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Budget Axiom vs. Budget B&W (longish)

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#1 of 1 OFFLINE   george.Legeza


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  • Join Date: Nov 21 2002

Posted December 04 2003 - 11:38 AM

Hey everyone, right now I have a fairly budget home theater system. At the front are two B&W DM303s and an LCR3 center. At the rear are two Polk R20s. All of this is powered by my Yamaha HTR-5660. The whole system, including the receiver, only cost me around $1,200, which was seriously stretching my budget at the time. I'm also running a Partsexpress.com Dayton 10" Sub that I'm very happy with.

So I've had this set up for about a year now and I'm still in love with these B&Ws. They may be budget speakers, but I'm incredibly happy with how they sound. I can't wait until my ad-hoc home theater room is finished and they can be properly set up, since their configuration right now is less than optimal. I'm also very happy with the receiver, although I've only had it for a few months now.

What I'm not happy with are the rear speakers. I was planning on buying a rear center since this receiver does 6.1, but it occured to me that I really didn't want to spend any more money on these Polks - I'd rather replace them. I've pretty consistently felt that they're the weakest link in my system, so I'm looking at other options. My first thought was to just buy another pair of DM303s since I'm so happy with my mains, but I figured I'd better at least look at some other options. Here's what I've been considering, I'd appreciate some feedback on it:

1) A few people have mentioned to me that Axiom M3Tis may actually be a better value than the B&W DM303s. I haven't heard them yet, but they're slightly cheaper than the 303s and this makes me happy. Since I'm saving for a widescreen HDTV at this point my budget is very, very limited. Between a rear center and rear speakers I can't spend more than $500. I can stretch that a tiny bit, but not much. Doing this has the added benefit that, if I find that I like the sound of the Axioms better, I can put them up front and move the DM303s to the rear - hopefully giving my whole setup a boost in quality.

2) Forget about getting a center (I ran my DM303s without one for a while) and get a pair of M22Tis, put them up front, and move the DM303s to the rear. Save up a while and add a VP100 later. If I did this, would I be better keeping the M22Tis at the rear until I could afford that VP100? Would the M22s really be that much better than the DM303s to justify foregoing a center for a while?

3) Some other option? I'm open to any other suggestions. I'm primarily looking to replace my Polks for $500 or less, but if there are speakers that fall into that price range and would make a halfway decent upgrade to the DM303s I'm certainly listening as well.

Thanks in advance for any advice. And sorry for the long post. Posted Image

Edit- Should also mention that I'm not too concerned about matching the front and rears. While a fully matched system would be nice, being able to upgrade the mains is a greater priority for me. If I can do that I'd eventually think about creating a matching system around those new speakers and moving the B&Ws out to a bedroom system or something, but for now I'm open to any and all possibilities.

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