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#406075 - 07/11/14 05:58 PM So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner...
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
I ordered my Version "3.5" M80s in the transition period when the new tweeters were available, but the Version 4 designation wasn't yet available. The plates on my speakers say 3.0, but my friend's older 3.0 M80s have different tweeters. Cest la vie...

I've run my speakers with an Emotiva XPR-2 amplifier, with a Crown PS-400 amplifier, with a Nakamichi Stasis 5 amplifier, with an Emotiva XPA-5 amplifier, and now, with a pair of bridged Crown XLS-2000 amplifiers.

They're run as stereo speakers in a 2.1 configuration system (driven directly from an Oppo BDP-105 and with a Powersound Audio XV-15 sub) and in a 5.1 configuration for movies.

So how do they sound? I thought you'd never ask! Two things have surprised me about these speakers:

1. How little they care about placement. I originally put my speakers on some furniture casters so I could roll them about & try different placements. The sounded equally good at all locations, so I then installed the outriggers & placed them in locations of convenience. They image brilliantly regardless of positioning! Perhaps this is due to the nine ATS sound absorbers (and one corner bass trap) that I have in the room, but I doubt it. They just don't seem to care about placement. This is the exact OPPOSITE experience of my friend who has the older 3.0 M80s. In his room, even an inch makes a difference. Go figure...

2. How revealing the speakers are of ALL upstream equipment. Insert a preamp - the sound changes. Add a tube buffer - WHOA! Switch from one amplifier to another - Yes, Tinkerbell, one CAN hear the difference in amplifiers! Given smooth amplifiers with enough current to swing the 4-ohm Axioms, the speakers just virtually disappear, leaving a wide, deep soundstage. If the amplifier has even the slightest trouble with high amperage & low impedance, you'll know it instantly.

In the near future, I'll have the pleasure of reviewing the yet-to-be-introduced Yamaha Aventage RX-A1040 for Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity (www.hometheaterhifi.com). I'll be using the Axioms as the main speakers for the review. Based on my experience so far with my M80s, I feel confident that they'll be sufficiently revealing to expose the Yamaha's best.

In the meantime, I've got friends from out of town coming this weekend to hear the Axioms. Hopefully, they'll take the time to write up their impressions too.

My conclusion so far is that the Axioms are equal to the best of the best loudspeakers I've owned (to date, the Thiel 3.6 and the Magnepan 1.6). Obviously, due to the radiation pattern, the Axioms are closer to the Thiels than the Maggies, but in my room, forward-radiating box speakers seem to do best.

So Bravo, Axiom - my M80s are a real hit!

Boomzilla

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#406077 - 07/11/14 09:01 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6684
Loc: It's all about the location.
Boom, which amplifier do you feel worked best with the M80s? I'm curious how the Pro-amps compared to the others.
_________________________
Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

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#406079 - 07/11/14 10:07 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
oakvillematt Offline
devotee

Registered: 05/06/14
Posts: 417
Loc: Oakville, Canada
It is interesting what you wrote. I had a completely different experience.

I will agree with you that the M80 are very forgiving in the placement. I found that moving them around inside my room had very little if any effect on the sound. You could get a bit more base boom if you put them directly into the corner, but that was just getting silly.

I will agree that they are a fantastic sounding speaker. I did find them very revealing for the source material that I used. I have quite a collection of music, but found that 30% of what I had sounded awful from the speakers. About 50% of my music sounded pretty good, but that last 20% was jaw dropping fantastic.

They lies the problem with these speakers. They truly play you back what is recorded. If your source material isn't up to snuff, then you better just hit the eject button and try something else. It just won't cut it. Find something recorded great and you will be in sound nirvana.

But where I found it different. I can't say I have the most expensive collection of amps or receivers. But I honestly could not tell the difference between my old cheep Yamaha receiver and my latest Anthem amp with a dedicated pre-amp. Whatever I used, the good recorded stuff sounded fantastic.. the bad stuff sounded like it was missing any life. And the rest sounded better than any speakers I have had in the past, but not quite at that perfect state.

I will admit that I have never owned a tube amp, nor could tell you what one sounds like.

I will admit that I have never owned an amp costing over 4 digits. Perhaps that is why I have not experienced a difference.

I will also admit that I traded in the M80 within the 30 days and picked up the LFR1100. It did make a small bit of a difference. And as they require a pre-amp out and 4 amp channels to work, I can't really test them with my old Yamaha or Nakamichi. So unless someone want to loan me more equipment to try them out, I will just stick with my current Pioneer Elite with it's pre-outs and the Anthem amp.

But part of me still misses those M80 as they did sound awsome and for the price they are, WOW, what a deal.
_________________________
Matt

People are like a box of chocolates. It's hard to tell initially which ones are nuts.

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#406080 - 07/11/14 11:07 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1312
I have a tube integrated amp & for the life of me, I don't believe that I can hear any difference between it & my SS receiver.

Similarly, I changed out a complete set of tubes (10 of them) for a new backup set of another brand & I still didn't hear any difference between the 2 sets. This is contrary to all of the wisdom out there that espouses that different brands of tubes, types & vintage vs modern make big differences in an amp's sound signature. It doesn't for me; however, I might not be as susceptible to placebo effect like many others seem to be.

Tube gear does look cool though & I love being around them...

TAM

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#406082 - 07/11/14 11:51 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Socketman Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 1345
Loc: Whitehorse YT
Tam , you know well enough that you don't have golden ears ,how could you possibly hear a difference. Maybe you can get an ear job next time LOL

Did that sub ever show up today??
_________________________
DOG is GOD spelled backwards.
I blame my terseness on my keyboard. smile

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#406083 - 07/12/14 01:24 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1312
No!! It was in Nanaimo at 1 PM but never showed up an hour up the road. I waited all day only to have my hopes dashed, sniff!

I don't know if UPS delivers on Saturdays out here, but if they do, it'll probably be on my doorstep before I get up in the morning.

Actually, I could probably use an ear job, but then I might find that my speakers are bright, ha!

TAM

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#406084 - 07/12/14 01:37 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Socketman Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 1345
Loc: Whitehorse YT
Sorry to hear , damn delivery companies they don't realize how important I think I am. I am not sure if UPS deliver Saturday's down there but they sure don't here. I have learned to not stress as much over deliveries, its been a long hard road. It will be there soon enough.
_________________________
DOG is GOD spelled backwards.
I blame my terseness on my keyboard. smile

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#406085 - 07/12/14 03:12 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
brwsaw Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 1272
Loc: Canada
Boom its good to see you're happy. You took so long to post your thoughts I'd wondered if you'd sent them back.
_________________________
Living in a fog these days, lost something of myself when I changed careers.

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#406087 - 07/12/14 12:17 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1312
No big box here this morning, sniff. The UPS Tracker has changed from 'Friday' (yesterday) to 'Unknown' now. I expect that this means Monday now.

What is interesting, it probably was driven right past me on its way to their depot in Campbell River that is 45 minutes up the road from us...

TAM

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#406096 - 07/13/14 09:56 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
Adrian - To date, the "amplifier horse race" is too close to call. On some material, one amp is better by a nose, on other material, the second amp sounds better. The only constant I've seen is that amplifiers that don't like low-impedance loads don't do as well with the Axioms. My Crown PS-400, while a GREAT amplifier on higher-impedance speakers (such as my previous Definitive Technology SM-65s, rated at 6 ohms) failed to have sufficient dynamics with the M80s.

The "pro" Crown amplifiers are half the price (or less) of an equivalent home audio amp with similar power. Their performance, even with the Class-D modules, is equivalent to the the Class-A or Class-AB contenders. Therefore, I consider them a true bargain & recommend them highly. The all Class-A Nakamichi Stasis 5 sounded more open & airy on top, but the Crowns are no slouches. Of the Crown line, the amp that I have liked the best is the XLS-1500. They're powerful, cheap, and every time I play them, I'm surprised by their fine sound. Don't run them bridged - they sound better in stereo.

Oakvillematt - I'm not at all surprised that we have different experiences. You seem to be searching for a system that will make all your recordings sound good. I would rather have the unvarnished truth (even if it reveals some of my recordings as poor-sounding). When I want some "glamour" for the less-than-great recordings, I switch my tube buffer into the system. It conceals a multitude of recording sins.

exlabdriver - The newer tube products are engineered to sound neutral (as are the newer SS products). Therefore, I'm not surprised that they sound similar. Older tube products, however, (think Dynaco, et al) sound significantly more distinct.

I'll post more comments as time goes by. I'm particularly interested in what the Yamaha RX-A1040 will do with these speakers. AV receivers, traditionally, have profoundly sucked with low-impedance speakers. We'll see...

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#406100 - 07/13/14 12:12 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1312
Boom:

I agree with your assessment of modern tube amps; however, when I researched extensively online wrt to replacement tube choices, there were so many comments on how certain tubes sounded in my my amp, I became quite cynical as to what people were hearing.

I just didn't experience anything like that when I tried different tubes at home...

TAM

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#406101 - 07/13/14 01:30 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: exlabdriver]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8392
Loc: Tacoma
Great post! Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

I can't help but think that having a well treated listening room contributes meaningfully to your enjoyment.

Cheers!
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#406132 - 07/14/14 08:25 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
oakvillematt Offline
devotee

Registered: 05/06/14
Posts: 417
Loc: Oakville, Canada
Originally Posted By: Boomzilla

Oakvillematt - I'm not at all surprised that we have different experiences. You seem to be searching for a system that will make all your recordings sound good. I would rather have the unvarnished truth (even if it reveals some of my recordings as poor-sounding). When I want some "glamour" for the less-than-great recordings, I switch my tube buffer into the system. It conceals a multitude of recording sins.


I don't know if I'd say I a looking for speakers to make everything sound good. Its more that I am looking for speakers that will give me the best sound for the music that I like.

I know that some of the recordings that I have will never sound as good as others. Lets face it. The Forgotten Rebels recorded most of their stuff in a basement using a cheep 8 track bought at a garage sale. it will never sound that good, but the gritty bad recording is what makes it so great.

I understand that when the Rolling Stones recorded most of their early stuff, the sound reproduction of hi-fi equipment in the 50's and 60's would mask the limited dynamic range that was recorded. So it is understandable that these needed to be "remastered" A.K.A. re-processed to augment digitally what was never there in the original recordings. If you wanted the originals to sound good, then don't get good speakers.

You are right in suggesting getting a tube pre-amp to warm up the sound and add back in what may have been taken out in compensation for the hardware of that era.

What is sad is that it's becoming more common now for recordings to be compressed to sound good on your ipod/iphone ear buds as that is where the music is mostly being listened on. Are the real hi-fi of today destined to become relics to the slave of convenience.
_________________________
Matt

People are like a box of chocolates. It's hard to tell initially which ones are nuts.

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#406179 - 07/15/14 01:42 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 6009
Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
So NOW I'm a real boy!


Sorry. Couldn't resist.

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#406188 - 07/15/14 06:19 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
Hi exlabdriver - I have no experience with "tube rolling," so I can't comment on it. From what I've read, some components are more sensitive than others.

Hi tomtuttle - YES, the first few absorber pads I installed made a HUGE difference, the rest, far less. Again - If you control slap echo, most other things (except bass resonances) take care of themselves.

Hi Oakvillematt - I agree with you that much current music is compressed for headphone use. I don't know what to do about it, but to select what I like to listen to and hope it's well recorded...

CatBrat - You SLAY me! LOL

I had four friends over this weekend to listen to the Axioms. They wanted to listen at 100 dB plus levels. In my room, at that volume, the Axioms just weren't at their best. One of the guys was a bass head and wanted significantly more bass than my Powersound Audio XV-15 would put out ( ! ). He was also disappointed because the Axioms didn't sound like his Klipsch speakers ( ? ). Another guy was accustomed to listening in a much larger room at live concert levels & was disappointed that the Axioms weren't able to do stadium volumes ( !! ). They all allowed, however, that the M80s sounded "good" in my room.

I don't listen loudly, I don't care if every recording doesn't sound good (I prefer accuracy, thanks), and I don't want to vibrate my fillings out (except occasionally). The Axioms, crossed over the the sub at 80 Hz, are a GOOD match for my room and my preferences. Although they might not have been the first choice of my friends, I think that these ARE the speakers for me!

Boom


Edited by Boomzilla (07/15/14 06:25 PM)

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#406192 - 07/15/14 09:26 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
oakvillematt Offline
devotee

Registered: 05/06/14
Posts: 417
Loc: Oakville, Canada
Boom, that is such a great story. I know where you are coming from. I had a fellow over as he was interested in listening to my Axioms. He has a set of Paradigm speakers. I was curious to what he thought so I let him listen

He commented that my LFR's didn't have enough bass and the high end was off. Well, after adjusting my receiver eq, bass and treble controls, he concluded that yes the speakers were all right but needed a whole load of adjustment to get them sounding proper. I thought it made everything awful.

Personally I usually listen in pure direct mode as it gives me a nice clean sound.

So over the weekend I went to his house to listen and found his speakers to be rather muddly. Took a look at his pre-amp and found his treble cranked up to 7 and his bass all the way to 10.

Sort of explained his comment to me about my LFR's
_________________________
Matt

People are like a box of chocolates. It's hard to tell initially which ones are nuts.

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#406196 - 07/16/14 02:49 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1312
Listening preferences are nothing but totally subjective.

This is why I find most of the speaker reviews, assessments & recommendations from the vast majority of users/posters out there are totally irrelevant to me or anyone else.

Boom & Matt - thanks for your experiences with those other listeners. This corroborates my longstanding sentiments exactly...

TAM

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#406201 - 07/16/14 08:16 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
Previous speakers that have sounded best in my room include Dahlquist DQ-10s, KEF studio monitors, Thiel 1.5 and 3.6 models, and Klipsch La Scalas (?). My M80s cleave closer to the Thiels, of course, but with the same smoothness of frequency response, and somewhat better dynamics.

Unlike the previous speakers, the M80s are NOT amplifier-sensitive. My old DQ-10s wanted Adcom amps or they had no dynamics, the Thiels would sound tight in the bass only with LARGE McIntosh or Emotiva amplifiers, and the La Scalas sang only with tubes - go figure!

My only criticism (to date) of the M80s is that at very, very high volumes (that I never listen at), the upper midrange (soprano voices) can become slightly shrill. This is not audible at lower volumes, and therefore not a problem for me. I've noticed the high-volume shrillness at that specific frequency range with multiple amplifiers, though, so I'm thinking that it's an artifact of the M80s themselves - not the associated equipment. Since other speakers don't have that problem in my room, the room itself is not the cause, either.

The "new" version 4 tweeters (which I have in my speakers) are noticeably less hard sounding than the version 3 tweeters which my friend has in his M80s, so if Axiom offers those as an upgrade, I'd think them worth the money.

I've got an AV receiver on the way to temporarily replace my current separates. I've never liked (any) AV receiver that I've heard. Their amplifiers are insufficient to adequately power low-impedance speakers. Both pairs of Thiels, some Magnepan 1.6s, and my current M80s are all four-ohm loads and/or difficult to drive because of crossover complexities. This Yamaha may surprise me, or not...

In any case, I'll continue to occasionally post about my M80s if I have anything new to say. Feel free to ignore my posts as you see fit.

Cordially - Boomzilla

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#407120 - 09/10/14 12:07 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
And just as an aside, I recently tried my Axiom M80s with a variety of preamps and power amps including:

Audio Research LS2B MKII tube/FET preamp
Musical Fidelity X-Cans 3 tube headphone/pre amp
Yaqin SD-CD3 tube buffer

and

Audio Research D90 tube power amp
Crown XLS-2000 power amps (used as both stereo & mono)
Emotiva XPA-5 solid-state power amp

Each combo offered its own advantages and disadvantages, but ultimately, the combo that sounded best with my M80s in my room was the Yaqin tube buffer driving two channels of the Emotiva XPA-5.

Now I've added an Emotiva center channel & I'll see how they all do on movie sound!

By the bye, in my particular room, the M80s (not the high powered - just the standard ones) do NOT supply satisfactory bass. If I had some "tone controls," this might be fixable but without them, the speakers are bass shy. It doesn't matter to me because I run the M80s in "small" mode from my Oppo BDP-105 with the below-80-Hz sounds supplied by a PowerSound Audio XV-15 subwoofer. That blends perfectly with the M80s and the combo is ideal for music and impressive on movies.

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#407156 - 09/12/14 07:58 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6955
Loc: PEI, Canada
Thanks for keeping us updated Boom. Interesting stuff.

Curious.
Is it fair to say the M80s are "bass shy". They were certainly not designed to compete with a subwoofer for deep LFE frequencies. Depends what previous models you are comparing to I guess. There are some floor model speakers that attempt to do both functions, but an M80 is not one of them.

While not 80s, I've heard some impressive bass for thier size out of M60s in large mode for my casual stereo setup upstairs. In the HT room, I have another pair with a good sub and run them as small to get the full effect for movies and super bass heavy tunes, as per thier intended design.
_________________________
With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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#407254 - 09/16/14 09:35 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
Good points, Murph - so allow me to clarify.

Bass (for all speakers) is a placement-sensitive issue; imaging is the same. However, the best location for one is rarely the best for the other. I've placed my M80s for superior imaging. In that location, and in my room, yes, they are "bass shy." This isn't the fault of the speakers. I could easily find a "compromise position" where both imaging and bass would be 90%, but that's not good enough for me.

Therefore, I use the subwoofer to make up for the bass that I lose by locating the speakers far out from the walls.

I've also, lately, had the good fortune to acquire some Audio Research tube electronics (D90 amp and LS2B MKII preamp). The M80s have quite a different sound with these than with my usual solid-state electronics. The midrange is lusher, the treble a bit softer, but the mid-bass is far more solid. The effect on male voices is to make them more "present" in the room. The effect on orchestral music is to bring out the cellos, basses, and tympani.

So will I keep the tubes or go back to solid state? Time will tell...

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#407256 - 09/16/14 12:51 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5534
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Yep, amen to that. I got lucky and finally found a spot where bass and imaging were both pretty good, but I had to rip out a bunch of living room furniture and lean Roxul panels up against half the windows to get there -- and even with all that imaging is not as good as it was in some of the previous locations.

Your experience with the tube electronics are interesting... I'm still toying with the idea of trying a tube pre-amp to see what difference it makes.

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#407273 - 09/17/14 05:07 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
Hi bridgman -

May I recommend the Yaqin CD3 tube buffer? It's inexpensive, and gives 90% of the best tube sound I've ever heard without the sloppiness. It really is a fine product, particularly for its price.





Edited by Boomzilla (09/17/14 05:11 AM)

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#407279 - 09/17/14 11:36 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1312
I looked long & hard at the buffer; however, I snagged from ebay an almost new Yaquin MC-100B integrated tube amp for about double the price of the buffer.

I expected a huge difference in sound from my SS gear, but it really didn't happen for me. I really like it though, especially its appearance because tubz are cool...

TAM - in Flagstaff & heading for the Grand Canyon trying to outrun Odine.

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#407361 - 09/21/14 06:43 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
Hi exlabdriver -

Today's tube equipment is deliberately designed to have less "tube sound" than did products of old. Therefore, differences ARE more subtle - typically a bit more soundstage width/depth and a touch of "lushness" in the midrange. I like the sound of my tube buffer, and the majority of friends who have heard it agree.

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#407650 - 10/14/14 02:18 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5534
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Thanks Boomzilla. Was about to try the CD3 tube buffer, but made the mistake of staring at my system for a while trying to figure out what upgrades I would probably want to do in the future. I decided that supporting some kind of digital sources would probably be the next step, so instead of the CD3 I ordered a TubeDac 11 from Grant Fidelity (basically a DAC/pre-amp with tube buffer on the output).

Figured that would also let me use a digital connect for the CD carousel, which I remember sounding just a tiny bit better than the analog (with levels at least casually matched).

I guess the obvious configuration options are :

- as a DAC, connect DAC out to receiver AUX in, continue using receiver pre-outs to drive power amp

- as a pre-amp, connect receiver tape-out to TubeDAC aux in for phono & tuner, connect CD carousel to optical in, connect tube out to power amp

At least one of those should work smile

EDIT - oh yeah, the other planned upgrade is an acrylic platter for the turntable, since some idiot purchased a moving coil cartridge (Denon DL-110) before remembering that the Debut Carbon had a steel platter.


Edited by bridgman (10/14/14 02:21 PM)

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#407653 - 10/14/14 10:40 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: bridgman]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5534
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Actually the configurations get more complicated if I want to be able to flip back and forth to see the difference made by (a) tube buffer and (b) CD going through external DAC rather than built-in DAC.

Reviews suggest it comes with a bunch of cables, looks like I'll probably be using them all.

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#407807 - 10/27/14 11:19 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
Well, I've found a way of positioning my M80s that provides an entirely new perspective on their sound! By moving my speakers closer together and then slightly toeing them out (rather than in, toward the listening position), I get more reflected sound from the room and less direct sound. The effect is VERY interesting. Has anyone else tried this?

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#407825 - 10/28/14 12:13 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
brwsaw Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 1272
Loc: Canada
I did consider it once.
_________________________
Living in a fog these days, lost something of myself when I changed careers.

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#408404 - 11/28/14 10:48 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
huskydave Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 12/16/12
Posts: 28
ahhh I own m80's but an older design, They handle being positioned wrong well hahaha. they handle being abused ie low wattage high volume, they handle being cranked way way past the limit, they will give you true transparent music:::::::: that is where they differ from other high end speakers, the good you hear every aspect of the recording, The bad for Audiophiles: you hear everything wrong with the recording but that's good you hear everything you need to hear. I don't want muffled crap that masks the real deal.

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#409017 - 12/23/14 10:36 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
Curious discoveries about my M80s:

1. If the speakers are toed OUT slightly from "perpendicular to the back wall," an extremely deep center image is created with an amazing "wrap around effect." The tonality of instruments and voices becomes emphasized at the expense of imaging specificity. If you've never listened to your speakers this way (most haven't), then it's worth a try.

2. I've tried several "pro" power amplifiers with my M80s. So far, I'm one for four in the sound quality sweepstakes. The three that were not quite equal to my "normal Emotiva XPA-1L" amplifiers included the Crown PS-400, the Crown XLS-1500, and the Crown XLS-2000. They weren't bad, but the weren't great, either. The standout is the Yamaha P2100 with only 85 WPC. This bad boy makes the M80s sit up & sing! Should you ever find one (they're long discontinued), snap it up.

3. I've tried driving power amplifiers directly from my Oppo BDP-105 and through a preamp (the Emotiva XSP-1, generation 2). Most of the time (but not always) having the preamp in the signal chain improves the sound. Your mileage may vary...

4. I've used the threaded feet on the M80's aluminum spreaders to tilt the speakers slightly back & up so that the drivers are more closely pointed at ear level for the seated listener. I like this effect and will continue to use it.

5. Everyone (EVERYONE) who has seen my speakers loves the finish. I've got a dark wood vinyl with a tan grill. They look significantly different than the majority of speakers on the market with plain black grills. The response from friends and family is an enthusiastic thumbs up. So don't hesitate to go with an unconventional grill color - You'll probably love it.

6. This goes without saying, but just for the record - I pulled my listening chair out about three feet from the back wall and both the bass and the imaging improved by orders of magnitude. I have a sound absorber on the wall behind the listening couch, but the system still sounds better with the listening position away from the wall. I played some songs from Madonna's "Immaculate Collection" CD the other night. The album uses "Q-Sound" coding to create an extended sound stage (and it works). When listening to "Like a Prayer," I heard an effect I'd not heard before - The sound swirls around the room, and appeared to come from BEHIND me. This with only two speakers and conventional stereo amps...

Cheers & Merry Christmas! Boomzilla

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#409019 - 12/23/14 11:03 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 6009
Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
#6. I have an L-shaped couch and it sounds much better for the back listening position with the couch pulled out about 3 feet. That also gives me room for more movie shelves and room to walk in. And room for the cat to play in.

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#409348 - 01/09/15 05:35 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
And another curious discovery - If I put the listening seat about a third of the way out into the room, the M80s will do very different things! I played "Like a Prayer" from the Madonna "Immaculate Collection" CD, which is recorded in Q-Sound. The music at some points appears to come from BEHIND the listening position! Just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating, I had my friend over to listen also. His comment "That's not supposed to be possible with just two speakers!"

So if you haven't tried Q-sound on your system, there are a number of discs so encoded. Look at the Wikipedia article on Q-sound for a list. The "Amused to Death" CD by Roger Waters is also a good example.

And for those who claim that "surround sound is impossible with only two speakers," all I can say is "just listen!"


Edited by Boomzilla (01/09/15 05:35 PM)

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#409353 - 01/10/15 03:46 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
brwsaw Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 1272
Loc: Canada
I've had similar experiences as well.
Glad to hear you're still enjoying them.
Don't forget you get the best trade up value inside the 1st year. Just saying...
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Living in a fog these days, lost something of myself when I changed careers.

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#409356 - 01/10/15 09:04 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
BBIBH Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 1088
Loc: Canada
That is the Q Sound processing making that happen, not the M80's.
I have heard similar effects from Q Sound with different speakers.

But glad you are enjoying your setup! smile
_________________________
Regards,

Mike

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#409542 - 01/16/15 12:39 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
I've always used my M80s with a sub because:

1. I had one, and
2. I figured it couldn't hurt.

However, my room isn't huge, I don't listen at high volumes, and, at least on paper, the -3dB points of the sub & M80s are virtually identical.

That said, my woofers are NOT the "high power" ones. So now to my question - how much (if any) bass will I be "giving up" if I run the M80s "naked?"

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#409543 - 01/16/15 12:54 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17900
Loc: NoVA
Depends on what you're listening to. For most music, you won't really notice a difference. For electronic music or organ music, you'll notice a bit.
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#409547 - 01/16/15 08:54 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7449
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Boomzilla
...
However, my room isn't huge, I don't listen at high volumes, and, at least on paper, the -3dB points of the sub & M80s are virtually identical...

You need a better sub.

Unless your music has content below 35 Hz, you will hear no difference at all. I compared the M80s naked to them paired with my ep350 which is -3db @ 20 Hz and could not tell the difference.

Movies, on the other hand, are a night and day difference.
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#409548 - 01/16/15 09:53 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: fredk]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 11156
Loc: Central NH
Originally Posted By: fredk
I compared the M80s naked to them paired with my ep350 which is -3db @ 20 Hz and could not tell the difference.


I'm the first to admit that there are others here who are more schooled when it comes to acoustics, but I don't know that the absorptive qualities of clothes....or lack thereof.... factor in too much.
_________________________
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#409550 - 01/17/15 07:40 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7449
Loc: Canada
It makes almost as much difference as the levitating cables. Just sayin...
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Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#409553 - 01/17/15 01:37 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Socketman Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 1345
Loc: Whitehorse YT
Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
Originally Posted By: fredk
I compared the M80s naked to them paired with my ep350 which is -3db @ 20 Hz and could not tell the difference.


I'm the first to admit that there are others here who are more schooled when it comes to acoustics, but I don't know that the absorptive qualities of clothes....or lack thereof.... factor in too much.


So your saying my cables that are run up on the ceiling aren't helping me. Damn I put a lot of work into that. FWIW I have been told the human body is a huge bass trap, depending on your girth smile
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#411609 - 04/22/15 10:24 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
Well, I added an M-100 to the center of my M80s. I'll report on the effect once I get it all hooked up & calibrated.

It's an unusual setup as the Oppo 105 will be connected directly to the power amps. All distances (phase) and levels will be set by ear using the Oppo's controls. I do have a preamp, but it's analog stereo only. I'll be using its "HT-bypass" mode for movie & surround audio listening.

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#411624 - 04/22/15 07:12 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Serenity_Now Offline
aficionado

Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 737
Loc: PEI, Canada
Very interested in your results. I have pondered using my oppo as a pre processor but noticed it doesnt handle dynamic range settings the same as my avr. Not sure if it was a bug or not, but the avr had better dynamics overall with all settings being equal. So many settings called different things doing the same job.... Hard to do an apples to apples nowadays. smile
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#411771 - 04/27/15 06:54 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
OK - So here's my take on the Axiom VP-100 center speaker.

First, a bit of background: My system consists of an Oppo 105 used as DAC (via DNLA over ethernet) feeding the balanced inputs of a stereo Emotiva XSP-1 (generation 2) preamp. A pair of Emotiva XPA-1L mono block amps feed my Axiom M80 (generation 3.5 - with the new tweeters) front speakers.

When I do movies, though, I use the "HT bypass" inputs on the preamp and route the 5.1 RCA outputs of the Oppo directly to the power amplifiers. I currently use a Yamaha "pro" power amp for the center channel, and a Peavey "pro" power amp (whose fan roars like a 747) for the surround speakers.

Although the front speaker trio is all Axiom (M80 fronts & VP100 center), the surrounds are 12" MTX "Thunder Pro" horn-loaded PA monitors. The subwoofer (used below 80 Hz.) is a PowerSound Audio XV-15.

The room is relatively large. I listen at significantly lower than THX reference levels.

So what of the VP-100? For movies, I find that the thing is absolutely phenomenal! I do not notice any change in timbre when the sound moves from left to right (through the center) across the front. Of course, when surround kicks in, I DO hear the (significantly) different signature of the MTX surrounds, but this isn't about them...

Dialogue is clear, articulate, with no sibilance, and lets you forget the system and immerse yourself in the soundtrack. This is what a center speaker is SUPPOSED to do, but what so many don't. I'm running my M80s in "large" mode, and my VP-100 in "small." When balancing levels by ear using white noise, I can hear slight differences in timbre between the M80s and the VP100, but the difference is small enough that it disappears when the action starts.

I also cranked up the volume just to see if I could get the VP100 to distort or change timbre in any way. The result? No change that I could hear! The little speaker hung together with the big boys with not even a hint of distortion.

Now as to the Oppo being less dynamic than when using a preamplifier, yes, I agree wholeheartedly. I believe that the analog outputs of the Oppo, while nice sounding, do give away the last iota of dynamics. I'm a minimalist at heart, and was reluctant to include a (seemingly unnecessary) preamp in my system. But I must admit that I've been won over. With the Oppo alone driving the power amps (talking of stereo listening here), the sound "flattened out," dynamically as the volume rose. I think that the Oppo was just running out of current trying to drive the power amps, but this is just speculation on my part.

With the preamp in the system, the dynamics are maintained from very soft volumes all the way to louder than I listen. This means that anything I want to hear can "scale" up with the volume and still sound very realistic. So, to my ears, using the Oppo's analog outputs into a preamp is a better choice than using them directly into the power amps.

And to summarize about my VP100, it was an excellent choice, and VERY well worth the money! Now I need to shop some Axiom surrounds! LOL


Edited by Boomzilla (04/27/15 07:01 AM)

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#411782 - 04/27/15 02:03 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1312
Boom:

How can that be? I have it an good authority from a recent poster elsewhere that:

'Vp100 is horrible center btw'

I too found that my VP100 did its job exceedingly well, especially considering its small form factor. There were none of the comb filtering/dispersion issues apparent in my room that causes many enthusiasts to set their hair on fire.

When I updated my stand, I traded-up to the VP160 that is simply great as well...

TAM

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#411787 - 04/27/15 04:54 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Serenity_Now Offline
aficionado

Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 737
Loc: PEI, Canada
Thanks for the update on the oppo as preamp processor. I'm not crazy afterall! grin even I was questioning myself....
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#411810 - 04/28/15 07:16 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17900
Loc: NoVA
I thought the comb filtering thing was more aimed at the VP150/VP180/M80/M100 types. The VP100 is a conventional D'Appolito design.

Eh, whatever.

I am completely unsurprised at your conclusions that a preamp is necessary.
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#411815 - 04/28/15 08:36 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
I wouldn't claim that a preamp is necessary - only that it adds a smidgen to the dynamics - particularly at higher listening levels. I originally used my Oppo straight to the power amps and had friends claim it was the "best sound they'd ever heard." Despite that, when the preamp was added, a more dynamic presentation was there - but only noticeable at higher levels.

For example, one of my fave test tracks is "Sing, Sing, Sing" by the BBC Orchestra. Their drumming, in particular, sounds good with the 2.1 system turned up. With the Oppo alone driving the power amps, it sounded like a good recording of drums. With the preamp in the system, though, it sounded like DRUMS! Like, in the room with you and with the impact of a live performance (in a much bigger space). The same was true of the blat of the trombones and the trumpets. Just more verisimilitude at higher levels. At lower levels, the two were comparable.

As to the VP 100 center channel. I'd expect that one's response to it would depend on a number of things:

How large is the room where the speaker is being used? My seating position is no more than 15 feet from the speaker. In a larger room, the small drivers might not be able to play as loudly.

How loudly does the viewer want the soundtrack? I, as mentioned earlier, am not one who rattles the timbers with movies. If someone wanted a much louder presentation, then certainly the drivers of the VP 100 could be driven to distortion.

How particular is one about the center to L/R speaker match? No center speaker (unless it is the same make/model of the sides and in the same orientation (vertical, horizontal) will sound exactly the same. Some, misguided by internet blather, believe that only a PERFECT match will provide an acceptable front soundstage. This is incorrect. Remember that in movies, the R/L front speakers are for effects, only. This means that much of the time, they're silent. A reasonably close match between the three front speakers is sufficient for movies (although maybe less so for SACD surround sound).

These factors, taken together, make the VP 100 a fine choice for my cinema. YMMV.

Boomzilla


Edited by Boomzilla (04/28/15 08:37 AM)

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#411820 - 04/28/15 12:31 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1312
Ken:

Over the past couple of years I've read so much elsewhere on CC speakers that accuses even the ubiquitous D'Appolito speakers as being a compromised & poor design - for the reasons mentioned above.

Many people get really anal about this stuff that is largely misguided & overblown IMO...

TAM

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#411829 - 04/29/15 06:46 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
Hi Ken -

Yes, people DO get anal about all manner of trivia, particularly on the internet. Folks who are just nice people in real life can become raving lunatics over the smallest thing when strongly contradicted on the internet.

My take - It doesn't really matter. Keep in mind that the "internet expert" on a particular topic may really be a bored 14-year-old boy who's never even heard (much less owned) the product under discussion.

Joe D'Appolito's speaker configuration has its roots in radio antenna design and is scientifically sound. It does direct dispersion more in one axis than the other. Depending on your room, this can be of benefit (or not).

Now that I've become overblown, a good day to youse!

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#411907 - 05/03/15 09:21 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
And the more I live with the VP100, the more I like it. I've changed my center channel amplification from independent stereo power amps to the built-in wimpy-amps of a HK AVR. Despite the drop in available power, the centers (and surrounds) continue to provide undiminished pleasure.

It bears repeating that I don't listen loudly on movies, and my room is only moderately large. Therefore, the amps and speakers are taxed far less than they'd be were the venue & preferences otherwise.

In summary, the VP100 is one of the best choices I've made in many decades of audio. It does what it is supposed to, without any fuss or bother, and does so regardless of the modesty of the components feeding it. And besides, it looks nice (real wood finish), and it is modestly enough sized to not overwhelm the front equipment racks.

For anyone wondering if the modest VP100 will be sufficient for their HT needs, allow me to cast my vote in the "YES!" column. Axiom has made intelligent design compromises to the VP100's design that make it one of their best values, IMHO.

Boomzilla

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#411913 - 05/03/15 04:47 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
brwsaw Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 1272
Loc: Canada
Boom did you confirm, how far do you sit from the VP100?
I had (still do technically) a nice sounding center but needed more power handling once we started sitting further back. That speaker has a sweet spot about 8' from it.
Just curious...
_________________________
Living in a fog these days, lost something of myself when I changed careers.

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#412011 - 05/07/15 08:42 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
The room is 15 feet wide. The couch puts me about two feet from the back wall, and the VP100 sits about two feet from the front. So I'm about 11 feet from the speaker.

Despite that, I don't listen at very loud levels, so the speaker sounds fine. I've currently got it hooked up to a HK AVR, but haven't tried the setup yet.

The WAF is great on this thing - it isn't huge & looks elegant. I may just have to break down & buy some Axiom surrounds...

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#412140 - 05/14/15 06:59 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
And once again, I must beg some advice from the experts here on the Axiom boards:

My current setup will be Axiom M80s (ver. 3.5 - new tweeters, but older mid & bass drivers) with a VP-100 (ver. 4) for my center. Amplification is Emotiva XPA-1L mono blocks for the M80s and part of an Emotiva XPA-3 for the center & surrounds.

Due to the nature of my (dual purpose) listening/audio/movie room, my "surrounds" will be hard in the back corners, and actually to the SIDES of the listeners, not behind them. On the plus side, the rear "corners" actually aren't. One side has an open hallway door on the back wall of the room and the other side has an open stairwell to the second floor on the back wall. This means that the speakers see only two pi placement, not four.

I'm currently using PSB XB4 speakers as "rear" surrounds. My Oppo BDP-105 has these set to "small" mode and all bass below 80 Hz. is sent to the subwoofer.

Now to the question: Do I actually need Axiom surround speakers? If so, which models go the best with my current system? How well will the Axiom surrounds work with the placement limitations?

Thanks - Boomzilla

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#412141 - 05/14/15 07:38 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
oakvillematt Offline
devotee

Registered: 05/06/14
Posts: 417
Loc: Oakville, Canada
The placement of the speakers sounds to be in the correct place. They should be to the sides and slightly behind of your seating position.

In a very well mixed 5.1 track, the directionality of the PSB speakers will not be noticed. Personally i found myself that I there are movies that I enjoyed where the ambient effect was not so ambient because the direct sound of one of my surround speakers did not match the sound that it was portraying. Did it ruin the movie? No.

The QS speakers by their design fire non direct. They send the sound out in a larger pattern and you tend to hear it as an 'all around you' type of sound. This is how the movies were like in the pre ATMOS sound system days.

An example.. one of my favourite movies was Big Trouble where they are at an airport and a large 747 flies overhead. If I am sitting in the left hand seat with directional speakers, the plane that should be directly overhead isn't because the sound from the left hand speaker is louder than the sound coming out of the right as your proximity to the speaker. However with the QS speakers, the sound is like the whole room and as the plane comes overhead and into the screen view and the sound moves to the front speakers, you get the feeling it was directly overhead.

I know that you would think that the sound should be just part of a Sub, but it isn't.

For some, the fine detail like this just doesn't matter. In respect to most films the direct sound can be forgiven. For me as I was buying all new speakers I went with the QS8 and really did enjoy them.. I am in the middle of rebuilding a permanent sound room and eagerly await to hear them to their full potential. But it comes down to that point of diminishing return. As you have said.. you really like your VP100 center channel speaker. Would a VP160 or VP180 sound better? Perhaps but the cost vs improvement might not be worth it for you.

Hope this helps.
_________________________
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People are like a box of chocolates. It's hard to tell initially which ones are nuts.

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#412155 - 05/15/15 04:15 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
Thanks, Matt -

For the (low) volume that we listen at, and for the (small to medium) size room we have, I think that the VP100 is perfect. I've previously owned a VP160, and didn't find it as close a match to my M80s as the new VP100.

I find your info on dispersed surround sound most interesting. Could I achieve the same thing by pointing my current surrounds up (toward the ceiling) or backwards (toward reflecting side walls)? If so, then why bother with the QS speakers?

Thanks - Boom

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#412161 - 05/16/15 01:56 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10474
Boom, they don't give precisely the same dispersion effect as do the QSs, but placing direct radiating speakers such as your PSBs so as to not point directly at the listeners can be effective. Try them placed directly to the side of the listeners but pointed backwards at various angles to increase the proportion of reflected sound.
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#412165 - 05/16/15 07:41 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
oakvillematt Offline
devotee

Registered: 05/06/14
Posts: 417
Loc: Oakville, Canada
Originally Posted By: Boomzilla
Thanks, Matt -

I find your info on dispersed surround sound most interesting. Could I achieve the same thing by pointing my current surrounds up (toward the ceiling) or backwards (toward reflecting side walls)? If so, then why bother with the QS speakers?

Thanks - Boom


The side of a Di-Polar is that sound is coming from multiple directions at once where your thought to taking a direct radiating speaker and reflecting it off the wall is still only a single source being bounced. take a look at Dipolar Confusion It was a very interesting read and I think it still holds very true today even in the 7.1 relm where I would put up heights on the front over surround rear speakers behind me.
_________________________
Matt

People are like a box of chocolates. It's hard to tell initially which ones are nuts.

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#412173 - 05/16/15 10:16 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
OK - DSPeaker Cinema 8033 "Anti-Mode" first impressions:

I plugged the little box in between my preamp's sub output and my vented 15" subwoofer. I set the calibration microphone atop a tripod at the listening couch at the same height & distance from the back wall as my head would be while listening. I started the "calibration" sequence and my wife INSTANTLY demanded to know what I was doing! The subsonic rumble did shake the house a bit... After explaining that the noise was temporary, I closed the door to the room where she was to minimize her discomfort. The thing cycles four times before calibration is complete.

After calibration, I put on the usual suspects (Bach's Toccata & Fugue in D minor, etc.). Not much difference. I tried the box's equalization (15 to 25 Hz boost or 25 to 35 Hz boost) and neither made any significant difference.

I left it on 25 to 35 & tried some "normal" music. Now I DID hear differences. They came in several different aspects:

1. Bass notes start & stop more quickly. I've always had plenty of bass with this sub, but although the drums & bass notes had plenty of "whomp," they didn't start or stop very abruptly. Leading edges were blurred, and when the notes stopped, there was significant decay time. Don't get me wrong - it sounded good, but not as "live" as the rest of the spectrum. With the box in the signal chain, bass is significantly "dryer." The midrange transient of the drumstick hitting the drum skin or the transient of the pick/thumb on the bass string is now more noticeable at the start of a bass transient. Similarly, when the note stops, the decay is not as long. This robs some of the "bloom" effect, but it seems more accurate to my ears.

2. Bass notes now have better tone: Before the box, there was plenty of bass, but unless a note was sustained, there was some difficulty in appreciating the actual pitch of the note. This is an exaggeration, but I don't quite know how else to describe it. With the box in the signal chain, one can (far) more easily follow the bass lines and their counterpoint with the rest of the music. I played some Glenn Miller and was instantly aware of how the bass notes actually played a clever counterpoint to the main melody. Without the box, this counterpoint was more "suggested" than "explicit." With the box in the system, the pitch of each bass note or of each drum is more discreet and easily discernible.

3. Midrange is more dynamic: This I seriously didn't expect! But without the former "mud" in the bass, the midrange seems to have significantly better "jump factor." I listened for a couple of hours to a wide variety of music (everything from Dash-Rip-Rock to Jennifer Warnes to Big Luther Kent to Itzhak Perlman) and the midrange was strikingly different than what I've previously heard. Note that the box does NOT affect the main speakers AT ALL - It is inserted only between the preamp sub-out and the subwoofer's input jack. Nevertheless, the acoustic benefits to the midrange were perhaps more striking to me than the benefits to the bass.

So to summarize - I knew that I had an excellent sub, but I never realized HOW excellent until the box tamed the room resonances (which I wasn't even aware of until they were gone). The box may not make as big a difference as a new pair of main speakers, but it's definitely more difference than a replacement pair of amplifiers. I think it's a keeper.

Keep in mind that these are very initial impressions, and that some experimentation with box equalization (flat - 15 to 25 boost - 25 to 35 boost) may make some additional difference. I give the box a "thumbs up" and encourage any who may be considering it to give it a shot. For the $$ spent, it makes a big difference.

Boomzilla

PS - The Anti-Mode 8033 has done things that neither Emo-Q nor Yamaha's "YPAO" correction accomplished in my room. I don't know whether this is because the 8033 is subwoofer-specific or not, but it is FAR more successful (to my ears) than any "generic" room correction that I've previously heard. Note that I have NOT heard Dirac, and therefore can't comment on it.


Edited by Boomzilla (05/16/15 10:16 PM)

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#412175 - 05/16/15 10:30 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Serenity_Now Offline
aficionado

Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 737
Loc: PEI, Canada
Can you pretty please take measurements before and after? How does it work? Does it find the standing wave fundamental frequency and reduce its level while reinforcing its harmonics to give you better perceived notes without the standing wave pattern? Does it mute the fundamental altogether? What does a sweep sound like? Sounds very cool.

Oh the questions.
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#412176 - 05/16/15 10:36 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
The 8033 user's manual doesn't go into very great detail about how it works. From what I've read online, it attenuates the peak frequency (one or more?) without doing any valley boosting. Therefore, the overall effect is to reduce the signal strength (across the sub's spectrum). To compensate, you may have to slightly increase the sub's volume to balance the "corrected" sub with the main speakers.

You have the choice of equalizing a specific "sweet spot" (what I did) or running multiple calibrations across a wider area & letting the box average them.

Alas, I have no spectrum analyzer other than my iPhone, which is notoriously uneven in the deep bass. There should be a plethora of good information (and professional reviews) of the 8033 around on the internet. Feel free to investigate. My comments are but my own (very initial) impressions.

I must agree with you, though, this device does sound VERY cool!

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#412177 - 05/16/15 10:52 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Serenity_Now Offline
aficionado

Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 737
Loc: PEI, Canada
I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the speedy reply! In theory, if you have a problem centered on 60hz room treatments and seating position is the only cure. This device has me curious what tricks they employ to acheive near flat response without losing too much sub headroom. They gotta be masking the fundamental standing frequency somehow. How they replace it has me baffled. The device does apparently introduce sub audio lag. Have you noticed this?
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#412179 - 05/17/15 05:37 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
No lag that I can tell. I could easily adjust via the "phase" dial on the sub if needed, but the easiest way (for movies) is to add a foot of distance to the sub from the listener electronically. This would force my Oppo to delay the other channels by an equivalent time to keep the whole thing in phase.

As to "replacing" a peak, that's NOT what the 8033 does. It instead reduces the amplitude of the peak to match the mean (average) volume. Note that valleys are NOT boosted to the mean - this would require LOTS more power from the sub amp (possibly clipping the amp and damaging the sub). So any valleys in the response are left alone. Only peaks are attenuated.

You'd think that this would be only "half-effective," but the actual result is significant. I was contemplating an additional subwoofer to smooth my response (and may yet go that route), but the 8033 alone has improved the bass so much that I plan to live with this for awhile before spending another thin dime. The 8033 is that good.

I'd also say that my room is MUCH better than average for bass to start with. It's a large room with a "vent" in all four corners to other areas of the house (hallway, foyer, stairwell, and large opening to another room). Therefore, the room was "non-boomy" by design. Nevertheless, the 8033 made a huge difference for me. If it helped MY room that much, I'd think it would be even more effective for rooms with corner problems.

I'd also contend that you don't lose sub "headroom" by attenuating acoustic peaks. The sub placement and the room already add huge (but frequency-specific) efficiency at the peaks. Therefore, if the sub amp must play at 50 watts of output at 40 Hz, the equal-amplitude output at a 60 Hz peak may require only 5 watts. By amplitude-equalizing the peaks, the sub's amp actually works less hard to maintain a flat response. So if you want to think of it that way, you actually GAIN headroom by attenuating room peaks.

Cheers - Boom

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#412180 - 05/17/15 06:39 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Serenity_Now Offline
aficionado

Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 737
Loc: PEI, Canada
I'm replying just to keep you talking now. grin Excellent information Boom.

When you say reducing peak frequency are you meaning bumps in the in room response? (like 20db spikes or so?). I know one method is to reduce the ouptut at those peaks to reduce the significance if the null vs the mean. But increasing the sub gain to compensate usually just reinforces the null.

My fascination is how the standing frequency, the one responsible for the massive null in most rooms, is handled. This is dimension and placement dependant. No matter how much power you apply to a standing frequency the null will never be filled. This is why I speculate it must be masked out and replaced by some blending of harmonics and perhaps time (phase) shifting.

At both AVS and Hometheatershack, they have tested and shown before and after graphs. Quite impressive. The fellow behind REW ran some tests and it seems like a very good sub "set it and forget it" device. When he's impressed, its the real deal. smile
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#412182 - 05/17/15 06:59 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
Nope - the 8033 does NOT "mask" or "fill" any nulls in the frequency response. As you say, "No matter how much power you apply...the null will never be filled." You are exactly correct. The 8033, therefore, does not even attempt to fill any nulls.

However, "for every null, there is a peak." The 8033 DOES attenuate these peaks to the average SPL. The equalizer must be variable in both amplitude and frequency-range to do so. Some peaks will be broad & shallow - others narrow & steep. The 8033 adapts, apparently, to both, and thus, must be parametric in nature.

I agree with AVS & Hometheatershack in their evaluations. This is the most effective EQ I've ever heard for bass. The "set it and forget it" nature is also appealing - especially since it's so accurate.

Fun, fun, fun!

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#412200 - 05/17/15 05:12 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Socketman Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 1345
Loc: Whitehorse YT
I am with you Boomzilla the 8033 is a great little unit,I use one in my bedroom with a pair of 8" Yamaha subs and it does wonders. The bass is much tighter = less boomy. In my main room I have a XMC-1 from Emotiva with Dirac and use a Minidsp for phase alignment. Something I have found is that using dual subs that are not positioned correctly can have all kinds of phase issue, in the end I put one at the front right and one at the front left. May build a pair of 18's this summer.
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#412207 - 05/18/15 06:22 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
And I ordered a second subwoofer yesterday. I plan to leave the first of the two in the front left corner, and to place the second against the front wall about four or five feet from the first. I'll then run the 8033 calibration again & see what I get.

I hope this wasn't a waste of money, but I do have 30 days to return the sub if I doesn't work out. With the second sub providing headroom, I plan to use the 25 Hz. EQ on the 8033 for a tad more extension.

I'll report on the results.


Edited by Boomzilla (05/18/15 06:51 AM)

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#412346 - 05/28/15 07:17 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
OK - The second sub is installed, calibrated, and working. Initial impressions = yawn.

Did I really spend $700 for THIS? Actually, I think that the single sub in the corner sounded better than the two of them along the equipment wall.

Potential issues: The subs may do better closer together OR the subs may do better in the same corner?

Here's what I've got at the moment:



Don't get me wrong - the pair of subs are better than a single sub in the corner (without DSP). But the single sub in the corner WITH DSP sounded every bit as good as the two subs currently do with DSP.

I think that my next move will be to put the pair of them in the corner.

If that doesn't work, then it's time to call the vendor & ask for their assistance, but I'm hoping that youse guys can pitch some good advice my way?

Thanks in advance - Boom


Edited by Boomzilla (05/28/15 07:21 AM)

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#412347 - 05/28/15 08:33 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
J. B. Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 1289
Loc: Quebec, Canada
Boom, did you check the phasing between the 2 subs.
from 0 to 180 degrees, there could be a difference in total output of 6 dB or more.
if i remember right, this is done before syst. calibration, using a SPL meter at the MLP, (right between the 2 ears).


Edited by J. B. (05/28/15 08:35 AM)
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#412355 - 05/28/15 09:30 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
brwsaw Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/12/12
Posts: 1272
Loc: Canada
There is a pretty good chance there's a better spot in the room for them....
It might be awkward and it might not look that great but moving each sub to its sweet spot in the room will (regardless of the sub) satisfy your need. 2 good subs playing nice together should be felt more than heard. Your smile will hurt, then you know.
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#412362 - 05/29/15 05:31 AM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Serenity_Now Offline
aficionado

Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 737
Loc: PEI, Canada
Room lock rulez!
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#412743 - 06/12/15 08:33 PM Re: So NOW I'm a real Axiom owner... [Re: Boomzilla]
Boomzilla Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/25/13
Posts: 61
Well, I tried putting one in the left front corner, and the other on the front wall about 5 feet from the same corner. Calibrated with 8033. Result = Yawn again...

So just for giggles, I moved them back to positions equidistant from the listening position, but now inboard of the main speakers. I haven't recalibrated with the 8033 yet, but initial impressions = WOW!

Now the rig is cooking! I have a second 8033 on the way, and I plan to run them in stereo with each channel independently equalized.

The most interesting thing is that when the audio program has no low bass, you'd never know that the subs were there at all. But when the drums kick in, now they sound like DRUMS. I put some Mickey Hart on and that big drum does sound big!

I always check phase before doing ANY listening.

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