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Audition at Axiom
#375449 05/08/12 02:10 AM
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My wife and I had the pleasure of a drive to Dwight today.

It was further than I remembered from Ajax (just east of Toronto) through Barrie, Orillia and Huntsville, but easy driving, no traffic issues. Close to three hours drive between 120 and 130 most of the way. Ah, that's km/hr - call it 75 - 80 mph.

At the Axiom factory Noreen gave us a tour while Ian set up the demo room for A/B blind testing of centre channels. I learned some things I didn't know (the woofers are assembled in Dwight - I assumed they were from China like the tweeters).

When Ian was set we we given the demo room, a bunch of CDs and DVDs in addition to a few we had brought with us, and a (rather temperamental) remote control to switch back and forth between centre speaker A and B. I wanted to decide between a VP 150 (as recommended by Brent) and a 160. The rest of the system, M60s, QS8s and . . . I don't know which sub was behind the curtain.

So,we listened to Michael Jackson (for my wife), Ricki Lee Jones, Jon and Vangelis, Kevin Ayers, and Holly Cole. Unfortunately we couldn't get the Elton John SACD (Madman Across the Water) to work - I still haven't heard that in multi-channel.

I took a few notes - minimal really - and let them behind, so from memory:

Speaker A: "fuller" sound; is it louder (no - I know Ian level matched them). Speaker B: voices sound very good, overall sound (by comparison) is somewhat "muffled". Back and forth; speaker B might be a bit smoother on Holly Cole's voice.

Off axis (by quite a long way, maybe 50 degrees out from centre) speaker A still sounds "fuller", but it's not so aggressive - in fact it's maybe a bit recessed. Speaker B really didn't change much that I noticed, so it was consistent but overall less "there" than A.

Interestingly, my wife and I were absolutely in agreement. Both centre speakers sounded "good" but different - in conversation with Ian afterwards, we discussed "similarly good".

And in case you didn't guess, we drove home with a nice Boston Cherry VP 150 - speaker A.

Set up at home is a small dedicated basement room, 11X17X8. Carpeted floor over Dri-Core, soft suspended ceiling, and drywall over lots of insulation (for heat loss, not soundproofing). Front speakers are Boston Acoustics A100s that I've owned for about 30 years, surrounds QS4s, rears on-wall M3s, sub is an SVS PC12 NSD. I've been doing without a centre to this point.

So we made it home: hooked up, run MCACC (Pioneer VSX9130 TXH), and popped in a Blu-Ray I've been saving for this: Apocalypse Now.

Impressions:
1. Wow. Maybe MCACC is happier when a centre speaker is connected? somehow this has brought the surrounds to life. Okay, call it new speaker euphoria.
2. As you'd expect, the Bostons sound quite different from the centre. I'll address this later in the year (Christmas? Honey?) with M50s or M60s.
3. I think maybe the 150 stood out in the A/B test because it doesn't sound like an M60, whereas the 160 does, so it was more seamless?

A thoroughly good day overall. Thanks to Ian and Noreen for being good hosts. I'll be back for more Axiom goodness.

Re: Audition at Axiom
Stilljoe #375453 05/08/12 03:35 AM
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Great review, thanks for sharing!


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


Re: Audition at Axiom
Stilljoe #375482 05/08/12 10:45 AM
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Ditto what Randy said!


::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::
Re: Audition at Axiom
MarkSJohnson #375488 05/08/12 11:47 AM
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Ditto what Randy said! (Not what Mark said.)


I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.
Re: Audition at Axiom
Stilljoe #375508 05/08/12 03:32 PM
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I think Mark's statement is really dumb.

I agree with Randy and Peter.


The only reasonable argument for owning a gun is to protect yourself from the police.
Re: Audition at Axiom
Stilljoe #375543 05/08/12 06:36 PM
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I don't agree with any of them but they all are correct.

Thanks for the review StillJoe. It's great to hear a first hand comparison of the two.

I remember my blind listening test at the Axiom plant to be very eye opening and confusing. Anyone reading my notes would have seen me start off enjoying speaker A for some reasons then slowly turn everything around and eventually preferred speaker B for other reasons. Or was it B then A, I can't remember. Either way, it sure was a tough thing to do. I could definitely hear the differences but my definition of "better" kept changing the more I was able to isolate those differences..


With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.
Re: Audition at Axiom
Stilljoe #375704 05/10/12 12:52 AM
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Welcome Stilljoe to the forum. Those M60's you might be wanting, would look and sound just as good for Father's Day, as it would for Christmas.


"When arguing with an IDIOT... make sure the person you're talking to... isn't doing the same."
Re: Audition at Axiom
Stilljoe #375712 05/10/12 01:11 AM
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I second Cam's motion.


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


Re: Audition at Axiom
SirQuack #375778 05/10/12 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted By: SirQuack
I second Cam's motion.


smile


The only reasonable argument for owning a gun is to protect yourself from the police.
Re: Audition at Axiom
SirQuack #375790 05/11/12 02:08 AM
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Originally Posted By: SirQuack
I second Cam's motion.

I rudly motion to Cam.

Its always nice to hear about factory visits. Hmmmm... so the VP160 with its 'superior' design didn't 'blow away' the VP150. I can't say I'm surprised. It seems like off axis response on the VP160 is noticeably better though, if that's important to you.

Spounds like you are going to really enjoy the new addition.


Fred

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