Just Bought Axioms...

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by JerryMa, Feb 9, 2004.

  1. JerryMa

    JerryMa Stunt Coordinator

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    [​IMG] I've been shopping for speakers for quite some time and had narrowed my choices down to Monitor Audio Bronze speakers or Axiom. I ordered a pair of M3s from the outlet store a couple of weeks ago and got them this past Friday.

    First impressions out of the box were positive. What little imperfection I noticed in the cabinet was quite minimal -- one of the corners on one speaker was a little dinged. And one of the grilles was installed upside down. Small complaint for an "outlet" model! They're lovely speakers and look great on top of my wall unit, similar in color to the Mansfield Beech finish of the M3s. They are also surprisingly heavy. I wasn't prepared for how hefty they were, and they're a lot heavier than the larger, bulkier Bose 301's I'm getting rid of.

    I did some listening on Friday night just to check that everything was connected properly and spent most of the weekend really working them out.

    Overall, I've enjoyed listening to them. The M3s have a nice clean, accurate sound punctuated by what I find to be an adequate amount of bass. The variations in how CDs are mixed and remixed are obvious with these speakers. Test material included the latest Eagles compilation (from 2003), as well as the latest Elton John and the Led Zeppelin boxed set from the 90s. All reproduced beautifully but even though the volume on the receiver (NAD T762) was set the same throughout, different CD's were louder than others. I listened to the Star Wars soundtrack (New Hope) and found that for this disc, the M3's were a bit lacking in bass. But then again even though its the remastered soundtrack from 4-5 years ago, its still a 25+ year old recording, so I need to try something newer. Also need to get some jazz in there this week. Miles Davis will be a good test.

    DVD volume was significantly lower, but I'm assuming that this is a function of the media I'm listening to and requires adjustment of the receiver's settings. So far I've watched/listened to Metallica's Cunning Stunts and SW Episode I. I wasn't planning on a subwoofer for my living room, but it looks like I might need one, definitely for movies.

    I found the M3s a little fatiguing at high volumes, but it also seemed to depend on the CD I was playing at the time. At a moderate level they're great speakers. But is this part of the break-in period? How long should that break-in period last? I'm considering doing an in-home head to head with the MA Bronze, probably B2, but from what I remember of an audition of those speakers a month or so ago, their sound is comparable to the Axioms.

    Combining the initial positive impressions and great price I paid with the fact that they're already installed, the Axioms seem like keepers. I'll give them a couple of more weeks, but it looks like they'll have company in the form of some Qs4's and a VP-100 soon enough! [​IMG]
     
  2. John_Cols

    John_Cols Auditioning

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    Those were the same speakers that my speaker search came down to. However, the shop that I auditioned the Monitor Audio Bronze at are no longer carrying the bronze, only the silver and gold series. So I am going with the Axioms since they seem to have a great return policy (although I don't plan on using it[​IMG]) Thanks for the post! POst again if yo can after you have had some time living with them.
     
  3. JerryMa

    JerryMa Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't think I'll be using the policy either!

    I'll post later in the week with more impressions, I hope you're similarly impressed when you get your order.

    btw, I highly recommend buying from the outlet, the "risk" of imperfections in the speakers is worth saving the 30 or so bucks. I'll be getting the center and surrounds from the outlet as well.
     
  4. Bob K

    Bob K Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought a pair of Axiom 3Ti's 3 or so years ago (maybe more?) (after the original SoundStage review came out). They are a fine pair of speakers and a real steal. Congrats on your purchase.

    Tempest Construction Pix: http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/m...view_album.php
     
  5. JerryMa

    JerryMa Stunt Coordinator

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    Bob, Thanks! How long was your break-in period for the M3's? Mine sound OK, but I've read that Axioms need break-ins of anything from hours to weeks. Just curious.

    I noticed that my NAD receiver took about a month before it warmed up in my home.
     
  6. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    On the Axiom forum, the resident Axiom resident said that their speakers need no more than a couple of hours for break-in.
     
  7. Bob K

    Bob K Stunt Coordinator

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    Jerry,

    It's been a while, but I don't remember the Axioms requiring lots of break in. On the other hand, I probably didn't do any serious listening for the first few days, so it's certainly possible they broke in over the course of 3 to 5 hours without my even noticing. But I don't think they're like some speakers/drivers (Fostex comes to mind) that require really extended break-in.

    Good luck with yours!

    Tempest Construction Pix: http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/m...view_album.php
     
  8. JerryMa

    JerryMa Stunt Coordinator

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    The shorter break-in seems to be the norm, then. Terrific.

    They sound great and get better all the time. I've been listening to Bose 301s for 7 years so its almost like I'm hearing my CDs for the first time now! Before that I owned a bookshelf stereo, limited by my college-constrained finances. Its taken too long but I'm "finally" enjoying music with quality equipment.

    The Axioms are far more accurate and have a much cleaner sound than the Bose. The bass is real bass as compared to what was more distortion than actual bass in the Bose. I don't totally hate the old speakers, but its quite a revelation hearing instruments that I didn't realize were on a track before, or noticing a singer taking a breath between lyrics.
     
  9. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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    I found the Axiom M3's to be fatiguing as well, so much so that I ended up selling them.
     
  10. JerryMa

    JerryMa Stunt Coordinator

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    You know, I hate to say it, but I'm starting to rethink the Axioms. [​IMG]

    I keep my normal daytime listening volume at -20 dB. With my old Bose 301's, this filled the apartment with sound which I could enjoy anywhere. If I wanted to crank the volume above that, I could and it was obviously louder but still bearable. I find that its a bit difficult to play music through the M3's at -20 dB, and forget getting louder than that. Its not a question of it being too loud (although certain CDs are more prominent with the Axioms), but it gets to my ears after a while.

    I've tried moving the speakers closer to the back wall; away from the back wall; angling in; straight ahead; closer or further apart; and I've tried the bass and treble settings on the receiver, as well as the individual channel levels. The speakers are accurate but there's something about them that makes me want to stop listening after a while.

    I auditioned Monitor Bronzes last month and I'm actively looking for a dealer in New York or New Jersey who will let me try them in-home for a few days. I was in a listening room with them for 20 minutes listening to mostly hard rock at a sustained volume and it was never annoying. I'm going to go back there and listen some more.

    Granted, my ears are used to the Bose 301's that I've heard for the last 7+ years, but I can't imagine that listening to brand new speakers should be something I DON'T look forward to when I'm home. Especially when they're supposed to be superior to the Bose!
     
  11. Patrick_C

    Patrick_C Auditioning

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    Alan has written a good article about Room Acoustics. Do you have too many reflections? That may cause the fatigue.

    www,axiomaudio.com/archives/roomacoustics.html

    (Replace the "," with a ".")
     
  12. JerryMa

    JerryMa Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the article. At the moment I don't have curtains on the windows. The living room opens on one side to the dining room. It has a hard wood floor, no area rug. Living room has a wall unit on one wall, plants near the windows, wall-to-wall carpet, sofa, loveseat, 3 tables and a lamp.

    The article was informative, and there are probably things I can do to improve the room for home theater/stereo listening, but the Bose, with their faults, should probably have sounded as bad, if not worse. Instead, they actually sounded (dare I say it?) better. They were there for a while without window treatments as well, and the dining room has always been the same.

    I re-read some reviews of the M3's on audioreview.com and some of the cons mentioned by other users do echo my own concerns.

    I'll give the Axioms some more time, but I'm on the fence about them right now.
     
  13. Patrick_C

    Patrick_C Auditioning

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    I had one other idea. How big is your living room? If you're trying to reach high volumes in a large area, it's true those speakers will not able to cope with it. You might want to try a tower speaker like an M50ti instead. It's very similar to the M3 but able to play at higher volumes without straining.

    That, and room treatments are the only things I can think of improving. Have you tried posting on Axiom's message board? They might be able to help you as well.

    www,axiomaudio.com/boards/

    (Can't wait until I can post real URLs)
     

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