Internet direct speakers - how do we know?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Allan F, Nov 16, 2001.

  1. Allan F

    Allan F Agent

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    I feel confident that I cannot be the only one who is somewhat enthralled by the plethora of speaker companies selling directly to the consumer these days. The concept of cutting out the middle man would logically result in more bang for the buck. Problem is, how do we know which ones really do sound better than others. It's not like we can audition them or even find a good comparison review (that I'm aware of).
    My proposal: 1st: Someone needs to take the time to obtain lets say a good bookshelf from all of these companies at similar price ranges. (Axiom, Ascend, nOrh, HTD, ACI, Swans, etc.)
    2nd: Get together a small group of reviewers and have each reviewer do an independant writup. Within the writup each reviewer would comment on the performance of each speaker and ultimately, rate them. Kindof a bookshelf speaker showdown of products available only on the internet.
    Speaker reviews are obviously very subjective but I'd find this to be a very interesting study and at least it would give us some guidance. This is only my opinion. What do you guys think?
    Allan
     
  2. Jeffrey_Jones

    Jeffrey_Jones Second Unit

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    That is an excellent idea. I for one think that you should go forth and conquer. Please be sure to let me know how it works out [​IMG]
    Jeff
    PS - I would gladly participate in reviewing the speakers...sadly; I cannot afford to buy them all.
    ------------------
    My Homepage
     
  3. Ryan Schnacke

    Ryan Schnacke Supporting Actor

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    www.cheaphometheater.com has been promising a speaker "shootout" which will include several of the brands you mentioned. But I have no idea when they'll post it. They were originally supposed to be done over a month ago.
    I decided that "on paper" I really liked the nOrhs. So I found somebody nearby that would let me audition his. I was very happy with the sound, so I bought them. This seemed to work pretty well. I haven't heard any of the others you mentioned. Maybe one of them could have been a slightly better choice. But the truth has been said many times - you just can't go wrong with any of these.
     
  4. MatthewJ S

    MatthewJ S Supporting Actor

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    Great idea, but might I suggest this test be "double-blind" and also include some retail available models in the same price range...keep in mind that bose sells their wave radios and acoustic waves "factory direct" and we all know how much extra value were getting from these products by cutting out the middle man..... [​IMG]
     
  5. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I have been wondering the same thing. But I am wondering if the no-middle-man argument is not being brandished a little bit too much as a guarranty of quality. On paper, it makes sense that they should smoke everything in their price range, but I have yet to read any reviews of those products that were different from any other speaker reviews: The expression "you would have to spend at least X times this amount to beat this" is overused in the audio world IMO. It seems the only company that is not said of is Bose [​IMG] So why wouldn't I trust the same words from a company whose products I can't audition, and whose fans are often so vocal and fanatical about the products that it makes me question their objectivity (the cheaphometheater review of nOrh where people were actually telling the reviewer what to write??!!).
    I will admit that I am as curious about those products as I am cautious.
    But there is this fact: I am the proud owner of a SVS 20-39PC and it is everything it was touted out to be and more. However, a sub is a much simpler device than a speaker. measurements on a sub will tell you how it will perform, not so with a speaker, which is much more complex and subjective. So there is no comparison really.
    --
    Holadem
     
  6. Allan F

    Allan F Agent

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    Some great points. Perhaps including some comercially available speakers in the same price range would both meet the double blind criterion and help to answer that same question (are we really getting more for our money)? Maybe the paridigm mini-monitors or PSB atoms (you get the idea).
    You're absolutely right. Judging speakers is much more subjective. I was thinking that a panel of judges writing independant reviews would address this problem best. Especially if there was an obvious pattern in the end ratings.
    Hmm. This idea is coming along nicely. Any takers?
    Allan
     
  7. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Just a note. Axiom is not a company that is selling directly to the customer because that is their entire business. I mean, however they sell speakers, they've been around for quite a few years and I have heard them. Not a huge number, but they aren't a fly by night company. they are totally serious and legit and the internet sales are not to be taken as a cheapening method. I have even driven by one of, if not their main office in Algonquin Park on HWY 60 quite a few times. They don't really have a demo room there, actually, come to think of it, i think that it is a testing/manufacturing place? Not sure.
    Anyways, forget about Axiom being an "internet" speaker company. They are a speaker company who sells speakers on the internet. They also sell them in stores, at least they do in Canada.
     
  8. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

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    I can vouch for the Axioms too. They are the best selling brand in our shop. I think that's really cool too as they really don't do much in the way of advertising for them and they outsell some fairly high profile brands that spend a fortune on advertising. Their success is mainly by audition and referrals. The internet has done wonders for them in the last few years though; happy owners referring others to them through forums and message boards.
    I have been selling them since about 1987 (and have owned several models on and off over the years) and they have always been a hidden gem in this industry. I remember their old flagship model from about 11 years ago, the AX5 Reference, with the built-in, aluminum cone subwoofer, won several awards, and was simply an out and out bargain way back then too. Their main income is as an OEM for other speaker brands so I would speculate that's the reason why they haven't really pushed the Axiom name in the past.
    I think their design team is amazingly successful at coming up with really simple and relatively low cost solutions to age old speaker design problems.
    Also, they are a pleasure to deal with as a company, with a very refreshing, honest and straight forward attitude towards marketing and a genuine philosophy that great speakers really need not be expensive.
    There's a whole host of resources available now on the 'net about Axiom: http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/a...llennia3ti.htm http://www.goodsound.com/equipment.shtml http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/a...niam22tise.htm http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/a...enniam80ti.htm
    and the main Axiom website: http://www.axiomaudio.com/
    I really think they are a company to keep an eye on over the next few years. I really like what they do and how they do it.
     

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