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#322475 - 09/14/10 08:57 PM The Blind Listening Experience
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 6961
Loc: Canada
The most interesting part of the Saturday sessions at Axiom was the blind listening test. We were given a ranking sheet with various categories, shown the volume control and the switcher and left to our own devices.

In a brainfart moment, I left all my reference discs at home and had to make due with material at the factory, but in the end, I don't think it made any difference.

Maybe it was because this was the first kick at the blind listening can, but I found it difficult to characterize many of the differences. I found it hard to put into words what I heard. Most of what I write below, I figured out listening to others describe the two speakers, but before any of us knew what the two were.

The one thing that was dead obvious was the difference in sound-stage. Speaker 2 had a MUCH wider sound-stage than speaker 1. I could pick that out every time no matter what track I had on.

Everything else seemed to depend on the material. OK, maybe there was one other thing. On speaker one, female vocals were noticeably more forward.

I originally ranked speaker 2 as slightly better than speaker 1, but that did not sit well with me, even right after I handed my sheet in. I wish I had another opportunity to listen, but we barely got through everyone on the Saturday as it was.

Here are some of my impressions:

Female vocals: on some material speaker one sounded markedly better, on other stuff, there was no difference. When it sounded better, it was cleaner and more transparent. Like the singer was there with you.

Treble. Sometimes speaker one seemed to have more clarity and sometimes not. Sometimes speaker two sounded a little veiled and sometimes not. There was a definite difference, but it was not always easy to characterize. At times speaker 2 sounded a little smoother. This, combined with the sound-stage and imaging made it sound quite a bit better on some passages.

Sound-stage/imaging. Speaker two always had it on sound-stage and had a slight edge on imaging. In one passage where there was both cymbals and a tambourine, I heard the delicate sounds of both instruments clearly on speaker two, but it was kind of mashed together on speaker one. How to characterize it really confused me for quite a while.

Bass. In hindsight, its quite obvious why I heard what I did, but at the time this area was also quite confusing. On some passages, speaker two just sounded smoother and more balanced. It had (or seemed to have) bass that the other speaker didn't. On other passages it sounded a little bloated or fat. On close listening to individual instruments I just could not pick out what it was that 'more' about the bass.

The sheet helpfully hinted at the kick-drums, so I looked for passages with good kick-drums and damned if I could not consistently pick out a winner. The sounded pretty much the same I guess.

In the end I chose speaker 2 as slightly better over all, but in hindsight, I think they are, as Alan put it, "similarly good". Speaker 2 gets it on imaging and sound-stage, speaker one on clarity and the presence of female vocals.

Given the two speakers, the M3 gets a HUGE win on price.
_________________________
Fred

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

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#322478 - 09/14/10 09:08 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: fredk]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4060
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Nice to hear your thoughts on that fredk. Which one was 1 and what was labeled as 2?
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#322480 - 09/14/10 09:27 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: BlueJays1]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16224
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Speaker 2 was the Axiom M3 and speaker 1 was the B&W.
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"I wish I had documented moreÖ" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#322483 - 09/14/10 09:43 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: pmbuko]
jakeman Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/03/05
Posts: 851
Loc: Toronto
I actually had two sessions with the speakers. On my first one I played at high volume a Police cover "Walking on the Moon" by the Dutch jazz group Yuri Honing Trio. Its a well recorded piece of drums, bass and sax that slowly build to a loud crescendo. I thought both speakers reproduced snare, kick drum, sax and string bass very well, though the B & W had more natural sounding cymbal hits than the M3, which was not as defined and more splashy.

I went back in after lunch to hear female vocals and played Eva Cassidy's cover of Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World". The B & W was more sibilant, more shhhhhy, than the M3 which was more natural with the female voice.

I gave the B & W the nod by a hair because I thought it reproduced percussion a bit better and I've gotten used to some sibilance in closely miked female vocals. However I would never purchase that speaker when the M3 is priced at less than a fifth of the cost of the B & W.
_________________________
John

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#322485 - 09/14/10 09:51 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: fredk]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10307
Fred, good to hear your impressions. Yes, from your description, I'd agree that "similarly good" would probably be a fair judgment for you(no "huge", "night-and-day" or "blows away" nonsense).

Time and possibly equipment constraints likely wouldn't have made it feasible, but it would have been interesting if instead of just a preference test on speakers, a test on difference detectability on an item such as a cable, player or amplifier which is the subject of much audio fantasy, could have been included. Of course, Axiom is primarily a speaker company, so it's natural that the two speaker preference test was the one run.
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#322489 - 09/14/10 10:22 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: JohnK]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5256
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
I expect that a party on Ian's dock with a band playing through a pile of M80s satisfied more audio fantasies than any cable test we could imagine wink

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#322496 - 09/14/10 10:54 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: jakeman]
a401classic Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/29/06
Posts: 1132
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
For me, too, it was a close call. There were several tracks where it could have gone either way. My very first impression (under 10 seconds) was the M3. After that some tracks went one way, some went the other. It boiled down to a female voice on a David Benoit/Russ Freeman track that was in front and more 3 dimensional with the B&W (and as John said, more sibilant - but with that more natural), but fell back and was a bit more flat with the M3. I also played track 1 of Classic YoYo (Bach) - Believe it or not, to me it was too clean on the M3 - if that's possible. It sounded better, but less natural. so the nod went to the B&W. As John said, for a fifth the price, there's NO question which I'd purchase; the M3.

Scott
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Scott

My HT

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#322511 - 09/14/10 11:16 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: bridgman]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 6961
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: bridgman
I expect that a party on Ian's dock with a band playing through a pile of M80s satisfied more audio fantasies than any cable test we could imagine wink

Indeed. I agree with John that blown away is pretty much an over used nonsense term in audio, but I was truly blown away by the M80s on the dock. Clean high volume audio at 60' away from the source outdoors is an amazing feat for a consumer audio speaker.
_________________________
Fred

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

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#322513 - 09/14/10 11:20 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: JohnK]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 6961
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Yes, from your description, I'd agree that "similarly good" would probably be a fair judgment for you(no "huge", "night-and-day" or "blows away" nonsense).

Pretty much. Aside from the dock, the only time I was blown away was by the subtly in the difference in bass from cutting a 16 db peak in my room made on the overall sound. It should have been huge (and it sure looked that way in REW). It was not.
_________________________
Fred

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

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#322514 - 09/14/10 11:21 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: fredk]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4060
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
The M80's do have huge power handling capabilities that you won't find in most speakers. That right there captures the essence of the M80 and I'm sure put a lot of grins on peoples faces.
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#322515 - 09/14/10 11:29 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: BlueJays1]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 6961
Loc: Canada
Klipsch, with their horn loaded drivers are up to the task, but we know who sounds better. grin
_________________________
Fred

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

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#322516 - 09/14/10 11:32 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: fredk]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4060
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Yeah, I was disregarding horn-loaded designs which are used in such applications.
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Iím armed and Iím drinking. You donít want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#322522 - 09/15/10 12:06 AM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: BlueJays1]
idboy Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/28/08
Posts: 31
What model B&W was this?

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#322523 - 09/15/10 12:31 AM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: idboy]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 6961
Loc: Canada
500D I think. Its the Nautilus bookshelf.
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Fred

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

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#322530 - 09/15/10 01:18 AM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: fredk]
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2726
Loc: CA, USA
Very interesting report FredK. Demonstrates 2 things:

(1) Axiom M3 speakers are wonderful, world class book shelf speakers;

(2) A/B testing does not produce unequivocal results.

Living with a component in a system for a period of time permits a conclusion which is the result of a gestalt as opposed to a snapshot.

Maybe gestalt is the wrong word ... more like accumulated experience over a longer period of time and more varied musical events.


Edited by 2x6spds (09/15/10 01:21 AM)
_________________________
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

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#322531 - 09/15/10 01:31 AM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: fredk]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6275
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
fredk, you are right about the bookshelf part, but I think it was the 805. Not sure if it's the 805S or 805Diamond. MSRP on the 805S is $2500. Of course, the current price of a pair of M3s is $330.

Axiom could really get some cool advertising out of this if they wanted to:

WORLD-CLASS SOUND NOW COSTS 85% LESS

_________________________
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.

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#322534 - 09/15/10 01:45 AM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: medic8r]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 6961
Loc: Canada
Doh! 805.
_________________________
Fred

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

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#322535 - 09/15/10 01:56 AM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: medic8r]
HAY Offline
aficionado

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 720
Loc: Burlington, Ontario
Out of the 5 songs I listened to I gave the edge to speaker 2 (M3) for four of them. I owned Vassallo M3's and currently have Algonquin M3's and could not believe that was what I was listening to.

I was really surprised by the imaging difference, the speaker 2 (M3) extended out so much further to the sides. I originally thought that speaker 1 was M3 and speaker 2 was M22 due to the difference in the highs.

The only song that sounded better to me on the B&W's was Holly Cole "I can see clearly now". This was the first time I had heard this version and I could have listened to it over and over again, which I did. For this song I think I liked the bit more laid back cool sound?

Regardless performance to price is a no brainer for me.
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M60 VP150 QS8
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#322536 - 09/15/10 02:04 AM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: HAY]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11062
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I'm now interested in how the M22 would compare to the same model of B&W.
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SuperGrand UltraDeluxe (Plus Extra More)

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#322551 - 09/15/10 09:22 AM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: CV]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6559
Loc: It's all about the location.
The idea of taking the blind test seems very simple. You go into a listening room, play some music, and switch back and forth between two(or more) sets of speakers and then record differences or preferences by way of a 1 to 10 rating(in Axiom's case) in various qualities of the speaker sonics...bass, treble ect. It sounds simple in theory, but in fact it's quite difficult as many of us talked about after the test. What I preferred on one track, may not have been preferred on the other and visa versa. How to convey the differences you are hearing was extremely difficult to put into words, at least for me it was. I couldn't decide for instance, if the difference I was hearing in the highs of one speaker vs the other was because there was more detail, more extention, less distortion ect or because one may have had slightly rolled off highs for instance.

I'll admit that I went into this test without an open mind, which is a NO-NO...I was convinced Ian would be playing us an MxxV2 vs an MxxV3 so I pretty much went in the listening room thinking I was hearing two Axiom speakers. What I heard was two very detailed, enjoyable speakers with very pleasant sound characteristics and though I heard subtle differences in the two, I kept going back and forth between which I preferred...remember, in my head I'm thinking I'm listening to V2's and V3's of an Axiom speaker....in the end, I indeed thought they were very close on performance and summed it up as Alan would say..."similarly good".

Which leads to the conclusion, if you were going to buy a pair of speakers(bookshelf in this case) that sounded "similarly good", do you want to spend $2300+ on a pair and tell your friends how much you spent(bragging) on some great sounding speakers, or would you rather tell your friends how much you saved(-$2000 in this case) on some great sounding speakers. To me, the answer is easy.
_________________________
A person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still.

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#322558 - 09/15/10 09:41 AM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: Adrian]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4060
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
The problem with the person that is willing to spend $2300 on a bookshelf speaker probably wouldn't be considering any of the "value" brands. These two speakers really do not compete with each other in the marketplace.

Now if you upgrade the vinyl finish to a wood veneer or piano finish, you will have the looks of a high end speaker, sound and bragging rights.
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Iím armed and Iím drinking. You donít want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#322559 - 09/15/10 09:43 AM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: BlueJays1]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5651
Loc: Some random location
It would also have been interesting if they had an M2 as speaker choice number 3.

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#322562 - 09/15/10 09:44 AM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: CatBrat]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4060
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
I was thinking that the blind listening test was going to be on different driver complements of a prototype speaker.
_________________________
Iím armed and Iím drinking. You donít want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

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#322582 - 09/15/10 11:49 AM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: CatBrat]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5256
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: CatBrat
It would also have been interesting if they had an M2 as speaker choice number 3.


A/B testing with an M2 or similar speaker vs a larger speaker is hard because the first thing you notice is the different degrees of bass extension. Maybe others have more disciplined ears but I have a tough time getting past that and focusing on the other issues.

With a sub, of course, it's a different story. I held a few impromptu A/B tests with a group of friends, comparing M60s vs M2s, both running "small" with a big-ass sub. At moderate listening levels the differences were remarkably small, although for HT applications the ability to crank up the M60s to higher SPLs while maintaining clarity made a huge difference.

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#322586 - 09/15/10 12:07 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: Adrian]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10678
Loc: Central NH
Originally Posted By: Adrian
It sounds simple in theory, but in fact it's quite difficult as many of us talked about after the test.
{{SNIPPED}} What I heard was two very detailed, enjoyable speakers with very pleasant sound characteristics and though I heard subtle differences in the two, I kept going back and forth between which I preferred...


I found it difficult, too. But I think this was due to the fact that the speakers WERE so close (which, of course, is quite a testament to the Axioms and their lower price).

I think, for instance, had I compared my M60s to my older DCM TimeFrames, almost every aspect of the sound...lows, mids, highs, would have sounded substantially different and the test would have been easy.
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#322593 - 09/15/10 12:47 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6559
Loc: It's all about the location.
Perhaps Ian,Andrew, Alan or such can answer something I was contemplating after this test. Has anyone set up listening tests based on gender and then compared the results? do men and women have the same preferences? I've been led to believe(incorrectly?) that women generally have more acute/sensitive hearing and might that change their preference vs men...just curious.
_________________________
A person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still.

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#322601 - 09/15/10 01:12 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: Adrian]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10678
Loc: Central NH
I've been told by women that I don't listen.

Does that count?
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::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#322605 - 09/15/10 01:19 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6559
Loc: It's all about the location.
It's called selective filtering.
_________________________
A person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still.

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#322606 - 09/15/10 01:24 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Da_Gimp_Pimp Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 3974
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
I heard of such testing going on but missed out on it all because the room was designed by some walkie; yet again grin .
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I dream of finding a really hot girlfriend that's mute!

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#322609 - 09/15/10 01:34 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: Da_Gimp_Pimp]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10678
Loc: Central NH
I don't remember there being accessibility issues...unless the door was narrow.
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#322612 - 09/15/10 01:38 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6559
Loc: It's all about the location.
There were 3 doors to the listening room, iirc. One of them must have been ok, but I don't really know.
_________________________
A person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still.

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#322616 - 09/15/10 01:44 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: Adrian]
BobKay Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 2970
Loc: Massachusetts Badlands
I found it quite distracting to hear sound coming from the listenting room next door during the first seminar.

So, to insure that wouldn't happen again, I saw to it that I was making all the noise during seminars 2 & 3.

Much betterer.
_________________________
If I didn't have a shrink, all of my friends would think there's something wrong with me.

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#322623 - 09/15/10 02:03 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: BobKay]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8135
Loc: Tacoma
Thanks, Bob. You are a true team-player.

It was a fascinating exercise. As others have mentioned, it was far more difficult than I anticipated, probably because I found very little difference between the two speakers relative to either midrange clarity or bass extension.

The two primary differences that stood out for me were the quality and smoothness of the treble, and the spaciousness of the imaging.

I found that speaker B (later identified as the M3) was quite a bit "bigger" on most recordings.

As to the treble response, speaker A seemed overly "hard" to me on a number of selections, to the point of being strident or unpleasant on hot recordings. Speaker B was far more forgiving, although perhaps slightly less "airy" sometimes.

Some strengths and weaknesses were only apparent on some tracks.

Overall, I preferred speaker B by a narrow margin, but regardless of price.

It really was an extraordinary opportunity to participate in a completely blind listening session like this.

I'm sure Ian greatly appreciated the chance to collect valid - and validating - data from an international panel of experts smile
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#322624 - 09/15/10 02:04 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: BobKay]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16224
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
So you're a dom, then?
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"I wish I had documented moreÖ" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#322625 - 09/15/10 02:11 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: Adrian]
alan Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3178
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Adrian,

I don't recall any gender differences in speaker ratings from listening tests at the National Research Council on the few occasions that women were on the listening panel. Also, when Debbie does the blind tests at Axiom, her ratings of good and bad speakers are similar to mine, Andrew's, Ian's, JC's, Brent's and other Axiom employees who participate in the tests.

I think a better way to phrase it is that women retain their high-frequency hearing well into old age, but that may be based on an earlier generation of women who were housewives and didn't work in industrial settings or noisy cities. It might be interesting to see data compiled from tests on younger women in the work force.

It might be a question to pose to Dr. Sean Olive, now chief of psycho-acoustics at Harman. They use lots of male and female listeners in their blind testing at the Harman lab. If any divergence in ranking had been noted there, I'm certain he would have written about it. Sean used to be on the listening panel at the NRC while he was working on his graduate degree.

Purely on an anecdotal basis, which doesn't count for much, I have encountered more than a few women who don't seem to like deep subwoofer bass. I'm not sure why, or whether any researcher has done solid scientific work on that. Perhaps it's an inherited protective thing through evolution, such as protecting children from the threat of earthquakes, eruptions, tsunamis, etc. I'm just speculating, but it's theorized that the fact our hearing is so ultra-sensitive in the midrange is not just because of speech but also in eons past, we needed that as a protective measure to detect intruders (snapping of twigs in the bush and so on) and possible danger.

Alan
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Axiom Resident Expert

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#322627 - 09/15/10 02:23 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: alan]
Da_Gimp_Pimp Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 3974
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
I'm just making a joke. We talked in the office about getting me in and there wasn't enough room through the main door, and the back door was blocked with stuff.

No deal at all, just another walkie jab grin .
_________________________
I dream of finding a really hot girlfriend that's mute!

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#322636 - 09/15/10 03:03 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: alan]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6559
Loc: It's all about the location.
Thanks for that explanation Alan.

I also thought that maybe nature gave women a more acute hearing sense to protect their young children as well, or to hear their baby(s) if it were in danger for instance.
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A person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still.

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#322639 - 09/15/10 03:07 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: Adrian]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5651
Loc: Some random location
Naaa. It's just so they can hear their husbands snoring at night so they can torment them.

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#322649 - 09/15/10 03:26 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: Da_Gimp_Pimp]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10678
Loc: Central NH
Freakin' walkies. I hate us SOOO much! [/homer]

How funny is this? I glance through the Home Theater magazine that came in today's mail, and they're reviewing the same B&W speakers (though in 5.1 configuration) and, at $14,500, they call it a "Top Pick" and give it five stars for value!!! Should I write them and ask if they shouldn't A/B a pair of M3s with those before they rate the "value"? smile

Didn't take the time to pull out a scanner:


_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#322652 - 09/15/10 03:32 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: MarkSJohnson]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6275
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
My God, that's insane.

I say we all email them their testicles.
_________________________
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.

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#322657 - 09/15/10 03:35 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: medic8r]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10678
Loc: Central NH
I think I'll cancel my subscription first.... and let them know why.
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#322664 - 09/15/10 03:41 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: MarkSJohnson]
jakeman Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/03/05
Posts: 851
Loc: Toronto
Good idea! I couldn't take the blatant hypocrisy of that mag any more so I bailed a couple of years ago. A much better objective alternative is Widescreen Review.
_________________________
John

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#322672 - 09/15/10 03:49 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: jakeman]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6559
Loc: It's all about the location.
$14,500?

Hmmm. That's a toughee. Do I want to spend $14,500 on some bookshelf speakers or $300 for speakers that sound virtually the same plus a Honda Civic for about the same amount.....I'll have to think this over....
_________________________
A person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still.

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#322674 - 09/15/10 03:53 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: Adrian]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 6961
Loc: Canada
I seem to remember Alan or Ian mentioning that the B&W bookself was around $2800, so that probably makes it something like the 805S (which does not appear to exist any more).
_________________________
Fred

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

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#322676 - 09/15/10 03:56 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: fredk]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10678
Loc: Central NH
Maybe I'll ask Ian or Alan for the exact model number, though if I write to the magazine, I won't mention where the A/B test was done so I don't create any "hard feelings" within the industry...
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#322678 - 09/15/10 03:57 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6559
Loc: It's all about the location.
Just tell them they were "eh"/B tested by a group of 30 people in Canada!
_________________________
A person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still.

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#322681 - 09/15/10 04:05 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: Adrian]
RickF Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 5210
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
I wouldn't send 'em any pictures though.

laugh
_________________________
Rick
Our Room

smile

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#322682 - 09/15/10 04:14 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: RickF]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6559
Loc: It's all about the location.
Don't tell them half of the testers were hungover either....
_________________________
A person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still.

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#322703 - 09/15/10 05:58 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: CatBrat]
Worfzara Offline
aficionado

Registered: 07/25/05
Posts: 709
Loc: London area, Ont, Canada
I was expecting to hear an M80 or M60 vs an M22 or M2 sub combo. I never really entertained the idea of a competitor's speaker in the test.

Personally, I wasn't impressed with either speaker, but then again I was expecting a full range speaker (and I am used to my M80's).

I liked the B&W better overall, to me it was a little clearer and I liked the treble range better. I did however hear much wider sound (sound stage) and more, not necessarily better, bass from the M3. But I surly didn't like it $2000 better!

For $2300 I could have M80's and a VP180 or, M2's and an EP500 and a pair of QS8's. Each of which will give you much superior sound than a pair of 805's

I Like a more linear speaker like the M2's or M22's or M80's.

For me it was difficult to fill out the from also. It was hard to define the sound and put in words or ranking.

I now have a new perspecive on buying speakers.

It was a great excercise and I encourage every one to try it at least once before they buy speakers.
_________________________
paul

Axiom M80, VP180, Qs8, EP500
Panasonic PT-AU900
AudioTrak AT-6100
Denon AVR-990

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#322793 - 09/15/10 11:19 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: Worfzara]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10307
Yeah, Paul; I'd jokingly commented before the event that the hungover participants wouldn't be able to judge the first comparison, which was M80 vs Bose Cubes, but I sort of expected an Axiom vs Axiom test.

One of the fairly frequent questions here is the audible difference, if any, between M2/M22/M60/M80 when a sub handles the low bass. Alan has mentioned taking such tests, and I thought it'd be interesting for our members.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#322794 - 09/15/10 11:35 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: JohnK]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 6961
Loc: Canada
Axiom needs more listening rooms!!
_________________________
Fred

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

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#322796 - 09/15/10 11:43 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: MarkSJohnson]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5256
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
I think I'll cancel my subscription first.... and let them know why.


In fairness, it's possible that their "value" calculation included the market value of the diamond tweeter domes. I don't know offhand how a "tweeter cut" diamond measures up against more conventional cuts, but it sure would make for a distinctive ring.


Edited by bridgman (09/15/10 11:48 PM)

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#322798 - 09/15/10 11:54 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: bridgman]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 6961
Loc: Canada
Its certainly a unique presentation. "Here honey. Strap this sucker on your finger."
_________________________
Fred

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

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#322828 - 09/16/10 10:48 AM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: fredk]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6275
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
*snicker*
_________________________
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.

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#322872 - 09/16/10 02:30 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: medic8r]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10678
Loc: Central NH
The letter I wrote to the Editor of Home Theater Magazine:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I will be canceling my subscription to your magazine momentarily (on the assumption that it's best done through the subscription department). I no longer feel that your magazine has any integrity whatsoever.

Yesterday I opened your October issue to scan through it upon receipt as I always do. I was surprised to see the review on the B&W 805D bookshelf speakers, as only a couple of days earlier, myself and approximately 30 other enthusiasts were involved in blind A/B listening tests with a pair of these speakers and a pair of Axiom M3s. The Axioms were preferred by the majority, albeit it was a close contest (myself, for the record, choose the B&Ws by a narrow margin).

Giving these speakers a positive review was not a surprise. Giving them a 5-Star rating for value is preposterous! The Axiom M3s are $330 a pair. A consumer could have set themselves up with 5 M3s and added a small sub like the Axiom EP400 or even a monster like the Axiom EP800 (if size didn't matter) and have a setup that is arguably equal (or very possibly superior) in sound quality and have enough money left over to buy a nice car! Maxing out a similar setup (with real wood veneer or a piano black finish) would STILL leave you with roughly $10,000 in your pocket.

In my opinion, there is absolutely NO WAY a 5.1 system comprised of bookshelves at $14.5K could earn a "5-Star Rating" for value unless they are truly offering sound quality that no one else can touch. I, and 29 of my friends, know that is not the case.

Call them awesome, call them the "elite" of speakers because they're B&Ws, call them a major advertiser in your magazine. But to call them a good Value?

That's truly a joke and tells me that ALL of your ratings are suspect.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#322876 - 09/16/10 02:49 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Worfzara Offline
aficionado

Registered: 07/25/05
Posts: 709
Loc: London area, Ont, Canada
You tell em' Mark!!!!

I am intersted to see if you get a response.
_________________________
paul

Axiom M80, VP180, Qs8, EP500
Panasonic PT-AU900
AudioTrak AT-6100
Denon AVR-990

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#322878 - 09/16/10 02:56 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: Worfzara]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 6961
Loc: Canada
Not likely. He clearly identified himself as NOT part of their target market.
_________________________
Fred

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

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#322881 - 09/16/10 02:59 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6559
Loc: It's all about the location.
Atta-boy Mark!!
_________________________
A person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still.

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#322885 - 09/16/10 03:03 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: Adrian]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8135
Loc: Tacoma
I'm having Mark write all of my inter-office emails from now on.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#322887 - 09/16/10 03:07 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: tomtuttle]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16224
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
I'm having Mark write all of my inter-office emails from now on.


"And so, in response to your criticism that my report lacked the detail you were looking forÖ

***runs away crying***"
_________________________
"I wish I had documented moreÖ" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#322889 - 09/16/10 03:09 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: pmbuko]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10678
Loc: Central NH
Peter, you should know by now that I would ::stamp my feet:: BEFORE ::running away crying:: !!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#322896 - 09/16/10 03:59 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: MarkSJohnson]
BobKay Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 2970
Loc: Massachusetts Badlands
Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
Freakin' walkies. I hate us SOOO much! [/homer]

How funny is this? I glance through the Home Theater magazine that came in today's mail, and they're reviewing the same B&W speakers (though in 5.1 configuration) and, at $14,500, they call it a "Top Pick" and give it five stars for value!!! Should I write them and ask if they shouldn't A/B a pair of M3s with those before they rate the "value"? smile

Didn't take the time to pull out a scanner:



Mark, that guy on Pleasant street really needs you to remit that invoice, asap!
_________________________
If I didn't have a shrink, all of my friends would think there's something wrong with me.

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#322898 - 09/16/10 04:11 PM Re: The Blind Listening Experience [Re: BobKay]
BobKay Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 2970
Loc: Massachusetts Badlands
And, really, if you think a $14,500 "value" in loudspeakers is a hoot, I get TAS (The Absolute Sound)! The "cheescake" cover shots may feature a turntable for $125,000, or a pair of speakers for $180,000, or $70,000 (EACH!) monoblocks.

How many incremental improvemnt level$ are there, beweent "pi" carried to 19 decimal spaces, or 83?

And our dog may snuggle up to the EP500 now and then (odd, yes), but he's never weighed in on the rest of the system, and hey, he knows better than any of us, right?
_________________________
If I didn't have a shrink, all of my friends would think there's something wrong with me.

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