Originally Posted by nickbuol
Keep in mind that some people seem to have certain speaker brands on and endless search and take any and all opportunities to bad-mouth. Just like in politic, you need to not only do your research by asking questions and reading, but then also research the people providing you with information as well. If you see a lot of information leaning hard one way or another, but coming from one or two sources, does that make it completely true for everyone? Heck no.
Not saying that people shouldn't have their own opinions or that the O.P. hasn't asked for opinions, but I don't see any horrible brands/models in the mix. For me, I don't like Klipsch because I find that their designs that use horns are a bit too harsh, but I know other people that are MORE than happy with them.
There are so many other factors than just sound too. What do they look like? That is a big one when spouses get involved. None of the O.P.'s options are extremely "sexy" looking, but some are slightly different in design or finish options that may play into the decision.
Then there IS the performance of the speakers and the room that they are going in to. If you have a room with some null cancelation at mid-range frequencies, you will get a dip in the vocal range, so in music or movies, the dialog/vocals may be difficult to hear. But if one of the brands has an inherit spike in the same frequency range, it may negate that null in the room and sound good. The room is a factor as well as the speaker performance is what I am saying. Some people can take a "bright" speaker, and those high ends are compounded or reduced depending on their room characteristics, so on and so forth.
Don't forget a proper calibration too. With it, good speakers can become great, and great speakers can become outstanding.
Obviously we would all love (ok, maybe not ALL of us) to be able to sample the different brands within our specific home installation setups, but we can't always do that without some substantial money being laid out for it. That is why people come to sites like this to get other people's thoughts and experiences. I just caution people looking for insight in this area because you run into a lot of people with very limited actual experience with different speaker brands/models (or their experience is outdated from when they bought, or whatever) and for those that had a bad experience and like to slam a company as their way to "get back" at them or whatever their motive. It doesn't mean that they should completely move on and forget, but again, a grain of salt with their comments are in order. As an interesting note, one of the posters in this thread has 23% of their post (gotta love a quick search) where they specifically talk about one particular speaker manufacturer. Sure, some of theire early posts are praising the products, but there are a MUCH larger number of all out bashes of that same company. There is a LOT to the backstory there that would just derail this thread, so I will leave it out. That would seem like someone who went from very happy to very bitter towards a company and thus they reflect it online.
I am not defending any speaker company here, and I am certainly not saying that all of the positive OR negative comments above are invalid. I am just saying to look at all of the factors and make up your own mind. Get your research, and weed through some of the noise. Heck, maybe WhoStoleMyNick has some digging that he has done with the brands he is looking in to, even if he is bailing on one of your original choices. He could possibly point you to some of his research or vice versa. Then you can compare that information to other information about Axiom and get almost a full set of options.
common sense SHOULD go hand in hand. A lot of people LOVE to collaborate, but not everyone takes that information and adds common sense.
Good luck! These are exciting times! Stressful sometimes, but fun as well!
PS. Personally I have heard Klipsh, Paradigm, QEF, Axiom, B&W, and Martin Logans. They were all in different rooms, and at different price points. I settled in on what I liked, and have been happy. Then I aded some accoustical treatments and a proper calibration just this year after a long time ownership, and they are even better than I have ever imagined that they could be. I have a coworker who has some cheap Yamaha speakers in his theater, and another coworker that has some (ugh) Bose cubes. They are full of "wow" effect since they are both paired with nice subs (even the Bose guy at uses a separate sub) so you get the low tactile feel of the sub, with the crisp details of the highs which is what most people perceive as being great sound. They are both missing a lot in the middle, but they find their setups to seem very impressive, even if they are missing a whole bunch of the frequency spectrum. Everyone's ears are different, and everyone has different amounts of money to spend. These two guys like the same high/low with no middle sound, but paid a greatly different price to get it.