Help Should I stay with my Axiom M22ti or move on?

The short story: Which speaker would fit my AES SE-1 set amp (7W) best for $800 or less? (I don't like horn or the full range driver though.)

Now the long story

I have about 10 days left on my Axiom 30 days return warrantee.
Now I have Audio Electronic Supply AES SE-1 SET amp (with AVVT 300B tubes). I am using it with a xcan V2 headphone amp and a preamp and Panasonic CT570 CD player. I am looking and waiting for a good deal for both CD player and preamp upgrade.

My dilema now is the Axiom M22ti. I am not sure if I shuld stay with it or move up. Frankly I don't have any thing I dislike about them now. Still, probably an upgrade bug bothers me a bit. I could probably push my budget to about $500-800 total for speaker upgrade. It's not a whole lot so it may fall into either used sub $2000 or new assemble DIY speaker.

My question is that will I gain a whole lot from upgrading my Axiom? I know I will gain a lot if I upgrade to 2-3K range but for sub 2K range, I don't know and not sure so. I think it's a decent one, but as I can afford more so it 's a bit botthering me if I will pass my opportunity up.

As my SE-1 has only 7W, I am limited by speaker sensitivity. My 22ti is rated at 93dB and it's pleanty for me to play lound so I would guess my new one should be around the same or higher dB

Could anyone tell me how good are DIY speakers? I am aiming or factory assembled ones. They have a lot of rave reviews, that I know. The only question is that how good they really are? For example, I see quite a few of Zalytron products or speaker city's that have at least the same sensitivity that should work fine with my SE-1.

How good do they sound? Most people will say the same thing when are asked that it's not even in the same leage as my Axiom 22. The only problem I have is that most of them never heard of the Axiom at all! So most of the idea is based on the price (i.e. presumably that the DIY speakers at the same price as branded speaker should sound much better so the DIY that has higher price should should even better than the lower branded price.: Just logical idea, I guess)

What kind of chioces do I have here? I like the SE-1 and will keep it (just got it) so I will build everything around this amp for now.

What I am looking for is just simply a nutral thougth, not too much biased. A real experience would help a lot too.

Sorry for a long story and hope to hear lots of response.

Thanks a lot,

Hi Ake. Have you ever heard of GR Research and the AV1+ speaker? If not I urge you to go to and do a search in the speaker section. Also, go to and do a search on GR Research and read the reviews. There is also a very good review involving the the GR Research offerings as well as a certain Axiom brand I'm not sure about the model used.

In your price range especially, GR Research just released a ribbon version that's supposed to be pretty sweet as well. To give you an idea about how much I like my GR Research AV1+'s, I preferred the mid range and highs over my former speakers the PSB Goldi's and sold them to purchase the AV1+.

Good Luck.
Ake, GR Research AV-1 is totally unsuitable for low-power SET amps, with 91db/watt and 4 ohm impedance. The real way to do SET amps is to get a pair of Lowther(8 ohm) or AER Mk1(16 ohm) drivers and either build an enclosure or buy one pre-made. This will give you about 100db/1watt sensitivity, with great sound quality, detail, dynamics, imaging, soundstage, etc. They are not front loaded horns, and will not sound "horny". They are direct radiating drivers that are full-range(40-22kHz), require no crossovers, have impedance curves that SET's like, have enough efficiency to allow your SET to play LOUD, and give detail and nuance like electrostats. This is what the majority of low-power SET users do. It works and sounds great. Price is within your category of under $2k if you build your own cabinets, which is easy to do. I did it, and I know others that did it with no tools other than a Skil-saw, a jigsaw,a drill, and a pair of sawhorses. I am no cabinetmaker, but mine came out just fine, and looking good too. Saves you alot of cash. The simple fact is that there is really nothing else out there that can provide these characteristics that low-power SET's need, as well as Lowther or AER. Everything else is either not efficient enough, or is an expensive horn. It really takes the choice out of the matter. These drivers are used in speaker systems costing as much as $20k. If you get these drivers and make a good enclosure, you will have about 98% of their sound quality for less than 10% of their cost. I'm trying to tell it to you straight. No disappointments with SET's and these drivers.
You may want to look into into the Adire He 1-0nd finished speakers are available at They are very efficient and have been well received.
I own both a pair of Axiom M22ti's and Paradigm Reference Studio 60's loudspeakers. The Axiom's do not have the bass of the Studio 60's nor can they reproduce the same sense of scale on symphonic and orchestral music. However, I still find that the Axiom's are a *very* pleasant speaker in my small listening space. They don't have any edge or brittleness in the HF and the bass is surprisingly deep and focused for a small monitor. My advice is to sit back and enjoy the music. Save your money for a year or so. Become familiar with how your system reproduces music. The pay off is that you will have the knowledge to make informed comparisons and the money (you've been saving that money right?) to get what you finally decide takes your system to the next level.