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#414052 - 08/12/15 05:38 PM Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs...
DigitalGrit Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 10/12/14
Posts: 24
I searched the web, and searched these forums, and couldn't get an answer (or find one). I'm 'graduating' from bookshelves to floor-standers. I'm trying to get a feel for what compares to what from 3 Canadian manufacturers:

- Which Paradigm lines do the Axiom M60 and M80 compare to?

- Which PSB lines are comparable to the same two Axioms? I currently have PSB Alphas for my workstation with an AudioEngine N22 amp, and they really sound nice, so I won't hesitate to choose the sound I like the best between these brands.

I just need to get a rough idea about the quality of build and overall sound you get with each line and how it stacks up with the other two manufacturers. I have a sub with my theatre system, and these will be for pure stereo, so no sub (If I can help it). Real, full-sounding bass is important to me, but I don't need the theatre 'rumble' for my two channel setup. I listen to a wide array of music: classic rock, jazz, hip-hop, some classical.

If someone can shed some light (if you've owned them all, for example, or just tested them out). Thanks.

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#414054 - 08/12/15 07:49 PM Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... [Re: DigitalGrit]
MatManhasgone Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/06/14
Posts: 1029
Loc: Lost in the great wide yonder
An option that you can look into if you share your location, that someone with Axiom speakers in your local area might be more than willing for you to hear a set of speakers live.

The down side to speakers as you will get from reading the forums here are that they sound different from room to room, location to location, one song to another.

I have spent some good money over bad trying to get that perfect sound only to come up short as I just didn't understand the fickle side to sound.

I was told that the M80 speakers were like the Paradigm Studio 100 (but others said the Studio 60's). I did go to a dealer who would not let me take a pair home and evaluate demo them, so I spent a good two part days inside their listening room to get what I thought was a feel for how they sounded.
The Studio 60 just didn't work for me with the lower frequencies in trying to catch the essence of a grand piano or deliver the feel of an upright bass. It couldn't reproduce a pipe organ where to can feel the sudden attack of sound from the different ranks. The Studio 100 did a far better job and I was seriously considering buying them.

I found out about Axiom and said if it's just going to cost me $60 to ship them back if I don't think they live up to my taste, it's a small price to pay to see how they sound in my own home with my own equipment. Non of this I've bought them so now I better love them and second guessing if they sounded better in the show room that what I am hearing now,

I got the M80.V4 and fell in love with them. The sound stage was by far better than what I was hearing in the dealers show room. I listened to the same tracks, but it felt like the sound was more there and that you could place each of the instruments inside the stage and not just a blur between what is left and what is right. A grand piano sounded right there, down to the subtle decay as the notes rolled off to nothing. I wasn't expecting to get blown away but it felt like this speaker was just singing to me.

As I have said time and time again in this and other forums. The down side to Axiom speakers are how revealing they are. Feed it a bad recording of something that sounded good on your old speakers and it will show you all the flaws and weaknesses that are there and not cover any of it up. The other side of the coin however is that if you feed them a great recording, you will sit in awe about how great it sounds and then feel that your old speakers were letting you down.

Your choice about no sub is more a statement of how you have not heard a good sub. A great sub will not let you know it is even there until you turn it off and get a glimpse of that little part of the sound that you are now missing and wish it was turned back on.

Can the Axiom's work without a sub. YES. Does it produce the lower frequencies. Yes.

I have heard some PSB and Totem and B&W and there are models that do make me smile. All cost significantly more that what I paid and all have their sound nuances that are different that what I have. I just happen to have become accustomed to the sound of my Axioms and really like it. Not to say that the others are bad. Just different.
_________________________
Anthem: AVM60
Axiom: ADA1000, LFR1100, VP180, QS8, EP500, M3, M3comp
AudioSource: Amp One/A

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#414062 - 08/12/15 10:39 PM Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... [Re: DigitalGrit]
MatManhasgone Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/06/14
Posts: 1029
Loc: Lost in the great wide yonder
As a side note, if you are serious about price not important and want amazing sound, then look into the LFR1100. That is what I ended up owning and the sound on these speakers blows away anything that PSB, Paradigm, Totem sell. But they do require quite a bit of power with 4 channel external amp and a pre-amp or receiver that has pre-amp outs.
_________________________
Anthem: AVM60
Axiom: ADA1000, LFR1100, VP180, QS8, EP500, M3, M3comp
AudioSource: Amp One/A

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#414064 - 08/13/15 12:00 AM Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... [Re: DigitalGrit]
DigitalGrit Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 10/12/14
Posts: 24
I have a price range... of around up to $2500 (for a pair). Not a lot, but should be good enough for some great sound. I have the M3, PSB Alphas, a pair of Energy bookshelves, old Bose 301s (Yeah, I know), and old Sound Dynamics CS-3s (fronts, bi-pole surrounds, center for my theatre). I want them to be a stereo pair to listen to... just music. When I'm chillin' out with a drink. Always been under the impression that the sound is different without a sub. Currently I have a Velodyne 8" that kicks out some decent bass, but may not be as musical as other subs (I mainly only use it for movies).

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#414077 - 08/13/15 05:06 PM Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... [Re: DigitalGrit]
BobKay Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 3596
Loc: Massachusetts Badlands
Ditto everything Matt said. Why would anyone, ever, want a speaker that colors the sound. If the recording sucks, shame on them! (Matt likes the "shame" thing, so I thought I'd throw it in here.)

So $2,500 isn't really "price unimportant," but more important than ever. What Matt has with the LFR's is awesome, but will break your piggy. Try the M100's. They couldn't be cleaner, crisper, flatter, fatter, louder and more honest unless they cost 4 times the price.
_________________________
Always call the place you live a house. When you're old, everyone else will call it a home.

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#414078 - 08/13/15 07:48 PM Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... [Re: DigitalGrit]
brendo Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/14/14
Posts: 382
Loc: West coast Canada
Dear Digital, Matt and spbob have good insight as to your question. But don't just think that the speakers mean all, even if you went with the 60s. Your amp. is most important, some say there's no difference in competent amps. but a decent external with more power eg.400 plus watt will bring out more life than ever on Axioms they really love power!!!
Witch I think is kind of in the design as the president of Axiom enjoys really loud audio as you will find reference to if you search these forums.

P.S. I vote for the M80 I've owned mine for a month and think they're Awesome. But the best thing I did was get a PRO power amp. It was an instant feeling of WOW they opened right up.

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#414079 - 08/13/15 08:47 PM Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... [Re: brendo]
MatManhasgone Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/06/14
Posts: 1029
Loc: Lost in the great wide yonder
Originally Posted By brendo
Dear Digital, Matt and spbob have good insight as to your question. But don't just think that the speakers mean all, even if you went with the 60s. Your amp. is most important, some say there's no difference in competent amps. but a decent external with more power eg.400 plus watt will bring out more life than ever on Axioms they really love power!!!


There is an ounce of truth to what is being said here but I don't think it really paints the true picture. The speakers are 4ohm speakers, and as such do require quite a bit of current to work properly.

I have owned a set of the M80 (before I upgraded them to the LFR's). I also own a few receivers and a power amp. Plugging the M80 into each of the different units got different results for the most part. WHY. Well, to put it rather blunt, most manufactures are very creative in writing their specs to the point of almost lying about it.

My favourite receiver that I have ever owned (and still do) is the Nakamichi AV1. This was a rather expensive unit and weighs a lot. It has a real A/B class amp inside with a massive toroidal transformer. The specs call it a 90watt amp, but that is rated at full frequency and is probably conservative in that number. The specs rate it at 8ohms but I have heard from many that it's stable down to 2ohms. When I hooked up the M80's it sang.

I replaced that amp back around 2005 with a Yamaha that was speced as a high current unit when everyone else just put out watt's and didn't tell you if that was just a play on putting out a hight voltage to get the wattage number up. This unit was 110w @ 8ohm and said is supports 6ohm but didn't say much beyond that. The M80's did work on it but is lost a bit of the WOW factor in playing but still very listenable.

When I moved into my current house I bought a Pioneer Elite SC1527 that is supposed to be a high current amp that supports 4 ohm speakers. They simply lied. Its a class D3 amp rated at 130w@8ohm (1kHz) its the last bit that is the kicker to it. So it will give you 130w of power when playing a note at 1kHz, but when you cross reference that with any speaker, it's the frequency that has the speaker is probably up around the 10-15+ohm range to power the speaker. So the number you are getting is how many watts the amp can produce when the speaker is running at it's most optimum lest power hungry mode. But what happens when you try and play bass? That is where the average 8ohm speaker drops down to 5-6ohm and needs all the current it can get. And the amp falls far short of real power to drive 8ohm speakers let alone 4ohm speakers that drop down around the 3.2ohm level at <450hz.

So where brendo was saying that you need to have a large amp, it is partially true in that an average receiver that uses these creative specs to boost up numbers to be large when really they suck will not have the current to power these speakers.

I have an Anthem MCA5ii that is rated at 350w@4ohm full frequency and has more than enough to power the LFR1100 that is sort of like the M100 speakers with an extra set on the back. But I'd hazard to guess that even a 150w@4ohm full range amp world work just as well depending if you are wanting to run the speakers at reference levels that I find to be simply too loud to ever want to listen.
_________________________
Anthem: AVM60
Axiom: ADA1000, LFR1100, VP180, QS8, EP500, M3, M3comp
AudioSource: Amp One/A

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#414081 - 08/14/15 04:58 AM Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... [Re: DigitalGrit]
Serenity_then Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 1568
Loc: PEI, Canada
Temp derailment...

Yeah, manufacturers cook the numbers to make their amps seem better. AVR companies for sure (they are hyper competitive.)

If you wanna get something amp wise that is worth arguing "amps are worthwhile" get something heavy and that doubles down into 4 ohms (or nearly.) There is a thread going on in the technical section about a rotel amp. Built like a dumptruck! Massive power supply. Thats what's worthwhile. IMO. Its gonna cost money, so buying used is a great option.

You gotta watch out, some companies drop their 8ohm watt rating to make their 4 ohm watt rating appear to double down.....

In order of priority for sound result:

1. Speakers
2. Room acoustics/placement
3. Amplification
4. Refreshments grin

Digital, try the M80s at your pricepoint. When I finally heard an Axiom product all my doubts were resolved. Good stuff.
_________________________
Trevor. Cold turkey. Thanks guys. Cheers.

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#414082 - 08/14/15 10:29 AM Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... [Re: Serenity_then]
7800 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/25/15
Posts: 35
I thought I'd put my 2 cents in here. I lived with a somewhat lowly pair of Paradigm monitor 7's for 12 years before a bought a separate class H amp(2.2 kVA trans, +\- 20 amp/channel). I had no idea what they were capable of until then and it was the best $800, amp was used but mint condition, I'd ever spent. Even just bolted up to a midline Yamaha receiver as a pre I was now listening to a tight, controlled bottom end and more detail on the higher frequencies. I now have a big bad class A/B for my LFR's and although it doesn't double down it still delvers the juice: twin 1.5 kVA transformers +\- 30 amps /channel. It made a difference. I haven't heard M80's but with the right equipment I bet they rock.

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#414084 - 08/14/15 03:50 PM Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... [Re: DigitalGrit]
brendo Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/14/14
Posts: 382
Loc: West coast Canada
Thank you for these great descriptions, sorry I didn't elaborate.
Matts ride has been a fun read. I went from a {mid range Onkyo} thought it was great at time, now have Integra paired with a Crest Amp. Reading Matts quest for NO SUB saw Ian's Specs. for the design of M80s and woofers before H.P.
That was my final info needed to get my M80s as I have Subs.

Truthfully you should Check these forums there is so much info that you will be able to find your own Audio Nirvana whether with or with out SUBS.

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