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M80s with a Harman hk990?
#364512 01/22/12 07:07 AM
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Hi all, this is my first post. I'm considering a pair of m80s and matching them to a Harman Kardon hk990 for 2 ch music. I may build this into a home theatre later by adding an avr for surrounds but still drive the m80s using the 990's main-in connection.
If anyone knows anything about the hk990 pls chime in.
My second Q concerns room size. I see a lot of pics of the m80s iin smallish rooms/basements but they are recommended for larger rooms. I understand axiom's recommendation in regards to total output, but are they difficult speakers to set up in a smaller room in regards to sound quality? My living room is about 12x16x8, and somewhat irregular in shape.
Auditioning with the option of returning them is a no-go since I'm overseas.
Any advice appreciated.

Re: M80s with a Harman hk990?
Muzz #364515 01/22/12 07:24 AM
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They sound great in small rooms and in large rooms, not hard to set up at all, but you are limited with placement in smallish rooms as the M80s are 19" deep so they can take up a fair bit of floor space. You can place the M80s as close as 2-3" away from the rear wall without affecting their performance too much, bass gets a little boomy on ocassion depending on the source material.

I think mine sound even better now than they did in my smallish basement at my old house. That basement was 2 'L' shapes joined together and they were about 12 x 16 and slightly less than 8ft high each. My current room is very open 20 x 15, high vaulted ceilings and open to both my kids' rooms which are 15 x 11 each and also open to my exercise room 12 x 13. My room is located right beside an open stair area to the main floor which is also open concept and 1000sqft. I have lots of air to fill and this open space has improved upon an already great sound I had with my smaller space I had the M80's in originally. YMMV.


Jason
M80 v2
VP160 v3
QS8 v2
PB13 Ultra
Denon 3808
Samsung 85" Q70
Re: M80s with a Harman hk990?
jakewash #364523 01/22/12 02:42 PM
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Sounds good to me. I assume that bc they are bright they'll benefit from a softer, more dead room w carpet etc?

Re: M80s with a Harman hk990?
Muzz #364524 01/22/12 02:45 PM
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Axioms speakers really aren't "bright" sounding. Any speaker can sound bright in a reflective type room. Carpet, furniture, other decorative items help the echo properties of a brightly setup room.


M80s VP180 4xM22ow 4xM3ic EP600 2xEP350
AnthemAVM60 Outlaw7700 EmoA500 Epson5040UB SonyUBPX800


Re: M80s with a Harman hk990?
SirQuack #364525 01/22/12 02:56 PM
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Noted... And a matter of taste as well. Do the m80s need much burn-in? does it make that much difference?

Re: M80s with a Harman hk990?
Muzz #364526 01/22/12 02:58 PM
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Burn-in where speakers are concerned is largely a myth. It takes something like less than a second and is completed when the speakers are tested at the factory.


I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!
Re: M80s with a Harman hk990?
Muzz #364529 01/22/12 03:45 PM
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Hello Muzz and welcome,

hk integrated amps and receivers have never had problems driving 4-ohm loads, specifically the M80s, for decades, unlike some other brands. The hk's may run fairly warm/hot at high volume, but they don't shut down. I use one myself driving M80s.

The mythical "burn-in" to which you refer is actually a psycho-acoustical phenomenon, in which your brain/hearing system accommodates the sound of a new reproducer in your room. The actual speaker's frequency response and dispersion traits do not change over many years, unless it's been damaged or abused, or unless you leave it out in the cold.

The M80s are big and heavy, so to that extent they're harder to ideally position in smaller rooms than compact bookshelf speakers. But with some experimentation, they can sound wonderful. I have a pair of M80s and a pair of M22s on an A/B switching system in a room that's 19 x 13 x 9. The M22s are more ideally set up simply because they're compact, but the M80s still sound great. They'd sound even better if I could separate them more but my room is too cluttered to accommodate that.

Hope that helps.

Regards,
Alan


Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert (Retired)
Re: M80s with a Harman hk990?
Muzz #364530 01/22/12 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted By: Muzz
Noted... And a matter of taste as well. Do the m80s need much burn-in? does it make that much difference?


I am in 100% agreement with Dick Pierce on driver "break-in" or driver "burn-in".


Originally Posted By: Richard Pierce

My question is two fold: why would speakers need breaking in ? Is anyone aware of any measurements and tests having being done of before and after performance that has shown a measurable difference?


Dick Pierce replied:
"I am aware of at least one person who has done extensive measurements of this type: me. I have a database of several thousand drivers that I have measured.

Well, there are, indeed, several mechanism that are, indeed, at work that cause the operating parameters of drivers to change through use. However, the notion that once one gets a speaker home it requires "breaking in" suffers from several problems.

First, as a driver comes off the line, it's actual performance if fairly far from it's intended performance target. Reasons for this include the fact that the centering spider, typically manufactured from a varnish- impregnated linen, is far stiffer than needed. Working the driver back and forth lossens the spider considerably.

Now, one might say: there's objective proof of the need to "break in" a loudspeaker! Not so fast. The break-in period for the spider is on the order of several seconds, and if it takes you several seconds or minutes or whatever once you get the speakers home to loosen the centering spdier, it's not proof of the need to break them in, it's proof that the speaker you just bought HAS NEVER BEEN TESTED!

But, on to other points.

When I measure a driver, I can see a significant change in a variety of operating parameters as the speaker is driven. Usually, in woofer, the resonant frequency drops as the speaker is used, often by as much as 10-20%. This is due, as you suggest, to a relaxing of the elastomers used in the suspension.

However. If I turn the stimulus off, within a few minutes most, if not all, of the change has completely recovered, and we're back to go again. The elstomer has recovered from it's stresses (this is especially true of certain polybutadene-styrene surround
formulations).

There are plenty of other, real, physical changes. For example, one can see a reduction of the electrical Q with time under heavy use, simply because of the positive temperature coefficient of the resistance of the voice coil. Allow the speaker to cool down, and it's completely recoverable.

Get it hot enough, and you might permanently loose some flux density in the magnet. But you have to get REAL hot to do that. Hotter than most of the compounds used in making a speaker can endure without catastrophic failure (damned few glues, varnishes, cones and
insulating materials can withstand the temperatures neede to reach the Curie points of the typical magnetic materials found in loudspeakers).

When this has been suggested, despite the fact there's about a century of research backing it, it is more often than not greated with jears and cires. See, you can't sell special "break-in" CD's if the speakers aren't broken in.

Well, there will be loads of opinions. However, actual data on several thousand drivers don't seem to give two shits about opinions, the +usual claims of "mysterious unmeasurable quantities" notwithstanding."

"Playing a low frequency sine wave has the singular advantage that IF you know the frequency of maximum excursion, you simply place the frequency of the sine wave there and get the maximum excursion for the minimum input power. With sealed box enclosures, it's easy to find, but with vented and other higher-order systems there are several maxima and which is suitable is dependent upon the system alignment.

However, in the work that Ihave done, I have found that while it is true that large excursions DO loosen up the suspension considerably, within 1 minute of cessation of the excercising signal, about 95% of what you have gained in compliance recovers, and almost all the remainder disappears within about 5 minutes. The only time I have seen permanent increase in suspension compliance and other such effects is as the drivers themselves came off the production line in initial QC test. If a speaker HAS to be "broken in" at home, it's a good indicator that the speaker manufacturer simply has not tested your speakers.

Otherwise, there is no evidence of any "magic" break-in that "magic" CD's and the like can effect at home that cannot and has not already been done at the factory. You'll find FAR higher variations in peformance due to daily changes in relative humidity, for example, then you will with break-in procedures which, as I said, are mostly temporary in their effect.

Simply playing loud music through a speaker for a protracted length of time WILL change the performance of the speaker substantially, but not by "breaking" it in: Simply the rise in temperature of the voice
coil/magnet structure will have the effect of raising the Q of the system somewhat, leading to s alsight but possibly noticeably change in low frequency performance. Raising the temperature will also drive water out of the system, which might change the physical parameters of the system.

However, as soon as the system is left alone, both temperature and moisture content will ronce again reach equilibrium with the surrounding environment, and you're back to go again.

There does exist, however, interesting data to suggest that the listener has a significant "break-in" period, a phenomenon that may be important in and of itself, one which should not necessarily be
ignored."



I’m armed and I’m drinking. You don’t want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne
Re: M80s with a Harman hk990?
BlueJays1 #364533 01/22/12 04:19 PM
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Quote:
There does exist, however, interesting data to suggest that the listener has a significant "break-in" period, a phenomenon that may be important in and of itself, one which should not necessarily be
ignored.

Indeed. Break-in does exist, but requires a completely different set of tools to execute properly: a large quantity of your favourite alcoholic beverage, unimpeded access to your perfectly placed comfy chair, your favorite tunes, access to a remote to adjust to the appropriate volume for each music set, lots of time.


Fred

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Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!
Re: M80s with a Harman hk990?
fredk #364534 01/22/12 04:21 PM
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Oh yeah. It is a little known fact that purchasing the M80s comes with two significant benefits: membership in an exclusive club, a secret decoder ring. Don't let those M22/M60 guys tell you any different. grin


Fred

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Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!
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