're probably seeing some of the opposite trend - mixing albums to sound good on portable media players with compressed digital content and $3 headsets.



This was true for the last 20 years but this trend of compressed audio and formats such as MP3 is slowly dying. The shift has already occured with manufacturers. There is a shift happening in consumer preferences as well to lossless formats. Economies of scale and dropping prices in storage devices (HDD, Micro-SD cards, SD etc) as well as affordable and quality music players, computers, home theatre PC's is definitely encouraging. Lossless audio formats are a basic feature set on portable players costing less than $40. Now that manufacturers are marketing these features instead of MP3, consumers are now becoming educated on the benefits. This will all lead to a shift to lossless as the standard and in tastes. Affordability is key, and it is already present in the market. It will just better.

If this takes hold, production/mixing will most likely shift as well. It did at least hold true during the "loudness/mp3 wars". Believe it or not vinyl is actually starting to come back in a big way as well.
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#318650 - 08/15/10 02:39 PM Re: I just ordered a pair of M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers [Re: BlueJays1]
jerrymb Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 117
Loc: New Jersey
Axiom is sending me another pair of M3's. I still can't figure out why I seem to have to turn the volume up higher on the M3's than I'm used to. Unless it's because they are quieter? No bloat? We'll see what happens. I really don't want to give up on the Axioms. All these posts in this thread have given me a better understanding of an accurate speaker compared to a speaker that is not accurate. I'm learning.


Edited by jerrymb (08/15/10 02:39 PM)
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