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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I just recently started looking into home theaters... I got a pioneer VSX-82TXS for a ridiculously good deal, and now i'm looking to upgrade the front speakers (floorstanding) and probably also the center.

First I started looking at polk's, infinity's, and klipsch, primarily because that's what at best buy's. I quickly moved on and found that axiom seems to be a pretty good company. I was looking at M80's and a VP-150 center. The only problem is everyone who recommended these, did so 2-3 years ago. I was wondering if there are reasons for this, and what current recommendations are out there for places to look. Budget is about 1500. I would like to get good crisp sounds in the midrange area as that's what i've noticed is the most deficient in my old system.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Hi Adam, Welcome to the Shack.

I don't believe that Axiom has made any changes to those speakers over the last few years. The reviews and recommendation should still be valid. :bigsmile:

I have not heard the Axioms, but most who do really seem to like them. I do hear they are a bit on the forward/bright side, but it sounds like that is what you are looking for. I'd recommend you upgrade all three speakers to maintain your front soundstage.
 

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What Nova said...


plus...

I'd take a listen to some other brands. What you're going to hear at Best Buy (or any other big box store) usually is on the lower end of the audio scale. I'd go and listen to some speakers at the smaller specialty stores. They should have a much better selection especially at the price point you're looking at (this may be a good read for you too). At the very least, you can maybe refine the characteristics that you're looking for. The stuff you were listening to at BB are all probably very "bright".. you might like something more neutral after having a good listen.

Also, I don't think you should limit yourself to just floorstanders. I actually think at that price point, a bookshelf would/could be better.

In any case, happy hunting!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the comments, I have no intention to listen to things from BB or CC, because i've seen their lack of organization and their lack of knowledge.

As for particulars, i want them to be able to handle music loudly.... with good sound throughout the range. I don't have a super good sub right now, so i want floorstanders to be able to back up the bass and also add in that extra sound in the high bass/low midrange area.

As for movies, which is a larger concern, i want to be able to listen to them at a good volume, which would might be loud for some, but i want to get better dialogue, so i don't miss words and have to go back.

So back to the axiom question... it seems though that all the talk today is about SVS equipment. Is SVS a much better buy or why did axiom as well as others kinda drop off of the recommendation list?
 

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Well, we internet types tend to buzz, we find something we like and run with it...then, like a spaniel with an attention deficit disorder, we start chasing after the latest shiny thing.

Axiom Audio was one of the first internet direct darlings. They made a very nice name for themselves selling good speakers at prices previously unheard of. Then, the internet direct thing really took off, and like Brick and Mortar stores before them, turned into quite a crowded field. SVS and HSU took off in the subwoofer market (and subsequently introduced a speaker line), and av123, aperion, ascend and others (what's with all the "A" names?) joined the speaker (and subwoofer) fray.

For the money, I don't think you can go wrong with any of them, but everyone has their preferences. SVS is pretty universally accepted as the best performing subwoofers for the money (though, if aesthetics are second to performance, check out elemental designs), and since their speakers are supposed to be pretty good to boot, you might as well buy them all at the same place and save a little bit on the package deal.

In the end, your best bet is to read up on the guarantee and return policy (for instance, aperion will pay shipping both ways, in addition to offering full trade-in value), and from the various internet reviews, try some out.
 

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Adam I own M80s and they can get a bit bright even harsh with poorly recorded music, but when you find a really well recorded piece it is pure bliss. As you say you are looking for something you can play loud, I have found the M60 to be more laid back when played loud than the M80s and as such I would suggest you look at these speakers from Axiom. You should drop by Axiom's forum and check in the Hearing Things area to see if there is anyone nearby that could give you an audition, this way you wouldn't have to wonder what they sound like. Good luck.

FYI, Axioms share a very similar soinic signature to Paradigms, most say the Studio series if that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks guys, for the advice so far...

I tried going on axiom's site and found 4 people in my area who have speakers i want to listen to, but so far no one has responded to my pm... i kinda think they aren't really around any more. Hopefully, someone will eventually respond to my message.

Another question is for the time being i'm planning on not getting a new subwoofer. So my question is is it worthwhile to look at the speakers for say SVS as opposed to the axioms which seem pretty good? Or say if i was looking at an Axiom system and i wanted 5 speakers, would it be good just to pick up a package that included a sub from them? Or still buy the pieces individually and then pick up a sub from SVS at a later date?
 

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Why go to someone else's house to listen to Axioms when you can listen to them in your own home and return them within 30 days if you don't like them?

What if I don't like my loudspeakers?
We are so sure that you will love your loudspeakers that we offer a 30-day trial period, so that you can evaluate our speakers in your home, with your own stereo or home theater equipment. If they do not meet your expectations in any way, we will refund the cost of the speakers to you. Special finish charges are not refundable.

If you decide you would not like to keep our speakers during that 30 days, please contact us to find out how to return your loudspeakers. Please be sure to keep all original packaging for returning your loudspeakers. If you do not have original packaging, please contact us. We will provide you with the customs documents you need to return your speakers. We have locations return shipping locations in:

Canada
USA
China
England
Japan
Australia

Please note that return shipping and brokerage fees are your responsibility. Upon receipt of your loudspeakers, in their original condition, we will credit the cost of the speakers back to your credit card. For approximate return shipping costs in the USA, click here.
 

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You go to someone's house for an audition to save money, Axiom requires you pay for the shipping if returned, as stated in the last line you quoted and if you are looking at anything larger than bookshelf speakers the return shipping can get costly, even on Axiom's account.

Adam, throw up a post in the Hearing things forum as well, there are more people on the forum that might be within a reasonable driving distance that are not on the list. Ajax I think might even be able to give you an audition of another fine company - av123 Rockets. I think he has the 750's.

I have the PB13 -Ultra from SVS to go with my Axioms. There is no problem mixing and matching a sub as long as you are not looking to match a special finish for the speakers or the sub. I also had the PB12-nsd before upgrading to the PB13. The PB12 is a great sub as well, I just wanted something a little more linear in response. and not as tall/long as the EP600 from Axiom.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Jake, I see... i also see you on the axiom boards right now too... anyways, yeah, i've really been considering now looking into the m22's. If i get the m22's i can pick up the QS8's and the VP-150 all within my budget, and then focus on upgrading the sub here soon too.

I wonder if i should contact this guy James Savard and ask him???
 

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Certainly, ask James for some possible contacts as he can make contact with owners in the area to see if they are willing to give auditions.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok... so after talking with someone who has both m22's and m60's, I can hopefully get a chance to hear these bad boys... my next question is my plan was to go with the full axiom set minus the sub... so with that being said, i've been reading some harsh reviews about the VP-150 center. This leads me to wonder if it's a good idea to buy VP-150 to have the complete sound package, or if i should research elsewhere to see if i can find a better center channel. Do you guys have any opinions?

oh i should add that the reviews i was reading were from 2005 and earlier, and they mainly focussed on a harsh high range. I'm no so worried about that because with proper calibration that can be reduced, but more importantly they suggested that the speaker was very precise but doesn't favor poorly designed rooms. At this point, i need something that can handle both. Eventually i will create that dedicated room, but for now i need it to be able to handle different seats equally well.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I figure i should probably add i'm little worried because much of my music supply is in mp3 format, and i'm a little worried that going with these awesome speakers is going to make me hate all that music and i'm going to spend a fortune on better recorded music. I also watch a lot of movies and tv shows through my computer, and i'm a little worried that the poor capturing quality will show through. Can anyone comment on this?
 

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If it works with your setup, skip the center and get 3 identical speaker across the front.

As for your mp3, I find that anything in the 128 region is going to sound lacking. Around 192 it gets hard to distinuish, and at 256/320, it takes some pretty magical ears to tell the difference. As long as you've encoded at 192 or better, you'll probably not notice a huge difference. Either way, bad encodes are not a reason to get a system that doesn't sound as good.
 

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Axioms were on my short list also. I became concerned when I read many reports about their bright (some say harsh) sound. I also became concerned when I read the reviews of their subwoofers, which concluded they are average (at best) performers at a premium price. Fair or not, I interpolated the subwoofer performance to their full range speakers.

I spent months reading and anguishing the decision, since I don't replace speakers often. I considered all the usual ID suspects - Hsu, SVS, Paradigm, Ascend and even considered retail based PSB, which I had heard. I even considered DIY speakers and subs, but I decided I didn't have the right tools for the job and it would have ended up being much more expensive. I think I became proficient in reading between the lines in the reviews.

Anyway, I ended up with Ascends (340s front, 170s side and 200s back) for the 7 part of the 7.1 system and an SVS PB12-NSD for the sub. I've been very pleased. I had some friends who purchased a Klipsch setup from Best Buy over to watch "The Dark Knight". At the end, one commented: "OK, now I have a serious case of speaker envy!"

I did no direct comparison, so I can't say definitavely that my Ascends were the best of what I considered. I think among the companies named that any would do fine and the difference would probably be a matter of taste.

Good luck in your search.

Doug
 

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Let your ears be the judge and make the decision after you hear them. If your MP3's are 128k or higher you should be good. I have listened to compressed music on my M80s which offer even more detail than the M60s and it is fine as long as the bit rate is kept to the higher ranges, but I think you will start to want to listen to better sources if you go with the M60s.

The VP150 is not as bad as a few people make them out to be, Yes it is the weakest link in Axiom's lineup, IMO, but it still out performs many other centers I have heard.
 

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. If your MP3's are 128k or higher you should be good. I have listened to compressed music ....
Also, there's some AVR that has "an enhanced feature" when listening to MP3's (my Yamaha RXV 2700 has it, I have the options 2/7 channel stereo or 2/7 channel enhanced stereo) :yes:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ok so that's a relief in terms of computer-related media. Anyways, DougMac, i've been doing a lot of research on the matter, and yes the VP-150 and their sub line don't quite hold in the most serious scrutiny, but i don't know if i've ever heard a bad comment about their speakers. The only two criticisms i've ever heard are the m80's can get bright and the 4 ohms can be tough to handle. Either way i'm very impressed so far with the reviews on both the fronts and surrounds for axiom, i'm just a little worried about going with a different center or the axiom center. I have every intention to pick up a SVS sub, but i'm not sure which to get and when to get it, because if i pick up the ultra, i need a little bit more time to save the money.
 

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You may find these reviews interesting, especially the first one that does a direct comparison of the Axiom VP150 and the Ascend 340SE C:

http://www.audioreview.com/cat/spea...speaker-company/vp150/PRD_125695_2743crx.aspx

If you're planning on a lot of movie watching, I think the choice of a strong center is crucial. I've read that as much as 60%-75% of movies' audio content is sent to the center speaker.


I'm a little concerned about reported problems with the VP150's off axis performance. There are those who feel the multiple woofer speakers (MTM, or D'Appolito configuration) placed horizontally, as in common center speaker designs, leads to off axis performance issues that can't be overcome (http://www.audioholics.com/education/loudspeaker-basics/vertical-vs-horizontal-speaker-designs). From my understanding, it's hard enough to design a good MTM speaker, throwing in yet another midrange seems to be asking to compound lobing (wave cancellation) problems. BTW, I've got Ascend 340's up front, with the center in a vertical configuration. Off axis response is not a problem.

I hooked up my Creative Zen to the HT last night to listen to "Louisiana Love Call" by Maria Muldaur. I subscribe to Rhapsody and have my downloads set to the highest quality. The sound of this well produced album was wonderful!

Doug
 

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As an owner of a VP150 I can assure you the off axis response issues that are reported are usually not audible when things are set up correctly and certainly no worse than the usual MTM designs. Some of the issues that are mentioned could be related back to placement or room reflections etc. For example I have heard some Paradigm centers that get rave reviews sound dull and muted to my ears due to a rooms environment or poor placements. BTW, IMO, Paradigms are so close in timbre to Axiom you could run one of their centers with Axiom mains. You also have to consider the depth of these other centers, as many are twice as deep as the VP150, which can be an issue for some HT systems.

The biggest knock on Axioms subs is they are expensive and that they do not have the same max output as other subs, yet I have compared the EP600 to my PB13 - Ultra and the differences are minimal to my ears, the Axiom sub has more of a resonance to it, fills the room up more like at a live concert than at a bar/dance hall where you get slammed by the pro subs which sound a little drier, more like the PB13. As far as max output in room, I managed to bottom out the PB13 at what looked to be the same SPL on the Radio Shack meter as the EP600's max output but the 600 never bottomed out due to it's DSP. I could feel the PB13 more due to it's lower extension which is what I was looking for in my HT so I went with the PB13.
 
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