• 12-09-2003, 07:39 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by psonic
    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.
  • 12-09-2003, 08:18 PM
    psonic
    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?
  • 12-09-2003, 08:48 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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).
  • 12-09-2003, 11:16 PM
    mtrycraft
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.
  • 12-10-2003, 05:44 AM
    Pat D
    Curious misunderstanding
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.
  • 12-10-2003, 10:27 AM
    headknocker
    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.
  • 12-10-2003, 12:15 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Pat D
    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
  • 12-10-2003, 12:18 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mtrycraft
    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?).
  • 12-10-2003, 12:34 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Woochifer

    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??
  • 12-10-2003, 01:45 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.
  • 12-10-2003, 10:54 PM
    TinHere
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.
  • 12-10-2003, 11:24 PM
    RGA
    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.
  • 12-10-2003, 11:51 PM
    RGA
    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:
  • 12-10-2003, 11:57 PM
    TinHere
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.
  • 12-11-2003, 09:04 AM
    kexodusc
    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.
  • 12-12-2003, 01:42 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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?

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.
  • 12-12-2003, 07:14 PM
    RGA
    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.
  • 12-12-2003, 09:43 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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).

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    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.
  • 01-11-2004, 12:31 PM
    htfan14
    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...
  • 01-11-2004, 01:35 PM
    HighFlyer
    Yes you are right. Found one in Toronto. Thanks though, Garry