Shame on you Axiom

Posted by: St_PatGuy

Shame on you Axiom - 06/18/05 03:16 AM

Where do I begin?

As many of you know, I've owned a pair of Monitor Audio GR10s for about a year now. Generally I've been very happy with their sound. Something, however, was not quite right. I had the sound I was looking for--bright, detailed, and with great imaging--but the delivery was a bit on the dry side. I wasn't getting that emotional involvement in the music. I began reading up on various speakers, trying to get an idea of what kind of sounds different speakers produced. This carried on for a few months. I didn't want to rush, and besides, I wasn't totally dissatisfied with my GR10s.

Well, I was just about ready to head out and start auditioning when I decided to try a different tact. I had a nice coherent front end for my HT, and I loved the sound of the MAs across the front three channels. I decided not to part with them because I've had mismatched speakers before for HT, which weren't bad, but once I heard my matched set I didn't want to go back and start over from scratch. Instead, I looked into different amplification. For some reason I began to think my HK 7200 wasn't cutting it for two channel music. I know there are a lot of differing opinions on this subject, but I wanted to hear things for myself.

Again, back to surfing the net to amass a mountain of research. I convinced myself I wanted to try the NAD sound, then looked at Cambridge Audio, then the Arcams looked so nice but wow the price, then. . .I researched till I went cross-eyed. Man, the audio bug had bit me hard. I stopped for a while and decided to be happy with what I had.

That didn't last long, though. Once a thought rolls out of my head it picks up speed like a snowball. One night, tired of all the endless research and reading all the holier-than-thou opinions on other audio boards, I let impulse carry me and I ordered a tube amp. Now, mind you, this was not a blind purchase. I had always harbored a secret fascination with this niche of the audio world, and had done a little reading here and there to familiarize myself with tubes. What a can of worms I opened. . .

Anyway, I got my integrated tube amp and after a quick rearrange of the audio rack, had things up and running. Ugh, I couldn't believe the mushy ball of sound coming out of my speakers! I was thoroughly disheartened. I spent my hard-earned money and went backwards in the sound department. All was not lost, though. In my haste I had forgotten to bias the amp, and figured I needed to let the thing burn-in a bit.

Long story short--I hit my audio jackpot! I had life back in the sound from the GR10s, and my music listening skyrocketed to an almost daily basis. I couldn't get enough of the new sound. With all this listening, though, I discovered something else--during long listening sessions (at moderate volume levels) the brightness of the MAs was starting to wear on me. No, I didn't get headaches nor did my ears bleed, just that hours of listening left me slightly fatigued. Something nagged at me telling me I needed a laid back speaker. . .

I think the audio bug had given me a rash.

Ah, but I had the perfect speaker in mind--the Axiom M3Ti. Very inexpensive, small, efficient, and the collector of countless rave reviews. I ordered some custom finish samples determined to get the exact speaker I wanted. I was all set. Here I was, a week or two from ordering when Axiom ruined everything and put the M40s on clearance.

Well, I've had the M40s for about two weeks now, and let me tell you--I am enjoying these guys immensley! I was really afraid about the "lack of detail" stigma attached to these guys thinking the sound would be blobby and indistinct. They are not though. Sure the midrange is pushed back just a tad, but the detail is still there. No strain required to hear things.

Also, I was a little worried about the bass response. They certainly go deep enough for me. When I first hooked them up, the bass was all over the place and not defined. Not the speaker's fault, but more my tiny little cubicle of a room. Heck, when I fart in here it's kinda boomy. Thanks to some audiophile socks I had lying around (splotchy grey crews if any of you want to pick some up) I plugged up the rear port and voila! This didn't solve all the bass problems, still a bit boomy with some peaks caused by the room, but a sound I can live with nonetheless. I tried plugging all ports, but I missed that chest thumping feeling. Yes, I do get that with the M40s!

Geez, how did this post get so long? I just wanted to post some impressions of the Axioms, but got a bit carried away.

Well, back to my MA GR10s and the Axiom M40s. I'm not going to say one sound is better than the other. I enjoy both. The MAs are detailed and crisp, drums have a certain snap and attack to them. Music is presented warts and all. The M40s carry a lot more authority in the bass. There is a lushness to the midrange that I find pleasing to my ear. There are pluses and minuses to both, but I'm kinda tired and am running out of steam.

Anyway, back to the title of my post. Shame on you Axiom for selling a speaker at this price point that I enjoy so much. I'm glad I didn't wait to pull the trigger on these. All gushing aside, I don't think my speaker journey will ever end, and the M40s are not the end-all of things, but I am pleased to have them in my system.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Thought I'd share a bit of my audio journey. And remember--these are just my opinions. I don't claim to have an ear for audio, I just like to enjoy my music. I feel very fortunate to have found some speakers that cost so little, but sound so good.

Posted by: darren700

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/18/05 03:20 AM

wow, nice adventure...glad you like your new m40's...
Posted by: ratpack

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/18/05 09:05 AM

By any chance, do you work in the field of advertising?


Just kidding.
Posted by: F107plus5

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/18/05 10:27 AM

Yeah,...the M40 sale made it rough on me too...could have really gone for a pair to replace my M3s in back as full-range surrounds to complement my M50s up front! (That would have also freed-up the M3s for the dining room set-up!!)

Sounds as though the space between the MAs and M40s could be somewhat filled by the M50s?

If, and when your audio journey ever gets underway again....and it will, because, as you obviously know, the research phase is the really addictive part!!

So...Hey! Who knows!!!
Posted by: bugbitten

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/18/05 11:43 AM

I think a number of us share similiar experiences. Thanks for putting yours into words.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/18/05 11:58 AM

St Pat,
I found the MA Silver 8s to be very similar to the sound of my M60s. If you ever wondered what they might sound like, think about your MA GR10s and you should have a good idea.
If that forward presentation can be too much even with the Monitors, then the M40-50 from Axioms are a good alternative.
Glad to hear it's working out for you.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/18/05 12:25 PM

What M40 sale? I need some BR and spa speakers.... Dammit, I need to pay closer attention........
Posted by: F107plus5

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/18/05 01:26 PM

Close attention is right!!

They sold out every speaker but the first prototype in less than 3.6 hours!!

These guys went FASSSSST!!!

(Maybe it was 3.6 days.....but it WAS quick!)
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/18/05 01:35 PM

Gotta be quick on the trigger. . .(blows on fingers). . .fastest fingers in the West.

No, that doesn't mean I steal things. Sheesh.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/18/05 01:43 PM

I did some extensive listening of the MA line (both Silver and Gold) and I was very close to getting the S6 or S8. I was getting rid of some Klipsch towers, though, and wanted to go the bookshelf route. I felt they would fit my room better. I don't think I would have any qualms about getting the M60, and I am sure they are fantastic. It's just that if I was getting another speaker, I wanted to try a different sound from what I already had.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/18/05 02:20 PM

Well St Pat, if you are looking for a different sound, there are thousands of choices to be made.
Have you tried hearing any Magnepans?
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/18/05 02:37 PM

Thousands of choices, yes. Too many if you ask me.

No, I have not heard Magnepans. Not really an option due to size constraints of my room. At one point I did have some Monsoon computer speakers. Those, I think, were electrostats--flat, screen-like looking things. Nice 3D sound from those considering their use.

Eventually I'd like to sample a bit of everything--ribbon tweeters, electrostats, soft domes, etc. My budget is limited at this time, so the M40s provided an excellent opportunity to try something else without breaking the bank. No rush on the other things, though. I'll probably be in this hobby for a long time and don't feel the need to cram everything in right now.
Posted by: Twebbz

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/18/05 02:51 PM

Hmmmm...port plugging...I wonder what our AXIOM BUDDIES have to tell us about this subject.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/18/05 02:57 PM

Okay, I just checked--Maggies are planar-ribbon speakers. So, what is an electrostat? Hmm, that word just seemed to be stuck in my head about the Magnepans. . .
Posted by: bridgman

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/18/05 04:14 PM

Quads and Dayton-Wrights were electrostatics -- no magnetic fields, just used a very high voltage amplifier to drive the membranes.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/18/05 04:15 PM

An example of an electrostat is MartinLogan speakers.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/19/05 02:04 AM

Thanks guys.
Posted by: Wid

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/19/05 08:22 AM

In reply to:

An example of an electrostat is MartinLogan speakers.

I had a chance to hear a set of the big Martins and o' man how sweet they sound .
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/19/05 12:10 PM

They sound sweet, true, but their sweet spot is infinitesimally small.
Posted by: Wid

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/19/05 12:15 PM

Agreed .
Posted by: Tarun

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/19/05 12:34 PM

Holy audiobugs Batman!!!!
Amazing story.

One there anyway to accurately measure the bass level in the room when you FART!.

Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/19/05 01:09 PM

Easy. Use my FPL meter. . .
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/19/05 01:14 PM

Fart SPL levels are know to triple when a leather couch is involved.
Posted by: F107plus5

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/20/05 08:43 AM

And are attenuated when cloth-upholstered, form-fitting "Papasan" chairs are used with "Stealthy" outgassing.
Posted by: snakeyes

Re: Shame on you Axiom - 06/20/05 08:45 AM

will the base be tighter if you wear MONSTER Underwear?