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#375449 - 05/07/12 10:10 PM Audition at Axiom
Stilljoe Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 04/05/12
Posts: 26
Loc: Greater Toronto Area
My wife and I had the pleasure of a drive to Dwight today.

It was further than I remembered from Ajax (just east of Toronto) through Barrie, Orillia and Huntsville, but easy driving, no traffic issues. Close to three hours drive between 120 and 130 most of the way. Ah, that's km/hr - call it 75 - 80 mph.

At the Axiom factory Noreen gave us a tour while Ian set up the demo room for A/B blind testing of centre channels. I learned some things I didn't know (the woofers are assembled in Dwight - I assumed they were from China like the tweeters).

When Ian was set we we given the demo room, a bunch of CDs and DVDs in addition to a few we had brought with us, and a (rather temperamental) remote control to switch back and forth between centre speaker A and B. I wanted to decide between a VP 150 (as recommended by Brent) and a 160. The rest of the system, M60s, QS8s and . . . I don't know which sub was behind the curtain.

So,we listened to Michael Jackson (for my wife), Ricki Lee Jones, Jon and Vangelis, Kevin Ayers, and Holly Cole. Unfortunately we couldn't get the Elton John SACD (Madman Across the Water) to work - I still haven't heard that in multi-channel.

I took a few notes - minimal really - and let them behind, so from memory:

Speaker A: "fuller" sound; is it louder (no - I know Ian level matched them). Speaker B: voices sound very good, overall sound (by comparison) is somewhat "muffled". Back and forth; speaker B might be a bit smoother on Holly Cole's voice.

Off axis (by quite a long way, maybe 50 degrees out from centre) speaker A still sounds "fuller", but it's not so aggressive - in fact it's maybe a bit recessed. Speaker B really didn't change much that I noticed, so it was consistent but overall less "there" than A.

Interestingly, my wife and I were absolutely in agreement. Both centre speakers sounded "good" but different - in conversation with Ian afterwards, we discussed "similarly good".

And in case you didn't guess, we drove home with a nice Boston Cherry VP 150 - speaker A.

Set up at home is a small dedicated basement room, 11X17X8. Carpeted floor over Dri-Core, soft suspended ceiling, and drywall over lots of insulation (for heat loss, not soundproofing). Front speakers are Boston Acoustics A100s that I've owned for about 30 years, surrounds QS4s, rears on-wall M3s, sub is an SVS PC12 NSD. I've been doing without a centre to this point.

So we made it home: hooked up, run MCACC (Pioneer VSX9130 TXH), and popped in a Blu-Ray I've been saving for this: Apocalypse Now.

Impressions:
1. Wow. Maybe MCACC is happier when a centre speaker is connected? somehow this has brought the surrounds to life. Okay, call it new speaker euphoria.
2. As you'd expect, the Bostons sound quite different from the centre. I'll address this later in the year (Christmas? Honey?) with M50s or M60s.
3. I think maybe the 150 stood out in the A/B test because it doesn't sound like an M60, whereas the 160 does, so it was more seamless?

A thoroughly good day overall. Thanks to Ian and Noreen for being good hosts. I'll be back for more Axiom goodness.

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#375453 - 05/07/12 11:35 PM Re: Audition at Axiom [Re: Stilljoe]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13333
Loc: Iowa
Great review, thanks for sharing!
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#375482 - 05/08/12 06:45 AM Re: Audition at Axiom [Re: Stilljoe]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10886
Loc: Central NH
Ditto what Randy said!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#375488 - 05/08/12 07:47 AM Re: Audition at Axiom [Re: MarkSJohnson]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16273
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Ditto what Randy said! (Not what Mark said.)
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#375508 - 05/08/12 11:32 AM Re: Audition at Axiom [Re: Stilljoe]
Da_Gimp_Pimp Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4019
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
I think Mark's statement is really dumb.

I agree with Randy and Peter.
_________________________
Does a dyslexic atheist not believe in dog?

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#375543 - 05/08/12 02:36 PM Re: Audition at Axiom [Re: Stilljoe]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6820
Loc: PEI, Canada
I don't agree with any of them but they all are correct.

Thanks for the review StillJoe. It's great to hear a first hand comparison of the two.

I remember my blind listening test at the Axiom plant to be very eye opening and confusing. Anyone reading my notes would have seen me start off enjoying speaker A for some reasons then slowly turn everything around and eventually preferred speaker B for other reasons. Or was it B then A, I can't remember. Either way, it sure was a tough thing to do. I could definitely hear the differences but my definition of "better" kept changing the more I was able to isolate those differences..
_________________________
With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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#375704 - 05/09/12 08:52 PM Re: Audition at Axiom [Re: Stilljoe]
Gary Vose Sr Offline
devotee

Registered: 03/17/12
Posts: 302
Loc: Casa Grande, AZ
Welcome Stilljoe to the forum. Those M60's you might be wanting, would look and sound just as good for Father's Day, as it would for Christmas.
_________________________
"When arguing with an IDIOT... make sure the person you're talking to... isn't doing the same."

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#375712 - 05/09/12 09:11 PM Re: Audition at Axiom [Re: Stilljoe]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13333
Loc: Iowa
I second Cam's motion.
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#375778 - 05/10/12 06:29 PM Re: Audition at Axiom [Re: SirQuack]
Da_Gimp_Pimp Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4019
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
Originally Posted By: SirQuack
I second Cam's motion.


smile
_________________________
Does a dyslexic atheist not believe in dog?

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#375790 - 05/10/12 10:08 PM Re: Audition at Axiom [Re: SirQuack]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7042
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: SirQuack
I second Cam's motion.

I rudly motion to Cam.

Its always nice to hear about factory visits. Hmmmm... so the VP160 with its 'superior' design didn't 'blow away' the VP150. I can't say I'm surprised. It seems like off axis response on the VP160 is noticeably better though, if that's important to you.

Spounds like you are going to really enjoy the new addition.
_________________________
Fred

-------
Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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