EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60

Posted by: FrankeeD

EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/23/10 10:07 PM

I'm considering replacing my current speakers, a pair of 15 year-old Denons, one of which has developed a buzz in its tweeter.

I'm wondering if any of you have advice on whether I'd be better going with EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo or M60 towers? The cost is similar, but I'm wondering about differences in how they sound.

I listen mostly to classical music, with some jazz and pop mixed in.

Thanks.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/23/10 10:16 PM

Frankee, welcome. My own listening is almost entirely classical and I'd give the highest recommendation to the M22 plus sub option. Above the lowest bass the performance should be essentially identical, but the sub would allow for a little more bass extension than the M60 alone would have.
Posted by: Jc

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/24/10 11:24 AM

Hi FrankeeD,

There are a few factors to consider. Your room dimension, its shape, seating arrangement, music/movie preferences, musical or movie usage and amplifier to name a few. There is also personal sound preference.

If you mostly listen to the music genre mentioned and have a powerful amplifier; I would opt for the M60v2 without hesiation. It has plenty of high quality bass to compleent its impeccable delivery of the rest of the frequency spectrum.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/25/10 02:50 AM

In my experience M22/sub is pretty close in sound quality to M80 and the M60s are not far behind, but as you are looking at the EP175 which doesn't reach as low as the EP350 and higher subs, I bet the M22/EP175 would sound very similar to M60s.

As JC mentioned, consider your size of room and more importantly the listening distance. The M60s will play louder than the M22s and this could be required for loud listening volumes if your room is large; also you would need about 18" of floor space for the M60s as they need to be at least ~2" away for the ports to breath properly.
Posted by: Captain4105

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/25/10 02:52 AM

JC: I too have a question as I have been agonizing for over a year about this issue. I too listen to classical music. I have considered all options and have just about decided on the M60's (I don't like the extra expense for the M22 stands and I just like the look of the M60's and "feel" they would better integrate the frequency spectrum). I have about 2000 cu ft of space and the room is a rectangle with a up-sloping ceiling from 9-16 ft. I'll be sitting about 12 feet from the speakers and they will be aligned along the longer wall of the rectangle and I be be sitting just opposite the speakers. I am thinking that to get the maximum lows I'll use a sub as well...one that goes down to 18Hz should cover it and the sub may be used for an HT some day (Hsu VTF-2 MK3?). My present Speakerlab sub (circa 1979) goes down to about 25Hz. You mentioned a powerful amp...what do you consider powerful? I'm considering a Denon 2310 or 3310 or something similar. Any suggestions for other options? Please, all feel free to comment as well. Regards...Lee
Posted by: FrankeeD

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/25/10 10:16 PM

Hi Guys.

Thanks for all the suggestions. Half the fun of new purchases is deciding what to buy and getting good advice.

Right now I'm leaning towards getting the M60s, partly because the M22s on stands wouldn't fit into the décor of the living room as well as the floor-standing M60s. I'd still have the option of adding a sub if I felt I needed more bass and would rather put my money towards a sub rather than stands for the M22s.

My room is about 2600 cu ft and I should have enough space to get the M60s far enough from the wall.

I'll let you know what I finally decide.
Posted by: Jc

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/26/10 08:50 AM

 Originally Posted By: Captain4105
JC: I too have a question as I have been agonizing for over a year about this issue. I too listen to classical music. I have considered all options and have just about decided on the M60's (I don't like the extra expense for the M22 stands and I just like the look of the M60's and "feel" they would better integrate the frequency spectrum). I have about 2000 cu ft of space and the room is a rectangle with a up-sloping ceiling from 9-16 ft. I'll be sitting about 12 feet from the speakers and they will be aligned along the longer wall of the rectangle and I be be sitting just opposite the speakers. I am thinking that to get the maximum lows I'll use a sub as well...one that goes down to 18Hz should cover it and the sub may be used for an HT some day (Hsu VTF-2 MK3?). My present Speakerlab sub (circa 1979) goes down to about 25Hz. You mentioned a powerful amp...what do you consider powerful? I'm considering a Denon 2310 or 3310 or something similar. Any suggestions for other options? Please, all feel free to comment as well. Regards...Lee


Lee,
Without hesitation, I would opt for the M60v2. You have plenty of room volume to let them breath and to push them hard. I, like you, am reluctant to spend money on a speaker stand. I can't see the benfit of a bookshelf speaker on a stand versus a floor standing model except for miniscule enclosed room and even then.

Always invest as much as your budget will allow you to in a high quality powerful amplifier; you will be well rewarded. Your Axiom speakers will perform better; you will be well rewarded. I received so many comments from Axiom speaker owners who are amazed at the improvement they are getting from their Axiom speakers when they upgrade their electronics. In their system, their speakers never are the limiting factor.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/26/10 02:30 PM

Lee, get the 3310 as it has amp preouts you can use to add external amps should you find the 3310's own amp sections insufficient.
Posted by: fredk

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/26/10 03:54 PM

FrankeeD. Are you using this system for movies as well? If this system is for music only and you are considering running without a sub, move up to the M80. The M80 delivers noticeably more bass. So much so, that on a lot of music, I can't hear any difference between just the M80 and the M80 + sub. Where the difference starts to show is stuff like Pipe organ where you get significant content in the 20-35Hz range.

The M80 also has a subtly better mid/upper range. They give music a more open sound: just a little closer to the real thing.

If you watch movies a lot as well, a sub will make a big difference for those movies that have a lot of content at 35Hz and below.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/26/10 09:47 PM

Lee, if you listen at times to classical music that has substantial very low bass content(e.g.,pipe organ)you'll find that a good sub, such as the one that you mentioned, is of great benefit. Again, I've found that the M22/EP500 combination is excellent for such music. The cost of stands can run anywhere between zero(if you use something already available)to $1,000, but suitable ones are readily available for around $40 and this shouldn't be a major factor in your purchase decision.

As to the receiver, the 2310 would be a fine choice, and I'd suggest that the Onkyo 707 also could be considered. Because of the general excellence of modern HT receivers, amplification is an area where an emphasis on low cost can be implemented without affecting overall system performance.
Posted by: FrankeeD

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/26/10 09:47 PM

Fred. This system is for music only. I have a separate set-up in the family room for watching TV/movies.

I considered the M80s, but as my amp is currently fairly low-end, I don't think it will handle the 4 Ohms resistance in the M80s. I don't want to have to replace my amp just yet.

I enjoy feeling the rumble of the low end of a pipe organ, so that's one reason that I'm considering a sub.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/26/10 10:16 PM

Frankee, as I mentioned in my reply above to Lee, pipe organ is an area where the sub is really a major factor. Since you specifically mention that, I'd suggest that you might consider a more powerful sub with more extension than the EP175. If your budget doesn't permit going higher up in the Axiom selections, there are other possibilities, such as the excellent Hsu unit that Lee mentions, that would fit your needs.
Posted by: fredk

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/26/10 10:21 PM

I agree completely with John. My EP350 is not as capable as his EP500 but it still gets me to ~20Hz and has a major impact with pipe organ music. In fact, that was one of the reasons I wanted a sub.

Unless you are both sitting far away from the speakers AND like to listen very loud, the M22 + sub will be an excellent combination.

I had the pleasure of comparing the M22 + sub directly to the M60 and was surprised at how close the two sounded: almost identical above the sub-bass region.

I think that the M80 has something extra to offer, but if it were a choice between the M80 and an M22 + capable sub, I would go with the M22 + sub.
Posted by: FrankeeD

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/26/10 10:23 PM

So John, would you recommend something like the EP350 for organ music? (I realize the EP800 would come closest to a real pipe organ, but I might have a little difficulty convincing my wife that it's essential . . . )
Posted by: fredk

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/26/10 10:26 PM

FrankeeD. I have not had the pleasure of listening to a real quality pipe organ, but I find pipe organ music with the EP350 very satisfying.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/26/10 10:31 PM

Yes; budgetary factors are almost always a consideration, but going up to at least the EP350 performance level would be highly desirable.
Posted by: FrankeeD

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/26/10 11:10 PM

A large pipe organ in a spacious acoustic can be literally moving. I took my wife to a concert when she was pregnant and after a few minutes she started feeling strange and our as yet unborn son started going nuts, so she had to leave.

Pipe organ music has been a hard sell at home ever since \:\(
Posted by: JohnK

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/26/10 11:17 PM

Yeah, but maybe now the kid's already acquired a taste for good music. When someone suggests to me that classical music is an "acquired taste", I tell them that I apparently acquired it a few months before I was born.
Posted by: alan

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/27/10 11:58 AM

Hi FrankeeD,

I'm one of the few out there who really likes pipe-organ music, including big Wurlitzer theater pipe organs (my parents took me to Radio City Music Hall when I was six and when I heard the big pipe organ there, I kind of "imprinted" on the sound).

Anyway, one of the CDs I use for my blind listening tests up at the Axiom plant is a pipe-organ disc with lots of deep pedal notes. I assure you that the EP350 subwoofer does a fine job of excavating those deep pipes with lots of output.

During tests of the prototype, I wrote down that the EP350 had "excellent deep bass with pipe organ, almost the equal of the [what turned out to be the EP500]".

If you are interested, the CD in question is "The Transcriber's Art" on Gothic (a small California label that only records pipe organs). It is the Yale College chapel organ played by Thomas Murray.

Regards,
Alan
Posted by: fredk

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/27/10 07:17 PM

 Quote:
During tests of the prototype, I wrote down that the EP350 had "excellent deep bass with pipe organ, almost the equal of the [what turned out to be the EP500]".

I cetainly don't have any complaints about the EP350, but I've wondered about that.

I do believe I will put that pipe organ disc on my shopping list.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/27/10 10:43 PM

Even if you hated pipe organ music the disk would probably be useful for sub crawls ;\)
Posted by: fredk

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/27/10 11:28 PM

Well, I already have one most excellent pipe organ disc for sub crawls (should I ever tire of endlessly generating graphs with REW), so this one will be for pure listening pleasure.
Posted by: FrankeeD

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/28/10 01:12 AM

Thanks for the information about subs, Alan, and for the tip on the organ CD. I'm always looking for well-recorded organ music.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: EP175 Subwoofer & M22 combo vs M60 - 05/28/10 02:35 AM

Well, that's all I need to read to have me spring into action in behalf of organ music(or just about anything else classical). I'd suggest that you consider this 2-disc set of Bach Great Organ Works, available at ridiculously low prices from various sellers, as is typical of many classical recordings.