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#288269 - 01/23/10 12:21 AM Re: Axiom VP Series Quandaries…… [Re: Ken.C]
grunt Offline
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Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
How old is your VP150?

Ken, if you’re asking me mine was bought in 2007 about a month after I joined the forum.
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#288273 - 01/23/10 12:24 AM Re: Axiom VP Series Quandaries…… [Re: grunt]
Ken.C Offline
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Registered: 05/03/03
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Hm. I wonder if your experience is more of a reflection on the VP150, or on vertical vs. horizontal centers.
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#288274 - 01/23/10 12:24 AM Re: Axiom VP Series Quandaries…… [Re: grunt]
pmbuko Offline
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Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16437
Loc: Ben Lomond, California
Has it been that long? And here, I still thought you were one of the newer guys. \:\) How time flies.
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#288277 - 01/23/10 12:31 AM Re: Axiom VP Series Quandaries…… [Re: pmbuko]
grunt Offline
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Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
 Originally Posted By: pmbuko
Has it been that long? And here, I still thought you were one of the newer guys. \:\) How time flies.


I am still a F. N. G. here but my body says not so much after the running I’ve been doing this week.
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#288280 - 01/23/10 12:45 AM Re: Axiom VP Series Quandaries…… [Re: Ken.C]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
 Originally Posted By: kcarlile

Hm. I wonder if your experience is more of a reflection on the VP150, or on vertical vs. horizontal centers.


With the smearing of the soundstage that is clearly the case as it went away when I tried the VP150 vertically. OTOH it still didn’t sound as dynamic or as well tonally matched to the M80s as a M80 or M22 center to me.

Part of the dynamics may be sealed vs ported. And cabinet size driver sized and numbers and crossover may also play into the tonal issues I hear.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not an a crusade to trash this particular speaker. I’ve never met a horizontal center speaker I liked as much as good towers or bookshelf speakers. For most people the VP150 does a great job. I hesitate to talk about this anymore because like the DLP rainbow thing if you learn to see it they say after that you always will. Well for some people it may be the same with tonal differences. Once I heard it I couldn’t ignore it.

IMO if horizontal centers sounded as good as towers you would see more people running 3 horizontal centers across the front. I haven’t seen one yet. Personally I would prefer 3 VP150s across the front to M80/M22 mains with a VP150 center.




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#288281 - 01/23/10 12:58 AM Re: Axiom VP Series Quandaries…… [Re: grunt]
htnut
Unregistered


 Originally Posted By: grunt
Hi Michael, I’m one of the people who doesn’t much care for the VP150 can’t speak to the VP100 since I haven’t heard it.

I’ve tried it in 3 different rooms and paired with M80 and M22 mains and in 2 out of the 3 cases (paired with the M80s) I preferred either an M80 or M22 as a center over the VP150. In the one other case it sounded ok paired with the M22s but I never really tried listening to it much since in that room I mostly used headphones, but clearly nothing anomalous jumped out at me like the other 2 times.

My biggest issue is that I have never found it to be a good tonal match with the M80s. Note I am very sensitive to this and eventually switched to using a phantom center it was so annoying. In both cases it was noticeable enough I could tell the difference in a blind test within seconds of hearing a male voice from the center speaker in blind testing. It was also very noticeable when a actor is talking and walks across the screen. In these cases the sound of male voices was more hollow sounding when coming from the VP150.

The other issue I hear is the smearing of the front soundstage during music. I found that discrete instrument and vocalist placement wasn’t a precise with the VP150 up front. Also multi-channel SACDs sounded less dynamic with the VP150 then with an M80 or M22 no matter the crossover. The VP150 also killed the ambience on some of my favorite tracks.

IMO the VP150 has the least fidelity of the Axiom speakers I own. M80, M22, QS8 and VP150. However, that’s not necessarily all bad. There is an appeal to the more wall-of-sound like effect the VP150 created over a vertical speaker especially for movies. Laying 2 M22s on their sides will simulate this though more exaggerated but not the tonal difference. The closer I sit to the screen more this effect helps spread out the center channel to blend better with a large screen. The first thing I noticed when trying a vertical center was this change with the M22 of M80 sounding more like a point source than a horizontal array.

As for other issues real or theoretical others have reported I haven’t had them.

In summary if I didn’t hear the tonal difference or notice missing dynamics with the VP150 I would prefer it’s wall-of-sound effect for movies. However, I would still prefer the M22 or M80 for music due to the more precise sound stage I hear.

In ranking the Axioms I have the VP150 is the weakest. The M80s are all around the best. The M22s are the best performance for the money and the QS8s are the best in their class I’ve heard.

Cheers,
Dean


I think part of the problem with manufacturers in general is that most centres are / were designed to be easy to implement and install. Designing them for placment above or below a display or on a shelf or rack limits the physical dimensions and weight. IMHO you can't change physics and the only way to get a "fuller" or "deeper" sounding centre is to use a bigger cabinet.

Like you, I have always preferred 3 identical mains across the front. Aside from their sonic characteristics being identical, their height is also identical, which is another dead giveaway when testing horizontal centre speakers. The only real fair way to test a centre speaker is to elevate it to the same height as the mains. This is why the dual centre speaker setup is intriguing, as users claim that the sound feels like it is coming from the screen as opposed to below it.

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#288282 - 01/23/10 01:04 AM Re: Axiom VP Series Quandaries…… [Re: pmbuko]
htnut
Unregistered


 Originally Posted By: pmbuko
True, every speaker gets a mono signal. To be clear, I meant it is a solitary speaker. The fronts, surrounds, and rears can play in stereo. The center cannot.


Even more reason in my books not to skimp on the centre speaker \:\)

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#288283 - 01/23/10 01:05 AM Re: Axiom VP Series Quandaries…… [Re: Ken.C]
htnut
Unregistered


 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
Hm. I wonder if your experience is more of a reflection on the VP150, or on vertical vs. horizontal centers.


Speaking for myself, I would say a bit of both.

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#288284 - 01/23/10 01:08 AM Re: Axiom VP Series Quandaries…… [Re: ]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
 Originally Posted By: htnut

I think part of the problem with manufacturers in general is that most centres are / were designed to be easy to implement and install. Designing them for placment above or below a display or on a shelf or rack limits the physical dimensions and weight. IMHO you can't change physics and the only way to get a "fuller" or "deeper" sounding centre is to use a bigger cabinet.

Like you, I have always preferred 3 identical mains across the front. Aside from their sonic characteristics being identical, their height is also identical, which is another dead giveaway when testing horizontal centre speakers. The only real fair way to test a centre speaker is to elevate it to the same height as the mains. This is why the dual centre speaker setup is intriguing, as users claim that the sound feels like it is coming from the screen as opposed to below it.



In my apartment I tried dual M22s above and below the screen and liked it a lot especially for movies. I didn’t mind it for music but it did mess up the soundstage on my best recordings a little bit but not to badly. The best sounding center I’ve had was a single M80 upside down above my HDTV. Having it upside down put the tweeters almost on level with my M80 mains but with the rest of the speaker extending upward it made the soundstage seem like it was radiating from the whole wall. The only thing it did to change the soundstage was to make the discrete audio like vocalist drums coming from the center sound like they were on a dais. I briefly considered using an AT screen so I could hang my center M80 upside down behind it. But then I got better. Sort of?
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#288285 - 01/23/10 01:09 AM Re: Axiom VP Series Quandaries…… [Re: grunt]
htnut
Unregistered


 Originally Posted By: grunt
 Originally Posted By: kcarlile

Hm. I wonder if your experience is more of a reflection on the VP150, or on vertical vs. horizontal centers.


With the smearing of the soundstage that is clearly the case as it went away when I tried the VP150 vertically. OTOH it still didn’t sound as dynamic or as well tonally matched to the M80s as a M80 or M22 center to me.

Part of the dynamics may be sealed vs ported. And cabinet size driver sized and numbers and crossover may also play into the tonal issues I hear.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not an a crusade to trash this particular speaker. I’ve never met a horizontal center speaker I liked as much as good towers or bookshelf speakers. For most people the VP150 does a great job. I hesitate to talk about this anymore because like the DLP rainbow thing if you learn to see it they say after that you always will. Well for some people it may be the same with tonal differences. Once I heard it I couldn’t ignore it.

IMO if horizontal centers sounded as good as towers you would see more people running 3 horizontal centers across the front. I haven’t seen one yet. Personally I would prefer 3 VP150s across the front to M80/M22 mains with a VP150 center.





I share your sentiments 100%...which is scary because it's like you're reading my mind!

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