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#379990 - 07/14/12 04:01 PM Audio Only System Renewal
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
Looking for some advice as I'm contemplating replacing my vintage AX2s / Velodyne F1000 system with something more modern. As far as sound is concerned, my present setup has been awesome in my large living/dining room; however, it looks dated, too large & out of place with the mostly wooden decor.

My present system can be seen here:

http://www.axiomaudio.com/blog/home-theater-pictures/?album=1&gallery=139

My new 'audio only' system will be driven solely by my Denon SACD player through a 65 watt/channel Yaqin MC-100B Tube Amp using 'high level inputs' into the sub. This amp provides more than adequate volume levels in my listening area with my present vintage speakers.

After much research, I've narrowed my choice down to a pair of M2v3s (perhaps on FMS 24 stands) & an EP-400, all in one of the high end finishes. - high gloss rosewood or white. This will be a minimalist, classy looking system that should fit better visually into our living space & sound fine as well.

The room is 3900 cu feet with my listening seat being 8' from the sub & 10' from the satellites. The alcove containing the 3 speakers is 12' across & 2.5' deep with the bulk of the open room space being behind the listening area. Using the sub gain level of 4/10 on my 80 watt RMS F1000, its 10" servo controlled driver easily fills my listening area with quality, distortion free bass down to 20 Hz or so. The only output levels that I could find is from Velodyne literature: 20-85 Hz +/- 3db & less than 1% distortion at 25 Hz @104 Db. These were known as very low distortion subs.

Question is, in the near-field, will the EP-400 perform similarly & adequately for music only in my listening area? I'm looking for quality low end musical performance with no requirement to fill our large room with huge sound. As I am now an old phart, excessively loud music is a thing of the past for me now, ha!! Quality over quantity I always say...

Any thoughts?

TAM



Edited by exlabdriver (07/14/12 04:40 PM)

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#379993 - 07/14/12 05:10 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Is there a reason other than aesthetic to replace the sub?

I've not heard the M2's, but own M60's and have heard the rest of the classic lineup. I think there is consensus that the M22's are "better" than the M2's, even at low volumes. For that space - especially if you are willing to spring for the upgraded finish - I think that M22's on nice stands would be really great.

I'd get those first and see how strongly you feel about replacing the sub.

I've not heard the EP400. Suggest a call to Axiom with your questions.

Tom, you have a lovely home, and I really enjoy your participation in the forum. Especially since you are always getting and ENJOYING new stuff!
_________________________
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#379996 - 07/14/12 05:16 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
Joe_in_SC Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/16/04
Posts: 307
Loc: Charleston, SC
My first reaction is that the M2s might not be enough speaker for your listening area and seating distance. Any reason not to step up a bit to M3s (still small & discrete) or M22s? I realize this isn't your question, and I can't comment on the EP-400, just curiosity.
_________________________
I started out with nothing & I've still got most of it left
M60 VP160 QS8 EP350
M22 VP100
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#379998 - 07/14/12 06:11 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
dakkon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 1844
My family room which is for movies as well as stereo listening is 2400cu/ft and i couldn't imagine using M2's in that size of a room.

However, i have a speaker similar to the M2's (same size of drivers, but different brand) in my bedroom with an 8" sub. My bedroom is about 800cu/ft, and in that room of that size of those speaker sounds wonderful...

If i was in your situation, personally i would go with a setup similar to JohnK's.. M22's with a pair of EP500's, or a horizontal ep600/800... Put the M22's on stands, and then go from there..

Is there a budget in mind? If there is somewhat of a budget in mind the 600/800 idea may not be feasible.

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#380004 - 07/14/12 07:29 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
tom: Thanks for your comments & kind words. My Velo is over 20 years old & has to be on its last legs. I have occasional 'Gain Control' issues that is common to the 'F Series' when they reach their senior years - it's just a matter of time before it becomes a door stop. I have a pair of M22s downstairs in my HT & really like them in that setting; however, with the high end finish, the M22s are $170 more than the M2s which is stretching it a bit.

Joe: I already have two M3s hidden away in this room in my separate ambiance system as described here in my other thread 'Auction Win - M3v3s'. They are more than able to fill the 3900 cu ft with moderate levels of quality sound. My reasoning for considering the M2s is that the M2s' SPLs are rated at only 3 Db lower than the M22s, 2 Db less than the M3s & surprisingly 1 Db more than my present AX2s. Therefore, I didn't think that the M2s would suffer here at the moderate levels that I enjoy now.

dak: I wanted to get away from the large form factor of the bigger subs & satellites in this setting. If I was to go with 2 larger subs such as the EP-350s/500s, I'd probably use them as stands for the M22s as I have done downstairs in my HT. Cost for the finishes on all of the bigger speakers also becomes a factor.

The EP-400 to me is a really nice compromise for size with accurate, fine performance. It is even smaller than my 14" cube F1000. I don't think that my wife would entertain the thought of a bigger wooden box sitting in the alcove. With the M3s newly installed in this room's corners, I'm really pushing it!

Cost is certainly a factor & I have to get this done prior to my wife retiring next year, ha!! When high end finishes are factored in, the M2s + EP-400 combo is by far the most cost effective solution due to the smaller area of the veneers requiring finishing.

Thanks all for your thoughts & insight. I eagerly await any more words of wisdom from the fine folks here...

TAM

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#380010 - 07/14/12 08:45 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
Lampshade Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/08/05
Posts: 1161
Loc: Holbrook, MA
HAve you tried the M3s in the proposed position? Maybe you could get another pair and not need a sub?
_________________________
M3 and Manley Stingray
M80 and Pioneer SC 55

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#380012 - 07/14/12 10:01 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10361
Tom, both listening distance and room size are factors, but in home situations the listening distance is far more significant. Research by Dr. Toole and others shows that in typical rooms the sound level drops off about 3dB per doubling of distance. Although the M22s are probably more similar to the AX2s in maximum output capability, the M2s with the sub handling up to 80 or 100Hz should provide you with great sound at a comfortably loud level at your 8-10' listening distance.

Despite the common use of the term, rooms aren't "filled" with sound at a uniformly high level. Your use of "near-field" indicates that you appreciate this and will be satisfied with what you actually hear where you're sitting.
_________________________
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#380013 - 07/14/12 10:05 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
No, but perhaps I should have tried them there before I mounted them on my frankenstands.

With all of the auditioning of floor-standing speakers that I've done in the last year at our local stores including Tannoys, Focals, Klipsch, etc, etc, not one of them demonstrated the dynamic & pleasing low end like my old Velodyne does. They all lacked the fullness that I'm used to. While I'm extremely impressed with the M3s & my AX2s, understandably they can't reach down to the depths of pipe organs, etc.

I'm not a bass monster but I have found that a good sub when set up correctly & used with moderation really is beneficial in a music system, especially with bookshelf speakers. Therefore, I consider a good sub to be essential in this setup.

Furthermore, I really like the appearance of a satellite/sub system. I remember years ago when they first appeared in the market place how cool & classy they looked as contrasted to the fat, boxy floor-standers at that time. I'm seeking that look now in a high grade finish. I guess that I'm buying furniture as well as a sound system, ha!

Thanks for your input...

TAM

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#380019 - 07/14/12 10:47 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
Lampshade Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/08/05
Posts: 1161
Loc: Holbrook, MA
I agree about a sub. I just don't have any. I have two, 2 channel systems. Someday when I have extra dollars or can get a really good deal, I will be adding them.
_________________________
M3 and Manley Stingray
M80 and Pioneer SC 55

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#380021 - 07/14/12 10:54 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
dakkon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 1844
[quote=exlabdriver]I listened to Cameron Carpenter 'Revolutionary' SACD on my Tube-Amp, AX2s & Velodyne 10" sub. Very impressive.[/qute]

I ordered this CD earlier today. However, i though that i would bring this quote into this thread.. John has recommended a couple pipe organ CD's that i have also bought... In my 2400cu/ft room i have a pair of EP-600's, i think that is about right as far as output is concerned for size of room comparable to mine. This is why i recommended the dual sub idea.. When i got my second 600, noticed a considerable improvement in the low end..


In my room, i would say i listen to stereo about 70% of the time.

Good luck with your decision..

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#380022 - 07/14/12 11:01 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7031
Loc: Canada
When I auditioned at Axiom, I was quite impressed with the output of the EP400. I think it will be fine in that room. The M22 is a great little speaker. My only quibble was that there was not enought bass. A sub will take care of that.
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-------
Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#380024 - 07/14/12 11:51 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: dakkon]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10832
Loc: Central NH
Originally Posted By: dakkon


I ordered this CD earlier today.

So YOU'RE the one! I had it in my basket with "one in stock" and saw that they're now out of stock!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#380025 - 07/14/12 11:55 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
dakkon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 1844
GOTA YA!!!


smile

Gotta be quicker Mark...

use the "buy now with 1 click", that's pretty much the only way i buy off of amazon, it's just Sooo easy....

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#380026 - 07/15/12 12:31 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: dakkon]
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7395
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Originally Posted By: dakkon

use the "buy now with 1 click", that's pretty much the only way i buy off of amazon, it's just Sooo easy....


No, no, no. . . .that makes it TOO easy!!

Sometimes the act of me having to log in to get to my cart curbs some of the impulsiveness.
_________________________
***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#380029 - 07/15/12 02:50 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
Mark: You should order the SACD - it's much better, ha! Check out my remarks wrt to watching the accompanying DVD in the 'Stunning Recordings' thread.

John K: Thank you. You have largely confirmed my thinking on this matter.

Just a reminder to all that I am not trying to reproduce movie LFE here. If I sit in my normal listening spots on the couch 8 to 10 feet in front of the speakers that are firing out of the alcove, I can't imagine that this diminutive 500 watt monster couldn't satisfactorily produce enough SPL at the moderate levels that I desire. It would be a different story if I was standing 25' away at the back of this room.

I am reasonably convinced that a pair of M2s on stands coupled with an EP-400 will perform admirably in this setting; however, I am still open to more dialogue if anyone sees fit to jump in...

Thanks again

TAM

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#380032 - 07/15/12 03:26 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: fredk]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
Originally Posted By: fredk
When I auditioned at Axiom, I was quite impressed with the output of the EP400. I think it will be fine in that room. The M22 is a great little speaker. My only quibble was that there was not enought bass. A sub will take care of that.


fredk: Was that an M22 or M2 that you referred to above?

TAM

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#380040 - 07/15/12 12:34 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2726
Loc: CA, USA
ola exlabdriver!

I've had M2s and M22s, both excellent speakers. M22s hands down.

I prefer bookshelf speakers with sub to towers for 2 channel music listening. You might want to check out the Wharfedale, Focal and KEFs. I've heard Wharfes which compare very favorably to m22s when teamed with a SET tube amp. The best sounding tube bookshelf sub combo I ever heard include a pair of Reference 3a speakers. They're on my bucket list of audio equipment.

I'd get that Velodyne to a furniture maker/repair and have it refinished. You could make it beautiful.
Good luck


Edited by 2x6spds (07/15/12 12:45 PM)
_________________________
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

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#380043 - 07/15/12 01:34 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
dakkon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 1844
Tam,


I was thinking about this earlier... Why not order M2's and a EP400 that you are thinking you want.. However, order these items in a stock finish, if you decide you like them, then return the stock finish speakers and place an order for the custom finish you want. This way you will know that YOU like the setup before paying the premium for the custom finish which can not be returned and not having the ability to try something else if you decide you want to.


With this option, you could order a pair of M2's as well as M22's, then decide which YOU like the most.. Also, if you find the EP-400 is sufficient for what you want great. However, if you decide you want something a bit bigger you would have that option.



All of the above would cost you some shipping $$. But, you would know exactly what your getting and positive that it IS what YOU want.


Anyhow, that's all i got. wink

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#380052 - 07/15/12 04:32 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
2x6: Thanks for the suggestions; however, my F1000 has over 20 years of use on its electronics, servo & the driver foam surround. Velodyne is not able to service the 'F Series' as parts are no longer available. While I believe this rather low powered (80 watt) sub is outstanding for music in my setting, this unit is most likely near the end of its life - I'm surprised that it has lasted this long. I don't think that sinking any money into it would be wise. As for other speaker brands, I think that I'll stick with Axiom as I have for over 20 years. I just plain like them!

dak: I have a pair of M22s downstairs in my HT that I could bring up to use as a test bed if I got my hands on an EP-400; however, I wouldn't want to have Axiom sell me a set of 3 speakers just for testing purposes knowing that I definitely will return them. That's just me I guess.

Everything that I've read all over the net is that M2s (& M22s) are best with a sub. On the other hand, M3s are fine by themselves for most music; however, being a bookshelf they cannot be expected to provide the lower end that I desire in this setting - hence the requirement for a sub.

The main question remains - will the EP-400 be powerful enough for moderate near-field listening in my setting? I have to believe that it will...

TAM

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#380055 - 07/15/12 04:51 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
dakkon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 1844
Originally Posted By: exlabdriver
The main question remains - will the EP-400 be powerful enough for moderate near-field listening in my setting? I have to believe that it will...

TAM


My instinct is it would not be enough for me in that size of a room. But, your last question is a completely subjective one.. Which, as you know can be hard to answer...

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#380058 - 07/15/12 05:43 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
dak: I appreciate you continuing comments.

I have a feeling that with dual EP-600s in your awesome system that you prefer to listen to music at quite a higher level than I do - or at least you have the capability to do so. I'd sure like to have your setup in my HT!

I'm really after a minimalist, high quality system that looks elegant in my living room...

TAM

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#380062 - 07/15/12 05:59 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
dakkon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 1844
Actually, i don't really listen that loud.. With the dual 600's the room "fills" even at low volume...

I listen at about 1/2 of reference level, if that is any gauge of what volume i prefer. Granted, sometimes i do listen a bit louder.


Maybe, get an EP400 in a stock finish, it could be the black oak which is similar to your current sub.. Then you would still have the return/upgrade/addition option...? You could listen with the M22's with the 400 and decide if you want another pair or if you think you would be happy with M2's.

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#380063 - 07/15/12 06:21 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
J. B. Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 1262
Loc: Quebec, Canada
i think "moderate near-field listening" does not have much to do with room size, specially when the room is large.
so, my instinct says it could be more than enough.
near-field means less power demands.

near-field listening in a large room means you have more direct sound than reflected sound. how much more depends on the ratio between room acoustics/size relative to the distance from the front speakers to your ears.

it would be a good thing if you specify what this means:"I listen at about 1/2 of reference level"
is it -10 or -6 or -3 dB?


Edited by J. B. (07/15/12 06:25 PM)
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#380065 - 07/15/12 06:51 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
Lampshade Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/08/05
Posts: 1161
Loc: Holbrook, MA
I would order the 400 in the finish you want. That way you can see exactly how it looks in your room. I felt the same way about trying something in a non stock finish, but I was assured by the Axiom Mothership that it would be no problem to send it back.
_________________________
M3 and Manley Stingray
M80 and Pioneer SC 55

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#380082 - 07/15/12 11:30 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
J.B:

Unfortunately I do not have an SPL Meter to give you a good answer on the levels that I'm using.

I realize that the following will not be of much value but here goes:

My 65 watt tube amp's volume knob is Minimum at 7 o'clock & Maximum around to 5 o'clock. I run it between 10 & 11 o'clock depending on the source material which is about 30 to 40% of max. For instance, today I played Spiro Gyra 'Good to Go-Go' SACD starting at 11 o'clock but had to get up & turn it down to 10. Throughout this SACD that is recorded at high levels, there were many passages where the kick drum gently jiggled my couch from 8' away.

With that SACD at the 11 o'clock setting, normal conversation in the listening area would be most difficult. At 10 o'clock conversation would require elevated voices but not to the yelling stage.

Roughly comparing it to my Denon in my HT, I would guess that I'm running the tube amp at -15 Db or so.

Maybe I should get myself one of those SPL doodads.

TAM

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#380087 - 07/16/12 12:20 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2726
Loc: CA, USA
I have hesitations about Axiom subs. Of course, that doesn't mean they're not great.

I like Velodynes, I have a couple. There are a few subs out there I'd like to try:

Epik subs
Rythmik subs

Anyone here ever hear any of these?
_________________________
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

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#380093 - 07/16/12 12:47 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
2x6:

I luv my vintage F1000. It has given me great service & enjoyment over 2 decades. I bought it new for $1200 in 1992 which was a lot of money in those days. The Optimum 10 is the equivalent model today & is quite pricey with not much in the way of custom finishes.

Unfortunately Velodyne has gone mostly ID which makes them a PITA for us in Canada with cost & shipping. Only their lower end subs are available at places like Future Shop up here. In fact FS has the EQ-Max 10 incher on sale this week for $400 ($400 off) - which is a great deal - even less than the US price the last time that I checked. This sub is a newer version of the DLS-3750 that I have in my HT (I have 2) with an on board room EQ feature. I like mine as they perform well, make great stands for my M22s & they were great value for $300 apiece on clearance last year. You can get them in any colour as long as it is black.

I have no reservation in choosing an Axiom sub, especially for music...

TAM

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#380096 - 07/16/12 12:51 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10361
Yeah, Tom; relative volume control settings are very little indication of loudness levels. Amplifiers have fixed gain, but different units have different designed gains. Also, some volume controls "open up" more quickly than others and let in more voltage to be subjected to the fixed gain at a lower setting. An amplifier that reaches the same loudness level at a lower setting than another may actually have less maximum power capability.

So yes, it's a good idea to have an SPL meter such as the Radio Shack digital model to see how loud you're actually listening and at least an approximation(from speaker sensitivity and listening distance)of the power being used.
_________________________
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#380120 - 07/16/12 01:07 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
My local 'The Source' (ex Radio Shack) has the 'SCOSCHE PORTABLE SOUND LEVEL DB METER' for $50.

Is it an OK product?

TAM

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#380123 - 07/16/12 02:13 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
J. B. Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 1262
Loc: Quebec, Canada
the R.S. spl meters are very popular;
if you want to check relative spl's (level diff. between different speakers), then it's good;

but if you want precision readings, then you have to pay more for a precise instrument that will give you true spl's.

modern AVR's are quite good in setting equal loudness on surround systems.
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or: Axiom Gallery

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#380133 - 07/16/12 03:57 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
I'm not sure what you mean by a "more precise instrument", JB. I don't think that measuring SPL in db is particularly esoteric technology anymore.

Tom, if you have an iPhone or an Android device, you might be able to find a (free) app that does basically the same thing. I mean, we're not trying to launch the space shuttle here, or anything.

I'm not familiar with the Scosche. Mine is an old RS analog type. I suspect the chip in all those devices is probably the same. Looks like our Canadian brothers tend to have to pay more for this (among other things) than we do south of the border.
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#380136 - 07/16/12 04:48 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
J. B. Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 1262
Loc: Quebec, Canada
if you measure the output of 1 speaker and the meter says it's 75 dBSPL, and you check a second speaker and the meter reads 73 dBSPL, then when you increase the gain for the second speaker to the same reading as the first one, then they both will truly output the same SPL. This is what a low cost meter can do well: repeatability.

this does not mean that the reading on the meter is "really" 75 dBSPL though, but it can vary from one meter to another, and also the readings can vary according to the frequency that's measured.
This is called manufacturing tolerances.

most of the time, the auto calibration on an AVR is more precise than what a low cost meter can show.
the low cost meter will be able to bring all speakers to the same level, but will not necessarily show a true/exact meter reading: it will not tell you whether your SPL is, for example, 74 or 75 dBSPL, and there are additional errors when one changes frequencies, as those meters don't have a flat frequency response, so a sound measuring 75 dBSPL at 1 kHz will not give the same reading at other frequencies, specially for big chunks at the ends of the spectrum.

if you were to check a signal - with a low cost meter - of a specific strength at 1 kHz and then at 32 Hz, your meter would show very different readings; with a precision meter, the difference between the two would be minimal, as the tolerances are much tighter.

in short, with a low cost meter, all speakers can be adjusted to the same SPL, but you don't know what the true SPL reading is;
with a precision meter, an added benefit is that the display will give you a more precise, truer SPL reading, and this, over a much larger chunk of frequencies.
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#380139 - 07/16/12 05:49 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
J. B. Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 1262
Loc: Quebec, Canada
a few words more...
if you just want to have a good - but not necessarily precise - spl reading, the R.S. meter will be ok.
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#380147 - 07/16/12 07:06 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: tomtuttle]
dakkon Offline
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Registered: 02/08/04
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Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
I'm not sure what you mean by a "more precise instrument", JB. I don't think that measuring SPL in db is particularly esoteric technology anymore.


Tom, precision is pretty much a function of cost. When i was in the Navy we had some SPL meters that were a couple thousand dollars each, and had to be calibrated every quarter... As J.B. said, with those meters 75DB, was EXACTLY 75db, measured to the 1000'th..


However, the precision of an AVR is a function of the quality of the mic being used... even the audyssey pro kit only costs 500$. So, how accurate can that mic be? Also for HT stuff how accurate does the mic need to be? I mean, any of the mic's used are most likely WAY more sensitive than the average ear... So, i would propose that a Radio Shack meter would be more than sufficient..

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#380148 - 07/16/12 07:31 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
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Registered: 09/07/11
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Thanks for all of the info on SPL meters. The Source's model up here seems to be completely different from previous RS models that most people use. Reviews on it are scarce.

I don't have a fancy smart phone & plan never to get one. I rarely follow the herd - perhaps that's why I like Axioms & ride a Yamaha TMAX, ha!. Being long retired, I hate the interruption of mostly needless phone calls - but that's just me.

The levels that an AVR sets up do not apply with this system as it is driven only by a minimalist tube amp - only one volume control.

What I would like to do is just measure the overall average Db level that I consider to be at a 'moderate' level at my primary listening area so that I can pass on the results here.

I should try to borrow one I guess as it seems to me to be something that I really don't need to buy for just this purpose...

TAM

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#380149 - 07/16/12 07:34 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
dakkon Offline
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Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 1844
exlabdriver,

If you know anyone with an Iphone, there is a free SLP meter app. The iphone has a calibrated mic, so it should be as accurate as any sub 100% spl meter... They could always install the app get the reading for you and then delete it if they wanted.

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#380150 - 07/16/12 07:38 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
tomtuttle Offline
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Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
That's a good idea, Alex.

Thanks for the clarification JB and Alex. I appreciate the opportunity to learn from folks here.
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#380151 - 07/16/12 08:13 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
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Registered: 09/07/11
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dak:

Thanks for the iphone App idea. My daughter in Victoria has one & will be coming up to visit in a couple weeks. I'll get her to download the app & try it out.

I'll put on my new Spiro Gyra SACD at my tube amp's 10 o'clock volume (moderate for me) & 11 o'clock (getting too loud) to see what Dbs my system is putting out at my couch.

We then should be able to nail down roughly whether the EP-400 should be able deliver like my F1000 does. The EP-400 being well over 5Xs more powerful than the F1000, I expect that it should have no trouble equaling or exceeding it.

Super idea, thanks again...

TAM

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#380206 - 07/17/12 01:15 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
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Registered: 09/07/11
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Has anyone ever tried this?:

http://www.ehow.com/how_12027736_turn-laptop-spl-measuring-tool.html

I thought that I might try the 'ETF Acoustic' demo software on our Toshiba Laptop. I guess that the main factor would be the accuracy of the built-in mic...

TAM

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#380225 - 07/18/12 02:17 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
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I brought the subject of SPL Meters up at our garage band session tonight. Seems that one of the guys was contemplating buying one until I pointed him to the 'SPL Meter' app for his IPad for $0.99.

He's going to try it out & lend it to me if it works OK.

TAM

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#380230 - 07/18/12 07:42 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
Murph Offline
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Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6735
Loc: PEI, Canada
I tried it on my iPod Touch. It seemed to have variable results when compared side by side to my real SPL meter. It's probably not the Apps fault though. I just don't think that the mics found on headphones are made for this sort of thing.
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#380295 - 07/18/12 10:53 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
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My buddy will be over on Friday morning with the $0.99 'SPL Meter' App on his IPad.

Hopefully it will give me a ballpark Db level at my listening position so that I can determine what is a 'moderate level' to my ears...

TAM

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#380302 - 07/18/12 11:28 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
Lampshade Offline
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Registered: 11/08/05
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Loc: Holbrook, MA
Ex,
I have a pretty decent one from extech. You are more than welcome to borrow it for as long as you need it for.
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#380312 - 07/19/12 12:17 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
dakkon Offline
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Registered: 02/08/04
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I will get an SLP measurement off of my iphone tomorrow, so you can compare. The i would guess the ipad and iphone use the same mic, so the readings should be the same level of accuracy.

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#380324 - 07/19/12 01:42 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
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Thanks guys, for your continuing interest & offers of assistance.

Before I do anything else, I'll see what the IPad does here.

I found this comparison between the 2 'i' devices with the 'mic' section being near the end of the video. Comments from viewers seemed to think that the IPad mic is better, but who knows for sure?:

http://www.speakipad.com/ipad-videos/apple-ipad-2-vs-iphone-4-camera-microphone-comparison

dak - I look forward to your results.

TAM

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#380353 - 07/19/12 12:58 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
dakkon Offline
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Registered: 02/08/04
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Since i know we both own the Cameron Carpenter Revolutionary CD, i though this would be the best CD to use for a comparative volume.

I have an Iphone 4s, i don't know how the 4s's mic compares to the ipad 2's mic.. When i was getting the reading i was holding the phone upside down, so the mic would be pointed up to get the most accurate reading i could.

I used the "The Real SPL meter" app, as it was free. Also, this app has a digital readout, and displays the peak reading below the current reading. I also set the response to slow.


On Track #7, the first 40 seconds the highest reading i got was 91.6db, with an average in the low 80's.

On track #10 during the first minute, the highes reading was 85.6db, with an average in the low 80's again. The highest reading was around 45 seconds.


My room is 17ft deep and 18ft wide, and i sit 13ft away from the speakers. The measurements were taking while i was sitting in my chair...


i guess this will verify if i listen to music at a reasonable level or not eh?

P.S. my system was in stereo mode, so only the LFR's and 600's were working...


Edited by dakkon (07/19/12 01:00 PM)

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#380356 - 07/19/12 01:44 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
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dak:

Wonderful. I have a feeling that those values are probably close to the maximum that I prefer when I'm sober, ha!!

I sit 5 feet closer, so my power requirement will be somewhat less - which is good as my tube amp is optimistically rated at 65 watts/channel. It never seems to strain though.

After I play with the IPad tomorrow, in a couple of weeks I'll get my daughter's IPhone with the same app as you used to see how that works.

Thanks for your help...

TAM

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#380361 - 07/19/12 02:05 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
dakkon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 1844
Doing the SPL reading earlier, it really opens your eyes as to the drastic changes in volume within a single track.. The 91db reading barley lasted a second, if that long. Same with the 85.6db..

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#380398 - 07/19/12 10:34 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: dakkon]
JohnK Offline
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Alex, those numbers seem to be reasonable for what I term a "comfortably loud" listening level. Assuming a fairly accurate measurement setup existed, your speakers use about 1 watt at average levels and a little under 10 watts at the peaks.
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#380399 - 07/19/12 10:38 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: JohnK]
dakkon Offline
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Registered: 02/08/04
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Originally Posted By: JohnK
Alex, those numbers seem to be reasonable for what I term a "comfortably loud" listening level. Assuming a fairly accurate measurement setup existed, your speakers use about 1 watt at average levels and a little under 10 watts at the peaks.


So, you mean my 1200W amp is a bit overkill?

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#380401 - 07/19/12 10:47 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: dakkon]
JohnK Offline
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Reality sometimes differs widely from perceptions.
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#380406 - 07/20/12 12:36 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
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Well I can put out some rather big sound with my weakling tube amp, especially with a modest sub producing the low end...

TAM

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#380455 - 07/20/12 02:48 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
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Well, I had a brief session with my friend's IPad with the 'SPL Meter' App installed. What a cool device - I may have to get one!

Assuming that it is reasonably accurate, my sound level comfort level (when I'm sober, ha1) is about 75 Dbs Average with the absolute max being 85 Dbs Average.

Spiro Gyra 'Good to Go-Go' SACD is recorded very hot. At my seating area of 8 to 9 feet, my tube-amp levels (o'clock) gave me roughly:

* 10 o'clock - 75 Db Ave / 79 Db max;

* 11 o'clock - 85 Db Ave / 88 Db max.

At the back of the room 25' away from the speakers:

* 10 o'clock - 70 Db Ave / 75 Db Max;

* 10 o'clock - 80 Db Ave / 82 Db Max.

The Cameron Carpenter SACD is recorded at a much lower average level that gave me 65 Dbs Ave / 70 Db Max in the listening area.

According to the specs that I've read on the output of the EP-400, I must conclude that it could capably do the job for my audio only system in my setting by providing more than adequate, clean & accurate bass response.

Thanks to all for your interest & assistance. Comments are most welcome...

TAM

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#380456 - 07/20/12 02:58 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
J. B. Offline
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Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 1262
Loc: Quebec, Canada
with SPLs like this, you can be sure your sub will do, and it will have lots of reserve too. :-)
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#380464 - 07/20/12 06:21 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
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JB: I agree, thanks.

In my haste to send send my SPL results for my main audio system, I forgot that I had taken some readings for my M3v3 'ambiance system' in the same room.

We played Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton 'play the blues' CD - 'Layla' - on my simple, solid state Sony 90 Watt/Channel, 2 Channel Receiver. I normally run it between 25 & 35 on the Volume Level. Readings were taken midway between the M3s in opposite corners that are 30' apart. We recorded the following SPLs:

* Vol Level 30 - 70 Db Ave & 75 Db Max (moderate level);

* Vol Level 35 - 75 Db Ave & 80 Db Max (just becoming too loud).

My friend was most impressed with the M3's sound. Nice sentiments considering that he is a musician...

TAM

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#380466 - 07/20/12 08:09 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
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Registered: 09/07/11
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I cannot pass up a bargain. I took advantage of the 'B Stock Sale' in the news letter & just ordered in Boston Cherry a pair of M2s, an EP-400 plus a pair of FMS 24 Stands.

While they are not in the high end finish that I originally desired, I think that they'll fit in just fine into our decor - far better than black. Much easier on my wallet also, ha!!

Thanks for all the help guys...

TAM


Edited by exlabdriver (07/20/12 08:13 PM)

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#380470 - 07/20/12 08:51 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
J. B. Offline
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Registered: 01/19/11
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Loc: Quebec, Canada
i hope you enjoy it well and for a long time. :-)
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#380472 - 07/20/12 09:43 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
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Tom, your results indicate that the levels you actually use will be no strain on your M2s, EP400, amplifier, and most importantly, your hearing.

An especially interesting result to me was the comparison of the levels at your listening position and at the back of the room. The studies of Dr. Toole and others which indicate about a 3dB lower level per doubling of distance in typical home listening rooms have been mentioned here several times. In your case the back measurement at 25' was not quite two distance doublings and about a 5dB lower level would be expected. Your results do indeed show that difference, varying from 4dB to 6dB. That app may in fact deliver reasonably accurate results.
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#380479 - 07/20/12 11:21 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
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Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
Using the 'SPL Meter' App was great fun. If you have an iphone, this App works with it as well. It knows what hardware that it is working on & applies the right mic correction. Well worth The $0.99.

I had a typo the last 'back' reading - it should have been 11 o'clock vise 10.

I talked to Brent ref my purchase. He said that I was lucky to have come across an EP-400 on the factory clearance as they are quite rare - that's why I jumped on it. Brent has one in his own system & loves it...

TAM

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#380484 - 07/21/12 12:34 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
dakkon Offline
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Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 1844
I was wondering how many people on the forum would take advantage of the "sale" today.. Glad you got your speakers, and were able to save a bit of cash at the same time!...

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#381959 - 08/22/12 01:16 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
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Registered: 09/07/11
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Update:

Last weekend I set up my new M2s & EP400 where my vintage AX2s/Velo system previously resided. The smaller form factor of the new speakers in Boston Cherry is nicer in appearance than the standard black in our room. The FMS24 stands with the smaller M2s perched on top have a more elegant look - good for WAF.

This new system is simply outstanding as an audio only setup. My tube amp drives them easily to excessive levels in my large space that compares favourably to the output of my previous set up - thankfully proving my initial thoughts that they would be up to the task.

The M2s are accurate, powerful & the EP400 is a monster of a sub for music in a remarkably small package. At about 1/2 Volume & Crossover at 80Hz, it easily vibrates my hardwood floor & whacked my couch nicely from 8' away. For initial testing I played a Spyro Gyra SACD - Good to Go-Go - that is energetic fusion jazz with lots of fast, dynamic bass from drums & electric bass guitar - no one note droning here! The system performed admirably with the EP400 being most impressive. On all other music, including Cameron Carpenter's impressive, dynamic organ pieces, it ably rendered everything that I played accurately & with authority.

All in all, the diminutive M2s/EP400 combo makes a killer audio system even in quite a large room. My thanks to Ian & his crew for designing & manufacturing a very nice sounding system.

Pic of my new set up:



TAM

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#381966 - 08/22/12 03:11 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Very cool, Tom. Great review. I'm sure your experience will be very valuable to others.

I love it when my couch is nicely whacked.

That sub looks disproportionately small. It's... smaller than a wooden duck.

Did you play with placement any? The proximity of the M2's to the side walls is making me really uncomfortable.

Thanks for the picture!
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#381968 - 08/22/12 03:56 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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Loc: Central NH
My couch needs whacking.... frown
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#381969 - 08/22/12 04:04 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
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Tom:

That 'duck' is a very large Canada Goose carving - probably bigger than real life - 25" long by 10" high. I have it there to hide the power cord in the black plastic conduit until I can hide it behind the baseboard.

The M2s are in the alcove & placed there mostly for aesthetics as there is just no other way. They are about 11' apart & are toed in slightly - the outside angled speaker side parallels the short wall. I get great imaging inside the alcove & often it even extends outside the confines of that space.

I'm not worried about it as it sounds just fine to me...

TAM

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#381970 - 08/22/12 04:37 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

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Loc: Central NH
So the cord is ducking behind the goose?
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#381975 - 08/22/12 06:41 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
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Registered: 09/07/11
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Mark:

If you want to really get your couch whacked, get a cat.

Hmmm, perhaps it was one of my cats whacking it when I was listening & the sub isn't as good as I thought.

Actually, I think that leather furniture probably reflects more sound than fabric coverings might. It may react a little more in a tactile sense. I think that I'm babbling now.

And yes, the cord is playing with the goose...

TAM

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#381979 - 08/22/12 06:56 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10832
Loc: Central NH
I never should have taught you how to post photos. Now, you just make me all jealous and stuff! grin
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#381988 - 08/22/12 09:24 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
JohnK Offline
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Very good, Tom. Enjoy.
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#382015 - 08/23/12 02:25 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
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Registered: 09/07/11
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I'm sitting in YVR airport playing with my new BB Playbook tablet. Grabbed one on sale to accompany me on our European River Boat Cruise. Seems to be a great unit so far. It'll be interesting to see how it works over there on our boat as I'm kinda new to this hi tech stuff.

Just waiting for KLM to whisk us to Amsterdam this afternoon.

TAM

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#382062 - 08/24/12 04:55 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
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Registered: 09/07/11
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Well, 'whisking' wasn't really the correct term - even with good tailwinds that cut half an hour off the flight, it is still a long haul across Canada and the North Atlantic in the middle of the night.

Bicycles everywhere over here in Amsterdam - quite incredible.

I hate being away from our cats; however, our house sitter is probably doing just fine 'herding' them without me.

BTW, the reason for the delay in setting up my new system is that Ian (on his own initiative) tweaked my EP400's DSP's Coding to produce some more output below 25 Hz. This took a couple of weeks of code writing, experimentation and testing on his part.

I really appreciate his efforts and the results sound really good to me...

TAM

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#382064 - 08/24/12 06:15 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Have a wonderful trip, Tom!
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#382069 - 08/24/12 08:18 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
fredk Offline
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Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7031
Loc: Canada
I'm jealous. Its been a while since I've been in Europe and Amsterdam is one of my favourite cities. Did you get to the Van Gough museum?
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#382085 - 08/25/12 04:48 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
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Registered: 09/07/11
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There are museums on every block it seems - very highly rated as well. The only one that we hit today was the 'Anne Frank Museum's. Very poignant and sad.

After supper we strolled through the 'Red Light District. As I expected, very overrated...

TAM

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#382098 - 08/25/12 07:24 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
cb919 Offline
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Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1041
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
I walked through there early one Sunday morning when I had a few hours to kill before my flight home. Let's just say the 'A' shift does not work those hours! eek

Enjoy your trip!
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#382100 - 08/25/12 07:26 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10832
Loc: Central NH
You guys are killin' my fantasies...
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#382122 - 08/25/12 10:33 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: MarkSJohnson]
pmbuko Offline
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Registered: 04/02/03
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Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
You guys are killin' my fantasies...

Killing your fantasies is all part of my rock 'n roll fantasy.
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#382138 - 08/26/12 12:32 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: MarkSJohnson]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7031
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
You guys are killin' my fantasies...

Thanks Mark. Sig updated.
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#382139 - 08/26/12 01:12 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: fredk]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10832
Loc: Central NH
grin
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#383160 - 09/22/12 03:55 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
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Registered: 09/07/11
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Well, we're back from Europe & now fully recovered. Great river cruise but unfortunately most of the ship's passengers came down with a nasty bug that we surmised came from Asia via an airliner out of Singapore. I wasn't affected too badly but my wife spent 4 days in her cabin. In the future, I think that we'll limit ourselves to travel in North America & perhaps Hawaii - too much money involved going international & becoming sick. It's just not worth it.

Anyway, I've been playing & tweaking my M2/EP-400/tube-amp/SACD system since I got back. Over time, I'm more impressed than ever with the performance of this diminutive audio only system. It has proven to be more than capable for my largish room. The M2s provide wonderful clean mids & highs with absolutely no listening fatigue while the EP-400 is a tremendous performer in the low end - no problem with vibrating my hardwood floor & couch.

In case you missed it, this is my response to Amie's timely 'Quick Tip':

http://www.axiomaudio.com/blog/quick-tip-2-1-channel-system-or-floorstanding-speakers/

From what I've heard from all of the floor standers that I've auditioned locally (no Axioms unfortunately), I haven't heard any that provide better sound & especially bass extension than my system does. These brands included fairly large Tannoy, Klipsch, Polk, Energy, Focal, Definitive Technology, etc. For audio only, I think that smaller 2.1 systems can easily rival their bigger brothers for moderate listening levels & look good as well - nice WAF.

Because my M2s & EP-400 are often exposed to direct sunlight, I lightly coated them with a vinyl/leather protectant that I use in my car interior - Zymol. I applied a light coat to the vinyl & the next day smoothed out the coating with the same cloth. It resulted in a nice sheen on the surface - quite nice to look at. I would think that reapplying every couple of months might be appropriate.

BTW - I ordered a pair of FMS24 stands from the Factory Outlet for my M3s in the same room to provide more stable platforms & will be more pleasing look than my DIY stands...

TAM

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#383229 - 09/24/12 08:24 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6735
Loc: PEI, Canada
Interesting review and thanks for the tip on the protectant. Both my main level M60 are situated in front of the small walled areas between garden doors and windows. This wall faces the north so it is not direct sunlight. It's been 5 or six years and I haven't noticed any dulling on the finish yet but it might be interesting to compare them with the basement set. At least it would be were it not for the fact that they are so damn heavy.
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#384287 - 10/17/12 10:04 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
I am late to this party but thought I would comment anyway. I loved the EP400 when I tried it out. That little sub has some amazing ouput and the seet texture I love about Axiom subs. I am not so sure you really needed the extended range for an audio only system, 25 hz is more than low enough except for some pipe organ music. I am sure you will be happy for years to come with that nice little system.
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#384292 - 10/17/12 11:36 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
Jason:

Let me assure you that my M2s, as good as they are, do not & can not 'tickle' my floor & couch in my listening area like the EP400 does. The EP400's crossover is set at 80 Hz & the volume is about half way on the dial. This often proves to be more than required on some recordings, but I put up with it, ha!! Most of the SACDs (the well mixed ones) that I run exclusively through this system are simply stunning in my setting.

A pair of M2s + EP400 (or two) make a marvelous audio only system with a small footprint. This combo easily reaches 85 DBs cleanly that I find is my own limit for loudness...

TAM

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#384358 - 10/19/12 03:30 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
I received my second pair of FMS-24 stands today - this time for my M3s.

It might be placebo effect, but I swear that the 'Sade' CD (of which I am very familiar) that I played sounded better - much cleaner in the bass region I think. Perhaps it is due to the better coupling to my hardwood floor as contrasted to my rather lightweight DIY stands that provided no coupling at all.

The Axiom stands are heavy duty & of the highest quality that provide a really safe, stable base for both my M2s & M3s. They look good too...

TAM

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#384464 - 10/21/12 02:11 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
I was reffering to Ian's reworking of the EP400 software for more extension, not the M2s.
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#384475 - 10/21/12 12:41 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
jake:

Sorry, I misunderstood your ref to Ian's DSP tweaking.

If he wanted to 'improve' the EP400 DSP Software (for all following 400s in that model line) to eek out a bit more oomph at the lowest end, I wasn't going to argue with him. The only downside was that I had to wait a couple of extra weeks for delivery - something that I was more than happy to do.

Interestingly, my EP400 actually went for a ride on his 90' tower during the final testing.

TAM

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#384482 - 10/21/12 02:51 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
Socketman Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 1161
Loc: Whitehorse YT
Originally Posted By: exlabdriver
I received my second pair of FMS-24 stands today - this time for my M3s.

It might be placebo effect, but I swear that the 'Sade' CD (of which I am very familiar) that I played sounded better - much cleaner in the bass region I think. Perhaps it is due to the better coupling to my hardwood floor as contrasted to my rather lightweight DIY stands that provided no coupling at all.

The Axiom stands are heavy duty & of the highest quality that provide a really safe, stable base for both my M2s & M3s. They look good too...

TAM



Its not a placebo effect. When i got my M2's i did alot of searching for a set of stands that matched the speakers and decor. Along the way i found plenty of information relating to speaker stand's and their construction along with balast etc and its effect ont he sound of the speaker.I had my M2's sitting on my old speakers while i waited for my stands to arrive. The difference was huge, even though the height was essentially the same. I see that axiom sells ballast to add to the fms stands.
richard
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#384544 - 10/22/12 10:37 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
No problem, I figured my original statement was taken the wrong way. It is cool that your sub went up the tower and as always no harm in getting a little more performance.
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#393050 - 05/13/13 12:50 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
Resurrecting an old thread:

Well, 'The Boss' was feeling especially pleasant on 'Mother's Day' yesterday & approved my suggestion for another Axiom speaker.

So, I am adding to my wonderful 2 X M2, 1 X EP400, Tube Amp & SACD Audio Only System - an order for a second EP400 from Axiom's B-Stock stash.

So each M2 will now have its own miniature, killer sub. How cool is that?

TAM

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#393052 - 05/13/13 01:34 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10832
Loc: Central NH
Very! smile
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#393053 - 05/13/13 02:40 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Holy Moly!

Are you playing the M2's full-range? If not, how are you wiring/filtering them? Does the EP400 have a high-pass filter or something?
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#393054 - 05/13/13 02:58 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
I'm playing the M2s full range spliced at the EP400's 'High Level Inputs' (Speakers IN) from my Tube Integrated Amp. There is no filtering provided to the M2s by the EP400 nor is there any EQ provided by my Tube Amp - no processing whatsoever.

I would have preferred to have filtered 'Speaker Level Out' like my twin Velodyne subs have, but the EP400 doesn't have that feature.

Anyway, I've never heard any nasties from this system since I got it last summer as I surmise that the M2s roll off naturally below their lower limit & don't suffer any negative consequences. While I've never felt any bass response deficits, I believe that twin EP400s can only enhance the listening experience I would think...

TAM

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#393067 - 05/13/13 10:45 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7395
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Very cool, Tom!! I love the idea of the twin EP400s in your stereo set-up. Enjoy!
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#393072 - 05/13/13 10:58 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Nothing wrong with the M2's running with their natural roll off in combination with the 400, the M2s have a fairly steep roll off. I would set the 400 crossover on the amp at either the 100 or 80 hz setting going with which ever sounds best.
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#393081 - 05/14/13 01:18 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
I think that I have my present single 400 set at 80 Hz. Seems to sound just fine that way...

TAM

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#393082 - 05/14/13 03:15 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10361
Yes, as Jason points out, the M2s have a pretty steep roll off a little below 80Hz, so together with the 80Hz roll off on the 400's low-pass filter this forms a pretty good "natural" crossover.
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#393131 - 05/15/13 05:59 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
After I just read the latest newsletter, I realized that I got the 20% savings deal on my EP400 order.

Gotta like that...

TAM

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#393157 - 05/15/13 11:59 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7031
Loc: Canada
Wohooo! With the savings, you can order another set of M2s (at a 20% discount) for the bathroom. grin
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#393176 - 05/16/13 03:28 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
You mean for our newly renovated bathroom that cost $25K?? That was a bargain compared to the new kitchen that was finished last week for $41K.

My speaker purchases are minor compared to all of this other household stuff; however, we have to get it all done before my wife retires next year when we both will be pensioners...

TAM

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#393308 - 05/22/13 03:03 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
Shane White Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 142
Loc: Perth, Western Australia
Originally Posted By: exlabdriver
You mean for our newly renovated bathroom that cost $25K?? That was a bargain compared to the new kitchen that was finished last week for $41K.

My speaker purchases are minor compared to all of this other household stuff; however, we have to get it all done before my wife retires next year when we both will be pensioners...

TAM

Oh dear, I think I need to lie down for a while ...
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#393323 - 05/22/13 02:32 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
I guess that our renos are not that significant when considering that our house is probably worth the ridiculous market price of $600K or more - about 3X the price that we paid in 1996. At the moment, there are a couple of waterfront houses across the street that are up for sale for $887K & $995K.

Our 'Austerity Program' starts next year when my wife finally retires from full time nursing.

Waiting patiently for my EP400 to be shipped...

TAM


Edited by exlabdriver (05/22/13 02:33 PM)

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#393704 - 06/04/13 12:16 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
I'm patiently waiting shipment of my second EP400 that was ordered on 13 May with a 2-week expected ship date. As it is now 3 weeks, I called Brent yesterday to check on it & he advised that Axiom was almost overwhelmed by the wonderful response to their May 20% Off Sale. There is no doubt that sales do move product!

So as it stands, Noreen is busily hand-building my EP400 Amp with expected shipping this week sometime.

Brent lamented the fact that it was only 6C at Dwight, ON whereas I was about to go golfing out here on the west coast in 21C sunny weather, ha!!

TAM

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#394072 - 06/12/13 07:27 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
Well, my EP400 arrived this PM in an undamaged carton. A quick look inside shows that it is good shape & is the correct colour.

Too late to do anything today but with the forecast unsettled weather - that normally means rain - out here precluding golfing tomorrow, I guess that I'll be gently removing baseboards to run some new speaker wires...

TAM

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#394080 - 06/12/13 10:44 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
brwsaw Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 974
Call in sick
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#394082 - 06/12/13 11:00 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
I'm retired & therefore I'm never sick, ha!

Actually, thinking back when I was in the Air Force, I feared being sick because the bored medical folks like to practice on your body. Then if they found something minimally amiss, you could easily be out on the street without a career & no future paychecks coming in. I avoided those folks like the plague & I got quite good at it over my 36 years...

TAM

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#394083 - 06/12/13 11:10 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
brwsaw Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 974
2 400's. Would have been my first choice (if I hadn't been happy with my current pair).
Gonna need more...picts...first impressions...


Edited by brwsaw (06/12/13 11:11 PM)
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#394084 - 06/13/13 12:26 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
Since last summer I've been running happily with 1 400 centered between my M2s so I'm very familiar with its performance. I don't expect that there will be a huge difference in sound but now each sub's volume setting will probably be quite a bit lower so they will not be working as hard. Perhaps dispersion will be better although there was not really a problem with that before.

Anyway, hopefully I'll get them set up tomorrow. I really despise dealing with baseboards & hardwood floors but I hate seeing wires so it has to be done.

Pics will follow...

TAM

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#394085 - 06/13/13 01:19 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
brwsaw Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 974
You should see my wires!
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#394087 - 06/13/13 01:31 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: brwsaw]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7031
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: brwsaw
You should see my wires!

Um, no thanks...

::edges away slowly::
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#394088 - 06/13/13 01:40 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
brwsaw Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 974
Lol
Too funny
Sig line good...
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#394095 - 06/13/13 01:27 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
The sun is shining today - golf wins out.

It's interesting how your priorities change with age. Had this been 30 or 40 years ago when I was a young pup, I would have been up until midnight struggling with the installation in the frustration of working low light. Then when I was finished at that late hour, I still couldn't test it as my wife & the cats are sleeping...

TAM

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#394097 - 06/13/13 02:11 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
I've found that my patience has improved with age.
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#394099 - 06/13/13 02:33 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
Actually I'm getting better at procrastinating; however, my patience is much, much shorter, especially when standing in the cashiers' line at Wama...

TAM

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#394187 - 06/16/13 03:52 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
Well, yesterday I spent the day wrestling with baseboards & wiring but my second EP400 installation went very well. Wires are mostly not visible & my pet Canada Goose has a more prominent place that strategically hides a furnace vent there in the floor.

I fear that I've created a mini-disco on my living room, ha! Although it is driven only by my 35W/Ch tube amp, this is a very powerful audio system. Bass dispersion is understandably less centered now & perhaps a little more even throughout the listening area. Overall, it is a very impressive setup that fits well aesthetically into our room. A little tweaking on sub levels is still required as they can easily be overpowering, although the bass is so clean it doesn't get annoying, just too much at times.

Some pics:





Thanks to the entire crew at Axiom for providing such a nice collection of outstanding products. This by far is the best audio only system that I've ever owned - I've had more than a few over the years. Sats/subs are nice way to go & they don't sacrifice if anything much considering their small size...

TAM

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#394199 - 06/16/13 09:02 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Pretty amp and the speakers/subs look good too, nice symmetry with the 2 subs up front like that.
_________________________
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#394204 - 06/16/13 09:33 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
Socketman Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 1161
Loc: Whitehorse YT
Drill some holes in the duck so the heat can get through .
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#394205 - 06/16/13 09:39 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
He is actually sitting just in front of the vent. It is not visible now from the couches but it can still work both for heat & AC...

TAM

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#394210 - 06/16/13 10:02 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
brwsaw Offline
aficionado

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 974
Very clean.
Whats the measurement to the top of the speaker to the floor?
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#394223 - 06/17/13 02:24 AM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
The M2s are perched on Axiom 'FMS 24' stands giving a total height of 37.5" to the top of the speaker.

The center of the tweeter is 35" off the floor or within 1" of my measured ear height when I'm seated on the couch; however, they fire over top of us when the cat & I are napping horizontally, ha!

TAM

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#394458 - 06/22/13 01:12 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
Well, I dusted off one of my vintage CDs that I use for evaluating my music systems - TELARC's Time Warp - to run through my newly upgraded audio system.

Amazingly it is still available despite being released in 1984. This CD was recorded when digital was still in its infancy & according to the liner notes:

"During the recording of the digital masters & the subsequent transfer to disc, the entire audio chain was transformerless. The signal was not passed through any processing device (ie, compression, limiting, or equalization) at any step during production". "The digital information was not subject to any analog intersteps, thus preserving the integrity of the original digital master".

This indeed is an uncommon recording as most are not done without manipulation of some kind these days. If you want to hear a production that has been absolutely not altered, this is a good one. It is really too bad that TELARC is no more (swallowed up by Concord).

If you get it, be sure to heed TELARC's Warnings - "Damage could result to speakers or other components if the musical program is played back at excessively high levels". That warning probably would still be valid today although our modern gear is more robust.

Info & reviews here:

http://www.amazon.com/Time-Warp-Zarathustra-Jerry-Goldsmith/dp/B000003CTH

My M2s & EP400s sounded simply stunning when reproducing this dynamic CD - dead silence to full bore with tremendous bass at times. Strings were smooth & lush as were wind instruments. The lower end & percussion shook the floor with authority. Overall it was a very pleasing session, so much so that I ran through it several times. It is still in my Denon's disc tray, ha!

This Axiom sats/subs system definitely passed the muster for me, subjectively speaking of course...

TAM

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#395932 - 08/08/13 01:52 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
The other night we held our annual BC Days Fireworks Party where we had a bunch of people over to watch the spectacle over our harbour.

After most had departed, a good friend with whom I'd flown with over the years began talking audio stuff. He is an outstanding, meticulous & fastidious individual (but thankfully in a very low keyed manner) who spends his money on rather nice gear whether audio or photography. His audio stable includes - Bryston 3B SST amp, Bryston BP-25 MC pre-amp, Magnum DynaLab MD-100 fm tuner, Linn Sondek LP12 turntable & Paradigm Studio Reference speakers - so it is pretty decent stuff.

He was about to leave as it was getting late but I cajoled him into listening to just one track of Spyro Gyra's SACD 'Good to Go-Go' on my Tubes/SACD/M2s/EP400s audio system. Well, our short 1 track listening session turned into about 5 over the next half hour. Considering that he really wanted to go home, I believe that he was most intrigued with the performance of my simple, diminutive system & the outstanding quality of this TELARC recording. Interesting, as he had never heard of Axiom.

All in all, I think that I've made some pretty wise choices building this system. Makes me happy anyway...

TAM

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#395934 - 08/08/13 02:00 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Well done.
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#395948 - 08/08/13 03:42 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
Thanks Tom.

Even though I despise the 'peer approval' syndrome that seems to be so endemic to the social media generation as demonstrated over at some other forums where a dozen new 'Choose My Speakers For Me' threads appear every day, it was nice to have someone that I respect validate my impression of what sounds great...

TAM

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#395957 - 08/08/13 04:59 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Well, the "well done" part from my perspective is that YOU are HAPPY. wink
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#395964 - 08/08/13 06:47 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Online   content
aficionado

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 982
Yup. Unfortunately many of the 'over enthusiasts' out there forget that is all that counts...

TAM

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