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Looking to Upgade My Axioms In 2.1 Set-up

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9 replies to this topic

#1 of 10 OFFLINE   CleanSeeker



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Posted August 20 2008 - 12:19 PM

I do most of my music listening in the smallest room of my 3-bedroom house where I have an L-desk with my MacBook pumping out i-tunes.

This room is 8x9x10 with the door permanently open.

I currently have a 2.1 system that consists of two Axiom Algonquins facing me, each 4ft. from my ear, at desk level.

I have a DefTech Super Cube 2 positioned in the corner behind my right shoulder, 8" above desk level, about 4' away.

The system is powered by a Nikko Alpha130 through a Rotel stereo control amp RC-970BX.

I am seeking to broaden my sound stage by moving up from my 2-way Axiom Algonquin bookshelves into a 3 or 4-way speaker.

I've looked at B&W, Mirage, Paradigm, SVS, Polk, Dali, and a few other companies speakers and have not found a "more than 2-way" speaker at the right price level for me. (3k max)

I recently stumbled upon the JBL SC2 centers []JBL Home Audio and I'm finally thinking this might be my "buy" moment.

(Just search JBL SC2 if my linkis denied.)

However, I've found it wise to expose my purchase thoughts to forum scrutiny prior to hitting the "complete sale" button.

The JBL SC2's are available for under $800 (including shipping) on Amazon.

So my questions to you critical enthusiasts are:

Do you think I will realize $800 worth of improvement with two of these JBL centers over my Algonquins?

And- is it wise to use two centers as the "2" in a 2.1 set-up?

PS. My Algonquins will not be wasted as I intend to use then as "6&7" to make my 5.1 HT into a 7.1 HT.

PS.S. I'm very pleased with my Algonquins in this set-up but am seeking the ultimate in my price range.

ANY input/critique on this matter will be appreciated!!!

#2 of 10 OFFLINE   Alon Goldberg

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Posted August 20 2008 - 03:21 PM

Hi Randy, to start off with, what is it about your system that you are looking to improve? Bass, timing, soundstage, musicality, detail, other? Is there anything specific about your system that you like or don't like? Also, do you have the ability to audition speakers before selecting your purchase, or will this be an Internet purchase based solely on reviews?

#3 of 10 OFFLINE   David Willow

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Posted August 21 2008 - 02:56 AM

Have you looked Axiom's M80s or M60s? You can get a 30 day in home trial to see you the upgrade is worth it.

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#4 of 10 OFFLINE   CleanSeeker



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Posted August 21 2008 - 11:04 AM

All, Thanks for your replies! Sorry: When I said JBL "SC2's" I meant LC2's. A.G.: I was hoping to broaden my soundstage by moving from the Algon's to the the LC2's that go down 10 more kHz and have 3/4", 1", 4", and 6" drivers compared to just the Algon's 1" and 6.5" drivers. D.W.: Approx. 40" H x 16" deep is too big for my desk top. Also, I'm concerned that my Nikko130 might have trouble pushing 4 Ohms.

#5 of 10 OFFLINE   Chris Quinn

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Posted August 21 2008 - 05:23 PM

What do you mean when you say the speakers are facing you? Is there a triangle between you and the speakers or are they to the side aimed at your ears? If they are on the side aimed at your ears that is a large issue for sound stage. Also at 4ft you are listening in a near field situation. Not all speakers are well suited for that. You are likely better off with a higher quality 2-way that is capable for near field listening than a 3 or 4 way that isn't suited to near field listening.

#6 of 10 OFFLINE   SethH



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Posted August 21 2008 - 11:24 PM

I would encourage you to not get hung-up on "more than 2-way." A good speaker is a good speaker. If it uses good components and a good crossover, then the number of different speakers in the box is a secondary measure of capability. A couple that I would recommend: 1 - Genelec 8040A -- Made for nearfield monitoring. Genelec is huge in the recording industry. 48Hz-20KHz (+/-2db) 2 - B&W 805S -- The 805 has always been one of the best bookshelf speakers made under the $5000 price point. They can be found between $2000-$2500/pair. 49Hz-22KHz (+/-3db) 3 - Ascend Sierra-1 -- I offer this up as a less expensive option that is still a fantastic speaker. 39Hz-22KHz (+/-3db) As noted, these all have a better frequency response than your current speakers.

#7 of 10 OFFLINE   Chris Quinn

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Posted August 22 2008 - 03:53 AM

I was going to suggest this speaker too for his parameters.

#8 of 10 OFFLINE   CleanSeeker



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Posted August 22 2008 - 12:19 PM

Chris Quinn: Sorry, the description of my speaker position was ambiguous. My computer room is pretty close to a 10x10 square. My L-desk and a side table pretty much span the entire wall I face sitting at my desk. The speakers sit on the desk and side table about as far as they can go from me. So, yes, definitely a triangle. I sit just in front of the exact center of the room and the speakers are toed- in, fairly close to the being in the extreme front corners of the room. The sub is behind my right shoulder, against the wall, a couple feet short of being in the back right corner. SethH: Thanks for the speaker recommendations. I know the B&W's and have heard them in the local Myer Emco electronics store. However, I didn't have my own music with me and wasn't in there for a full demo of those. They did sound great. Between your comments and the comments of others here and on another forum, I have been disabused of my infatuation with multiple drivers compared to just an overall soundly designed speaker. Thanks for your help in this regard. I look forward to researching the other two you suggested. I'm now thinking of going to a 4.1 instead of just a speaker upgrade. Any thoughts on a 4.1 that includes 2 multi-directional surrounds and an AVR that does Dolby Pro Logic 11 and includes an LFE out to my sub? I'm looking to sit in the middle of my room and feel like I'm in front of a symphony orchestra, in a theater that properly reflects the music throughout. Thanks to anyone who cares to comment on any of this!

#9 of 10 OFFLINE   SethH



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Posted August 23 2008 - 12:24 AM

If multichannel music would be your priority, most people prefer monopole surrounds for that. Even with 4 (or 5) speakers, the Ascend Sierra-1 would be within your originally stated budget, so I would take a closer look at those.

#10 of 10 OFFLINE   CleanSeeker



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Posted August 23 2008 - 01:00 PM

Alon Goldberg:

I want to address the rest of your reply.

On likes and dislikes of my system:

In general, I really like the Axiom Algos and the SuperCube2.

I got the Algos to be my "workhorse" speakers that I could move into different rooms, take outside, take to the beach, or fill whatever gap arises in where I want to listen to music.

Right now, they are my computer speakers. Eventually, I think they will be the 6&7th speaker in my HT, that can unhook and travel with me pretty easily. (I am currently looking at 5.0 HT packages to go with my SVSPB12-plus/2.)

This quote from the Algo's owners manual sums up the durability side of why I wanted to own them: "If you drop your speaker into a pool, unscrew the woofer and pull it out of the cabinet to drain the speaker. Reinstall the woofer and the speaker is ready for use again."

They sound great to boot, for what they are, in my admittedly limited experience.

The SuperCube2 is rock solid to me. I'm totally sold on this thing and it will accompany whatever stereo, primary music listening set-up, I own for the next 20 years.

Further, I feel really good about DefTech support. I had some issues with the first unit I purchased and they stood up strong behind their product and made sure I got a brand new unit, assisting me throughout the entire process. (Myer Emco also stood up strong to facilitate my satisfaction.)

Overall... I listen to a lot of: classical, heavy metal, blues, classic rock, and jazz. I get in moods sometimes where I want to listen LOUD (not ear damage loud- but "good thing I don't live in an apartment." loud)

I want my little computer room to be packed as full of super clean, clear, detailed, high-powered, true musical reproduction, sound as possible. However, I still want room enough on my work surface to do desk work.

On listening before purchase:

My preference would be to audition speakers prior to purchase. However, I really DO NOT LIKE the distribution chain that is the current audiophile market.

I don't understand why any company would not list prices and sell direct from their website. If I'm representative of the market, these companies are LOOSING SALES by not selling direct.

If they want to support a network of dealers, then they should list a relatively high MSRP and allow the dealers to discount.

I believe that buying through a "brick and mortar" dealer will add 1k to any 4k of purchase.

My hope is that some day their will be a "big box" type store dedicated to audiophile products. I understand the market is not wide enough for that but I would really like to visit a store that actually has all the products that I would like to audition/purchase- in stock.

Perhaps the current model for that is the "audio show," like the Rocky Mountain event.

...Gotta love these pics:

Rocky Mountain Audiofest 2008

If link disallowed, just search Yahoo! "rocky mountain audio show." Click "Audio fest 2008" and "2007 Media Gallery."

Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to travel 2,000 plus miles to shop.

In any case, to answer your question; right now I would try to identify someone who has a more educated ear than myself and purchase "direct" based on their review.

Thanks for your reply!

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