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#374697 - 04/29/12 10:52 PM Finally "quick" review of incab m80, vp180, ep500
mrspeeed Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/10/11
Posts: 80
Loc: Cayman Islands
Well I finally had a chance to hook up and listen to a complete incabinet front sound stage. It consists of the above noted speakers (m80, vp180, ep500 and some Qs8's to round them out).

I've not actually heard axiom speakers in person so this was a leap of faith for me. I went with axiom because of the custom finishes or else I probably would have gone paradigm since they are available locally.

I got the system in December but have been busy and ready to move (see far below on HGTV ->not HDTV) so they were not hooked up until now. So here goes:

I am using a pioneer elite vsx-94txh to power them all. I've played various sources from apple tv (just music like Mark Knoffler, Kiss, Enya, and other random stuff), dishnetwork (tv shows, movies in dd), cd's (phil collins, kids bop -> don't laugh),dvd (top gun), bluray (rush, police, transformers dark side).

Firstly I am very impressed with the VP180. I have been using various models of Mission speakers. I have extensively heard paradigm too since there is a local dealer. I find the VP180 very detailed and great for dialogue. It is placed exactly at ear height at the cost of having my 60' sharp a bit too high.

The M80's share the same detail accolades. The cabinet has the speakers at almost 12 feet apart (tweeter to tweeter) and the main listen area is 13 feet from the vp180. They have great imaging - much better than my previous Missions. There is a overall general improvement in sound versus the mission 73e that I had. However I admit I was not blown away like I thought I would be though it is early for really breaking them in. Right now I am playing back and forth with a 50 and 80 hertz cross over and trying to decide where to go. I like using a sub for 2 channel so I like to keep the speakers set to small.

One thing is for sure these speakers are very efficient compared to what I have been use to. They play loud. I was ready to plan to by some emotive gear to power them but I will hold off for other household priorities.

Now the ep500. Yes this is an incab version with an external digital axiom amp. I am very pleased with the tightness of the bass for music. I was worried that the cabinet would cause some issues but no sir. HOWEVER after watching a few movies I have come to expect more extension. After running MACC the sub was tuned -3.5 db. I had run the test with the volume at the mid point. I have used both velodyne and HSU in the past and honestly at this point I prefer my HSU VTF3 MK2(?) with its MOSFET amp. This sub is sitting in a box as of now. I will play around with this some more however I expected to feel the sub more. However it is in a large room. I will actually compare it head to head with my HSU when I get more time. In the meantime my wife is happy since it does not shake the house (which is concrete so it was not going to shake either way).

I have not posted pictures yet. Actually the house is being shown on HGTV house hunters international on May 8th at 10:30 (subject to change). They should be there as part of the "reveal". So set your dvr if you have any interest.

I didn't spend much time on the Q's. They seemed to do the job which is good. The color match to the wall paint is superb!

I will spend more time on the system but I am happy with how it turned out but not really blown away (yet?) like I was hoping though the more I listen to the M80's the more I do like them.

I still have a on wall 22/150 system in my bedroom to hook up as well as the algonquins. Maybe in a month or so I will get to them.

I will also test the current system with the Metallica Black album DVD-Audio, and some SACD I have including Pink Floyd.
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1 M80,vp180,qs8,aim7,EP500,Denon4520,Rotel RMB-1095
2 M22OW,VP150OW,Aim7,ep350,Denon3313
3 M22IW,1913

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#374711 - 04/30/12 01:01 AM Re: Finally "quick" review of incab m80, vp180, ep500 [Re: mrspeeed]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10395
I'll comment on a couple points. As to the efficiency, yes, this is sometimes not understood, and a "big speaker/big amplifier" mentality is in control. The reality is that the bigger speaker is often(though not always)more efficient than the smaller ones and actually uses less power. Your VSX-94TXH should easily power your Axioms to beyond safe listening levels.

As to the sub comparison, the first thought that comes to mind is whether the EP500 isn't as favorably located as was the VTF3 for optimum bass extension. Comparisons should be with all factors equal, to the extent possible. My own EP500 has excellent extension to about 17-18Hz. Another factor is that the EP500 may be correctly calibrated for a balanced level with the speakers, while the VTF3 was simply set too loud.
_________________________
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#374712 - 04/30/12 06:53 AM Re: Finally "quick" review of incab m80, vp180, ep500 [Re: JohnK]
mrspeeed Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/10/11
Posts: 80
Loc: Cayman Islands
Thanks John K.

The sub comparison is really just a very subjective opinion given the only constant is a MACC calibration. They are placed differently, in completely differrent rooms, houses, etc. So I have some tinkering to do. I knew I would likely have some issues with the sub given its built in static position so no sub crawl for me. However the ep500 is placed directly under the center and I find it integrates for music wonderfuly - which is the most important to me. Prior the HSU was well integrated for music but still had punch when watching a movie. So far I am missing the punch with the Axiom.

I think I have some old HSU sub tuning cd that I will play around with. However John raise a good point. The integration of the current speakers and sub is excellent and very balanced. I do remember having to run the HSU at about 2/10 on the volume with about -3 db with the MACC in order to get it to balance. The EP500 volume is at 5/10 but an apples/oranges comparison.

Currently the sub is my only "concern" of the system. This has nothing to do with various literature out there about Axiom subs vs. others but just one fairly noob opinion. However I've not concluded anything yet since as more time is needed for tweaking.

In the meantime the more I hear the m80 and vp180 the more I like them.
_________________________
1 M80,vp180,qs8,aim7,EP500,Denon4520,Rotel RMB-1095
2 M22OW,VP150OW,Aim7,ep350,Denon3313
3 M22IW,1913

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