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#357552 - 10/27/11 05:05 PM Identical Fronts
bwallen77 Offline

Registered: 10/27/11
Posts: 36
HI Everyone. First time poster here. I am hoping for some advice from some Axiom owners as I am hearing conflicting reports on what I should do. I am currently finishing my basement and putting in a home theater. My initial plan was to buy two in cabinet m80's and a vp180 in cabinet for the front stage. I am putting the 180 behind the screen and the 80's into custom pillars flanking the screen on both sides. When I went to buy the screen the gentlemen asked what I was speakers I was buying and why. I told him and he immediately asked why I would not use a m80 as a center. It should disperse the sound horizontally better since it is a vertically oriented speaker and will perfectly match the left and right. So, which would be better. A in vp180 or an m80 and why? Thanks in advance for everyone's help. And I do have room for either set up since I am using an AT screen.

#357553 - 10/27/11 05:16 PM Re: Identical Fronts [Re: bwallen77]
bdpf Offline

Registered: 06/28/08
Posts: 769
Loc: Toronto, Canada

When possible, you should put 3 identical speakers as a front sound stage, there is simply no better match than that. A vertical speaker as a center will also give you a much better off axis response than a horizontal one. People settle for horizontal speakers because in most cases it is impossible to put a vertical one. I your case you should definitely go with a 3rd M80. For once the salesman was right wink
"The problem is choice..."

#357554 - 10/27/11 05:39 PM Re: Identical Fronts [Re: bdpf]
bwallen77 Offline

Registered: 10/27/11
Posts: 36
Thanks for the quick response. My seating position will be a little under the center of the screen vertically. Should I try to get the tweeters ear level with the listening position or centered with the screen. To get them ear level I will have to orient the m80's upside down. For that matter, maybe I'm splitting hairs here, but if ear level, being the m80 has 2 tweeters and two midranges, if ear level is the way to go, should I try to make ear level between the tweeter and mid woofer.... I may really be over thinking this

#357555 - 10/27/11 05:52 PM Re: Identical Fronts [Re: bwallen77]
J. B. Offline

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 1291
Loc: Quebec, Canada
i got M80's and sit about 6 ft away from them.
my ears are just about halfway between the lower tweeter and
the top midrange.
i checked to see if i was missing some h.f. by increasing the treble a little, but it was not necessary.
i guess the tweeters have a good enough off axis response downwards that a few degrees does not matter.

3 identical vertical speakers is tops.
or: Axiom Gallery

#357556 - 10/27/11 05:55 PM Re: Identical Fronts [Re: bwallen77]
tomtuttle Offline

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8488
Loc: Tacoma
I agree with Bruno; if you're already committed to the AT screen, just get 3 in-cabinet M80's. Not sure what to tell you about your upside-down v. right-side-up issue. I guess I'd need more information about the room to have an opinion. How far back will you be sitting? How high is the ceiling?

I think you'd want the tweeters - generally - at about ear level, but that having them "a little" above ear level would probably be fine if you're far enough away.

Sounds like a very exciting build; I will look forward to following your progress.
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

#357557 - 10/27/11 06:08 PM Re: Identical Fronts [Re: tomtuttle]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 11437
Loc: Central NH
I agree with everyone else, but will make one other point: If the speakers are behind the screen, I would opt to get the tweeters mid-screen, as that's where you'll likely "identify the sound.... and it should seem as if it's coming right off the screen.

Depending upon how far back you're sitting from the screen, that likely won't put the tweeters (too) high, though that might happen if you're sitting really close.
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

#357558 - 10/27/11 06:29 PM Re: Identical Fronts [Re: MarkSJohnson]
bwallen77 Offline

Registered: 10/27/11
Posts: 36
I'll be sitting anywhere from 10-14ft back. The screen will be 120 inch diagonally. The only one to be behind is the center. I am also planning on doing two in cabinet ep 500's below the screen so the screen will be off the ground roughly 24 inches. That is where the m80's will start at about 24-26inches. If i turn them upside down, I was going to turn them upside down and center the entire speaker with the height of the screen. this would put the tweeters close to ear level, but below mid screen level. Oh and the ceiling is just shy of 8 ft. The room is 18 wide by 19 deep. I like the idea of having the tweets mid screen if it is possible. I'll have to go measure.

Does anyone know if there will be any disadvantages to having them upside down?

#357559 - 10/27/11 06:37 PM Re: Identical Fronts [Re: bwallen77]
CatBrat Offline

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 6015
Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
Whenever I get to that point in my downstairs HT project, I plan on trying them one way, then mount them upside down and try them the other way. Then whichever way I like the best is where they'll stay.

#357561 - 10/27/11 10:25 PM Re: Identical Fronts [Re: bwallen77]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10621
BW, welcome. Although careful crossover design and configuration of drivers has given good results in the VP180, as Bruno pointed out, the best arrangement, if possible, is identical speakers across the front. Use a vertical M80 center.

As to height of the tweeters, yes, you may be "over thinking this". If the tweeter would be about 2' higher than your ears at a 12' listening distance, the downward angle there calculates to be about 9 degrees. As Jacques(J.B.)found in his listening test, floor standing speakers typically have good enough below-axis dispersion that listening at that sort of angle isn't a significant problem.

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.

#357597 - 10/28/11 01:30 PM Re: Identical Fronts [Re: bwallen77]
alan Offline


Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3258
Loc: Toronto/New York/parry Sound
Hello bwallen,

I'd advise you not to invert the speakers. They are designed and balanced to sound their best in normal upright position. It also isn't how the blind listening tests and anechoic measnurements at Axiom are conducted--with inverted speakers. They will certainly sound different; whether or not the sound and sonic balance will be degraded, I don't know.
Also, the off-axis dispersion of the M80s is excellent, so you don't need to have the tweeters exactly in line with your ears. I also wouldn't invert them because it would put the woofers at the top, so they won't benefit from the boundary reinforcement for the bass octaves, thereby altering the carefully designed sonic balance in the room.

Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert (Retired)

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