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#371464 - 03/29/12 08:06 AM Re: Don't tell the wife..... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10680
Loc: Central NH
Oh, it's OK. He's been house broken for some time now.
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#371866 - 04/02/12 08:46 AM Re: Don't tell the wife..... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10680
Loc: Central NH
At the end of last week, FedEx showed a Tuesday delivery day. I was out-of-state on Friday and Saturday and expecting other UPS and FedEx deliveries, so I left a note on the door to please not leave anything.

Last night, I checked to see if the 160 was slated for this Tuesday, and found it had been out for delivery on Saturday! So, they'll retry the next business day.... today!

Woo Freakin' Hoo! smile

I have some deadlines the early part of this week, so I won't really be able to do a comparison or serious listening till probably the end of the week. I really need to wall-mount my TV to give me a place to put the 160 first.

But I'll open the box and try it out at least ("Just to make sure there's no shipping damage.....honest sweetie!" )
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#371867 - 04/02/12 09:10 AM Re: Don't tell the wife..... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7373
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Excellent news, Mark!

Deadlines or not, you know we want pics right away.
_________________________
***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#371949 - 04/02/12 04:50 PM Re: Don't tell the wife..... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10680
Loc: Central NH
Axiom packs these MUCH nicer than they did in 2004!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#371963 - 04/02/12 06:20 PM Re: Don't tell the wife..... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
SBrown Offline
aficionado

Registered: 11/16/10
Posts: 804
Loc: Victoria,BC
Congrats, the LFR boxes are going to be huge!
_________________________
Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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#371981 - 04/02/12 09:51 PM Re: Don't tell the wife..... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7373
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
Axiom packs these MUCH nicer than they did in 2004!


Mark, you're killin' us!! Come on, post some pics, tell us what you think!!!
_________________________
***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#372024 - 04/03/12 12:32 PM VP160- Initial thoughts [Re: MarkSJohnson]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10680
Loc: Central NH
Please Note: I was asked "How am I liking the VP160?" in a PM. My intentions were to answer that person back in another PM... not to post this to the forum yet for several reasons. First, it's rough. I ramble a bit, as I wrote this over five or so hours, stopping to listen more and change settings on the equipment. Second, I'm somewhat critical of my existing VP150, and I don't know that it's fair to post that. My VP150 is NOT a current model... it's from 2004 and the Ti series. I believe that the 150 may have gained more improvements over the years than the rest of the line, because there are many who really like their 150s. Finally, it seems a bit unfair to post a "review" of a speaker that's not set up correctly.

So, please take this as a "work in progress" of the initial exploration of receiving my VP160. My opinion of it changes quite a bit from beginning to end in this post. I know I could simply remove all the "earlier" stuff in this post as my opinions changed... but I'm going to leave it in to show the "process" of getting it set up. I promise to post again when I have it set up correctly.


So.... "What do I think of the VP160?"

Straight?

I like it. But I'm not hearing anything that's blowing me away as a "night and day" difference. What I AM hearing is the lack of what I described with my 150 as a "boxiness". The 150 always made me feel like I was listening to a speaker, where the 160 sounds more "open"(?)....like I'm NOT listening to a speaker. The horizontal dispersion seems better as well, though that won't be much of a factor in my setup.

That being said, I don't trust my setup, so I'm avoiding posting anything on the boards till I work some things out and that probably won't happen for a few days.

I unplugged my L and R, and told my receiver "No surrounds". I started out with some B-D concert discs...Jewel and Adele. I noticed a little less of that "chestiness or boxiness" with these, but it wasn't dramatic. And both discs have, essentially, only that female lead vocal in the center channel so there's no bass. So I popped in Transformers, thinking there may be some during the fight scenes, but there really wasn't much mixed in.

At this point, I decided to get into the settings of the receiver. I changed the center to "large", turned off Audyssey (I should have done both of these from the start, but initially my plan last night was to only make sure the drivers were working, not to do any real comparison listening). I also said "no" to a subwoofer. So I'm listening to the center only...isolated.

I popped in a DVD (not B-D) of Dave Mathews - Radio City and again appreciated that lack of "boxiness" (I really wish I could come up with some synonyms for that word).

Then I popped in the Eagles Hell Freezes over and heard a pretty substantial difference. On the track "The Heart of the Matter" (and, for all I know, the whole disc) the center channel is very well isolated to Don Henley's voice and, strangely enough, to the bass guitar. With the 150 sitting on top of the 160, I was able to swap the banana plugs pretty easily on these tests, and here was where I heard the most substantial difference between the two. It's very interesting to hear the bass and lead vocal isolated like this...what a way to listen to a center channel with better bass! (EDIT: More below on this disc)

And this is where it all started to unravel, in terms of my frustration with my setup.

After plugging in the L and R, and turning on the sub and surrounds, I popped in the Wish You Were Here SACD and closed my eyes. I don't know why, but there was no sound for the first 45~60 seconds... then the sound "popped on". A minute or two later, the sub suddenly "popped on" fairly loudly. Getting past the "WTF" of that, I was truly amazed at the seamlessness across the front. It's not until maybe 5-7 minutes in, that there's a vocal and at that point, I got up to move closer to the 160....and realized it wasn't on. WTF again? Try the 150 instead.... Nope. Since I hadn't listened to the SACD of this before, I thought "is there no center in the mix on this disc?" and tried a "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" SACD. Nope, no center there either. Quickly flip the receiver to the TiVo input and now I have sound from the center. So, it's not the speaker, speaker wire, amp channel..... it must be a bad / disconnected cable from the Oppo SACD player...or something in the settings. Checking the cabling will involve a lot of moving around, and Joyce has already gone to bed. Check the Oppo settings and the center is "on", though "small"...I set it to large, but nothing. Figure I'll have to pull out the rack and check the wiring tomorrow. (I haven't yet). I haven't listened to an SACD in here in many, many months...might be over a year. I have no idea how long this has been like this.

I pop a Grace Potter Redbook CD in the B-D player, and switch between Stereo and "DTS Music" and I'm liking what I'm hearing. I never play music in surround because I never liked what the 150 did with the vocals. But Grace Potter's voice sounds just as good through the 160 as my M60s. I'm excited that I can re-visit my music library in surround without taking a hit and making vocals nasal. ("Nasal" still doesn't describe it as well as "boxy" but you guys are going to get sick of me using that term over and over.)

So, this morning, I put in The Eagles to hear if that isolation I wrote of exists on all the rest of the disc. But I'm running into a problem that I've had before: Because I put my Denon 3808 into DTS: Music and Dolby Music modes last night, I can't get it back into the correct mode (In this case, the Denon should say "Multi-Channel In"). It only allows me to be in the two DTS: Music and Dolby Music modes. I don't have that isolation I had last night. Something's wrong.

EDIT: I decided to try again just now as I'm writing this. I checked the BatPig site, and went through the settings over and over on both the receiver and on my Pannie B-D player over the last hour. Suddenly...it's working. I have no idea why.... and my happiness is tempered by the fact that I don't know HOW I got it working. I methodically went through the setting changes several times... and it didn't start working any of the earlier times. Grrrrr....

Now that it IS isolating the channels correctly on this Eagles disc... wow! They were obviously clamping out extraneous sounds to this channel via a noise gate. Every once in a while, there's a TINY bit of bleed with a bit of an acoustic guitar or crowd sounds between songs, and the odd percussion here and there. But 90% of it is strictly the lead vocal (whoever is singing lead at the moment) and bass guitar only. It's also very "dry", with no/ little reverb mixed in. Quite interesting and quite a test for the center. (I checked Amazon to order a B-D of this- has it never been released on B-D)?

The 160, though bigger than the 150, is not as "bulky" as I thought it would be. I was concerned that the height would make it boxy (that word again) but it looks proportional. I like that it has threaded inserts for the rubber feet. I really like the magnetic grill. The 150 is a few dB louder (more sensitive) which makes absolute comparisons trickier even beyond switching cables. I always leave my grills on, so there's no concern about driver dustcaps matching my older Ti series. It's nice looking with the grill off, though.

I guess the bottom line is this: As I listen to it more and more over several hours this morning as I write this, I'm liking it more and more.

I can't say I was blown away last night and earlier this morning, and I'm not sure if it was because I was frustrated with the settings of my electronics or figuring out why I have no "center" on my SACD discs. Maybe my expectations were ridiculously high based on other reports here.

But I'm liking it quite a bit now. I haven't put it in it's future spot, as I have to wall-mount my TV (never simple with these horsehair plaster walls) so I haven't set distances, delays and levels. Really, I'm just listening to the center, alone and isolated, for "voicing and tone" at this point. It's perfectly listenable all by itself and voiced very much like my M60s. I wouldn't be satisfied listening to the VP150 solo.

I have several deadlines (I should be working on them NOW!) so I don't anticipate REALLY getting this set up & dialed in till probably this weekend.

But I've moved from "it's OK" to "I'm satisfied with my purchase" to currently being at "I'm VERY satisfied with my purchase".

I can only imagine it getting better and better as I get past my other frustrations with settings, get it installed in it's final location and get it dialed in correctly.
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#372034 - 04/03/12 01:49 PM Re: VP160- Initial thoughts [Re: MarkSJohnson]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5651
Loc: Some random location
I find that the VP160 excels in male vocals, with the sub turned on. The VP160 by itself, not so much. I'm still amazed hearing a decent male vocal. It sounds so much better than the VP150. Female vocals, not much difference.

I also find bass guitar and percussion enhanced. I'm using M22's. If you are using M60 or M80, you probably won't notice a difference.


Edited by CatBrat (04/03/12 01:51 PM)

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#372039 - 04/03/12 02:20 PM Re: VP160- Initial thoughts [Re: MarkSJohnson]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10680
Loc: Central NH
Some snapshots; nice photos will have to wait! smile

As I mentioned, I really like the packaging. My other speakers were purchased in 2004. For all I know, they've been doing this since 2005, but it's new to me!

The VP160 is surrounded on all sides by dense foam. My outer carton arrived in perfect shape, but I feel pretty confident that this packaging would protect the speaker from most rough handling!


Looking straight down into the empty box:


The VP160, manual, and feet (in the box):


This was my setup to compare the 160 to my 150. I didn't take the time to remove the clutter; I just wanted people to see the setup that I was listening to. The 150 was simply placed on top of the 160, and both were on a folding table quite a bit forward of the "normal" position:


The 160 really doesn't look all THAT much taller, and is not much wider. It's "visual footprint" from the front is not as bulky as I thought it would be:


It IS, however, substantially deeper:

_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#372044 - 04/03/12 03:02 PM Re: VP160- Initial thoughts [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6614
Loc: PEI, Canada
Thanks for the info Mark.

Note how I did not make one "boxy" joke in appreciation of you sharing your thoughts.
_________________________
With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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