Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs...

Posted by: DigitalGrit

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

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.
Posted by: MatManhasgone

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/12/15 07:49 PM

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.
Posted by: MatManhasgone

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/12/15 10:39 PM

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.
Posted by: DigitalGrit

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/13/15 12:00 AM

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).
Posted by: BobKay

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/13/15 05:06 PM

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.
Posted by: brendo

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/13/15 07:48 PM

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.
Posted by: MatManhasgone

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/13/15 08:47 PM

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.
Posted by: AAAA

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/14/15 04:58 AM

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.
Posted by: 7800

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/14/15 10:29 AM

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.
Posted by: brendo

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/14/15 03:50 PM

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.
Posted by: DigitalGrit

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/14/15 07:56 PM

Thanks for all the thoughts and advice. I do plan on pairing the setup with a external power amp, if I decide to cut up my movie system (with the Marantz receiver as a preamp). Looking at the Emotiva 2-channels for that. I am still unsure of which amps/receivers to use, since some of my vintage Marantz and Sansui pieces sound very nice, but could sound much better with better speakers paired with them.
Posted by: DigitalGrit

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/14/15 08:18 PM

I should probably clarify what I've been considering:

Speakers:

Axiom M80s (low power or high power, not sure yet)
Axiom M100s
Paradigm Monitor 11 v7
Paradigm Prestige 75f (I can get a good price on these, but it would probably kill off my buying a power amp right now).

I would want to pair these with one of these combos for music 2-channel listening:

- Vintage Sansui G5700 (rated much lower than it's true output
- Older Harmon Kardon receiver (AVR65 from early 90s)
- Older Harmon Kardon AVR65 paired with a power amp (nice option). The amp would likely be the Emotiva XPA2 or XPA3.
- My new Marantz AVR paired with a power amp (slicing and dicing up my movie system to upgrade the overall sound, and also having great music).

I listened to the bookcase Paradigm Prestige units, and they were spectacular. I want towers this time, however, as they are more reflective of the sound I grew up with in the 70s, listening to classic rock on a big 'ol receiver with a big pair of speakers on two channels (sometimes 4 channels).

So... with that in mind, I've narrowed my price range down to the M80s and the amp, or the Paradigms and the amp.
Posted by: brendo

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/15/15 01:54 AM

Check out the B stock I got my M80 and M22 they are flawless, The quality levels are great even the most tiny of details go in to a perfect product.
For the last year I thought my M22 had possibly a color flaw now noticed a ding on bottom front corner, but very small Eg. excellent rating. That took forever to find!
Plus check into used or your older amps will make M80 the star of the show newer tubes on the sansui would even shine
Posted by: DigitalGrit

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/16/15 09:52 PM

Thanks brendo!
Posted by: poiuyt23

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/18/15 11:37 AM

My take on the speakers you have mentioned is that the Paradigms have a great mid range sound but as soon as you throw something with bass at them they fall apart. On a quiet day I went to my dealer, made sure he had time to spend and tried every Paradigm he had in the store. Jazz and Classical sounded OK on them but metal or techno sounded bad on their "higher end" speakers.

My advice is to grab some of your most aggressive music you listen to and test it on the Paradigms at your dealer. If you find that there is something missing, get the Axioms.
Posted by: DigitalGrit

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/18/15 02:43 PM

Thanks poiuyt23. That is good advice. I went into a local dealer to listen to the Focal 926 and 936. The 926 have smaller (5.5" drivers), and cross-overs are different between the two speakers. I really loved the soundstage created by the 936. The 926 was a fuller soundstage as well, but were not as strong on the bottom end.

I have to go in to listen to the Paradigms more closely. I actually have heard a lot of feedback (around the web) that Paradigm owners who had the old Studio Series (Studio 100, etc.) were disappointed in the performance of the new/replacement Prestige Series. I've also found that the Monitor 11 v7 is supposed to have stronger bass performance. I think I'll have to take a listen, and decide if that's the case.

My listening session with the Focals was eye opening. I will go back there too, since I didn't get enough time with both speakers. My neighbour also indicated he's making his Linn speakers available. Not sure which line, but he claims they were Cdn $4K, so likely comparable to the Paradigm Prestige line.

I'm glad to know that Axiom units will have more full bass. Does that also apply to the M60s, or is it mostly the M80/M100 that reflect that? From what I see the M60s have the same drivers, albeit less of them, lol.
Posted by: AAAA

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/18/15 04:25 PM

Focals are definitely voiced to rock. Emphasized bass and extended treble.

I have heard the 736, 836, 836W and some of their bookshelves at a dealer. Nowhere near an accurate presentation, if that matters to you. Definitely great and eye opening speakers all the same. Powerful sound. Focal is known for great car audio products as well. I'm pretty sure they supply drivers for Wilson audio.

I still vote M80s over focals.
Posted by: DigitalGrit

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/18/15 09:53 PM

Is there a clear difference between the 'high power' versions of the M60 and M80, and is there a huge difference between the two? It's important to me to have decent bass with two channel sound for music. Wondering if the M60 'high power' unit would work with my vintage receivers, or even my newer Marantz receiver? I'm starting to lean back to the nice real wood cabinets and price of the Axioms, and the M60 seems like quite the speaker.
Posted by: brendo

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/19/15 01:15 AM

The M60 is an 8ohm and 6ohm in the HP. version so any amp. will do.
The M80 are 4Ohms witch will make a lesser Amp hot and possibly fry it. The HP, has more BASS but only a tad the larger the speaker the more BASS
Posted by: MatManhasgone

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/19/15 07:00 AM

The answer is right here in the specs for both speakers.

Your M60 speaker SPL vs Freq



Your M80 speaker SPL vs Freq




At equal volume, the M80 will have a reach down to the 30~35hz that is the lower bass that you are looking for, where the M60 drops off at 38~40hz.

But has been said before, the speaker is 4ohm dropping down to the 3.2-3.5 at those lower frequencies. it will pull current from the amplifier that generates heat as the power supply has to keep up. What you are asking is a feat for any speaker. The Axiom M80, M80HP and M100 deliver on that bass request, but do it at a price. That is 4ohm impedance, and a high current demand from the Amp.

To get the lower bass sound it requires to move quite a bit of air. You can do this by using either a large 12" driver, or dual 8" or as Axiom has done, 2x6.5" + 2x5.25" drivers. A larger driver can move more air but is not as fast to changes in sound as multiple smaller drivers to do the same work. If you are looking for a tight bass then you will prefer multiple smaller drivers.

I knew a guy that use to supe up the old Volkswagon Beetles and run them at the local speadway as a crowd drawing novelty. He fit a 375hp engine into the back of the beetle and drag race them but it would blow the transmission after each run.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/19/15 11:05 AM

The HP units will, I believe, have more bass as compared to the regular ones. I have not heard them, however.
Posted by: DigitalGrit

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/19/15 06:33 PM

Thanks to everyone for all your advice. Having experienced the M3 I was pretty confident about Axiom. Today I spoke with Debbie, and she helped me with a ton of questions. My decision came down to Axiom, simply because I get more speaker for the money compared to Focal and Paradigm (even on sale), and I can get customer wood which is not offered on the others for any price. All your advice helped me decide, and with Debbie's final answers I've pulled the plug:

Ordered the M60s with custom maple real wood finish. She explained how the M60 would fit my room and listening style. Now I have more money left over for a decent power amp!

Thanks again... Really helpful community of owners here!
Posted by: brendo

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/19/15 09:06 PM

Awesome hope you enjoy them.
The shipping is always quick.
Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/19/15 10:26 PM

You will love them I am sure and the real wood really takes the Axioms to a whole new level appearance wise. Now for the hard part, waiting for them to arrive.
Posted by: DigitalGrit

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/20/15 03:21 PM

Lol... Yes... the waiting. They are actually shipping me cabinet/woodstain samples first, so I can decide on the semi-gloss or satin.

I did have one question for them: Whether to go with the HP version or the standard. HP bumps me to 6ohms, and my Marantz and my vintage amps will easily handle that. The Marantz has the following specs:

Front:
100 W + 100 W (8 ohm, 20 Hz 20 kHz with 0.08 % T.H.D.)
180 W + 180 W (6 ohm, 1 kHz with 10 % T.H.D.)

I like the 180 W number, however, I'm worried about the 10%THD. Will that be noticeable? Like, what I'm asking is strange, but I noticed with a lot of 4ohm and 6ohm setups THD goes up (with various amps). Will my speaker all of a sudden not be as high quality (re: sound)?

I called them to plunk down some more cash for the HP. They indicated if I was to run loud even sometimes, then it was worth it.

My idea of 'loud' may be different than others'. For me, I take my receiver up to 6 on a 10 scale (100W/Ch output amp), and I don't go much further. Something I got from my Dad years ago in the 70s... to not crank the volume ever. If I'm running those levels (60 or even 75 on a 100 scale), am I wasting money going for the HP version? I know that having a more powerful amp is where this is more likely to play out (if I was pushing 200 or 300 W/ch, then I'm less likely to fry my amp, compared to if I was pushing 100W/ch RMS). I eventually hope to drive these with a 200W/Ch Emotiva. They spec out nicely compared to the Marantz:

330 watts RMS @ 4 ohm (<0.1% THD)
200 watts RMS @ 8 ohm (<0.1% THD)

or

(rated power; THD < 1%):
150 watts / channel; into 8 Ohms; both channels driven.
240 watts / channel; into 4 ohms both channels driven).
(smaller XPA200)

Anyone have some advice before I spend $100s more on this little treat?
Posted by: DigitalGrit

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/20/15 03:24 PM

Specs on the Sansui:

This receiver can drive very difficult load, (down to 2ohms for very shorts periods of time) and down to 4ohms without any difficulty for long periods. It is rated at 75Wpc at 8ohms and 125 at 4ohms.
Posted by: AAAA

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/20/15 03:52 PM

I'd ignore the Marantz 180w @1khz figure. It is cooked to make it seem more impressive. In reality at 6 ohms your more likely to see 140w at the same distortion. 180 is getting close to double down territory, and should only be possible when being taxed by a 4ohm load. This is with great geat of course.

I'm a firm beleiver in buying used high end equipment. The burlier the better. Sometimes, high end stuff is owned by wealthy, fickle audiophiles. They clean their gear with cloth diapers, get bored, and sell them in a few years for pennies on the dollar. Like new and usually 25% of msrp.
Posted by: MatManhasgone

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/20/15 03:55 PM

The Marantz is just creatively playing with numbers to make something look better on paper.

If they would have written the more realistic 130 W (6 ohm 20Hz-20kHz with 0.15 % THD, then you would not be writing to us.

Just by dropping the impedance to 6 from 8, you will never realistically ever get an almost double up in wattage power. The part to look at is more the measured frequency band of just 1 kHz to see that wattage number is grossly exaggerated

Also I gather that your Marantz receiver is of the old style volume control that goes from Zero to Ten, rather than the newer style that goes from -80db to +10db, where you get lots very little sound increase then suddenly it starts to get load really fast.

I would say that the HP speakers will start to be noticable on your reciever around the 3-4 mark on your volume control. If you get up to the 6 then you will definitely hear the extra bass
Posted by: DigitalGrit

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/21/15 05:14 PM

My Marantz is the 5007 (fairly new). I think it slowly picks up volume as you get up around 6ish. I don't recall, but I think it gave me a choice to set the dial to decibels or 1-10.

I guess my question now, is whether the HP or not the HP version of the speakers?
Are the 6ohm speakers as good as the 8ohm version? If so, I'll go with the 6ohm. I'm assuming they will sound good with my Marantz, and probably really good with my Sansui receivers. I will likely get an Emotiva amp next month on my trip down to the States, so that will ensure really solid sound.

Trying to reinforce my decision to go with the 6ohm over the 8ohm version, lol. Any advice is welcome.
Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/21/15 08:11 PM

The HP drivers are for guys who really want to wail on their speakers. That doesn't sound like you really. A 6ohm speaker will require higher current from your amp which can make it run a bit hotter though again given what your saying about your habits this should not be a concern. When I was younger my stereo hosted a lot of parties and it was cranked so the HP would have suited me then but now I use a sub so the load is taken off my main amp and speakers. Looking at the frequency graph the HP's show a decent bump in output in the 50hz to 70hz range, that along with the natural room boost the HP's should give a good bit of low bass. All that said , if you can swing the extra 6 hun I say go for the HP's I know I would cause I hate buyers remorse.

Richard
Posted by: DigitalGrit

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/22/15 01:24 PM

I like that low end bump... and I can't say I don't like to be my college self once in a while, lol.

Anyone else have an opinion on this? HP or not HP for the M60s? Socketman - thank you for the advice - and he is right... I don't want to have buyer's remorse.

My 'loud' moments come when I sit on the deck outside of our living room... I like to turn the Marantz up to 60 or 65. I'd like to be able to do that with more bottom end oomph... and I also want a deeper/louder sound at lower volumes (deep and rich at lower volumes too). Would the M60 high power with the Marantz, or with an external Emotiva 2-channel amp, sound richer than the M60s with either of those options? If adding the external amp will make it that much deeper (bass) and richer, then perhaps I forego the HP version? Or is the difference only between the m60 and the sub/no sub question? I prefer not to add a sub. With my two-channel Sansui setup, I won't use an external amp (and don't think I can either). Ditto with my vintage Yamaha CR620, or my vintage Marantz 2230.

As you can see I have a tough time making decisions, lol... More thoughts appreciated (and thank you Socketman!).
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/22/15 02:14 PM

Axiom has never quantified the difference between standard and HP drivers. It's best you contact Axiom directly for advice.
Posted by: DigitalGrit

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/22/15 09:13 PM

Did ask, and got some good info... was just looking for some first-hand owner info, or info from experienced users, lol. Thanks!
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/22/15 11:12 PM

I can't speak for the M100 and LFRs because I have never heard them. For all other Axiom speakers, my advice to a sub-bass lover like you is, "Get a sub". In fact, anyone who can't keep their speakers well away from room boundaries and suffers from small spaces, is better off with a sub.

If you are against using a sub, the next best bet is to ask Axiom for an M60 graph that shows frequency linearity for various SPLs with and without HP drivers.
Posted by: DigitalGrit

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/23/15 02:06 AM

Thanks Mojo. Not sure if I love sub-bass... (I grew up in a pure stereo home in the 70s, and we loved the stereo sound we had). That's pretty much all I'm after. I'd like this pair of speakers to be "all they can be", to avoid a sub (for space reasons and WAF reasons)... So I think the HP would be best (but I will ask them for more details). Regarding the frequency linearity, is there something I should look for with the frequency? Probably a nice smooth line running fairly horizontal from the lower 35-40Hz frequencies, right across the spectrum?

Thanks again for all the input.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/23/15 10:46 AM

If all you are after is the stereo sound you had in the 70s, you will be more than pleased with the standard M60s. They will knock your socks off!

Keep in mind though what I've said about bass management. No matter what speaker you get, even bookshelfs, bass management in any but the largest rooms becomes very tricky. It's easier to manage that bass when you have a sub. I have a 7.1 system with the M80v2 and an EP600v2 in a 5,000 cubic foot room and it took a lot of work to get the bass under control. The bass came together when I got an Onk with XT32. I can now say I am a very happy camper.

Right now I am tinkering with a 1900 cubic foot room that is open to the rest of the house. I want to use this for 2.0 and hopefully 2.1 one day (if I can get a sub out on the Axiom Air Gateway). I have a pair of bookshelves I had set up along the width (short dimension) of the room. Even though I had them many feet away from the room boundaries, the bass was terrible even with some room treatments I got from Serenity_Now. I had to knock them down by 4 dB at 100Hz to tame them. They still didn't sound right though. Without the room treatments it was so bad I couldn't listen to it. I decided to try something different. I set my room up so that the speakers were positioned along the length of the room. Bingo! Nirvana! In this configuration, the closest wall behind them is about 6 feet away because, as I said, the room is open to the rest of the house. They are also well away from the side walls.

My advice to you is to consider getting less speaker (like the standard M60) and put the rest of the money into room treatments.

Give Serenity_Now your room dimensions and he'll give you some computer output that tells you where you should put what treatments :-).
Posted by: DigitalGrit

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/24/15 02:27 PM

I have access to a subwoofer for my theatre system (in the same room), but I am likely running this system as a strict two channel with my vintage amps. I'm thinking I don't want to add an extra sub to the mix, so am wondering if I should spend the extra on the speakers (HP version), get a mini-sub to get the lower bass, add a power amp for two channel (then I can't use my vintage receivers with the speakers, I think).

Tough decision. My 1970s sound consisted of some Sansui SPX-6700s (13" woofers, and a 4-way design), or later on a set of Bose 301s. The Sansui set were not 'great' speakers by any stretch, but were able to go loud. I think when Dad bought them they were $800/pair at Kelly's Stereo World in Canada. For 13" they weren't 'sub-woofer style' bass, but they were pretty decent for bass. Would the M60s compete, or would I want to go to the HP version?

WAF being considered, she may not let me have two sets of speakers in the Living Room, meaning my vintage amps go to my office with small bookshelves (M3s), and I end up putting the M60s into my AV Surround system with a two-channel Emotiva, and then they will have a subwoofer to augment the lows. Chances are I will have the two sets of speakers in that room for some time.
Posted by: DigitalGrit

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/24/15 03:20 PM

Besides the carpet and drapes the wife won't allow any specific room treatments on walls... So... Might have to be the standard M60s with the two channel system anyways. Shame. I wanted a really nice set of speakers to run full out with my vintage amp collection. Thought the HP would be the case... However, it seems that the room factors would be greater than the actual speaker type (at least that's what I'm gathering from all the great responses I'm getting here)? Hmmm...
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/24/15 03:25 PM

Those Sansuis...my buddy has them and I listen to them every time I go over there. He also has Nuance, Bose, Polk and the new Pioneer bookshelves by Andrew Jones.

His Pioneers (see link below), blow those Sansuis away in every respect. The standard M60s are light years ahead. They not only blow the Sansuis away - they leave a worm hole at the site of destruction.

http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SP-BS22-LR-Designed-Bookshelf-Loudspeakers/dp/B008NCD2LG

Getting back to your vintage receiver predicament, this is why I've been petitioning Axiom to build a sub out on the Axiom Air Gateway. You, me and all my friends could benefit by bringing legacy gear into the 21st century.
Posted by: DigitalGrit

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/25/15 11:25 AM

But, the M60s should sound good with my vintage Sansui or Marantz units, right?

I've heard lots of good stuff about the Andrew Jones Pioneers... They're supposed to be discount speaker champions, or something like that. Worth having a pair for bedroom. Right now I'm swimming in bookshelf speakers: Polks, PSB Alphas (my favourite of the bunch), Sansuis (vintage sort-of bookshelf-sized ones), Energy Pro Series, Sound Dynamics, Realistic Minimus 7s, Bose...

But, back to the original question... Would I notice a difference between the 60s and the 60HPs? Do the HPs play much louder, or much deeper/lower bass? Or, is the effect so slight that room/placement factors end up being the bigger difference? Don't want to spend the extra money if I don't have to (can spend it on a nice clean amp or small sub if needed later), but can spend it if I need to/should.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/25/15 04:23 PM

Let's see the science (curves).
Posted by: DigitalGrit

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/26/15 06:56 PM

So... here's a link to the page with the graphs of impedance, etc...

http://www.axiomaudio.com/manuals/M60_Dual_Input.pdf

Not sure if that says anything to you guys? Look the same pretty much?
Posted by: DigitalGrit

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/27/15 10:24 PM

Any thoughts on these graphs? These speakers look pretty much the same to me (judging by the graphs). Only a very slight variation (nothing I'd assume my ear could 'hear').

I think I'm on my way to being an M60 owner (non HP). Probably spend the extra $s on a power amp.
Posted by: Gr8_White_North

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/27/15 11:13 PM

There is a slight increase in output at the lower frequencies. If you look at the physical attributes of the HP woofer it has a much larger surround which would indicate it has a longer Xmax which will allow the speaker to move further and have higher output. Now if you plan to use a subwoofer at any point then you don't need this extra output plus the sub would take a huge load off your main amp. It is the bass that consumes the most power from the amplifier so using bass management will allow the sub to take over those duties. Now if your a bass head like me you would do one of 2 things, get the HP's or add a sub. I know I have already said this but if your sticking to straight 2 channel listening I say go for the HP's. Tam will tell as I will also , I use subs with my 2 channel listening since my mains don't have much output below 60hz and I really like the way it sounds and the subs blend really nice so those are your choices. It seems your are really having difficulty with this final decision hopefully this will help sway you one way or another.
Posted by: exlabdriver

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/28/15 12:00 AM

Ditto on 1 sub per channel in a 2 channel system.

I don't use any LFE control as my tube amp doesn't have that feature. Attaching the sub(s) to the Amps' Speaker Out connectors gives true 2 Channel, even in the low end, although common wisdom says that the low bass is mono anyway. I have several CDs where this is definitely not the case...

TAM
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/28/15 12:35 AM

Those curves say that if you are going to listen at "sane" levels, stick with the standard.

If you want to listen at insane levels, you need to ask Axiom for a different set of curves. You need the curves for 105 dB and above. Those curves will likely show that the standard driver compresses while the HP driver keeps on going.

My advice continues to be go with the standard and save your money for a sub in the future. Even better, use the funds for room treatments.
Posted by: brendo

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/28/15 04:44 AM

It is essentially the same, the graph shows that the lower level sounds are sustained easier by the High Powered Drivers. The flatter line with out so many dips.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: Sound Quality (Price not important): M60/80 vs... - 08/29/15 10:23 PM

I ended up going with non-HP, based on the response curves seeming to be flatter in the low end at the SPLs I usually frequented. Need a pair of HP's to be sure I did the right thing though. Sigh.