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Home Theater Direct vs. Axiom? Other good 7.1 setups?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to equip a 13 ft wide by 18 ft deep room with 7.1 sound.

I have friends with Axiom M50 and M80 speakers, and I know they are good news. (I'd probably do M60 fronts and QS-8 surrounds.)

However, the pricing on Home Theater Direct "Level Three" stuff is pretty appealing.

Is there anyone around who has heard both and can offer a comparison? I am sure an Axiom setup would be superior--question is, is it worth the extra bread? It's very subjective I realize but I appreciate any comments.

If there are other 7.1 packages I should consider in the $2k-4k range more leads never hurt.
post #2 of 14
I have never auditioned either brand. But looking at the HTD towers, I would not pay even 1/2 the price.
2" midrange...please, I've never had a midrange smaller than 4". And for proper transition from highs to mids the diameter of the mid should equal the width of the waveguide of the tweeter or width of the horn. The mid does not even come close.
I would consider the M60 the better buy. Or the JBL L890, or L880 towers with the LC2 center and L820 surrounds. And any sub you want to add.
Edited by 4DHD - 2/12/13 at 5:23pm
post #3 of 14
I haven't heard either, but the subs from both are pretty mediocre. I would skip the subwoofers from either company, get your sub from Hsu, Rythmik, or Power Sound Audio. In this price range you might look at the EMP Tek Impression speakers, particularly the E55Ti and E56Ci center. Also look at the Arx A5 towers, as well as the Ascend CMT-340s.
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post

I have never auditioned either brand. But looking at the HTD towers, I would not pay even 1/2 the price.
2" midrange...please, I've never had a midrange smaller than 4". And for proper transition from highs to mids the diameter of the mid should equal the width of the waveguide of the tweeter or width of the horn. The mid does not even come close.
I would consider the M60 the better buy. Or the JBL L890, or L880 towers with the LC2 center and L820 surrounds. And any sub you want to add.

If you want to talk about bogus speaker design, lets start by discussing the JBL's "super-tweeter".
post #5 of 14
Plenty of happy owners of both Axiom (especially their surrounds) and HTD...

Just my two cents but having heard them both...I would pass. Again..just ME.


EMP Tek would be my frist choice in your range...
HSU package is very nice was well...not as nice as EMP Tek but not as expensive.

Just for comparison I like a good Silk Tweeter or a Ribbon. I prefer my highs to be a little "hot", my mids full, and my bass...decent but dont obsess as I will get a sub.

HSU are very neutral. EMP are actually a tad warmer over all... Hard to imagine they are warmer than HSU since HSU has a horn loaded design.

That being said...there are LOTS of happy people who own HTD and Axiom.

You definately could not go for the Grand but Aperion should be mentioned too. Free shipping both ways...dont like it ...return it.
Same with SVS... Cant get their ultras but may give their other speakers a go.

I would still say...best bang for the buck is EMP. Opinions are like we....you know the quote.

For 7.0 system using two sets of bookshelf and their bigger floors...you are at $1,745.00.
VTF-15H Powered Subwoofer - Satin Black = $900

Sub total: $2645

Throw in some speaker wire from Monostat and two sets of wall mounts ...plus (unless you do it yourself) ~$300 dollars to run in wall wire and wall mount the speakers.

Boom... Now 10% goes to me for the advice ... (Don't worry EMP will kick back to me biggrin.gif )
Edited by Newbie01 - 2/12/13 at 7:25pm
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

If you want to talk about bogus speaker design, lets start by discussing the JBL's "super-tweeter".

Not all JBLs have the ultra tweeter, none of mine do. Although it does work, just we can not hear it. But I'll put up a L890 against the HTD or Axiom any day and the HTD and Axiom will get shoved to the rear of the bus.
Also it makes NO difference to the bass/mid/tweeter how they work together, if the ultra is there or not. The Ultra only really helps out the main tweeter's upper end.
And it was only used cos of DVD-A, SACD claims to reproduce up to 40K a decade ago.
post #7 of 14
I have 3 sets of Axioms, 2 audio only (2 x M3s on stands & 2 x M2s on stands + EP-400 sub & tube amp) & 1 HT system (2 x M22s + 2 Velo 10" subs + 2 x Qs4s surrounds). They all perform admirably & sound just fine to me & many others out there - quite impressive actually.

As with all speaker choices, it is a totally subjective choice. Good luck in your quest...

TAM
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input, everyone.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

I haven't heard either, but the subs from both are pretty mediocre. I would skip the subwoofers from either company, get your sub from Hsu, Rythmik, or Power Sound Audio. In this price range you might look at the EMP Tek Impression speakers, particularly the E55Ti and E56Ci center. Also look at the Arx A5 towers, as well as the Ascend CMT-340s.

+1 for the Arx A5 or Ascend 340s. HTD speakers are great especially at the prices and EMP Tek should be considered too. I've never heard or have any experience with the JBLs and I can ever recommend Axiom stuff from my OWN personal experience.

I wouldn't get a subwoofer from Axiom or HTD in one of those package deals. SVS, HSU, or PSA is what I would stick with. The Rythmik FV15hp is another solid choice. HTD doesn't have much of a subwoofer offering and Axiom's subwoofers are no where near competitive at the current prices, epecially if you in the US. The SVS PB12 NSD would outperform the Axiom EP600 and you could save over a thousand for a second subwoofer or room treatments ect...
post #10 of 14
I will echo some of the others, Ascend 340, ARX, and HTD all coupled with a capable subwoofer from SVS, Hsu, Rythmik, PSA, would be my choice.

I would also look at the Kef and Focal deals at accessories4less.com. Hsu has some nice bookshelf speakers as well that would fit in your budget for a package deal that are hard to beat.

If you decide to go the Axiom, HTD, or Aperion route I would not get their packaged subs and stick to one from above.

Ascend has some package deals with Rythmik. That is a hard to beat combo smile.gif

Also, I would focus most of my budget on the front left, right, center channel speakers and the subwoofer. 7.1 is great but most tracks are not native 7 channel, and I would personally focus on the core speakers first and then add surrounds later when funds are available.
post #11 of 14
HTD, Ascend, ARX, Emptek, are some nice options to look at - along with Focal.

Do not let personal bias towards preference/taste, or how some will project a speaker
will sound, based on design and driver layout, or speaker looks.

HTD is a good company and they put a lot of work in their designs >> here is another
subjective review - posts 22 and 23
http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/loudspeakers/82048-htd-level-3-tower-level-2-bookshelf-speakers-video-review-3.html

Enjoy your seach and quest - the decision is up to you.
Edited by zieglj01 - 2/13/13 at 4:17pm
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

HTD, Ascend, ARX, Emptek are some nice options to look at.

Do not let personal bias towards preference/taste, or how some will project a speaker
will sound based on design, and driver layout, or speaker looks.

HTD is a good company and they put a lot of work in their designs >> here is another
subjective review - posts 22 and 23
http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/loudspeakers/82048-htd-level-3-tower-level-2-bookshelf-speakers-video-review-3.html

Enjoy your seach and quest - the decision is up to you.


I had to laugh some... I agree 152% with Zieglj01, but laughed because he says don't let personal bias sway you.. then links you to a "subjective review". There is no right or wrong...the people that do this for a living have given some speakers that make my stock car speakers sound great....awesome reviews.

Once you start to hear 20 plus speakers...you can start to narrow down what you like and what you dont. Are you into Bass without a sub? Do you like your high notes bright and dynamic. Do metal tweeters fatigue you? Once you have some general ideas down then you can start to really look at speakers. Of course...this all works until you hear a speaker you love and start to question everything when you learn it has a metal tweeter that you thought you hated...

Or ..or...that speaker you heard at Store A sounded terrible..but in store B sounds great... Amazing what a 40k amp will do for a set of speakers smile.gif
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

I had to laugh some... I agree 152% with Zieglj01, but laughed because he says don't let personal bias sway you.. then links you to a "subjective review". There is no right or wrong...the people that do this for a living have given some speakers that make my stock car speakers sound great....awesome reviews.

It is better to laugh than cry.smile.gif

Based on earlier comments - that review was linked to show, that the midrange and horn can work together.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

Once you start to hear 20 plus speakers...you can start to narrow down what you like and what you dont. Are you into Bass without a sub? Do you like your high notes bright and dynamic. Do metal tweeters fatigue you?

Funny thing is, I am not even sure what I like. For the past 13 years my only speaker setup has been an Energy Take 5 system. It was driven by a very good (at the time) Yamaha AVR, recently replaced by a Sony ES AVR. (hey, I had a discount to use up.)

The Take 5 system is decent but not noteworthy in any way. I do know that I want all speakers to be as full-range as is possible in my theater space, and I want bi or dipolar surrounds... but what do I like? I'm not really sure--I just know that there is better stuff out there. I like my friends' Axioms and some Martin Logan stuff I heard while a buddy was doing some shopping... but I am not very experienced, which is why I am trying to sift through subjective reviews as well as specs.

I had been leaning towards an Axiom system but HTD Level 3 with one of the better subs recommended here is starting to sound more attractive--and it sure costs less.
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