HT Monitors for under $300
Jun 16, 2006 at 12:25 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

Thaddy

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Within the next few months, I'll finally be able to put together a 2.0 setup to use with my TV. I still haven't decided what will drive the speakers, but I'm toying with the ideas of either getting a decent Onkyo receiver from Amazon or getting an inexpensive integrated amp (NAD, Cambridge 640, Baby Sophia etc...) from A'Gon.

I have been looking at some speakers, but have no clue which models sound good/bad and which ones sound better with solid state or tube amps. Basically, this is my first dip into the speaker pool, if you couldn't tell
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I'm currently looking at the:

Paradigm Titans: I have and older set of Atoms that sound nice, but I'll be using them with my PC along with a T-Amp.
Axiom M2 v2: The M3 v2's are slightly above my budget, but if they are really worth it then I'll considder them.
Onix X-LS: Only $200, plus I can get some nice stands for $150 and hopefully save on shipping.

I'm also started looking at the offerings from Mission, but then I got a headache once I realized how many bookshelves they make. They look pretty sweet though, and I'd like to learn more about them.

Also, now that I've thought about it some more, the chances of me getting a solid state integrated amp are pretty good. I don't think I want to mess around with tube rolling another amp, especially since tubes = more money
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My cables won't be anything special either, I'll just grab some IC's and speaker cables from Signalcable. Nothin' special...

Thanks for the help in advance
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Jun 16, 2006 at 1:26 AM Post #2 of 17

AdamP88

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I haven't heard the M2, but own the M3 (I love em!) and have lots of listening experience with the M2's big brother the M22 (two midrange drivers instead of one). The M22 is extremely neutral and detailed, with a fantastic treble and one of the most transparent midranges I've heard. They don't throw the widest soundstage but image extremely well - and all reports and reviews indicate that the M2 shares the same basic sound (not quite as effortless in the midrange and unable to play as loud).

The M3 is surprisingly close to the M22 in performance (shares the same tweeter), and in fact works much better as a standalone speaker thanks to it's larger woofer. It is maybe just a hair less transparent in the midrange, but is also a touch warmer (which may or may not be to your liking).

I noticed you said 2.0 system, so I'm assuming you don't have any plans to add a sub. If that's correct, then I would go for the M3 - the M2 is a little bass shy (the midrange rolls off naturally, rather than the usual mid-bass hump to make up for natural size/volume limitations) but should mate quite well with a sub. The M3 works quite well as a standalone. Plus it's only $30 more.
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I haven't heard the Paradigm or Onix, but I do know that both the M3 clearly outperforms anything out of Paradigm's Monitor line (far better imaging, detail and balance).
 
Jun 16, 2006 at 1:32 AM Post #3 of 17

Thaddy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by AdamP88
I noticed you said 2.0 system, so I'm assuming you don't have any plans to add a sub. If that's correct, then I would go for the M3 - the M2 is a little bass shy (the midrange rolls off naturally, rather than the usual mid-bass hump to make up for natural size/volume limitations) but should mate quite well with a sub. The M3 works quite well as a standalone. Plus it's only $30 more.
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Thanks, excellent post! And yes, I don't plan on adding a sub, mainly because there will be people living below me, and probably to one side as well. Accordingly, the room won't be huge, so I don't think a sub will be needed.

Also, good comparision between the M2 and M3, I've already crossed the M2 off the list. Sounds like the M3 makes a much better 2.0 speaker.

I should also add that the general sound I'm looking for is very similar to the sound of the HD650's, but with a bit more sparkle and airyness in the treble region and high end.
 
Jun 16, 2006 at 1:57 AM Post #6 of 17

mshan

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No, I don't.

Seems like a nice design, though (reminds me of B& W).
 
Jun 16, 2006 at 3:13 AM Post #7 of 17

AdamP88

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Thaddy
Thanks, excellent post! And yes, I don't plan on adding a sub, mainly because there will be people living below me, and probably to one side as well. Accordingly, the room won't be huge, so I don't think a sub will be needed.

Also, good comparision between the M2 and M3, I've already crossed the M2 off the list. Sounds like the M3 makes a much better 2.0 speaker.

I should also add that the general sound I'm looking for is very similar to the sound of the HD650's, but with a bit more sparkle and airyness in the treble region and high end.



I haven't heard the 650s, but my main cans are HD580s. The M3s definitely have more sparkle and airyness in the treble, and in general are a bit more forward overall then the typical Sennheiser house sound. Not quite in-yer-face Gradoesque presentation but definitely livelier than my 580s. They do sound extremely well balanced though, which is one thing I like about my 580s a lot.

Here's a good review on them.
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Jun 16, 2006 at 5:05 AM Post #8 of 17

Thaddy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by AdamP88
I haven't heard the 650s, but my main cans are HD580s. The M3s definitely have more sparkle and airyness in the treble, and in general are a bit more forward overall then the typical Sennheiser house sound. Not quite in-yer-face Gradoesque presentation but definitely livelier than my 580s. They do sound extremely well balanced though, which is one thing I like about my 580s a lot.

Here's a good review on them.
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That's pretty much the sound I'm looking for. Similar to the HD650's (or Sennheiser house sound), with a little more forward presentation. I guess you could say in between the Sennheiser and Grado sounds, while favoring the Sennheiser side
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Dec 3, 2006 at 2:59 AM Post #10 of 17

Sovkiller

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Thaddy /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Thanks, excellent post! And yes, I don't plan on adding a sub, mainly because there will be people living below me, and probably to one side as well. Accordingly, the room won't be huge, so I don't think a sub will be needed.

Also, good comparision between the M2 and M3, I've already crossed the M2 off the list. Sounds like the M3 makes a much better 2.0 speaker.

I should also add that the general sound I'm looking for is very similar to the sound of the HD650's, but with a bit more sparkle and airyness in the treble region and high end.



I have the M3ti and have no intention of changing or upgrading them in the near future, they sound simply astonishing good for the price...
 
Dec 3, 2006 at 12:10 PM Post #11 of 17

Matt34

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Dec 4, 2006 at 11:48 PM Post #13 of 17

ooheadsoo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hYdrociTy /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Those look like my $50 insignias with a tweeter added on top.


They are. Radiient makes the insignias.
 
Dec 5, 2006 at 2:13 AM Post #14 of 17

hYdrociTy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ooheadsoo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
They are. Radiient makes the insignias.


ohh I see! wow thanks for clearing that up... and plus its on sale for 99USD/pair now! I might just replace them with the original tweeter version!
 
Dec 9, 2006 at 12:24 AM Post #15 of 17

duff138

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I have the Axiom M2 and M22 speakers. I originallly had a sub woofer with the m2's, but move it over to my m22 setup. If I had known I was going to move the sub I would have gone with the M3's instead of the m2. They are great speakers, but have no real bass.
 

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