“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

2010 Audioholics $1k Floorstanding Loudspeaker Faceoff

by May 27, 2010
  • Product Name: 2010 Audioholics $1k Speaker Floorstanding Faceoff
  • Manufacturer: Klipsch, JBL, Axiom Audio and EMP
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: May 27, 2010 11:50
  • Buy Now

Introduction

In the time honored tradition since I started Audioholics.com nearly 11 years ago, we have conducted another annual loudspeaker faceoff. The brands in this comparison included: Klipsch, JBL, Axiom Audio and EMP. The results were quite enlightening as we learned about how biases (even those unintentional ones) played a more influential role in loudspeaker preference than the actual audible differences in the loudspeakers themselves. We discovered that each speaker in this comparison had their own individual strengths and weaknesses. It is a combination of how those traits interact in a particular room playing a particular type of music, and how they influence each individual's listening preferences in determining the best-suited speakers for each individuals needs. In the end, all four of these speakers were winners as they managed to provide respectably good audio at such modest price levels in a large and demanding listening space. Good food and drink, good friends, and good sound is an annual recipe for fun we plan on continuing and refining each year.
About the author:
author portrait

Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

View full profile

Confused about what AV Gear to buy or how to set it up? Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program!

Recent Forum Posts:

gene posts on January 14, 2012 12:04
Time of Reconcile our Differences

This constant back and forth between us, forum members and Axiom isn't productive for anyone involved. I honestly don't have it in my heart to sustain negative energy like this. I myself am to blame because I allowed it to progress on this forum rather than objectively removing or stopping the threads just like I would have done for any other manufacturer. For that, I apologize to Axiom.

I think its better to agree to disagree on design aspects of loudspeakers and just be done with it. Everyone has their own reasoning that may work best (in their minds) for them. 100% truth can never be realized in something as subjective and emotional as the audiophile experience.

There are MANY satisfied Axiom customers in the marketplace and it is obvious Axiom is meeting their needs. There are also many competing brands for those wanting something else. The free market rules!

Going forward, I'd like to keep a more open mind and positive attitude towards all manufacturers and let the consumers decide based on our reviews and their experiences with the products if said products are right for their needs.

Mods please note this and lets put the brakes on any future threads that turn out like this.

I am closing this thread on a high note with hopes we can continue to cover new Axiom products for the benefit of readers interested in learning more about them.
MinusTheBear posts on January 13, 2012 22:31
Paul_Apollonio, post: 857427
I followed the link to the Axiom site, and would like to make an engineering sidenote. First of all by eliminating the series high-pass capacitor (at the VERY minimum) needed to protect the midrange from dangerous levels of peak LF content, this lowers the impedance of the system in a range where the output of the mids add NOTHING to the output of the Woofer; hence lowering system sensitivity. First bad. Second bad = pretending the worst of this can be found with a distortion sweep looking for 2nd and 3rd Harmonics. RUBBISH. The problem is that by eliminating the High Pass (HP) filter on the mids, the LF content will move the VC about, possibly out of the gap and thereby allow the LF to modulate (read distort) the midrange the speaker produces. With a sweeping test (one frequency at a time) there is NO WAY to see this effect, and Axiom is well aware of that. To see this effect, one must put in two frequencies simultaneously and view the output on a spectrum analyzer. (One can see distortion products as sum and difference frequencies) This is a simple process and one all audio engineers are familiar with. Sadly, not all customers are, so the charade continues.

Even if the Midrange driver is made INCREDIBLY stiff, and placed in a very very small sealed enclosure minimizing excursion and hence this distortion, subjecting the midrange VC to the heat caused by the LF content is NEVER better than saving the price of the series capacitor. Unless, I guess, it is your money, and you don't really care about stressing an amp or drive unit you get paid to replace.

There is such a thing as recommended practice and procedures, and the practice of eliminating the high pass filter, even if only a single series capacitor from the midrange driver is not a good idea by any stretch of imagination. In fact, it is a sign the designer is clueless or could care less about the result.

As for the listening tests, there are never any shortage of people willing to claim a given distortion is inaudible. Of course, if you limit the input power to very low levels, you won't hear this problem. You won't hear many speaker distortions as most only show up on high drive levels.

Certain physical principles apply to design, and it does not matter the brand or the politics involved. Allowing the large peak amplitudes of low frequency content to get to a midrange speakers voice coil is a terribly bad idea period.

This is not a new concept. (At least to competent engineers who are not counting nickles and pennies). - Paul Apollonio

Axiom did this with the M80v1 as well with not so successful results.

Emonatics - Emotiva Fans Site
Paul_Apollonio posts on January 13, 2012 16:57
gene, post: 856611
{Heavily edited by me}

Nobody really wants unfavorable comments written about their products and proud owners of said products don't want to see negative comments either.

The bottom line is Axiom has always had a problem with our critical review process. They don't like negative comments about products. They don't like face offs. They seemingly don't like measurements or blind tests done outside their facilities. They have told me this many times in the past in person and via email. They instead prefer consumers to accept their science and testing as gospel that spending more money than what they sell their speakers for is simply purchasing cosmetic upgrades.

I've spent 12+ years comparing speakers (sighted and blind) from virtually every manufacturer and my experiences don't always match what Axiom preaches.

In my experience Axiom is NOT up to the level of legitimately well engineered cost no object speakers however.

While there are some outlandish speaker designs out there, there are also some incredible sounding products that happen to cost a lot too.

Performance is all over the map but it doesn't necessarily stop progressing at a magic price point.

I'd honestly like to stop the bantering back and forth on this topic. It's been beaten to death and nobody gains from it.

I won't be commenting any further about Axiom on the forums. I've said everything that needed to be said.

I followed the link to the Axiom site, and would like to make an engineering sidenote. First of all by eliminating the series high-pass capacitor (at the VERY minimum) needed to protect the midrange from dangerous levels of peak LF content, this lowers the impedance of the system in a range where the output of the mids add NOTHING to the output of the Woofer; hence lowering system sensitivity. First bad. Second bad = pretending the worst of this can be found with a distortion sweep looking for 2nd and 3rd Harmonics. RUBBISH. The problem is that by eliminating the High Pass (HP) filter on the mids, the LF content will move the VC about, possibly out of the gap and thereby allow the LF to modulate (read distort) the midrange the speaker produces. With a sweeping test (one frequency at a time) there is NO WAY to see this effect, and Axiom is well aware of that. To see this effect, one must put in two frequencies simultaneously and view the output on a spectrum analyzer. (One can see distortion products as sum and difference frequencies) This is a simple process and one all audio engineers are familiar with. Sadly, not all customers are, so the charade continues.

Even if the Midrange driver is made INCREDIBLY stiff, and placed in a very very small sealed enclosure minimizing excursion and hence this distortion, subjecting the midrange VC to the heat caused by the LF content is NEVER better than saving the price of the series capacitor. Unless, I guess, it is your money, and you don't really care about stressing an amp or drive unit you get paid to replace.

There is such a thing as recommended practice and procedures, and the practice of eliminating the high pass filter, even if only a single series capacitor from the midrange driver is not a good idea by any stretch of imagination. In fact, it is a sign the designer is clueless or could care less about the result.

As for the listening tests, there are never any shortage of people willing to claim a given distortion is inaudible. Of course, if you limit the input power to very low levels, you won't hear this problem. You won't hear many speaker distortions as most only show up on high drive levels.

Certain physical principles apply to design, and it does not matter the brand or the politics involved. Allowing the large peak amplitudes of low frequency content to get to a midrange speakers voice coil is a terribly bad idea period.

This is not a new concept. (At least to competent engineers who are not counting nickles and pennies). - Paul Apollonio
haraldo posts on January 13, 2012 03:50
agarwalro, post: 857098
Perhaps I was a little curt in my last post. I sensed something that was valuable and worth saving and perhaps overreacted. Moving on…

$5 says Jim Salk can match the finish on any of those Lansche veneers .

My remark was not really about Gene but the credibility of the AH reviews and their process
Now we move on!!!!!!!!

Some remarks been said that the Lansche 5.1 is the best dynamic speaker some people heard…. (Obviously they didn't listen to the upscale models from same producer) well they better be considering the price tag…. but still…. need to make sure I deliver my lotto this week
tom67 posts on January 12, 2012 20:03
So lets end this…..

where it began…..Klipsch won the contest and it was a fair fight…and none of these contests are perfect…..so, perhaps the bottom line is that you might want to look at their products within given price points and not believe the stale, lame comments on websites by people who have never owned them…and Yamaha receivers are not “bright” either and on and on…
Post Reply