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#328899 - 11/18/10 08:44 PM Torn Between Trying M60 & M80
MarkyM Offline

Registered: 11/13/10
Posts: 40
Loc: Ohio

Sorry in advance for this long post.

I have read just about every M60 vs. M80 thread and just can't make up my mind which to try.

I have a pair of M2 v2-1/2's (with a small sub) that I absolutely love as near-field monitors on my computer-based DAW (pro audio recording / mastering rig) and would like to get that kind of accurate, full sound on a larger scale as L & R mains for my HT/music listening system.

I have tried my Mackie HR624 MkII's recording mains in that system but they seem too "clinical" and "dry". They don't have any nice "bite" or "presence" to them like the little M2's do while staying accurate. Hence my desire to try the larger Axioms.

AVR is a Denon 3808. Sub is an original SVS PCI cylinder so bass is not a problem. Room is very well treated (pretty dead actually) with Auralex foam and LENRD bass traps.

The speakers will be about 7 feet apart and the listening distance is 7 feet. Back of couch is 18" from back (treated) wall. Will this be far enough for those multiple drivers to "blend" and have a good soundstage and imaging?

Looking at the NRC response graphs, they are both fairly flat (although overall not as flat as the M2's!).

The M60 seems to have a very broad dip in the mids and a broad rise between 80 Hz and 250 Hz.

The M80 looks a bit ragged between 100-200 Hz but appears flatter overall. Also, something about the use of 2 mids and 2 tweeters bothers me as well as that gets away from the "point source rule" for imaging. The Mackie's do image very well.

Bottom line for me is accurate but smooth mids, no harsh highs, great imaging and nice full musical lower mids/upper bass without sounding chesty on male voices. Basically the M2 "scaled-up".

What do you Axiom experts think?



#328900 - 11/18/10 09:30 PM Re: Torn Between Trying M60 & M80 [Re: MarkyM]
terzaghi Offline

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 4872
Loc: Tulsa, Oklahoma
I intended on purchasing the m60's back in '07 when I was looking at axioms. I was able to find the m80's for an audition but not m60's. After hearing the m80's I knew I had to have a pair. I haven't heard the m60's so I can't offer much advice other than I don't think you can go wrong with either one.

I'd vote for the m80's simply because they have given me the exact listening experience you are describing (great imaging, nice full musical sound, clean midrange, etc.) for the last 3 years. If I owned the m60's I could probably say the same thing about those speakers though.

While the planned listening distance isn't all that far for you, it sounds as though a nice equilateral triangle would be formed which should give you great imaging.

I have never noticed any strange sounds or imaging problems with dual mids and tweeters.

Also, I suggest you have 12" of clear space between the m80's and the back wall since they are rear ported.

#328906 - 11/18/10 10:03 PM Re: Torn Between Trying M60 & M80 [Re: terzaghi]
Adrian Offline

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6928
Loc: It's all about the location.
Welcome, Marky. I'm thinking there is likely someone in your area that may be able to provide you with an audition of either M60s or M80s if you wanted to hear them first. There is a "Hearing Things" thread with a list of auditioning possibilities or a call to Axiom may provide you with a local connection. Of course, you also have the 30 day return policy if you order your Axioms to audition(just pay return shipping).

I agree with the comments David made. The dual tweets seem to worry some potential owners of the M80s but I too, haven't heard any problems with that arrangement. I likened the sound of my M80s (V2) to be similar to Paradigm's Studio 100's(V4) a couple of years ago when I was auditioning just in case you are familiar with the 100's. I haven't heard the latest version of the M80's but they are said to have slight improvements over the V2s as well.
Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

#328909 - 11/18/10 10:19 PM Re: Torn Between Trying M60 & M80 [Re: terzaghi]
MarkyM Offline

Registered: 11/13/10
Posts: 40
Loc: Ohio
Thanks David and Adrian.

Do you feel that the "phantom center" imaging is rock solid on the 80's?

I have about 9-10" clear space behind on the left and more than that on the right.

If I get them both in here, it looks like it will cost $90 to send one pair back.

I'm leaning towards going for the 80's. If I don't like them, I could still go for the 60's. But something tells me they won't be going back.

Have either of you heard the M2's?

Thanks Again,

M2v3's, M60v3's, VP100

#328914 - 11/18/10 10:55 PM Re: Torn Between Trying M60 & M80 [Re: MarkyM]
Adrian Offline

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6928
Loc: It's all about the location.
There are a number of Axiom owners in Ohio on the audition list but I'm not sure how up-to-date it is so it may be better to contact Axiom since many owners don't frequent the forums on a reg basis. If you order the speakers from the US, if you decide to return them they are sent to a US address as I understand it so as to reduce the cost.

If you've heard the Paradigm Studio 100's which may be easier for you to locate, I'd say the M80's are close to them on the imaging, perhaps with a slight advantage to the Studio 100s, but they are so close sonically in so many respects, it's almost uncanny imo.

Unfortunately I haven't heard the M2's, only the M3's in the blind test against the B&W's at the Axiom gathering.
Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

#328924 - 11/19/10 01:00 AM Re: Torn Between Trying M60 & M80 [Re: Adrian]
tomtuttle Offline

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8488
Loc: Tacoma
I haven't heard the M2's. I own M60's and have heard M80's at several other locations.

Given your very extensive expertise, I think you'd be well-served by getting the M80's. They are Axiom's flagship loudspeaker. I don't think that your reservations about non-point-source design will be borne out. Remember that Axiom is primarily an R&D company and that Ian has about 30 years of design/engineering experience. The M80 is built the way it is because that's what they have concluded is "best". That's what you deserve.
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

#328929 - 11/19/10 03:41 AM Re: Torn Between Trying M60 & M80 [Re: tomtuttle]
Captain4105 Offline

Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 143
Loc: North Carolina
Hello MarkyM: I initiated a thread discussing in detail the new M60's I had bought. You might want to take a look at - However I decided not to keep them and to purchase M80's explicitly because they have dual tweeters and mid-range speakers. I was looking for a forward sounding speaker in those frequencies for the presentation I was seeking. I found the M60's were very smooth and blended. One could easily determine instrument location in the sound stage accurately. The M80's in my opinion produce music that seems to go beyond any specific speaker location or boundaries...they disappear when performing. From your description the M60's may be the speaker for you. When the volume is turned up they perform magnificently and comparable to the M80...perhaps less detailed in the highs. Since I listen at moderate volumes and strictly to classical music I was looking for a speaker that would give me a forward sound at lower levels and the 80's hit the spot.

#328930 - 11/19/10 05:33 AM Re: Torn Between Trying M60 & M80 [Re: Captain4105]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10420
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
+1 what the Captain said.

In my experience the M2v2/M22v2 and M60v2 have a similar sound, yet the extra bass of the M60 seems to hide the mids more, the extra mid driver of the M80 lets the mids shine through.

I would first purchase the M60s and then return them for the M80s(Axiom pays for this 'upgrade' at least in the past this worked )if they are not quite what you are looking for. You would then only have to decide if the M80s are what you want and if not you are then responsible for the return shipping.

M80 v2
VP160 v3
QS8 v2
PB13 Ultra
Denon 3808
Samsung 85" Q70

#328933 - 11/19/10 08:05 AM Re: Torn Between Trying M60 & M80 [Re: jakewash]
CatBrat Offline

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 6015
Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
Here's (possibly a stupid) suggestion. Get one M60 and one M80. Left and right channel. Listen to them seperately (by unplugging from the back of the speaker). Then trade for the one you want to keep.

#328935 - 11/19/10 08:22 AM Re: Torn Between Trying M60 & M80 [Re: CatBrat]
GTZ Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/04/10
Posts: 77
Loc: Wisconsin

Stupid? I think that's a great suggestion. And return shipping $ for one speaker wouldn't be so bad.
M80's, VP150, QS8's (all V3) Epic Sentinel Sub
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