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#379990 - 07/14/12 04:01 PM Audio Only System Renewal
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1027
Looking for some advice as I'm contemplating replacing my vintage AX2s / Velodyne F1000 system with something more modern. As far as sound is concerned, my present setup has been awesome in my large living/dining room; however, it looks dated, too large & out of place with the mostly wooden decor.

My present system can be seen here:

http://www.axiomaudio.com/blog/home-theater-pictures/?album=1&gallery=139

My new 'audio only' system will be driven solely by my Denon SACD player through a 65 watt/channel Yaqin MC-100B Tube Amp using 'high level inputs' into the sub. This amp provides more than adequate volume levels in my listening area with my present vintage speakers.

After much research, I've narrowed my choice down to a pair of M2v3s (perhaps on FMS 24 stands) & an EP-400, all in one of the high end finishes. - high gloss rosewood or white. This will be a minimalist, classy looking system that should fit better visually into our living space & sound fine as well.

The room is 3900 cu feet with my listening seat being 8' from the sub & 10' from the satellites. The alcove containing the 3 speakers is 12' across & 2.5' deep with the bulk of the open room space being behind the listening area. Using the sub gain level of 4/10 on my 80 watt RMS F1000, its 10" servo controlled driver easily fills my listening area with quality, distortion free bass down to 20 Hz or so. The only output levels that I could find is from Velodyne literature: 20-85 Hz +/- 3db & less than 1% distortion at 25 Hz @104 Db. These were known as very low distortion subs.

Question is, in the near-field, will the EP-400 perform similarly & adequately for music only in my listening area? I'm looking for quality low end musical performance with no requirement to fill our large room with huge sound. As I am now an old phart, excessively loud music is a thing of the past for me now, ha!! Quality over quantity I always say...

Any thoughts?

TAM



Edited by exlabdriver (07/14/12 04:40 PM)

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#379993 - 07/14/12 05:10 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8290
Loc: Tacoma
Is there a reason other than aesthetic to replace the sub?

I've not heard the M2's, but own M60's and have heard the rest of the classic lineup. I think there is consensus that the M22's are "better" than the M2's, even at low volumes. For that space - especially if you are willing to spring for the upgraded finish - I think that M22's on nice stands would be really great.

I'd get those first and see how strongly you feel about replacing the sub.

I've not heard the EP400. Suggest a call to Axiom with your questions.

Tom, you have a lovely home, and I really enjoy your participation in the forum. Especially since you are always getting and ENJOYING new stuff!
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#379996 - 07/14/12 05:16 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
Joe_in_SC Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/16/04
Posts: 307
Loc: Charleston, SC
My first reaction is that the M2s might not be enough speaker for your listening area and seating distance. Any reason not to step up a bit to M3s (still small & discrete) or M22s? I realize this isn't your question, and I can't comment on the EP-400, just curiosity.
_________________________
I started out with nothing & I've still got most of it left
M60 VP160 QS8 EP350
M22 VP100
Algonquins

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#379998 - 07/14/12 06:11 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
dakkon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 1846
My family room which is for movies as well as stereo listening is 2400cu/ft and i couldn't imagine using M2's in that size of a room.

However, i have a speaker similar to the M2's (same size of drivers, but different brand) in my bedroom with an 8" sub. My bedroom is about 800cu/ft, and in that room of that size of those speaker sounds wonderful...

If i was in your situation, personally i would go with a setup similar to JohnK's.. M22's with a pair of EP500's, or a horizontal ep600/800... Put the M22's on stands, and then go from there..

Is there a budget in mind? If there is somewhat of a budget in mind the 600/800 idea may not be feasible.

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#380004 - 07/14/12 07:29 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1027
tom: Thanks for your comments & kind words. My Velo is over 20 years old & has to be on its last legs. I have occasional 'Gain Control' issues that is common to the 'F Series' when they reach their senior years - it's just a matter of time before it becomes a door stop. I have a pair of M22s downstairs in my HT & really like them in that setting; however, with the high end finish, the M22s are $170 more than the M2s which is stretching it a bit.

Joe: I already have two M3s hidden away in this room in my separate ambiance system as described here in my other thread 'Auction Win - M3v3s'. They are more than able to fill the 3900 cu ft with moderate levels of quality sound. My reasoning for considering the M2s is that the M2s' SPLs are rated at only 3 Db lower than the M22s, 2 Db less than the M3s & surprisingly 1 Db more than my present AX2s. Therefore, I didn't think that the M2s would suffer here at the moderate levels that I enjoy now.

dak: I wanted to get away from the large form factor of the bigger subs & satellites in this setting. If I was to go with 2 larger subs such as the EP-350s/500s, I'd probably use them as stands for the M22s as I have done downstairs in my HT. Cost for the finishes on all of the bigger speakers also becomes a factor.

The EP-400 to me is a really nice compromise for size with accurate, fine performance. It is even smaller than my 14" cube F1000. I don't think that my wife would entertain the thought of a bigger wooden box sitting in the alcove. With the M3s newly installed in this room's corners, I'm really pushing it!

Cost is certainly a factor & I have to get this done prior to my wife retiring next year, ha!! When high end finishes are factored in, the M2s + EP-400 combo is by far the most cost effective solution due to the smaller area of the veneers requiring finishing.

Thanks all for your thoughts & insight. I eagerly await any more words of wisdom from the fine folks here...

TAM

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#380010 - 07/14/12 08:45 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
Lampshade Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/08/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Holbrook, MA
HAve you tried the M3s in the proposed position? Maybe you could get another pair and not need a sub?
_________________________
M3 and Manley Stingray
M80 and Pioneer SC 55

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#380012 - 07/14/12 10:01 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10395
Tom, both listening distance and room size are factors, but in home situations the listening distance is far more significant. Research by Dr. Toole and others shows that in typical rooms the sound level drops off about 3dB per doubling of distance. Although the M22s are probably more similar to the AX2s in maximum output capability, the M2s with the sub handling up to 80 or 100Hz should provide you with great sound at a comfortably loud level at your 8-10' listening distance.

Despite the common use of the term, rooms aren't "filled" with sound at a uniformly high level. Your use of "near-field" indicates that you appreciate this and will be satisfied with what you actually hear where you're sitting.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#380013 - 07/14/12 10:05 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1027
No, but perhaps I should have tried them there before I mounted them on my frankenstands.

With all of the auditioning of floor-standing speakers that I've done in the last year at our local stores including Tannoys, Focals, Klipsch, etc, etc, not one of them demonstrated the dynamic & pleasing low end like my old Velodyne does. They all lacked the fullness that I'm used to. While I'm extremely impressed with the M3s & my AX2s, understandably they can't reach down to the depths of pipe organs, etc.

I'm not a bass monster but I have found that a good sub when set up correctly & used with moderation really is beneficial in a music system, especially with bookshelf speakers. Therefore, I consider a good sub to be essential in this setup.

Furthermore, I really like the appearance of a satellite/sub system. I remember years ago when they first appeared in the market place how cool & classy they looked as contrasted to the fat, boxy floor-standers at that time. I'm seeking that look now in a high grade finish. I guess that I'm buying furniture as well as a sound system, ha!

Thanks for your input...

TAM

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#380019 - 07/14/12 10:47 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
Lampshade Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/08/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Holbrook, MA
I agree about a sub. I just don't have any. I have two, 2 channel systems. Someday when I have extra dollars or can get a really good deal, I will be adding them.
_________________________
M3 and Manley Stingray
M80 and Pioneer SC 55

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#380021 - 07/14/12 10:54 PM Re: Audio Only System Renewal [Re: exlabdriver]
dakkon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 1846
[quote=exlabdriver]I listened to Cameron Carpenter 'Revolutionary' SACD on my Tube-Amp, AX2s & Velodyne 10" sub. Very impressive.[/qute]

I ordered this CD earlier today. However, i though that i would bring this quote into this thread.. John has recommended a couple pipe organ CD's that i have also bought... In my 2400cu/ft room i have a pair of EP-600's, i think that is about right as far as output is concerned for size of room comparable to mine. This is why i recommended the dual sub idea.. When i got my second 600, noticed a considerable improvement in the low end..


In my room, i would say i listen to stereo about 70% of the time.

Good luck with your decision..

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