Thanks for the welcome. A civil audio forum. I'm glad to have found you all.
I wanted to spend some time with the Axiom M-100s before commenting on them.
I have lived with the M100s for 10 days, in a 2 channel stereo system, and have played my usual playlist on vinyl and digital. This system is in a difficult room, sloped 20'+ ceiling at high end down to 12' at the other, an open stairway to the second floor and a bit of a balcony. The floor has area rugs and leather furniture. If I clap my hands, it takes a while for the room to get quiet again. I've seen some exotic treatments, but, I have to live here.
I have owned Axiom speakers before and loved every one of them. The best sounding system I have had consisted of a pair of Axiom M3Tis (then $275, single 6.5" aluminum driver, no cross-over, just a cap and resistor protecting the 1" titanium tweeter) an Antique Sound Labs MG 15 S! DT 5 watt per channel SET tube amp, an Ah! Tjoe Njoeb tube output CDP and a set of weird Mapleshade Clearview Double Golden Helix speaker wires (for those who believe in audio voodoo, I think they made a difference) Veloydine sub. Anyway, I have since improved my way far from that perfection of that little system with various much more expensive and complicated rigs.
So, I read the $3,000 speaker comparison and I started thinking about the M-100s, like an addict starts thinking about the object of his obsession ... bought a pair. B Stock, natural cherry wood, great price. It is wonderful dealing with the folks at Axiom.
I learned a lot from reading the HTS comparison. I placed the speakers about 3' from the wall.
Is there such a thing as speaker break-in? I let them play for about a week. Checked in occasionally. Finally sat down and wow, found the M-100s to be impressive, extremely accurate speakers. The sound stage is wide and high, didn't listen enough to hear music with a sense of deep sound stage. Imaging is very precise and stable. The M100s are easy to listen to, not fatiguing. My initial concern about an 'overcooked' treble turns out not an issue. The treble is extended, clean and sweet. Bells sound like bells. Vibes sound like vibes. Cymbals do what you hope to hear.
Bass is very strong. I used the port plugs, but found they flattened the sound, so, I am running the M100s plugless. I then moved the speakers about 3.5' from the wall. The bass is not perfect, perhaps a bit overdone, but, I have to say it is terrific and powerful nonetheless. This evening I dragged the Epik Legend dual 12" sub into service. Supposed to have a frequency range of 20-200 +/- 3.5db, usable 16-18hz room dependent.
Wow again! I set the cross-over to its lowest setting, 50hz, volume set less than mid-point. You'd think this would result in a boomy flatulant bass output, but, no. Sounds tight, clean, and it goes LOW. I like it.
I am using a B & K Reference 5 S2 preamp, set flat, a legendary Yamaha M-80 2 channel amplifier, set for 4 ohms, pure class A for the first 30 watts. I am sure I have not exceeded 30 watts. Most of the time, the amp is putting out less than 2 watts. I am not blasting these speakers but listen to jazz, crooners, Celtic witches, female vocalists and space music at the volume at which I figure they were recorded.
My tube amp is out for repair and I will try it with the ASL MG 15 SI DT SET when I get it back. I have an Odyssey Khartago on order and will try that as well. Perhaps I'll get that sound of live music yet.
It occurred to me that perhaps biamping the M100s, with a tube amp and a powerful solid state for bass might be interesting.
Question - If I split the output from my B&K preamp, and biamp the speakers with a tube for the top terminals and a solid state for the bottom do you think I might get the solid state 'grip' on the low frequencies and the sweet tube sound on the mids and highs?
I don't know how that works. Maybe someone can answer this for me.
I'll listen some more, experiment some more and report further.
Oh, by the way, I like the sound better every time I sit down to listen to them.