Don't tell the wife.....

Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 10:09 AM

I think I'm going to order a VP160. And I'm not going to ask Joyce. I'm just going to do it. Because I'm the man, dammit. (I'm peeing myself just a little bit because I'm nervous of the ramifications).

So, I bought an LG 55" last Fall that's sitting on a couple of boxes to get it up higher than the VP150 I currently have. I'll plan on wall mounting the LG if when I buy the 160. Here's a quick snapshot (I'll take a nice one when the setup is complete):



So, the question: Do I go with the Mansfield Beech (an extra $50) to match my existing speakers (and to some degree, the floors, etc) or do I go with black so it doesn't stand out as much (picking up on the black on the TV Stand and the black frame of the TV)?
Posted by: BobKay

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 10:58 AM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
I think I'm going to order a VP160. And I'm not going to ask Joyce. I'm just going to do it. Because I'm the man, dammit. (I'm peeing myself just a little bit because I'm nervous of the ramifications).

Here's a quick snapshot



I have her email address. What's it worth to you? Shipping would be less if you order and pay for one for me, too!

If my best efforts could ever approach your "quick snapshot," I would be ecstatic.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 11:02 AM

HEY! Bob was the only one that responded, and the poll shows only one vote- for the third choice!

I WOULD have bought you one as hush money, Bob, but now I'm just going to change her e-mail address. And phone number. And house address.

::Shakes Fist at Sky:: Dammit! I KNEW I shouldn't get to know any of you in real life!
Posted by: dakkon

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 11:16 AM

for 50$, i say go with matching speakers.


Oh, mark start ordering flowers ans chocolates now... This may help you survive....
Posted by: Kruncher

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 11:50 AM

Order it in Mansfield.

Be a man.

Says the guy who can't get the nerve up to order a VP150. blush
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 11:56 AM

I voted. wink
Posted by: Da_Gimp_Pimp

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 11:59 AM

I voted grin .
Posted by: Murph

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 12:16 PM

I voted for black. It doesn't match anything but that is part of being a man. If you are going to buy speakers behind Joyce's back, they should also clash.

P.S.
Your shipping would be even cheaper if you send it to me and I deliver it to Bob who promises to deliver it to you.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 12:46 PM

Go for the color coordination. Your wife will appreciate it, if she notices the difference.

Wife: The TV looks different, honey.
MSJ : Well, that's the new flat screen, dear. It makes everything look better, doncha think?
Wife: Looks bigger.
MSJ : Looks better.
Wife: Yes, yes it does.

or if you get it in black:

Wife: What's that?!?
MSJ : What's what, dear?
Wife: Don't mess with me Mark! What's that giant, grotesque thing under the TV?!?
MSJ : Well dear, that's the new Center Channel speaker we needed.
Wife: Enjoy it Mark, from the couch ... the couch on which you will be sleeping alone, with the dog, with that grotesque thing in the room, with you, alone. I hope you're happy. [Crying]

or if you get it in black:

MSJ: Put down the hockey stick honey, please!!

or if in Mansfield Beech:

Wife: Something looks different.
MSJ : I shaved.
Wife: No, I mean the TV.
MSJ : Well honey, I got the new Axiom center channel.
Wife: Oh, and the color matches the floor and the wall unit.
MSJ : Yes, yes it does.
Wife: I'm the luckiest gal in the world!
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 01:42 PM

2x6 sold me... I want her to be the luckiest gal in the world!

PS- Joyce has the Norovirus at the moment, so I AM sleeping on the couch!
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 01:44 PM

And why do I think the two guys who stated that they voted...one with a wink and one with a big grin...are the two votes for the third choice? mad
Posted by: Wid

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 02:02 PM


So; have ya ordered it yet?
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 02:04 PM

I need to get more votes....! smile
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 03:01 PM

There's three votes for choice three, now, Mark.

If I could vote twice, I'd vote for Mansfield Beech.

Hope Joyce feels better soon; personally, beer tends to settle my stomach. Also, when my digestive tract is misbehaving, I am often prone to "oh yeah, stomach? Well, eat THIS!" No reason why my brain and palate should suffer just because my stomach is in one of its moods. Szechuan FTW!
Posted by: Murph

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 03:16 PM

I agree with Tom. Guinness is a wonderful stomach settler.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 03:32 PM

After a shoot yesterday morning, my client gave Joyce and I a couple of bottles of Duvel Beer to try. She wasn't (and still isn't) up for it, but I'll give it a try tonight without her. If it's good, I'll buy more for when she's feeling better.
Posted by: Socketman

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 04:03 PM

Im goin to make this tough for ya lol. i have mine painted black pending my applying cherry veneeer. Now i am on the fence as the black helps it dissapear from my view while watching. Not very helpful am i, i have been told this before.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 04:21 PM

You should keep the speakers all the same finish, Mark. Even though I MAY not have voted that way ::snicker::

BTW, is your couch comfortable? Just as a precaution.
Posted by: BobKay

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 04:32 PM

Originally Posted By: dakkon
for 50$, i say go with matching speakers.


Oh, mark start ordering flowers ans chocolates now... This may help you survive....


No, flowers and chocolates aren't going to help. I don't want them. I want the 160, in natural semi-gloss maple, please, with tan grille.

Go ahead. Try to hide. I'll be waiting out on rte. 24 with spike strips.
Posted by: BobKay

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 04:34 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
She wasn't (and still isn't) up for it, but I'll give it a try tonight without her.


Ya! And this will be the very first time, right?
Posted by: BobKay

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 04:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Murph
I voted for black. It doesn't match anything but that is part of being a man. (Don't try to back pedal from your metro self.)
P.S.
Your shipping would be even cheaper if you send it to me and I deliver it to Bob who promises to deliver it to you.


Brilliant! But it's still gonna be in real maple, right?

(FYI, I voted for the beech, but I still think you're an asshole.) I am sooo kidding. I didn't vote for the beech..
Posted by: Argon

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 07:24 PM

you could go with "Axiom furnishes a complimentary speaker when you reach 8,673 posts" There is no way she will think that you are wasting your time....
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 07:44 PM

But, then he'd have to admit to more than "just reading the articles"
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/07/12 09:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Argon
you could go with "Axiom furnishes a complimentary speaker when you reach 8,673 posts" There is no way she will think that you are wasting your time....


I heard it was 10,000? LOL
Posted by: Amie

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/08/12 06:12 AM

Beech.
Beech pot pie.
Beech on a stick.
Beech a la mode.
Beech beech bo-reach, bananafama toe-reach . . . Beeeee-each.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/08/12 06:59 AM

I would have been truly hurt if Amie picked the last choice in the poll!
Posted by: Argon

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/08/12 07:24 AM

"Round, Round, get around, I get around......wait...wrong kinda beach.
Posted by: Argon

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/08/12 07:25 AM

Originally Posted By: SBrown
Originally Posted By: Argon
you could go with "Axiom furnishes a complimentary speaker when you reach 8,673 posts" There is no way she will think that you are wasting your time....


I heard it was 10,000? LOL


Well....now you've gone and blown that strategy.
Posted by: BobKay

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/08/12 09:11 AM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
I would have been truly hurt if Amie picked the last choice in the poll!


Well, that's a pretty confident conclusion for a secret ballot!

4 people chose # 3. I wasn't one of them. Not being one of them cost me $100 ($25 each).
Posted by: fredk

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/08/12 09:34 PM

Originally Posted By: BobKay
Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
I would have been truly hurt if Amie picked the last choice in the poll!


Well, that's a pretty confident conclusion for a secret ballot!

4 people chose # 3. I wasn't one of them. Not being one of them cost me $100 ($25 each).

Your other personalities pay you to do stuff?
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/08/12 11:05 PM

I voted.

And I'd like to say I'm kinda peeved with Ikea for getting rid of Beech. I can't match my CD towers anymore. . . .
Posted by: richeydog

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/09/12 02:38 AM

Originally Posted By: St_PatGuy
I voted.

And I'd like to say I'm kinda peeved with Ikea for getting rid of Beech. I can't match my CD towers anymore. . . .

Sons of Beeches!
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/09/12 05:55 AM

Michael: grin

Sean: Yeah, I did the same thing with my Ikea shelving!
Posted by: Argon

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/09/12 07:34 AM

Originally Posted By: fredk
Your other personalities pay you to do stuff?

That right there is funny
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/09/12 08:05 AM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
Michael: grin

Sean: Yeah, I did the same thing with my Ikea shelving!


Another grin for Michael.


Mark, I've got bookshelves from Ikea, as well. . . . .and I looked the other day to see what they had so I could add on. . . . . sons of beeches.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/09/12 08:09 AM

When I bought mine I did what I typically do: I bought an extra couple of shelves, and some "divider kits" that are designed to allow a shelf to hold CDs instead of books. This way, as my CD collection grew, I could modify/add to the shelving without fear of them discontinuing the style or color or something.

Sometimes I waste $$ on unused "parts", but usually I'm thankful that I have them.

Edit: Adding an older photo:


Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/09/12 08:15 AM

When I said "add on" I really meant buy another bookshelf. Maybe it IS time I go for an e-reader?

That is a good idea, Mark. You never know when extra shelves may come in handy. In fact, I've got a stack of the little CD shelves in my closet and a ziploc bag of the metal doohickies they sit on.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/09/12 08:28 AM

Complete with the prototype in cabinet EP900+ with 15" woofers, right?
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/09/12 08:38 AM

Oh, crap. You guys weren't supposed to see that before the March audio show! grin

I had forgotten that I even did that for the original time I posted the photo!

Late night / early morning of editing...I didn't even notice it!

Edit:

And they're 18's.... smile
Posted by: BobKay

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/09/12 09:31 AM

The big problem with most IKEA furniture is that you're not suppsed to buy it.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/09/12 09:50 AM

Snob..... smile
Posted by: dakkon

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/09/12 12:51 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
Oh, crap. You guys weren't supposed to see that before the March audio show! grin


Mark... you better not me messing with us.... I know where you live... Concord...!

The photo looks photoshopped though.... so i don't think you are telling us the truth...


And i am going to have to defend Bob here.... I went to an IKEA store 1 time... 99% of the stuff that i saw in the store that i went to looked like cheap crap. However, they were not charging cheap crap prices!!!!!... Maybe you are able to find the "good stuff"? I feel that my 1 trip was enough, and i have no plans to go back to IKEA....
Posted by: Rock_Head

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/09/12 02:11 PM

Ikea product is hit and miss. My wife purchased a dresser for my son's bedroom and I have lost track of the number of times the drawer rails have been repaired mad
On the flip side, the other items have been fine.
YMMV
Posted by: medic8r

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/09/12 02:37 PM

Medic8r Manor has four or five of these IKEA Expedit shelving units. Each cubicle is about 13" in each dimension, so they'll hold all sorts of books, LPs, office storage boxes, etc. No warping or bending, even with the heaviest, most boring medical books. Highly recommended if you want cheap bookshelves that don't really look that cheap.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/09/12 04:03 PM

Yeah, it really depends.

There is a lot of laminate-over-chip-board that looks fine but is structurally really fragile. However, we also have some Ikea stuff that is baltic birch with dovetail joints.

Most of the furniture is scaled SMALL, though.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/09/12 05:04 PM

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle

There is a lot of laminate-over-chip-board that looks fine but...

I don't really like Ikea's Swedish Meatballs either.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/09/12 05:33 PM

I LOVE their Swedish meatballs.... even if they might also be laminate-over-chip-board....
Posted by: Rock_Head

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/09/12 06:18 PM

Good call on the Swedish meatballs. Makes it worth the trip to Ikea smile
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/09/12 07:23 PM

And the lingonberries.

I think you guys are the meatballs.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/09/12 09:24 PM

I make it a point of having Mountain Dew with a shot of lingonberry juice whenever I eat at IKEA. smile
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/12/12 08:59 AM

I've decided. I'm ordering a VP160 this morning in Mansfield Beech. smile
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/12/12 09:00 AM

And I'm going to eat IKEA Swedish Meatballs with lingonberries while listening to it.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/12/12 09:43 AM

But make sure you're playing it on an OPPO.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/12/12 10:05 AM

I expect to see schematics of your new stand as well.
Posted by: BobKay

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/12/12 10:06 AM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
I've decided. I'm ordering a VP160 this morning in Mansfield Beech. smile


I've never been there. Take pix, please.

Save time. I'll go get the Ikea food stuffs now and mail them to you. They'll still taste and look the same when the 160 arrives. Afterall, they're both made in Chiner.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/12/12 10:11 AM

No stand needed.

I'll sit the VP160 on the top of the TV stand and wall mount the TV above it!

Bob, leave my meatballs alone. I like them! smile
Posted by: Murph

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/12/12 10:13 AM

What??? It's not a real upgrade unless you have to build something!!
Posted by: BobKay

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/12/12 10:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Murph
What??? It's not a real upgrade unless you have to build something!!


He'll be building a web of lies when Joyce sees it.
Posted by: BobKay

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/12/12 10:18 AM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson

Bob, leave my meatballs alone. I like them! smile


Seriously, Mark, you know I could go get 'em and be back at my house in <20 minutes. There's never anyone there on Monday mornings. Post office is a 6 minute walk. They'll be at your house before the 160, I promise you that. Don't worry, they'll "keep."
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/12/12 10:18 AM


Quote:
He'll be building a web of lies when Joyce sees it.

Bob- I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read that!

OTOH, maybe I should start drinking in preparation for Joyce coming home...
Posted by: Murph

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/12/12 10:23 AM

He's hoping he can say it's not a new speaker. "When I wall mounted the TV, it just changed the perspective and everything looks bigger."

This also explains why he was asking about the best way to sharpen his pocket knife. Sorry, but it will still look like a "6".

Posted by: BobKay

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/12/12 10:28 AM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson

Quote:
He'll be building a web of lies when Joyce sees it.

Bob- I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read that!


I love holding a punchline until I see someone chugging chocolate milk. I guess it's the brown nasal slime that makes me laugh so hard. OJ is pretty funny, too.
Posted by: BobKay

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/12/12 10:31 AM

I'm gonna call Noreen and ask her to track it for me so I can show up on the same day, just before Joyce comes home from her real job.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/12/12 10:44 AM

Originally Posted By: Murph
"When I wall mounted the TV, it just changed the perspective and everything looks bigger."

I canceled my order with Noreen. I will instead install a similar TV above the headboard of the bed.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/12/12 11:04 AM

Joking. Just got off the phone with Noreen. It's official: My first Axiom upgrade since my initial purchase in 2004.

It reminds me that my initial goal in buying speakers was to buy good ones in which I wouldn't feel the need to upgrade anytime soon.
Posted by: Murph

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/12/12 11:25 AM

Gratz Mark!
I'm looking forward to your review.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/12/12 02:03 PM

Congrats on the VP160, Mark. Be sure to take some pictures. You too, Bob...especially Joyce's reaction when she sees it.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/12/12 02:31 PM

Thanks Adrian! Photos of a fainted person lying on the floor aren't usually exciting, but...
Posted by: J. B.

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/12/12 03:30 PM

whether it be husband or wife...
Posted by: Argon

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/12/12 10:01 PM

Cowboy Up.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/28/12 05:42 PM

Woo Hoo!
Golden Email!!
Posted by: Wid

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/28/12 06:00 PM


Nice, Mark.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/28/12 06:03 PM

Good deal, just a few days now.

Congrats amigo!
Posted by: merchman

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/28/12 06:06 PM

Great news Mark!
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/28/12 06:08 PM

smile Does Joyce know yet?


Congrats, Mark!
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/28/12 07:54 PM

Mark won't be posting for a few days. Instead, he'll be leaving nose smudges on his front window waiting for the delivery truck.
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/28/12 11:19 PM

How are you going to hide that big box?
Posted by: fredk

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/29/12 03:12 AM

Originally Posted By: SBrown
How are you going to hide that big box?

"Its just an electric screw driver, honest honey."
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/29/12 06:20 AM

I guess I didn't mention that I told Joyce the day I ordered it?

She was fine with it... I was just having fun here! She's an amazing wife!

She's right behind me! Oh Gawd, Oh Gawd, I've been sleeping on the couch for two weeks! Someone help me!
Posted by: Murph

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/29/12 07:49 AM

Nice move on the dullened font. I was about to tell on you for for snickers and giggles but then I remembered Buddy and I don't want him to suffer a broken home.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 03/29/12 08:06 AM

Oh, it's OK. He's been house broken for some time now.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 04/02/12 08:46 AM

At the end of last week, FedEx showed a Tuesday delivery day. I was out-of-state on Friday and Saturday and expecting other UPS and FedEx deliveries, so I left a note on the door to please not leave anything.

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

Woo Freakin' Hoo! smile

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

But I'll open the box and try it out at least ("Just to make sure there's no shipping damage.....honest sweetie!" )
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 04/02/12 09:10 AM

Excellent news, Mark!

Deadlines or not, you know we want pics right away.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 04/02/12 04:50 PM

Axiom packs these MUCH nicer than they did in 2004!
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 04/02/12 06:20 PM

Congrats, the LFR boxes are going to be huge!
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Don't tell the wife..... - 04/02/12 09:51 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
Axiom packs these MUCH nicer than they did in 2004!


Mark, you're killin' us!! Come on, post some pics, tell us what you think!!!
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/03/12 12:32 PM

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

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


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

Straight?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I can only imagine it getting better and better as I get past my other frustrations with settings, get it installed in it's final location and get it dialed in correctly.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/03/12 01:49 PM

I find that the VP160 excels in male vocals, with the sub turned on. The VP160 by itself, not so much. I'm still amazed hearing a decent male vocal. It sounds so much better than the VP150. Female vocals, not much difference.

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

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/03/12 02:20 PM

Some snapshots; nice photos will have to wait! smile

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

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


Looking straight down into the empty box:


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


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


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


It IS, however, substantially deeper:

Posted by: Murph

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/03/12 03:02 PM

Thanks for the info Mark.

Note how I did not make one "boxy" joke in appreciation of you sharing your thoughts.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/03/12 03:32 PM

If I didn't like Ian and Amie so much, I'd say now would be the time to buy a VP160! smile


Posted by: medic8r

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/03/12 04:06 PM

Originally Posted By: CatBrat
I find that the VP160 excels in male vocals, with the sub turned on. The VP160 by itself, not so much. I'm still amazed hearing a decent male vocal. It sounds so much better than the VP150. Female vocals, not much difference.

You just saved CV a lot of money!

Mark, thanks for the pics and detailed posts! Enjoy your new toy!
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/03/12 04:12 PM

Originally Posted By: medic8r

You just saved CV a lot of money!

That's funny!
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/03/12 04:41 PM

Only listens to female vocals?
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/03/12 05:19 PM

Nice remote!

smile

Thanks, Mark. I may start tweaking things and listening more critically thanks to your adventure.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/03/12 05:56 PM

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
I may start tweaking things and listening more critically thanks to your adventure misadventure.


Fixed that for 'ya!

One of the ways in which I've allowed myself to get woefully out of the loop is in programming my MX-700. I don't think I've even gone into the software in 3-4 years.

Does anyone know if an old MX-700 can still be programmed on a Win7 computer? I think I read that Universal Remote has really cut down on helping "non-pro installers" with programming.

Part of the reason I ask is because I have a huge temptation to reset my Denon this weekend and start from scratch. I need to re-work some of the inputs, and I'm afraid I'm going to lose correct (corresponding) labeling on the remote if I'm not careful... and I won't have any way of re-programming it.

I kind of like the idea of trying a Harmony with it's user-friendly programming (I don't use Macros anyway. I probably shouldn't spend the money, and I DO know all the button locations on my MX-700 by feel.... but it's still tempting.

The only "new" piece of equipment that's not on the MX-700 is the TV.
Posted by: Hansang

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/03/12 07:04 PM

My MX900 program works just fine in Win7, so I imagine MX700 program should be fine.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/03/12 09:13 PM

Mark, thank you for sharing your thoughts on your new VP160! I've said it before, but I really like your room and how the colors go together.

You know, I vote for reseting your Denon and start over. Setting things up again will get you engaged in your HT and make everything, not just your center channel, feel new. Or, at least, breathe new life into it.

Who knows, maybe reseting the receiver will get rid of the weird bugs you were experiencing?

I'm so glad the VP160 addresses the "boxy" sound issue you were having with the previous center channel. When work clears up a bit, and after you get everything recalibrated, sit back and enjoy your new speaker!
Posted by: Murph

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/04/12 10:39 AM

Looks like the MX software will still work for you but if you run into trouble here is a workaround. Download the free VirtualBox software. This would allow you to install an older OS like XP or whatever you used previously and simply run an instance of XP, etc. in it's own window within Windows 7.

It sounds daunting but there are tons of excellent step by step guides and Youtubes on how to install just about any OS at all in a virtual machine using VirtualBox and it's actually very easy.

Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/04/12 10:53 AM

I'm using Win7 Pro on my Photoshop machine, and it offers an XP mode.

I was more concerned with whether or not the software is more restrictive in some way from what I remember it being many moons ago.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/07/12 08:17 AM

Well, I had planned to "re-setup" my system, wall mount the TV, and get the new VP160 set up this weekend.

Unfortunately, what started as a stiff neck Thursday morning ended up becoming a pinched nerve issue. I've been on Flexeril and getting nothing done....neither for the HT setup nor the editing and other work I was supposed to wrap up (my customers were kind and understanding).

I haven't had any new spasms since late last night, but am staying on the Flexeril again today to be sure it all settles down.

Still having a vivid memory of the neck spasms, I don't picture doing anything in the workshop nor wall mounting that 55" TV.

Besides, I bought a used amp from someone here, and that doesn't arrive till Monday. I might as well wait for it to arrive before tearing everything apart and re-setting it up.

The thought of positioning that amp makes my neck cringe a bit too!

In short: Sorry. The promised review of the 160 will have to wait! frown
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/07/12 08:53 AM

Hope you start feeling better soon Mark, and am excited to hear your feedback on the 160. You need a lighter camera. smile
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/07/12 10:16 AM

Hope you feel better soon, Mark. Looking forward to reading your review(s) and seeing pics of your rearranged set up!
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/07/12 11:10 AM

Sorry to hear that Mark. frown Were you accosted by a wannabe Vulcan who inexpertly applied the neck pinch?
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/07/12 12:59 PM

Winners play through pain
Posted by: INANE

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/07/12 11:57 PM

Man it seems like once a year I get a pinched nerve in my neck and it incapacitates me for a week. I feel you pain.
Posted by: dakkon

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/08/12 12:05 AM

Mark, do you do photo editing for a living? if so, i have a photo from kangamangus highway that could use some touch up, if you have some free time?
Posted by: Murph

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/12/12 11:20 AM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
I've been on Flexeril and getting nothing done....


I used to know a girl we nickname "Flex". Exchange her for the drug in your sentence above and trust me, you still would be getting nothing done.

Try to enjoy being forced into relax mode and get better soon!
Posted by: Murph

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/12/12 11:21 AM

Originally Posted By: dakkon
Mark, do you do photo editing for a living? if so, i have a photo from kangamangus highway that could use some touch up, if you have some free time?


I don't know where Kangamungus is but that is definitely the coolest word I have heard in a very long time.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/12/12 11:40 AM

Kancamagus Highway Wiki

Photos

Thanks, Murph! I've been off the Flexeril for a few days, though my neck / shoulders are still very tight and sore!

I'm hoping to get the VP160 and new amp installed this weekend, since it didn't happen last weekend!
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/14/12 09:52 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
I'm hoping to get the VP160 and new amp installed this weekend, since it didn't happen last weekend!

I'm planning on wall-mounting the TV tomorrow, but the amp will have to wait a day or two. As I've mentioned, I didn't really have any location for the amp and am using a Bell'O rack with glass shelves that have weight limits for some silly reason.

Up in the attic, I have a 19" rack that used to hold duplicating equipment in my office. It has an 1800lb weight limit, so I've decided to use that! smile

That means, of course, that I have to take EVERYTHING apart and re-do it all from scratch. I'm going to give my neck one more day to heal before hauling that steel monstrosity from the attic, so it'll be Monday at the earliest now for that aspect of what I'm calling the "Re-Do, V.2".
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/15/12 02:03 AM

I'm hoping… I'm planning…

Geez, Mark. Put on your Git-R-Done hat.
Posted by: fredk

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/15/12 12:16 PM

Originally Posted By: pmbuko
I'm hoping… I'm planning…

Geez, Mark. Put on your Git-R-Done hat.

Yeah! And yer neck splint too.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/18/12 09:01 PM

Well, things are obviously progressing slower than I had hoped. Even getting past the pinched nerve, my stupid customers keep giving me work that I have to prioritize over my HT revision.

Anyway, it's nothing like Nick or Ben's projects, but I thought I'd post an update and some photos as I'm now in a bit of a holding pattern again.

I got my TV wall mounted! This will free up the top of the TV stand for the VP160:


Right now, it's only hooked up straight to the TiVo. I'm going to make a "hollow column" centered below it to hide cables. Seated, my eyes are about 1/3 up from the bottom of the screen. I like the "sleekness" of it there.

As seen in that previous photo, I kept a Bell'O audio rack in the closet of the room as I'm a bit short on space. It's on a platform I made with appliance dollies so it can be rolled out. I was out of space on the Bell'O though, and wanted to add a new external amp that I bought. Of more concern is the fact that (I believe) the Bell'Os glass shelves are rated for 50lbs each, putting my receiver, my Belkin units and my new amp all at, near, or above the rated limit. I was always concerned when I rolled the stand out of the closet that my luck would run out.

Here's the rack rolled out:


I've decided to use a standard rack in place of the Bell'O. I have two available. Unfortunately, I would have preferred all black, but I have available what I have available. My cat Tedy wouldn't get off the rack/platform combo. The longer he sat there, the more I was convinced those things on his head were rack ears. I was tempted to mount him. Wait..... that doesn't sound right!


So here is what I have on the rack, bringing me to my standstill. I need more shelves and had to order what I wanted (Damn Daddy's Junky Music going out of business!).


From the bottom up, I have the two Belkin power units, a Behringer Feedback Destroyer, the Luxman amp I just bought, a fan cooler (I've already decided to replace this with a simple 3U vent panel, as the fans are too noisy. Maybe I'll look into replacing the fan units in the future if it seems necessary). The open shelf is for the turntable, and the Denon 3808 is mid-height on the rack. I want to replace the shelf under the Denon as well with something heavier-duty. I still have 5 (!) disc players to put in above the Denon.



The rack does have side panels and a hinged, smoked-plexi door for the front but the plexi is not in great shape and it's hinged on the wrong side. I might see if I can "frame" this whole rack with maple or something. I dunno.... I'll see how it looks when it's finished and in place.

To be continued sometime after the vent panels and shelves come in Monday....
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/18/12 09:03 PM

Hey, BTW- for anyone who owns those Belkin units, do you remember if they came with "rack ears"? It looks like the sides of the units are set up for it, but I don't remember if they were included.

If they were, I'd have to do lots of rummaging through the attic. But, at least tips from you guys would let me know if I would be searching in vain! smile
Posted by: Wid

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/18/12 09:06 PM



Looking good so far.
Posted by: Wid

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/18/12 09:07 PM


I don't think my Belkin came with rack mounts.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/18/12 11:11 PM

Ha ha, Tedy reminds me that cats just have to be RIGHT in the middle of everything.

Looks good so far, Mark!
Posted by: Murph

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/19/12 07:41 AM

Looking Good Mark!!
Extra points for the scene on TV.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/19/12 11:33 AM

5 disk players?!?! It's like you're not even trying, sometimes.

I don't see a picture of the back. wink

Nicely done.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/19/12 08:37 PM

I still have the ears my PF60 came with.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/20/12 12:42 AM

My goodness Mark Johnson. You have stuff!! Good stuff.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/20/12 07:02 AM

Originally Posted By: jakewash
I still have the ears my PF60 came with.


Thanks Jason! Now I know it'll be worth the time for me to search sometime!

2X6, the cat has the stuff, he just lets me use it.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/21/12 06:48 PM

My PF60 is black but I can send you the ears if you can't find yours. (I now have that pic of you with HUGE ears stuck in my head)
Posted by: INANE

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/23/12 02:02 PM

I love the rack
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: VP160- Initial thoughts - 04/24/12 12:17 AM

I almost bought two of those Bell'o racks a few years ago. They look nice.