Get Free, Friendly, Expert Advice
Call 1-866-244-8796 or email

Designed and Manufactured in Canada Since 1980


AxiomAudio Blog

Sneak Peek into Axiom’s Current Research and Development

Axiom’s Newest Speaker: The In-Ceiling M3

Outdoor Speaker Placement

Wall'O'Fame
Experimental Atmos
Greetings fellow Axiom owners...
Who's Online
3 registered (newf, MarkSJohnson, Serenity_Now), 63 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Financing
Forum Stats
13322 Members
11 Forums
22895 Topics
404600 Posts

Max Online: 378 @ 02/24/13 04:33 PM
Top Posters
Ken.C 17781
pmbuko 16279
SirQuack 13337
CV 11208
MarkSJohnson 10899
Meanwhile On Facebook

󾓶 The first review of the LFR880s is out! "If you are adding or upgrading stere...

So much going on in this month's newsletter - new product announcements, a new v...

Love this comment from Doug T! "The M22 bookshelf speakers sound so clean and a...

󾓶 Andrew has spoken! Big update on the AxiomPlay Wireless Platform on the Axiom...

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#2513 - 04/09/02 05:56 PM M60s and Treble
Anonymous
Unregistered


Alan Lofft et. all

I've taken delivery on my M60s and am in large part happy with them. Strangely when considering all the chattering about titanium tweeters being overly harsh or too bright it seems my 60s lack in top end. If I tune the treble setting to say 3:00 (or even 4:00 or 5:00 !) vs. the neutral setting at 12:00 the sound does seem improve opening up and gaining clarity and crispness. So.... my questions is:

Is it my 47 year old ears/taste?
my pathetic 'vintage' Pioneer 60W amp? - (thought poor amps lacked more in the bass dept.)
the end of the large sofa sticking out somewhat into the listening path of the left channel?

Please any feedback on the 60s performance appreciated ( Alan do you have comments on yours??)

thanks





Top
#2514 - 04/09/02 08:42 PM Re: M60s and Treble
Anonymous
Unregistered


I recently replaced my 18 year old Pioneer SX-303 with a NAD C740. I did it because one of the channels on the Pioneer had gotten cranky, but to my surprise, both treble and bass performance were vastly better using the NAD. I had always thought
watts were watts, but either all watts are not created equal or my "vintage" Pioneer has gotten very tired after years of service. See if you can borrow a fairly good fairly new amp from a friend or from a store. You may have interesting (and expensive!) results.

Top
#2515 - 04/10/02 11:56 PM Re: M60s and Treble
Randyman Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/29/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Honolulu, Hawaii
There are MANY things that can cause the effect you are describing - and unfortunately one of them is age (I know about this one!) As we age one of the first things that often happens is high frequency hearing loss and/or sensitivity. Another is your listening environment. Heavy fabrics (drapes, carpet, upholstery, etc) can "soak" up high frequencies - on stop them from bouncing around. Generally, this is a good thing as hard surfaces can reflect sounds and mess up the overall sound of a good system.

Different amps (receivers, etc) have different settings for the boost or cut from the bass or treble controls - its a designers choice. The amount of boost or cut varies - as well as the center (target) frequency for which the control is set for. So it is often difficult to do a direct comparison of different equipment with the settings at anything other than "flat" (no boost or cut)

The age of the equipment can be a factor, since both tubes and solid state components age and deteriorate over time, which can lead to signal degradation (especially at both ends of the audible spectrum)

So unfortunately there is no simple answer to your question.
My advice: If the sound is "better" to you with the treble boosted - then boost it and enjoy!

Life is too short to worry that some audophile thinks you must listen to your speakers with you amp's tone controls set to "flat"



Top
#2516 - 04/11/02 01:55 AM Re: M60s and Treble
HOLOGRAM Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 03/19/02
Posts: 21
Loc: California
therealpbc
While the lack of treble may be the fault of your equipment it could also be the lack of break-in time. When I first got my M3s I thought they were extremely bright. I kept turning down the treble to tame the highs. The problem was that I was used to the sound of my old Paradigm atom speakers and they lack the kind of upper detail that the Axioms give you. Now my ears are used to the M3s so they sound proper and the Atoms sound lacking in treble. It is very important to live with speakers several weeks or months before you can really judge them. When I first got the M3s I hated them...now I think they are among the very best speakers I have ever heard. Give them a little time.


Top
#2517 - 04/13/02 04:07 PM Re: M60s and Treble
BBIBH Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 1043
Loc: Canada
I must agree with Randyman's comments on your plight. One other item that comes to mind is that your source may be an issue. You have replaced your speakers with presumably better models that are now allowing you to hear with great clarity how poor your/a source can be.

Since you did not list your source, this is simply a statement.
_________________________
Regards,

Mike

Top
#2518 - 04/16/02 06:15 PM Re: M60s and Treble
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have yet to see a single post from BBIBH that doesn't bring the source into question in one form or another LOL

I hate to say it, but BBIBH may be right! We'll see, I'm hoping to get so Axiom speakers soon, and I have standard consumer grade stuff….so I’ll see.

Top
#2519 - 04/16/02 10:14 PM Re: M60s and Treble
BBIBH Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 1043
Loc: Canada
Thanks for the vote (semi vote anyway) of confidence. I have been an advocate of source first for many, many years. I was having a discussion on this board about source importance, and got into a technical explanantion of the problems with sources. I asked anyone to explain how a speaker can correct these problems and add the missing information........noone answered.

Not the technical folks.
Not the sales folks.
Not the experts.

While I am always open to new lines of thinking, I need the proof. I have shown people my proof, and many have had open minds and tried it themselves.

Anyway, let us know how it goes!
_________________________
Regards,

Mike

Top
#2520 - 04/18/02 07:27 AM Re: M60s and Treble
Ian Offline
President
aficionado

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 808
OK, I'll weigh in on the source vs. other component question. The entire system makes up the total listening experience from start to finish. The equation works like the weakest link in the chain. Since the speakers are the part that converts the electrical energy into acoustical energy they have, by an enormous margin, the widest possibility of causing problems or making your system great. The speakers must be addressed first in the making of a great system for this reason. Once that is accomplished you should then start to concentrate on the other components and their vastly more minor detrimental effect on your overall system. Your comment about the speakers not being able to reproduce what is missing right from the source is very true in theory but in reality there is just not much missing from the source, especially when compared to what can be missing (or added) by the speakers. We have conducted extensive tests to this end over the years and the answer always comes out the same; get the speakers right first.
_________________________
Ian Colquhoun
President & Chief Engineer

Top
#2521 - 04/18/02 07:29 PM Re: M60s and Treble
BBIBH Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 1043
Loc: Canada
In my many posts, I have espoused the fact that manufacturers designing to price points (say $500) must make a product to sell for $500 that includes product and profit. Limitations of this price point are implied to be lesser profits or lesser quality materials. If the designer has a $5000 price point, the restrictions are much less, and he can either increase profit margin, or increase quality of materials and design. I have stated on many posts, that this does not ensure a better product, and the examples of this are ample. BUT, the restrictions that are not as strict can allow a good product designer to make a better product, as he/she is not limited. Does this always happen?....not on your life! Does it happen?....absolutely!

So, on to the source discussion. A Walmart $200 Memorex CD player is governed by these same rules. As is a $2000 Rega (to choose names at random). As with any product, there are inherent design issues within the realm. CD players in particular suffer from an number of design issues.
These include:
- vibration and rigidity
- Transient Intermodulation Distortion
- ground currents
- lense clarity and quality
- clock jitter
- error correction slew rate
- analogue circuits and output preamps
- digital to analogue converters

I could go on and on....I am an engineer!

All of these affect the sound. All of these are both audible and measureable. Have they been addressed? For the most part they can be addressed.....but certainly not in a $200 player. Perhaps not completely in a $2000 player, but more attention has been paid to at least reduce them.

For many years the CD community has built products around an Op Amp (and it's lineage) called the LM741. This chip is slow reaction wise, meaning that output voltage cannot keep up with the slew rate of the requests of the input signal. The TL084 was better, but still not great.

My attempt is not turn this into a technical lecture. I can if required, but on occasion and personal request only. A good speaker can not correct any or all of these problems. The source must do this. In the vinyl world, good speakers will not remove surface noise, or correct incorrect arm height causing strident upper frequencies, or correct mistracking by the cartridge. Alan himself mentioned he could teach anyone to listen for wow and flutter (if memory serves on the concepts) of a turntable. This is addressed presumably to great results in better turntables, and speakers can remove this???? Please.
....again, I could go on with the concepts.

I would be interested in the test data. Using products that are substandard in tsting produces flawed results. Test a $200 CD player into a Wilson speaker, and then a Wadia CD into an Axiom speaker...what do you think it will sound like?

But I still have not heard anyone explain how the speakers can repair the problems caused by sources.
_________________________
Regards,

Mike

Top
#2522 - 04/18/02 10:17 PM Re: M60s and Treble
Randyman Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/29/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Honolulu, Hawaii
Interesting stuff! I hope you two don't duke it out like this too often (JOKE!)

I believe BBIBH makes many valid points concerning the need for quality sources - and I couldn't agree more that NO speaker can correct faults from the source. However poor speakers sure can mask them! And I think that is what Ian was getting at (at least that's MY interpretation - After all he IS a speaker designer - otherwise he would be building CD players and amps!)

No matter what the quality of the source, you can't hope to have good sound w/o good speakers. (and that is why I just bought some M60s)

As for the pursuit of sound perfection and designer's price targets - every engineer knows the concept of diminishing returns (I think they developed and then perfected the theories) After a certain point (and who knows where that is?), very small increases in quality come at large increases of $$$! This is always the consumer (and audophile's) delimma - How much (or little) must I spend to get a sound that I am happy with?

I think we are all still struggling with that one! At least I am. But the upgrade path is always there - daring us to take it.

Thanks BBIBH - for you insights, historical perspectives, technical competitance and willingness to share them.
And thanks Ian - for weighing in with your experience and willingness to tackle almost any issue.

I enjoy reading all your stuff!

Randyman

Top
#2523 - 04/19/02 01:29 PM Re: M60s and Treble
alan Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3188
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Hello,

At the risk of stepping into the fray (I enjoy it: it keeps things lively), I think it's important in this discussion to distinguish between engineering approaches that result in measurable differences--and there are plenty of those-- and those that actually produce distortions that are audible with music programming.

BBIBH cites a number of CD-player design issues that he states "are both audible and measurable" and that "affect the sound." However, while I am not an engineer, I do have several decades of experience participating in controlled listening tests, many of which were/are conducted in one of the world's most sophisticated acoustic laboratories--the Acoustics division (Physics Dept.) of the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario. During these tests, and others conducted outside of that facility but in the same controlled manner--e.g., instantaneous comparisons of CD players at equalized levels playing duplicate source material, where the cost and brand of the players are concealed from the listeners-- a number of truths have emerged. This is NOT anecdotal information, or casual opinion.

Some of these so-called "problems" of CD player design are somehow compared to authentic analogue distortions such as wow and flutter, when, in fact, in the context of digital recording, data storage, and playback, they are utterly irrelevant, non-issues.

For example, vibration and rigidity are highly important in analogue gear, where mechanical and acoustical feedback from loudspeaker reproduction can be transmitted directly back to the turntable base, platter, and phono cartridge, which results in clearly audible rumble, low bass coloration, woofer "flutter", and the like.

But vibration and rigidity in a CD player (apart from the violent shaking given portable players by joggers and athletes, which knocks the laser assembly off course for sometimes seconds) is a red herring. It has never been demonstrated in a domestic player to have any influence on sound quality. Error correction is always working in any CD player--there is built-in redundancy in the Reed-Solomon code that repeats data constantly. When error-correction runs out of data to fill in the 1's or 0's, you'll hear a click or skipping. It's usually damaged CDs that cause most lapses of error-correction.

Vibration and rigidity are specious issues with CD players. Likewise, "clock jitter", while it can be measured, only produces slight increases in distortion that remain far below the level of detection with music or test signals. "Jitter" is a favorite buzzword amongst untutored audio enthusiasts, many of whom write for high-end journals. It reminds them of analog flutter in a turntable or tape deck, and analog flutter is horribly audible--yes, BBIBH, you're right, I can teach anyone to hear flutter from analogue turntables and tape transports--so therefore "jitter" must be audible in a CD player, right? Wrong!!!

But the late Peter Mitchell, an astrophysicist and audio writer for many years, pointed out the nonsense inherent in discussions of clock "jitter". And I have never, ever, heard any audible manifestations with musical programming of clock jitter. It's a non-issue.

Analog circuits and output preamps are entirely different--subject to noise, harmonic and IM distortion, just like all analogue amps and preamps.

Digital-to-analogue converters (DAC's) and ADC's, while quite variable in their design parameters, may produce measurable distortions that are audible on CD test signals, albeit at extremely high volume levels. But in my experience, and those of several of my colleagues with impressive credentials (PhDs in engineering and psychoacoustics) such distortions are always masked by any music because they occur at levels 80 dB or more below programming.

All of which relates back to Ian's comments. The differences in a transducer (a speaker, microphone or phono cartridge) and its distortions are so huge relative to the residual (and inaudible) distortion artifacts from different CD players or electronics, that it's imperative to always concentrate on the weakest link, the loudspeaker (or the phono cartridge). (By the way, lots of studio microphones are subject to the same frequency response errors of loudspeakers; sadly, we can't do anything about those aberrations other than avoid CDs recorded with "hot" mikes that emphasize midrange frequencies). The latter problem is endemic to lots of commercial pop recordings and even some classical discs.

In closing, think about this: a greater than 2-dB variation in frequency response through a speakers midrange (where most musical content resides) has a profoundly greater effect on the tonal balance of the music we hear in our living rooms than any multiple of so-called digital "distortion" attributed to DACs and solid-state electronics. Just shifting your main left and right speakers a few feet one way or the other in your room introduces far greater audible changes in the tonal balance than any number of substitutions of $10,000 Wadia CD players over a $200 Panasonic or Technics.

No, a fine loudspeaker won't conceal analog wow or flutter from a turntable, but for heaven's sake, focus on the one component capable of introducing huge changes in the sound quality of reproduced music--the loudspeaker!

Regards,
_________________________
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

Top
#2524 - 04/19/02 02:13 PM Re: M60s and Treble
ravi_singh Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/14/02
Posts: 1351
Loc: Montreal
Alan,

wow... I never thought of it that way before. Not that I could have, I didn't anything about what you just said. It makes me wonder, then, is there any worthwhile difference in, say, a well made 500$ player like a cambridge audio d300 or d500, and using a PC with a digital sound card just passing the 1's and 0's on to a seperate decoder.

Top
#2525 - 04/23/02 11:39 AM Re: M60s and Treble
Anonymous
Unregistered


Alan

Couldn't agree more. In an industry so filled with hype and unsubstantiated claims it's nice to hear the NRC credo (i.e. technical design should be driven by empirically verifiable AUDIBLE improvements ).

In a similar vein I recently posted to a very technically oriented audio board about what measurable parameters (e.g. distortion, transient response, group delay etc.) really produce audible improvements in subwoofers. It didn't generate any replies! I was really hoping I could get some guidance on what type of design to use for my current subwoofer project - sealed, ported, push-pull, isobaric???

Hasn't NRC done any testing on this?

Anyhow, what I really wanted to know is what do you think about your M60s?

thanks
peter

Top
#2526 - 04/24/02 08:56 PM Re: M60s and Treble
Anonymous
Unregistered


hmm....how's that for proof?

Top
#2527 - 04/25/02 01:01 PM Re: M60s and Treble
Anonymous
Unregistered


proof of what, that not everyone "lives" on this board?

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >



Moderator:  alan, Amie, Andrew, axiomadmin, Brent, Debbie, Ian, Jc 

Home  |  Corporate Info  |  Products  |  Message Board  |  FAQs  |  Warranty  |  Site Map  |  Privacy Statement   |  Contact Us

©2014 Colquhoun Audio Laboratories Limited
All Rights Reserved.