The best I could do for ~$1000. Fluance vs. Axiom.

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by josh_dee, May 13, 2004.

  1. josh_dee

    josh_dee Auditioning

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    First, let me say that I am a HT novice. It has always been a passive interest of mine, occasionally picking up home theater mags and enjoying other people's systems, but never have assembled my own system before. I used to own a pair of Celestion A2s back in the day, but I used them primarily for stereo/music listening. Anyway, I recently entered the market for a new bedroom system, with a budget of ~$1000 US, which will be used for home theater and music equally.

    Like many here, I am somewhat obsessive about doing my homework before buying. Countless hours have been spent searching forums, reading reviews, and eliciting opinions from people more knowledgeable than I. Also, of course, I managed to listen to a few systems in showrooms, stores and other people's houses. My knowledge of the technical aspects related to A/V are somewhat limited, so mostly I relied upon my ears to tell me what I liked.

    I almost decided to go with a Fluance setup, using SV-10's as mains, their center and the Dipoles as surrounds. I hadn't quite decided on a sub, but chances are I probably would have went with the Dayton 10" I've seen recommended here and elsewhere. I've always owned Onkyo receivers and have always had good experiences with them, so my choice to go with Onkyo again was a no-brainer. At first I decided on the Onkyo. In the end, I decided against the Fluance. Why? Because I couldn't find anyone locally who owned them and their 7-day return policy frightened me off. I've heard tons of good things about them, some bad, and when it comes to my sonic enjoyment, I prefer not to take too many risks =)

    What did I end up ultimately purchasing? See below:

    Receiver: Onkyo TX-SR601 - $329 - new @ Onecall.com
    Fronts: 2x Axiom M22ti - $250 - used @ local owner
    Center: 1x Axiom M2i - $100 - used @ local owner
    Surrounds: 2x Michaura M55 - $100 - @ local owner
    Sub: 1x Velodyne CHT10 - $218 - @ electronics-expo.com
    Front & Surround Stands: - Free - used @ local owner.

    All Prices include shipping.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Total: $997

    In the end, the two systems were relatively comparable in price. I think the Fluance system might have actually been a hundred or two more expensive when you factor in shipping and the cost for speaker stands. The system I ended up going with is seemingly superior. I can't empirically state it is superior because I can't compare the two side-by-side, but my gut feeling is that I did a pretty good job at assembling a much better budget system than I had originally planned on.

    Again, I'm still waiting for the receiver and the sub to arrive. Once everything is setup I'll post a more detailed description of my experiences.

    In the meantime, if there are any experts or near-experts in the Bay Area who would be willing to come over and help me optimize my new system, please PM me and send me your info!

    Also, any thoughts on the choices I've made are certainly welcome.

    Cheers!
     
  2. Andrew S-

    Andrew S- Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the Fluance Sm-938 towers.

    I am very disappointed in them. Boomy bass and unrealistic vocals. I wish I had gone with some Axiom bookshelves instead.
     
  3. DavidNighorn

    DavidNighorn Stunt Coordinator

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    Just set up a set of m22ti's in a 5.1 setup. (all speakers identical) I cannot tell you how amazed I am with them. Much to the annoyance of my wife, frequently expressed, I spent all last night listening to my favorite cd's. It is like having a completely new system!

    I don't say this lightly and I am not a novice. My primary system is based on B&W cdm7's all around. The power is supplied by an AVM-20 and two of Rotel's monster amps. Even so, my listening last night was incredibly satisfying. I know that the B&W setup has much more potential but these little speakers were flat-out impressive. The midrange was nearly perfect on female voices and accoustic music. The trebles are everything the people say. I was hearing stuff that I'd never heard in my old favorites.

    You cannot go wrong with the Axioms. For $1,000 I doubt you can find a comparable 5-speaker array for music and movies.

    David
     
  4. josh_dee

    josh_dee Auditioning

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    Well, that's an encouraging endorsement. When I auditioned these speakers, I watched Kill Bill and it rocked. But the benchmark I usually use when auditioning speakers is a CD with female vocals. For these, I chose the latest Norah Jones CD and my god, she sounded like she was in the room giving me a personal sarenade.

    On the flipside, I through on some house music and the high-hats sounded a bit too pronounced, a bit too crisp. The guy I bought them from gave me these things (don't know what they are called) to install in the tweeters to mellow the highs out a bit, so we'll see how that works out.

    Anyway, I appreciate your response! I'm dying here waiting for the rest of the system to arrive.

    Josh
     

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