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#112137 - 10/04/05 07:58 PM Thoughts on my HT (Long-winded)
BlueStater Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 173
Loc: Portland, OR
I've had my Axiom/Denon system for 10 months now and I'm not sure I ever posted a review of any kind after say a month or 2 of tweaking and speaker shifting. You can see from my signature line what my system consists of. But now 10 months on I'm thinking less in terms of review than in terms of lessons learned on the way and the experience of a nice HT system.

My Dad listened to Classical and Jazz exclusively, except for an odd fascination with Crystal Gayle(sp.?) I never understood. When I was about 8, he build a kit tube amp and bought a pair of speakers from some obscure tiny company which disappeared long ago. I listened to my LP's (CD Players were just getting popular when I left for school) on his system when he wasn't around and always was blown away by the way they sounded when compared to my Radio Shack integrated Tuner/Cassette/Record player with cardboard speakers. I wanted something that sounded like that. I played bass in the local scene and eventually started doing live sound mixing. A few years of this skewed my view of what music should sound like. So when I got some disposable cash, I went and listened (at the area "big box" stores) to what was out there, I found that what they had fit my programmed ears perfectly. I came home with an HK AV-25 (Pro-Logic!), and a pair of gigantic DCM speakers. These things were 4 feet high and had 2 12" woofers (who cares about the other drivers when you have TWO 12" woofer per side!). It could make the house shake. I thought it sounded good, because they sounded like a club with a good PA. I added a pair of Bose 301's for surrounds at a garage sale and some center (couldn't tell you what it was) I picked up when Incredible Universe went belly-up and that was my stereo/ht system. I had it for years and always thought it sounded good.

Then, my Dad died. Mom gave me his old tube amp and speakers and preamp. I set it up in my office and WOW! It was like hearing different music. What is that sound in the middle of the Beatles Within Without You? Well, it's George counting off a change in a low whisper! Holy cow! Etcetera and so forth. So I started listening to music almost exclusively through this 10WPC amp in my office. That was the genesis of my current HT.

I actually started out thinking Acoustimass would be a place to start. I mean, they always sound so good in the big box stores with their little "circle of sound" setups, or so I thought. But being a geek, I started out on the internet instead. Good thing. I quickly went past Klipsch, Infinity, Bose, etc and found some of these other brands like Paradigm, RBH, B&W, and so on. I don't even remember what brought me into the Axiom website. So I read, and read, and read, and went to the few places locally that had some of these speakers for auditions. And read, and sweated, and read some more, and listened some more. Finally I pulled the trigger on the Axioms and the Denon. After recovering from fainting, I reassured myself that I had spent good money on returnable products. After all, my neighbor down the street had spent $3999 on a Bose AM system with the integrated receiver blah blah blah and I spent $1500 less, after FO and B-Stock for the Denon. According to nearly everybody out there that I could find my system should be pretty freakin' sweet. So...

I set up the system on arrival day (Denon came 3 weeks ahead). The out-of-box experience can never be overrated, btw. Threw everything into place. Nudge, tweak, nudge, etc. Took 2 weeks to really find the best place for the sub. For the last 7 or 8 months since I posted regularly I've been just listening. And of course eyeing the inevitable upgrades, but that's another story. And last weekend it all clicked in my head. I finally was hearing my sytem as a finished product instead of looking for little, I don't know, THINGS. There were 2 moments.

1) On Friday I loaded the entire "The Beach Boys: The Pet Sounds Session" boxed set into my changer, sat down with my drink, and never changed volume, opened my eyes to look (as if it helps) at the system critically, or cocked my head from side to side thinking I'm hearing something odd. I just enjoyed the music. The only thing that changed was the replenishment of my drink. It was a wonderful experience. I didn't even realize this change in my perception until the follwing day. And the following night...

2) We had an impromptu party. Now, I had been listening to movies in 5.1 and thoroughly enjoying them. Ducking when bullets flying over, hearing cannon balls fly over my head, etc. But on this night, it was the "Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense" DVD release. 5.1. At one point there was about 15 people dancing in the middle of my living room. And..it...was...L-O-U-D! And perfectly clear. Nobody complained it was too loud. No ear fatigue after a couple of
minutes or even half hour. When I finally made my way around and looked at the level on the Denon it was +8. I should have picked up my SPL meter but I didn't think of it. But it was like being in the front row of a concert. Wow.

I could go on about whether the mids are forward or recessed or bass extension or whatever, but I think the thing is that I really feel I got a heckuva deal when I picked up this system. I really enjoy it. I don't have to sit in my office with those nuclear-powered heat generators to hear good music. And I can listen to music or movies LOUD! Now, about those upgrades...


_________________________
"There's too many notes!" M22ti VP150 EP350 QS8 AVR-2805 SCD595 Panasonic DVD-S35

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#112138 - 10/04/05 08:35 PM Re: Thoughts on my HT (Long-winded)
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8283
Loc: Tacoma
Gosh, I'll bet a pair of M3's would sound sweet with that tube amp.

Nice writeup, Mark.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#112139 - 10/04/05 08:44 PM Re: Thoughts on my HT (Long-winded)
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6250
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Mark, I LOVED your dissertation. Well said, and well done!

To me, the telling comment in the whole thing was this:

In reply to:

On Friday I loaded the entire "The Beach Boys: The Pet Sounds Session" boxed set into my changer, sat down with my drink, and never changed volume, opened my eyes to look (as if it helps) at the system critically, or cocked my head from side to side thinking I'm hearing something odd. I just enjoyed the music. The only thing that changed was the replenishment of my drink. It was a wonderful experience.


If anyone has not listening in as relaxed a position as possible, with eyes closed, I heartily recommend it. When you stop listening to your system and find yourself listening to the music, you're as close to audio heaven as you're going to get.
_________________________
Jack

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

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#112140 - 10/04/05 08:55 PM Re: Thoughts on my HT (Long-winded)
darren700 Offline
local

Registered: 05/17/05
Posts: 200
Loc: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
ill second that, i turn all the lights off so i dont try to localize the sound, and its pure audio bliss
_________________________
M60, VP180, QS-8's
Marantz SR6005
Behringer EP4000
Stereo Integrity Mag 15"
Samsung HLS5087 DLP

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#112141 - 10/04/05 09:15 PM Re: Thoughts on my HT (Long-winded)
BlueStater Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 173
Loc: Portland, OR
Funny thing, Tom.

The first or second time I posted back in December I mentioned the tube amps and the first reply I received was "the M3's would sound great with those."
_________________________
"There's too many notes!" M22ti VP150 EP350 QS8 AVR-2805 SCD595 Panasonic DVD-S35

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#112142 - 10/04/05 09:20 PM Re: Thoughts on my HT (Long-winded)
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6720
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.
Vey good post for sure.I too do the lights off sitting back just relaxing when the music is on. I love to listen this way, heck at times I darn near fall asleep with the music playing really loud.The kids and wife tell me I get in " the zone "
_________________________
Rick


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


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#112143 - 10/04/05 09:32 PM Re: Thoughts on my HT (Long-winded)
darren700 Offline
local

Registered: 05/17/05
Posts: 200
Loc: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
yeah that was happening too me last night, i was pounding it listenin to some hardcore punk (very harsh vocals)at like 98db and i was dozing off... but then again i do only get 6 hours of sleep a night... damn 10.5 hour days at work
_________________________
M60, VP180, QS-8's
Marantz SR6005
Behringer EP4000
Stereo Integrity Mag 15"
Samsung HLS5087 DLP

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#112144 - 10/05/05 12:05 AM Re: Thoughts on my HT (Long-winded)
thyname Offline
aficionado

Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 552
Loc: Oakton, VA
Great post Mark! It reminds me a lot of my own feelings when I got my stereo. Now, waiting anxiouslyfor the good times for my HT...
_________________________
Axiom M60s, QS4s, VP100 Onkyo TX-SR804 Oppo 970HD Rotel RB-1080/RCD-1072 REL Q150E sub, PS 3

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#112145 - 10/05/05 01:31 AM Re: Thoughts on my HT (Long-winded)
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7400
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Well said, Mark. Like everyone has mentioned the key is actually enjoying the music rather than the equipment. It's the music that got us into this hobby in the first place, right? Glad you could find something that makes you happy.
_________________________
***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#112146 - 10/05/05 02:49 PM Re: Thoughts on my HT (Long-winded)
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8283
Loc: Tacoma
Guys, work with me here.

Mark is not really going to be "happy" until he gets some M60 mains and M3's for that tube amp.



You know I'm only kidding. Savoring life's joyful moments is what matters. And I have more and better joyful moments thanks to my, um, M60's.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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