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#32243 - 01/28/04 07:22 PM M60 vs B&W DM603S3
johncj Offline
regular

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 8
Loc: Vancouver
Hi Folks,

I'm a newbie to this site, but I am a long term audio/HT nut. You all seem pretty friendly and knowledgeable, so...

Has anyone owning the M60s listened to the DM603? I like the controlled and authoritive bass of the B&W, but find the mids slightly "boxy". My listening room is average size, I have a dedicated audio set up already, looking for some quality floorstanders for 60% HT, 40 % tunes. Need speakers with good slam that aren't afraid of some injudicious rock.

Thoughts?

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#32244 - 01/28/04 07:32 PM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
pmbuko Offline
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Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16437
Loc: Ben Lomond, California
The general consensus of those on the board who have heard the B&W 600 series is that the Axiom M60s are noticeably better -- not to mention cheaper. It's also been said that you need to move up to the B&W 700 series to start getting on par with Axiom performance.

With the M60s, you get the tight controlled bass, crystal clear highs, and smooth accurate midrange without a boxy effect.

If you're looking for big slam, you'd do well to consider adding a subwoofer if you don't already have one.
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#32245 - 01/28/04 07:41 PM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
johncj Offline
regular

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 8
Loc: Vancouver
Thanks for the response. I have a sub for my existing HT setup, just have never heard a modestly priced sub (yet!) that really sounds good with music.

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#32246 - 01/28/04 07:55 PM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16437
Loc: Ben Lomond, California
What sub do you have, and what do you consider "modestly priced?" We often (ok, more like always) recommend SVS and Hsu subs.
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#32247 - 01/28/04 08:03 PM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
johncj Offline
regular

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 8
Loc: Vancouver
My HT system has an Energy XLS-8. It is bloody awful sonically. But for my movies, it's adequate.
I would figure $300-400 would be modest for a sub. But if I went that route, I probably wouldn't get towers. Don't want to go much over $1K for the new tranducers.

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#32248 - 01/28/04 08:05 PM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16437
Loc: Ben Lomond, California
Sounds like you're prioritizing your main speakers, which is the right thing to do. Go with the M60s and don't look back.
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#32249 - 01/28/04 08:08 PM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
The B&Ws I heard didn't strike me as particularly good, but there are some other speakers out there that I would consider. And, of course, the M60s are truly EXCELLENT and versatile.

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#32250 - 01/28/04 08:15 PM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
oldskoolboarder Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2185
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
You may want to take a look at this faceoff. I've listened to the Monitor Audio Golds and loved them. But I like the $1k savings of getting M22's.

Audioholics

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#32251 - 01/28/04 08:19 PM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8488
Loc: Tacoma
You know, I don't have too much to add here beyond what gets continually recycled on the boards. I love my M60's and am looking forward to adding a good quality sub when I can afford it.

But what drew me in was john's joyful writing. Anybody who uses "injudicious" and "bloody awful" in one thread has a seriously bright future around here. Stay and chat awhile.
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#32252 - 01/28/04 08:42 PM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
johncj Offline
regular

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 8
Loc: Vancouver
Mr. Tuttle; you are too kind.

How about "thin-walleted cognescenti" as a handle?

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#32253 - 01/28/04 09:19 PM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8488
Loc: Tacoma
LOL

Again, I decided to build-up to a "premium" solution rather than immediately implement a compromise. I wanted floor standers, so decided to get them now and wait for the sub. But there are LOTS of people simply giddy with M22's and a Hsu/SVS/Axiom sub combo.

I remain delighted with the imaging, detail and punch of my M60's. But I will be getting a sub, primarily because I do notice some lack of depth in HT applications.

Axiom makes good products. I have zero buyers remorse.
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#32254 - 01/29/04 12:09 AM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
joema Offline
local

Registered: 12/21/03
Posts: 273
Loc: Nashville, TN
I've had M22s and an Hsu STF-2, then M60s and STF-2, and am now w/o a sub awaiting my VTF-3R. The M22s/sub combo are very good. But good as they are, I liked my M60s+sub better. Properly calibrated, the sub added some low end punch and authority to music, without sounding artificial or abnormal. Removing the sub hurt the M60s more than I anticipated. They're not bad now, just lack some low end "grunt" I'd become accustomed to.

Now if the choice was between M22+sub vs M60 w/o sub, that's a tough one. To my ear on HT the M22+sub has a slight advantage. On music it's very close. Overall I'd very slightly favor the M60s, because after a later sub upgrade you have a better final package.

I like the nice detailed Axiom sound from the M60s. The punch is there if you want it, but you don't need loud levels to appreciate the music. I think the M60 + Hsu STF-2 combo is a low cost way to get both the detail and low-end HT punch. The only reason I sent the STF-2 back is my plans changed for a custom cabinet. No longer space constrained, I opted for the VTF-3R.

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#32255 - 01/29/04 12:30 AM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16437
Loc: Ben Lomond, California
johncj,

Don't forget to fill out your profile -- that is, unless you're as secretive as our other John.
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#32256 - 01/29/04 01:05 AM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
chesseroo Offline
axiomite

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5289
Loc: western canada
There certainly are alot of speaker options out there but for the quality-price thing, Axiom is amazing. That being said, Axiom speakers do not produce a 'slam' bass type sound, certainly not the kind that the DM603 does (i have heard these).
However the Monitor Audio Silvers and Golds do have a bit more bass and truly superb upper end. There cost is just a touch more than Axiom based on recent quotes.
This might be a route you should consider if you have ruled out the concept of using a sub for the slam bass you are hoping for.

Here is a link to a personal review of some speakers i went to audition recently. Maybe there is something in there that may help.
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#32257 - 01/29/04 10:13 AM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
johncj Offline
regular

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 8
Loc: Vancouver
Nice job on the review, thanks.
Curious as to the omission of the Paradigm Studio 60. Granted, they are a little pricey, but would probably serve as a valid reference point (good or bad) due to their ubiquity.

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#32258 - 01/29/04 12:30 PM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
chesseroo Offline
axiomite

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5289
Loc: western canada
johncj,
I was auditioning all these speakers with a friend of mine who was really doing the searching for his new setup. I was along for the ride so to speak, and there in part to give him advice and overall cost-performance type opinions.
In short answer to your question about the Paradigm Studios, they were not in stock in any of the shops we perused that day. We did get to hear them once before at another store but not for very long and with a salesman telling us how they sounded during the listening. He was not a fan and kept calling them Para'booms'. Not only was this annoying but he's influenced how i think about these speakers. I will not comment on the Reference line until i get the chance to hear them again more critically and without a boneheaded salesman yapping away while i do it.
The Energy lineup that we heard are another comparable low end- high end set of speakers that i guess you could say we used as a reference for relatively good and not so good sound reproduction. Mind you, my friend's home setup originally consisted of a $700 Sony HT in a Box so it truly was the epitomy of horrible.
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"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#32259 - 01/29/04 06:39 PM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
Chess, those Silver 8s are excellent but I'll bet the M60s are better for HT. M60s seemed in my mind to have a little more clarity and resolution at the top end.

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#32260 - 01/29/04 07:12 PM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
chesseroo Offline
axiomite

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5289
Loc: western canada
The Silver 8s were beautiful to hear but i agree that the Axioms have a brighter upper end which for HT makes them superior for that application IMO.
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#32261 - 01/29/04 10:03 PM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
johncj Offline
regular

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 8
Loc: Vancouver
Answered my own question. Was downtown on business and popped in to a Paradigm dealer for a listen to the '60s.
Coupla things have changed in the 4-5 years since I last gave them a listen:
They're at v3 and ...
They now list for $1899 CDN. Ouch.
They are amazingly good.

I am ultra critical, VERY hard to please. But these strongly tempted me to blow the budget, they certainly don't need a sub (for music) imho.
If anyone is interested in my detailed impressions, let me know and I'll expand.


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#32262 - 01/29/04 10:15 PM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
chesseroo Offline
axiomite

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5289
Loc: western canada
Expand away johncj.
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#32263 - 01/29/04 10:34 PM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
johncj Offline
regular

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 8
Loc: Vancouver
That's like asking me if I'll have another beer

The bass presentation was sublime. The lower octaves were there - and accurate. Excellent delivery with not a hint of boominess.
Cymbals and high hat sounded absolutely authentic. Very involving. Paradigm has a done a major redesign on the tweeter, it seems they've taken a page from B&W.
I find the midrange somewhat laidback, although not offensively so. Vocals had a very slight nasal quality. The B&W 603 get the edge in this respect.
However, I was listtening to these via a Toshiba DVD player and mid-range Denon receiver!(albeit with decent interconnect). My personal upstream gear may address these minor mid-range concerns.
In general, imaging and soundstage was far superiour to the B&Ws. The DM603 were hooked up to excellent electronics and the salesguy was doing backflips with placement in a sonically friendly room. The Paradigms were out on the floor in a hideous environment.
Would sure be neat to have some M60s on hand for a shoot out.

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#32264 - 01/30/04 01:02 PM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16437
Loc: Ben Lomond, California
It's been said many a time that the Paradigm Studio series sounds a lot like equivalent Axiom speakers. Particularly close are the Studio 20 / M22ti and the Studio 60 / M60ti.

It's hard to go for the Paradigms when the difference in price is so significant and any improvement in sound over the Axioms is highly questionable.
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#32265 - 01/30/04 01:07 PM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
chesseroo Offline
axiomite

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5289
Loc: western canada
Getting all the speakers into the same room/listening environment would certainly prove to be a large equalizer in some sound disparities.
The last time i hear B&W 603s, they also sounded good (long time ago, can't remember exact impressions) but the room was very well designed for auditions. I'm doubting they would sound the same in my hard walled basement.
Being able to compare some Paradigms to the M60s at home would be fun though. Maybe on my next trip testing out store return policies....
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#32266 - 01/30/04 07:11 PM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
littleb Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 08/03/03
Posts: 1235
Loc: Moorhead, Minnesota/US
Before you buy a pair of B&W's I felt compelled to tell u it was because of my severe disappointed over a pair of 602s3 that I ordered Axioms. The B&W's sounded great in the store on some really great equipment, but it my house with my Yammie they sounded as bad as I have ever heard a speaker sound. I don't know if there is a compatibility issue with certain equipment, but I'm guessing that was the problem. There never was a problem with my m22ti's. If not for my disappointment and the kind advice of the experts at this board I would never have ordered Axioms.


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#32267 - 02/01/04 12:16 AM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
johncj Offline
regular

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 8
Loc: Vancouver
Guys, thanks for the feedback. Nice to hear cogent and clearly unbiased dialogue.
It's particularly helpful to hear that the M60 is in the same league as the Studio 60. I appreciate the comments on the B&W 602, but I have already ruled them out. The 603S3 are significantly better than the 602 (IMO), and I think that the Studio 60V3 outclass the 603S3 in almost all criteria. Just mo' money.
I'm a little hesitant to pull the trigger on the M60 and find I don't like them - it's $100 to send them back.


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#32268 - 02/01/04 12:39 AM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
nowave Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/14/02
Posts: 97
Loc: USA
I don't think I've ever read of anyone on this board who bought an Axiom speaker and sent it back. Well - a few cases in which they said they just upgraded higher up the Axiom chain

If you are looking at M60s and are REALLY considering them, and can't audition them in your area - I supposed you could always buy a smaller speaker, like an M22 or even M2 and return it. This might seem callous to buy a speaker even though you know you are going to return it, but I'm sure Axiom has figured this factor in a bit into their direct business model. Without a dealer network, you have to expect a certain number of "audition only" returns. Besides, I doubt highly that people ever decide against them. Their cost/performance ratio is just too damn good.

I recently heard a friend's $1100 paradigms. Not really that nice looking... sounded very good though. $700 better than my M40's? No. Better yes... I imagine that they are M60 quality (and from what I've read, similar in tone) but cost quite a bit more. I can't remember the model #, and don't feel like looking it up - but I can say that my lowly M40's did not sound bad at all compared to them, and the M60s clearly outperform them (from reviews I've read on this board).

I don't know if that last bit makes you feel better... it DOES seem like a plunge... but a plunge that most people never seem to regret.

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#32269 - 02/01/04 01:57 AM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
chesseroo Offline
axiomite

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5289
Loc: western canada
I agree with nowave.
We would not buy a large surround setup without first hearing the speaker brand and style so we 'bought' the M22s to audition at home first.
We like the sound so much, but wanted something larger, that we sent them back to Axiom and picked up the M60s along with everything else. The return package cost us a whopping $24 Cdn with $400 insurance, regular parcel post!
The M22s would be a good trial model since they sound so much like the larger M60 and M80s.
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#32270 - 02/01/04 02:21 AM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
RJS72 Offline
regular

Registered: 01/24/04
Posts: 7
Hello,

Being a longtime B&W fan myself, I thought I'd throw in my $.02 just to be helpful
Just for a bit of background, over the last few years I have previously owned the B&W 604 Series 2, the B&W CDM series (the CDM's have been discontinued - but they were a model up from the 600 series), and most recently, the newer 604 Series 3 along with a pair of the 603 Series 3 as full-size surrounds.
To be honest I really enjoyed the B&W's. Nice open sounding tweeter. Solid mid-range for vocals. Nice full bottom end. I thought that overall, they had a really nice clarity for a speaker in that price range. Although some people are not fond of the B&W tweeter, I always found it to be nice and clean sounding to my ears. In short, I don't have a bad thing to say about the 604 or 603's.
I do have a few words of caution though. I actually preferred the 603's to the 604's for music. The 603's just had much tighter control in the bass. I think the 604's traded some of the tightness and control in the bass area for more overall bass output (higher spl's maybe). The 604's were a bit more dynamic for home theater or bass-heavy music, but the 603's were just clearer and more accurate.
Also, I don't recommend using the B&W's with an A/V reciever. There are two reasons I say this.
1) They just seem that they were made to be used with separates all the way. They sound a bit more "congested" or "closed-in" on a reciever (even a great one). I have heard them on Rotel separates though and they really sing. It's not that they sound bad on a reciever, they just don't seem to live up to their potential.
2) (and this is a biggin' for me) , I have a Marantz A/V reciever (SR9200) which is almost bullet-proof. I have run many, many different speakers on it (B&W's, Def Tech, Paradigm, PSB, and Axiom), and the 604's were the only pair to ever make my beloved Marantz kick into protection mode and turn off. This tells me that the B&W's were presenting too difficult a load to the reciever's amp section at that volume. Now, I will say that I was playing Rush (Leave That Thing Alone) at a really high volume level - like kick you in the chest lound - so take it for what it's worth.
Just thought I'd share my personal experiences with the B&W line you're looking at. Hope this helps a bit.

RJ

BTW, after the huge parade of speakers through my home in the last few years, from the Paradigm Studio to the B&W 600 & CDM series, to the PSB 6T's, to the Def Tech BP2002TL's, you wanna know the only ones to stay?

The Axiom M80's

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#32271 - 02/01/04 02:58 AM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8488
Loc: Tacoma
RJS72 - THAT is the definition of a relevant, helpful post. Thank you for sharing your perspective with us.
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#32272 - 02/01/04 10:53 AM Re: M60 vs B&W DM603S3
chesseroo Offline
axiomite

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5289
Loc: western canada
Except for the part about a speaker only working with separates and not receivers. I would say the Marantz was underpowered for the volume levels trying to be obtained. A more robust receiver would be required in such a case..

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