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#291163 - 02/07/10 03:51 PM Re: M80V2 and Tube Amps......... [Re: Adrian]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11677
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Yes, very nice. I got a call from him once about the A1400-8, and it was very fun hearing him talk about it. I'm glad to hear he'll still be an influence.

#291199 - 02/07/10 06:16 PM Re: M80V2 and Tube Amps......... [Re: CV]
chesseroo Offline

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5171
Loc: western canada
You have the love the world of consulting.
It is like a turn style door of people, kinda like how the weather changes.
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

#291221 - 02/07/10 09:44 PM Re: M80V2 and Tube Amps......... [Re: Adrian]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16437
Loc: Ben Lomond, California
Heck, everyone at Axiom is nice. \:\)
I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

#291223 - 02/07/10 09:53 PM Re: M80V2 and Tube Amps......... [Re: pmbuko]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11677
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Even bbigwyrs? You just know it's an Axiom employee.

#291233 - 02/07/10 10:45 PM Re: M80V2 and Tube Amps......... [Re: CV]
medic8r Offline

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6469
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
You know, I just had a revelation. I know what is happening now. Bbigwyres is not one person. He is everyone at Axiom. Allow me to explain.

Whenever there is an angry employee at Axiom, they make him log in as bbigwyres. It's sort of a "Time Out." The employee's anger leads to the typos, the name calling, and lack of tact. The fact that bbigwyres fancies himself a true audiopile is understandable, given the backgrounds of the Axiom staff. The employee is told to REFLECT upon what he has done to deserve this discipline, and when his post is concluded and he feels ready to rejoin his coworkers, he signifies his understanding by signing off his post with the salutation.

Things must be pretty calm up at Axiom lately, since bbigwyres has been quiet for a while. It'll be interesting to see if bbigwyres ever develops a taste for omnidirectional speakers ...
Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica.

#291234 - 02/07/10 11:21 PM Re: M80V2 and Tube Amps......... [Re: medic8r]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11677
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
\:\) Now that we have that mystery cleared up, what problem can we give you to solve?

#291245 - 02/08/10 07:40 AM Re: M80V2 and Tube Amps......... [Re: photonblur]
davidsch Offline

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 678
Loc: Houston, Texas
 Originally Posted By: photonblur

I know and love that the M80V2s suck mega watts of power in the
pursuit of that real sound. Occasionally I get wistful for
the vaguely remembered warmth of those old 70's tube amps.
As a qualified non-expert I thought a tube friendly speaker
would have a relatively stable, high impedance curve, not
dipping much below 3-4 ohms. Our beloved M80s do not fit this
criteria. Anyone have experience with a tube amp M80 combo?



While I have not tried the M80s with a tube amp, I have tried the M60s with a 50 watt/channel Jolida 302B. I borrowed the amp from brother-in-law for about 6 weeks. At first I did not notice a difference, but after a couple of days it seemed as though the midrange was smoother. After returning the amp and putting my Denon back into service, I was disappointed in the sound. Now I did not take the time to do a double blind comparison so there will be plenty of skeptics but that is OK. I say give it a try if a dealer will loan you an amp for a few days. I will likely buy a tube amp at some point, but there always seems to be something more important to spend our money on. Welcome to the forum and stick around.

#291253 - 02/08/10 10:23 AM Re: M80V2 and Tube Amps......... [Re: davidsch]
PeterChenoweth Offline

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL

As you've already witnessed, you're going to encounter some resistance around here when the subject of tube amplification is brought up. Actually the whole subject of amplification affects on sound quality is a bit touchy. One of the core tenants of Axiom speakers is their engineered neutrality and balance. When you slap a tube amp on them (and invariably comment that it 'warms' up the sound), some view it as "messing with perfection".

Personally, I think you should have fun and do what you want with the speakers. Tinkering and experimentation is part of the fun of this hobby, and it need not be approached with the clinical hues of "right" vs. "wrong" that some seem to favor.

I've never heard Axiom speakers when powered by a tube amp. However, my office set up consists of Sennheiser HD650's and a Little Dot MKII tubed headphone amp. I love the setup. Almost as much as my home Axiom system. I chose the LDmkII amp over several IC-based amps, as I listen to a lot of classical and jazz and the tubes impart a delicious warmth and intimacy to the sound. I have often thought of taking the LDmkII home and using it's pre-out functionality with my M80's to see what it sounds like, but I've never done it. Perhaps I should.
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

#291258 - 02/08/10 10:51 AM Re: M80V2 and Tube Amps......... [Re: PeterChenoweth]
jakeman Offline

Registered: 10/03/05
Posts: 853
Loc: Toronto
Good post Peter. I've been lurking since this thread started. Amps are a favourite pastime and I continue to own several solid state and tube amps, much to my wife's chagrin. \:D

The M80s sound terrific with any good capable tube amp. I'm not sure where this notion came that you can only play them with solid state or that somehow tube amps are obsolete. For dedicated stereo usage tube gear really does offer some advantages. But like all audio gear not all tube amps are created equal. I've always liked McIntosh amps and having heard the M80s using an MC2102, MC275 and a pair of old MC30s. All those tube amps add an air of realism to vocals and strings which are hard to reproduce with solid state amps.

The c30s I have to admit are less pleasant sounding since at 30watts they have a tough time powering the woofers, the net result being sluggish sounding bass at louder volumes. On the other hand both the 75wps MC275 and 135wps MC2102 really sound wonderful with that liquid midrange Mac tube gear is noted for.

I've also heard them with Bryston 4Bssts and the 1400-2. Fact is they sound good with most amps as long as they are played without clipping the amp, and perhaps more importantly properly positioned in the room.

#291270 - 02/08/10 12:41 PM Re: M80V2 and Tube Amps......... [Re: davidsch]
alan Offline


Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3262
Loc: Toronto/New York/parry Sound
Hi davidsch,

Interesting that you mention Jolida, because that brand is one of the few tube amps that I've recommended to Axiom purchasers who want to experiment with tube amplification. The Jolidas are a good choice because they have significant output power (35 watts or more per channel) and also because I've heard them with several different brands of neutral, reasonably linear speakers and found the sound quality very good.

I can't attest to Jakeman's claim of a "liquid midrange" attributed to McIntosh tube amplifiers. In the only double-blind test I've participated in of various solid-state amplifiers, which also included a big McIntosh tube amplifier, no one on the listening panel heard any significant differences between the solid-state amps and the McIntosh tube amplifier.

I'd point out that all the amplifiers in the tests were never run into clipping or distortion and they were bench-tested beforehand to ensure that their frequency responses were smooth and linear and that there were no distortion quirks or other anomalies.

Those on the listening panel included myself, Ian G. Masters, Dr. Floyd Toole and others. There were various different amplifier topologies represented, including a huge all Class A amplifier that ran so hot we all joked that we could cook breakfast on it.

In the end, we were disappointed that no differences emerged (the tests were at the National Research Council in Ottawa) and were very closely controlled with rigid double-blind protocol.

Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert (Retired)

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