M22 Ninja Master Crossover review.

Posted by: jakewash

M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/10/08 06:51 PM

The usual disclaimers apply to this as with all reviews ever done non-scientifically, these are only my findings and YMMV.

The music I have played on these speakers ranges from Holst' - The Planets, Van Halen, Pink Floyd,James Taylor and Simon & Garfunkel, to name but a few. I tried to put them through the paces as best as I could. I also played some DVD's, LOTR, U-571(lots of whispering in this).

Most of you know my system. It consists of a Denon 3808 and I stream music from my NAS with FLAC files. I did use my Samsung DVD HD-931 on occasion, but I found there to be no difference in SQ so I mostly used the NAS(for music only) for convenience. The M22v2 and the M22 Ninja Masters have the same db output with pink noise, so calibration differences are a minimum.

The combatants.


A close up of my light maple M22 and Greg's HG Cherry, what a contrast!


A couple of shots of the different networks, first up the M22v1 and the Ninja Masters.


now a shot of the M22v2.



As I have already eluded to, the M22 Ninja Master crossover's brought out more detail than I have heard before. On Diana Krall's - All or Nothing at All, there is a string pluck at the end that has great tone and presence to it, much like the real thing. I(those at the session also) could hear some back ground noise, what I thought sounded much like tape hiss. I have never heard that sound before and it is only really noticeable on this track, so it is not an electrical issue or anything else. Vocals come through crisp and clear. The fire crackling in LOTR, where Gandalf is sitting in front of the fireplace smoking, is so clear, I thought there was something moving around in the room creating the noise. The Ninja Master XO's also present better sound seperation from the instruments. You can really make out the individual sounds from all the instruments being used.

The soundstage is more expansive and encompassing as well, the clocks ticking and alarms going off in Pink Floyd - Time, literally surrounds the room in raucous alarm clock fashion, when I closed my eyes I thought I had bells going off over my head and coming from the other side of the room.

The bass comes through very nicely for the little bit that the M22's present, with Gwen Stafani's-The Sweet Escape, the bass is very evident and controlled.

There is a down side to all of this detail, there could be an increase in the perceived brightness by those that feel Axioms are bright in the stock form. There is more upper end detail and with this comes more sibilance. I have found most of Diana Krall's cd's to contain a fair amount of sibilance with my stock M22v1 and with the M22v2, that were used as a control sample. The Ninja Master crossover brings this out even more so. During Simon & Garfunkel - The Sound of Silence, there is an instrument that plays through the right speaker for most of the song. I have no idea what it is, but it is high pitched, possibly distorted and my said she couldn't stand it through the Ninja Masters, but it was ok through the stock M22 v2.

I must say that there were only a few cd's where this was an issue, most of the music and DVDs I played never sounded shrill or over the top, just more details and seperation and an expanded sound.

For the more lifeless cds(Van Halen - 1984), the Ninja masters could not add anything to help them out and some other cds just sounded out right bad(the latest offering from Simple Plan comes to mind) and I most likely would never play them on these speakers again.

Mojo stated "I really liked the sound of the Ninjas. However, I wonder whether I would like that sound day in, day out.."

I very much like the Ninja Masters and did prefer them to the stock M22v2 as well. This leads me to another note. When I returned my M22's to their stock v1 crossover, I thought I could hear almost the same vocals as on the Ninja Masters, they are more prounced on my M22v1 than on the M22v2, at least in my room and to my ears. I still have to confirm this with a quick A/B with Mojo and hopefully Greg and anyone else intrested in the comparison.....

Sean just pointed out through an email that one of the things he was looking for was better off axis response, if the Ninja Master M22s are sounding to bright, a toe out movement instead of the usual slight toe in may help. I guess I am not quite done yet. \:\)


Are these crossovers an upgrade? That is an individual decision, some will think so, others will not. Is it a change? You bet.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/10/08 06:55 PM

Interesting... it sounds appealing to me in a lot of ways. I'd love to see a frequency plot comparison between the two. I wonder what's happening there.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/10/08 07:01 PM

Sean does have the off axis frequency plots on his web site or were you reffering to the v1 and v2 differences I am noticing? Alan mentioned to me they should be sonically the same but in my room I am sure I am hearing a difference between the stock v1 and v2.
Posted by: Ajax

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/10/08 07:01 PM

Jay, thanks for your time and your thoughts. \:\)
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/10/08 07:08 PM

Oh, I'm interested in on-axis, as reported independently.
Posted by: danmagicman7

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/10/08 07:16 PM

Thanks Jay, helpful information!

Did you try playing them loud? Sometimes I noticed the M22's brake up a little bit when they are loud. Did the Ninja's change that? I was reading they said it helped.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/10/08 08:31 PM

Jay, thanks for taking the time to set this up and share your thoughts. Comparing speakers is a time consuming and difficult task (at least for me). And, thanks for taking on the task of tackling this hot topic.

I think it's pretty cool you could hear differences between the two. You know, there are always gonna be people that want to tweak this and that, and there is nothing wrong with that. After all, we're in this hobby for the enjoyment, right? If the new crossovers enables someone to enjoy his or her speakers that much more, then it's worth it.

It's like taking a great speaker and then putting chocolate on it to make it even tastier! (Yes, there's a brownie analogy in there somewhere. . .)
Posted by: jakewash

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/10/08 08:48 PM

 Originally Posted By: danmagicman7
Thanks Jay, helpful information!

Did you try playing them loud? Sometimes I noticed the M22's brake up a little bit when they are loud. Did the Ninja's change that? I was reading they said it helped.
Your welcome and yes I did take them up to eleven a couple of times(Pink Floyd - DSOTM, how can you not?) and they were just as revealing with out any noticeable breakup, just crystal clear sound. They are a very impressive change up, but definitely not for everyone.
Posted by: danmagicman7

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/10/08 09:02 PM

Now I just need to find a way to put both X-overs in there, and have a manual switch :-)
Posted by: jakewash

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/10/08 09:10 PM

Funny you mention that, I was discussing that very idea with Mojo, I was thinking of a couple diodes to prevent back feed but mojo mentioned it wouldn't be a good idea as the diodes have some capacitance etc. We then decided a 3 pole switch would work directly wired. However, with the Ninja mounted on the bottom there is no room for the stock XO, but it is small enough it could be mounted to the sides of the cabinet. Go for it.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/10/08 09:52 PM

Thanks Jay, tell mojo to stop by the forums now and then, I've been worried about that guy.

In regards to the tape hiss sound, your most likely hearing the snare drum brushes that are often used in Jazz music. The first time I heard that with my 80's watching her concert in Paris DVD, I thought there was a recording flaw. Then I noticed the drumer was rolling the brush strokes which caused the sound and was on purpose.
Posted by: SatKartr

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/10/08 09:55 PM

Interesting review, if you consider the Axiom philosophy that many here share, i.e., that accurate rendition is always better than a pseudo-smooth sound that depends for its agreaableness upon masking the source material in one way or another, it sounds like the Ninja crossovers offer something special, you've been hearing content you never heard before and didn't even know was there in recordings with which you are familiar. With the M80s I have quickly adjusted to the fact that when I am not hearing something great it is the source material and not the speaker that is at fault, so I have zero perception of tradeoff, I want to hear exactly what the speaker delivers, good or bad, great or not so great, electronic artifice being no substitute for the thrill of sonic veracity, because when the real thing hits it's always a mindblower, to be there in the flesh.

Do you plan to keep the crossovers? If so it may be a matter of only days before you can discern if there is any tradeoff to the increased detail you are experiencing, so far the only downside sounds like awareness of inadequate recording techniques, and that doesn't get old, it just gets better, because you tune into the good stuff and leave the rest behind.

Thanks for the effort, please keep us posted.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/10/08 10:19 PM

Thanks for sharing. Sounds like you heard an obvious and marked difference. Did you try swapping the speakers positions, i.e. moving the maple ones to the outside positions, so that you could be sure that room placement wasn't contributing significantly to the differences you heard?
Posted by: fredk

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/10/08 10:19 PM

Thanks for the review Jay. Did you try reversing speaker positions to see how that effected the soundstage?

 Quote:
In regards to the tape hiss sound, your most likely hearing the snare drum brushes that are often used in Jazz music. The first time I heard that with my 80's watching her concert in Paris DVD


I noticed the same thing when I listened to the DVD. It took me a while to realize it was the drum brushes.
Posted by: grunt

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/10/08 10:58 PM

Thanks for taking the time to do this and post your thoughts.

 Originally Posted By: jakewash

Are these crossovers an upgrade? That is an individual decision, some will think so, others will not. Is it a change? You bet.


For your personal taste do you think the $317/pair cost of the crossover enhances the sound of the $470/pair M22v2 enough to justify the additional cost? Any idea how the $787/pair M22vNinja compare to any other similarly priced speakers?

Thanks again for your effort,
Dean
Posted by: PeterChenoweth

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/10/08 11:39 PM

Fascinating stuff.

I am surprised to hear that they brightened up the M22's. If anything, I would have bet that they'd go the other direction and try to add more midrange warmth.

Thanks for taking the time to do this testing!
Posted by: jakewash

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/10/08 11:59 PM

 Originally Posted By: fredk
Thanks for the review Jay. Did you try reversing speaker positions to see how that effected the soundstage?
Yes, I couldn't hear a difference.

 Originally Posted By: sirquack
In regards to the tape hiss sound, your most likely hearing the snare drum brushes that are often used in Jazz music. The first time I heard that with my 80's watching her concert in Paris DVD

I am not so sure it is snare brushes, as it is such a constant sound through out this recording, it never subsides nor changes pace. It does make sense that it could be the snare drums, but as I recall, I can hear this behind the snare drums and when we switched from the Ninja's to the v2s the noise was gone and the snares are still there, at least at the volume level we had it at. Maybe it would have returned if the gain was turned up.

 Originally Posted By: grunt
For your personal taste do you think the $317/pair cost of the crossover enhances the sound of the $470/pair M22v2 enough to justify the additional cost? Any idea how the $787/pair M22vNinja compare to any other similarly priced speakers?
That is hard to say, it has been awhile since I have listened to some ~$1000 bookshelfs and when I did I was never that critical, the price was beyond what I was looking to pay at the time. I will say that if you already own a set of M22s and are looking for more detail then the $317 is worth the money, just remember you my find them even more unforgiving than they already are, I know I did.

I think that might be my next round of listening tests. I found a couple of dealers here that sell the Monitor Audio GS10, they retail around $1000-1500.



Mojo does say hi to everyone and he said that if he wasn't so busy he would be around. Maybe I can convince him to drop in during Christmas if he slows down like most companies do.

JohnK, Mojo bought my line of you buying some M80's!!! Unfortunately I couldn't keep from smiling shortly afterwards.
Posted by: CV

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 12:01 AM

Jay, I'll add another thanks. It's an interesting product, and I'm glad there are people like you on the forum who take it upon themselves to provide a little insight for the rest of us.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 12:02 AM

 Originally Posted By: PeterChenoweth

I am surprised to hear that they brightened up the M22's. If anything, I would have bet that they'd go the other direction and try to add more midrange warmth.
I was a little taken back as well when I first fired them up. I think Sean realized who the purchasers are of the M22s and why we bought them in the first place. Dulling them down, so to speak, would not appeal to us Axiom owners.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 12:35 AM

Very good, Jay; at least you had Mojo fooled for a few seconds.

As to the listening impressions, as I commented in the Ninja thread seemingly eons ago, I would have been interested in a complete lab analysis by Axiom(with Ninja sharing of data)followed by double blind testing first for audible differences and then for preferences if differences were established. Although guesses don't count, I'll proceed to make a guess that if the described impressions actually exist, the factor involved would appear to be that the tweeter in the Ninja is mainly responsible(because of the much lower crossover)for a lot of the upper mid-range that the mid-woofers handle in the standard Axiom. Since changes in the crossover frequency are relatively simple and inexpensive, I'd also assume that Ian tried several different crossover frequencies in the design of the M22s and selected what delivered the best results with a wide range of program material.
Posted by: grunt

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 01:04 AM

 Originally Posted By: jakewash

That is hard to say, it has been awhile since I have listened to some ~$1000 bookshelfs and when I did I was never that critical, the price was beyond what I was looking to pay at the time. I will say that if you already own a set of M22s and are looking for more detail then the $317 is worth the money, just remember you my find them even more unforgiving than they already are, I know I did.

I think that might be my next round of listening tests. I found a couple of dealers here that sell the Monitor Audio GS10, they retail around $1000-1500.

Thanks for the feedback. Hope you get a chance to test the GS10s as Iím interested in how the upgraded M22s perform against something priced higher. Iím looking at the possibility of getting some Chorus 807v (about $1,100) for a stereo only system. I planed to A/B them against the M22v2 once I get a house and can setup a dedicated room. The guy I bought my headphones from will let me take a pair to demo. The Ninja upgrade may provide another option should I find the M22s donít measure up.
Posted by: SatKartr

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 01:56 AM

Cogent analysis but I'm always left to wonder after hearing the undiluted AE perspective, even when so eloquently expressed, whether something has been lost in translation because ears are so finicky, so slippery in their responsvity that I'm still not convinced we can eliminate all of the subtle if not even vague subjective impressions without running the risk of missing the boat to auditory bliss in a premature grab for scientific truth.

Just a thought. After the philosopher Daniel Dennett wrote the tome, "Consciousness Explained," Ken Wilber suggested the title really should have been, "Consciousness Explained Away."

Can you tell I'm really jonesing for my new speakers?
Posted by: jakewash

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 05:15 AM

Dean, you could still try the Ninja Masters out, they are not hard to install and Sean does offer a money back guarantee much like Axiom, he has a 45 day trial period. There is only one way to know for sure if you would like the modded M22 sound....

I have not heard any Focal bookshelf speakers, but if they sound anything like the Profile 918's I have heard, you are in for treat.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 05:27 AM

 Originally Posted By: JohnK

I'll proceed to make a guess that if the described impressions actually exist, the factor involved would appear to be that the tweeter in the Ninja is mainly responsible(because of the much lower crossover)for a lot of the upper mid-range that the mid-woofers handle in the standard Axiom. Since changes in the crossover frequency are relatively simple and inexpensive, I'd also assume that Ian tried several different crossover frequencies in the design of the M22s and selected what delivered the best results with a wide range of program material.
I would have to agree on all counts.

Just another musing, we have said many times on this forum to would be owners, that the Axioms are detailed and when you play good recordings you are rewarded, as they sound SO good. The Ninja Master XO creates the same feelings and thoughts in me as when I first heard the M22s way back in 2003, only now the poor recordings are that much harder to listen to, but the good ones are even better.
Posted by: DaveG

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 08:06 AM

Jay, thanks for the interesting review.
Posted by: EFalardeau

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 08:29 AM

Thanks a lot for the expirements and the sharing, it was quite intesresting. I do have a question and a request, though.

Question: Did you guys swap the physical speakers with each other at some point to take speaker placement out of the equation?

Request: Are you in a position to try the new xover mixed with VP100/VP150 and QS-8 to see if there is a good tone match? Also, since soundstage was mentioned, there could be a different in phases (for better or for worse) and object movement transistion accross the channels could be affected.

Thanks in advance! ;\)
Posted by: myrison

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 09:01 AM

Jay - awesome stuff my man. Thanks for taking the time to do the review. I really enjoyed reading your impressions.

Jason
Posted by: bugbitten

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 09:50 AM

Thanks Jay!
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 10:44 AM

Interesting analysis. According to the Ninja's listening notes the crossovers are suppose to tame down the "percieved brightness" of the stock version. The biggest difference you noticed is the exact opposite. This makes a double blind test of the crossover even more appealing and pertinet, but I guess we will never know.

A couple of questions.

How well does the modded M22 match with your centre channel (what are you using)? Axioms centre channels (or if using a matching bookshelf) are designed for perfect timbre with the mains. The new crossover has obviously changed that based on your review. I wonder if the modded crossover would have a negative effect with multi-channel sources.

Thanks again for taking the time to do all of this.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 02:26 PM

 Originally Posted By: EFalardeau
Question: Did you guys swap the physical speakers with each other at some point to take speaker placement out of the equation?
Yes, made no difference but I am going to try them not toed in as much to see if that helps tame the sibilance, which, according to Sean, should help.

 Quote:
Request: Are you in a position to try the new xover mixed with VP100/VP150 and QS-8 to see if there is a good tone match? Also, since soundstage was mentioned, there could be a different in phases (for better or for worse) and object movement transistion accross the channels could be affected.

I did try them with the VP150 and QS8s, I ran them as mains while watching a few different movies and I didn't notice any panning issues and the tone was still pretty good. The only times I noticed a difference was when only music was playing and I felt that there was nothing coming from the center, the music just filled the room. Once some dialogue or other center channel sound started up, the center/screen became the prominent point of sound again. The Eagles Farewell Tour DVD in DTS 5.1 still sounded great, maybe even a little better as the mains disappeared and the music just took over.

I have been trying to think of a comparison and came up with how I felt Audyssey changed the way my M80s sound. Those of you that have found an improvement with the latest Audyssey EQ, may find that the Ninja Master XO makes the M22 sound like the M80s do when Audyssey is dialed in, more open and airy. I have not tried the Ninja Masters with Audyssey to see what that does to them.

I may have to purchase them just to be able to keep them long enough to try all the new ideas coming in. I am wondering how the stock Ninja XO compares to the sound I heard from the Ninja Master.
Posted by: framer2180

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 02:30 PM

Since I was present at the demo, I thought I would add my impressions of the modified M22's vs. the M22's ver. 2.

When I first heard the comparison, the difference in sound between the two was immediately apparent. There was more detail in the modified M22's. and subtle sounds were heard that were not heard on the stock pair. Diana Krall came forward and it was if I moved up a number of rows at the concert.

I did feel the modified speakers lacked bass and I believe needed the sub-woofer support more than the stock M22's. Did I enjoy the listening experience? Yes, the described detail was interesting and gave depth to several recordings. As Jason mentioned the alarm clocks on Pink Floyd seemed to be mounted on the walls all around us. But with the greater detail, a poorly produced source will suffer more.

Remember we kept switching back and forth continuously comparing the two sets. There was a time that the stock M22's were left on for awhile and as the memory of the modified's faded, I went back to remembering why I liked my 22's. What I guess I am trying to say, is that while true that Sean changed the sound of the stock speakers I (again personal opinion) would likely not spend the extra dollars for the change. As we all know, sound is subjective, some would undoubtably find the modified M22's "better" and would have to decide for themselves the cost/benefit of the upgrade.

If I can leave the modified M22's for know and make another comment. I purchased the M22's and a EP350 for a two channel music system. I initially wanted M80's but after trying my M60's in the place of the two channel system and did not like the physical size of the floorstanders and ended up making my decision for cosmetic reasons (that really means WAF). Although I have always enjoyed the 22's and sub I often wondered what the 80's would have been. On Saturday, I had the opportunity of comparing the 22's with Mojo's 80's. I truly felt that the 22's and sub compared quite favourably to the 80's and any doubts that I had not ordered the right speakers evaporated. I do not want to speak for the others, but I will say that even Mojo said he would have no issue recommending the M22's (stock) based on our brief demo.

As a last comment, I have to say how dedicated Jay is, in taking on all the demoing that he does. He really is quite objective and goes into these tests with an open mind. I dount I would have the patience, but it is sure nice to be able to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

Anyways, I will quit my rambling and end my opinions.

Greg
Posted by: EFalardeau

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 02:34 PM

Thanks for the answers.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 02:37 PM

What's the difference between the two?
Posted by: myrison

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 02:44 PM

 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
What's the difference between the two?


The two what?
Posted by: EFalardeau

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 02:49 PM

 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
What's the difference between the two?

If you mean price, the regular is 200 and the master is 320.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 02:54 PM

Jason, I think Ken means the difference between the Ninja Turbo, the Ninja Master, and the new, improved Ninja Ultimate Series II.

Sincerest thanks to those of you that took the time to listen, analyze and report.

I still wonder how the Ninja Master would compare with a less expensive XO with the same specs. That is, I'm postulating that it's impossible to know how much of the perceived difference is attributable to the change in crossover point and how much is attributable to other factors.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 02:57 PM

The biggest difference between the stock Ninja and the Ninja Master looks to be the price\:D, ummm, this is what Sean said to me

"... overall the same improvements will be heard. The difference is the resolving capability of the Master version is superior as well as the area of transparency. Bass is a little better with the Master version too."

Now to me, judging from this, since the M22 needs a sub to really fill out the low end any way, it makes the Ninja XO the more prudent choice for an evident change in sound, considering diminishing returns and all.
Posted by: EFalardeau

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 02:58 PM

 Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
the difference between the Ninja Turbo, the Ninja Master, and the new, improved Ninja Ultimate Series II.

Oh! Those two! ;\)
Posted by: danmagicman7

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 03:52 PM

When will he be selling improved M22 tweeter/woofer replacements for better clarity, bass, and soundstage?

Oh...wait
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 03:54 PM

And I wonder if his claim (note, I use the term not in a negative way) based exclusively on components or if it's actually a different crossover point.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 03:58 PM

Thanks for all the participants for your impressions on the crossovers.

 Originally Posted By: framer2180
As Jason mentioned the alarm clocks on Pink Floyd seemed to be mounted on the walls all around us.

To be fair, I get the same effect with my stock M22v2s. Pink Floyd uses mixing techniques that can really throw a stereo image around the room. I have a few CDs with tracks that create a soundstage larger than my listening space.
Posted by: danmagicman7

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 04:05 PM

 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
And I wonder if his claim (note, I use the term not in a negative way) based exclusively on components or if it's actually a different crossover point.




Looks like a matter of both.

If you look at the graphs, the "blue" is the tweeter. Red and Green get swapped from graph to graph.

Anyways, it looks like the crossover point is at a lower freq and also the tweeter output was increased, explaining some "simblance"
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 04:14 PM

Are there any research papers from scholarly sources that look strictly at the differences in the quality of components in crossovers (using the same crossover point). And if so is there any measurable differences.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 04:34 PM

Measurable by electronic equipment is one thing. Whether or not the differences fall within the threshold of human hearing is what matters.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 04:36 PM

Oh, I meant between his two crossovers.
Posted by: myrison

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/11/08 05:24 PM

Personal opinion, I think Sean (aka "the Ninja") needs to simplify his marketing message a bit. That many different versions of upgrades for the same speaker just seems over the top and more confusing for would-be buyers, especially considering that most people are very happy with their M22s to start with.

It's hard enough for me to imagine that there is a way to markedly improve the sound the designers intended, but even if reviews like the ones above convinced me that it was in fact possible, I start to really scratch my head when I consider that the crossover designers propose x different ways to improve on the M22.

My unsolicited advice, decide on the best combination of price and performance for the stock speaker "upgrade" and put it up for sale. Once you've convinced someone to upgrade, don't make the final process even more confusing by forcing them to choose among a handful of options...

Jason
Posted by: jakewash

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/12/08 08:27 PM

 Originally Posted By: pmbuko

To be fair, I get the same effect with my stock M22v2s. Pink Floyd uses mixing techniques that can really throw a stereo image around the room.
I agree the stock M22s give a reasonable effect, but it is not nearly to the same degree nor have the same feel to it, as it does with the Ninja Crossovers.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/12/08 09:45 PM

 Quote:
I agree the stock M22s give a reasonable effect, but it is not nearly to the same degree nor have the same feel to it, as it does with the Ninja Crossovers.


I'll admit I'm highly skeptical of the degree to which this effect can be improved beyond what I've heard. I'd have to hear these crossovers myself to believe your description -- not that I doubt you heard what you're saying.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/12/08 11:08 PM

Nothing wrong with being skeptical. The M22 stock version really do an outstanding job in their own rite.
Posted by: EFalardeau

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/12/08 11:09 PM

 Originally Posted By: jakewash
The M22 stock version really do an outstanding job in their own rite.

Don't get religious on us! ;\)
Posted by: jakewash

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/13/08 01:39 AM

Rite on!!!
Posted by: medic8r

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/13/08 11:14 AM

Rite Aid!
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/13/08 11:25 AM

<scooby>Rite row rye rink rime raking ris roo rar.
Posted by: medic8r

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/13/08 12:26 PM

hee HEE hee hee hee he.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/13/08 12:29 PM

The question I have is it worth the cost of the upgrade?
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/13/08 12:48 PM

Framer2180 mentioned in his posts I (again personal opinion) would likely not spend the extra dollars for the change. As we all know, sound is subjective, some would undoubtably find the modified M22's "better" and would have to decide for themselves the cost/benefit of the upgrade.

Personally I am not a tweaker so I do not see much "value" in these sorts of things. These type of products I would imagine would be appealing to the esoteric and "high end" crowd/industry who spend money regardless of the cost/benefit the product offers.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/13/08 02:49 PM

I was thinking that the Ninja XO's would be good for someone wanting a different sound and are presently looking at other speakers, but already own M22's, then the $200-300 doesn't look too costly.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/13/08 04:38 PM

I should start a web company that sells an infrared-activated crossover switcher (remote included) that can switch M22s between the stock and Ninja crossovers. \:\)
Posted by: EFalardeau

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/13/08 04:43 PM

RF would be preferable. No bluetooth.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/13/08 04:45 PM

Nah, you'd probably get interference with RF.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/13/08 04:50 PM

or you could put the extra money towards 60's or 80's.
Posted by: grunt

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/13/08 08:08 PM

 Originally Posted By: sirquack
or you could put the extra money towards 60's or 80's.


Thatís pretty much what Iíve been thinking all along. Especially if you take advantage of the upgrade program.
Posted by: danmagicman7

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/13/08 09:32 PM

Grunt, if you like the clarity of your M22's, the M60's might be a little setback for you. I would recommend taking the leap to the M80's. Just in case you were thinking of an upgrade...I did a review a while back :-).
Posted by: grunt

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/13/08 09:59 PM

 Originally Posted By: danmagicman7
Grunt, if you like the clarity of your M22's, the M60's might be a little setback for you. I would recommend taking the leap to the M80's. Just in case you were thinking of an upgrade...I did a review a while back :-).



My post was a bit confusing, I was just talking about upgrading in general not me specifically. I already have 3 M80s up front and recently bought 2 M22s to try as rears but decided on an additional pair of QS8s. I liked the M22s so much I didnít return them and plan to eventually put them in another room when I get a house. For now they are on top of the M80s to use when I donít want to use headphones but also donít want to bass extension of the M80s annoying my apartment neighbors. Thanks for the thought though.

Cheers,
Dean
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/13/08 10:59 PM

So after all the hard work Ninja and his cronies put into advertising their product on Axiom's message board, is anyone actually going to be buying these things for their M22's?
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/13/08 11:07 PM

You know, I really don't think he had "cronies" or was particularly trying to advertise. Let's not start the ugliness again, please?
Posted by: jakewash

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/14/08 12:35 AM

 Originally Posted By: Dr.House
So after all the hard work Ninja and his cronies put into advertising their product on Axiom's message board, is anyone actually going to be buying these things for their M22's?
I think I might resemble that remark.

I am still deciding about purchasing the lower cost Ninja XO or keep the Ninja Masters, with Christmas coming this really isn't the right time of year for me to buy this sort of thing, especially after my purchase last year of the 3808 \:\) .
Posted by: fredk

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/14/08 01:12 AM

 Quote:
I think I might resemble that remark.

Can you cackle? I like cackling cronies.
Posted by: Ajax

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/14/08 06:52 AM

 Originally Posted By: Dr.House
So after all the hard work Ninja and his cronies put into advertising their product on Axiom's message board, is anyone actually going to be buying these things for their M22's?


Posted by: SRoode

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/14/08 07:27 AM

I've been waiting for this review for a while. I had no doubt that the speakers would sound different, and also guessed that they would sound "better". Higher quality components (and the Ninja does use very high quality components) will always make a difference. As many said, that part of the equation comes down to cost, and how much you are willing to pay for incremental improvements.

What I am REALLY interested in however is how much the adjusted crossover point contributed to making the speaker sound "better". Does the Ninja Crossover identify the inductor and capacitor values (should be measured in milli-Henries and micro-Farads, respectively). I'd love for someone to reconstruct the crossover using cheapo Radio Shack parts to see if it is the revised crossover setting contributing the biggest part of the perceived improvement.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/14/08 07:42 AM

No you don't resemble that remark. I give you alot of credit for what you did. I know the majority (including myself) would not be willing to take the time you put into this matter. It really shows me your dedication and passion towards this hobby and the Axiom family.


Posted by: pmbuko

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/14/08 08:48 AM

 Quote:
Higher quality components (and the Ninja does use very high quality components) will always make a difference

That's a blanket statement that is simply not universally true. I don't think Ian would be using the crossover components he is using if they harmed M22. Remember that the M22 has been refined through many (hundreds?) of hours of testing with the goal of creating the least-colored, most neutral sound reproduction possible.

Alan has touched on it already, but I'll repeat what he said. In repeated controlled blind tests, pretty much everyone favors the most neutral sounding speaker.

I have no doubt that the Ninja components have great specs, but specs are specs on paper. I'm willing to be that what makes the Ninja crossover sound different has much more to do with the different design than the quality of the components.
Posted by: SRoode

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/14/08 11:38 AM

I never said that Ian used components that would harm the M22s, I said that the ones used in the Ninja are of higher quality. Would I be willing to pay for that crossover. Probably not, which is why I bought from Axiom.

I agree that I think the biggest contributor to the change in the sound is the modified crossover point.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/14/08 11:43 AM

My response was mostly a statement of my own belief and faith in the process Ian uses to design his speakers. I wasn't trying to put words in your mouth. Honest.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/14/08 12:59 PM

I have been thinking of building the XO with lesser componets or the stock XO setting using the same components as with the Ninja's. Just trying to find the time to figure out how to set it all up and purchase the parts etc. this could take awhile, a very long while for me.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/14/08 01:27 PM

I'd love to see the results of that. It would be kind of cool if Ninja sold plans for his crossover, but that would probably get pirated pretty fast.
Posted by: JaimeG

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/14/08 01:32 PM

When I bought my M60 back in 2002, the m60s sounded too bright for my liking at the time. Alan suggested me to install a couple of resistors to the tweeters. To me, those resistors made somewhat of an improvement. A couple of years later I removed the resistor just to see if I could hear a difference, and hold and behold I heard an improvement as well; the resistors have been off ever since. My point is, I doubt anyone on this board has a trained ear to be able to tell what is better or worse sound when a change is relatively subtle. In my humble opinion, this product (ninja xo) is in the same category as the high-end audiophile/esoteric cables. The only difference is that a XO can indeed change the speaker sound signature; for the better? worse? I'm sure qualified people can argue this to death; it boils down to personal preference. But is this fuzzy 'personal preference' factor that companies like the SkingNinja and Monster exploits.
If you think a +$2,000 speaker wire is going to improve a speaker sound, well , here's another product that you might like: NinjaXO.

Side note: I used to pay +$150 for 15ft 1/4 plug cables for my keys/synthesizers; reason: durability & build quality; better sound was never a factor.

Posted by: jakewash

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/14/08 01:41 PM

I wouldn't put the Ninja products anywhere near the same category as Monster. Yes he has changed the XO point and altered the sound of the M22, of which there is no doubt(it is not subtle), unlike the unsubstantiated claims of Monster products. Whether or not the prospective buyer enjoys this change does come down to personal preference, which is why he offers the same money back guarantee as most other audio ID companies out there.
Posted by: JaimeG

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/14/08 02:01 PM

 Quote:

I wouldn't put the Ninja products anywhere near the same category as Monster. Yes he has changed the XO point and altered the sound of the M22, of which there is no doubt(it is not subtle), unlike the unsubstantiated claims of Monster products.

I think that Ninjas claim of using better components than the stock m22 ox components would lead to improved sound still remains unsubstantiated. Now, I think we both agree in regards of changing the xo curves.
Posted by: fredk

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/14/08 02:06 PM

Jaime. I think your point that sometimes the mere fact that it is a change makes it sound good is valid, but I agree with Jay.

Dr. Toole's research showed that overall all people, trained or otherwise, consistantly preferred the speakers with the flattest overall response. This is something that Alan has confirmed.

It would be nice if we could see anechoic measurements of the Ninja crossover to see exactly what is changing.
Posted by: JaimeG

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/14/08 02:13 PM

 Quote:

Dr. Toole's research showed that overall all people, trained or otherwise, consistantly preferred the speakers with the flattest overall response. This is something that Alan has confirmed.

I completely agree with your statement .
However , what this has anything to do w/ the 'better components, better sound' claim?
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/14/08 02:22 PM

It seems many here are very loyal to Axiom's objective philosphy of establishing the connection between technical measurements and real listenersí impressions of the products in double blind testing. For the most part this message board is very objective.

I think the majority of us would be singing a different tune (maybe even a few of us would have purchased them), if Ninja would have established any sort of connection with Axiom. Either getting the "o.k" with Axiom during R&D phase of the crossover, creating some sort of partnership (being able to advertise M22 crossover) on their website, or even sending the crossover for measurements and DB testing.

Considering the fact Ninja is profiting off using the design/r&d of the M22 loudspeaker, I thought it was strange about the whole patent thing. Anyways, I think one of the above would have helped market his product better.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/14/08 02:26 PM

Shaka, when the walls fell...



\:\)
Posted by: jakewash

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/14/08 04:54 PM

 Originally Posted By: JaimeG
...However , what this has anything to do w/ the 'better components, better sound' claim?
That is the only part I do agree with, which is why I am still looking into producing a XO with Soniccaps etc., with the same XO point as the stock M22. It has me very intrigued.
Posted by: grunt

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/14/08 06:13 PM

 Originally Posted By: pmbuko
Shaka, when the walls fell...

\:\)


Sokath, his eyes opened... \:D
Posted by: fredk

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/14/08 08:11 PM

[quote=JaimeG]
 Quote:
However , what this has anything to do w/ the 'better components, better sound' claim?

Absolutely nothing. I was referring to the two posts above that one. I should have quoted the relevant lines.
Posted by: StuntGibbon

Re: M22 Ninja Master Crossover review. - 11/27/08 01:43 PM

Let Ian borrow your 22's with the added XO, and let's fire up the science.