Which Speakers: JBL S-Series or Axiom?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MattWaldschmidt, Aug 18, 2002.

  1. MattWaldschmidt

    MattWaldschmidt Auditioning

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    I have done some research on different speakers and have also read quite a few threads from this forum and the avsforum.

    I currently have NO home theatre equipment and want to start building my A/V setup and then get a Front Projector (which I have also done a LOT of research on, probably going to get the new Sanyo PLV-70HT / SE20HD after the price drops in about a year).

    I plan on buying the Yamaha RX-V1300 A/V Receiver since it has 6.1 and Component Video I/O's, 110Wx6 for around $600

    For speakers, I have come to a decision between JBL S-series and Axiom. Here are my possible setups:

    Setup #1: JBL S-series
    (1) S-CenterII
    (4) S26II Bookshelfs

    Setup #2: JBL S-series
    (1) S-CenterII
    (2) S26II Bookshelfs
    (2) S310II Towers

    Setup #3: Axiom
    (1) VP Zero Center
    (4) M2ti Bookshelfs

    Setup #4: Axiom
    (1) VP Zero Center
    (2) M2t1 Bookshelfs
    (2) M22ti Towers

    From prices on the web, setups 1 and 3 & setups 2 and 4 are very close to the same price.

    My question is:

    Axiom vs. JBL S-series and also
    (4) bookshelfs OR (2) bookshels with (2) towers

    Any comments and help in this decision is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    You could drop the S310 to S38 in option 2 and not notice if a good sub is used.

    So that brings up, what about the sub? What are the plans on that front?

    The VP Zero Center? You should be looking at the VP100 minimum to compare to the JBL S-Center. And I'd be looking at the M3ti for surrounds over the M2ti to compare to the S26.

    If that takes the Axioms out of your price range I guess that sort of makes the decision for you.
     
  3. MattWaldschmidt

    MattWaldschmidt Auditioning

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    As far as subs go, I plan to add one at a later date. Right now, I would like to get started and then later spend the $300 or more for a good sub if I decide to.

    The reason I chose the M2ti's was that the Axiom website has them for sale at $175/pair whereas the M3ti's are $250/pair.

    As far as sound quality, what is the difference between JBL S-series and the Axiom speakers I have chosen here? That is what my question really was.

    And my other question is:

    Is it better to get (2) Bookshelves & (2) Towers OR to get (4) Bookshelves?

    I read that it is best to get the same speakers for Front and Rear Surround since they will be matched. The Towers usually have more power and more speakers in them, so they would probably put out more sound, therefore being "louder" than the Rear Surround Bookshelf speakers.
     
  4. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    Matt,

    I think Dustin is right on the money,

    It will depend on a lot of stuff, like size room, preferences (movies/music), are you going to have a sub, etc.

    But S series is a good speaker, as well as axiom, I think both Phil (who knows JBL inside out) and John Garcia that knows Axioms and JBL will come and give you better advice than me.

    I have the four S26, S center and SVS 25-31 PCi in a 14x14 room, so for me its more than enough, now I havent heard the M3Ti, but the reviews this speaker got in audioreview.com is very good. I think it is a better speaker than the S26, but it cost more, so your real question can you stretch and extra $80 per pair? if you can, I think the M3Ti are better, but in this price range you could go with S38 (three way speakers) that for me could beat the axiom, again this is only my opinion.

    Now with towers vrs bookshelfs,

    I think it is better to have all speakers timbre match, and if you can use the same speaker. Stick either with four (S26, S38 or M3Ti). And also go for S center if you go with JBL and if you go with axiom go for the VP100

    Four S26 $340 + S center $140 = $480
    Four S38 $560 + S center $140 = $700
    Four M3ti $550 + VP100 $220 = $770

    If I were you, I will go with four S26 and S center and save some cash to get an SVS 25-31 PCi ($500). Or the new PC+.

    Hope this helps,
    Pablo Abularach
     
  5. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    I disaggree with Pablo here. Although identical speakers all around is ideal, at this level of equipment, if you stay within the same brand and series you won't have any problems with timbre and tonal quality matching front to back.

    I've never heard the Axiom's. A lot of people really like them. Although I find these reviews that stick them inbetween models in other series interesting. Like the M22ti is better than the Studio20 but not the Studio40 from Paradigm. Above 800hz or so the Studio20 and 40 are identical speakers (same drivers, same crossover, same baffel size). The 40 will just have more bass with its' second driver in the 2.5way design (the second driver has a 2nd order low pass filter at 400hz). Which leads me to believe a lot of these comparison decisions are being made on the basis of bass, not mids and highs.

    I think JBL Studio, Paradigm Monitor, PSB Image, Axiom and several others are all quite close performance wise. Some being a little better or worse than others at certian things.

    The only actual comparison I can add is I compared a PSB Image 2B to a JBL S38 with no sub. The 2B surprisingly had the deeper bass. But I liked the mids and highs of the S38 better and bought it.

    Bookshelf verses tower. With a good sub I'll always go for the bookself as it will be the better speaker in the mids and highs vs a tower at the same price point. You can also save some money with the bookshelf that can then be put towards a sub. But living without a sub for a long period of time, then the tower does have some appeal (for filling in the bass until you get a sub).
     
  6. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    Dustin,

    If you could go for identical speakers would you go for it?

    I think if you have a chance, of using four identical speakers, the balance will be better. Also you wont have any difference of power, acustic, etc. And I also remember that Dolby digital recommended using the same speakers.

    I'm not tring to say that mixing towers and bookselfs is a bad idea, probably it will sound great, but I think the best setup will be to have identical speakers. This only my opinion.
     
  7. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    My current dreaming is to eventually end up with 6 Adire HE10.1 speakers (not the current ones, but the ones soon to be released with the XBL^2 motor topology).

    Identical speakers all the way around is the ideal. I agree. But at this level of equipment there are other things I'd put a stronger consideration on. Also remember that even with identical speakers, there will be big difference in how much power they need in order to be level matched depending on distance. The same speaker 4m away from the listener will require 4 times as much power as the same speaker only 2m away.
     
  8. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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  9. Robertto

    Robertto Stunt Coordinator

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    Have you checked out Axiom's Factory outlet? Slightly blemished items for nice discounts. I have the M22s and the vp 150 and love them. FWIW I would consider M3s all the way around w/the VP100 as a ctr. Still would probably need a sub. But the reason you see the M2s discounted is because they are being replaced with a new model that has the same titanium tweeter as the M3 and M22 in the current model, it is a hybrid.
     

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