Axiom Subs

Posted by: BoB/335

Axiom Subs - 12/30/08 07:35 PM

I haven't really seen much on the other forums (or here for that matter) on Axiom subs. How do they stand up in performance and value with the others that seem so popular.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Axiom Subs - 12/30/08 08:06 PM

Hey Bob! how's the speaker research going?! re. subs...from what I've read, Axiom subs are very highly rated, powerful, clean, and reach very deep. There are alot of good subs out there, and I think this is one area I may opt to go with another brand, simply due to budget concerns. I can get a Paradigm DSP 3400 for about $560.00 Cdn, not sure how it compares directly to, say the EP500, having not heard the Axiom yet, but there are some nice subs out there well under $1G. HSU, SVS, Pdigm, ect
Posted by: BoB/335

Re: Axiom Subs - 12/30/08 08:42 PM

I'm considering this sub

http://www.svsound.com/products-sub-box-10nsd.cfm

Subs seem to get awfully big to have in a living room. (yep, no home theatre room for me) The Axioms sure look nice but a bit of change for me. Plus if I have to go big I have a pair of JBL PA subs that I power with 1100 watts each.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Axiom Subs - 12/30/08 08:54 PM

I had the PB12-nsd and found its frequency bump around 50-60hz over emphasized things too much for my tastes and I upgraded to the PB13-Ultra which is has a nice flat FR like most DSP subs. My wife wants to use it as an end table(no HT room for me either) as it is too big for her tastes but I like it too much to get rid of it, at least for now. ;\)

I can second the thought of the Paradigm DSP subs. I compared the little 3100 to the EP350v2 and v3 and the little 10" sub was much better than the old EP350v2 but couldn't move enough air to compete with the 12" driver on the EP30v3, although the 3100 was still reasonable for HT it was great for music. I would suspect the 3400 would be in the same output range as the EP350 or even the EP500 which is quite an astounding performer from such a small box, well as far as sub boxes go anyway.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Axiom Subs - 12/30/08 09:48 PM

 Originally Posted By: BoB/335
Plus if I have to go big I have a pair of JBL PA subs that I power with 1100 watts each.


Keep in mind that most PA subs are designed to pump large volumes at music frequencies only....NOT the really deep LFE frequencies that are embedded in movie soundtracks. You're likely to find that those JBLs would actually LOSE much impact when playing a soundtrack. If they can pump out 120dB of 35Hz bass in a big room, but can't reach lower, they're not going to do you any good unless the rest of your system is ALSO playing at 120dB.

I'll take a sub that goes down to 20Hz at 115dB anytime for impact from soundtracks!
Posted by: BoB/335

Re: Axiom Subs - 12/30/08 09:54 PM

It was a bit of a joke. My wife would kill me if I brought those in the house.

(Mine are no longer made but these are the ones that replaced it.)

http://www.jblpro.com/catalog/support/getfile.aspx?docid=599&doctype=3
Posted by: fredk

Re: Axiom Subs - 12/31/08 03:24 AM

Subs is a tough topic. There is a lot of competition in this arena, but there are tradeoffs.

I am thrilled with my EP350 for music the sub integrates with the mains seemlessly. I get good room gain down to around 21-22Hz, but thats where it stops. Now, there are a number of subs out there in that price range that will go deeper and have more impact for movies, but the tradeoff is clean bass for movies.

Now, the 350 is still quite good for movies, but it dosn't reach quite low enough.

You need to move up to something like the PB13 ultra EP500/600 to get both. For that money, I will probably build my own
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Axiom Subs - 12/31/08 10:15 AM

Seriously, Fred? I've had no complaints about my EP350 when I wa... oh wait, I don't watch movies much. ;\)
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Axiom Subs - 12/31/08 10:20 AM

I've very impressed with my twin 350's for music and movies, they go very low, the 600 is also nice. \:\)
Posted by: myrison

Re: Axiom Subs - 12/31/08 11:52 AM

Any of the subs mentioned above would be great performers in 98% of situations. I've auditioned both the EP600 and the SVS PB13-Ultra. The SVS goes a little deeper and a little louder than the 600, but lacks the DSP that the 600 has so there is a slight tradeoff between both speakers. I've also heard the EP500 and found it to be a highly capable performer, but with just slightly less ultra-low bass capability.

After doing extensive A/B testing with the EP600 and SVS, I started to appreciate more just what differences you hear between two quality subs whose specs are just slightly different (assuming they are both made by manufacturer's whose specs you can trust). The difference of 2-3 Hz extension at roughly the same volumes (i.e. the difference between playing flat down to 23 Hz or to 20 Hz) is extremely subtle, but for those who really live for the last few decibels of really low bass, it is a difference that can be worth a lot of extra money.

So... since my point probably still isn't clear after that long ramble, if you're looking for the best bang for your buck, the EP350 is probably the place to start (or any other competing subs in that price range, and there are a lot of good performers out there). Beyond that, the additional extension and volume you'll get from the more expensive subs (EP500,600,800) start to have slightly diminishing returns in terms of cost versus clearly noticeable differences.

HOWEVER, \:\)

if you're not looking for the best bang for the buck (i.e. you're looking for the ultimate performance and are willing to pay considerably more for that last ounce of rumbling bass), or you have an extremely large open room to fill with bass, then going up the Axiom product line will make you very happy. While I used to think I fell into the "most bang for the buck" camp, I'm finding that I am in an endless pursuit for the best thing out there (at least in the ~$2k range), which led to my pre-order of the EP800. The measurements on that beast are absolutely unbelievable and I cannot wait to see how it compares to my in-depth experience with the PB13-Ultra and the EP600 I have already. Playing down flat to 13 Hz with a sealed sub is something I'm really looking forward to.

Let us know if you have more questions as you get further along in the purchase/review process. Lots of folks around here have tried various other subs and should be able to give good first-hand information.

Jason
Posted by: fredk

Re: Axiom Subs - 12/31/08 12:54 PM

Seriously Ken. I find I am watching a lot more movies now that I have a 5.1 system. Even Hunter S. Thompson sounds better in 5.1... Well, maybe not. ;\)

If I watched movies only and was looking to buy another sub, I would probably seriously look at SVS or HSU.

 Quote:
I'm finding that I am in an endless pursuit for the best thing out there (at least in the ~$2k range)

It looks like I am sliding into this camp, but I still need my bang for the buck.

I also really like building stuff, so my next sub will probably be DIY. I have already downloaded winisd and started modeling different drivers.

What I really crave is to hear/feel the 32ft stop on a pipe organ in all its glory. That is where I can tell the 350 is missing the lowest notes. I can feel the pipe organ rumble as notes move down the scale, and then it just kind of fades or flattens out.

To be clear, I really like my EP350. It is a good choice for a first sub. Where I have seen posts on other sites about troubles integrating the sub with the mains, I have had absolutely no issues. It performs well for movies: I get good rumble and a little shake. Kabooms are clean, they are just missing a little punch I guess.


Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Axiom Subs - 12/31/08 02:22 PM

 Originally Posted By: fredk
It performs well for movies: I get good rumble and a little shake. Kabooms are clean, they are just missing a little punch I guess.



Sure it's not your (also) sucky room? I think it won't matter how good my sub might be...ultimately, the poor room destroys it!
Posted by: BoB/335

Re: Axiom Subs - 12/31/08 03:18 PM

The EP350 would certainly be at the high end of a sub budget for me. So I guess I'd be looking between $500-$800 for a sub. Anything that would give an EP350 a run for it's money?

(I should probably ask that on a more nuetral forum)
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Axiom Subs - 12/31/08 03:22 PM

Try this from Hsu Research. Many here use Hsu subs. Very good subs for an affordable price. I've been using the VTF3 mkII for years now, and love it.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Axiom Subs - 12/31/08 03:41 PM

The PB12-nsd from SVS is the equivalent in price to the EP350, but it reaches to 18hz and even lower in room. I had one and thought it was very good till I traded up to the PB13Ultra.
Posted by: BoB/335

Re: Axiom Subs - 12/31/08 03:47 PM

Anyone familiar with this? Love it's size!

Bravus 10D - Dual 10" Powered Subwoofer
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Axiom Subs - 12/31/08 09:55 PM

The 350 from the factory outlet is a great deal. Alans article comparing against the 3 letter companies proved this sub can compete just fine.
Posted by: myrison

Re: Axiom Subs - 12/31/08 11:06 PM

Any chance you have a link to that article? I don't remember it and couldn't find it from a quick glance through the article lists.

Jason
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/01/09 02:23 AM

Jason, I don't recall that Alan wrote a separate article on that, but I do recall this post on the subject.
Posted by: fredk

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/01/09 03:13 AM

Bob. On more 'neutral' forums the bias is towards SVS and HSU because they are the most popular. They also happen to build good subs, but be aware that there is that popularity bias.

Jason. I thought you felt that the PB12 had some bloat/boom compared to the EP350 V2?

Mark. Thanks for depressing me again. I had almost convinced myself to ignore the fact that my room sucks. ::sticks tongue out::

Now that I am over the WOW of great speakers and used to the sound of my room, I am getting a good feel for what is room suckage and what is other stuff. I already get a little better sound now that I have greatly reduced the 40Hz null. Where I notice stuff missing is on the low rumbling LFE (probably 30Hz and below) and on really low synth and organ notes. The impact is just not there on really low lfe and the sound of the organ/synth just flattens. That last bit could probably be improved a little more if I could improve the 42Hz area a little more but still...

Bob. If you are handy and don't mind a big box in your theater, for $700 you could build a sub that betters the EP600 and may well rival the EP800. Box size (or the desire for small boxes that to big things) is a real limiting factor in commercial subs. You would be looking at a displacement of 10-12cf.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/01/09 03:19 AM

 Originally Posted By: fredk

Jason. I thought you felt that the PB12 had some bloat/boom compared to the EP350 V2?


Not so much bloat/boom, as it was just hitting very hard and was very tight in doing so. I didn't like it as much for music because of this, it felt more like the boom boxes rolling down the road but it wasn't boomy at all, just very punctual, you could really tell it was on. I played with it some before sending it back and I managed to get it to smooth out, it just took a little work compared to, as has been stated, the Axiom subs, which just seem to blend right in from the start.
Posted by: myrison

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/01/09 10:51 PM

Thank you John - that must be the one Randy was referring to, and I hadn't seen it before, so thanks for the link.

Jason
Posted by: BoB/335

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/12/09 05:33 PM

Well I went for the EP350. Some of the other brands had rear and/or side ports. Where I hope to "hide" this will work best with a front firing/front ported cab. Also I figured staying with the Axiom sub "might" work together with the M80's for music.

Anyway, I haven't heard anything bad and just that I may have been able to hit a bit lower with another brand. Just hope it hits low enough. And since I have nothing to compare to and don't know anyone with a system even close to what this will be, I guess it will sound great to us.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/12/09 05:46 PM

The Ep350 is a very admirable performer and I have listened to one with M80s, they work very well together, when calibrated, like all main sub pairings. Do you have an SPL meter to level match them together?
Posted by: BoB/335

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/12/09 06:19 PM

Audyssey MultEQ in-room acoustic correction system
Audyssey Dynamic Volume automatic volume-leveling system
Audyssey Dynamic EQ automatic tonal balance adjustment system

Shouldn't this stuff take care of that?
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/12/09 09:36 PM

Yes, Bob; the basic calibration part of the automatic calibration/room equalization systems works very well and is possibly more accurate than "checking" the results manually with a separate SPL meter. It's still nice however, to have an SPL meter to know the levels at which you're listening.
Posted by: BoB/335

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/12/09 10:20 PM

I guess I'll have to look into that some more as the time draws nearer. How about a link to a reasonable meter?
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/12/09 10:45 PM

Any Radio Shack should sell both an analog or digital meter. I would recommend the analog model, but don't have a part# handy. They cost about $49 at the Shack.
Posted by: BoB/335

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/12/09 10:51 PM

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103667
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/12/09 11:22 PM

This is the one I would recommend, easier to use for calibration.
Posted by: HAY

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/12/09 11:25 PM

 Originally Posted By: BoB/335
Audyssey MultEQ in-room acoustic correction system
Audyssey Dynamic Volume automatic volume-leveling system
Audyssey Dynamic EQ automatic tonal balance adjustment system

Shouldn't this stuff take care of that?


Are the Denon guys out there using all these or just the settings for the speaker distance, size and leveling for a base starting point. I thought that the in-room Eq and such were not suggested as they change the linearity or sound characteristics of the speaker?
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/12/09 11:28 PM

Yes, that's the digital SPL meter that I bought after trying both it and the analog version which were owned by acquaintances. The specific number provided by the digital version is simpler than interpreting the position of a moving needle on the analog version and the digital includes additional useful measurement modes(e.g. a maximum level measurement).
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/12/09 11:34 PM

Graeme, that isn't my view or apparently that of most of the users who've taken the time to set up Audyssey carefully. All speakers are affected by room characteristics, which significantly change whatever "linearity" may be measured in an anechoic chamber. The best equalization systems can reduce these room effects to some extent.
Posted by: HAY

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/12/09 11:55 PM

That's what I originally thought and when I got my Yamaha 4600 I played around with the YPAO or whatever it is. I couldn't switch back and forth quickly to determine if it was better or not and left it for awhile...after tinkering for awhile. Then when I had a guy over for a demo I turned all EQ and such off so the speakers were in their natural state and left it since.

Perhaps if I ever get the house to myself I will need to explore some more and learn to copy and use macros on the receiver remote. Or perhaps the harmony 880 would be easier?

I could have sworn though that I've seen lots of posts about not using the Eq's. I'll need to start searching the site.
Posted by: BoB/335

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/13/09 04:47 AM

"Audyssey Dynamic Volume automatic volume-leveling system"

I've heard some things about this feature. I'm told that this feature compresses the sound to get an even level during fluctuating sound levels and that it will cause a change in the fidelity. I believe a Denon Tech told me that's not true.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/13/09 05:04 AM

Going back to your Audyssey questions, yes they work very well in place of an SPL meter, when the system works right, but it is always a good idea to double check against the meter to ensure the program set the levels and distances correctly as there are reports of some systems not working correctly.


Audyssey Dynamic Volume automatic volume-leveling system

In case you haven't already looked here:

http://www.audyssey.com/technology/dynamicvolume.html
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/13/09 07:39 AM

I find the analog meter much easier to use when calibrating my speakers, seems more accurate, and does not jump around as much as the digital.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/13/09 11:49 AM

Dynamic Volume and Dynamic EQ are not setup utilities.
Posted by: BoB/335

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/13/09 04:24 PM

 Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Dynamic Volume and Dynamic EQ are not setup utilities.


I know.
Posted by: BoB/335

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/13/09 07:29 PM

Trying to do some spec comparisons between the VTF-3 MK3 and the EP350. They use some different terminology but they seem pretty close if I understand it correctly. Anyone care to explain?
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/14/09 01:42 AM

Explain what?
Posted by: BoB/335

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/14/09 04:41 AM

Specs EP350
Enclosure: Bass Reflex
Max Amp Power: 300 Watts
Cross-over Adjust 40 - 150 Hz
Phase 0 & 180
Woofer Size 12"
DSP Controlled No
Line In and Out Yes
Balanced Line In and Out No
High Level In Yes
Room Trim No
Dynamic Power Supply No
Anechoic Resp. +/- 3dB 28 - 150 Hz
Room Resp. + 3dB/- 9dB 18 - 150 Hz

Max SPL Anechoic 107 dB
Max SPL In Room 118 dB
Dimensions HWD mm : 495 x 381 x 495
Dimensions HWD inches : 19.5 x 15 x 19.5
Weight lbs each: 76 lbs
Weight kg each: 34.4 kgs


VTF-3 MK3 At a Glance
Amp Power (RMS) 350 Watts
Bass Extension (max extension mode) 18 Hz
Bass Extension (max output mode) 25 Hz

Woofer Size 12 Inches
Crossover Bypassable 24 dB/Oct, continuously variable 30 - 90 Hz low pass
Ports Dual flared 4 Inch
Phase 0/180
Inputs speaker level (2), line level (2)
Power Outlet Requirement 430 W, 120/240V
Ship Weight 90 Lbs
Dimensions 21.5(h) X 17(w) X 25(d)
Warranty 7-years on the subwoofer, 2-years on electronics


The low frequency terminology?
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/14/09 05:18 AM

With subs the more high volume output you want the less deep they will play and vice versa for max extension.

The EP350 specs quote it's actual response in an anehoic chamber where it plays down to 28hz but that 28 is 3db lower than the rest of the frequency range. In a room you will get lower than that as the room helps boost the lower range so you could expect to hear/feel around the 18hz range, but the 18hz is 9db lower than the other frequencies.

The Hsu sub has different settings that allow for maximum extension - 18hz or max. output 25 hz. I suspect the 18hz is not an in room guesstimate as it is with the EP350. In room response with the VTF-3 could be closer to 15 HZ or lower. It's hard to say as all rooms are different. I took this from the owner's manual: " "Now you decide how deep to play. The large flared ports can be re-tuned with the flip of a switch and the
removal of a port plug or adding of a turbo. In Maximum Output mode, the subwoofer transforms into a different
device capable of playing louder material with less distortion at the expense of some deeper bass"
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/14/09 12:13 PM

Maybe it's me, but I can't hear a damn thing through those specs.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/14/09 12:27 PM

Put your ear to the monitor, can you hear them now?
Posted by: lhulls

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/14/09 01:13 PM

Hello Bob

Re: the Hsu VTF-3 MK3 bass extension, Hsu has not qualified the claimed output of 18Hz.
Be suspicious of any claims (from any company for any speaker) of frequency response without the qualifying +/- # dB.
The way they have stated this claim of 18Hz should we believe its at 3dB, very little decrease in SPL :), or -10dB, twice as low as the reference 0dB.


Axiom is at least forthcoming with it's response claims.
Posted by: BoB/335

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/14/09 07:21 PM

So what does this all mean? Both subs are about the same price. Which seems like it would do a better job for both music and movies?
Posted by: lhulls

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/14/09 08:20 PM

Hi Bob

Hsu is a respectable company, and from what I understand, manufacture a decent product. I just dont feel that the consumer should have to guess if the claims made about a product are valid. If a company claims great things for a product, they should be able to back it up with proper specs.
In this case, you would most likely be purchasing a good sub if you indeed went with the Hsu.

Regards
Posted by: lhulls

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/14/09 08:25 PM

Hello again Bob

As far as music is concerned, there is very little acoustic energy below 35-40Hz, unless you listen to a lot of pipe organ material.
Ive never heard the Hsu sub in a HT environment, so I do not have an opinion as to its overall quality. Sorry.

Regards
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/14/09 08:46 PM

audition, audition, audition, and make your own decision, don't dwell on specs.
Posted by: BoB/335

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/14/09 09:50 PM

Not sure if auditioning a sub in a store will be like auditioning towers in a store. I think I'll order 6 different subs to try at home.
Posted by: BoB/335

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/14/09 09:50 PM

NOT!
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/14/09 10:55 PM

not a bad idea actually, you can always return them if you don't like them. \:\)
Posted by: fredk

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/15/09 02:04 AM

 Originally Posted By: sirquack
not a bad idea actually, you can always return them if you don't like them. \:\)

Just ask Jay.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/15/09 05:32 AM

HEY!!! \:D

Bob I have heard the STF3 and the EP350, I think the STF-3 (non-tunable version of the VTF3) maybe dug a little deeper and played louder, I do remember thinking it was beast when I had it in my room and had a hard time blending it to the mains easily, but I also never really tried to, just a simple pink noise calibration and away we went with the comparison, not the best way to do it.
Personally from an ease of use/setup the Axiom is a no brainer. We were able to set it down in any of our rooms, pink noise calibrate and it pretty much blended into the mains right away.
Posted by: BoB/335

Re: Axiom Subs - 01/15/09 04:24 PM

 Originally Posted By: jakewash
HEY!!! \:D

Bob I have heard the STF3 and the EP350, I think the STF-3 (non-tunable version of the VTF3) maybe dug a little deeper and played louder, I do remember thinking it was beast when I had it in my room and had a hard time blending it to the mains easily, but I also never really tried to, just a simple pink noise calibration and away we went with the comparison, not the best way to do it.
Personally from an ease of use/setup the Axiom is a no brainer. We were able to set it down in any of our rooms, pink noise calibrate and it pretty much blended into the mains right away.


Thanks for that! My deductions from several other posts (maybe even within this thread) has caused me to think exactly what you state. Of course like everyone else I want the best bang for my buck and lower seems better BUT I would rather trade some ease of operation along with words like "blended" and "seamless" with a few extra frequencies deeper. Just don't want to feel like I made a mistake. And there is NO WAY I can go for an EP500 or go for any more money.