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HighFlyer
12-07-2003, 06:51 AM
Hi. I am a newbie to stereo and audio components (first post) but have read a lot in this site and am impressed with all the knowledge and helpful posts out there.

I live up in Canada and have been searching for a speaker system to go with my Denon avr 1403 receiver. Some of the obvious choices I'm looking at (Canadian so better priced) Energy, Paradigm and Axiom.
Can't believe the amazing reviews the Axiom brand gets in this site. Fundamentally should one not hear the speakers they purchase and not go on reviews (Axiom has no retailers or factory sound room). Are these reviews to be believed? Perhaps I am a little skeptical by nature...any comments out there?
My room is only 11 x 17 with 8 foot ceilings. Looking for a 5.1 system and I would describe myself as a 50/50 music vs. HT listener.
Thanks.

Geoffcin
12-07-2003, 08:05 AM
Hi Flyer! (couldn't resist)

Welcome to the AR boards. While your guaranteed to get a lot of different opinions here about speakers, or just about anything else for that matter, anyone who's heard Axioms will probably give them a thumbs up. I've only heard the little M2i's and was thoroughly impressed. Probably the only reason I didn't choose Axiom for my HT setup what the fact that I got such a great deal on my main CSW T500's, and wanted to stick with all Cambridge Soundworks speakers. The Axioms have a more forward sound than the CSW speakers too. CSW uses Silk domes, as opposed to titanium for the Axiom. Axioms are just a bit brighter and in your face, as opposed to more laid back for the CSW speakers.

skeptic
12-07-2003, 09:20 AM
Are these reviews to be believed? Perhaps I am a little skeptical by nature...any comments out there?


I'm also "skeptic(al)" by nature. I think you SHOULD listen to speakers before buying them. You have to live with them for a long time unless you can afford to constantly trade. Usually that is an expensive strategy in the long run but some people do it. Often these kinds of sellers will allow you an in home trial period with various refund policies. You may have to pay for shipping one or both ways if you don't like your purchase. Perhaps these types of arrangements can be negotiated with some sellers. It's very risky to buy this type of equipment on the kinds of reviews you'd get at this site anyway. You don't even know if the reviewers are shills for the seller. Buyer beware!

HighFlyer
12-07-2003, 09:50 AM
"Shills for the seller"...yes has me concerned as well. I also noticed that Axiom has an affiliate progam that you will receive 5% towards their products of the sales referrals attributed to you. In addition, a lot of the sites that review the Axiom systems have banners advertising the Axiom product...this site is no exception.

I have enjoyed roadbiker review as an avid cyclist and certainly know that not all reviewers are "shills" but nonetheless at least with my bike purchases I could test the product myself.

As a newbie I don't/can't really appreciate the terms "bright" and "muddy" yet as I have no reference base.

agtpunx40
12-07-2003, 11:31 AM
I've never heard the axioms myself, but they do have a return policy that says if you don't like them you can return them within thirty days. They have free shipping, but you'd have to pay return shipping to return them. Might be worth it.

HighFlyer
12-07-2003, 11:52 AM
Thanks, I was aware of that. Return shipping could be big bucks. GB

Pat D
12-07-2003, 12:54 PM
Hi. I am a newbie to stereo and audio components (first post) but have read a lot in this site and am impressed with all the knowledge and helpful posts out there.

I live up in Canada and have been searching for a speaker system to go with my Denon avr 1403 receiver. Some of the obvious choices I'm looking at (Canadian so better priced) Energy, Paradigm and Axiom.
Can't believe the amazing reviews the Axiom brand gets in this site. Fundamentally should one not hear the speakers they purchase and not go on reviews (Axiom has no retailers or factory sound room). Are these reviews to be believed? Perhaps I am a little skeptical by nature...any comments out there?
My room is only 11 x 17 with 8 foot ceilings. Looking for a 5.1 system and I would describe myself as a 50/50 music vs. HT listener.
Thanks.

The ads from Paradigm, Energy, PSB, and just about anyone else do it to. But that doesn't mean they don't make good speakers. I haven't heard an Axiom speaker for a good many years, but the ones I did hear way back then were pretty good as I recall.

I'd look for moderately sensitive speakers (often somewhat incorrectly called efficient speakers) as your room is actually a good size and you have one of Denon's smaller receivers. The smaller Axiom speakers seem to be relatively insensitive--nothing unreasonable, mind you. They also generally measure pretty well. Check them out here:

http://www.soundstagemagazine.com/speakermeasurements/

You can return Axiom speakers if you don't like them--perhaps you should find out how much that costs. But of course you should listen to speakers before being finally committed, and listen to them at home. You're the one that has to live with them. But consider that there is some time and money spent in getting to and listening to speakers in a showroom, too. What sort of return policies do the local dealers have?

Geoffcin
12-07-2003, 01:12 PM
>As a newbie I don't/can't really appreciate the terms "bright" and "muddy" yet as I have no reference base.<

Bright would seen to have a more pronounced treble as opposed to midrange response. Bright is not always a bad thing. My maggies are considered "bright" by some audiophiles, and there's even an optional resistor to put into the crossover to tone down the tweeters responce. (although I would never use it) Unfortunately bright has gotten a bad name, as a lot of cheap gear is unseemly bright, and that what we would call "etched," or in the worse case "tinny."

The Axioms are NOT like this, they are just brighter than my CSW speakers. (so are my maggies) I happen to LIKE bright speakers. (perhaps I should have bought the Axioms)?

Muddy anyone can understand, and it's something you NEVER want in your speaker response. It's characterized by uncontrolled distorted bass. Usually only low end speakers have an overall muddy bass, although I've heard some very good speakers that got muddy when they were asked for more SPL than they were capably of. Actually, almost all woofers start to distort at an amazingly low SPL, rising up to 10%-30% distortion or more as you start to get near their limits.

I think trying out the speakers in your home is WORTH the extra $$$ if you have to ship them back.

RGA
12-07-2003, 02:47 PM
Make sure you listen to a speaker first...it may also be the case the speaker is so bad no store would want to carry them...why not consider that possibility.

I like the reviews by Hi Fi Choice because they have aa panel of reviewers and listen blind level matched. So, there is no price, name brand and price bias. What Hi-fi also listens in a panel and they review directly against several of the competitors side by side...something most of us don't get to do as one dealer will carry 3 brands another dealer carries 3 nd another etc so we don't listen with the same gear in the same room...which is not really a fair method of listening and evaluating. And even the more subjective reviews with technical arguments don't ever get the measured result to match the subjective(which means the measured result is not telling you everything you need to know...but at least it fills the page and is another feel-good re-enforcer to your bias that you're buying the right speaker). It may sound atrocious but the graph says it's the right speaker so when in doubt ignore what you hear. And it works because a lot of abysmal speakers get sold over and over year in and year out.

I have nothing against what Axiom is doing. They sell you the speaker knowing most people will never send it back no matter what. But they ensure you listen in your own home and will change the positioning to suit your needs and they probably sound ok maybe great maybe not. But it's better than selling in the Wall-O-speakers against competitors - after all competition is a bad thing becaue you might go home with a Polk and not an Axiom. Axiom assures you go home with their speaker...and they know once there it's highly unlikely you'll return them. And most people don't have other speakers in their home. So it will undoubtedly sound bette than comptitors in a store's bad room with wall-O-Speakers so you can say that your Axiom sounds better than anything and everything else. Smart business sense...Magnepan does the same as does nOhr and a whole bunch of others.

No matter how well reviewed and what the leading measurements say...there is no gauarantee you'll like the speaker. I would lean to the B&W 303 in this price range...I have not heard everything but it gets well reviewed by the subjective reviewers and did the best in the BLIND listening panel. Though it is a bit of an older speaker and it may have been surpassed and I'm not overly enthusiastic about its brighter leaning tweeter. The Energy C3 is a few hundred Canadian more and is pretty good as well. I would try for a more natural sounding speaker that integrateds the overall sound smoothly by closely matching the drive units. That means a tweeter and a woofer that have a similar sonic signature. It's one thing for a paper woofer to create a flatter response and a metal tweeter to create a flatter response...it's another for them to provide an integrated sound or mesh together seamlessly. I have yet to hear METAL drivers sound natural and integrate properly with the other drivers. Your mileage may vary.

skeptic
12-07-2003, 03:16 PM
Whether you listen to speakers in your own home or in a store here is some advice and traps you should be aware of.

If two speakers play at different loudness, the louder of the two will usually seem to sound better on initial comparison. Audio stores have tricks for setting up speakers and choosing recordings to make the ones they want to sell sound better. Small changes in positioning or acoustics can make a big change in sound. Some dealers will tell you that certain speakers have to be broken in to sound good. This is very controversial. If you believe it, be certain you can bring back a pair that don't break in sounding like what you heard at the store. Speakers which present amplifiers with difficult electrical loads will be demonstrated with very high quality expensive amplifiers or receivers. The results with your equipment may be different. Don't get tricked into believing that wires will make a big difference. Even among serious advocates of special audiophile wires, they will frankly admit that the differences at best are subtle.

My advice is to become very familiar with unamplified live music of the type you listen to most by attending as many live concerts as you can. Classical music is best, jazz is OK. Muscial genres such as rock or pop are always gimmicked at the studio and do not represent actual live sound. Get the best recordings of the type of live music you are familiar with and use that for critical listening to judge the attributes and shortcomings of different speakers. Speakers may sound initially impressive because of some special characteristic such as a punchy midrange, shrill high frequencies or exaggerated bass but experienced listeners know that this type of distortion become irritating with time. The equipment that gives the most satisfaction over an extended time usually is the most accurate models.

HighFlyer
12-07-2003, 03:51 PM
I'm starting to realize I've got way more learning to do. I think you are absolutely right about online retailers figuring you will not return their product and the fact that some don't even have a listening room has me very skeptical.
Pat D. expressed some concern about my Denon avr 1403 which is a 5.1 ch receiver but at the low end of the spectrum. How will this effect my speaker choices. Most of the retailers I spoke to thought my receiver was more than adequate.
RGA I checked out Hi-Fi Choice and thank you for the suggestion. They don't have many Canadian products listed so I am figuring I'll be paying more just to get it here in this country. As I am somewhat limited in my budget ($2,000-2,500 Canadian) I'd like to maximize my dollar value. I think your suggestion of the Energy C3's may be the right direction. Your comment about metal drivers, is that in response to Axiom?

One point of interest is that Axiom has won several awards for their products.So I'm not sure their product would be considered of poor quality. Are their bogus reviewers ou there? I checked out audioaholics and they reviewed the M22ti favourably (apparently they are unbiased as well).

Lots to research, thanks kindly to all for your time and efforts. GB

TinHere
12-07-2003, 04:32 PM
I'm starting to realize I've got way more learning to do. I think you are absolutely right about online retailers figuring you will not return their product and the fact that some don't even have a listening room has me very skeptical. GB

Don't dismiss internet only companies too quick. Whatever speakers you buy you will be paying shipping one way or another. For the risk of the price to ship they give you an opportunity to hear their products in the only place that matters, your home with your gear. The successful online companies are able to deliver a better product for less money than their competition by virtue of the fact that they are not concerned with middle man mark-up. If you can get an online speaker system for $2000 that can compete with a system in a b&m retailer that costs $3500 [conservative est] and it costs $250 to ship which is the better buy? Add to that the fact that many people have reported positive experiences [ie they REALLY liked them compared to others they heard], and the gamble you take isn't as great as the rewards it can reap. This business model can only survive if they deliver better bang for the buck. Nowhere does bad news from disappointed consumers travel quicker than on the internet.

Do your research and make your choices, but don't think that the people who report positively about online companies are looking for people to share their misery. It's quite the other way around. Happy hunting.

Geoffcin
12-07-2003, 06:16 PM
<<Make sure you listen to a speaker first...it may also be the case the speaker is so bad no store would want to carry them...why not consider that possibility.>>

WTF RGA!? Are you implying that Axioms are so poor as not to be worthy of inclusion into Best Buy?

Axioms direct marketing strategy is a key part of their business plan. I don't think there's any sinister plan of "duping people" into buying inferior products with the hope they won't send them back. That is patently absurd.

So far as reviews are concerned, it's obviously subjective, but speakers that suck DON'T win awards, or the reviewers would be out finding another job real fast. I can't believe that the awards I see on the Axiom site are just shills, that's another absurd statement.

RGA
12-07-2003, 06:19 PM
Speakers may sound initially impressive because of some special characteristic such as a punchy midrange, shrill high frequencies or exaggerated bass but experienced listeners know that this type of distortion become irritating with time. The equipment that gives the most satisfaction over an extended time usually is the most accurate models.


It had to happen sooner or later...but I actually agree with you here.

RGA
12-07-2003, 06:45 PM
I'
One point of interest is that Axiom has won several awards for their products.So I'm not sure their product would be considered of poor quality. Are their bogus reviewers ou there? I checked out audioaholics and they reviewed the M22ti favourably (apparently they are unbiased as well).

Lots to research, thanks kindly to all for your time and efforts. GB

The Ford Focus won many awards too...read the 2004 Lemon aid used car guide about the car and about the value of awards.

Sony puts out movies. Not long ago Sony was caught because there was a reviewer who was giving great reviews to new movies under the Sony conglomorate...someone did some checking and the film critic didn't exist...it was Sony marketing who invented the critic and the glorious reviews. Why would you presume that a magazine is any different. Who own Road and Track? Who owns Sound and Vision - or who FUNDS them?

I am not a big fan of budget home theater systems because to me it's like an all-in one printer...soes it all and nothing well. I have a printer because I don't much care about the quality of photos, or speed or scanning. But no serious photographer would print a picture off the Lexmark 1150 and no serious business would want this as a printer, copier etc. But hey it was cheap does it all and saves space...I knew thi going in and it fits the bill and lives up to my expectations of it.

Receivers are identical same thing in audio but most consumers don't know of their limitations. Which usually starts with the anaemic power supplies. But again denon for the money is probably decent but it simply isn't going to do everything...You knew that of course because there is the 5803.

Hi Fi CHoice doesn't get a lot of Canadian or American gear...hmmm. Why not presume to make a few guesses as to why not.

The Energy C3 for example got 3 stars in What Hi-Fi with the warning that the speaker will likely become fatiguing on longer listening. 3 out of 5 is not a bad rating by the way they are simply cautioning the buyer to make sure you get a longer listen because the sound can be a bit edgy and once that happens you are likely to stop listening to them and become dissatisfied. Look at the Canadian reviews of the Canadian speaker and they seem like the best speakers ever made for the money right...or was that the Canadian Axiom or the Canadian Paradigm...heck the same magazine says it about ALL of them...hmmmm.

If the only thing I ever take out of University History courses is to not take media at face-value then my experience there is well worth it long run.

I say it again, there are magazines and reviewers I like more than others Hi fi CHoice, UHF I tend to prefer...that still doesn't mean I agree with them any more than another reviewer...indeed, I disagree with both. For instance Hi Fi Choice gave the B&W CM2 5 stars and the CDM 1NT 4. I personally feel they should be flipped(and stars are dangerous rating guide). But, it's not like one is total crap and they blew it - just a difference of opinion. But it shows me that if I'm spending the money...that reviews are not a gaurantee.

And if you read the reviews closer of even some of the well reviewed speakers you may come across the terms about the treble region as a bit "hot, emphasized, not quite refined, slightly excessive, forward etc" all mean that there is a very REAL chance the speaker is going to be an irritating mess.

And MOST speakers with metal tweeters those are the typical adjectives associated.

There is no guarantee a soft dome will be any better they can be bright too...all I'm saying is make sure YOU listen to them and make sure the treble response is not JUST giving you a pyrotechnics show for home theater. Lots of speakers are built with competion in mind...so like Skeptic said, some speakers exagerrate the frequency extremes to STAND out from the others...the speaker sounds "cool" but after a half hour they become irritating. Short term A/B tests will of course favour the exagerated speaker the brighter speaker the bassier sounding(even if exagerrated) than the more realistic speaker.

And unfortunately MOST speaker makers have built speakers for home theater consumers where a lilt in the treble is desirable. The mega corporations change wht they say is important for measuring so their speakers look impressive on the graph. Just be careful and long listening with all recording including lesser recording is a good idea.

A good speaker will make rock and classical sound good...otherwise it's a bad speaker.

RGA
12-07-2003, 07:32 PM
<<Make sure you listen to a speaker first...it may also be the case the speaker is so bad no store would want to carry them...why not consider that possibility.>>

WTF RGA!? Are you implying that Axioms are so poor as not to be worthy of inclusion into Best Buy?

Axioms direct marketing strategy is a key part of their business plan. I don't think there's any sinister plan of "duping people" into buying inferior products with the hope they won't send them back. That is patently absurd.

So far as reviews are concerned, it's obviously subjective, but speakers that suck DON'T win awards, or the reviewers would be out finding another job real fast. I can't believe that the awards I see on the Axiom site are just shills, that's another absurd statement.

First of all I never said the reviews were from Shills...shill reviews d exist though but that could apply to any speaker not just Axiom...I never said it to start with however.

I also never said anything about the speaker itself. I am merely noting that ALL speakers get great reviews...whatever speaker you begin to have an interest in...let's pick one...anybody go do some research on the Energy C3, The B&W DM 303(European loudspeaker of the year), Polk LSI series, Boston Acoustics, Axiom, pretty much everyone.

Then note the reviewer's name...any idiot who can spin a few words can be a reviewer...it's interesting no-one ever seems to want to check the reviewer's credentials to determine if their opinion is worth a damn.

A movie may get 90% fresh(meaning good movie go see it) on the Rotten tomatoes site and 10% of the critics may hate it. The numbers mean zilch because maybe the 10% are people with similar tastes to you and the other 90% are hollywood nimrids - or vice versa.

I have recently listened to the $799.00CDN Paradigm Monitor 5 v3. It's not a bad sounding speaker, it sounds unnatural and doesn't make me believe for a second that Jesse Cook is playing a real acoustic guitar like it sounds on my system because it is missing the entire presentation...from a relatively flat speaker no less. The treble response is much better than the previous year. All told by track 5, I had to leave the room because it was giving me a headache. You go look up the reviews of this speaker in the north American magazines and see the glorious remarks about it, the best-buy awards, the speaker of the year.

You won't find a review from Hi-fi Choice, What Hi Fi or UHF though and you won't find a review from people who didn't buy it on sites like this one.

Well I'm giving you my quick review of it right here right now. It's 1) well built 2) it has a definite rock penchant for a standmount and 3) it probably offers good value considering the competition 4) I would rather something different and less fatiguing. None of the magazines would say number 4...except the reviewers from the magazines that won't ever get shipped this speaker. Energy I give em credit sent their excellently reviewed speakers by mgazines who always give excellent reviews and they did pretty good. 3 and 4 stars. But not the typical best speakers ever in this price range...which will be said about the next speaker that they review next month.

If you're going to go strictly by the reviews...I want to see a review by ONE of Hi FI Choice, UHF and What hi-fi if for no other reason to see another take on the speaker.

psonic
12-07-2003, 09:07 PM
this shootout shows the axiom m22ti did very well against some speakers we are very familiar with like b&w, paradigm, etc...and they are not afraid to tell a speakers faults, for example they didn't like the b&w 602 very much...

http://www.audioholics.com/productreviews/loudspeakers/faceoff3_h.php

RGA
12-07-2003, 11:31 PM
this shootout shows the axiom m22ti did very well against some speakers we are very familiar with like b&w, paradigm, etc...and they are not afraid to tell a speakers faults, for example they didn't like the b&w 602 very much...

http://www.audioholics.com/productreviews/loudspeakers/faceoff3_h.php

Yes I have seen this site a few times presented and I always like to note the details. The B&W in question is a 10 year old speaker 3 models old. The original 601 was not a particularly great sounding speaker signidficantly improved upon in version 2 and 3.

I'm amazed that site can produce such nonsense...and once again it's an opinion.

I respect the views of the three magazines I mentioned earlier...does not mean I agree with them on every point. Do you agree with a particular film critic on every film you see?

Note this "The scoring below is based on each speaker doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating equal to Performance x Price Factor/Value = Rating"

That is ridiculously foolish.

They say that the Axiom is better value over the B&W because it is $400 and they talk about the list price of a decade old speaker at $599.00 - hmm, but you don't have to pay $599.00 for that speaker you'd pay maybe $175.00 so ???? then what is the better value?

Hogwash site. They are right about the old 602's bass response being a bit bloomy...but they required significant power to get going...something these clods likely know. The improvement in the current 602S3 may very well offer the most well balanced bass response of any standmount available in it's price range. A significant improvement...and the price for the new one is still $600US.

None of this is to say one might like the Axiom better without anywhere near the bass depth but then you have to add a quality sub. In a normal medium/apartment the 602S3 offers more than enough bass on its own down to around 50hz with a wider front baffle.

skeptic
12-08-2003, 04:18 AM
It had to happen sooner or later...but I actually agree with you here.

Normally I would congratulate you on finally getting something right but I am reminded that even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Pat D
12-08-2003, 07:25 AM
Yes I have seen this site a few times presented and I always like to note the details. The B&W in question is a 10 year old speaker 3 models old. The original 601 was not a particularly great sounding speaker signidficantly improved upon in version 2 and 3.

I'm amazed that site can produce such nonsense...and once again it's an opinion.

I respect the views of the three magazines I mentioned earlier...does not mean I agree with them on every point. Do you agree with a particular film critic on every film you see?

Note this "The scoring below is based on each speaker doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating equal to Performance x Price Factor/Value = Rating"

That is ridiculously foolish.

They say that the Axiom is better value over the B&W because it is $400 and they talk about the list price of a decade old speaker at $599.00 - hmm, but you don't have to pay $599.00 for that speaker you'd pay maybe $175.00 so ???? then what is the better value?

Hogwash site. They are right about the old 602's bass response being a bit bloomy...but they required significant power to get going...something these clods likely know. The improvement in the current 602S3 may very well offer the most well balanced bass response of any standmount available in it's price range. A significant improvement...and the price for the new one is still $600US.

None of this is to say one might like the Axiom better without anywhere near the bass depth but then you have to add a quality sub. In a normal medium/apartment the 602S3 offers more than enough bass on its own down to around 50hz with a wider front baffle.

It would actually help if you read what Audioholics said about the B & W 602 S1:

http://www.audioholics.com/productreviews/loudspeakers/faceoff3_c.php

They explicitly said it was an older model and the newer versions were better. Maybe it is useful sometimes to compare older speakers to newer models. Some manufacturers managed to get it right years ago, and build speakers that do stand up well today.

One thing I've learned from your posts on speakers is that my tastes in speakers are apparently quite different from yours--as is the case with some reviewers, Art Dudley being one.

You rail about Audioholics' rating system, which includes value for cost as a factor. Funny you don't complain when other site and mags do the same thing. This is one problem with reviews here at AR, too, because it certainly appears to me that most people rate on a cost/value basis. I don't know what to do about that, and separating the quality and value ratings doesn't seem to me to do it; but many of the narrative reviews seem helpful. But I agree, I would much rather have a "blind" rating, irrespective of cost, like they do at the National Research Council facilities in Ottawa, you know, those tests you so love to diss. :o

Do we have any objective measurements of those Audio Note speakers, by the way, or have you just been taking Peter Qvortrup's word for it?

Feanor
12-08-2003, 07:58 AM
...Can't believe the amazing reviews the Axiom brand gets in this site. ..

Amateur review such as the typical Audio Review review, (I'm not speaking of the forums where mainly people are extremely knowledgable), are mainly of value with repect to reliability and vendor support. The majority of review contributors don't have the experience to evaluate sound, especially in the context of different room environments or equipment combinations.

Try reading several professional review and look for common themes. Pay particular attention to comments regarding suitability of the type of music you prefer and room placement.

I will never again buy a speaker again without having heard it in my listening environment. If I can't have a free, no commitments loan from the vendor, then I must get a full return priviledge.

3db
12-08-2003, 08:52 AM
I've auditioned some axiom speakers about 3 years ago while hunting for a sub. Although I wasn't impressed with their subs, I was impressed with there center channels and thei towers. I heard the MTi60s and 80s and I truly was impressed with their soundsatging capabiltiy and attention to details. I personally find them highly enjoyable and non tiring.

I just wish the mags would review more of PSB lines .

http://www.hometheatersound.com/equipment/axiom_epic_60.htm

RGA
12-08-2003, 11:20 AM
It would actually help if you read what Audioholics said about the B & W 602 S1:

http://www.audioholics.com/productreviews/loudspeakers/faceoff3_c.php

They explicitly said it was an older model and the newer versions were better. Maybe it is useful sometimes to compare older speakers to newer models. Some manufacturers managed to get it right years ago, and build speakers that do stand up well today.

One thing I've learned from your posts on speakers is that my tastes in speakers are apparently quite different from yours--as is the case with some reviewers, Art Dudley being one.

You rail about Audioholics' rating system, which includes value for cost as a factor. Funny you don't complain when other mags do the same thing. This is one problem with reviews here at AR, too, because it certainly appears to me that most people rate on a cost/value basis. I don't know what to do about that, and separating the quality and value ratings doesn't seem to me to do it; but many of the narrative reviews seem helpful. But I agree, I would much rather have a "blind" rating, irrespective of cost, like they do at the National Research Council facilities in Ottawa, you know, those tests you so love to diss. :o

Do we have any objective measurements of those Audio Note speakers, by the way, or have you just been taking Peter Qvortrup's word for it?

Well first you know I don't value the measurements that don't tell you anything about sound...or gee the subjective review would correlate with the measurements...none of the subjective reviews of the De Capo correlate - consensus is generally a great lifelike high end speaker. Can't be said about some of the flatter responses? Measurement therefore are not accurate to what is "liked."

Audioholics would make more sense if they were comparing similarly priced speakers...like What hi-fi. No problems with giving a speaker 5 stars or a 10/10 in a given price range. But they have a "perceived" performance/value rating that only a buyer can determine. The B&W bass response is a warmer presentation and is not nearly as punchy. Well if you like the less punchy then it's a better speaker for your needs. No matter what it's measurements are. You're an odd fellow since you rely SO heavily on graphs then tell people not to rely on them totally.

The FACT of the matter is the ONLY way you can rely on a graph is if you sample about a 100 speakers find the ones you like "subjectively" and then get access to ALL of the graphs. If you chose ten from that 100 and they all measure roughly the same then you have an idea of what is best. The NRC tests posted at Harman are incomplete small and not useful for regular buyers. Tests are too small A/B and not the way a normal person sets up their speakers...it's all done by someone else...which is not the normal listening environment which makes it invalid...look up validity...it's not never will be period. Another advertising gimmick - it works people buy a lot of irritating dreck in the name of accuracy. At the listening position in your room is the ONLY thing that would count. And that graph would change in every room.

A slight lilt in the treble is to me and many people FAR worse than almost any other anomolie. Mid Bass Hump for example is not overly irritating to me...especially if amplified rock is your bag.

As for the Audio Note's why do you care? You can e-mail Hi Fi Choice for the measurements perhaps...of the An E/D - all their speakers have a similar sound http://www.hifichoice.co.uk/review_read.asp?ID=475 I'd be more interested in the fact that in a blind level matched room they sounded worthy of recommendation. That speaker can be bought new for $2000.00CDN. So that Value rating would rise no doubt. Though they do reference their measurements a little at least.

I would suggest looking up the measurements of the very original Snell designs but the changes AN has made are fairly large in that the AN's are corner near wall placements where the Snells were not.

Also all Audio Note amplifiers, DACS, etc are measured or tested through Audio Note speakers...so presumably you might get information about the speaker indirectly through the ancillary gear. Can't build a good amp with hopeless speakers - if you build part of that sound by ear.

You can also ask about the AN E with your good buddoies at Stereophile since it was the speaker they used to test tube amplifiers with - presumably they would want a relatively accurate speaker or good speaker to do that no? http://www.stereophile.com/reference/357/index1.html

And buyers are telling. Despite the looks they're doing pretty well. Despite no reviews of the AN K and the fact that I never heard of them...compared to the De Capo, N801, Studio series, ML and a host of others I have already mentioned on the old forum thread, side by side with some of them...it beat them all...the De Capo was closestdo it's smoother presentation but the soundstage had a character in depth that was always there on a all recording which while I like it - in the end i wanted a more straight shooter. (plus I preferred the treble response of the original version ... rolled off but not as hot.

RGA
12-08-2003, 11:28 AM
.compared to the De Capo, N801, Studio series, ML and a host of others I have already mentioned on the old forum thread, side by side with some of them...it beat them all...the De Capo was closestdo it's smoother presentation but the soundstage had a character in depth that was always there on a all recording which while I like it - in the end i wanted a more straight shooter. (plus I preferred the treble response of the original version ... rolled off but not as hot.

Correction...N805 not N801. ML was Aerius i.

RGA
12-08-2003, 11:29 AM
Amateur review such as the typical Audio Review review, (I'm not speaking of the forums where mainly people are extremely knowledgable), are mainly of value with repect to reliability and vendor support. The majority of review contributors don't have the experience to evaluate sound, especially in the context of different room environments or equipment combinations.

Try reading several professional review and look for common themes. Pay particular attention to comments regarding suitability of the type of music you prefer and room placement.

I will never again buy a speaker again without having heard it in my listening environment. If I can't have a free, no commitments loan from the vendor, then I must get a full return priviledge.

Feaner...you're correct. If a dealer won't allow you a full home audition then they have something to hide...a bad product in most cases.

One thing I liked about Soundhounds, my dealer in Victoria, wa shte first time I went in there and was talking to them they offerred tl let me take home a whole system. By all means take 4 or 5 speaker cables home try em out for a few weeks...Speakers etc no problem. They actually prefer you do that because they don't like people coming back unhappy because the box is opened and they can't sell it as new anymore. Basically tha's a hassle. Far better to letyou try it out...if you're happy then you're less likely to return it...if you do who cares it was a demo model anyway.

So when they don't want to let you try it at home, what am i to think? Is it crap? Maybe.

3db
12-08-2003, 11:59 AM
Feaner...you're correct. If a dealer won't allow you a full home audition then they have something to hide...a bad product in most cases.
.

So when they don't want to let you try it at home, what am i to think? Is it crap? Maybe.



But thats not Axiom's policy. They have a money back return policy

RGA
12-08-2003, 02:09 PM
But thats not Axiom's policy. They have a money back return policy

Who is talking about Axiom?

epg
12-08-2003, 02:39 PM
Highflyer; a friend of mine bought the Axiom M22 speakers last year, and I heard them 1 time an didn't want to hear them again. I thought that they sounded BRIGHT almost brittle sounding. He had them in use as back speakers in his HT setup. In this context they sounded ok, but I wouldn't use them in any other application. As an aside, I would look at a kit speaker offered by www.partsexpress.com. They are BR-1 and are only 136.00 for a pair. Everything I have read about them seems be positive. You might think about a couple of sets of these instead of the Axioms.

Recently on a different BB - Madisound.com - I saw a posting stating that this guy had 2 sets of M22's and he was willing to give up 1 set of these speakers to a cross over designer who could help fix the cross-overs in the set of speakers he was going to keep. Like others, he thought that speakers were a little over the top tweeter wise.

Another Cyclist

RGA
12-08-2003, 03:56 PM
But thats not Axiom's policy. They have a money back return policy

Just a note though...you are still stck with shipping them back, duty charges, shipping charges etc. Depending what you order for them this could run you well in excess of $100.00. I can go to a dealer and take four sets of speakers home several amps and cd players and try out the combo I like for free(well Gas).

Woochifer
12-08-2003, 04:07 PM
The Ford Focus won many awards too...read the 2004 Lemon aid used car guide about the car and about the value of awards.


Completely nonsensical analogy because the Lemon Aid guide is entirely based on reliability and recall history, nothing to do with performance or value. The Ford Focus is one of the better compact cars I've rented, but since, like most auto reviewers, I don't own one, the recall history and reliability mean nothing to me so long as it stays tight for the one or two days that I have it.


I am not a big fan of budget home theater systems because to me it's like an all-in one printer...soes it all and nothing well. I have a printer because I don't much care about the quality of photos, or speed or scanning. But no serious photographer would print a picture off the Lexmark 1150 and no serious business would want this as a printer, copier etc. But hey it was cheap does it all and saves space...I knew thi going in and it fits the bill and lives up to my expectations of it.

Another bad analogy because we're not talking about budget home theater systems, we're talking about Axiom speakers. And last I checked, those only do one thing ... reproduce sound from an amp signal. If you want to dispute its merits, do so on that basis rather than bringing all this off-topic noise into the discussion.


Receivers are identical same thing in audio but most consumers don't know of their limitations. Which usually starts with the anaemic power supplies. But again denon for the money is probably decent but it simply isn't going to do everything...You knew that of course because there is the 5803.

Again, we're talking about speakers, so more off-topic nonsense. When you refer to "limitations" what are you talking about? "Most consumers" don't care about the "limitations" that you refer to because the receivers meet their needs and their budgetary restrictions. It has nothing to do with their lack of knowledge on the subject as you assert. They know that better stuff is out there, and they frankly couldn't give enough of a rat's behind to pay an extra $2k+ to step up to home theatre separates. Count me in that same category. Stick to your own opinions and don't try and assume that people out there make the choices that they do because they just don't know better.


Hi Fi CHoice doesn't get a lot of Canadian or American gear...hmmm. Why not presume to make a few guesses as to why not.

Why don't you take a guess? It's got about as much worth as anybody else's, unless you got some inside information that you're jealously guarding from everyone. All you're doing is bringing up inneuendo so you can make a point without really making a point.


And if you read the reviews closer of even some of the well reviewed speakers you may come across the terms about the treble region as a bit "hot, emphasized, not quite refined, slightly excessive, forward etc" all mean that there is a very REAL chance the speaker is going to be an irritating mess.

That's of course if people share your opinion of what an irritating mess sounds like.


Short term A/B tests will of course favour the exagerated speaker the brighter speaker the bassier sounding(even if exagerrated) than the more realistic speaker.

Where's your proof of this? Listening tests done by Floyd Toole (which have a lot more bias control built into the research design than your sighted/biased listenings) and others have demonstrated that the top criteria for speaker preferences were even frequency response in the midrange, freedom from distortion, and wide dispersion. Those criteria sound to me like they would be part of a speaker design that sounds realistic. Where does it say that exaggerated bass and treble are preferred criteria?


And unfortunately MOST speaker makers have built speakers for home theater consumers where a lilt in the treble is desirable. The mega corporations change wht they say is important for measuring so their speakers look impressive on the graph. Just be careful and long listening with all recording including lesser recording is a good idea.

No, the mega corporations are about maximizing the profit for a set of speakers. Whether or not that results in a good set of speakers for the money is for consumers to sort out. What consumer makes decisions based solely on what they see on a graph?

If anything, speaker makers do their best to hide whatever a frequency response graph will show (i.e. Bose, the largest speaker manufacturer in the world) since those will highlight the deficiencies on poorly designed speakers, and those compnies that do provide specs generally go more with a simple one-liner (i.e. +-3db 40hz-16khz -- except that they don't mention whether that response was an anecholic measurement or some doctored in-room response) than anything more substantive than that. FEW speaker companies put frequency response graphs into any of their spec sheets or marketing materials. Agreed that listening tests and long careful auditoning is necessary.

Woochifer
12-08-2003, 04:24 PM
Hype is always an issue when you're dealing with online-only brands. Compared to other purchases, speakers are by far the most subjective component in most audio systems. And as such, I personally cannot ever just blindly buy a set of speakers based on what I read about it. Reviews and recommendations to me are helpful for shortlisting a set of speakers that I should try out.

Incessant hype about online-only speakers is nothing new. People who are fanboys of speakers available at retail just have to tell people they want to convince to go find a local dealer and listen for themselves. Those who want to hype online speaker have a much steeper job of convincing to do since those speakers cannot be heard without actually buying them, and as such, sometimes ratchet up the rhetoric to ridiculous extremes.

What you're observing with the Axioms is basically the flavor-on-the-month. A couple of years ago, you would see one thread after another hyping nOhr and Swan Diva. Now, it's all about the Onix Rockets and Axioms. I have no doubt that to some people, they are a perfect match and a great value. But, my speaker preferences are my own and not necessarily shared by others. What someone regards as a great speaker, I might consider a colossal bore/ripoff. It's just much easier and economical timewise for me to go to my local dealers, do some comparisons, borrow the ones I'm most interested and make my final decisions based on home comparisons.

As RGA mentioned, those money-back guarantees DO NOT include the cost of shipping. Depending on the weight, you could be talking about $80 or more for two-way shipping costs. If you're auditioning more than one set of speakers, those costs can add up in a hurry.

With all that said, online speakers can represent a great value if they deliver what you're looking for. I bought my subwoofer online (the Adire Rava) and it was a great decision for me. But, with a subwoofer, the audible differences are more difficult to discern than with mains, and I was looking for a sealed design. At that time, I couldn't find any options for under $800, so I felt it was worth the gamble (plus, I loaded the dice by using a parametric equalizer with the subwoofer). And that's really what it comes down to. If you feel that the chances of a particular online speaker meeting your needs is pretty good, then the cost/trouble that it entails might be worthwhile.

TinHere
12-08-2003, 05:11 PM
Incessant hype about online-only speakers is nothing new. People who are fanboys of speakers available at retail just have to tell people they want to convince to go find a local dealer and listen for themselves. Those who want to hype online speaker have a much steeper job of convincing to do since those speakers cannot be heard without actually buying them, and as such, sometimes ratchet up the rhetoric to ridiculous extremes.

What you're observing with the Axioms is basically the flavor-on-the-month. A couple of years ago, you would see one thread after another hyping nOhr and Swan Diva. Now, it's all about the Onix Rockets and Axioms. I have no doubt that to some people, they are a perfect match and a great value. But, my speaker preferences are my own and not necessarily shared by others. What someone regards as a great speaker, I might consider a colossal bore/ripoff. It's just much easier and economical timewise for me to go to my local dealers, do some comparisons, borrow the ones I'm most interested and make my final decisions based on home comparisons.



What you have to remember about all the "hype" is that many of the "hypers" have run the gamut of speaker auditions [not me] and are simply trying to pass on what they found to be the case. Do you have any experience with online speakers that are discussed other than your positive experience with Adaire? When you recommend Adaire is it because you like to hype, or because you think you did very well for price/performance with that company? Besides price/performance people dealing with a number of online only companies state that they never/rarely enjoyed the level of customer service they offer. These companies are growing because they are delivering on their promises. They are delivering goods at a price that b&m stores can't compete with. IMHO they offer the best values people can find in todays marketplace. The return rates are small not because people don't want to spend the price of shipping them back, but because people feel they got what they hoped for and then some in a lot of cases. Once a person can define the kind of sound they like if they do their research they should be able to find an online company to satisfy their tastes. Many of these companies are past the point of being risky, and are just a good way to maximize one's budget. If it's true is it still hype?

Woochifer
12-08-2003, 05:44 PM
What you have to remember about all the "hype" is that many of the "hypers" have run the gamut of speaker auditions [not me] and are simply trying to pass on what they found to be the case. Do you have any experience with online speakers that are discussed other than your positive experience with Adaire? When you recommend Adaire is it because you like to hype, or because you think you did very well for price/performance with that company? Besides price/performance people dealing with a number of online only companies state that they never/rarely enjoyed the level of customer service they offer. These companies are growing because they are delivering on their promises. They are delivering goods at a price that b&m stores can't compete with. IMHO they offer the best values people can find in todays marketplace. The return rates are small not because people don't want to spend the price of shipping them back, but because people feel they got what they hoped for and then some in a lot of cases. Once a person can define the kind of sound they like if they do their research they should be able to find an online company to satisfy their tastes. Many of these companies are past the point of being risky, and are just a good way to maximize one's budget. If it's true is it still hype?

I'm well aware that a lot of what's posted about these speakers is based on well-informed auditioning. However, my main point is that a lot of the rhetoric that I've seen goes way overboard, and more so than with speakers sold at retail. I have no doubt that these companies CAN deliver goods at a price that b&m stores can't match, but I take issue with the one-size-fits-all tone that goes along with some of these recommendations.

Yes, you get the same mentality with fanboys who preach the gospel of their favorite store-bought speakers as well. But, the difference is that their hype can be easily verified or diffused with a simple visit to the store. Can't do that with an internet brand unless you buy the speaker first or find somebody who owns a pair. And so a lot of the threads that I've seen descend into flaming because the only person who has first hand experience with the speakers is somebody who actually owns them; and a speaker owner is not exactly an unbiased or emotionally unattached source.

The thing about comparing internet brand speakers with ones bought at retail is that the internet brand speakers will almost always have the advantage in such a comparison precisely because they are a lot more trouble to return and audition than speakers sold at retail. When I was doing my final comparisons, I simply walked to my local b&m store and borrowed the speakers that I was interested in. If I had decided to include a pair of internet speakers in the mix, I would've had to buy them first and do the audition knowing that if I decided on the retail speakers I would have to repack and reship the internet brand speakers AND pay for the return shipping. That has a very high potential for creating inherent biases in any kind of comparison.

I don't doubt that people who buy Onix, Axiom, etc. are happy with their purchases. But, when the hype starts getting down to the online brands sounding that much better than all comparable retail brands in their price class, I maintain a certain degree of skepticism because unless the comparisons make some sort of effort at bias control (like doing some kind of blind testing), they're not done on a level playing field.

The thing is that I need to to hear a speaker before I can judge whether it's a speaker that I'd consider or reject. And my preferences may not mesh with what reviewers or speaker owners prefer. It's just not my preference to buy a set of speakers in order to audition it, when I'm already choosing between any number of excellent options that I can listen to in the store or audition at home without an upfront investment.

My own experience with Adire is proof positive that this business model can work. Their customer service was pretty good, even though their shippng department made a mistake and it delayed my shipment by over a week. I have the highest regard for the Rava. It's an excellent value and it was exactly what I was looking for. But, I don't extend my recommendation to how it compares with retail brands, because frankly I have no basis for comparison and to do a valid one would be a helluva lot of trouble (borrowing main speakers is one thing, but borrowing subwoofers and setting up parametric equalization profiles for each one is a big hassle). And in my case, there weren't any comparable options on the market in my price point when I bought my Rava, so my options were a lot more limited than someone in the market for a pair of bookshelf speakers. To me, that made the risk and trouble worthwhile.

Pat D
12-08-2003, 05:49 PM
Well first you know I don't value the measurements that don't tell you anything about sound...or gee the subjective review would correlate with the measurements...none of the subjective reviews of the De Capo correlate - consensus is generally a great lifelike high end speaker. Can't be said about some of the flatter responses? Measurement therefore are not accurate to what is "liked."

Well, I am taking parts of your post here. I don't generally think that much of purely subjective reviews whether by Stereophile or UHF or TAS Soundstage or anyone else, although one can often get some idea about speakers. The mags broadly agree about speakers. Stereophile does often do a useful set of measurements, especially for speakers, as does AIG, often Soundstage, and The Audio Critic, especially now that they have Don Keele on board.

You demand that a review by one individual should correlate with a set of measurements, except that individual may have peculiar tastes. As well, correlation for you seems to be a simple bipolar love or hate thing, whereas one can have varying degrees of preference for different aspects of a speaker's performance. In fact, Art Dudley apparently did hear the hefty mid-range peak in the De Capo, but didn't much object to it, as I have said before. So I simply don't agree that the measurements did not correlate with listening experience, even Art Dudley's.


You're an odd fellow since you rely SO heavily on graphs then tell people not to rely on them totally.

The FACT of the matter is the ONLY way you can rely on a graph is if you sample about a 100 speakers find the ones you like "subjectively" and then get access to ALL of the graphs.

Another advertising gimmick - it works people buy a lot of irritating dreck in the name of accuracy. At the listening position in your room is the ONLY thing that would count. And that graph would change in every room.

I simply want to know what they are. If that to you is a heavy emphasis, I can only say that is your interpretation. That I want to know the measurements seems a personal affront to you for some reason. As for listening to a lot of speakers, I have listened to very many speakers in my life and I have been reading good reviews for a long time. I have long been fairly familiar with the NRC curves because the Canadian Sound & Vison magazine used them and I have tried to understand what they mean. The late Richard C. Heyser and later Don Keele gave fairly detailed measurements in Audio magazine, and I have tried to understand something about them, too.

As Woochifer points out, most manufacturers don't show the curves and data for the speakers, far from it. So much for "adverising gimmick."


A slight lilt in the treble is to me and many people FAR worse than almost any other anomolie. Mid Bass Hump for example is not overly irritating to me...especially if amplified rock is your bag.

So now you DO seem to know something about correlating the measurents with the sound! Will wonders never cease! LOL--make up your mind!


As for the Audio Note's why do you care? You can e-mail Hi Fi Choice for the measurements perhaps...of the An E/D - all their speakers have a similar sound

I would suggest looking up the measurements of the very original Snell designs but the changes AN has made are fairly large in that the AN's are corner near wall placements where the Snells were not.

You can also ask about the AN E with your good buddoies at Stereophile since it was the speaker they used to test tube amplifiers with - presumably they would want a relatively accurate speaker or good speaker to do that no? url]http://www.stereophile.com/reference/357/index1.html[/url]

And buyers are telling. Despite the looks they're doing pretty well. Despite no reviews of the AN K and the fact that I never heard of them...compared to the De Capo, N801, Studio series, ML and a host of others I have already mentioned on the old forum thread, side by side with some of them...it beat them all...the De Capo was closestdo it's smoother presentation but the soundstage had a character in depth that was always there on a all recording which while I like it - in the end i wanted a more straight shooter. (plus I preferred the treble response of the original version ... rolled off but not as hot.

As for the Audio Note speakers, it is YOU who keep telling me how accurate they are, and you even quote Peter Q about flat 30 degree off axis response--as if Paradigm Reference, PSB, Energy and others don't do that!! Are you just taking his word for it? He perhaps engages in a little smooth sounding puffery himself! But, he may well be a good speaker designer and I'm happy for you that you like your new speakers. Also, he talks about measuring power response, as if this is not done--Harman does it, and I have a number of Canadian Sound & Vision magazines showing total power response graphs--it was something they did regularly until they sopped publishing about 1996. As well, the NRC graphs at Soundstage include a listening window graph which gives an approximation for a listener. You just seem to take Peter's word, and I asked you if this was so. Apparently it is! ;)

Pat D
12-08-2003, 06:17 PM
I'm starting to realize I've got way more learning to do. I think you are absolutely right about online retailers figuring you will not return their product and the fact that some don't even have a listening room has me very skeptical.

Pat D. expressed some concern about my Denon avr 1403 which is a 5.1 ch receiver but at the low end of the spectrum. How will this effect my speaker choices. Most of the retailers I spoke to thought my receiver was more than adequate.

RGA I checked out Hi-Fi Choice and thank you for the suggestion. They don't have many Canadian products listed so I am figuring I'll be paying more just to get it here in this country. As I am somewhat limited in my budget ($2,000-2,500 Canadian) I'd like to maximize my dollar value. I think your suggestion of the Energy C3's may be the right direction. Your comment about metal drivers, is that in response to Axiom?

One point of interest is that Axiom has won several awards for their products.So I'm not sure their product would be considered of poor quality. Are their bogus reviewers ou there? I checked out audioaholics and they reviewed the M22ti favourably (apparently they are unbiased as well).

Lots to research, thanks kindly to all for your time and efforts. GB

Well, it may well be that your receiver is perfectly adequate even with reasonably insensitive speakers. I don't know your listening habits. In any case, it is good methodology to try out speakers in your listening room using your equipment before having to buy them. That way you can find out for sure. But remember, a 3 dB increase in sensitivity for the speakers has the same effect as doubling your amplifier's power, so I would still tend to suggest looking at reasonably sensitive speakers.

On line sellers pretty well have to offer a good return policy. But as someone pointed out, they cut out the middle man and so you save there. I don't know what the shipping cost is, But in any case, Axiom speakers do have a good reputation.

RGA seems to be one of those people who thinks that metal dome tweeters are BAD. This is like an urban myth in audiophile land, probably based on the metaphor of metal being 'hard' so the sound must be 'hard,' which is really the fallacy of equivocation. But as far as I'm concerned, some of the smoothest speakers I've ever heard had metal dome tweeters. It isn't the particular design style that is important (within reason, of course) but the implementation. If a speaker sounds bad, it won't do just to lay the blame on metal dome tweeters.

Audioholics is as unbiased as any, though I do wish they had a better set of measurements. Anyway, they do have a lot of useful information on their site. It's a good site.

RGA
12-08-2003, 06:52 PM
Completely nonsensical analogy because the Lemon Aid guide is entirely based on reliability and recall history, nothing to do with performance or value. The Ford Focus is one of the better compact cars I've rented, but since, like most auto reviewers, I don't own one, the recall history and reliability mean nothing to me so long as it stays tight for the one or two days that I have it..

Biggest reason to have a car is to get you from one destination to another...The Ford Focus apparently comes in pretty close to dead last...which mean the design and/or the build of the car is totally incompetant. I know three owners(directly and indirectly) of this car(popular) and all three have had MAJOR problems with it. Quality control for a car should be recognized in the review...if you know what to look for you can find them...but then who owns the review magazine is question 1. Question 2 is what is the competance of the reviewer.

That was not an analogy by the way...that was talking about reviews...don't assume.



Again, we're talking about speakers, so more off-topic nonsense. When you refer to "limitations" what are you talking about? "Most consumers" don't care about the "limitations" that you refer to because the receivers meet their needs and their budgetary restrictions. It has nothing to do with their lack of knowledge on the subject as you assert. They know that better stuff is out there, and they frankly couldn't give enough of a rat's behind to pay an extra $2k+ to step up to home theatre separates. Count me in that same category. Stick to your own opinions and don't try and assume that people out there make the choices that they do because they just don't know better..

Stick to my own opinions is what I've been doing...and not everyone does know better...if they did they would not need to come to a forum to ask question...they'd already know. Silly.



Why don't you take a guess? It's got about as much worth as anybody else's, unless you got some inside information that you're jealously guarding from everyone. All you're doing is bringing up inneuendo so you can make a point without really making a point.

Well in the case of UHF they are not sent certain products - Arcam is a proven example of a distributor that refuses to send them gear after an accurate negative review of an older Integrated amp...though i'm sure they got raves by the everything gets a rave club. If you're a speaker or any other product maker...as businessman...why would you take the risk of a negative review? Much smarter to send your product to the everything gets a good review people. Some do both because they want the coverage, smaller companies are forced to send to the tougher reviewers because their dealer base is too small and don't have the $$$$ to buy advertising space in the some of the big magazines. Which is not to say the big magazines are going to be dishonest necessarily either. Like i said...I agree with them a whole bunch and disagree with my more "liked" magazines.



Where's your proof of this? Listening tests done by Floyd Toole (which have a lot more bias control built into the research design than your sighted/biased listenings) and others have demonstrated that the top criteria for speaker preferences were even frequency response in the midrange, freedom from distortion, and wide dispersion. Those criteria sound to me like they would be part of a speaker design that sounds realistic. Where does it say that exaggerated bass and treble are preferred criteria?

I looked at the measurement of the 100V2 by Stereophile...exagerrated speaker at 6, 10 and 26khz...the latter outside the normal range of hearing the other two most certainly not...was this speaker done in the NRC...we'll never know...what we do know is a fe generalizable claims that some people liked some speakers with graphs that seem to resemble a flatter line more than others in an A/B test that is totally different from the way a normal person would buy/set-up/and listen to music over the next several years with that person's room and that person's ancillary equipment. No validity problems there. :rolleyes:

RGA
12-08-2003, 07:13 PM
You demand that a review by one individual should correlate with a set of measurements, except that individual may have peculiar tastes. As well, correlation for you seems to be a simple bipolar love or hate thing, whereas one can have varying degrees of preference for different aspects of a speaker's performance. In fact, Art Dudley apparently did hear the hefty mid-range peak in the De Capo, but didn't much object to it, as I have said before. So I simply don't agree that the measurements did not correlate with listening experience, even Art Dudley's.

I'm not saying there is absolutely no valididty to measurements because virtually EVERYBODY that lisens to the De capo comments on the midrange and the soundstage depth...naturally to do this there would be a corresponding measurement. Most people note this, would even without measurements presume that there would be a different measurement...after all they sound different there would HAVE to be. And yet if we go by the NRC most people SHOULD NOT like this speaker...which if any of the DBT dimwits would grab a clue indicates that gee whiz what happened in the real valid world is not corresponding to what is happening in the invalid test environment. And if it doesn't what the hell was the point of the test to start with. There is no price.looks brand name bias...they lose on all counts.



I simply want to know what they are. If that to you is a heavy emphasis, I can only say that is your interpretation. That I want to know the measurements seems a personal affront to you for some reason. As for listening to a lot of speakers, I have listened to very many speakers in my life and I have been reading good reviews for a long time. I have long been fairly familiar with the NRC curves because the Canadian Sound & Vison magazine used them and I have tried to understand what they mean. The late Richard C. Heyser and later Don Keele gave fairly detailed measurements in Audio magazine, and I have tried to understand something about them, too.

Yes trying to understand them is great...judging is another. I gave up when the speakers the measurers liked often(not always) sounded like dreck to me. The fact that I say not always further complicates it because speakers like PMC and B&W's Matrix805 are flat leaning measurement follower's orgasmic speakers and they sound good. But...

As for Qvortrup I didn't but the speaker based off a graph nor did i have ANY interest in seeing it...as that would merely induce a bias about the sound. I have quoted him because i don't like screwing up paraphrases where possible.

What he has argued for a long time is to closely match the drivers...his biggest complaint and to which no spekaer using a metal tweeter can or ever will do correctly. Quite simply, not everything is measured and or read the way it suposed to be read. WHich is why the liked measured speaker does not beat out, often, the subjective musical experience.

TinHere
12-08-2003, 08:01 PM
" However, my main point is that a lot of the rhetoric that I've seen goes way overboard, and more so than with speakers sold at retail. I have no doubt that these companies CAN deliver goods at a price that b&m stores can't match, but I take issue with the one-size-fits-all tone that goes along with some of these recommendations."

To someone who honed their musical preferences and can mention a brand they heard in a retail store a comparable "sound" can usually be found among the lines that online companies offer. Many people have agonized over going the online only route only to become satisified customers who want to share the joy.

"Yes, you get the same mentality with fanboys who preach the gospel of their favorite store-bought speakers as well. But, the difference is that their hype can be easily verified or diffused with a simple visit to the store. Can't do that with an internet brand unless you buy the speaker first or find somebody who owns a pair. And so a lot of the threads that I've seen descend into flaming because the only person who has first hand experience with the speakers is somebody who actually owns them; and a speaker owner is not exactly an unbiased or emotionally unattached source."

The number of people extolling online companies is growing, not necessarily on AR but on other forums, because these companies simply deliver a better product for the price. I can tell you that I wouldn't push internet-only if I hadn't read what people much more knowledgable than me reported about their experiences and wrote in comparison threads. The reasons that threads descend into flame wars are ignorance, brand loyalty, and a belief that if it sounds to good to be true it usually is.

"The thing about comparing internet brand speakers with ones bought at retail is that the internet brand speakers will almost always have the advantage in such a comparison precisely because they are a lot more trouble to return and audition than speakers sold at retail. When I was doing my final comparisons, I simply walked to my local b&m store and borrowed the speakers that I was interested in. If I had decided to include a pair of internet speakers in the mix, I would've had to buy them first and do the audition knowing that if I decided on the retail speakers I would have to repack and reship the internet brand speakers AND pay for the return shipping. That has a very high potential for creating inherent biases in any kind of comparison."

Trouble schmouble. If some really cares about the sound they have in their home and did all the auditioning many do, repacking, sending something back, and paying to get rid of something that is disappointing isn't that big a deal. Keeping something they don't like is a big deal. It may be a roll of the dice, but there aren't that many disappointed people either because they loved what they got or they had to send them back. Again, the price of shipping is pretty nominal when you consider that it allows you to try a product that many people laud in your own home, with your own gear, and enough time to really make an informed decision.

"I don't doubt that people who buy Onix, Axiom, etc. are happy with their purchases. But, when the hype starts getting down to the online brands sounding that much better than all comparable retail brands in their price class, I maintain a certain degree of skepticism because unless the comparisons make some sort of effort at bias control (like doing some kind of blind testing), they're not done on a level playing field"

It's good to be skeptic, but also remember that many of these speakers have been auditioned in homes against different speakers from retail stores and other online companies. Some people who take their speaker purchases very seriously have gone through the trouble and expense and have reported their findings on many other forums. Comparisons from once non-biased listeners abound and when what they have gets beat they're not shy about saying so and moving on.

"My own experience with Adire is proof positive that this business model can work. Their customer service was pretty good, even though their shippng department made a mistake and it delayed my shipment by over a week. I have the highest regard for the Rava. It's an excellent value and it was exactly what I was looking for. But, I don't extend my recommendation to how it compares with retail brands, because frankly I have no basis for comparison and to do a valid one would be a helluva lot of trouble (borrowing main speakers is one thing, but borrowing subwoofers and setting up parametric equalization profiles for each one is a big hassle). And in my case, there weren't any comparable options on the market in my price point when I bought my Rava, so my options were a lot more limited than someone in the market for a pair of bookshelf speakers. To me, that made the risk and trouble worthwhile."

You make my case. When you say trouble, was it really that hard to click and have a package delivered to your door? Your Adaire experience is more often the norm than a fluke. There are lots of great speakers and lots of different different tastes to be satisfied. I just think it makes sense if you are making the kind of investment that speakers represent that a small risk for a substantial gain has been shown to be more than worth it to many. So worth it in fact that they may seem even like they [of course not me] are going overboard at times for the purpose of sharing what they enjoy. It's not a business model for everyone but the rewards are there to had for those who see the price of shipping a risk worth taking. To someone who is going to basically go into a store and let a salesman decide what is best for them the online-only option is also a viable alternative that can put them ahead on the price/performance scale. These companies earned their reputations on audio sites catering to knowledable people who don't just settle for any box that produces sound, and not just by mass marketing and advertising. These companies are usually the result of individuals with a passion for audio who have dreams and bring them to fruition. The ones that succeed offer something special.

Woochifer
12-08-2003, 08:19 PM
Biggest reason to have a car is to get you from one destination to another...The Ford Focus apparently comes in pretty close to dead last...which mean the design and/or the build of the car is totally incompetant. I know three owners(directly and indirectly) of this car(popular) and all three have had MAJOR problems with it. Quality control for a car should be recognized in the review...if you know what to look for you can find them...but then who owns the review magazine is question 1. Question 2 is what is the competance of the reviewer.

That was not an analogy by the way...that was talking about reviews...don't assume.

Again, irrelevant to the question at hand because you're bringing reliability and recall history into a discussion on produc reviews, which are almost always based on short-term product tests, not statistical surveys of repair history. What audio product review out there makes those considerations? They might make a tacit remark about the build quality, but that says zilch about whether a product will last for the long-term or if their components have design defects.


Stick to my own opinions is what I've been doing...and not everyone does know better...if they did they would not need to come to a forum to ask question...they'd already know. Silly.

No sillier than your belief that people who make purchases do so because they just don't know better.


Well in the case of UHF they are not sent certain products - Arcam is a proven example of a distributor that refuses to send them gear after an accurate negative review of an older Integrated amp...though i'm sure they got raves by the everything gets a rave club. If you're a speaker or any other product maker...as businessman...why would you take the risk of a negative review? Much smarter to send your product to the everything gets a good review people. Some do both because they want the coverage, smaller companies are forced to send to the tougher reviewers because their dealer base is too small and don't have the $$$$ to buy advertising space in the some of the big magazines. Which is not to say the big magazines are going to be dishonest necessarily either. Like i said...I agree with them a whole bunch and disagree with my more "liked" magazines.

And if I was a speaker manufacturer and saw how grossly incompetently UHF conducted their center speaker comparison, I wouldn't want to send them a product sample either. It's one thing to avoid a tough critic, it's quite another to prefer that competent reviewers test your product. (link plus my comments in a prior thread)

http://www.uhfmag.com/Issue67/Issue67.html
http://forums14.consumerreview.com/crforum?14@209.4lTyaqmMmBN.2@.ef9f822/9
http://forums14.consumerreview.com/crforum?14@209.4lTyaqmMmBN.2@.ef9f822/10

You bring up these conspiracies as if exclusion by certain magazines says something substantive about the speakers in question. I don't think it says anything, other than the biases of the magazines in question since they ultimately select which products to include or exclude in their comparisons and reviews. No single source can possibly evaluate everything on the market, so some editorial exclusion is always part of the equation.


I looked at the measurement of the 100V2 by Stereophile...exagerrated speaker at 6, 10 and 26khz...the latter outside the normal range of hearing the other two most certainly not...was this speaker done in the NRC...we'll never know...what we do know is a fe generalizable claims that some people liked some speakers with graphs that seem to resemble a flatter line more than others in an A/B test that is totally different from the way a normal person would buy/set-up/and listen to music over the next several years with that person's room and that person's ancillary equipment. No validity problems there. :rolleyes:

Again, no conspiracies here. I don't always agree with John Atkinson's reviews, but his measuring methodology is consistent, replicable, and valid. Try reading the technical portion of the reviews sometime. He's also a sound engineer by profession who's done reference quality recordings of live performances. The measurements are what they are. You don't have to like the speakers just because of what the measurements tell you. Or with your assertions, hate them just because they measure closer to flat. If there's any disagreeing to do, take issue with the subjective portion of the reviews, since that's really nothing more than opinion anyway.

Your so-called "generalizable claims" are based on a lot more than just the frequency response. You seem to have this obsession with discrediting objective speaker measurements because of how some reviewers interpret them or because they somehow don't confirm your subjective beliefs on what you regard as the best speakers. EVERY speaker has imperfections. NO speaker out there measures completely flat (and even then, you got distortion, time domain response, and other technical criteria that need to be accounted for), so your objections about the sound of "flat" speakers are irrelevant. If you prefer speakers because of certain tonal characteristics, then fine. But, it's a logical disconnect to generalize that conclusion by further asserting that because speakers that you don't like show a different frequency response curve (i.e. one that in your view looks "flatter"), it proves that the measurements are meaningless.

The Studio 100 in question does have frequency peaks in the aforementioned places, plus a slight rise in the midbass. But, most of the MIDRANGE has a very flat frequency response, which is exactly what research by the NRC and others have identified as one of the top, if not the top, design criteria. I don't see why you would object to that finding. Your most persistent objection is with how speaker companies handle the highs, but "etched" highs are not what the NRC research identified as a design criteria. So your attacks on the research itself are misplaced at best.

The listening research that's been done isn't perfect, but it's certain more valid and reliable than trying to evaluate design criteria in a non-controlled environment. Without a controlled environment, you introduce myriad other variables that need to be accounted for, few of which have any relevance for speaker design.

Woochifer
12-08-2003, 09:09 PM
The number of people extolling online companies is growing, not necessarily on AR but on other forums, because these companies simply deliver a better product for the price. I can tell you that I wouldn't push internet-only if I hadn't read what people much more knowledgable than me reported about their experiences and wrote in comparison threads. The reasons that threads descend into flame wars are ignorance, brand loyalty, and a belief that if it sounds to good to be true it usually is.


Flame wars also occur because the owners of those speakers are so insistent on their speakers' superiority that they dismiss the notion of store-bought speakers altogether. I don't doubt that a lot of internet speakers are competent products worthy of consideration, but if they are the right speaker for me, that's not for other people to decide. And if I don't have easy access to those speakers, it diminishes the comparative value for me.



Trouble schmouble. If some really cares about the sound they have in their home and did all the auditioning many do, repacking, sending something back, and paying to get rid of something that is disappointing isn't that big a deal. Keeping something they don't like is a big deal. It may be a roll of the dice, but there aren't that many disappointed people either because they loved what they got or they had to send them back. Again, the price of shipping is pretty nominal when you consider that it allows you to try a product that many people laud in your own home, with your own gear, and enough time to really make an informed decision.

I'll put it to you this way, when I was selecting speakers, I did listenings of about 35 different models, and I've listened to countless others over the years. To get anywhere near that kind of breadth with the various online brands (not to mention comparing internally among their various product lines) it sure as hell would be a lot of trouble if you're talking about auditioning anything more than two or three sets of internet speakers. The shipping charges for JUST an audition for three sets of speakers could run over $200, which is hardly an inconsequential sum. Not to mention the hassle of repacking and reshipping. Maybe it is possible to luck out and just fall in love with the first set of speakers that get shipped to my front door, but my experiences in the various demo rooms and at home indicated that there was plenty of quality out there that I did not know about in my initial research, and discovered as I went about my auditions at various dealer demo rooms, as well as plenty of highly regarded speakers that disappointed.


It's good to be skeptic, but also remember that many of these speakers have been auditioned in homes against different speakers from retail stores and other online companies. Some people who take their speaker purchases very seriously have gone through the trouble and expense and have reported their findings on many other forums. Comparisons from once non-biased listeners abound and when what they have gets beat they're not shy about saying so and moving on.

I'm not questioning the competence and sincerity of a lot of these forum posters. It's nice to have this information available to shortlist the models that I would like to try out. But, as with all reviews, my preferences are my own and don't always correspond with others' opinions. I also question the objectivity of these kinds of home party comparisons given that the owners are typically present. And in the end, my own opinion ultimately wins out when it comes time to make a purchase. For the process I went through to decide upon a main speaker, the online route did not make sense because it was a two-month process of listening, relistening, borrowing, and comparing. Doubtful that any online vendor would have let me keep their speakers that long, and doubtful that I would have continued my search as diligently knowing that I had a "purchased" set of internet speakers already sitting at home.


You make my case. When you say trouble, was it really that hard to click and have a package delivered to your door? Your Adaire experience is more often the norm than a fluke. There are lots of great speakers and lots of different different tastes to be satisfied. I just think it makes sense if you are making the kind of investment that speakers represent that a small risk for a substantial gain has been shown to be more than worth it to many. So worth it in fact that they may seem even like they [of course not me] are going overboard at times for the purpose of sharing what they enjoy. It's not a business model for everyone but the rewards are there to had for those who see the price of shipping a risk worth taking. To someone who is going to basically go into a store and let a salesman decide what is best for them the online-only option is also a viable alternative that can put them ahead on the price/performance scale. These companies earned their reputations on audio sites catering to knowledable people who don't just settle for any box that produces sound, and not just by mass marketing and advertising. These companies are usually the result of individuals with a passion for audio who have dreams and bring them to fruition. The ones that succeed offer something special.

I'm not sure if I made your case because I went with a well regarded subwoofer model, but did not do any kind of hands-on comparison shopping with store-bought subwoofers. Basically, I relied on the good word of people that spoke from experience, and went with the internet option because at that time, the Adire Rava was basically the only sealed acoustic suspension subwoofer available for around $500. (Now, B&W and Atlantic Technology make comparable subwoofers in that price range, so who knows if I would've gone that same route today.)

It was a risk because I already gave someone my $400 (+ shipping) and would have had to shell out $40 for the return shipment if I did not like it (not to mention having to repack that 70 lb. monstrosity). And in actuality, if I had not taken the further step of calibrating the subwoofer with a parametric equalizer (the Rava sounded unbearably boomy out of the box because of my room acoustics), that subwoofer would have gotten a return trip to Adire's Seattle office. As it is, I'm happy with my purchase. But, I also realize that I don't know enough about the rest of the market to make any kind of generalized comparison with other options out there. Then again, I went the online route mostly because my options were otherwise limited for my criteria.

For my main speakers, the b&m stores were very useful not because some salesman dictated my choices to me, but because they gave me so many great options to choose from. I simply felt no need to expand my options by buying online speakers when I was already sifting between several good options that did not require an unfront investment just for listening privileges.

TinHere
12-08-2003, 11:40 PM
An online purchase isn't for everyone, and the fact that it worked for you and me doesn't mean that it will work for everyone. I understand your point that buying a subwoofer given the market and your purchasing parameters at the time was done because of the few options you had, and with bass you don't have to worry about a sonic signiture. I will also grant you that for someone who is going to listen to 35 speakers and has a real understanding of what they are hearing and what they like [this seperates you from many that my point addresses], and has the same concerns as you that the issue is a moot point as this is plainly not a way you wish to purchase speakers. However, for most of the buying public after reading comparisons of a number of speakers and making the determination that an online company offers the kind of sound they are looking for I still maintain that they can buy and try, and will more than likely get a set of speakers that exceeds the price/performance they will get at a b&m store. I'm certainly not arguing this is a buying method for you or for everyone. Most that take this route have been satisfied, and many have gotten speakers that exceeded their expectations. Bottom line is we both have speakers we like and can recommend to people who we think might like the same thing. The difference is I think almost everyone will like what I like, and you really know what you are listening to.

Can you tell me how you seperate the thread with the quotes? PM would be fine. TIA.

Pat D
12-09-2003, 09:31 AM
Can you tell me how you seperate the thread with the quotes? PM would be fine. TIA.

Well now, this is the Idiot's Guide, something even I can understand. :p You see the little quotey thingies at the beginning and the end. You could memorize the format--or, if you're dementia is too far advanced, as mine is--you can block and copy and paste. You copy and paste one of the 'begin' quotey thingies at the beginning of the section you want to quote, and you copy and paste one of the 'end' quotey thingies at the end of the passage you want to quote. This can be done multiple times as desired, and you can type in your comments in between.

Maybe Woochie has something better. But when I saw that he could do it, I knew there must be a way, so I figured out one.

46minaudio
12-09-2003, 11:39 AM
Just some thoughts,IMO if you can afford the shipping check the Axioms out.They measure well...Of course there are other Internet brands as well,and they do look good and are buillt with very good parts.Thats where the problem is.By the time you pay shipping for 3 or 4 internet brands all savings are out the window...As far as them a better buy than B&M.That would be up to the person doing the listening.If I were doing this again I would have put Onix and ACI in the long list of speakers I tried..Thats just me though.You can also ask in different forums what B&M speakers sound like the Axioms.That may help you..IMO there are cheerleaders for both B&M brands as well as Internet only brands..The internet only cheerleaders do seem more vocal..Most here remember Alex for norh.As woochifer said it all about preference..Take daigoro for example he was unimpressed with a speaker RGA touted as the best ever...Hope this helps...

TinHere
12-09-2003, 11:42 AM
You copy and paste one of the 'begin' quotey thingies at the beginning of the section you want to quote, and you copy and paste one of the 'end' quotey thingies at the end of the passage you want to quote.

Thanks Pat D. After Norm's post and Chris's response I had a revelation and found the answer in the FAQ. I just hope I can remember next time I want to use it. :D

Woochifer
12-09-2003, 12:08 PM
An online purchase isn't for everyone, and the fact that it worked for you and me doesn't mean that it will work for everyone. I understand your point that buying a subwoofer given the market and your purchasing parameters at the time was done because of the few options you had, and with bass you don't have to worry about a sonic signiture. I will also grant you that for someone who is going to listen to 35 speakers and has a real understanding of what they are hearing and what they like [this seperates you from many that my point addresses], and has the same concerns as you that the issue is a moot point as this is plainly not a way you wish to purchase speakers. However, for most of the buying public after reading comparisons of a number of speakers and making the determination that an online company offers the kind of sound they are looking for I still maintain that they can buy and try, and will more than likely get a set of speakers that exceeds the price/performance they will get at a b&m store. I'm certainly not arguing this is a buying method for you or for everyone. Most that take this route have been satisfied, and many have gotten speakers that exceeded their expectations. Bottom line is we both have speakers we like and can recommend to people who we think might like the same thing. The difference is I think almost everyone will like what I like, and you really know what you are listening to.

Can you tell me how you seperate the thread with the quotes? PM would be fine. TIA.

Agreed. For my limited universe on the subwoofer purchase, the online route was a very viable and ultimately satisfying option for me. I just didn't feel an urge to go the online route with my main speakers because I was already very happy with my choices through the local b&m stores (plus, one of the stores was in my neighborhood and I try to support local independents whenever I can).

as far as framing quotes go, all you have to do is look for that bracketed "[ ]" tag that says something like "QUOTE=Woochifer" and paste in onto the beginning of whatever section you want to block off. At the end of the section you want to frame off, you just use a bracketed "[ ]" tag with "/QUOTE" inside. And repeat this for whatever quoted section you want to frame off. The instructions on how to do this and other stuff like insert graphics is on this link...

http://forums.audioreview.com/misc.php?do=bbcode

HighFlyer
12-09-2003, 12:19 PM
Thank you all for your excellent responses.

I have learned a lot, and I agree that I will need to demo these speakers before I purchase them.
In the meantime I have been auditioning many different speakers and have started to narrow down by preferences.

Axiom has advised me as to where I can demo some speakers locally so I will hopefully get the opportunity to do that soon.

Thanks again for all your help!

psonic
12-09-2003, 05:09 PM
i am in the market for a under $500 speaker, and the m22ti was something i was considering per the glowing online reviews and hype but i think i will remove them from my list now.

below is the 2 most recent user reviews on this for the highly acclaimed axiom m3ti, the speaker louded by sites such as soundstage:

Product Model Year:
2003

Summary:
I picked these up to run them as a zone 2 set off my Yamaha RXV 1400 in the living room upstairs. A friend of mine works at Audioshop and got me a good deal on a set. They do the job quite nicely, and definitely need some break in time to open up. However, I have a 4 year old set of Paradigm Titans in my bedroom that can be bought new for much cheaper that simply outclass these speakers in every area. The Paradigm Mini-Monitors,(which are very close in price) I have as rears in my HT setup, blow these out of the water. I can't say that these Axiom's are bad. They are actually a very accurate, responsive speaker at low volumes, and only lose a bit of bass and mid-range at higher volumes. They look beautiful, and don't feel cheap at all. I listen to Blues, Jazz, and Classical music mostly, and that seems to be where these fall apart, particularly at the higher frequencies. Imaging is above average for a bookshelf, but the high end frequencies really suffer. I don't have a sub in the living room, since it's mostly my wife's and she wouldn't let me, but there's enough bass to please most people.
All in all, these speakers are good, and I would highly recommend anyone sampling bookshelf speakers, to give these a listen. But I was a little disappointed at the value these things give you compared to my older Paradigm Titans and new Mini Monitors. Not sure if Axiom is coming up short, or if Paradigm is over-achieving. If they weren't so pretty and my friend's paycheque wasn't affected I'd probably return them.

Strengths:
good frequency responce, tight accurate bass, decent imaging, beautiful design

Weaknesses:
get sloppy at higher volumes, not great for demanding musical sources (classical, opera, jazz) maybe slightly overpriced compared to competitors (ie: Paradigm

Product Model Year:
2003

Summary:
I listened for a month. The speaker does most things well. The bass is rich for a small speaker. The treble is smooth. Percussion is punchy but not aggressive. Its easy to drive. Unfortunately, the speaker continually disappointed when I listened to singing. Male voices in particular were tilted towards the nasal, exhibiting a colder tone I have heard on familiar albums. I compared the Axiom to the Spender 3/5 (a more expensive speaker admittedly) and the Sound Dynamics 300-ti. Both speakers provided the warmth I was missing in vocal offerings with the Axiom. I tried the Axiom with a CJ amp then a VTL amp and finally a Counterpoint amp. Nothing improved the voice problem. Voices were simply unpleasant. I finally returned the speakers for a refund. If you listen to much singing (jazz and/or classical) this speaker may not be your best choice despite its other strengths and bargain price.

just thought i'd share this with you guys considering axiom as your next speaker; they did not fare well here directly against other speakers; i am going to go listen to the b&w dm602 locally. this store carries paradigm so i will give the similarly priced models a listen also, though i really like what i've read of the 602. anyone know if the v3 is worth the extra $$ over the s2 used?

HighFlyer
12-09-2003, 05:44 PM
Thanks for the review.

What is the general rule of thumb for used prices vs. original prices for used speakers?
Anything to look out for when checking them out? Thanks

RGA
12-09-2003, 07:09 PM
Again, irrelevant to the question at hand because you're bringing reliability and recall history into a discussion on produc reviews, which are almost always based on short-term product tests, not statistical surveys of repair history. What audio product review out there makes those considerations? They might make a tacit remark about the build quality, but that says zilch about whether a product will last for the long-term or if their components have design defects.

No are you clueless. Most speakers and audio equipment even CHEAP audio equipment especially speakers will last you a decade. Build quality is not a MAJOR aspect of buying a set of speakers as it is with a car. Reliability IN A CAR is, for most sane people, one of the major factos in the buying decision. And the Lemon Aid has a new car guide as well. I have not seen it but part of any car review that is basically another rehash of an older car would be a big fat warning that gee the last three years of this car has shown it it to ba a disaster of modern car building so whuile we like the seats and the power windows expect that in all likelyhood neither will make it past the first year. There is no fault with making a predictive value based of a companies ATROCIOUS track record of building Bad cars, cars that catch fire, cars that roll over, and cars that explode, over the last 40 years. If I can find the New car guide I'll find their NEW review of the car.


"No sillier than your belief that people who make purchases do so because they just don't know better."

Some do some don't...you assum that all people know better? If they do why come here and ask for advice...????D''uhh. Obviously they don't know everything...and this place is an advice forum not an end-all I'm right forum. My responses are overly opinionated I grant, but it is just IMO.

"And if I was a speaker manufacturer and saw how grossly incompetently UHF conducted their center speaker comparison, I wouldn't want to send them a product sample either. It's one thing to avoid a tough critic, it's quite another to prefer that competent reviewers test your product. (link plus my comments in a prior thread)"

And no one is perfect you? They had numerous write-ins in the latest issue(they are speeding up) about their mishandled center speaker search...and they replied and admitted their faults, with an explanation as to what it was that they were trying to do. At least they are unafraid to to get involved and take the heat. Once again they were adding a speaker to an already 2 channel system. There is not a lot one can do in a tight space when there is no center speaker available for what you own. A lot of older subscribers are in that position and a lot of peopleare not prepared to give up perfectly good speakers. Their mistake is suggesting that they have a Home theater reference system - which it's most certainly not.

"Again, no conspiracies here. I don't always agree with John Atkinson's reviews, but his measuring methodology is consistent, replicable, and valid. Try reading the technical portion of the reviews sometime. He's also a sound engineer by profession who's done reference quality recordings of live performances. The measurements are what they are. You don't have to like the speakers just because of what the measurements tell you. Or with your assertions, hate them just because they measure closer to flat. If there's any disagreeing to do, take issue with the subjective portion of the reviews, since that's really nothing more than opinion anyway."

I don't dispute the measurement itself...like stats...people can opine about them twist them and hide aspects etc. Stats are stats...can't argue with the stat or the measurement...you can argue how valid they are. I also don't dislike speakers that measure closer to flat. Being close in horseshoes is fine...i'm going to pay MUCH closer attention to measurements because I am seeing a correlation in speakers I dislike a spike anywhere above 10khz is generrally annoying...still have a lot more to go. The new 100V3 looks like it doesn't do that...a good sign.

"The Studio 100 in question does have frequency peaks in the aforementioned places, plus a slight rise in the midbass. But, most of the MIDRANGE has a very flat frequency response, which is exactly what research by the NRC and others have identified as one of the top, if not the top, design criteria. I don't see why you would object to that finding. Your most persistent objection is with how speaker companies handle the highs, but "etched" highs are not what the NRC research identified as a design criteria. So your attacks on the research itself are misplaced at best."

But not everyone selected the speaker did they...they have an idea of what they're testing actually means not a fact. They have no idea if people reacted positively to the flatness or a given speaker's frequency...not enough people were tested nor was it a typical listening requirement over long term musical listening. Lots of speakers i like over an hour and despise after that hour...and their test we'll never know will we? And it may be that I'm in the Minority camp of those that didn't choose what the majority chose. And let's assume I'm in that minority for the sake of argument. If I just paid attention to the test and to measurements going "with the odds" then I would have bought a speaker that isn't right for me. Sorry but if I'm dropping a few grand on speakers I'm not "going with the odds" I'm going to listen. And I'll be quite content if "oh well" I'm not in the larger statistic of a small poll.

"The listening research that's been done isn't perfect, but it's certain more valid and reliable than trying to evaluate design criteria in a non-controlled environment. Without a controlled environment, you introduce myriad other variables that need to be accounted for, few of which have any relevance for speaker design."

Okay...then the only magazine worth getting is HiFi Choice...because it's the ONLY magazine that comes remotely close to a controlled test...it's not perfect either, but they do measurements and blind and a panel and you get different opinions. UHF does all of this too but not blind so it's next closest and What Hi-fi compares directly against the majority of name competitors also in a panel.

These are not tests...nor do they need to be. They are subjective listening Sessions and evaluation based on those...people test cars too, but you're willing to accept their review of initial quality and care zero for Lemon-aid's objective results. On a car the latter is all I care about especially for a non performance car.

With sound YOU have to listen because most people won't have a clue about the measurements nor care.

RGA
12-09-2003, 07:17 PM
Bottom line is we both have speakers we like and can recommend to people who we think might like the same thing. The difference is I think almost everyone will like what I like, and you really know what you are listening to.

Can you tell me how you seperate the thread with the quotes? PM would be fine. TIA.

TinHere. Perhaps something that would help people is that you compare the speaker to something the person can listen to. Paul Lam I believe compared the Axiom to a smoother version of the Paradigms for significantly less money. Thus is you're looking at Paradigm and you hear this type of comment from several people and if you like the Paradigm sound then you, as a buyer, are more willing to take the chance and order the speakers.

But too often the only thing said about an Axiom or a nOhr is "This speaker blows everything else away by a mile and is way better than any speaker at ten times the price". This is an extreme example but it's the kind of thing I have read on nOhr threads. Blowing it away doesn't tell me much.

I like my speakers a great deal but I can't say it "blows" away the N805. I like it better, but the N805 has strong merrits.

RGA
12-09-2003, 07:39 PM
i am in the market for a under $500 speaker, and the m22ti was something i was considering per the glowing online reviews and hype but i think i will remove them from my list now.

below is the 2 most recent user reviews on this for the highly acclaimed axiom m3ti, the speaker louded by sites such as soundstage:

Strengths:
good frequency responce, tight accurate bass, decent imaging, beautiful design

Weaknesses:
get sloppy at higher volumes, not great for demanding musical sources (classical, opera, jazz) maybe slightly overpriced compared to competitors (ie: Paradigm

Product Model Year:
2003

Summary:
I listened for a month. The speaker does most things well. The bass is rich for a small speaker. The treble is smooth. Percussion is punchy but not aggressive. Its easy to drive. Unfortunately, the speaker continually disappointed when I listened to singing. Male voices in particular were tilted towards the nasal, exhibiting a colder tone I have heard on familiar albums. I compared the Axiom to the Spender 3/5 (a more expensive speaker admittedly) and the Sound Dynamics 300-ti. Both speakers provided the warmth I was missing in vocal offerings with the Axiom. I tried the Axiom with a CJ amp then a VTL amp and finally a Counterpoint amp. Nothing improved the voice problem. Voices were simply unpleasant. I finally returned the speakers for a refund. If you listen to much singing (jazz and/or classical) this speaker may not be your best choice despite its other strengths and bargain price.



Trouble with this is it's an opinion...just like MY opinion...none of our OPINIONS mean jack squat since you're the one buying the bloody speakers.

The second person here is comparing them to a much more expensive speaker...well gee wiz what a shock.

You can take this opinion with a grain of salt to. But the forst guy loved the Titan over the Axiom. The Titan is IMO to my ear is a dreadful for the money and it's just dreadful sounding to me. People - don't get offended I have heard it many times well set-up and a fiends roomate has them and they never fail to irritate me. If the Axiom is truly WORSE than the Titan then run away IMO. I find it hard to believe myself that a speaker can possibly sound hollower and tinnier in this price range...but I suppose it's possible.

And despite my harsh words...you will find many who are thrilled by the sound, good reviews abound etc. You have to listen...My suggestion is to listen to the Titan for a LONG(several hours 4+) audition with good and lesser recordings...classical and acoustic music. Try different ones the store carries...preferably the room will ONLY have one set of speakers in it to remove sympathetic vibrations. Personally it only took me about 15 minutes to be irritated...so you may have 3 hours and 45 minutes+ to listen to something else.

I have heard Axiom/Paradigm comparison a lot so presumably they will sound similar. If you hate the Paradigm chances are you will hate the Axiom...if you love the Paradigm then Axiom may be a steal.

But don't base your opinion on what people here are telling you...I have not directly heard the Axiom...the few people here who have heard seem to like them...I seriously doubt they will be a bad speaker...and in life...there is always something better.

psonic
12-09-2003, 08:18 PM
RGA, well i dont exactly love the paradigm, i just stated i would audition the ones comparable to the dm602 b&w (probably the monitor series), while at the dealer, this is the one i am most interested in at my budget...have you heard the s2 vs. the s3 602?

Woochifer
12-09-2003, 08:48 PM
No are you clueless. Most speakers and audio equipment even CHEAP audio equipment especially speakers will last you a decade. Build quality is not a MAJOR aspect of buying a set of speakers as it is with a car. Reliability IN A CAR is, for most sane people, one of the major factos in the buying decision. And the Lemon Aid has a new car guide as well. I have not seen it but part of any car review that is basically another rehash of an older car would be a big fat warning that gee the last three years of this car has shown it it to ba a disaster of modern car building so whuile we like the seats and the power windows expect that in all likelyhood neither will make it past the first year. There is no fault with making a predictive value based of a companies ATROCIOUS track record of building Bad cars, cars that catch fire, cars that roll over, and cars that explode, over the last 40 years. If I can find the New car guide I'll find their NEW review of the car.

And again, it has ZERO relevance in a discussion on product reviews. You keep bringing the reliability issue up to discredit car reviewers, yet they base their reviews entirely on a short-term test of a new model. Why should they account for reliability when they mostly test new models that have no reliability history, and most of their evaluation criteria revolve around performance, features, and subjective driveability? Like I mentioned before, the Ford Focus drives very well compared to other compact cars that I've rented. Definitely worthy of the accolades that it receives. Their reliability history has NO MEANING to me during my one to two day rental period unless the thing breaks down. Same deal goes with a product reviewer, whether they're testing cars or audio equipment.


Some do some don't...you assum that all people know better? If they do why come here and ask for advice...????D''uhh. Obviously they don't know everything...and this place is an advice forum not an end-all I'm right forum. My responses are overly opinionated I grant, but it is just IMO.

Again, you're making an assumption that consumers make the decisions that they do because they don't know any better. They usually come in here so that they do know better when making a decision, which in turn negates your original assertion because getting good information means that they CAN make an informed decision.


And no one is perfect you? They had numerous write-ins in the latest issue(they are speeding up) about their mishandled center speaker search...and they replied and admitted their faults, with an explanation as to what it was that they were trying to do. At least they are unafraid to to get involved and take the heat. Once again they were adding a speaker to an already 2 channel system. There is not a lot one can do in a tight space when there is no center speaker available for what you own. A lot of older subscribers are in that position and a lot of peopleare not prepared to give up perfectly good speakers. Their mistake is suggesting that they have a Home theater reference system - which it's most certainly not.

Not perfect, but probably better informed about the role of center speakers and timbre matching than their center speaker comparison shows. Good to know that they fessed up and admitted that they fouled up their initial product reviews. It is difficult to find a good center speaker match for an older pair of audiophile speakers, but UHF's process of finding a center speaker for THEIR reference system has very limited applicability for anyone who does not own the same speakers that they use. If they had just brought in the matching main speakers with those center speakers that they tested, their review could have been very insightful and a lot more useful to their readers. As such, it was a lost opportunity because the center speakers that they reviewed rarely get tested by the home theater oriented magazines.


But not everyone selected the speaker did they...they have an idea of what they're testing actually means not a fact. They have no idea if people reacted positively to the flatness or a given speaker's frequency...not enough people were tested nor was it a typical listening requirement over long term musical listening. Lots of speakers i like over an hour and despise after that hour...and their test we'll never know will we? And it may be that I'm in the Minority camp of those that didn't choose what the majority chose. And let's assume I'm in that minority for the sake of argument. If I just paid attention to the test and to measurements going "with the odds" then I would have bought a speaker that isn't right for me. Sorry but if I'm dropping a few grand on speakers I'm not "going with the odds" I'm going to listen. And I'll be quite content if "oh well" I'm not in the larger statistic of a small poll.

As far as I know, the NRC's initial findings were based on a statistically significant sample, and they've kept conducting listening tests since then, which just adds to the sample size. So, I don't know why you keep bringing up these "small poll" arguments. Your objections about how to identify causal factors are easy to verify using any number of statistical methodologies that identify and rank causal variables. I don't know what statistical methodology the NRC used, but I've used cluster analysis in social research that included at least 100 quantifiable variables. Not that hard to deploy that kind of methodology to a listening test where the speakers were consistently measured and evaluated based on several variables.

Your argument about long-term listening is valid to a point. But, keep in mind that in Floyd Toole's listening tests, the listener controls the duration of the sound playback and which speaker they hear (but they can't see the speaker, so it eliminates one source of bias). It's not some researcher going back and forth at random with a DBX unit. The whole point of the research is not identify what speakers people would take home, it's to identify the causal factors that lead people to prefer one unit over another. You seem fixated on brand identification. The research is useful to speaker designers, because no one can make a perfect speaker, so research can help them prioritize the design parameters. You seem to believe that research has made speaker audio quality decline, and I beg to differ especially comparing today's affordable speakers with what was available 20 years ago.


Okay...then the only magazine worth getting is HiFi Choice...because it's the ONLY magazine that comes remotely close to a controlled test...it's not perfect either, but they do measurements and blind and a panel and you get different opinions. UHF does all of this too but not blind so it's next closest and What Hi-fi compares directly against the majority of name competitors also in a panel.

Apples and oranges. The NRC and similar listening tests are done with much bigger samples than the "small" panel that Hi-Fi Choice uses. And those listening tests were not done to recommend one speaker over another, they were done to identify specific causal factors, which is not the same thing. Plus, you've previously brought up Hi-Fi Choice's "reference" system. Well, that introduces a source of bias into the mix because the reviewers are now listening specifically for something that sounds as similar as possible to that "reference" system.


These are not tests...nor do they need to be. They are subjective listening Sessions and evaluation based on those...people test cars too, but you're willing to accept their review of initial quality and care zero for Lemon-aid's objective results. On a car the latter is all I care about especially for a non performance car.

And that's the distinction between research oriented listening tests and what Hi-Fi Choice does. Hi-Fi Choice has a commercial purpose of recommending specific components, the NRC research uses a much more involved process of technical measurements and correlates that explicitly with subjective opinions.

And PLEASE get away from the car analogies. They contradict your audio arguments. You discredit car reviewers because all they care about is performance and not reliability. Yet, if an audio reviewer took the approach of rating only the reliability and disregarded the performance aspect of audio components, you'd be screaming and ranting all about that. Just as much as I'm sure you don't care much for entry level Yamaha receivers (among the most reliable audio components out there, but heaven forbid still just a receiver), car enthusiasts won't care much for a Toyota Corolla or Camry (stellar reliability but bland otherwise).

mtrycraft
12-09-2003, 11:16 PM
Not long ago Sony was caught because there was a reviewer who was giving great reviews to new movies under the Sony conglomorate...someone did some checking and the film critic didn't exist...it was Sony marketing who invented the critic and the glorious reviews.


Sony was caught demoing the SACD as well when they used unfair tactics to compare it to regular CD; different EQ, pahes shifting, etc.

Pat D
12-10-2003, 05:44 AM
I'm not saying there is absolutely no valididty to measurements because virtually EVERYBODY that lisens to the De capo comments on the midrange and the soundstage depth...naturally to do this there would be a corresponding measurement. Most people note this, would even without measurements presume that there would be a different measurement...after all they sound different there would HAVE to be. And yet if we go by the NRC most people SHOULD NOT like this speaker...which if any of the DBT dimwits would grab a clue indicates that gee whiz what happened in the real valid world is not corresponding to what is happening in the invalid test environment. And if it doesn't what the hell was the point of the test to start with. There is no price.looks brand name bias...they lose on all counts.

You have the strange idea that the NRC and Stereophile measurements indicate most people shouldn't like the De Capos. You don't tell us how you came to that conclusion. It sounds like black and white thinking to me, that is, limiting the alternatives to two extremes without any possibility of a position in between. But the measurements simply don't show that. They do show a non-flat midrange and rather interesting dispersion characteristics. It's just that we would expect that most people would prefer speakers with a flatter response and better off axis dispersion. This is not the same as to say they wouldn't like the De Capos, only they would likely prefer something else. And from your account of your Audio Note speakers, the speakers you actually bought :p , we could infer that you do, too.

headknocker
12-10-2003, 10:27 AM
I haven't heard the Axiom's but I've been told that their Mt3(?) bookshelf is very similar to my Michaura M55's. The Michaura's are "in your face"...the mids and highs jump out at you. On the other hand, the midbass is kinda weak. I think they sound great with classical and acoustic stuff but not as great with rock. The problem being the tweeter which is very detailed but kinda bright...the cymbal crashes in rock music seem to overwhelm it and it makes them sound brittle.

Choosing speakers is probably the most important decision that you're gonna make in your system..don't take it lightly. Personally, I really liked the sound and appearance of the Michaura's but my wife felt our original main speakers,Aura LSW-828's, provided a bigger impact for HT...and I can't say that I didn't feel the same way. The Michaura's are in storage waiting for me to upgrade the caps and resistors(which used to be a common topic at www.harmonicdiscord.com). After the upgrade I intend to throw them in our bedroom and team it with the $120 10" sub from Parts Express.

If you want more info on the Axiom's then head over to harmonicdiscord.com...2x6pods has had experience with the Axiom and Michaura speakers.

Good Luck.

RGA
12-10-2003, 12:15 PM
You have the strange idea that the NRC and Stereophile measurements indicate most people shouldn't like the De Capos. You don't tell us how you came to that conclusion. It sounds like black and white thinking to me, that is, limiting the alternatives to two extremes without any possibility of a position in between. But the measurements simply don't show that. They do show a non-flat midrange and rather interesting dispersion characteristics. It's just that we would expect that most people would prefer speakers with a flatter response and better off axis dispersion. This is not the same as to say they wouldn't like the De Capos, only they would likely prefer something else. And from your account of your Audio Note speakers, the speakers you actually bought :p , we could infer that you do, too.

LOL...now this actually is true and I can't deny it. I have thought it over and i have been defending that non flat deeper soundstaging as sounding very pleasing and yet it is ALSO the main reason I didn't BUY the speaker in the end. :D

RGA
12-10-2003, 12:18 PM
Sony was caught demoing the SACD as well when they used unfair tactics to compare it to regular CD; different EQ, pahes shifting, etc.

This is not surprising. It's the recording quality. Take a lousy cd recording and make a SACD out of it and re record or re-master it to sound wonderful and eveyone will look at the medium instead of the recording. But then they want to try and stop or slow down pirating and charge $20.00CDN a SACD instead of $9.99. Just another gimmick to sell you something because CD sales have plateaud(sp?).

RGA
12-10-2003, 12:34 PM
As far as I know, the NRC's initial findings were based on a statistically significant sample, and they've kept conducting listening tests since then, which just adds to the sample size. So, I don't know why you keep bringing up these "small poll" arguments. Your objections about how to identify causal factors are easy to verify using any number of statistical methodologies that identify and rank causal variables. I don't know what statistical methodology the NRC used, but I've used cluster analysis in social research that included at least 100 quantifiable variables. Not that hard to deploy that kind of methodology to a listening test where the speakers were consistently measured and evaluated based on several variables.

Your argument about long-term listening is valid to a point. But, keep in mind that in Floyd Toole's listening tests, the listener controls the duration of the sound playback and which speaker they hear (but they can't see the speaker, so it eliminates one source of bias). It's not some researcher going back and forth at random with a DBX unit. The whole point of the research is not identify what speakers people would take home, it's to identify the causal factors that lead people to prefer one unit over another. You seem fixated on brand identification. The research is useful to speaker designers, because no one can make a perfect speaker, so research can help them prioritize the design parameters. You seem to believe that research has made speaker audio quality decline, and I beg to differ especially comparing today's affordable speakers with what was available 20 years ago.

It is useful to speaker designers also for something to tout as a marketing tool. Bose certainly didn't ned good speakers to sell more than anyone else. Perhaps this is an attempt to sell more...but then if that were the case their speakers in real world applications would be doing it. And I don't see the result.

Long term tesing has nothing to do with a person sititng in a chair who gets to decide that he wants to listen for 8 minutes instead of 30 seconds.

Causal factors are fine...and once again within their study - which is not the same outside it take what you will.

Hi Fi Choice does not have a reference system...UHF does. Now if they're refernce is a poor one they could be introuble...but if there is a difference in cd players and amplifiers if you don't have a reference system then you have no idea what is causing the sound. With a reference you can add the new amp and see what happens. Of course none of this tells you if you'd like their reference. Hi Fi CHoice has tools for measuring...Hi Fi Choice and Stereophile suggest that the Audio Note AN E was a tool for measuring amplifiers cd players etc. Which makes me beg the question...if Peter Snell made such an accurate design in the 70s, why do we need Floyd Toole trying to make accurate speakers...Sounds like it was already done 30 years ago. Marketing??

Woochifer
12-10-2003, 01:45 PM
This is not surprising. It's the recording quality. Take a lousy cd recording and make a SACD out of it and re record or re-master it to sound wonderful and eveyone will look at the medium instead of the recording. But then they want to try and stop or slow down pirating and charge $20.00CDN a SACD instead of $9.99. Just another gimmick to sell you something because CD sales have plateaud(sp?).

If the end result is a disc that sounds better than before, what's wrong with that? There are plenty of CDs in my collection that to this day still sound way inferior to my old vinyl copies. Given that I also own plenty of CDs that sound better than their vinyl counterparts, I would have to assume that a better transfer or one that pays better attention to detail (like the original EQ settings with the vinyl master, etc.) would help. Whether that remastered/improved copy comes in the form of a SACD, CD, or DVD-A, is due to format or transfer quality is inconsequential.

And your attempt to give the format some conspiratorial angle doesn't really hold up since more and more dual layered SACD/CD hybrids are coming out, and those are sold for the exact same price as a regular CD. And you conveniently forgot about the multichannel audio capability of SACD as well, which to me is at least as important an advance as the opportunity to clean up deficiencies in badly done CD transfers. CD sales are declining because the recording industry is in an artistic rut, new artists and music genres cannot get exposure on the corporate controlled airwaves, and CD prices are too high to begin with considering that they're often the same price as a DVD that gives you so much more content plus multichannel audio.


It is useful to speaker designers also for something to tout as a marketing tool. Bose certainly didn't ned good speakers to sell more than anyone else. Perhaps this is an attempt to sell more...but then if that were the case their speakers in real world applications would be doing it. And I don't see the result.

Long term tesing has nothing to do with a person sititng in a chair who gets to decide that he wants to listen for 8 minutes instead of 30 seconds.

Causal factors are fine...and once again within their study - which is not the same outside it take what you will.

Hi Fi Choice does not have a reference system...UHF does. Now if they're refernce is a poor one they could be introuble...but if there is a difference in cd players and amplifiers if you don't have a reference system then you have no idea what is causing the sound. With a reference you can add the new amp and see what happens. Of course none of this tells you if you'd like their reference. Hi Fi CHoice has tools for measuring...Hi Fi Choice and Stereophile suggest that the Audio Note AN E was a tool for measuring amplifiers cd players etc. Which makes me beg the question...if Peter Snell made such an accurate design in the 70s, why do we need Floyd Toole trying to make accurate speakers...Sounds like it was already done 30 years ago. Marketing??

Why does marketing have this negative connotation with you? Anything you disagree with, you attribute it to marketing. You disagree with research findings, you call it marketing. You don't care for SACDs, you call it all some marketing conspiracy. You don't like how a speaker sounds, it was a marketing thing. Well, guess what, speaker companies are not in public service, they are BUSINESSES and they are out to make money, plain and simple. And whaddya know, they actually have to MARKET themselves in order to stay in business and produce the products that you either worship and rave about or condemn as the plague on this board. Without marketing, you wouldn't even know that the Audio Notes or Reference 3as of the world existed.

The Canadian speaker industry spawned the way that it did partly because the NRC's research gave speaker designers the information that they needed to create products that could compete with the best speakers of that era and eventually take over much of the market. The research that they did is considered important because it effectively merges qualitative data and subjective perceptions with a base of solid quantitatively based variables. I did the exact same kind of research with urban design and environmental psychology, and can tell you that kind of junction is not easy to achieve.

What makes you feel that the Snells were accurate speakers? Is this subjective opinion or your interpretation of technical data? In their day, the Snells were certainly among the more expensive speakers available. Are you then implying that speakers should just stay the same because a good design was done 30 years ago? 30 years ago, you had various factions like the west coast sound, British sound, New England sound, etc. and at the low end you basically had junk.

All the research that's been done in the meantime has brought more accurate sound down into the entry level price points. I sure as hell wouldn't want to be limited to the choices that existed 30 years ago. A lot of the iconoclastic boom and sizzle or yawn and bore speakers from the past got supplanted by speaker designs that had parameters more in line with what people wanted. That's why the old school west coast speakers are all but extinct, that's why companies like B&W changed, that's why companies that failed to adapt like Advent and KLH no longer drive the direction of the industry. Just so you know, Floyd Toole is not a speaker designer, he's an acoustic researcher and that's his current role at Harman. All that his listening tests are supposed to identify are causal factors that people subjectively regard as important. It's up to the designers to prioritize which of the identified causal factors they want to design around.

TinHere
12-10-2003, 10:54 PM
TinHere. Perhaps something that would help people is that you compare the speaker to something the person can listen to. Paul Lam I believe compared the Axiom to a smoother version of the Paradigms for significantly less money. Thus is you're looking at Paradigm and you hear this type of comment from several people and if you like the Paradigm sound then you, as a buyer, are more willing to take the chance and order the speakers.

But too often the only thing said about an Axiom or a nOhr is "This speaker blows everything else away by a mile and is way better than any speaker at ten times the price". This is an extreme example but it's the kind of thing I have read on nOhr threads. Blowing it away doesn't tell me much.

I like my speakers a great deal but I can't say it "blows" away the N805. I like it better, but the N805 has strong merrits.

We agree. IMHO until people have developed a real knowledge of the kind of sound they like that online only companies offer a real bang for the buck alternative. With some research of comparison threads that are available on many forums a person who has some idea of the kind of sound they like can find a match that will give them real bang for the buck and a product that they can audition in their home with their own gear for long enough to make a determination if it is a sonic signiture they want to live with. Those who already know what they like can do the same. I think there is a certain level of sound that can be achieved to satisfy many people and the point of diminishing returns is reached for less money via internet only companies. Some people have gone from one internet only company to another internet only company and felt either one offered more for their money than b&m stores both in value and customer service. If I had the knowledge and inclination to offer comparisons I would, but they are abundant on the net for anyone who wants to do a little research. I am a voice that suggests the online only alternative, and not what someone should like to hear.

The flame wars were mostly caused by people bashing what they had never heard, and people who owned the speakers offering opinions that others wanted to dismiss. The debates now are more concerned with preference than issues of the validity of the companies, and their ability to produce products that offer value/performance. Still some will say if it sounds to good to be true it usually is. I just think they are missing an opportunity to hear what others rave about.

RGA
12-10-2003, 11:24 PM
Tin here.

My focus which has long since been lost in endless bickering over stuff I've already bickerred about, was never to attack Axiom.

We are innundated with marketig left and right, technical arguments which are not bourne out by listening, sometimes bourne out is not enough. I would suggest an online comany is better for people who know what kind of sound they want...once you do and you get lots of similar assessments of an online company you can probably not go too too wrong...worst case you're out some money for shipping, best case is you got a better speaker for a few to several hundred less money.

A good gamble. Audio note started as kits for a decade and recently stopped some of their Kit sales or perhaps all of it.

RGA
12-10-2003, 11:51 PM
Wooch.

SACD: CD sales have plateud because of piracy...most music sales are top 40 garbage and it's been that way for 2 decades. Michael Jackson is the biggest selling Male vocalist ever and Madonna is either number 1 or 2. It ain't exactly Bartok or Miles Davis. Plateau is not from the crappy music, it's piracy [or that most people have unlistenable technically savy systems which sound dreadful...The brackets are a conspiracy theory] :D Besides...go after Mrty he said it first.

There is no accuracy - people's definition of the term changes...accuracy to atisfaction, accuracy to the disc, accuracy to live instruments...some are all three but certainly not conclusively proven as such.

Yes many old cheap speakers sucked and many new cheap speakers are much better...Though IMO a lot of new cheap speakers have traded horrible lows for horrible highs...take your horrible...at least the old ones could play loud and horrible and could rattle the walls with bass(The idea being if it's loud you might not notice if a few instruments were missing cause you'd be deaf pretty soon). The new ones desperately avoid bass because their boxes would resonate like bells. Qvortrup' mentions peaky response as something he loathes...looking at most speakers I see up and down up and down up and down all throughout the midrange of most speakers...I don't see a perfectly flat response some are more peaky than others and some are less so.

Finding the AN graphs are tough since they've been selling the speaker since 1992. Stereophile used the AN E to test equipment and was owned by one of their reviewers, may still be. And references are made to the measurements but there is no graph shown of the AN E. But I can hear, against many other highly touted ones...and since that is what I would do as an owner...you know listen, I figure it would help to try out the novel approach of listening to the speakers before i bought them.

As for Marketing...no problems...I found Audio Note without ever having heard of them...or a vague notion that they make tubes. No you listen and you find out. Instead of the marketing push pile it on you to build up your biases.

Most speakers today are better than most speakers from the 1970s, agreed. The designs then were just as viable then as they are today..today we use far better materials - generally not always.

And like most preferences the only person I had to convince was myself. I'm sure I could have bought a bigger name, and a different graph, and something that had lots of marketing so I'd see their picture every magazine I picked up, and I could read all those reviews in magazines I don't buy. And all of that might make me feel good about my purchase...but I didn't need that, I needed to listen.

I know you listened too. :cool:

TinHere
12-10-2003, 11:57 PM
Tin here.

My focus which has long since been lost in endless bickering over stuff I've already bickerred about, was never to attack Axiom.

We are innundated with marketig left and right, technical arguments which are not bourne out by listening, sometimes bourne out is not enough. I would suggest an online comany is better for people who know what kind of sound they want...once you do and you get lots of similar assessments of an online company you can probably not go too too wrong...worst case you're out some money for shipping, best case is you got a better speaker for a few to several hundred less money.

A good gamble. Audio note started as kits for a decade and recently stopped some of their Kit sales or perhaps all of it.

I said I agreed with what you said, and didn't mean to intimate that you were attacking Axiom. I'm rah-rah for the OLO companies that have received a lot of good ink, but I have only heard the Rockets, SVS, and HSU. Discussions of comparisons are a good thing. The more one knows about they like the more the can glean from reading the comparisons and the greater the chance to make a suitable selection.

kexodusc
12-11-2003, 09:04 AM
I'm fortunate enough to own the Axiom M3 Ti's, Paradigm Titans, and Paradigm Mini Monitors all spread out over 3 rooms in my house. I actually posted a review on all three not too long ago.
I'm not 100% sold on the Axioms for the following reasons:
1) bass/mid-range are slightly inadequate in these speakers. A friend pointed out to me the following(sorry, Paul): "the impedance curves of the Axiom series @60 hz and @ 2000 hz, the axioms have peaks of 30 ohms and 26 ohms respectively, this will cause any amplifier problems driving in the bass and midrange reason". This supports my claim.
2) Maybe it's just me, but in the last year I've seen more Axiom advertisements very cleverly and efficiently targeted towards beginning audio-enthusiasts than just about every other brand of speaker combined. Maybe this argument is subjective, but I prefer word of mouth (something Paradigm, PSB, B&W etc have in abundance, and Axiom is starting to generate admittedly) to sell speakers over effective marketing and Dell Computer's direct-to-consumer tricks-of the trade strategy.
That being said I really like the Axiom and am pleased they are emerging as a bonafide competitor. The speakers are beautiful in design, and above average in performance and value. The Titans are also truly solid speakers, but slightly cheaper. Truth be told I find them a bit better for most sound reproduction with the exception of some Jazz music, particularly with heavy brass/wind instruments. The Paradigm Mini-Monitors are far superior in every aspect, but cost slightly more.
If I give Axiom the benefit of the doubt, they are healthy competitor to the brands you've mentioned and definitely worth considering.
Finally, I've only listened to the bookshelf M3 Ti's I mentioned, and won't presume to apply these arguments across the entire product line, though one could reasonably extrapolate.
Hope this helps anyone considering Axiom.

Woochifer
12-12-2003, 01:42 PM
SACD: CD sales have plateud because of piracy...most music sales are top 40 garbage and it's been that way for 2 decades. Michael Jackson is the biggest selling Male vocalist ever and Madonna is either number 1 or 2. It ain't exactly Bartok or Miles Davis. Plateau is not from the crappy music, it's piracy [or that most people have unlistenable technically savy systems which sound dreadful...The brackets are a conspiracy theory] :D Besides...go after Mrty he said it first.

That whole nonsense about piracy is just parroting the idiotic propaganda that the RIAA has been perpetuating for the past three years. That fallacy ignores all the other trends that have been occurring and affecting the music industry.

1. The "next big thing" in music has not emerged. Most of what's been leading the way in music sales had its significant developmental period a long time ago (alternative in the early-90s [which spawned from punk of the late-70s], hip-hop during the 80s, house music in the late-80s [which had its roots in disco, which developed in the mid-70s], classic rock in the 60s, traditional jazz in the 30s through the 50s, etc.), which leaves lots of cliched and recycled music, and attention spans that can wander off to other forms of entertainment with music in an artistic rut. Right now, much of the music that the recording industry churns out is about as tired and recycled as album rock had gotten by the early-80s, which just happened to coincide with the last huge decline in the recording industry. And back then, the recording industry blamed cassette deck copying for sales losses and tried to collect royalties on blank tape media -- same old tired lies about piracy.

2. Radio consolidation has considerably narrowed the amount of new music that gets played (at least in the U.S.). 60% of all the rock-formatted stations are owned by Clear Channel. This has only occurred since 1996. Nothing that does not fit within the existing format parameters gets played. RIAA attempts to snuff out independent internet music stations don't help.

3. Competition for limited entertainment dollars by video games and DVDs. This trend is very much parallel to when the music industry last got knocked down in the early-80s, and that decline was worse than anything you see right now. Consumers only have so much to spend on entertainment. When new compelling options emerge, they don't necessarily spend more, they shift their spending into areas where they perceive greater value. And CDs with $19 list prices do not represent greater value. DVDs with their value added content that sell for under $20 do represent greater value. And don't forget that N. America's been in a recession as well, which can also limit entertainment spending.

4. Greed. When CDs were first introduced, they included a price premium over the price of LPs and cassettes. The record companies said it was necessary because CDs cost more to produce. Well, even when CD production costs got lower than records and cassettes, they never lowered the prices and continued to raise them. Until Universal rolled back their CD prices a couple of months ago, the recording industry did nothing to add value to CDs even when DVD began taking over the home entertainment market.

P.S. Most consumers don't buy music just because it sounds good. They'll buy it if it's good music, regardless of how it sounds. Only stick-in-the-rear audiophiles buy music because it sounds good regardless of how gawdawful the music itself is.

Michael Jackson and Madonna?! Neither of them have made an album of influence in ages. Most of what sells right now is basically recycled variations of hip-hop and alternative, and most of their artistic forebearers emerged AFTER MJ and Madonna broke into the biz. What will ultimately drive a music industry revival is music that breaks the existing molds and tries to move music forward. That's how it's gone with every form of pop music since the swing era -- the prevailing genres get so artistically bankrupt that significant change is not only inevitable but necessary. Technology can also help move the industry forward, as stereo once did and later the CD. Whether or not SACD or DVD-A can contribute remains to be seen.


There is no accuracy - people's definition of the term changes...accuracy to atisfaction, accuracy to the disc, accuracy to live instruments...some are all three but certainly not conclusively proven as such.

If it's accurate to you, and you believe it fine. But, the fact is that sound production is a physical phenomena that can be measured (remember the chapters on wave propagation in your physics classes?). How close the reproduction is to the original source constitutes accuracy. Naturally, speakers are mechanical transducers, and as such perfect accuracy is impossible. But, that does not discount the validity of measuring. The imperfections are in how people interpret them.

With speakers, providing a common base of data is what these measurements are all about. Your definitions of accuracy are all completely subjective, with zero commonality from one person to another. The current set of measures and testing procedures are by no means conclusive, but to dismiss it as no better than what people's ears can tell them is a fallacy. If your ears are more subjectively accurate than a measuring device, then why bother using a SPL meter or test tones when doing any kind of calibration procedures?


Yes many old cheap speakers sucked and many new cheap speakers are much better...Though IMO a lot of new cheap speakers have traded horrible lows for horrible highs...take your horrible...at least the old ones could play loud and horrible and could rattle the walls with bass(The idea being if it's loud you might not notice if a few instruments were missing cause you'd be deaf pretty soon). The new ones desperately avoid bass because their boxes would resonate like bells. Qvortrup' mentions peaky response as something he loathes...looking at most speakers I see up and down up and down up and down all throughout the midrange of most speakers...I don't see a perfectly flat response some are more peaky than others and some are less so.

You seem so fixated on the so-called "horrible highs" that you've lost track of everything else that's changed with speakers over the past 30 or so years. Those older boom and sizzle speakers that you seem to feel are a better trade-off than anything with those "horrible" highs also had fluctuations in the midrange and all kind of other problems in the highs (namely they didn't exist or were only audible by dialing that range up, which often led to distortion). Plus, the magnitudes of bass inaccuracies found in those older speakers were much greater and affected the other parts of the frequency range far more than the peaking in the highs that you see with a lot of current speakers. Even if you hate the highs on the newer entry level speakers (which I generally don't), the one area where they've generally improved by a huge margin is the midrange coherency.


Finding the AN graphs are tough since they've been selling the speaker since 1992. Stereophile used the AN E to test equipment and was owned by one of their reviewers, may still be. And references are made to the measurements but there is no graph shown of the AN E. But I can hear, against many other highly touted ones...and since that is what I would do as an owner...you know listen, I figure it would help to try out the novel approach of listening to the speakers before i bought them.

I'm not dismissing the importance of listening, and neither has the whole body of research out there that uses listening tests. The difference is that the NRC research proved that what people perceive and subjectively make note can correlate with how things measure. I don't know where you get this idea that the research was all about conclusively defining accuracy. I mean, you're the one who brought up the notion that the Snells (which I know the Audio Notes are based on) were so "accurate" in their day that any further research was good for nothing more than marketing purposes.


As for Marketing...no problems...I found Audio Note without ever having heard of them...or a vague notion that they make tubes. No you listen and you find out. Instead of the marketing push pile it on you to build up your biases.

But, without marketing, your local dealer would not have known about the Audio Note speakers. Without your local store displaying and demoing the speakers, you would not have ever heard them. Without marketing, you would not have even found your local store (yes, store front signage and word-of-mouth are yet other forms of marketing). Anytime a speaker gets out into the open and sold and demoed through a retail channel, it is marketed. Anytime, anybody tells you about a product with the expressed intent of selling it to you, they're marketing the product to you AND introducing you to a set of biases that they hope will lead you to make a purchase. Marketing's not a bad thing in itself because every good or bad product relies on it to induce a consumer to buy it. It's only when marketing tells flat out lies and touts virtues that are in fact liabilities (i.e. Bose, and multichannel output ratings) that I have a problem with it.


Most speakers today are better than most speakers from the 1970s, agreed. The designs then were just as viable then as they are today..today we use far better materials - generally not always.

And like most preferences the only person I had to convince was myself. I'm sure I could have bought a bigger name, and a different graph, and something that had lots of marketing so I'd see their picture every magazine I picked up, and I could read all those reviews in magazines I don't buy. And all of that might make me feel good about my purchase...but I didn't need that, I needed to listen.

I know you listened too. :cool:

No one's saying that you had to go with a bigger name. But, by extension that doesn't mean that if someone else comes to a different conclusion than you did, then they arrived at that conclusion because they were unduly influenced by marketing forces and exposure. No one else needs to validate whatever choice you made, but there's nothing wrong with a choice that's validated by others either.

RGA
12-12-2003, 07:14 PM
Wooch.

You seem to like to read a lot into what people say. I suppose you have proof of your points 1-3 or is this the way you see the industry. I don't disagree necessarily because I mostly live in pre 1990 stuff. People buy music for different things...I personally can't stand listening to RAP music though I recognize people have something to say through their music I don't really buy music for the preachers or wallowers.

I am not really going to get into the discussion of SACD or DVD-A. In Canada the mediums have regressed. Sony pulled their dirt cheap SACD player and in fact I was planning to get it. Regardless I'd have to order them via internet which would drive the price further up due to shipping. In the end I still have 2 channel so why bother? At least for me for now.

The NRC I've already gone over...it's interesting but the bottom line is that people like speakers that don't corrrelat to their correlation. They certainly have not Proven anything, they show a generality based on short term small sample correlations. Most people may listen to 8 speakers and pick a speaker that measures a certain way...the word most is there and it's not the same as normal listening long term. I understand the marketing aspect, and even the designers reasoning but i have heard a great deal of the speakers put out by Harman(who advertise the NRC results), and I personally am not a fan of the speakers that Harman puts out. Maybe I'm in that 5% of those who didn't select their speaker.

And you're being too general with old speakers versus new speakers. I'm 29. I basically started listening to late 1980's speakers and have gone back to hear classics here and there. The old Quads and Klisphhorns. So in point of interest the Audio Note is a NEW sound to me as are tubes and turntables to many a younger crowd. Both of which sees sales rapidly rising.

As for marketing I'm not against marketing...It's a business and they advertise their stuff.

Marketing however does push people in certain directions...otherwise Marketers certainly would not bother putting Coke adverts on tv...pretty sure everyone knows about Coca-Cola. And Paradigm and B&W would not post full page adverts in every issue of every audio magazine they possibly can. This is not a bad thing as they are big companies and they have competition that do it all the time. And when Joe Shmoe goes to his local High end dealer he is bound to see the big companies in the store B&W, Dynaudio, ML, Energy Veritas Etc.

All of this is perfectly fine - my suggestion here is that most people will read multitudes of mainstream magazines and see those big advertising pushes and bypass the less flashy much superior stuff for the same money because those comapanies don't need to add 20% margin into their product to cover advertising campains. Advertising costs a LOT of money...and the MORE money that went into that didn't go into the speaker.

Our ear you give little merit too. It is not too difficult to set-up speakers in a room by ear. Subs are another matter.(not impossible but it's too time consuming by ear).

My choice of speakers you are right would not have been arrived at if the dealer had not 1) had the resources and space to carry AN 2) the non fear of carrying a lesser known company against the big boys of Paradigm, B&W and ML. Indeed, carrying those big brands allows My dealer to carry the high end gear they themselves put in their home. By selling the Big brands they "cover" from a number of sales perspective for the low sales of a Totem or Reference 3a. The dealer said that all of last year they sold 6 pairs of Totems, where as they sell buckets of the other stuff. But they don't mind because it's about giving the customer selection and 6 people selected the Totems. Presumably Audio Note is selling because they are soon to dump ML, they have yet to replace their upper B&W N801 and N802, etc. They dumped McIntosh for the AN Amps and they dumped Linn(or carry them as an order only) for the AN turntables - which are considerably cheaper - better as well?? maybe.

Granted B&W and Paradigm make far cheaper speakers and the lower lines of course sell the most - and Totem has a pretty high price even on their entry level which is likely why Totem doesn't sell in huge numbers. I know that AN's goal is to make a highly accurate speaker...so are most companies' goals. From a practical buying level...you have to listen to the speakers...because some flatter speakers sound abysmal..being flat in the midband is fine but the highs are more off putting than a dip in the midrange or a midbass hump to me.

The De Capo is a prime example...was this speaker in the listening session? was a speaker with this exact graph in the listening session? and if I wasn't in the listening session it doesn't help ME. It only tells me that 190 out of 200 people preferred a flat graph...but what if I would have been in the 10? I don't play the odds if I'm dropping thousands of dollars...I listen. The subjective reports, which is the way people listen, concur about the sound, the measurements agree with what people hear...midrange magic. That lush very pleasing sound is not correct according to the flat graph but subjectively listening to a piano through it sounds far more like a piano than say the much flatter N805 or PMC TB2 and no offense but the Studio 40...and it's not particularly hard to tell. No offense to these other fine speakers with the prettier graph...real world however is different. Note I'm not saying it is wrong for someone to choose the N805 etc. Just that most people according to every dealer in my area only come in to listen to the gear they know by name and thus the 3a sits in a corner.

Even I had to be pushed into giving the AN a try - because i was like "who the hell is Audio Note?"(some vague rememberance of the name somewhere) And I'm on audio forums a lot...forget the guy who buys nothing but sound and vision.

Woochifer
12-12-2003, 09:43 PM
You seem to like to read a lot into what people say. I suppose you have proof of your points 1-3 or is this the way you see the industry. I don't disagree necessarily because I mostly live in pre 1990 stuff. People buy music for different things...I personally can't stand listening to RAP music though I recognize people have something to say through their music I don't really buy music for the preachers or wallowers.

I've written on this subject in the past. It's pretty easy to follow how the trends forment by looking at what sells and then following back a few years to trace the artistic forebearers. Often the groundbreaking music isn't what sells, it's whoever takes that lead and manages to make it appealing to the mainstream who benefits from it monetarily. Chuck Berry was one of the most important rock and roll pioneers, but it was Elvis that broadened the audience made it mainstream and sold millions of records. Run DMC, Public Enemy, and NWA each broke significant ground in hip hop's infancy, while more mainstream artists MC Hammer took that lead and turned it into multiplatinum sales, and Britney Spears is the current bastardized outcome of that whole lineage. The ground that bands like the Beatles, The Who, and Led Zeppelin broke in the late-60s and early-70s eventually led down the path to Journey, Loverboy, Asia and other mainstream artists who sold a lot of albums but really broke no new ground.

I lived through the last big crisis in the recording industry in the early-80s, and read all sorts of articles on how the recording industry was going all to hell because of people duping albums onto cassettes or because teenagers were dumping quarters into arcade games or playing Atari instead of buying music or because this newfangled VCR device and movie renting was fundamentally shifting entertainment spending habits.

Aside from those market trends, the problem was that there was nothing new and exciting going on in music (at least what got exposed to mainstream audiences). Well, the recording industry survived. The early-80s was merely a rough transition period where "the next big things" namely hip-hop and alternative (parallel to new wave and punk) were still brewing under the mainstream radar, and what you had instead was tired music genres going through the motions. I see all too many parallels to what the recording industry is going through now.

I know about entertainment spending because I track data from consumer expenditure surveys. The gross spending on entertainment does not vary by all that much, but where it goes can shift very quickly (the rise in DVD revenues just happens to coincide with the decline in CD sales; as much as the RIAA likes to blame piracy, I don't see these two trends as unrelated). Just as the rise of video games tracked with the decline in music sales in the early-80s, the decline in the video game industry by the mid-80s coincided with the resurgence of music sales in conjunction with the CD format and changes in the music landscape.


I am not really going to get into the discussion of SACD or DVD-A. In Canada the mediums have regressed. Sony pulled their dirt cheap SACD player and in fact I was planning to get it. Regardless I'd have to order them via internet which would drive the price further up due to shipping. In the end I still have 2 channel so why bother? At least for me for now.

Check again. Sony pulled that SACD player because they sell a DVD/SACD player for even less than that unit. Not much of a market for a standalone audio-only player (have you tried looking for a decent CD player in the $200 range lately?). SACD sales are increasing because more and more releases are coming out as SACD/CD hybrids. Even if your local store does not have a separate section devoted to SACDs, they're still selling them. If anything, everybody should be pulling for SACD and DVD-A to succeed because it will finally give a second chance to revisit all those albums that got those horrid transfers when the CD format was taking off. The difference that a careful remastering job along with a high res digital carrier makes can be remarkable compared to a hackjob CD transfer (which the majority of early CDs were, and most of which have yet to get fixed).


The NRC I've already gone over...it's interesting but the bottom line is that people like speakers that don't corrrelat to their correlation. They certainly have not Proven anything, they show a generality based on short term small sample correlations. Most people may listen to 8 speakers and pick a speaker that measures a certain way...the word most is there and it's not the same as normal listening long term. I understand the marketing aspect, and even the designers reasoning but i have heard a great deal of the speakers put out by Harman(who advertise the NRC results), and I personally am not a fan of the speakers that Harman puts out. Maybe I'm in that 5% of those who didn't select their speaker.

Again, the research was NOT about picking a set of recommended speakers, or identifying which speakers people liked better. It was about correlating how measurable characteristics correspond to people's subjective preferences and observations. You're so fixated on brand identification and your own listenings that you can't see the point of what the research was really all about. It was never about marketing, it was about finding a verifiable and replicatable junction between the quantitative and quantitative. In statistical research, this is one of the most difficult types to conduct because you have to control the variables in such a way as to make the findings valid and replicatable, but not make it so wide open and subjective as to be meaningless. Floyd Toole has not been on board with Harman long enough for his research to find its way throughout their entire lineup yet, and it's only beginning to find its way in with products like Infinity's RABOS system, which is at the forefront of what looks like an upcoming wave of products that calibrate for room acoustics.


And you're being too general with old speakers versus new speakers. I'm 29. I basically started listening to late 1980's speakers and have gone back to hear classics here and there. The old Quads and Klisphhorns. So in point of interest the Audio Note is a NEW sound to me as are tubes and turntables to many a younger crowd. Both of which sees sales rapidly rising.

The speakers you mention are classics because they have an ongoing following that likes the quality and characteristics specific to those speakers. My friend's Klipschorns remain one of the best sets of speakers that I've heard, and there's a reason why Klipsch still makes that model. However, Quads and Klipschorns were considered high end components in their time. You probably have not listened to a lot of the entry level speakers of that era. Believe me, you don't want to. The trend towards smaller bookshelf speakers at the entry level is a welcome change from big, bulky, but surprisingly lightweight speakers of that era. Basically, you're talking about floorstanding speakers that weighed less than a Paradigm Mini Monitor, and instead of being tall and narrow, had cigarette pack dimensions. Rather than extended highs, they had distorted highs. Rather than limited bass, they had boomy bass. Rather than linear midrange, they had choppy response. Yes, it's a generality, but the welcome development over the past 30 years is that those types of speakers as a category have disappeared altogether.


Marketing however does push people in certain directions...otherwise Marketers certainly would not bother putting Coke adverts on tv...pretty sure everyone knows about Coca-Cola. And Paradigm and B&W would not post full page adverts in every issue of every audio magazine they possibly can. This is not a bad thing as they are big companies and they have competition that do it all the time. And when Joe Shmoe goes to his local High end dealer he is bound to see the big companies in the store B&W, Dynaudio, ML, Energy Veritas Etc.

All of this is perfectly fine - my suggestion here is that most people will read multitudes of mainstream magazines and see those big advertising pushes and bypass the less flashy much superior stuff for the same money because those comapanies don't need to add 20% margin into their product to cover advertising campains. Advertising costs a LOT of money...and the MORE money that went into that didn't go into the speaker.

But, every big company started small at some point. Paradigm was only founded in 1982, Energy and ML started up around the same time as well. At some point, the quality of the product or filling a perceived need in the market has to count for something. It's not just marketing driving everything. Even as derided as the Bose Acoustimass systems are, when they were introduced in 1983 they filled a market gap that nobody else thought to do -- some people just don't want big speakers in their house.

The thing about a small company is that they have other costs to cover. In relative terms, administrative overhead has less economy of scale than with larger companies. Outsourcing costs are potentially higher because of lower volumes. So, I don't necessarily believe that a company puts more of their budget into the actual product costs than a larger company just because they are small. They can't afford to advertise, but they market in other ways that in relative terms might cost just as much as a multipage magazine spread would cost to a larger company.


Our ear you give little merit too. It is not too difficult to set-up speakers in a room by ear. Subs are another matter.(not impossible but it's too time consuming by ear).

Not impossible, but definitely impossible to do consistently, especially with a five speaker setup. A subwoofer is not merely time consuming to setup by ear, it's impossible to do right because human hearing does not perceive the lower frequencies at the same level as other frequencies.


My choice of speakers you are right would not have been arrived at if the dealer had not 1) had the resources and space to carry AN 2) the non fear of carrying a lesser known company against the big boys of Paradigm, B&W and ML. Indeed, carrying those big brands allows My dealer to carry the high end gear they themselves put in their home. By selling the Big brands they "cover" from a number of sales perspective for the low sales of a Totem or Reference 3a. The dealer said that all of last year they sold 6 pairs of Totems, where as they sell buckets of the other stuff. But they don't mind because it's about giving the customer selection and 6 people selected the Totems. Presumably Audio Note is selling because they are soon to dump ML, they have yet to replace their upper B&W N801 and N802, etc. They dumped McIntosh for the AN Amps and they dumped Linn(or carry them as an order only) for the AN turntables - which are considerably cheaper - better as well?? maybe.

Just about every dealer I've dealt with handles at least one less recognized brand. There's really not much to fear with a lesser known company if it's a good product. My Paradigm dealer carries Innersound, Avantgarde, and Joseph Audio, none of which are exactly household names. But, they carry these brands because their clients are varied in terms of what they're looking for, and because they don't have to deal with the politicking with the various territorial arrangements that occur with some larger companies. Just as an example, when an audio store relocated closer to where I live, the existing local B&W dealer had to drop the brand since B&W gave the territorial rights to the store that was relocating. It's not always based on the merits of the product. That other store has since picked up Vienna Acoustics.


The De Capo is a prime example...was this speaker in the listening session? was a speaker with this exact graph in the listening session? and if I wasn't in the listening session it doesn't help ME. It only tells me that 190 out of 200 people preferred a flat graph...but what if I would have been in the 10? I don't play the odds if I'm dropping thousands of dollars...I listen. The subjective reports, which is the way people listen, concur about the sound, the measurements agree with what people hear...midrange magic. That lush very pleasing sound is not correct according to the flat graph but subjectively listening to a piano through it sounds far more like a piano than say the much flatter N805 or PMC TB2 and no offense but the Studio 40...and it's not particularly hard to tell. No offense to these other fine speakers with the prettier graph...real world however is different. Note I'm not saying it is wrong for someone to choose the N805 etc. Just that most people according to every dealer in my area only come in to listen to the gear they know by name and thus the 3a sits in a corner.

Even I had to be pushed into giving the AN a try - because i was like "who the hell is Audio Note?"(some vague rememberance of the name somewhere) And I'm on audio forums a lot...forget the guy who buys nothing but sound and vision.

That's the point you're missing. It's not about which brands were included or excluded. It's about which characteristics correlated with the subjective findings. If the research truly were conducted with a marketing or commercial purpose in mind, it would have focused on the brand identification. And you keep talking about "the graph" as if the frequency response was the only characteristic that was measured. It's possible that your subjective answers would not have corresponded with the majority opinion. On the other hand, it very well might have. Again, it's not the findings that are at fault. You base your conclusions about the research based on the speakers that design around the research findings, but even that does not account for everything. If you don't like how the speakers made by companies that use the NRC research sound, it's not the research itself but how the findings got applied during the design process that's at fault.

If a speaker winds up sitting in the demo room corner, it doesn't necessarily arise out of people not knowing what it is. It could simply come out of the speaker not meeting the needs of the customers. The sales reps very well might even like a particular product, but when assessing a customer's needs, it might not be a good fit. At my local Paradigm dealer, I see customers that come in there all the time, and they really don't necessarily know too many brands. The first thing that the sales reps ask them is what the intended usage is (i.e. multichannel or two-channel?), then they check on the intended source equipment (high end separates or receiver? analog or digital?), and of course budget (entry level or price no object?). Then they wheel in a sampling of speakers that meet those criteria for demo (this dealer does not use a selector board). If a speaker is too big or too small or too ugly, etc., those are not demoed. Among their speaker lines, they said that the most disappointing sales have been with the Avantgardes (their hulking size and awkward dimensions kill a lot of interest quickly). Very often, I see customers deciding on something they hadn't heard of when they came in. But, it ultimately comes down to finding a speaker that meets all of those needs that they stated.

htfan14
01-11-2004, 12:31 PM
Axiom's can be heard at some retailers. Laserland in Oakville On. for one. There is also another retailer in Woodstock On. whose name fails me right now. But if there is 2, chances are there are more...

HighFlyer
01-11-2004, 01:35 PM
Yes you are right. Found one in Toronto. Thanks though, Garry