First impression: M40 vs. M60

Posted by: MCodanti

First impression: M40 vs. M60 - 11/03/02 12:41 PM

I now have two complete HT speaker setups:

M60s, QS8s, VP150, JBL PB 12 subwoofer

M40s, QS4s, VP100, EP175

Out of the new set I have only got the M40s out of the box, as I don't have a receiver for the second room yet.

The first thing I noticed is that the M40s have a resonate 'boop' when playing a sweep test that the M60s don't. I wish my test disc had tracks to break up the test so I knew close to what frequency it was but it doesn't. Other than that the M40s have the same build quality, and sound great. They do have a different sound than the M60s, but I can't decide which I like best. For some things I like the M40s better for others I like the M60s better.

I need to spend some more time comparing once I get things setup a little better, so I will write more later.

Has anyone else played a frequency sweep test on their M40s? If so is it clean, or does it have the resonate 'boop'? I just wasn't expecting it from them.

Posted by: jbzngowest

Re: First impression: M40 vs. M60 - 11/03/02 02:36 PM

Where were you when I needed this review? I bet your final review helps quite a few get off the fence on these two very good setups.
Posted by: MCodanti

Re: First impression: M40 vs. M60 - 11/03/02 06:27 PM

Well if anyone wants to send me more speakers to compare and review I would be more than happy to spend the time.

I really want to compare the M22s to the M40s now, but I am way over my budget already.. :-)


Posted by: nowave

Re: First impression: M40 vs. M60 - 11/03/02 07:51 PM

I would love to hear the outcome of this M40 vs. M60 review as well... I'm pretty much sold on the M40's, but I'd really like to hear another first person review.

At first I was leaning towards the M22's, and many people favor these speakers - but many also say the M40 are better for rock (which I listen to almost 100%)...

Well... looking forward to this...

Posted by: chesseroo

Re: First impression: M40 vs. M60 - 11/03/02 11:27 PM

Generally my thought on the M22 vs. the M60 could be described as "virtually identical" but with the obvious difference that the M22s are smaller and don't have the bass extension.
If you are trying to get an idea of how the M22s sound vs the M40, take the M60, remove some bass and plug your mind into the thought of a smaller version of the M60, then you will be set.

I guess that could be tougher to do than it sounds though...
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: First impression: M40 vs. M60 - 11/03/02 11:38 PM

Some more links to past reviews posted:

Randyman m50, m60
fhw M40, 50, 80s

Posted by: MCodanti

Second impressions: M40 vs M60 - 11/04/02 08:17 PM

We got a new receiver as well so I hooked them both up to the new Onkyo TX-SR500, no subwoofer. One of the first things we noticed was that unlike our Onkyo TX-DS939 it will drive both sets of speakers at once, and that sounds REALLY REALLY good! Does M40 + M60 = M80?

The biggest difference between them is that the M60s have a lot more bass. The imaging differs between them as well, with the M60s being more up front, and the M40s being laid back. (The sound stage moved away from us switching from the M60s to the M40s) The M60s have a wider dispersion pattern which makes vocals sound a little wider.

After playing with that a while we switch both sets of speakers to the TX-DS939, and confirmed that things still pretty much sounded the same. Then since the TX-DS939 can handle different settings for the A and B speakers we added the subwoofer to the M40s, leaving the M60s by themselves. It took a little tweaking to get the bass just right, but we got it close. Now they sounded much more the same. But, the M60s still had more bass, the nice tight kind you can feel. We could have turned the subwoofer up more, but then it was overpowering. (We might need to try moving the subwoofer somewhere else) I think the other issue is that the TX-DS939 doesn't let me adjust the cross-over, and I think it might be good to move it from 80 up to 100 or 120. I can do that on the TX-SR500 but it applies to both A and B speakers, in any case I want to try it just to see if I can get a M40/sub combo to have the same feel as the M60s. (The sub we were using is not a Axiom sub - yet.)

At this point I would say if you mostly listen to music just get the M60s, no sub needed. If you watch a lot of movies get a good subwoofer and a pair of M40s they will do good by you. An exception here is that if you listen to a lot of Jazz type music I think you will be happier with the M60s.

Listening to A Cappella choral music between the two - we could barely tell which speaker was which. I had to carefully determine if the voices appeared more forward (M60) to choose which speaker set we were listening to. Overall I was very surprised how many times I guessed wrong and turned the speakers off instead of swicthing to the other pair.

Now if I can get my hands on a pair of M22s (we are thinking they would be good for the music room) I can add to the comparison.

As a side note even our cats appreciate the Axiom speakers! We were listening to a Chet Atkins CD and one of our cats moved directly in front of the speakers and was staring at them listening intently. I think we got a good picture of it and will try and get it up tonight.


Posted by: JohnK

Re: Second impressions: M40 vs M60 - 11/04/02 09:56 PM

Michael, it was very interesting to read the comparisons which you, Carol and the cats were able to make. On your sub, which I assume is the PB12 which you mentioned before,I would tend to doubt that using a receiver crossover higher than 80hz would be better, at least with the M60s and M22s. The M22s which I have handle that 80-120hz range very well in checking done with a test-tone CD, therefore I think that the 80hz cross is fine(I assume that since the receiver is handling the crossover that you're using the by-pass on the PB12 cross).

You also mentioned sub placement and the general rule is right in the corner. The corner, about equidistant from the floor and both walls, is where the maximum number of room resonances are excited and therefore where the bass is strongest and smoothest. If it's "boomy" there, the idea is to turn down the sub level, not to move the sub.

I think that you'd find that M22s plus sub are extremely close to the M60s; closer than the slightly laid-back M40 mid-range.
Posted by: fhw

Re: Second impressions: M40 vs M60 - 11/05/02 06:37 PM

I'll second the "cats like Axioms" statement. For a laugh, my wife put on one of those "Solitudes" music/nature sounds CDs and played 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight'. Our cats went bonkers, chasing phantom roars and chirps all over the room.