Adventures with Mark H @ The Audio Shop (speaker review)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by James Bergeron, Jul 15, 2002.

  1. James Bergeron

    James Bergeron Supporting Actor

    Oct 9, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Ok, I was going to wait for some break-in period to even post this but I feel things can only get better so I'll post now.
    I was looking for a sub $500 CDN speaker for my stereo listening (Jazz - Rock). I am using a pair of ASL waves and a ASL pre-amp (CD-player in transition). I currently was using B&W 303's but since I had 3 of them and upgrade bug hit I figured it was a good time to try out some new speakers!
    As a side note (hopefully also to make my review seem somewhat more credible) I just want to list the speakers I currently own.
    4 x Paradigm Studio 40's
    1 x Studio CC
    2 x Paradigm Atoms
    3 x B&W 303's
    I'll try to compare to these as I go along here.
    So after reading all the hype on here about Axioms and the fact that we get a great deal right now here in Canada on them. Having the luxury of being in Ottawa I thought I would go to see Mark H and pick up a pair of M3's! I was practically set on them, but brought my ASL's with me just in case, I wanted to make sure they pushed them nicely.
    The Adventure:
    Mark had a nice pair of M3's on stands all ready for me in a back listening room (in boston cherry), he also brought out a pair of M22's for me to compare at the same time. So we hooked up the ASL's popped in some Diana Krall and I had a seat to listen.
    First Impression:
    NICE! Hay these sound great, I'm almost sold already! So we switched to the M22's. Well not really much difference to write home about to be honest that I could tell. In comparison to my other speakers well they aren't in the same league as the 40's but are close to B&W 303's from what I could gather in the performance from the listening. Hi's Mid's excellent bass was present but not thunderous (hey it's a bookshelf right?). Compared to my Atoms well they were more detailed but I actually find the Atoms to be more bass heavy. To be honest I find the Atoms a tad boomy though, lacking mid almost totally (no offence to owners I hope!).
    So back to my adventures:
    Mark tells me he is going to get another pair of speakers for me to test out (Great!) So in brings in these black boxes... bah a boxy black speaker (hey is that a paradigm Mini Monitor?) NOPE! It's a Dahlquist QX6!
    So we took a listen. EEEGADS! What a difference! This speaker sounds great (I said to Mark).
    Mark explained to me to listen to the sound stage, so I did, yeah he's right it's more detailed than the axioms. So we switched back to check, sure is!
    But the second we switched back I noticed something even more evident. The axiom seemed shrill compared to the Dahlquist, the dahlquist provided a more melow sound (Great highs & mids) but not as shrill or high pitched as the axioms. I liked it!
    Mid's & High's:
    Ok I'd compare the QX6's High & mid-range to be equal to or surpassing the B&W 303's. The Studio 40's (which I haven't listen to as much yet) are hard to compare against but we are probably close to that realm of quality from this little speaker.
    Where's the beef? :
    Or where's the bass? It's a bookshelf they don't have bass right? WRONG! Compared to the Studio 40 It's CLOSE! To the 303's Well pack your bags B&W your not even in the door!
    The QX6 provides a unmuffled deep extension, both in the showroom and in my own home. We played both Diana Krall and Patricia Barber at the shop. When I got home I poped in Casandra Wilson which has some great bass passages. I also put in my trust hotel california cd.
    It is hard to describe in words, but the bass is almost thunderous!
    As Mark pointed out 2 previous customers didn't believe he wasn't hiding a sub-woofer, it is that great!
    It isn't muddy (like the Atoms)it is tight and hard hitting. You can feel the air movement in the room even in my 10 x 30' room with hardwood ( a rather alive room) the bass is incredible, I just have to figure out how to stop the fireplace from vibrating now!
    I will go as far as saying these speakers provide the same satisfying thud as my studio 40's! I'd have to re-evaluate for sure on that one, but it is really impressive.
    What else James?
    Well for fun we hooked up a pair of Axiom M80's! Ok they are out of my price range but I thought it would be fun to see what I was missing (bad mistake). The QX6 is great but not that great! It can't compete with a $2000 speaker. The M80 sounded fantastic. Enough fun, we reconnected the QX6, at first I was now disappointed but only 1 or 2 minutes later I was happy again they provide you with a HUGE soundstage and with pinpoint accuracy.
    The Verdict:
    Just so you know I was VERY skeptical, I really wanted to like the axioms here ,the price was great and they look nice, but the QX6 just blew me out of the water. I went back to the store (After a trip to listen to the Def Tech PM500 (nice sound but too pricy for what it gives you), and picked up the QX6 in black oak (available in light cherry).
    I actually brought my Girlfriend in at lunch and she liked the black more than the light cherry for our decor [​IMG] .
    Disclaimer: No Mark didn't pay me to write this, he didn't even offer me free stuff [​IMG] but I felt pretty damn strong about these speakers. I usually won't pay the first price I'm given either but these speakers are that good! I hope I didn't offend any owners of other speakers I mentioned!
    Thanks for listening.... eerr reading.
    EDIT: Specs on QX6 per the manual...
    87db Sensitivity in free field
    91db in average room
    Nominal Impedance: 6 Ohms
    Bass Reflex Bookshelf
    25mm Alloy Tweeter & 165mm Woofer
    14.7"H x 7.87" W x 11.42"D
    another note, I think the specs are VERY accurate from my listeninga s far as extension goes!
  2. Donald_Spry

    Donald_Spry Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 3, 2002
    Likes Received:
    I talked to Marc and while back and was thoroughly impressed with his service. I am entertaining the idea of a second system, and have all the intentions of purchasing the QX6. They come highly recommend by him.

    I also have a set of the 40's with the Atoms as surrounds in my current system! Great speakers.

    How did the light cherry look compared to the Paradigms?
  3. James Bergeron

    James Bergeron Supporting Actor

    Oct 9, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Donald: The light cherry is basically the same as the Atoms. It may have been lighter but it's hard to compare since they weren't side by side.
    Edit: Glad I didn't offend anyone, I assume I didn't due to lack of response..... or maybe I offended everyone [​IMG]
  4. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

    Aug 22, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Wow, thanks for the review! And thanks for your business too!
    I just replied to your email too (sorry for the delay - just back from fishing) and yes, I have the big power cord for your pre-amp here. No, I wasn't trying to swipe it [​IMG]
  5. James Bergeron

    James Bergeron Supporting Actor

    Oct 9, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Hey all, just thought I would quickly follow up on this review.

    I have listened to the little QX's a few times over the weekend and have been amazed even more. The soundstage is defintely more full than my previous B&W 303's and the sweet spot is HUGE.

    I actually watched a movie "Captain Correlie's Mandolin" using my Tube setup and just the 2 QX6's. My entire couch was a sweet spot using a phantom centre. It was incredible. I'm almost a convert from centre channel to phantom now! Although My theatre provides more power and dynamics then 2 cpeakers on tubes. It sounds pretty good and still provided a great sound. The mandolin sounded excellent!

Share This Page