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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
received Axiom T22 and picked up Diva 2.1 on Wednesday night....


Holy smokes... The Diva 2.1 box is almost as heavy as my TV....

Axioms, on the other hand are quite light in comparison...


Hooked them up, put both of them on the cheapo small wooden table got from Costco...( 4 for 27 dollars, can't beat that huh...?)


After about 30 hours of burning in, had friends come over to audition them and help me decide on Friday morning....


The M22's look very nice in cherry oak, very elegant and woody. Like the girl next door, pure and wholesome. They definitely seem brighter, but not in the fatiguing way. I think the sound is cleaner, perhaps because the bass is not as strong as the Divas. But the bass is still potent and tight, albeit not very powerful. The vocals are like listening to singing at an environment with Little echo, very clean. The sound stage is wider. Definitely more forward, but not in-your-face forward. Good imaging. Very musical. Listening to violins and pianos was like being in heaven. Smooth and detailed. Paid $320 including shipping. Good deal!!!


The Divas look very hot and exotic. I am so afraid to put the speakers on any surface because I don't wanna scratch the piano bottom. Very delicate, need to clean them with Kleenex to avoid scratching the surface. Like the girl you met in a club, attention seeking, playing hard to get. They sound very warm, due to the stronger presence of bass. The vocals are like listening to singing at an environment with a little echo, not as clean as the M22's, but sound very smooth. The vocals for Divas seem to put a little mileage on the singer, making the singer sound very refined and rounded. The bass is strong and extended. Excellent for Pop music. good imaging. The sound stage is not as wide as M22's, but it's still there. More laid back. Paid $ 415 including tax cuz I am in Denver, Colorado. Good deal!!!


Now the speakers have been running for about 60 hours straight. Both of them sound smoother and refined, but one problem though..... The bass advantage for Diva 2.1's is almost gone, but the sound stage advantage for M22's is almost gone, too.... perhaps it's due to listening fatigue. M22's still sound a tad cleaner, where as the Diva 2.1 still sound a tad warmer.... But they sound similar to each other now!!!!


Now come the decision time....


I am very satisfied with both of them. I was a little worried about the bass for M22's but they turn out fine and tight. Since I have Hsu sub, I am not too worried about the bass.


Factor in all the costs (taxes, shipping, returning costs) and savings, I am actually getting Diva 2.1s for $333 per pair( 4.1% tax, no shipping), and M22's for $320 per pair ( no tax, shipping included, which would be about 30 dollars ), making the M22's about $290....

Is the exterior and look of Diva's worth the extra $43??? Definitely, but we are talking about 9% price difference... The difference would have been higher if I am not in Denver, and that would have made making the decision easier.


I am glad that I still have about 4 weeks to decide...


Anyone in Denver want to audition them???
 

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Chucky, having both speakers to spend time with at home puts you in a great position. Take your time. IMO the price difference is not huge if we are talking about speakers you wish to live with for years to come. I'm impressed with Diva and have been for the 10 months or so that I've had mine, but I also think highly of Axiom. There is a similar cost/performance ratio there and I recently sold a friend on an entire Axiom HT setup. He had to have black speakers so Diva was out of the loop.


You've got a good sub so to me the biggest difference we're talking about is the sonic signature on the high end. The Diva's do have a more rolled-off and less weighty sounding tweeter and that is my preference. Over time I found that "most" speakers with metal dome tweeters are indeed highly revealing and detailed, but for me they have become too fatiguing for extended music listening. On the other hand there are many others who also have been at this for a long time that never reach this same conclusion. If you spend a LOT of time listening to music, if you have your speakers arranged in a nearfield configuration (distance is a great absorber of treble energy), if you have a lot of grainy older CD's or highly compressed treble happy discs etc., these are all things to consider in this regard. In four weeks you should have a pretty good idea of which speaker you prefer for the long run. No speaker is "right" for everyone so plug your taste into the equation and enjoy the process!


Good luck, I think you can hardly go wrong with either choice.
 

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Agree with Big Walley (is he ever wrong) . I think the biggest thing your hearing is the tweeters difference. A brighter metal tweeter will tend to sound anywhere from "clearer, crisper, more open" to some to "harsh and thin" for others. Its all up to your prefereneces and your right the 2.1's are built like a tank for such an inexpensive speaker.


One word of caution though. I saw where someone did an A/B comparison of these two speakers and didn't compensate for the sensitivity differences of these 2 speakers. If you compare these (one after the other) without level matching you will surely come to the conclusion that the more sensitive Axioms are better, more dynamic, wider soundstage, ect. as the louder of any 2 speakers almost always will sound better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I agree with what you said about the louder always sounds better...


However, I did take that into consideration...


The 'factory' sensitivity for these two set of speakers are actually measured at different standard...


The sensitivity of M22s is overrated... in that they are more like 89dB than the 95 1w /1m claimed by the company


The sensitivity of Diva 2.1 is not... they are more like 89dB than the 88 2.83 V/m


Therefore, in my room, M22 does not sound louder than Diva 2.1s or vice versa ...


I was also puzzled by this fact though, but after comfimation with the SPL meter from Radio Shack... These speakers are in fact about the same sensitivity though, at least in my listening room... and believe me, I did have my friends switch them around over and over again to come to that conclusion.


Also, according to Axiom, M22s should have more head room than Diva 2.1s... However, I did not need to push them that hard with my underpowered Onkyo 500, never more than 70 out of 100 ...


So like I said, for me, the physical capabilities ( sensitivity and power handling )for these speakers are very similar to each other...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
And like Bigwally said, I am in a great situation in that I have the luxury to A/B test them in my room, and if I do decide to return Diva 2.1, it cost me nothing rather than god-knows-how-much-you-paid-for-the-shipping... :D :D :D


That could be one important reason many people decided to keep the Diva's though:D :D :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
More listening....


It's harder to tell them apart when listening to pure music now...


I could only tell them apart by listening to songs from the 80's...


Now after further calibration that the tweeters are pointing to the sweet spots horizontal wise and vertical wise...


M22's are definitely more forward. The vocals are ohh my my my... clear and pronounced. They seem to come from right in front of you, about the distance from you to your right or left speakers, exactly where the center speaker is supposed to be.


Diva 2.1s are more laid back. The vocals do not stand out as much as the M22's.. They come from a little bit farther than the center speaker, from just about 2 feet behind the TV....


The sound stage for both have opened up quite nicely. The treble are smooth, and the bass are tight


I am now leaning a little bit towards the Divas now since they are higher on the WOW factor and FWAF(future WAF)....


Of course, both of the speakers sound like 2000 bucks, but the Divas looks more expensive than the Axiom...
 

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Just wondering...have you been running both pairs full range this whole time? If so, how many hours would you figure you had on each?


Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have the Onkyo 500 receiver...


So I connect Divas to Front Speakers A and Axiom M22 to Front Speakers B on Wednesday, switch them around on Thursday, switch again... you get the idea


Basically I left the music going the whole time, and yes I did not turn the system off when I go to bed.


I set the subwoofer mode to off


Been playing things like classics from 80's, Kenny G, Somewhere in Time OST, Some Jazz collection, Eagles : Hell Freezes Over (dts) and Corrs Unplugged, even the CD from Hsu sub!!!


Only when it comes time to judge, I switch off one of them...Otherwise, I have both speakers A and B on at the same time!!!


And yes, I just checked with my SPL meter again, they sound just as lound as each other.
 

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Supremely interesting thread and well done review. Please keep us posted on your observations and why you keep the speakers that you will ultimately keep, assuming that one pair of speakers will be sent back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
After extensive burning in and listening.....


Arghhhh.....


So hard to make the decisions..


I hope that there is nothing wrong with my ears but at 60dB, they sound very similar. It is only when I turn them up to much louder can I tell them apart. The diffs before and after burning in for Diva's 2.1 are very apparent


I know this is not a recognition test but since I like them almost equally as much, I can only keep listening


Just in case if you are interested, when my friends came over to audition them on Saturday, two of them liked Axiom M22s for their cleaness and forwardness, not to mention the fact that they are cheaper ( my friends are not audiophiles and have no idea how much good sound can cost!! :D :D ). The other one liked Diva 2.1s for the relaxedness and their exterior. Earlier today my apartment manager came up and took a listen. Being a carpenter, he is extremely impressed with the build quality of both sets of speakers. He adored the job done on Diva 2.1s. He too could not hear the difference between them until I pointed them out to him. After he found out the $43 price difference from me, he picked Diva 2.1's.


The Diva's finish make them more like furniture rather than speakers, which are hard to incorporate into average existing furniture. But don't get me wrong, Axiom M22's are nice looking and very eye catching, but perhaps not as luxurious looking and don't look as expensive as the Diva's


However, for those of you who are interested, you have to factor in the shipping cost too. Diva 2.1's alone would cost about $399 or about 25% savings if included in a package. Plus the $50 shipping, would make the total to about $450 or $350 in a package.


On the other hand, Axiom M22t alone would cost about $320 with shipping included. In a package they should be a little bit cheaper though.


It just comes down to personal choice and financial capabilities...


So for those who:


like forward and clearer sound,

want to get the most for the buck (sound quality wise),

don't like the looks of Diva's or couldn't care less about the exterior,

just need to get one set of speaker only,

or have just a $320 budget on one pair.....


go with Axiom M22t. You won't be disappointed.


For those who:


like refined, warmer sound

want to get the most for the buck( both sound and look )

like the looks of piano paint finish

want to get them in a package

or have more than $450 budget on one pair....


go with Diva 2.1's. You won't be disappointed, either.


Since M3ti's are even cheaper, I would say that those are the best bang for the buck of all three!!!


I will not tell you which pair I decide to keep because there are many other factors involved. I would not want to say which pair is better than the other because that would not be fair to either pair. I am sure someone here would say.. "See... Chucky7 thinks A is better than B... "
 

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Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts Chucky.
 

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Chucky,


Thanks for the review, it's interesting to hear from somebody who has spent a significant amount of time with both speakers in their listening environment.


I think you've confirmed my decision to go with the Axioms, since I'm buying a complete 6.1 set with towers for the mains, I can save quite a bit of money by going with Axiom and getting factory outlet speakers (blemishes are said to be almost impossible to detect in most cases). The Divas weren't really an option for me because of price and WAF; the rosewood finish looks nice in theory but would look terrible in our living room. It's good to know that by going with the Axioms I should still be getting an excellent-sounding speaker.
 

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How is it that Axiom can inflate the sensitivity rating by 6db? I know some manufacuturers do so by rating a 4 ohm speaker at one watt/ one meter instead of the standard 2.83 volts/one meter inflating the spec by 3db. Also how did you determine that they are the same? (ie did you use a test tone and a nice spl meter with the speakers in the same spot). Differences less than one db are detectable from what I've heard. Anyway I'm just curious, not trying to criticize.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by chucky7
After extensive burning in and listening.....


On the other hand, Axiom M22t alone would cost about $320 with shipping included. In a package they should be a little bit cheaper though.


On the Axiom web site the M22Ti is priced at US $400 per pair, isn't it ? So how did you manage to buy them for $320 ? I'm ready to try a pair at that price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by phyre3
How is it that Axiom can inflate the sensitivity rating by 6db? I know some manufacuturers do so by rating a 4 ohm speaker at one watt/ one meter instead of the standard 2.83 volts/one meter inflating the spec by 3db. Also how did you determine that they are the same? (ie did you use a test tone and a nice spl meter with the speakers in the same spot). Differences less than one db are detectable from what I've heard. Anyway I'm just curious, not trying to criticize.
I too was puzzled but I remember reading somewhere saying that the Axiom M22 are more like 89dB.... http://www.soundstagemagazine.com/me...xiom_m22ti_se/


I did compared the loudness for the two sets of speakers with test tones and a SPL meter in the sweet spot. And like I said, I could not hear the difference in loudness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Harvey S



On the Axiom web site the M22Ti is priced at US $400 per pair, isn't it ? So how did you manage to buy them for $320 ? I'm ready to try a pair at that price.
I got them from the factory outlet.


Because I could not see the cosmetic damage, I actually "felt" the surface of the speakers to detect the blemishes or bubbles, but no luck. Eventually, I saw a chip at the top edge of one speaker ( still no luck on the other speaker though). This blemish is about 1/16 of an inch and could be fixed easily by glue.
 

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The sensitivity rating for Axiom speakers is higher because it is 'Room sensitivity'. The rating for the Divas is 'Anechoic' which is more accurate. In practice a Room sensitivity rating should be reduced by a bit to get the actual rating.
 

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Chuckie:


The Axiom site does not list the 22's as being available at factory outlet prices. Is this something you found out by calling?
 

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Hmm... I have the M3ti. Great speaker and my opinion matches the M22ti review here.


I was thinking that the M22ti would be the better bang for the buck over the M3ti though. Dual 5 14/'" for only a $100 more, you get higher power handling, and should have a faster more open sound than from the single 6 1/2" in the M3ti.


Just a thought.
 

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davidw,


I believe Axiom's Factory outlet is volatile stock; meaning sometimes things are listed, sometimes not. You'll notice a sub pops in there every so often.
 
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