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Axiom vs. Rocket for HT

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Pete Austin, Dec 23, 2002.

  1. Pete Austin

    Pete Austin Active Member

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    Greetings all,

    I'm finally ready to upgrade my HT setup which is currently all Klipsch Synergy and an SVS 20-39 PC+. I've been reading the forums for a while but cannot seem to find a direct comparison between Rockets and Axiom speakers. Individually, they both seem to be VERY highly regarded and offer great value (imo). A complete top of the line system (less subwoofer, I wouldn't trade my SVS for anything) from either company is about the same price ($2,300) so I'm looking for some subjective opinions from others about each, specifically their towers and centers. I listen to movies at close to (but not at) reference levels so key issues for me are:

    1.)quality mids and highs
    2.)soundstaging
    3.)build quality and aesthetics

    If anyone has any experience with either of these two speaker lines for HT I'd love to hear about it. Also, please limit responses to these two companies. I know this price range opens the door to DIY, but I don't consider that an option. Thanks!
     
  2. BradJudy

    BradJudy Well-Known Member

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    I have heard the Rocket package #0 with dual SVS 20-39CS in person (Sean Parque from av123's setup). Very impressive if you're looking at that price range (and can deal with that huge center channel speaker). I haven't heard the Axioms in person, but I would be shocked if they could match the Rockets. Since you're looking at a very similar setup, all I can say is that I can't see how you wouldn't enjoy the Rockets immensely.

    I think the Rockets look a lot better than the Axioms, but that's just my opinion. The veneer on the Rockets is very well done. Of course some people don't like that color of wood, or wood at all, but if you do then these are great.

    One downside to the Rockets is that you'll have to wait a few weeks to get them. I'm not sure what the current timeline is, but the av123 folks can tell you.
     
  3. David Head

    David Head Well-Known Member

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    Hi Pete,
    I own a set of Axiom speakers (M60ti, VP150 and QS8) with an SVS 20-39PCi sub. You can read my review here.
    I also paticipated in a review of the Rocket speaker package (RS750, RSC200 and RSS300) with Mike Knapp and others from Home Theater Talk. You can read the review here.
    The Axioms sound more detailed than the Rockets IMO and will be closer to the Klipsch sound. I think the Axioms fit and finish are very nice, but they don't compare to the finish on the Rocket speakers. The Rocket's finish is in a different league. I've had my speakers for 4 months now and still believe the QS8s are the best sounding surround speakers I've ever heard. I loved the sound of the Rockets, but I wouldn't trade my Axioms for them.
    If you'd like to make a road trip to the Tampa Bay area, we could probably set up a listening session with both sets of speakers. The Rockets are still in Tampa (although owned by someone else). I'm in an apartment right now, but if you can wait a few months, I'll be moving into my new house in March.
    David
     
  4. Jose T

    Jose T Well-Known Member

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    I would take the Axiom's over the Rockets just for the sound alone. I also don't care for the veneer look of the Rockets either(just my perference). Good Luck.
     
  5. Pete Austin

    Pete Austin Active Member

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    Thanks for the input guys. David, thanks for the review links, but I'm curious did ou buy your Axiom setup before or after participating in the review of the Rocket? Going into this I thought that if the consensus among forum members was that the sound of each line was very close (i.e. either one did not blow the other out of the water) that I would choose the line with the best build quality. While I don't doubt that Axioms are built to very high standards, from the pictures I've seen posted of the Rockets they look absolutely stunning IMO. As far as either line sounding more like the Klipsch system I have now goes, I'm not really interested in timbre matching to my Klipschs. If I'm going to replace the whole system I seriously doubt that I'll notice the difference. I'd still love to hear more experiences with these lines. Keep 'em coming. Thanks!

    Pete
     
  6. David Head

    David Head Well-Known Member

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    Pete,

    I ordered the Axioms before I heard the Rockets. The finish on the Rockets is beautiful, but I didn't think it would go with the cherry entertainment center I have (which isn't in any of the pictures I posted). If the Rockets had been available in a different finish, I might have waited to place an order. I'm VERY happy with the Axioms, especially since they were about half the cost of the Rockets. The Rockets are more laid back than the Axioms, which is why I said that the Axioms would be closer to the Klipsch sound. Most Klipsch owners I've met prefer a forward presentation. I didn't mean to imply that you'd be trying to timbre match with the Klipsch.

    David
     
  7. Jeff Kohn

    Jeff Kohn Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, as much as some people may love the rosewood veneer finish on the Rockets (and Divas before them), I think they're making a mistake by not offering any other finshes. I for one just don't like the rosewood finish and would not want it in my HT.

    I haven't heard the Rockets but I'm very happy with my Axioms (M60's, VP150, M3's, QS8) and think they offer better bang for the buck than pretty much any other speaker out there. Of your 3 priorities listed above, the Axioms will absolutely nail items 1 and 2, these things have excellent detail without sounding harsh or overly bright, and imaging is incredible. As for finish, there's nothing wrong with the finish on the Axioms; they're well made and look nice. It is a vinyl veneer, but it's very well done. Also keep in mind the Rockets are considerably more expensive.
     
  8. SkiingNinja

    SkiingNinja Well-Known Member

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  9. David Head

    David Head Well-Known Member

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    Sean,

    That's great news! The rosewood finish is beautiful, but I'm sure you'll get more sales offering a "black" option. Any pictures available yet of the Macassar Ebony?

    David
     
  10. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    I've had both the Axiom M60Ti/VP150 and the Rocket RS750/RSC200/RS250 setups in my room and for me it's no contest - the Rockets blew the Axioms away in every single respect. Soundstage, imaging, bass extension, midrange, integration are all superior. The build quality of the Rockets is much, much better as well. In my opinion the Axioms are more comparable to Polk Audio products than anything else. The Rockets are in a different league entirely. All IMHO of course, but I have listened to these two speaker lines in my room with my equipment (Sherbourn 5/1500A 200wpcx5 amp, Marantz AV9000 processor, SVS 25-31 PCi sub, Cambridge Audio D500SE CD player, Panasonic RP82 DVD player).
     
  11. Dennis Oblow

    Dennis Oblow Well-Known Member

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  12. PomingF

    PomingF Well-Known Member

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    Pete, Max Yokell (over @ HTT) now owns the Rocket setup in place of his Klipsch Legend KLF system. I think him & David were both @ Mike Knapp's Florida Rocket demo a while back. May be you should contact him & arrange for a listen.

    PF
     
  13. David Head

    David Head Well-Known Member

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    Doug,

    What are your room dimensions? I'm curious what effect that had on your opinion.

    Dennis,

    Thanks for the link. That finish should look great!

    PomingF is correct that Max Yokell owns the Rockets used for the demo.

    David
     
  14. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    David - My room dimensions are 15'X28' with 8 foot ceilings, carpeted floor and the front soundstage arranged across one of the short walls. Listening position is about 10 feet from the speakers.
     
  15. David Head

    David Head Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Doug. It sounds like you have a nice big area, but Mike Knapp's room is enormous which might have influenced the imaging and bass. I'll have to listen to the Rocket's at Max's to see if my impressions change.

    David
     
  16. Jack Dotson

    Jack Dotson Active Member

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    I've owned my PSB Stratus Gold i's for a couple of years now and they are very good. However, I've never heard the Axiom's or the Rockets and was curious how they would compare to my Gold's? This would be a comparison with both company's TOL of course. Also, the Rockets don't appear to be very big and they use 5 1/4" drivers, if memory serves. How is the bass response? My PSB's are very hard to drive and I like to listen to my music at fairly loud levels sometimes, so I was also curious as to how sensitive each speaker is and how hard they are to drive?

    I know the Internet can have some real deals these days and I could get enough out of my PSB's and C5i center channel to buy either of these. Would it be worth it?

    Thanks,
    Jack
     
  17. AhsanR

    AhsanR Well-Known Member

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    Eh...... I haven't heard either, but I do know one thing, the Rockets use the same tweeter as the Polk Lsi, and the Polks are cheaper in some respects if you know where to shop.

    I wish someone would do a head to head comparison between the Rockets vs. Axioms vs. Polks Lsi's.

    They are all great speakers and perform out of their price range.

    Suffice to say, if you buy any of these three brands, YOU WILL NOT BE dissapointed.
     

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