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#157026 - 01/29/07 09:39 AM M60/80 vs. Paradigm Reference Studio 100?
PeterChenoweth Offline

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
<groan from the Axiomites....>
Yes, yes, another 'VS' round of debate. I'm sorry, m'kay!

So I *finally* got a chance to visit a Paradigm dealer this weekend. I have been told by several folks here that the RS100 sounds very similar to the M60/80, and might be about as close as you'll get to 'Axiom' sound without actually listening to Axiom's. So I've heard, anyway. With that in mind, I headed straight to the pair of RS100's that they had set up. All run by NAD equipment, it looked to be a pretty nice setup....

We weren't really blown away by the speakers. They weren't bad by any means, and I do think that I heard some similarities to my M22's somewhere in there. Bass was great, although not amazing. Low-midrange was pretty good, but not really smooth nor rich. Female vocals (Norah Jones) did not have that lush, full presence to it that I've heard on other larger floor-standing speakers (B&W, Energy Veritas). The midrange sounded very similar to what I'm used to in my m22's. That is to say, quite good. But the highs were extremely bright. The shop's demo CD was some Dave Matthews, and the cymbol hits where almost piercing. My wife (who has better ears than I do) winced. I brought along a couple of my own CD's that I know are mastered well, and they sounded better, but were still awfully bright.

These speaker's MSRP is $2,500, and the store had this last pair on 'clearance' for less than $1,400. Always tempting to see such a huge discount, but we were only mildly impressed with the sound, and that's a lot to just be 'ho-hum' about.

So here's my question, oh Axiom lovers. To anyone that's heard the RS100's, how do they compare to the sound of the S60/S80 siblings? I know this topic has appeared once or twice before, but I'm curious if anyone has any information that they'd like to share!

Thanks for any/all advice!
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

#157027 - 02/04/07 07:34 PM Re: M60/80 vs. Paradigm Reference Studio 100? [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Thasp Offline

Registered: 03/27/04
Posts: 338
I heard the Studio 100 once at a dealer. I asked to compare it to the studio 20 which is comparable to the m22ti I have at home. This was before I bought my CS3.6.

I thought it was fuller overall than the 20. It sounded the same, just bigger, fuller, and nicer, which is what I expected since it was a much larger cabinet and more drivers. Male vocals on each sounded kind of weird if it was a low vocal, though.

I have never directly compared the studio 20 to my m22tis. they sounded similar, but since I could not A/B in the same room, my opinions on the matter aren't much.

The M22ti has been said to sound almost the same as the studio 20, so if the M80 is a bigger version of the M22, in theory, the studio 100 and m80 should sound pretty similar.. but theory and listening is a big difference.

If you're willing to spend the money on the 100s, I'd buy a 5.1 axiom setup including m80s, or a used set of thiel 3.6s for stereo. Either one will kick the hell out of new studio 100s, IMHO both valuewise and soundwise. However, asking that on an Axiom forum isn't exactly going to get you an unbiased answer.

Edited by Thasp (02/04/07 07:36 PM)

#157028 - 02/05/07 10:32 AM Re: M60/80 vs. Paradigm Reference Studio 100? [Re: PeterChenoweth]
littleb Offline

Registered: 08/03/03
Posts: 1235
Loc: Moorhead, Minnesota/US
I had a listen to the studio 20s before I ordered my M22s and frankly, I hesitated ordering the M22s due to that experience. I concur that they were the harshest sounding speaker I have ever auditioned. I have since given them a further listen, and my opinion of them hasn't changed. They just aren't my cup of tea, and I like tea.

#157029 - 02/08/07 11:37 PM Re: M60/80 vs. Paradigm Reference Studio 100? [Re: PeterChenoweth]
PeterChenoweth Offline

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
I'll close out my own thread...

IMHO, the M80's are better. Hard to A/B compare them, different components, etc. But I can say that at least for me, the M80's bass isn't quite as pounding - but it's nice and smooth. Im the midrange, the M80's seem more accurate and cleaner. Highs are significantly better on the M80 - nowhere near as bright as the RS100's. Happy with my choice to go M80!
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office


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