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#77460 - 01/17/05 11:30 AM sibilance
asher770 Offline
buff

Registered: 06/01/04
Posts: 53
I remember there being a thread about sibilance on Axiom speakers somewhere in this forum.I really never gave much thought about this,but once it was brought to my attention ,I started listening for it.I found that when listining to fm on my M80's through my HK reciever that there was a pronounced sibilance any time a "S" was encountered.Is this a speaker problem or the quality of fm broadcasts? Now that I am aware of this sibilance it can be quite annoying and I find myself using the treble control when I listin to fm.


Edited by asher770 (01/17/05 11:33 AM)

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#77461 - 01/17/05 11:46 AM Re: sibilance
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17789
Loc: NoVA
Dollars to donuts, it's the broadcast, especially if you don't hear it from CDs, DVDs, etc.
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#77462 - 01/17/05 05:07 PM Re: sibilance
asher770 Offline
buff

Registered: 06/01/04
Posts: 53
When I hooked up a pair of AR9's there was absolutly no sibilance in any mode.Is it possible that due to the M80's "clarity" or "brightnes" (depending on your point of view)that i'm getting this sibilance?

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#77463 - 01/17/05 05:17 PM Re: sibilance
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17789
Loc: NoVA
That would be my wager. Axioms can be pretty unforgiving (at least the M2/22/60/80 line).
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#77464 - 01/17/05 10:13 PM Re: sibilance
Michael_A Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 418
Play with the speaker positions a little. Toe in /out & distance from the wall behind them. My 60s did this after I bumped one of them and ended up with one being toed in, and one toed out. Of course, there was overall change in sound in general as well, but the sibilance was the most obvious difference, followed by the dissappearance of any imaging at all.

Are you getting good imaging?
_________________________
M- M60s/VP150/QS8s/SVS PC-Ultra/HK630 Sit down. Shut up. Listen.

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#77465 - 01/17/05 10:38 PM Re: sibilance
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13340
Loc: Iowa
Oh no, not another sibilance thread

So I don't have to look it up in the dictionary or do a Google search, what is sibilance. I thought I was picky...
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#77466 - 01/18/05 12:29 AM Re: sibilance
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5432
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Think sssssssssssssssssssssibilance and you'll get the idea. I don't know what the actual cause is, but the effect is artificial emphasis of "s" sounds. The normal test for a sound system is to say "sibilance" several times into the microphone, maybe that's where the word came from.

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#77467 - 01/18/05 10:53 AM Re: sibilance
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13340
Loc: Iowa
Probably like the rainbow affect for DLP projector's, some people see it, but most people do not...
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#77468 - 01/18/05 03:03 PM Re: sibilance
spiroh Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/06/05
Posts: 65
Loc: Chicago, IL
In my past experiences with car audio, I can tell you that if you have forward sounding speakers that happent to be detailed a poor recording will sound sibilant. That was the case with my Focals that I had in my car. Listening to te M80s though on CDs, there was no hint of sibilance whatsoever.

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#77469 - 01/19/05 08:09 AM Re: sibilance
asher770 Offline
buff

Registered: 06/01/04
Posts: 53
In answer to Micael's questions, my speakers are not toed in or out.They are facing straight out.I am getting good lateral imaging but practically no depth.Due to the shape of my listining room my speakers are placed assymetrically.I am assuming that that's why I am not getting much depth.I have tried toing both in and out but that hasn't done anything to get rid of the sibilance or helped the depth issue.


Edited by asher770 (01/19/05 08:14 AM)

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#77470 - 01/19/05 08:05 PM Re: sibilance
Michael_A Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/07/04
Posts: 418
It was worth a shot. Sorry it didn't help.
_________________________
M- M60s/VP150/QS8s/SVS PC-Ultra/HK630 Sit down. Shut up. Listen.

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#77471 - 01/24/05 12:24 PM Re: sibilance
alan Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3191
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Hi asher770,

"Sibilance"--exaggerated "sss" and "ttt" sound--is often heard on FM broadcasts, the result of microphones that have a peaked "presence" effect in the upper midrange, for intelligibility of the announcer's voice heard on lower-fidelity gear (car systems, tiny radios, boomboxes, etc.). The upper-midrange peak is inherent in the microphone design, or sometimes added with a touch of EQ by the radio station engineer. Linear speakers like the M80s, M60s, etc. will reveal sibilance in the source material, whether it's FM or CDs.

You would never hear it on AR speakers, which historically have had very depressed upper midrange and treble. In tests of AR speakers, including models I owned (AR3s, AR2ax's), the treble and upper octave response was down by 10 dB! That's equivalent to turning a treble tone control fully down (counter clockwise).

Many pop and rock recordings (some classical and jazz) are also EQ'd in the mids (again for radio airplay), so they may be sibilant played on linear speakers. As an example of this, I once spoke to a Canadian jazz singer, Holly Cole, about the microphone she used for live performances (and a similar one for some of her recordings). It had a pronounced midrange presence peak that made her concerts really irritating, with sss and tt sounds that could take your ears off. At a Toronto reception after a concert, I politely mentioned the subject, and she seemed to appreciate my comments. Whether she changed mikes for later concerts I don't know. Some of her later CDs do not have the sibilance that earlier discs had, so perhaps my remarks influenced her.

Anyway, use your tone controls to tame annoying FM broadcasts or CDs that have excessive inherent siblilance. Often a 2-or 3-dB reduction in the treble will make it quite listenable.

As to "depth," lots of rock or pop recordings don't have any. They are entirely artificial studio creations so you will get a flat soundstage. They are multi-miked and digital reverberance is sometimes added to make them a little less dry-sounding.

On the other hand, if you play some recordings that are simply miked (concert classical or jazz done in a live venue), the M80s should reproduce that sense of depth quite realistically.

Regars,
_________________________
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

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#77472 - 01/24/05 02:52 PM Re: sibilance
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16289
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Sibilant or not, Holly Cole has an excellent voice.
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#77473 - 01/25/05 02:14 AM Re: sibilance
asher770 Offline
buff

Registered: 06/01/04
Posts: 53
Hi alan, Regarding the AR9 speakers that I used in my test for sibilance,they are not the vintage AR9's.They are one of the last speakers AR produced before going defunct a year ago.Their published frequency response is 32hz-22khz +-2db's.Listening to them I find that they are not as detailed (bright) as the m80's but they are certainly not lacking in highs.I to used to own the AR2ax speakers so I understand where your coming from , however the AR9 is a different breed.


Edited by asher770 (01/25/05 02:24 AM)

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#77474 - 01/25/05 10:38 AM Re: sibilance
alan Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3191
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Hi asher,

Were those the tall towers with side-firing woofers? I'd have to dig into some of my files. I know that long after the original AR folks left (Ed Villchur, Henry Kloss, Roy Allison), AR did hire some new designers and produced serveral speakers that were not the like old ARs, with the depressed mid and treble response. One of those engineers, Ken Kantor, went on to found his own company, NHT. I do recall hearing a very good AR speaker that he'd designed but I can't recall the model. It was floorstanding and tall.

Regards,
_________________________
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

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#77475 - 01/25/05 02:16 PM Re: sibilance
asher770 Offline
buff

Registered: 06/01/04
Posts: 53
Hi Alan, Yes they are the ones with the side firing woofers.They happen to be fantastic sounding speakers but highly underrated by the high end crowd for reasons beyond my comrehension.I prefer the m80's because of the grearer detail,but thats a matter of personal taste.I am very reluctant to get rid of them,but am getting to much flack from my better half and will have to do so. Best regards. Asher

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#77476 - 01/25/05 03:15 PM Re: sibilance
asher770 Offline
buff

Registered: 06/01/04
Posts: 53
P.S. to the above .The AR9 as well as the m80 happen to be much better speakers then the some of the "high end" junk being peddled at exhorbetent prices to some gullible people out there.I really think that most reviewers in the so called high end publications are either deaf or on the payroll of some of the "high end" companies.


Edited by asher770 (01/25/05 03:16 PM)

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#77477 - 01/25/05 04:40 PM Re: sibilance
bray Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 1792
Loc: Colorado
I had a pair of ARs in the early 80s but cant remember which ones they were. After a long web search last night I still cant find them.
Does anyone know of an AR data base?
Just curious.
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DON'T BE A DICK.

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#77478 - 01/25/05 06:05 PM Re: sibilance
bray Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 1792
Loc: Colorado
I found them. They were AR58bxi. First good speakers I ever owned.
_________________________
LIFE IS SHORT.
DON'T BE A DICK.

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#77479 - 01/28/05 06:54 PM Re: sibilance. Resistors, felt...? (LONG)
alex Offline
regular

Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 6
I haven't seen any discussion about trying to use felt for reducing brightness so I'd like to bring it up. First an intro:

Setup:
I have experience with the M60's for about half a year now. My listening setup is for stereo only. The integrated amp is a Musical Fidelity A308, and the source is a Sony CDP-CX455 changer. It's setup in a loft-style apartment with high ceiling and bare hardwood floors (rather reflective conditions). I’ve experimented with placement and the best results seem to be with the speakers about 7' apart, 1' from the rear wall, no toe-in. Listening position is about 8' from speakers.

A bit too bright:
Although I like the lively, dynamic and detailed presentation of the M60's, they sound a bit too bright causing ear fatigue after half hour or so. I only use original CD's (no burned cds, mp3's, ...) and the music is mostly rock, not at very high volumes. The sibilance is noticeable with the 'sssss'. For example, I consider Morrissey's 'You are the quarry' a well mixed album but still the s’ can have a metallic shrill to them. On my other setup using Mission 773e speakers there is no hint of sibilance (they have silk dome tweeters, granted).

Resistors:
I read on this board about using resistors to try and tame the highs so I called Joe and was promptly sent a 2.7 Ohm pair. After having them for a month or so they had to come out. It did tame the highs but the sound lost too much of it’s sparkle, and although it reduced, did not completely remove the bright/metallic s’. The problem is that the resistors equally lower the entire frequency range of the tweeter, thus reducing upper midrange clarity which I’m sure the folks at Axiom worked hard to achieve. After another month, I again couldn’t deal with the brightness and thought that a lower resistor value was more appropriate. I went to Fry’s and bought a pair of 10 W, 1.5 Ohm resistors for $1 or so, similar looking to the ones I got from Axiom. I have an LCR meter at work and tested them, and they were well matched to less than 1%. For the M60’s, the 1.5 Ohm value is a lot more appropriate than the 2.7 Ohm in terms of balancing reduction of tweeter glare and not muting too much the upper mids. Still, the ‘ssss’ can be fatigue-inducing at times. I wish there was a way to tone down the sibilance without muting the upper mids. Probably a better CD player and adding a carpet would help, but it’s not an option at this point. As a side-note, I read on another thread that Axiom started charging $30 for the resistors?! I hope that it’s not the case. They can be bought for far less and even if you include the price of the sliding contacts and shipping, I could understand $5, but $30? Axiom’s supposed to provide good value, right? Not wanting to sound negative, I do have to say that the presence of this forum as well as the excellent customer service speaks highly of Axiom.

Felt:
I recently came across an interesting board discussion about using felt around the tweeter to reduce the dispersion effects around the tweeter and was wondering if anyone’s tried it for their M60/80’s as a way to smooth the highs. Here’s the link:
http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/idealbb/view.asp?mode=viewtopic&topicID=31143&num=20&pageNo=1
This is very different from what some people on this board have tried:
http://www.axiomaudio.com/boards/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Board=HT&Number=70377&page=&view=&sb=&o=
I’d be curious to hear if anyone’s tried both the resistor and felt and how they feel about one vs. the other.



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#77480 - 01/28/05 07:14 PM Re: sibilance. Resistors, felt...? (LONG)
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16289
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
I would definitely try the felt if I were having a similar problem to yours. Alan has recently mentioned that the M60s have great off-axis response, which means the tweeters send quite a bit of information out toward the side walls. This helps contribute to the perception of a wider soundstage. In your case, since your room is decidedly 'live' with all its hard surfaces, the off-axis response is probably what's causing the sibilance and ear fatigue.

In addition to trying the felt, or instead for that matter, I'd try to soften the room a bit, especially on the walls to either side of your listening position.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#77481 - 01/30/05 09:57 AM Re: sibilance
F107plus5 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 2034
Loc: Fla. Orig. Mich.
Has anybody ever had a problem with either sibilance or had a desire to add resistors to either an M3, M40 or M50? Any of you M3 M40 or M50 oweners wish to respond?

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#77482 - 01/30/05 03:22 PM Re: sibilance
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17789
Loc: NoVA
I've got the M50s. I've never noticed a problem with sibilance, but I really don't listen at high volumes. The M50s tend to be more forgiving (from what I've heard) of poorly mastered things than the 22/60/80s.
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#77483 - 02/03/05 12:29 PM Re: sibilance: Resistors, felt, SPL meter
alex Offline
regular

Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 6
I’ll post my success in softening the highs of the M60’s using wool felt pads, 1.5 Ohm resistors, and improving the overall frequency response using the Rives audio test CD2 with the analog Radio Shack SPL meter.

Wool Felt:
Bought it for around $1 at the local fabric store. I cut out a circular torus with outer diameter the size of the tweeter bracket (covering the mounting screws), and inner diameter the hole of the tweeter opening. I attached it using double-sided scotch tape.

I doubted that it would make an audible difference so I was really surprised that it was not a subtle one. It did tone down the sibilance and was very noticeable with the ‘ssss’ not having as much of an edge to them as before. I went back and forth removing and putting it back on and the effect was very reproducible. So the wool felt and the 1.5 Ohm resistors stayed (no grills).

SPL meter:
http://www.rivesaudio.com/software/softframes.html
What a great deal! I bought the Rives audio test CD2 (mention Audioholics and you’ll get a 10% discount: so $21 incl. shipping) and Radio Shack analog SPL meter ($40) mainly out of curiosity. It turned out it’s a really nice tool to find problems and help you to improve the sound. For a good sounding system, it’s important to remove any large peaks in the bass response (20-160 Hz). I had an 8 dB hump in the frequency response around 80 Hz, which was due to a room mode. The spacing of the speakers did not affect the peak, but the distance from the back wall did. I originally had them 13” from the rear wall, and had to move them to 24” to bring the hump down to the same level as the other (lower bass) frequencies. I experimented with the placement while playing the 80 Hz tone. So at 2’ from the rear wall, the 80 Hz boominess went away. I did a full scan and there were a few dips throughout the frequency spectrum (dips are not that much of a concern, unlike peaks) but overall the response was now flat within +- 3 dB or so. The difference was dramatic. The midrange cleared up and became more pronounced. Before I always felt that the midrange sounded a bit recessed, but it was due to the peak in the bass response.

The combination of the resistors, wool felt, and room placement (to remove a hump in the lower bass) produced a great result. I’m now much happier with the sound and I’d recommend the SPL meter to anyone wanting to diagnose their system.


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#77484 - 02/03/05 01:03 PM Re: sibilance: Resistors, felt, SPL meter
sidvicious02 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/09/03
Posts: 973
Loc: Brandon, Manitoba
In reply to:

I’d recommend the SPL meter to anyone wanting to diagnose their system



Sounds like another shill for Radio Shack!




Just kidding of course Alex (was a joke in reponse to some name calling that took place a week or so back). You are correct though, the RS SPL meter is a must to get your system running optimally. Anyone who is prepared to spend $1000+ for a speaker setup should be able to budget $40 for one of these - it's crucial.
_________________________
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#77485 - 02/03/05 01:15 PM Re: sibilance: Resistors, felt, SPL meter
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10941
Loc: Central NH
Hi Alex:
I appreciate your report! I have a few questions, though:

Are you saying that you used both the pads and the resistors together? Did you try them individually and, if so, what were the results?

Did you notice a loss of detail in the highs, or was it just a matter of reducing the sibilance you were hearing and leaving the detail intact?

How did you attach the felt? Is it something that was easily removed?
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#77486 - 02/03/05 01:50 PM Re: sibilance: Resistors, felt, SPL meter
alex Offline
regular

Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 6
Hi Mark,

> Are you saying that you used both the pads and the resistors together? Did you try them individually and, if so, what were the results?
> Did you notice a loss of detail in the highs, or was it just a matter of reducing the sibilance you were hearing and leaving the detail intact?
> How did you attach the felt? Is it something that was easily removed?

Yes, I use them both at the same time. I tried the resistors at first to tone down the highs and added the wool felt later to remove the sibilance which was still there. I didn’t experiment with having just the felt since I was pleased with the results, but I might remove them later to see how it sounds. The felt is very easy to attach/remove: I used double-sided (removable) 3M scotch tape.

I don’t think there is a loss of detail with the felt. I actually feel that the grills reduce some detail, so I don’t have them on (although they do help a bit in reducing sibilance if on).

You can experiment with the shape of the cut-out on the felt, as the article on the Sound and Vision forum describes (see link on my previous post). I did not do this and the round opening I used might be sub-optimal. I was just curious to see if it would help—it did.

I bought the SPL meter that day so I used the test CD to proceed with the frequency response. It was a very useful experience and changing the placement had a big impact (positive) on the sound. Have a look at the Audioholics link from the Rives website about placement. It talks about subwoofer placement but the same applies for speakers.
The frequency scan I got with the new placement was pretty flat up to 10 KHz, so that’s why I did not want to mess with removing the resistors—the response above the crossover (~2 KHz) was at the right level.



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#77487 - 02/03/05 07:15 PM Re: sibilance: Resistors, felt, SPL meter
asher770 Offline
buff

Registered: 06/01/04
Posts: 53
Were the measurements with the meter done on axis or from your sweet spot? If your highs are flat out to 10,000 khz I can't see how you listen to your speakers.They would be way to bright.To solve my problem with brightness and sibilence I use a DBX 10/20 equalizer to lower high frequency response at 4,000 khz and 8000khz by 2 db's.The DBX is computerised and gives me a flat response from 31hz to 15,000khz at my listening spot.If I leave my m80's at flat they are impossible to listen to because of excessive brightness.


Edited by asher770 (02/03/05 07:17 PM)

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#77488 - 02/04/05 01:30 PM Re: sibilance: Resistors, felt, SPL meter
alex Offline
regular

Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 6
> Were the measurements with the meter done on axis or from your sweet spot?

The SPL meter was placed on a tripod at the listening position, as advised in the Rives test CD booklet. The attenuation I get from the 1.5 Ohm resistors and the wool felt around the tweeters, along with proper placement (to remove low frequency room modes), is enough to give a reasonably flat response throughout the frequency range of the M60’s. I used the response chart as a guideline. More importantly, I like how the system sounds.


>If your highs are flat out to 10,000 khz I can't see how you listen to your speakers. They would be way too bright.
>If I leave my m80's at flat they are impossible to listen to because of excessive brightness.

Are you saying that a flat frequency response is a bad thing? The terms ‘flat frequency response’ and ‘flat setting on the EQ’ are not to be confused. I think what you’re describing is that in order to get a flat frequency response you needed to bump down the highs by a few dB (using your EQ), and if you left the EQ at ‘flat’, your system was bright.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of electronic equalizers and prefer tweaking the sound in other ways, as I described.

I wanted to relay my personal experience on how I improved the sound of my system in the given listening environment, hoping that someone might benefit from it as I did reading various posts on this forum. If without ever having heard my system you can’t comprehend how I could possibly stand to listen to it, that is your prerogative.


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#77489 - 02/04/05 03:30 PM Re: sibilance: Resistors, felt, SPL meter
asher770 Offline
buff

Registered: 06/01/04
Posts: 53
The DBX 10/20 is computerised and is used to get a flat response using a mike and white noise at my listening position.The actual equalizing is not done manually but is done by a micro computer.The flat response is not on the equalizer but at my listening position.I bought the DBX to flatten two room nodes in the bass region but there are always trade offs.The flat response in the treble area makes the speakers difficult to listen to.I then reduce the flat treble response manually by two db's.I was always under the impression that studio monitors used for recording purposes are flat in the treble area off axis,but home speakers have some roll off in the high frequency response to make them listenable.I am not questioning your right to choose your listening preferences.I myself prefer the Axiom M80's even though many people consider them to bright.

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#77490 - 02/04/05 05:41 PM Re: sibilance: Resistors, felt, SPL meter
alex Offline
regular

Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 6
Thanks for the more comprehensive explanation on the DBX. Rives Audio has a similar system (PARC) to flatten the low frequency response. However, they strongly recommend to first try and correct the problem by experimenting with room placement. The 80 Hz peak I was seeing in my setup was caused by a room mode and it got remedied by moving the speakers 2’ from the rear wall, as opposed to the original distance of 13”.

From what I’ve read, the M80’s seem to be brighter and more difficult with placement than the M60’s. Although I also prefer speakers that are more on the bright/revealing side (having loved NHT 3.3’s and 2.9’s I auditioned in the late 90’s), sibilant/fatiguing is another thing. I found that the resistors lowered the level of the tweeters without really getting rid of the sibilant ssss’ which the wool felt taped to the tweeter mounting plate did a better job with (I use both).

I know that some of the sibilance is also due to the CD changer which is currently the weakest link of the system. On that note I’d like to mention that the Sony CDP-CX455 400 disk changer sounds better than the CDP-CX355 300 disk changer (I have both). This surprised me because I thought that both being current models of the same line would only differ in capacity. I originally tried to attack the sibilance issue by using an external DAC (I tried the Musical Fidelity A324) connected via optical cable. Although the highs sounded better through the external DAC, the fact that we have 3 CD changers meant that we also needed an optical switch to connect them all to the DAC. Unfortunately, through the optical switch the sound was degraded and virtually negated the advantage of having an external DAC. I know what you might think: optical cables/switches only transmit 0’s and 1’s in the form of light pulses, how can they have an adverse effect on the sound? Well, hearing is believing, so we couldn’t justify the $750 price tag of the DAC and it went back. Then I read on these boards about the resistors… This audiophile stuff is such a vice! I’m not even claiming to be one but the bug has bit me.


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#77491 - 02/04/05 06:26 PM Re: sibilance: Resistors, felt, SPL meter
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17789
Loc: NoVA
Sorry, dude, if you're using an outboard DAC, you're an audiophile.
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#77492 - 02/04/05 06:43 PM Re: sibilance: Resistors, felt, SPL meter
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6722
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.
Well I'm not so sure about that.I use a Msb Link Dac3 and don't consider myself an audiophile,I just really like music.It's just a nice piece of equipment that I like.
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#77493 - 02/04/05 06:45 PM Re: sibilance: Resistors, felt, SPL meter
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16289
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
The tem means diffent things to different people. Many BOSE owners would consider themselves audiophiles, but we know better.
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#77494 - 02/04/05 06:48 PM Re: sibilance: Resistors, felt, SPL meter
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6722
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.
That's a good way to look at it.
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Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#77495 - 02/04/05 08:29 PM Re: sibilance: Resistors, felt, SPL meter
mwc Offline
aficionado

Registered: 07/21/02
Posts: 958
Loc: Texas(DFW)..that country to th...
I had a Link DAC2 that I recently sold. I did enjoy it too. Besides delivering the goods, it made a fine component platform.
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#77496 - 02/05/05 07:04 PM Re: sibilance: Resistors, felt, SPL meter
asher770 Offline
buff

Registered: 06/01/04
Posts: 53
I got the DBX only after trying the speakers in every position imaginable.Nothing worked.The DBX gives me nearly ruler flat response throughout the listening frequency at my listening position.DBX stopped selling the 10/20 when they started selling products for commercial applications only.They are quite rare now and when available go on Ebay from $350-$450.They really do the job for me.I had also tried both graphic and paremetric equalizers before purchasing the DBX.None of these were able to tame the room nodes.


Edited by asher770 (02/05/05 07:07 PM)

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#77497 - 12/23/06 06:07 PM Re: sibilance revisited: new tweeters (LONG) [Re: alex]
alex Offline
regular

Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 6
After almost two years of experimenting with various ways to tame the tweeter sibilance of the M60’s, I’ve had the best results by simply replacing the factory tweeters.

A little history:

I started with trying different resistors (values ranging from 0.5 Ohm, to 2.7 Ohm). Although they -seem- to tame the highs, they just lower the Axiom tweeter’s output level above the 2 KHz crossover frequency, but the sibilance is still there although at reduced level.

I also tried using wool felt, both outside the tweeter (to prevent a wide dispersion), and inside the metal dome (to try and damp the metallic shrill). I did this by removing the four inner screws that attach the metal dome front plate/voice coil to the magnet, and placing one or two round cut-outs of wool felt inside the dome. The results were of limited success.

The best results I had settled with was using 1.8 Ohm resistors, AND 1 sheet of wool felt (about 1” diameter) inside the metal dome of the tweeters.

I still wasn’t completely happy with the sound since the speakers did seem harsh at times and gave me listener fatigue. I decided to try something more drastic and simply replace the tweeters. I wanted to try a silk dome tweeter since I find the metal ones to be usually rather harsh and unrefined, unless they’re the ones you find on really expensive high-end speakers. After some reading around, I decided to try the Usher 9950-20 1” textile dome tweeter from partsexpress.com. I have no affiliation with either company. They are $90, with $10 shipping. I decided on them due to excellent reviews, the compatible frequency range with the M60’s 2 KHz crossover, and the fact that they are not very picky in terms of crossover design. Yes, yes…I know that each tweeter has different impedance characteristics and efficiency and needs to have the crossover designed accordingly for proper integration with the speaker, but I just wanted to try it for fun and return them if I wasn’t happy. Well, to my ears, they simply outclassed the factory metal domes in every regard. Gone was the harshness but with no loss of detail. The imaging is also impressive. I played around a bit with my Radio Shack SPL meter and didn’t notice any ugly patterns in the frequency response but I didn’t bother making any precise measurements since I found myself simply enjoying the music. No more listener fatigue and not at the expense of resolution or imaging…I wanted to play track after track and I found myself even listening at higher volumes than before. I always listen with the grills off since I find them to give a ‘curtain’ effect to the sound. What was noticeable was that now the high frequency information was better resolved than with the factory tweeters, especially on complex passages. What a treat! The Ushers are here to stay…gone are the resistors and felt.

In terms of mounting, the Usher’s four mounting holes are compatible with the Axiom tweeter so it was easy to install using the same screws and cabinet holes. The Usher’s front plate is a few millimeters wider than the Axiom’s so it doesn’t sit inside the cabinet cut-out, but I didn’t find that to be a problem in any way. The Usher tweeter magnets are a bit wider, but they still fit in the cabinet opening. The Usher’s two electrical tabs are wider than the tabs on the Axiom tweeters, so to mate them I made two pairs of 2” long 20-gauge wire with the appropriate sliding contacts on each end to mate the speaker cables to the tweeters. The polarity is such that the blue wire from the Axiom (the one with the wider sliding contact) should go to the connector on the Usher that has the red dot next to it. You can confirm that this is the correct polarity by playing a 2 kHz tone (the crossover frequency of the M60’s), and move your head about 1’ from the front of the speaker up and down between the mid-woofer and the tweeter. Half-way between the two, if the polarity is correct, you’ll notice the sound being louder (if you reverse the polarity, there would be a dip in the loudness in the half-way point due to destructive interference of the sound waves). Be careful when you handle the Ushers to no touch the soft dome…Do not poke it!

The other tweak I did was to raise the front of the speakers by almost 1” using a bunch of metal shims I bought for $2 at a hardware store. I placed them between the front two rubber feet and the speaker cabinet. The axiom supplied screws are long enough to accommodate the extra length. This makes the soundstage a bit better since you’re not ‘looking down’ as much on the performance.

Since this direct tweeter swap is (to my ears) a clear improvement, I can only imagine how it would be if Axiom had actually designed the crossover around better quality tweeters like the Ushers. I think most people would be willing to pay a $100 premium given the gains in sound quality. I know I would.

Last, take what a said with a grain of salt before you go spend $100 and accuse me of wasting your money. I don’t encourage anyone to try this. However if you do decide to give this a shot, note that the Axiom screws can scrape the paint of the Usher front plates in the area under the screw when they are tightened down. So if you want to be able to return them in mint condition, use a washer or be gentle with the screwing down force in order to preserve the black paint in the area inside the mounting holes.

The setup is purely for stereo. Amp: Musical Fidelity A308 Integrated. CDP: Three Sony CDP-CX455 400 Disc Changers. Rack: Salamander Synergy.

Merry Christmas!

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#77498 - 12/23/06 11:59 PM Re: sibilance revisited: new tweeters (LONG) [Re: alex]
BrenR Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 3602
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
If you find metallic tweeters shrill, perhaps a horn tweeter would be more to your liking... most people find them flat, but if you're extra sensitive to top end, maybe it's a better solution for you.

Bren R.

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#77499 - 12/24/06 11:29 AM Re: sibilance revisited: new tweeters (LONG) [Re: BrenR]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5432
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada


Seriously, I thought this was interesting. I had been tempted to try a tweeter swap but never had time to even research let alone do anything.

I had a tough time believing that any simple mechanical mod (felt or even a resistor) could change the sound that much without a penalty in detail and flatness. My main problem was that without formal A/B-ing with other speakers I wasn't even sure there was a problem to fix since my only complaints about the Axioms are relative to comparisons with 20-year-old memories of much more expensive speakers.

The big question, I guess, is even if everyone in Dwight agreed that these tweeters sounded better across the board what should they do. It's hard to put a $45 tweeter in a speaker that sells for $145 shipped and make money, so this would have to be something in the larger speakers only or all the prices would have to go up.

Having said all that, it would be great to see Axiom make a "no compromises" music speaker again and going to a more expensive tweeter is probably all it would take. My gut feeling, though, is that keeping a clean simple product line is essential for online sales...

Oh what the heck. Axiom builds in North America, so their ability to customize is a lot higher than most... and they already have a custom shop...

Hmmm.


Edited by bridgman (12/24/06 12:10 PM)

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#77500 - 01/08/07 04:30 AM Re: sibilance revisited: new tweeters (LONG) [Re: bridgman]
jmone Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/08/06
Posts: 159
Loc: Sydney Australia
I too would be interested in such "upgrades" but would like to hear for any Axiom staff on their comments.
Thanks
Nathan
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HT:M80s,VP150,QS8,EP500 Outside:2 Pair M3 1 Pair M22 Office:AudioBytes, Games Room: M60,VP150

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#77501 - 01/08/07 10:36 AM Re: sibilance revisited: new tweeters (LONG) [Re: jmone]
sidvicious02 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 05/09/03
Posts: 973
Loc: Brandon, Manitoba
Nathan,
I would recommend contacting Axiom directly, either by phone or email (I'm sure they don't see every post on the forum, so you can be sure to get an answer that way).
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"Chickens don't clap."

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#77502 - 04/28/07 07:09 AM Re: sibilance revisited: new tweeters (LONG) [Re: sidvicious02]
jmone Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/08/06
Posts: 159
Loc: Sydney Australia
As I'm thinking of the new Outdoor speakers I've also asked Axiom there "official" position on the tweeter upgrade discussed above (in case I can save on the shipping to Oz!!!)


Edited by jmone (04/28/07 07:10 AM)
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HT:M80s,VP150,QS8,EP500 Outside:2 Pair M3 1 Pair M22 Office:AudioBytes, Games Room: M60,VP150

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#77503 - 04/29/07 03:30 PM Re: sibilance revisited: new tweeters (LONG) [Re: jmone]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
A buddy of mine acquired a pair of Klipsch bookshelves and kept complaining about the shrillness of his horns. One day we decided to experiment with silk and cotton placed in front of his horns. When we hung a few pieces of cotton cloth in front of the horns, the sound became very acceptable.

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#77504 - 04/29/07 06:08 PM Re: sibilance revisited: new tweeters (LONG) [Re: Mojo]
jmone Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/08/06
Posts: 159
Loc: Sydney Australia
Got to love the WWW for collaboration:
1) Trent from Axiom replied saying that knocking down the trebble helps tame problems he has one with particular recording.
2) I use JRMC for my HTPC software (it is very very good) and amoung the many features it has an EQ setting that one of the user/devs have then made a plug in that lets you assign custom EQ settings to different tracks in your DB. I've created a custom EQ Setting I caled "Sibilance Correction" that I can then apply to offending tracks...EG. I've found that Infernal's "Paris to Berlin" hisses like a snake but the following setting helps reduce that (I'm happy to experiment with other band changes should there be any suggestions)!



This (hopefully) means that I can target the offending recordings rather than making a global setting change OR permanent HW mods!

Thanks
Nathan


Edited by jmone (04/29/07 06:10 PM)
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HT:M80s,VP150,QS8,EP500 Outside:2 Pair M3 1 Pair M22 Office:AudioBytes, Games Room: M60,VP150

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#77505 - 04/29/07 10:29 PM Re: sibilance revisited: new tweeters (LONG) [Re: jmone]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10404
Nathan, fortunately I don't have those problems with the classical CDs that I own, but in the past I experimented with some pop CDs borrowed from the library. This was in response to posts here about "harsh", "bright" etc. Axiom speakers when playing supposedly "well-recorded" items. My finding was that they were by no means well-recorded and seemed to have a boosted response in the upper mid-range/lower treble, possibly to sound more impressive on mediocre equipment. Since one of my receivers has tone controls with variable frequencies, I experimented a bit and found that cutting 4-5dB at the 3KHz or 6KHz points improved things. So, at least on those particular recordings the offending frequencies were a little lower than the 12KHz area shown on your example.

Yes, I certainly wouldn't suggest making some tweak to the speakers which would have a universal effect.
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#77506 - 05/25/07 04:56 PM Re: sibilance revisited: new tweeters (LONG) [Re: alex]
MrD Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 10/06/03
Posts: 12
that tweeter has a 10 watt 15 watt max which would be to low if you like to turn it way up like me,the dayton dc25ts-8 looks like the tweeter on the axioms it's the same size and looks just like it,and it's rated at 50 watts 75 max ,i was looking at the silk ones the other day but the diferent size turned me off ,don't want to router my m80's

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#77507 - 06/02/07 03:25 AM Re: sibilance revisited: new tweeters (LONG) [Re: MrD]
Hanzo Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 03/25/07
Posts: 16
How loud is too loud for those tweeters? The difference between them and the daytons (or any other tweeter for that matter) seems quite extreme. I don't listen to things very loudly so I'm wondering if they would work for me(my receiver, a panasonic XR-55 only gets to -20 very rarely)

http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?&Partnumber=276-152

These tweaters have similar specs to the dayton ones (the daytons do look almost identical to the axioms. I wonder if they're really the same)and they look as though they would be compatible. They look a bit cheap though. It's strange to me that those Usher tweeters have such low power restraints.

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#77508 - 06/02/07 09:28 AM Re: sibilance revisited: new tweeters (LONG) [Re: Hanzo]
MrD Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 10/06/03
Posts: 12
well i just started reading about building speakers and wow ,there is alot going on there .picking quality drivers is the easy part if you research online but the realllll problem is the crossover that controls the speaker .so to try and change the tweeter with out know the crossover would not be a good idea.each driver or tweeter has good and bad traits and the crossover compensates for that and a lot of other things.


Edited by MrD (06/02/07 09:29 AM)

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