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#967 - 01/17/02 12:22 PM Axiom speakers vs. X Y Z Brand

A quick question to those who seem to post here MANY times asking "how does X Y or Z brand of speaker sound vs. Axiom?"

When you go to an audio store, do you ask the salesman (or someone else) to listen to it for you and then make your
decision from there?

More than likely YOU Listen to the speakers and then make your decisions. With speakers, everyone has different likes and dislikes. The only way to tell if you will like Axiom or another brand is to buy the Axiom and the other brand, and compare them. Take advantage of Axioms 30 day return policy, and you will be much happier than taking advice from somebody who could have DRASTICALLY different listening tastes :)

#968 - 01/17/02 01:35 PM Re: Axiom speakers vs. X Y Z Brand
Ian Offline

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 898
You are partially accurate, but even an in store demonstration does not actually tell you the difference in loudspeaker performance. For a true comparison of just the accuracy of reproduction from loudspeakers, then double blind equal level comparisons are the only way to do it reliably. If the levels are not equal the loudest one wins most of the time. Further to this we have done comparisons both blind and not blind (with the same products and listeners) and have found the scores will change considerably. Some other interesting points that have come out of years of conducting double blind listening tests is that the personal preference of loudspeakers does not play a major role. People consistently like the good speaker over the bad one. The closer you get to a random result (what would happen if personal preference was the main issue) the more the two products approach an equal level of accuracy. From here we can reliably comment on the performance of various loudspeakers if double blind listening tests have been conducted on them. Another large factor that can be commented on is what you would like to achieve from your loudspeakers. Sometimes, hard as it is for us to believe, accuracy is not the main goal of the purchaser. Lots of loudspeakers are designed without accuracy as the main design criterion. Examples of this are efficiency, style, power handling, and the appearance of value. Taking efficiency as an example it may actually be reasonable to move accuracy down the list in the purchasing decision if you are trying to achieve a certain budget that limits the amount of power you can afford. If the more accurate speaker just does not play loud enough for your needs then a step down in accuracy to get output may make sense for obtaining the most pleasure from your system.

Ian Colquhoun
President & Chief Engineer
Ian Colquhoun
President & Chief Engineer

#969 - 01/17/02 02:42 PM Re: Axiom speakers vs. X Y Z Brand
jcthomasjr Offline

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 3
Loc: Maryland, USA

I do not quite know what to make of your post. I recently posted a message to "Advice From Axiom Owners" asking for some advice which may fall under the subject matter you discussed in your post (my post is titled 'H/K Receiver and M50 vs. M60). I want to make clear that I am not getting defensive but rather voicing my opinion. I have been looking for a new set of speakers for a few months now and my journey has led me down different paths which includes listening in stores, borrowing from kind local seller's willing to let me audition prior to buying, and becoming interested in Axiom products (no local dealer).

I will probably take the plunge and order a pair of Axiom's but some of my questions are valid whether I am trying to decide on the Axiom's or whether I currently own a pair. I think this forum is an excellent venue for discussion of a product which currently or may one day play a large part in our lives. Music is something I enjoy very much and my nature is to research and ask questions before committing hundreds of dollars towards something. While I indicated that the cost of the M50 vs. the M60 is not an issue I am by no means financially well off and the cost of shipping the product back, while a small cost, does factor in to my decision on purchasing.

I have found all the product comparison messages to be very helpful and in the end I will let my ears participate in the decision making process of what speakers to purchase. I look forward to listening to a pair of Axiom's soon and thanks to everyone who takes the time to read and respond to these posts.

John Thomas Jr.
Odenton, MD

#970 - 01/17/02 02:52 PM Re: Axiom speakers vs. X Y Z Brand

Great Points Ian!

I can only speak from a consumers point of view; I have never done blind testing (except in my own home with 2 sets of speakers I liked- certainly not the Research Center you have access too! :) ). I see how many different points of contention can come into play, accuracy, loudness, etc.

Appearance and Value are somewhat easy to asses (my M22's look like all M22s I've seen on all the reviews and your site) over the internet by way of reviews and pictures. BUT, the other factors, for most consumers, are the ones that are really dependent on the room, equipment, and tastes of the listener. In listening to speakers when I was looking for a new set, I PERSONALLY didn't like the BW 602 (as an example). I found it dry, stuffy and a little boomy- but that doesn't mean it's a bad speaker, it just didn't suit my tastes like the M22 did. That is why I said it was difficult to gauge Brand X (at least a GOOD brand X- not B**E or other questionable brands) vs. the Axioms without a demo with your equip, in your room, with your music.

Great Response, though! Very Interesting look into the way double blind testing is done and the many factors involved!

#971 - 01/17/02 03:07 PM Re: Axiom speakers vs. X Y Z Brand

John Thomas Jr. ,

Your "quest" for new speakers sounds alot like mine. I wasn't saying your questions were not valid; merely that speaker listening is too subjective to take someones advice as a basis for a buying decision. I could tell you that I LOVE my m22s, and I DO- but you may get them, and prefer something else-?......

Believe me, I felt the same way you did about not hearing the Axioms, and about the shipping costs. BUT I realized that after listening to the speakers that I chose as MY personal possible choices, the ONLY way to see if the Axioms suited ME were to buy'em and try'em. I ALSO do A LOT of research before buying, but there comes a time where you just have to decide to do it or not to do it. It truly depends on how much value you place in your own time and money. In MY OPINION, Axioms can't be topped for the price/performance ratio. However, I was only able to make that judgement after taking the plunge and ordering a pair.

Good Luck at any rate!

#972 - 01/17/02 04:37 PM Re: Axiom speakers vs. X Y Z Brand
BBIBH Offline

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 1139
Loc: Canada
In think all posts are correct (cop out on my part...?). Listening IS the major and final way to determine preferences. I have never purchased a piece I could not audtion, and 9 of 10 in my listening room. However, I live in a major metro area, and have spent 20 years in the industry establishing friendships with dealers, manufactrers, and designers. I have access to almost any piece of gear I would care to listen to But some are not that lucky, and would like to get impressions of others. If 5 people say Brand X was horrible, chances are it can be deemed bad. When spending money, we tend to like to get approval we are making a correct choice.

A major point to be made is that this is a purely subjective "hobby". As was pointed out, because someone says they did not care for it, does not mean it is a poor choice, simply not the right choice for them. It may be a good choice when you listen.

Another problem is determining equipment choices based on technical specifications. If every designer built the optimum technical piece of equipment, and were held to spec's based on listener preference, we would have the same piece built by several companies! Designs and choices made by the manufacturer are influenced by many inputs. As Ian mentioned, when priorities are arranged, and designers work to the specs, products are created that will differ from products made to a different list of priorities. Neither will be deemed 'bad or good", simply aimed at different target markets.

Judging equipment based on price is another gaffe made constantly. Simply assuming a low or high price tag will guarantee a level of performance is a major mistake.

Our individual hearing, preferences, requirements, budgets and personal bias always need to figure into the mix.

.....but enough rambling, on to the listening!




#973 - 01/17/02 06:12 PM Re: Axiom speakers vs. X Y Z Brand

Just to confirm what Mr. Anonymous has said:

He feels that the B&W 602's are not for him...I however love the sound of the 602's. I am currently in the process of auditioning speakers within my price range, and to date the 602's rule....havnt auditioned Axioms yet but plan to before purchasing anything based on all of the good things I keep hearing about Axiom.

This just shows that one persons ears greatly differ from anothers. What may sound great to Mr. X may sound horrible to Mr. Y. I agree, you must listen for yourself to determine what speakers are correct for you.


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