Does a good monitor produce a compressed sound?

I swap my speaker from Axiom M22ti (monitor) to Silverline Panatella II (Floor standing). My system is Audio Electronic Supply SE-1 Amp with volume control and CAL Icon 2 CD player.

The first thing I notice when properly setting up the speaker is that the obvious center focus (i.e. vocal) from the Axiom smears out to between the speaker (smearing like a zone rather one point of center focus) and the sound opens up quite a lot. Also it sounds much less harsh than the Axiom. Here is the question:

1. As the Axiom is the best monitor so far I have had so I am not sure if the compressed sound I heard is a typical for a monitor (shouldn't be). To put it another way, does monitor pruduce more compressed sound compared to a floor standing speaker of the same range?

2. Does the floor standing usually smearing the spot on center focus out? I don't think it's a bad thing for me, just different.

3. For the harsh on the Axiom, it may be not fair to compair the Axiom with the Panatell as it's not the same level. What curious me is that is this the best I can get out from the speaker or if it's b/c not enough burning in? I have it for 6 months and use it probably over the straight 3 months period, so I think it should be broken in by now.

Any comment on this?


You should get a very defined center image from any quality dynamic speaker system, monitor or full range floor stander. With the human voice you should not be hearing a sound that causes you the feel the singers mouth is as big as the distance between the speakers (a fault of some panel speakers). If your losing focus it could be due to speaker placement issues (usually too much side wall reflections, so i would recommend that you change the axis of the speaker from pointing straight ahead to crossing the axis of the speakers at a point in front of the listener and see if that makes a difference. It could also be that the speakers are too far apart - try moving them closer together and see if that makes a difference. This is not an issue of "compression". Incidentially, i'm not familar with either of your speaker systems.
Well, the Center focus on Panatella II doesn't smear that bad. I mean I can still get a center focus of the vocal, but it seems to smear a little bit compared to the Axiom monitor. On the Axiom I can just move my head to the left and right slightly and can tell right away that the center focus is of balance.

I already toed in the Panatella. Now they point at about my shoulder. Speaker are 80 inches apart and I sit about 7 feet from the speaker. My room is rathere small (12x15x8). Speakers are about 40 inches away from the side wall. The back of the speakers are however close to the rear wall (a few feet), but the front is about 3 feet.

I tried very near field set up following the Carda website by sitting only 6' and speakers are about 6' apart and it's awful to me. Feel like listening to a head phone.


Try moving your speakers a bit closer together so that the distance to the listening position is further than the speakers are apart (or move your listening position back or a combo of both) until you have about 10 to 11 ratio and see what happens. A few inches here can make a large difference.
All things being equal...a monitor should image better than a floorstander due to less reflection off the smaller enclosure(difraction)...however...imaging is very placement critical...decent speakers will create a focused "phantom center image"...but in order to really capture a 3-d sound...especially on vocals...this is dependent upon placement,electronics(tubes),and a very good source(analog or digital)...I have found tube power to add more "body" to the midrange...which works well for vocals,etc....
ALso...soundstage varies from speaker to speaker...maybe what you are hearing from the Axioms is simply on a "smaller scale"...which is often the case with small monitors...and which might be confused for a "compressed" sound in relation to your floorstanders...just a thought...also...if u listen to alot of commerical, major label releases, these are very "compressed" via the recording(and geared for car stereos,boomboxes,etc)...and on revealing monitors...can sound closed in....