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#98894 - 06/15/05 05:55 PM My visit with lomb7
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8293
Loc: Tacoma
Dear Friends,

During a recent trip to Southern California, I had the good fortune to accept a very kind invitation from lomb7 (Craig).

We spent a couple of very enjoyable hours listening to various systems and enjoying fresh, delicious beer in his breathtakingly beautiful home. The beer was a lively pale ale from Green Flash Brewing; based on the tasting with Craig, I also enjoyed their barleywine later that week. Very highly recommended.

Now, all you “Rocket vs. Axiom” and “tube vs. sand” people have to just promise to be nice. This audio stuff is supposed to be fun. Craig and I had a great time together, he continues to enjoy his systems and I continue to enjoy mine. So anybody that has anything less than civil and respectful intent should just close their browser window like porn in the office right now.

We listened to four different systems and I was really amazed how much I enjoyed each, and how my perceptions were shaped by not only the equipment, but also the listening environments.

First, the downstairs theatre room included the Rocket 850 and that big Rocket center channel monstrosity. God, that thing is huge. Also driven by the Denon receiver were a pair of QS4’s and an Outlaw LFM-1. Let me just say up front, this was by far my favorite of the systems I heard at Craig’s, and perhaps anywhere else, ever. The soundstage, depth and detail were simply amazing, and I perceived this setup as noticeably better than the M60’s that I am used to (and that we heard in another room at Craig’s – see below). The big Rocket setup was just great for 2 channel and for movies. However, this is a very “live” room – it has relatively low ceilings, is broader than it is deep, and has a pool table, big windows, etc.

We also listened to stereo Rocket 750’s in a large, cathedral ceiling living room, driven by a big Onix tube amp. Again, a gorgeous but tough room. Lots of windows, VERY tall ceilings, open to other rooms, lots of fabulous furniture. I perceived this setup as wonderfully detailed, but it gave me a very immediate understanding of what people mean when they say that Rockets are “laid back”. The sound of the 750’s with the tube amp in that room was VERY different from the sound of the 850’s with the Denon downstairs.

Third, we heard M60’s in a large bedroom system, driven by an Outlaw receiver. The positioning and configuration didn’t allow for a great assessment (of anything except a drool-worthy LG plasma screen) but it was extremely helpful to me to be able to refresh my auditory memory with the familiar sound of the M60’s while going from system-to-system. The experience really validated my perceptions of the other speakers.

Finally, we heard M22’s in the live downstairs theatre room, but driven by the big Onix tube amp (Craig has wires all over the place, providing a very flexible home audio environment). What a revelation, I think for both of us. The M22’s are wall mounted fairly high and sounded fantastic. In this very live room, but driven by the tube amp, the M22’s produced amazing depth and detail. The bass response and imaging were surprisingly good. I would not presume to speak for Craig, but he left me with the perception that the tube amp made a noticeable, positive difference in how those speakers sounded in that room.

It was a wonderful and memorable afternoon. I want to sincerely thank Craig for the opportunity to spend time with and learn from him. I eagerly look forward to getting our families together for another visit.

Thanks, Craig!

- Tom

_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#98895 - 06/15/05 06:07 PM Re: My visit with lomb7
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7412
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Tom you are one lucky you-know-what to be able to hear those different set-ups. Thanks for your report. It just goes to show--one kind of sound is not necessarily better, just different. The fun part is hearing the differences for yourself and finding what you like about each one.
_________________________
***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#98896 - 06/15/05 08:27 PM Re: My visit with lomb7
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16289
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Awesome write-up, Tom. Sounds like you had a blast ans were able to keep your mind off the wife and kids.

Welcome to the Axiom Touring Club.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#98897 - 06/15/05 09:09 PM Re: My visit with lomb7
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6252
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Wonderful write-up, Tom. You confirmed some of my thoughts about the 850s and M60s. I love 'em both.

LOL! When I first saw the Bigfoot center channel, I thought it was HUGE! Now that I'm used to it, other than how it sounds, it doesn't seem big at all.

Sounds like you had a GREAT time in Southern California.
_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#98898 - 06/16/05 09:18 AM Re: My visit with lomb7
bigjohn Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 3016
Loc: San Angelo, TX
between hangin at lomb7's and bigwill's house, did you actually get any work done on this business trip..?

i am envious of you getting to hear all these different systems. i wish i could have the same experiences. different combos of speakers/amps/receivers/etc.. all the ones i have heard around here are sub-par to mine. at least in my opinion.

sounds like great times you were having!!

bigjohn
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EXCUSE ME, ARE YOU THE SINGING BUSH??

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#98899 - 06/16/05 11:55 AM Re: My visit with lomb7
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8293
Loc: Tacoma
It was obviously a great trip, and I delight in sharing the experience with my friends here on the Axiom forum.

Peter, when do I get my Axiom Touring Club patch and membership certificate? I can't wait for the Texas tour! Maybe someday.

bigjohn, yes, I ably represented my union at our annual national convention. I was both aggressive and fortunate in my scheduling.

It was great to hear different systems, but the experience did not leave me dissatisfied with mine. The important things were learning and sharing moments of joy with friends.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#98900 - 06/16/05 01:41 PM Re: My visit with lomb7
oldskoolboarder Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
dangit. Something I didn't want to hear, M22s sounding great w/ a tube amp. Just when I was resting the thought of adding a tube amp and this thread comes alive...

Tube amp for father's day? Hmm...

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#98901 - 06/16/05 06:41 PM Re: My visit with lomb7
lomb7 Offline
devotee

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 425
Loc: San Diego
It was great having you over to go through the systems. It was a pleasure meeting with you, sharing a few beers and a listen.

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#98902 - 06/17/05 02:15 PM Re: My visit with lomb7
bigwill2 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 03/25/05
Posts: 586
Tom, your glowing review of the Rocket 850s piqued my curiousity enough to visit their site and check 'em out.
They're $2K plus shipping from China!
If I'm gonna drop more than two grand on something from China, it had better cook dinner and make the bed, too!

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#98903 - 06/17/05 02:38 PM Re: My visit with lomb7
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8293
Loc: Tacoma
To be fair, I probably should backpedal just a little bit here. I don't want this thread to turn ugly regarding either Rockets or free-trade, but I do want to place my comments in a bit richer context, if possible.

I haven't heard M60's in the same environment as the Rockets. My room at home is much more compromised than Craig's (vaulted ceilings, suboptimal placement of furniture and speakers, more adjoining rooms, lesser components, etc.). What I should have said was that it was a highly satisfying experience, and left it at that. I apologize to Axiom for my ill-measured, unscientific comparison.

And I do want to underscore your other point, again in the hopes that I can be more fully understood, rather than to perpetuate irreconcilable discourse. One of the reasons that I spent my hard-earned dollars on Axioms (and SVS) is to help support jobs in North America. We've already been over this terrain ad-nauseum, and I will continue to make economic choices that fit my values wherever possible.

I continue to believe that Axiom provides the best value available today. For me, Axiom was and remains the right choice.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#98904 - 06/17/05 03:51 PM Re: My visit with lomb7
lomb7 Offline
devotee

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 425
Loc: San Diego
Tom, thanks for the comments.

Just to clear it up...You do not pay for the shipping from China. I am sure it is built into their P&L (like Axioms "free" shipping is). Instead, you pay for shipping from Colorado.

I also agree with Tom in that I think we should read his thoughts as just that, his, mine and Bigwill 2's feelings, abut our systems, set ups and room layouts. I am sure that others, outside this hobby, would feel that what some pay for a set of M60's is as silly as your feelings about what I paid for the 850's. I'm not even going to touch on the manufactuing location as this was more then kicked to death in another forum.

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#98905 - 06/17/05 04:42 PM Re: My visit with lomb7
craigsub Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 1306
Great write-up, Tom ! This must have been a lot of fun. And yes, Quality amplification and the room sure do make a lot of difference in the sound quality.


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