Swan, Axiom, B&W or Paradigm???

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Tom Collins, Jan 23, 2004.

  1. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins Extra

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    Want to upgrade my speakers. 65" Mitsubishi, Pioneer Elite VSX-45TX. Room about 22'x15'x8'. Would Like personal opinions about which you think would be the best speakers. Have never heard of Swan or Axiom, but have read great reviews. Looking to spend about $2000. I listen to music and watch movies about the same amount of the time. Here are the systems that I am looking at:

    Swan: 6.1BC C3BC R3BC SUB10BC
    AXIOM: M60TI QS8 VP150 EP350
    B&W: DM604 LCR600 DS6 ASW650
    PARADIGM: MONITOR11 CC-370 ADP-370 PW-2200

    LET ME KNOW WHICH SYSTEM YOU GUYS THINK IS THE BEST. I HAVE READ GREAT REVIEWS ABOUT ALL. EXPECIALL THE AXIOM QS8.

    I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO UPGRADE AGAIN ANY TIME SOON!!!
     
  2. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    They're all well made speakers, but because of different designs and materials they will have their own unique 'flavor'. Preference, of course, will be a matter of taste.

    I've always liked B&W and their sound--mildly open and very detailed--Paradigm is similiar. I'm running the 45TX also as a pre/pro to a Sunfire Cinema Grand and 9NT's up front(a step down from the Nautilus series)with bookshelf 602 rears and an older CDM SE series center. They all kind of balance each other out in my slightly live room.

    Good luck in your search. It's exciting buying new speakers. Take a wide variety of listening material and listen closely to the different ranges that each brand accentuates or attenuates and take note of the characterics of the room you are going to put them in.

    Don't feel like you have to match the sub though unless you are getting a much better price on a package deal. There are some great performers for the money with SVS, Adire, or Hsu.

    Have fun.

    DJ
     
  3. Alan Pummill

    Alan Pummill Screenwriter

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    I recently upgraded from a Paradigm system. Below is a list of speakers I auditioned in my search. I have just listed the main speakers, but also listened to the center and surrounds with all of these.

    Wharfedale EVO-40 $960/pair
    Boston Acoustics VR3 $1250/pair
    B&W DM-603 $949/pair
    Magnepan MG1.6/QR $1725/pair ($1495/pair for a demo)
    Onix Rockets RS750 $1499/pair
    Paradigm Studio 60 $1499/pair

    If I had decided to buy box type speakers, I would have gotten the Wharfedale EVO-40 system. Really great sound for the money. I met a fellow thru audioenvy.com that let me audition the Onix Rocket system at his house, also very nice.

    But I fell in love with the Magnepan MG1.6/QR's and ended up with those along with a pair of MGMC1 surrounds and a MGCC3 center. I still use my Paradigm PW-2200 as my sub, but am thinking real seriously about getting a SVS.

    Hope this helps you...but YOUR ears will tell you what sounds best to you!! Good luck in your search!!
     
  4. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I personaly am a big Swans fan and feel they hang right in there with the B&W Nautalis series and other higher end bricks and mortor speakers. I beleive 6.1 mains, C3 center, and either R3 or 2.1 surrounds would be a very good use of your money. I would, however, look elsewhere for your sub. You can do much better for the money. I would look at SVS, Adire, and Stryke Audio. They all have much better subs in the price range, and Stryke even has a ton of finishes/stains to choose from on their Thunder and Mini Thunder so you could probably get it matched almost exactly to the black cherry finish on the Swans.

    I currently have 4.1 mains, 2.1 surrounds, and a C3 all in black cherry, powered by a Elite 43TX. I bi-amp the mains using the back surround channels on the 43TX (nice option) and I'm very happy. Given it to do over again I would have gone w/ the 5.2s as mains but the $$ just wasn't there at the time.

    I've taken my 2.1s to a few local dealers where they let me hook them up and do comparrisons. I found them much clearer, more open, and having a wider soundstage than the B&W 602s and they sounded VERY VERY similar to the 805s w/ the 805s having an edge in clarity and soundstage. The 2.1s also sounded clearer and cleaner then the Paradigm Studio 20s w/ the 20s sounding somewhat muddy in comparrison (all previous listening of the Studio 20s had left me very impressed). Some other less critical comparrisons were done with Klipsch RB35s and PSB Image 2Bs which had much different sounds to the point that comparrisons were hard to draw. Both dealers which allowed the comparrisons were very impressed with the Swans in both fit and finish. They were shocked when I told them the pair cost $300 (the paradigm dealer literally didn't beleive me). The value of the Swans and other internet direct speakers are phenomenal and I think you would be hard pressed to put a better system together in the $2k range (possibly a little over if you went with an SVS or Stryke sub).
     
  5. Cesar

    Cesar Extra

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    i have a 45TX running Axiom M22's, VP150, QS8's and VTF2. Room is about 27' x 18' with hardwood floors, leather furninture, no curtains, no room treatments. It would seem to be a lively room but it's not. The Axioms sound great. (How's that for the "brightness" critics?) No strain for the M22's, they handle the room well. If I were to ever upgrade, I'd get the M60's.
     
  6. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    Another vote for you to try the Rockets from AV123.
    I spent along time listening to speakers and wound up with these. Everyone will have their own preferences as every ear is different. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa.... you need to try out several brands even if it means eating shipping. In the long run it will be worth it as you will never be wondering.... what if!
     
  7. BobAlbano

    BobAlbano Second Unit

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    Tom, it looks like you have gotten lots of good advice here already. I would add that you really need to decide what "signature" in speakers you are looking for. 3 of the 4 speaker choices that you have listed are going to be similar with the Diva's being the furthest from the rest. I would put the Axioms at the top as the brightest, followed by the B&W's and then the Paradigms. If this is the sound that you are looking for I think you will get the most product for your money with the Axioms. I'm a big supporter of internet direct companies as I think they provide tremendous value and their products have to flat out deliver as they rely on W.O.M. for their marketing. The Axioms and Diva's have vinyl cabinets while the Paradigms and B&W's will have real wood veneer. Do you have the possibility of listening to all of the speakers? I would make every attempt to listen as you really want to make the right decision about your speaker as they will have the most effect on your system. There are some other speakers out there as well that I think offer exceptional value...these include ACI, Ascend, and Onix Rocket.

    I would have to agree that you can get much more sub going internet direct. I have dual SVS 20-39cs+'s at the house and I haven't heard a sub that can touch these at anywhere near the price point they are sold at. I would look at the SVS 25-31pci for $549.00. You can have them do a custom tune down to 22hz and this will give you good in room response down to about 19-20hz which should have you covered on about 99% of the material out today. You will loose about a db in max output but IMO it's worth it for the extra extension...[​IMG]

    Good luck with your decision! [​IMG]
     
  8. JohnChu

    JohnChu Stunt Coordinator

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    Have you looked in the Mirage OMNI series are pretty nice too

    OMNI 260
    OMNI 60
    OMNI CC
     
  9. CarlosM

    CarlosM Stunt Coordinator

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    It is my opinion that you'd be wasting money getting the B&W DM604 S3 and the ASW650 Sub.

    I strongly suggest you considering buying the DM602 S3's (same mid driver as the 604) and then look into an SVS subwoofer or Hsu.

    You'll save money and your bass will sound much better.


    Besides that, B&W has my vote. Spend the extra money to get them driven w/ a Rotel.
     
  10. Luis Gabriel Gerena

    Luis Gabriel Gerena Second Unit

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    What about Home Theater Direct? I auditioned Level 3 and Level 4 and was blown away. I am not an audiophile but the at least to my ears the stuff at BestBuy (Athena, Yamaha, etc) cant touch the HTD speakers in price performance. I got myself 4 Level 3 towers and still need to decided if I should get another towers as center or the real center speaker.
    Regards
     
  11. Jon Lane

    Jon Lane Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually, "Divas" have been made the success they are based in part on the genuine Rosewood cabinets we've offered for four years now. In mid 2003 we added simulated black cherry - in a pvc vinylwrap cabinet - but the vast majority of Swan "Diva" speakers in circulation - hundreds of pairs and systems - are indeed in genuine Rosewood.

    In all other ways, the two versions are identical.
     
  12. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    I totally agree with CarlosM on the SVS... I have a PB2+ and love it. It replaced dual NHT's and kicked their butt bad. Also Rockets are real wood veener not vinyl.
     
  13. Dan Halchak

    Dan Halchak Stunt Coordinator

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    I practically have your B&W setup, though with a few differences. I would HIGHLY recommend that if you go the B&W way, do NOT get the ASW650, you can get the SVS PC+ 20-39 for just about the same price...and it is MUCH MUCH better. I had all three ASW line subs, and non of them were that great. They weren't bad if you've never read up on an SVS or HSU review and took the leap of faith. I just don't see paying an above average price for a sub-par subwoofer. You can try it out yourself, but I highly recommend trying SVS out.

    I figured after 3 returned B&W subwoofers, why not take a chance with SVS. Haven't looked back since.
     

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