High End Stereo

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Scataphagos, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. It's a snowy Sunday morning here in Colorado, I'm mellowing-out to my fav Alan Parsons Project tunes and had the thought... do you like GREAT sound too, but don't want to spend an arm-and-a-leg for speakers?

    I've had Axiom M80s for about 18 months. They're TERRIFIC! And at $1,500/pr, a great price. Why so low? They don't sell retail... you can get them only "factory direct". (By selling factory-direct, the distributor and retail markups are avoided.... $$ in your pocket.) I spent some time on the phone with one of their engineers, too... he advised me to NOT get the bi-wired option... he says there is no measurable difference from the single-wired. He said some years back the bi-wired option was the default configuration... my Infinity and Kefs had it. But after lots of testing, they abandoned the bi-wired default and offer it only as an option.... for those who "believe it makes a difference". He assured me "it doesn't".

    My prior speakers were Infinity RSMs and Kef 104s. They were excellent also, but much more expensive.

    Axiom will make your speakers to order with your choice of real woods instead of MDF/veneer... additional charge for the cabinetry, of course.


  2. newwurldmn


    I may need to buy new speakers when I move into my new house. Replace "may need" with "want."

    Currently have B&W's...

    If there are no distributors for Axiom, how do you sample them?
  3. I don't know how you would sample them. I bought on the strength of pro and user reviews + the aesthetics of how they would compliment my bar in the game room.

    They have a good "satisfaction or return" policy, so not much real risk in giving them a try.

    I think with higher-end speakers, all of them sound terrific... slight character differences in models/brands for sure, but hard to go wrong when getting a good price on better quality equipment. (I like most all of the top brands except not so much Klipsch.. they sometimes seem overly brite to me.) I've got Infinity sub-woofer and and Kef mains/satellites in my THX home theater... they sound terrific as well. Can't say I could name a preference of one brand over the others.

    Here's a pic of the M80s next to my bar. They don't contrast much... just look to be an extension of the bar, which I like. FWIW...
  4. Before I had kids and had time to sit for a few minutes, I used to turn on the stereo kick back and read or relax/meditate. This was 20+ years ago, and when I think about it I was a much more relaxed enjoyable person. Our Sunday paper has a column from a guy, I think Don Lindich, soundadvice blog, and I know he has mentioned Axiom speakers as worth the money.
    Instead of the stupid bigger screen tv, I think I am going to upgrade the stereo that is now 25 years old.
    I listen to pretty much everything. Zeppelin, to Opera, to Black Sabbath, to Alabama Shakes, and lots of Jazz and Blues in between, but not much in a long time.
    Thank you for posting. You hit a note with me and for whatever stupid reason, made me think about getting peaceful.
    This weeks trades are dedicated to a new stereo system.
  5. I spent a few unhappy years in the military during the Vietnam war... not in combat, but in support of effort none-the-less.

    I bought a sort-of high-end stereo system while overseas and soothed my sorrows with great-sounding music. Ever since, I've valued beautiful sound. When I play classical CDs on my Yamaha + Axiom rig, it's like sitting in the front row at the symphony.

    I like some of the same as you.... and when it comes over a great sound system, it really is salve to the spirit.

    At $1,500/pr, these Axioms seem like a steal. They also have an "outlet" where you can get a set of M80 blems for $1,350.

    Good luck with your "getting peaceful"...
  6. nitro


    Imo the finest speakers ever produced are



    Of course, you would also have to have a fine turn-table and vinil records.

    The only problem is they are very directional, which means you have to sit nearly exactly in their sweet spot. But if you do, you think you are sitting in front of a live performance.
  7. Like many luxury items, you can find a way to spend any amount of money. I have a friend with a set of custom-built modular tower speakers in his home which cost $20,000. (Hard to get my mind around the concept a pair of speakers being worth $20K.) They sound great, of course... don't know how the Axiom M80s measure up as I'm not going to lug my set over to this house to compare.

    I just thought I throw out the notion of "excellent sound for a decent price" with these Axiom M80s.
  8. Ok, at this point in the day/week I am $95 into my goal.:D I have a friend and we walked into a high end stereo store 20 years ago and the sales guy, who must have been bored, spent an hour with us playing the completely ridiculous priced speakers. Some were bizzare, like threads of who knows what that imparted sound. They were 6 feet tall, and yes they sounded very good, but he also showed us speakers 1 tenth the price that were still high end that sounded the same or maybe even better.
    The guy should be a millionaire for honesty. He explained in detail what was important for speakers at that time and said point blank people will imagine sound for the price they pay, but there are real differences at the lower to mid level range that are important if you really appreciate sound,and as he said if you haven't all ready damaged your hearing. If you have driven around in your car with the sound cranked, gone to concerts with the sound cranked(hand raised here), or put on headphones and driven the sound to the point of stupid, you no longer can distinguish between midlevel and high end speakers. Low end yea you can figure out, but beyond that your hearing has probably been damaged to the point that stupid money isn't going to make anything other than an impression on your friends who think that money means better.
    The guy I referenced, from what I have researched, seems to get that and makes his recommendations based on value as opposed to how much money can you piss away and pretend to your friends you know what are talking about.
  9. It was about 30 years ago... I remember seeing a big "Going Out Of Business Sale" sign at an audio shop. Thought I'd drop by and see what they had for a bargain price.

    They had a room with only a pair of speakers, a chair, and a turn table. They invited me to "sit down and listen". I did. After 10 minutes, I thought, "GOTTA get me a pair of these". They were Infinity RSMs... which I played the crap out of for the next 20 years and thoroughly enjoyed. The Kef 104s I bought later were perhaps even better. After I bought my Axiom M80s, I eventually sold the Kefs to a member of the Denver Symphony Orchestra. Of course he had an appreciation for great sound... (Nothing wrong with the Kefs... they were legendarily GREAT... it was just that they were 20 years old and didn't fit the decor of my new home's game room as well as the Axioms.)

    Once you've had high-end speakers, easy to justify the cost. Better yet if you can get quality for a good price.
  10. Boss302


    Do it. I love my 2-channel system and would get rid of my big screen way before I'd part with my stereo. I have a listening session every weekend where I pick out what I'm going to play along with my favorite beverage and just go to another place.

    Components obviously make a big difference as does room layout and how well the music was recorded. Some of the music now is so compressed it hurts your ears and will make even a good system sound inferior. A great recording from someone most people never heard of is Eva Cassidy - "Live at Blues Alley." Her voice and the way it was recorded will blow you away.
    #10     Feb 11, 2013