Canada: PSB vs Axiom vs Paradigm, my short review

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jedd, Apr 8, 2002.

  1. Jedd

    Jedd Second Unit

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    So, finally I went to Toronto to give a try to these speakers. I went there open-minded, didn't secure any deals or whatsoever (probably I should to get a bit better price, but it wasnt bad anyway), here is my short review. Everything is IMHO (In My Hearing Opinion, of course)
    PSB Stratus (was listening to bronze with Denon receiver), nice room filling sound, probably the best of what I heard, close to Mirages, but more distinct. Very neutral, which is good. What I didnt like about them - midranges, maybe it was a defective pair, but I felt like I had small cotton plugs in my ears.
    Axiom floorstanding (M50 it was, with the Denon also). After the first few seconds I was amazed by how good they are. Soundstage, all details I could think about, clear, as a mountain spring, sound, thats what I heard. I think the aluminum cones are the reason why. But it had it's own price. After 10 minutes, I started to feel small silver hammers dancing barbarian jig in my temples. After another 5 minutes I said, ok guys mix these with those and it will give us something pleasing to my ears. So I went to
    Paradigm Reference (Studio 40, with anthem). If I was *hmm* after PSB, *wow* after Axiom, in this case it was just a one of those stupid smiles on my face (you know what I'm talking about). They wasnt so room-filling and neutral as PSB or clear and tight as Axioms, but I just could not pass them. I don't know if it's an appropriate word for the sound - but Paradigms sound sweet. [​IMG]
    So making the long story short - I bought a set of 40-ies and 20-ies. (Actually I bought 2 sets - one in black ash and one in light cherry, I will have one for sale after I put it to the SAF color-proof [​IMG], but it's another story)
    I went for 40-ies over the 60-ies because they was more sensitive, cheaper, easier to transport and my Dayton 15" is arriving today to help them with the lows.[​IMG]
    What else, duty-free shops and cop-free highways rule in Canada, gas prices suck. $50 CAD to fill my tank *grin*, now I know why shipping is so expensive.
    Usually I don't care how much I save, but how much I spend. And I can say that this Dimes are worth every dime I paid for them. In numbers it was ~$950 USD for a 1pr 40 + 1 pr 20 in light cherry, ~100 USD for fuel, ~50 USD for motel, food and couple bottles of Molson XXX. [​IMG] , which is $1100 after everything, compared to $650 + $900 -10% discount +5% taxes = ~ $1450 which I would have paid for them here.
     
  2. Vishwa Somayaji

    Vishwa Somayaji Stunt Coordinator

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    Congratulations! Keep our economy going. You guys are strapping a big tax on lumber. So, we should use the lumber to make speakers and sell it to you.

    Seriously, good Canadian speakers are true bargains in quality speakers these days, especially if you earn in US dollars. Enjoy them.
     
  3. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Well, I lived with a pair of Boston Acoustics A70 II's for 12 years and loved them very much. Now my PSB Image 6T's are my source of audio pleasure.
     
  4. KonradN

    KonradN Stunt Coordinator

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    jedd,

    after auditioning the same three brands I had similar observation. PSB could be described as the most neutral of the three but to me they sounded a bit dull or as you describe sound like as you having cotton in your ears. Paradigm was in between the axiom and psb. Not as clear or bright as the axioms but clearer than psb; however, the bass was a little loose on the paradigm imo. At the end I went with the axioms. After break in I don't find them fatiguing at all so the sound is just crystal clear to me and the bass is tight and very accurate.
     
  5. Jedd

    Jedd Second Unit

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    I think all Canadian speakers in this price range sound good and it really comes to little personal preferences. Like cars. But since a lot of people here were interested in what Axiom sounds like (at least I were [​IMG] ) they might find some useful information here.
     
  6. Matt Parsons

    Matt Parsons Stunt Coordinator

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    Congrats Jedd, I too went to Canada last week and came home with trunk full of the PSB's.
    I did my listening at home comparing bookshelves from PSB Mini's, Paradigm 40s, Alon Rascals, Meadowlark Audio, and B&W CD 1NT over the weekend (driven by my 3802). After deciding on the Stratus Mini's I arranged a deal through Peter Hendricks at Allied TV in Hamilton, ON for:
    Mini's in H/G black
    a C6i in H/G black
    MS-2i stands
    and 2 pairs of 10s surrounds
    After getting them set-up, I'm in H/T heaven and they're sounding better every day.
    The savings was well worth it. Two tanks of gas and 10 hours driving time later and I saved over 50% off the US list of $3,500 for the package.
    Thanks to the HTF for all the advice.[​IMG]
    Enjoy those Paradigm Jedd!
     
  7. David Head

    David Head Second Unit

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    Jedd,

    Congrats on the Paradigm purchase! I think you hit the nail on the head when you said it comes down to personal preference. I began auditioning new speakers almost a year ago and narrowed my choices down to PSB, Paradigm and B&W. I ended up choosing the PSB Image Series. What you and Konrad described as sounding like you had "cotton in your ears" with the PSBs, I found to be uncolored and more natural sounding. I don't have a dealer in my area that carries Axioms, but I've heard a lot of good things about them. The bottom line is that people should listen to as many speakers in their price range as possible and choose what sounds best to them.

    David
     
  8. Tony Meconiates

    Tony Meconiates Stunt Coordinator

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    Jedd,

    Sounds like the store in toronto was very accomodating. If you dont mind my asking, what store was it?
     
  9. Jedd

    Jedd Second Unit

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    Actually, I cruised between 4 or 5 stores like:

    Fairview HiFi in Burlington (905-681-1872)

    Gibby's Audio-Video and ESM Audiotronic in st. Catharine

    Kromer Audio Ltd and Replay Electrinics in Toronto.

    If you know what are you going to buy, I recommend to ensure that they have it in stock. I.e. I had a very hard time with the light cherry finish, black ash was a bit more easier, but again, Kromer Audio was willing to bargain, but had no 40-es in the stock at all.
     
  10. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Jedd, do you recall which speakers were available for audition at the Burlington store?
     
  11. Tony Meconiates

    Tony Meconiates Stunt Coordinator

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    Jedd, sounds like you did your homework...

    What store did you end up buying the paradigms from... I am thinking of upgrading my 40's to 60's and would like to give some business to a reputable store.
     
  12. Jedd

    Jedd Second Unit

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    Rich, in the Burlington I remember only Paradigms and KEF's, but at that point I was heading to paradims already, so didnt look around carefully.
    Tony, I ended up buying from FairviewHiFi.
    (btw, I do prefer 40 over 60 [​IMG] )
     
  13. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Second Unit

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    Jedd: I can't believe that someone from Boston has been to Gibby's and ESM and I haven't! :b
    How was the pricing/service compared to the others you visited?
    (For the record: I haven't been in because I'm afraid of the damage it will have on my pocketbook. I just bought a house and I'm still paying for the appliances. [​IMG] )
     
  14. Jedd

    Jedd Second Unit

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    I liked ESM very much, they are knowledgable and helping guys. Discussed different speaker aspects and DIY stuff for a first time with someone not from this forum. [​IMG] They seems to be in love with PSB but didnt push me at all. I wish I could buy Paradims from them.
    I don't think pricing should be a problem for you, Dave. Just treat speaker dealers as a car dealers and you should be ok. [​IMG]
     

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