I'm looking for a pair of speakers to use with some DIY amp projects. Being a ridiculous person, I'm thinking of building your basic single-ended class-A etc -10 watt amplifiers, and I need some more efficient speakers to use with them. I was looking at your m3's, and they're listed in-room sensitivity measure is 92dB. Sounds pretty efficient to me. Why do you list them as requiring a minimum of 10 watts to drive? I think the first amps I'll build will be able to put out 1.5-3 watts. Is this a poor choice of speaker?


Hello Jeb,

We have lots of Axiom customers who use low-powered SET tube amps to successfully drive M3s. Given your compact room and close listening distance, your proposed DIY tube amp should be fine driving the M3s. As you are no doubt aware, tube amplifiers tend to produce harmoniously agreeable distortion even when overdriven.

Axiom's rating of "10 watts minimum" is really a kind of conservative technical estimate of the potential power demands on an amplifier driving the M3s if the dynamic range found on many CDs (mostly classical) is to be reproduced without distortion. The peak dynamics on some classical CDs are sometimes 10 dB to 20 dB higher than average levels, so an amplifier that's loafing along at 1 to 3 watts output might be asked to deliver ten times that amount (10 to 30 watts per channel) on brief peaks.

Just be careful with the levels if you play CDs of extreme dynamic range.

Good luck with your DIY project. It's great fun building amplifiers.

Kind regards,

Alan Lofft