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#63493 - 10/05/04 06:27 PM M80's vs M60's (or even M22ti) -Unique Questions!
BuddTX Offline

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 30
Loc: Houston, TX

Everyone here seems friendly and talkative at the Axiom Forums, and I have done LOTS of reading on the Axioms's, both here and everywhere else I can find any threads! So, I am looking forward to your comments.

I promise this is not just a "Which one is better" type of post!

First some comments.

THANKS to Axiom, for not implying (like lots of other speaker companies, and sales products in general) that the M80's (or the most expensive product) is the BEST, and everything else is in the Shadow of the M80's and that, people will question my manhood if I should purchase or be satisfied with anything OTHER than the M80's!

Also, I am thrilled with Axiom's VALUE attitude towards their products. Yes, I would love hand sanded, cherry Wood finish, inlaiden with teak and oak, hand rubbed by virgin nymphs at midnight, but I would much rather have a less costly, yet still "state of the art" speaker.

Yes, I love the B&W top of the line speakers, but unless I become a CEO (of a BIG corporation!) or win a lottery, (Again, BIG!!) I do not think that I will ever be able to justify purchasing a top of the line B&W speaker.

This is why I am thrilled that Axiom can offer me near "state of the art" in sound, at a price that I can afford!

Also, I have to say, that Axiom's are the best speakers that I have NEVER heard! (Not a typo).

I am appreciative of the untold numbers of posts on ALL the various newsgroups and forums on the internet talking highly of the Axioms. Not professional reviews, but posts from users, raving about their systems. Whenever I research something on the net, I realise that I can find almost ANY opinion that I want to find. I never take any ONE person's comments as gospel, but when I read hundred's of posts praising a product, then I get the idea, that Hey, maybe this product is good!

However, this Blessing of State of the art Speakers, direct to the user, is also my frustration!

I can't listen to them! (maybe Axiom can make an MP3 of their speakers, so that I can hear them ! (GRIN!!!)

I can't go to my local dealer, and spend a couple of hours comparing the M22s, to the M60's to the M80's! (But then if I could, they would be 2-3 times more expensive too!)

So, I have read all about these speakers, how the M22's are very similar sounding to the M60's minus a little low end, M22's are easier to place, and the M60's are very similar to the M80's but the M80's can give more sound provided you have the amp in back of the M80's. The M80's can keep on giving, whereas at some point the M60's will give out, at the louder volumes. BUT, the M60's are "friendlier" to drive from most amps, whereas you need something special to drive the M80's 4 ohms, at louder levels.

So, what am I looking for in a speaker? Accurate, Clear, Crisp, detailed sound. Not just Louder.

I currently have a 10+ year old set of B&W 202's (inexpensive (for B&W) bookshelf speakers) that even then, were relatively inexpensive (about 400/pair in 1993). They still sound good, and I never remeber ever saying "gee, I wish they could get louder".

The speakers will be going into my "great room" a living room & Dining room combined, with a vaulted 12 foot ceiling. The kitchen is mostly open to the great room too.

While they will be primarially used for HT, I am most critical of my speakers when playing music. Being a percussionist in High school and College I gained a huge appreciation for music, and realized I had the skill but not the tallent to be a musician.

Here is where I need your help. I want the M80's and can afford them, but I am wondering if they are the best choice for the next year or two. I have people say that if you are on the fence, get the M80's you will be glad you did.

What will drive the M80's? THIS is where I need your input! I was about ready to "make the plunge" and buy "value" high end seperates (Outlaw, maybe Sherwood, maybe Crown pro amps etc), but as I was researching, I was realising that there is a lot that is going to be happening in the next year or two with pre-Pro's and even amps (DVI, HDMI, future SACD standards, digital amps).

So, I was content to do research, and wait 6 months or so, to see what the future brought, and then, BAMN, lightening struck! LITTERALY! My Pioneer elite receiver, my Toshiba TV, my laptop (modem) my dish DVR and other stuff got fried.

So I needed to buy a new reciver, and monitor. (Just FYI, I replaced my 36" Toshiba with a 32" Sanyo Flat Screen HDTV (not HDTV READY!) for 697 bucks at Wal-mart. It is very nice for the price).

And, I decided to hold off on the big pre-pro and mega amp upgrade, and purchased a Pioneer VSX-1014 (just came in last night - still is not all hooked up.)

So, here is one of my questions. I have read all about the 4 Ohm M80's, and how they can be finickey with amps, and how they really need a high quality - high watt amp to play loud, but what would happen if you were to hook them up to the likes of my new Pioneer VSX-1014 ?

The specs show a minimum Amp of 10 watts, so what would happen if I hooked up the M80's to the 1014? Would the M80's perform similar to the M60's at lower levels? Or would they be like a huge balloon, only way filled? Whereas the M80's would be like a smaller balloon, but would look and sound better with the same amount of air?

Most of the time, my listening level is such that, I can still hear the phone ring.

The 1014 does have pre-outs, and a seperate amp could drive the M80's if needed.

Again, pure, crisp, clean, accurate sound is what I am after, but, somtimes that pure, crisp clean sound, happens to be an explosion or two or three.

So, I guess, in a nutshell, can I hook up the M80's to a receiver, realising that they might not be the "loudest of the loudest", as long as at lower volumes, I am still getting a "uncomprimized sound"?

My other option is to get the M22's, with the idea that they become "bedroom speakers" in a year or two.

So where do the M60's fit into all of this? I would like to hear someone's opinion of what the M60 vs the M80 sounds like, at lower to medium loud listening levels, say, in a room, 25x50 with a 12 ft ceiling. I don't have a db meter, so I realise this is a variable, but intent listening, but not painful, or to fill an auditorirum.

I'd also like to hear from anyone who has listened to the M80's on something like a higher end HT receiver.

It's a catch 22. If I buy the M60's I will be forever wondering if I should have purchased the M80's. If I buy the M80's and get less than sonic perfection with my current receiver, I will be wondering if the M60's should have been my choice.

Well, I guess that I could use the pre-out and get a Crown 402 amp, and use that to drive the M80's, leaving the rest of the receiver to drive the other channels, that might be a good option, or get a good 2 channel amp, and use that to drive the M80's.

I've rambled on long enough, thanks for any input you may have!

#63494 - 10/05/04 07:18 PM Re: M80's vs M60's (or even M22ti) -Unique Questions!
BigWill Offline

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
"Well, I guess that I could use the pre-out and get a Crown 402 amp, and use that to drive the M80's, leaving the rest of the receiver to drive the other channels, that might be a good option, or get a good 2 channel amp, and use that to drive the M80's."

If you want the M80s then go for it. My M60s are great, but they do harden up a little and get a little crowded sounding at super-high volumes. I reckon the M80s are much better at those levels. If saving $300 ain't important to you - and you don't mind buying a decent 2 channel amp to drive the M80s should the Pioneer be unable to do so - then go for the M80s.

It may be wise to look into visiting an Axiom owner for a demo, but since you like B&Ws you'll probably like these speakers, as well.

Good luck.

#63495 - 10/05/04 07:37 PM Re: M80's vs M60's (or even M22ti) -Unique Questions!
spiffnme Offline

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5233
Loc: Los Angeles
Well that depends on what B&W's he likes. I've heard their 600 series speakers and hated them. Their new 700 series sound great. (to my ears)

Go to your local dealer and listen to the new B&W 703 towers. That's pretty much the M33, M60, and M80 sound. Or better yet, as BigWill says, see if there's a local Axiom owner near you that will open up his house for a demo for you.

It sure seems as though your room is big enough to handle the M80's, but it's also not too big for the M60's. I don't know how loud BigWill is cranking his M60's but I've never had them so loud they started to strain. (And I've played them pretty darn loud!)

If you want a great two channel amp to add to your Pioneer to power the mains (whether it be the M60's or M80's) I recommend the Rotel RB-1080, or the Odyssey Stratos. Both are "giant killers", much like Axiom speakers are.

"A nation cannot prosper long, when it favors only the prosperous." -President Barack Obama

#63496 - 10/05/04 07:49 PM Re: M80's vs M60's (or even M22ti) -Unique Questions!
tomtuttle Offline

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8488
Loc: Tacoma
Hiya Bud. Welcome.

You know, I read that whole thing. And I gotta tell you, I deeply resent the insinuation that the beautiful vinyl on my M60's was not hand rubbed by virgin nymphs at midnight.

It sounds like you want the M80's. Get them. Listen to bigwill. If you find that your Pioneer has trouble driving them to satisfactory levels (and you might), you can always upgrade your amplification later. You'll probably never have to upgrade your speakers. Upgrades are inevitable.

You may want to consult directly with Axiom. I seem to recall that Denon and HK are recommended for the M80 load. Your Pioneer might work fine. It reminds me of something I saw at my daughter's swim meet - "it's not how far you swim. It's not how fast you swim. It's how far you swim fast". Your Pioneer may not be able to play loud, long.

But I seriously doubt you'd ever be disappointed with the M60's. I have them in a very large room, driven by a lowly Denon 1804 and play them cleanly as loud as I want. They are supported by a decent sub, though.

You probably would not find the M22's to be a satisfying upgrade from your B&W's. You would always wonder "what if..." relative to the Axiom floorstanders.

Thanks for the nice, long post. There is a thread at the top of the Questions/Comments forum listing Axiom owners who might be willing to give you an audition. There are several in Texas.

Keep us posted.
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

#63497 - 10/05/04 07:50 PM Re: M80's vs M60's (or even M22ti) -Unique Questions!
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 11444
Loc: Central NH
I want to throw something out here, because everyone's been so helpful here...I just want to "give" a little instead of "taking"!

I don't even own Axioms yet (They're on order)but I think a huge factor here for budget and overall sound will be subwoofer(s). That's a really big room you've got there, and even if you don't normally play your music terribly loud, I'm sure as someone who has experience as a drummer, you DO want to keep lots of dynamic range.

Anyway, I can't help much with an M60 VS. M80 question, or how much power it will take to drive either. But I DO know that if you have a powerful sub or two in there, it'll take a lot of the pressure off eith main speaker!
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

#63498 - 10/05/04 07:52 PM Re: M80's vs M60's (or even M22ti) -Unique Questions!
lomb7 Offline

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 425
Loc: San Diego
Unless you live in Iraq, I'm sure that there is an Axiom owner near you that will allow you to come over to listen. If you are concerned with the M80 power then you may want to hook two Outlaw 200 M block amps to your Pioneer elite. Those will give you plenty of juice. I have the M60's and love them. I, like you, do not turn the volume up to ear bleeding levels so the M80 may be a little overkill. If you do not want to audition the speakers at an owners house you may want to pic up the M60's and if they do not hold up to the volumes your are expecting then you can return them and upgrade to the M80's. Doing this will allow you to experience the sound quality of the M60/M80's and also see if the M60 can hold volume levels that you are looking for.

#63499 - 10/05/04 08:21 PM Re: M80's vs M60's (or even M22ti) -Unique Questions!
Wid Offline

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6789
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.
Hey Budd,

I would have concerns with the Pioneer running the M80's.Best thing to do is consult with Axiom and Pioneer and see what they have to say.

With a room of your size and IF the Pioneer can handle it go with the 80's.Adding and external amp would certainly solve the problem if in fact your reciever isn't up to the task.I use the Rotel that Spiff recommended in his post.With that amp giving you 300 watts @ 4 ohms it does make the 80's sing .I'm sure the Outlaw mono blocks would do ya just fine also.

So if you don't mind the thought of having to purchase an amp for the 80's go for it.If I were you I would try to find someone in the area with some Axioms to get an audition.

"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud

#63500 - 10/05/04 09:25 PM Re: M80's vs M60's (or even M22ti) -Unique Questio
demasoni Offline

Registered: 09/08/04
Posts: 206
Loc: VA, USA
Get the M22ti and test drive it first, if you don't like what you hear...the most you would lose is the return shipping of a pair of bookshelf. IF you do like them...which I think you would, then it's safe to say you can either keep the M22ti for now, or return them and upgrade to M60, it share the same characteristics of M22ti but can handle more power, play louder, and lower. I think the M60 is ideal for most medium to large room.
If you don't think the M22ti is crisp or detail enough(unlikely) in the higher frequency region, then skip the M60 and go straight to M80, it sports TWO tweeters and more woofers. From what I've read the M80 is the beast and require more room to stretch its muscle, and more picky to position. Be prepare to power them with a decent amp capable of 4ohm. Give the M22ti a try, and I'm sure you'll be hooked!! The Axiom folks are a pleasure to deal with and the customer service they provide is second to none.

#63501 - 10/05/04 11:22 PM Re: M80's vs M60's (or even M22ti) -Unique Questio
bray Offline

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 1805
Loc: Colorado
Hey BuddTx
Didnt I meet you on another message board? I thought we had found someone near you that would give you an audition.?

Anyway.... I'm running M60s in 17x30 room (with a half wall 3/4of the way back) with vaulted ceilings, and they play very loud and very clean.
I cant imagine needing more speaker.

#63502 - 10/06/04 12:39 PM Re: M80's vs M60's (or even M22ti) -Unique Questio
michael_d Offline

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 4195
Loc: Up yonder
I have the M80s in a similarly sized room. I use them for stereo only. The room is 26 X 32 with vaulted ceilings about 22 high. Im driving them with a H/K 7200 thats rated at 100 X 7, all channels driven. I read somewhere a while back that this AVR actually puts out closer to 145 watts. I wanted the M80s because I like lots of base and the M80s were supposed to have the most base in the Axiom line. I also looked at other speakers including B&W and Paradigm, but the M80s got my vote. My receiver goes from -80 db to +80 db. I can not crank it past 0. They are simply way too loud. FYI, Im a bachelor and the only reason for me to not crank up the tunes, is certain imminent hearing loss. These things can play incredibly loud with unbelievable clarity. They could fill a gymnasium, and sound very good with relative ease. That being said, I didnt need them for volume, and neither do you. I suspect that the M60s would be too loud for my application too. Do not buy the M80s because you think you might need the volume, you will NEVER play them to their full current carrying capacity. Not unless you are already legally deaf. They have twice as much woofer surface area, so in theory, they should have more base than the M60s, but Im no expert and can only speculate. I did end up buying an Outlaw subwoofer to fill in the low range a tad. Im still not sure if I like it or not. I have it set to the minimum X-over at 40 and about mid way with the volume. Some CDs its simply too much thump, some older classical rock CDs, I turn it up to around 80. Im still experimenting.

To summarize all this babbling, if you insist on getting the M80s, get a receiver that will drive them. Axiom will only recommend H/K, Denon or NAD to drive them. I was told to look for 100 watts minimum in either of these three brands, or go with real high end stuff with a much higher price tag. But if you plan on buying a sub, then I would stick with the M60s.

As far as sound, I personally think the M80s sound is more akin to the Paradigm Studio Ref III 100s than the 703s. Possibly somewhere in between the two. Not as much low end as the 100s and a tad more detailed, but not as detailed with a little more base than the 703s. Better, tighter mids than both. Hows that for comparison?


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