OK, I have pretty much ground to a halt re: comparing M3s with Sierra-1s. The M3s are quite a bit more forward than the Sierra-1s (most reviewers describe the Sierra-1s as "warm" which AFAICS is the opposite of "forward") and it's really hard to tell if the other differences I hear are a function of frequency response or something else.
I can find passages where the Sierras sound less "annoying" than the M3s (generally busy passages with high vocals and edgy instruments at the same time) but in most cases I can hear the annoying sound on the Sierras, it's just quieter.
What I can say is that reviews talking about the extra detail you hear with M3s (and presumably even more so with Axiom speakers using the 5.5" driver) are spot-on - little things like finger movement on a guitar fretboard are noticeable on the M3s but go un-noticed on the Sierra-1s unless you really listen for them. The problem is that I wasn't sitting in the studio for the recording sessions so I have no idea which is more correct. There have been a few cases where I have been out of the living room, walk back in, make some kind of observation about how much better speaker X is and find that it's actually the other speaker playing (a short memory is a useful asset).
BTW I ended up moving the speakers around a bit more, so that both pairs were the same distance apart and I just had to move my head a bit to the left for M3s and a bit to the right for Sierra-1s. Makes one think about "Walk like an Egyptian".
I'm going to pick up some 2P2T relays and knock together an A/B switch box but without also having switchable EQ to take out most of the FR differences it's going to be hard to get much further. Hopefully someone makes a PC-based EQ that can apply 1/2 the EQ to one signal then on a key press apply the opposite EQ so that neither speaker has the advantage of being un-EQ'ed.
The one clear take-away from this is that M3s and Sierra-1s are both really nice speakers. I need to do some A/B testing with the M60v4s but at the moment I'm thinking there is something in my listening preferences that leans towards smaller speakers.
Last edited by bridgman; 12/04/16 01:52 PM.
M60ti, VP180, QS8, M2ti, EP500, PC-Plus 20-39
M5HP, M40ti, Sierra-1
LFR1100 active, ADA1500-4 and -8