Greetings. I first learned about Axiom Audio about four or five years ago when I started looking into home audio/home theater. Searches and reviews lead me to this site and I'm sold on the Axiom line. I even registered under a different login name and made a few forum posts a few years back but I can't remember my old password.

Anyway, I've recently started upgrading my car's audio system (2009 Honda Fit Sport, Pioneer 3200DVD head unit, soon to be filled out by a set of Hertz HSK 165 components, a JL Audio XD700/5 amp and a JL Audio 8w3v3 sub in a ported enclosure... can't WAIT!) and it got me thinking once again about home audio.

My requirements are that this home audio set up will be used primarily for music. Musical fidelity and clarity are my paramount concerns.

I live in an apartment with an average to above-average living room where the home theater will reside. I have neighbors below me and to each side of me.

I have a Samsung 46" LCD television that I love. I also have a Sony BDP-N460 BluRay player that handles any kind of CD or DVD/BluRay I have. I watch a lot of movies and a few select TV shows, but my primary use of my current audio system (a simple Sony CMT-HPX9 that I dearly love) is for music first and television/movies second.

I listen to primarily alternative and classic rock. My musical library contains Radiohead, Ween, Beck, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, They Might Be Giants, Johnny Cash, Dave Mathews Band, Nine Inch Nails, The Pixies, Primus, Built to Spill, David Bowie and Tom Petty, among many others. I occasionally play classical, country and blues, and sometimes even some disco and techno, but alternative and classic rock are my bread and butter.

I am torn between my budget and my desires.

My gut instinct is to buy a pair of M60v3s and use this as a baseline for an upgrade to an eventual 5.1 home theatre. This is offset by a desire for the 2.1 setup of a pair of M22s and an EP500. While the latter setup will provide deeper bass extension than the former, I am worried about having too much bass in an apartment where I have to keep an eye on my neighbors. Will the EP500 be overly obnoxious? Am I delusional in thinking the pair of M60s will be less obnoxious? I am not a bassaholic. I just want nice, clear, accurate bass that can keep up with the rest of the midrange and treble. Would I be well-served by nothing but a set of M60s? Would I be better-served by a set of M22s with either an EP350 or EP500? Would I be served better yet by some M60s and an EP350?

Here's where I get even more muddied. When I think about making the leap to a full 5.1 setup I run into all kinds of problems. Should I just go ahead and buy either an Epic Grand Master with the EP350 or Ep500, or should I step up to the Epic 60 with either the EP350 or EP500? Will the EP350 be a musical enough sub to round out the M22s for my musical desires or should the M22s really be paired up with the EP500 (or even the EP400)? Would the M60s be overly bass-heavy with the EP350 or EP500? Which sub is more musical? My gut desire points me to a range of the M22 theatre with the EP350 up to the M60 theatre with the EP500, and I'm leaning more towards either the M22 + EP500 and the M60 + EP350.

And now it gets even worse. When I try to use the Axiom HT Wizard I get even more suggestions. Depending on how I answer the questions, I get answers suggesting everything from an M2 setup up to an M60 + EP600 setup. Neither of those extremes really interest me. I guess I'm looking for some kind of sweet spot that resides in a range including the M3 HT setup all the way up to the M60 + EP500 setup. I'm leaning most towards either an Epic Grand Master 350, Epic Grand Master 500, or an Epic 60.350. That is not to say that I wouldn't be well-served by an Epic Master 350 or 500 with the M3 speakers. I really have no idea. I am so bewildered by the sheer volume of choices that I can't make a decision. I keep starting off with a pair of M60s and I keep ending up with Grand Master 500 or Epic 60 350 setup. Somewhere in that range of possibilities there must be a sweet spot.

I already mentioned that I'm not a bass head. I also don't want to annoy my neighbors. Should I just go ahead and buy the pair of M60s and call it a day? Or should I go with either a pair of M3s or M22s + either a 350 or 500 sub? I'm worried that the latter choices will be overly bass-heavy for my neighbors, while the former wont give me the musicality in the lower regions that I desire. If I do decide to buy either a set of front floor standers or a set of bookshelves + sub woofer then I will eventually upgrade them to a 5.1 system with probably set of QS8s and a VP100 or VP150. I could also spend more now and just buy a 5.1 system. I don't know. I'm beating my head against a wall, and I'm still at least three months out from making a decision.

After typing all of this nonsense, my gut instinct is still to buy a set of M60s and add the rest later.

All of this will be powered by a receiver in the ~$500 range. Right now, I'm looking at the Onkyo TX-SR608 shown here:

What say you, oh wise and powerful Axiom collective?

Edited by Artisan (02/04/11 03:26 PM)