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Speaker Makeover in my 7.2 HT
#342184 03/15/11 05:33 PM
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jakeman Offline OP
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After listening to how good the M3v3s sounded compared to those silly priced B&W monitors at the Axiom 30th Anniversary blind test, I took a hard look at the 7.2 system in my city HT. My room is somewhat problematic because of its shape, a nearly square 19' x 21' x 7.5' space. For nearly a decade I've had three pair of Totem Model Ones and Model One Centre and various pairs and quads of subs in my city HT. Currently I'm using a pair of Fathom FL113 subs.

I was mightly impressed by the v3 series of Axiom speakers, enough that I installed a pair of M80v3 at my country place last September with excellent results. And with the winter dragging on in January I thought it would be a good time to see how the v3 line stood up against the Model Ones in my HT.

So I picked up another pair of M80v3s, a vp180 and two pair of M3s. The surround speakers are 2.5-3 metres away from the sweet spot which accounts for why I have good results using monitors as surrounds. The vp180 crossed at 50hz was a huge improvement over the Model One Centre so it has become the anchor speaker in my HT. Funnily enough the M80v3s proved a challenge to dial in with the subs and only started to blend well with the subs at 80hz crossover. Also I got the impression that the trio of 4ohm speakers were taxing my 200wps Outlaw 770 amp. I do like to listen at reasonably loud levels. The M3s crossed at 100hz sounded really good as surround speakers. So I picked up another pair to use as front speakers crossed at 90hz with very good results.

Feeling pretty good that sticking to monitors in a sub/sat system works best in my room, I picked up some M22s and QS8s. True to form they sounded more neutral and more forward in the midrange compared to the M3s. And just as importantly they seemed to smooth out a null in the 120-130hz zone which I had with M3s up front. I forgot to pick up the hardware to mount the M22s on my rear wall so I installed a pair of QS8s there instead.

So at the moment my city HT speaker compliment consists of a VP180, M22s up front, M22s as side surrounds and QS8s as rear surrounds.

Also for comparison my cottage system in an irregular cathedral shaped room is composed of M80v3, vp150v2, QS8v2 and EP600v2.

Comments and advice would be appreciated as this HT makeover is still a fun work in progress and I'm still experimenting with speaker choice. smile


John
Re: Speaker Makeover in my 7.2 HT
jakeman #342189 03/15/11 06:22 PM
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Have you tried using the QS8s as side surround and the M22s as rear?


Bruno
M80s/VP180/QS8s/EP600/AVR-890
------------------------------------
"The problem is choice..."
Re: Speaker Makeover in my 7.2 HT
bdpf #342208 03/15/11 08:32 PM
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jakeman Offline OP
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I'm going to do that as soon as I get a pair of wall brackets for the M22s.


John
Re: Speaker Makeover in my 7.2 HT
jakeman #342248 03/16/11 03:50 AM
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Time to upgrade the center in the cottage to the VP180 wink Otherwise the rest of the system as described sounds great to me.


Jason
M80 v2
VP160 v3
QS8 v2
PB13 Ultra
Denon 3808
Samsung 85" Q70
Re: Speaker Makeover in my 7.2 HT
jakewash #342269 03/16/11 10:41 AM
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jakeman Offline OP
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I wish I could. The VP180 has made the biggest improvement. My screen hangs above my cottage fireplace which makes for limited placement options for such a large speaker.

I installed M22s all around last night and the sound was much smoother with better midrange than my old all Totem setup. Tonight I'm going to swap the M22 side surrounds for QS8s.


John
Re: Speaker Makeover in my 7.2 HT
jakeman #342272 03/16/11 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted By: jakeman
I wish I could. The VP180 has made the biggest improvement. My screen hangs above my cottage fireplace which makes for limited placement options for such a large speaker.

I installed M22s all around last night and the sound was much smoother with better midrange than my old all Totem setup. Tonight I'm going to swap the M22 side surrounds for QS8s.


Thanks for the comparison to Totem. I always wondered what the Totem Model 1 sounded like.

Re: Speaker Makeover in my 7.2 HT
davidsch #342287 03/16/11 01:39 PM
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jakeman Offline OP
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Hi David, Well here's my impressions. The Model One is a fine monitor for sure, having been in production since 1993, though it does have its ups and downs. The Totem rigid enclosures and dynaudio drivers are always first rate, but the port is mickey mouse and can resonate at higher volumes. It is warmer sounding than the neutral M22 and is closer to the M3 in tonality. The upper midrange is recessed and the treble is hopped up. You can see why from the FR chart below. Nevertheless the Model Ones sound really good with tube amps. I'd say they are better with strings but lack with percussion and vocals. As for the price difference there is no comparison. For my purposes The Model Ones are not a neutral smooth sounding HT performer like the M22 or even the M3.




John
Re: Speaker Makeover in my 7.2 HT
jakeman #342304 03/16/11 04:22 PM
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Thanks for your impressions, John.


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