How does Axiom compare to paradigm, B&W, Klipsch...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KonradN, Mar 10, 2002.

  1. KonradN

    KonradN Stunt Coordinator

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    I think I am going to go with the m22ti but I want to make sure that I can't get comparable performance by spending about the same on speakers from more reputable companies.

    How does the m22ti compare to paradigm's mini monitor or mayben even studio 20/40, B&W's DM601 S3/ DM602 S3, Klipsch RB-3 / RB-5, etc...

    I should add that I prefer speakers with more forward sounding highs. My first speakers were Mission 701 that rolled off the highs and to me they sounded muted or even muffled. Initially I will pair the speakers up with my jbl pb12 and I am currently I am using jbl n38 as my mains.
     
  2. KonradN

    KonradN Stunt Coordinator

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    just read through a few post on axioms board and this post discourages me a lot from buying any of he axioms.
    http://207.228.226.248/ubbthreads/sh...sb=5&o=&fpart=
    The atoms are the lowest in paradigms lineup and I was expecting the m3ti to walk all over it...
    I am a casual listener and like rock, techno/trance, and pop music but I still like to have crystal clear highs and a detailed midrange. However, midbass slam is very important to me too.
     
  3. Rick Radford

    Rick Radford Supporting Actor

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    > I was expecting the m3ti to walk all over it.<
    Konrad, that's a pretty subjective thing. It's very difficult to A/B internet speakers. Heck, it's pretty difficult to A/B speakers that are sold in different stores.. unless you can bring them home for a trial. It can even be tough in the same store since the speakers may well be setup in different rooms on different amps, etc.
    At the pricepoint of the Axioms, you'd be hard pressed to beat them, imo.
    Disclaimer: I have an Axiom speaker setup.
    The point is, if they sound similar and one is less expensive than the other.. which one are ya gonna buy? [​IMG]
     
  4. KonradN

    KonradN Stunt Coordinator

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    well, I was planning to spend no more than 400 dollars but preferably around 300 total for a pair of mains. I think atoms are less than 200 dollars while the m3ti can be had for 220. But people keep saying how unbelievable those axiom speakers are and that they can be compared to 2k speakers. According to that user and his 4 friends, the m3ti has trouble just keeping up with sub 200 dollars speakers. One of his statements though particulary puzzlez me. He states that the m3ti didn't image very well and sounded boxy. All the professional reviews I have read so far observe the complete opposite.

    Anyways, i looked at paradigms website and am leaning towards the paradigm phantom now. They should sell in my price range and I feel like I am getting more speakers for my money compared to the m22ti.
     
  5. Rick Radford

    Rick Radford Supporting Actor

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    Konrad,
    As long as you're happy with your purchase, that's what counts. The problem with reading all the reviews and never participating in the actual listening tests is that you trust someone else's ears instead of your own.
    Sorta like the ice cream analogy someone recently posted. You can look at the ingredients and read about taste tests in Consumer Reports all day long. But until you take a bite, you won't know for sure if you like brand A over brand B. [​IMG]
    (BTW, Breyer's Lite is the best vanilla) [​IMG]
     
  6. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    Konrad:

    Paradigm makes wonderful speakers. I assume Axiom does as well, though I never heard them. A little hint in evaluating opinions you read though: *everyone* says their speakers sound much better than they cost. It is the single most oft-repated opinion offered about speakers. As such, it is a totally meaningless cliche. If I had a nickel for every brand of speakers that is reputed to have sound way above its price point, I could buy a nice B&W Nautilus setup for my HT. Apparently, all speakers now "sound better than they cost." That makes no sense of course, and is likely caused by a combination of owner bias and the fact that speakers these days in general are almost all good values as *compared* to say speakers made 15 years ago.

    The only thing to take from the opinions of others is when you see some consistency in obversation of the type of sound produced, e.g. brightness. Otherwise, only what your ears tell you could possibly be relevant to your buying decisions.
     
  7. Rick Radford

    Rick Radford Supporting Actor

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    Eric,
    >*everyone* says their speakers sound much better than they cost. It is the single most oft-repated opinion offered about speakers. As such, it is a totally meaningless cliche.<
    Agreed! And toss in "blown away" and "awesome" while you're at it!
    I confess to using the term "blown away," once (that I recall). It was when I got to hear a dual 20-39CS setup in my HT (another cs in addition to my own).
    I believe I was justified in its use. [​IMG]
     
  8. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    I agree, I have never read a review stating, "these speakers compare quite favorably to other speakers costing half as much" [​IMG] I think I would crap my pants laughing if I ever did. The Atoms reviews that are on Paradigm's website include one review that says the compare quite well with his referance monitors that cost three times as much and another that implies that a six speaker paradigm setup including the atoms as mains has qualities that would be desired in a $10,000 speaker package. These kinds of sentiments prove one or both of two points.
    1) all speaker reviewers are idiots and spend far more on speakers then what they would require to be satisfied.
    2) the laws of diminishing returns kick in at a far lower price then many of us would like to admit.
     
  9. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    Charles, I tend to think it is a little of both of the above. First, all owners have a bias toward the speakers they own, i.e. they all want to believe that they got more than what they paid for. Second, critics are all biased toward positive impressions because of financial ties to the manufacturers through advertising. Third, speakers are better than they used to be, and low cost speakers now come closer to true hi fidelity sound. Fourth, the gap between high and low priced speakers has narrowed, such that the point of seriously diminishing returns is much lower now than it used to be.
    What is amusing is when you see a review of a $400 pair of speakers saying that they compare favorably to the critic's $2,000 pair (note the critic always has "Reference" speakers that the cheap speakers being reviewed *almost* but don't *quite* match - consider the psychology of that!) Then the same critic, or a different critic from the same publication, in a separate review says that this $2,000 pair "almost" matches a "reference" $10,000 pair! Wow, that $400 pair is a pretty amazing value. [​IMG]
     
  10. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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  11. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    There is one area where this $500 compares to a $2000 and $2000 compares to a $10000 is true.

    DIY.

    Just depends on whether the time it would take you to build the enclosures is worth more to you than the $1500 or $8000 price difference and whether you would be buying tools just for this one project.

    Other than that, amongst the major manufactures, there are some definate differences in the sound from various speakers at the same price point. Those differences in end satifaction have more to do with personal preference than which is actually better though. There are a few that are over priced for what you get, but they usually don't get much forum talk time, so it's easy to avoid them.

    The only other oddity is the immergence of online direct distributors (Diva, SVS, nOrh etc). I don't think they offer quite the bang for the buck ratio the reviewers always claim. But they do offer a not insignificant improvement in bang for the buck over brick and mortar. For the most part anyways.
     
  12. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    What I believe is that once speakers get to a certain price point, lets say the $2,000-$3,000 range, for the most part they start to sound very *neutral*, meaning uncolored, and with a very flat FR. In theory, if 2 brands of speakers are *entirely* neutral, they will in fact sound exactly the same, assuming all other variables, e.g. room acoustics, electronics, etc. are equal. In short, they will just sound like the source + whatever variables are added from other factors outside the speakers.

    Thus, you might find lots of qualities in lower priced speakers, e.g. warmth, brightness which people distinguish that are a matter of preference. In other words, people differ to the extent of how they appreciate (or don't) the coloration a specific speaker might add to the sound. But as lower priced speakers become better and better made, they add less coloration. Hence, the perception of so many speakers having so much bang for the buck. This is not to say that higher priced speakers don't sound better, it is just that the differences are probably more subtle these days than many care to admit.

    DIY speakers, I don't really know. I know the claims, but haven't heard enough DIY speakers to have an informed opinion. DIY subwoofers sound *roughly* 2x their cost. An entry level DIY sub is around $200-$300 and any really decent one is closer to $500. The DIY subs sound much better than they cost, but I doubt the claims of 3x to 5x the cost for the subs.
     
  13. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    You can get another pair of jbl n38's for surrounds at about $299..Are you planning to use them as surrounds or are you looking to get rid of your mains ?
     
  14. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    With the speaker kits, 2-3x is probably accurate after you include enclosure and nice finishing costs.

    For the subs 3x or higher is very possible. My Tempest cost me $800CDN to build (I could do it another $100 or so cheaper now). I wouldn't trade it for a SVS CSUltra/S1000 which would run me over $2500CDN.

    A pair of BP1503 drivers in the right enclosure (around $1500-$2000USD depending on the amp and finish on the enclosure) would be up to par with the Krell MRS (almost $20,000).
     
  15. Heath_R

    Heath_R Stunt Coordinator

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    I auditioned the M3's with the Paradigm Mini Monitors in my home. I went with the M3's. In my opinion the high's are clearer on the M3 and the midrange is not colored. The Paradigms seemed to have a hump in the midrange. A/B on the same material the Axiom seemed to be a much more neutral speaker. The mini monitors sounded good, but the Axioms were better IMO. Both pairs of speakers were broken in with at least 100 hours on each. Also the imaging on the Axioms is outstanding.
     
  16. KonradN

    KonradN Stunt Coordinator

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    my plan is to replace my mains the n38 with somehting better. The n38 sounded very nice at first but after hearing some better speakers, I notice that they could be clearer, more detailed, and also the sound could be more open. The sound is somewhat congested.

    I think I might just order a pair from axiom and in the worst case just bite the return shipping cost. But now I am wondering whether to get the m3ti or m22ti. The professional review on the m22ti indicates that the m22ti sounds better than the m3ti, but then I read a post by axiom chief engineer stating that the m3ti and m22ti are sonically identical and the only difference is that the m22ti can get louder.
     
  17. KonradN

    KonradN Stunt Coordinator

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    just got back from my paradigm dealer and I am scratching the phantom off my list. the dealer let me hear the mini monitor right next to the phantom with same equipment and the mini monitor sounded much clearer and open. During my quick listening test I also found that both had about same bass extension, but I am sure the phantom goes lower if you listen more carefully to the right material.

    anyways, the dealer quoted me 296 out the door for a pair of mini monitors in cherry color. The m22ti will cost me 320 (direct from factory) and in case I don't like them 50 bucks to ship them back, so it seems like the monitors are the safer buy.

    From my online research I get the impression that the m22ti's trebble and midrange is better than that of the monitors but I am wondering by how much. Is the difference only noticeable if you do a direct side by side comparison and listen critically or will yo be able to walk into one room with the m22ti and another room with the mini monitor and tell the difference?
     
  18. Bob_M

    Bob_M Stunt Coordinator

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    >*everyone* says their speakers sound much better than they cost. It is the single most oft-repated opinion offered about speakers. <

    I totaly agree.
     
  19. DougO

    DougO Stunt Coordinator

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    I tried a pair of M22s out -- and kept them. I tried them to get acquainted with the company, figuring if I like their highly touted M22tiSEs, then I'd want to spring for their floorstanders too (which is really what I was looking to do eventually). They are so good mated with my existing sub I cannot make the call on whether I need a floorstander.

    I can tell you that they put out more bass than you might imagine -- in the first few days I owned them I ran 'em on all day (directing all bass to the M22s not the sub) -- I thought I had my sub on at times (quite surprising).

    It is important to understand just how far away you'll sit from your 2 main speakers -- case in point, from my sweet spot I'm 20 feet away and the M22s do nicely (they can get very loud with very little power), but when I move up closer (say about 10-12 feet away) I notice an improved immersiveness.

    Honestly, I did not want to like the M22s as I realized I would want to inevitably replace all of my HT speakers (now I'm happily trying to figure out just how I will proceed).

    Here's my recommendation: after you determine which is the best non-mail-order speaker, order the M22s and really do a serious full day (or 2) A/B like I did. Yes, you'd be out the $50 to send 'em back if you didn't like them enough, but I'd be surprised if you'd even consider that a viable option.
     
  20. KonradN

    KonradN Stunt Coordinator

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    Doug,

    That sounds like a good idea. So far i liked the mini monitor best, but paradigm was the only dealer i visited so far. I think the psb image 2b is in the same price range so I will probably test them out as well. anything else I should look at?
     

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