Note: these are just my impressions of my first week and I'm no expert or audiophile. Also note, I cuss here and there lol.
I have no basis for comparison to other models.
The two boxes for the qs10hp's arrived decently undamaged. The third box, the stands, was trashed. Lol. Luckily, just stands and everything was fine.
I like the crate look of the boxes for the speakers. Made me laugh.
I don't know if it's a new thing, but I really liked the nice black drawstring bags the speakers came in. Nice touch.
I set the stands up first. Then I pulled the speakers out and they were much heavier than I expected/realized.
Only because I'm OCD, but i noticed there was a scuff/chip in the finish right above the axiom logo. Its very small and it's beyond minor and not noticeable unless you are right up close and looking for it.
I've never held a qs speaker before and all speakers might as well be made of glass to my mind, haha so with that in mind, it felt really awkward trying to hold on to the speaker or set it down without fear of my hand or table touching the speaker/foam. Silly to most people in sure. Lol
My room is 12(w)x16(L)X8(h). On the right of the listening position, I have a separation wall to the kitchen/dining room. Behind the tv and front speakers a small opening to kitchen and hallway. At back of the room an 8' opening to the dining room. At the front I have a wall with arches. If you look through and over these arches you see the split level entrance/landing to the house. Unfortunately, no carpet and all laminate flooring. Standard drywall on walls.
From tweeter to tweeter the m80's are 5', 9" apart. I would prefer a larger spread but my room wouldnt allow it (it would mean either a speaker over in the middle of the floor and entrance to the living room, or tv and stand pushed farther to the left and far off center with main listening position). That being said, while my sound image is a little constricted, for the room size it still manages to feel spacious enough. They are slightly toed in to the center/back listening position.
On the left is a big bay window and a sectional couch runs all the way down, around the corner and along the back wall.
At the corners of the back section of the sofa, right near the back wall, I have the qs10's, angled in. They are just slightly behind my head. The front axiom label and main woofer points at my feet resting on the coffee table...perhaps even my knees. This puts one of the tweeters directly in line with my ears when relaxing against the back of the couch. They are 6 feet, 3" apart. I have some pretty incapable subs at each end of my sectional.
I created 6 brand new mcacc presets. I did some advanced eq and changed the delay time on a couple.
I still plan to toy with this much more as I'm pretty amateur with mcacc. For example, I didn't manually set my speaker distances and levels with my decibel metre(not sure if I should try that) and keep those settings and run the rest of the eq.
I'm a guy who likes his bass and before my days of owning a subwoofer, I ran all my speakers hot on the bass. I had equalizer and would boost the bass slightly, scoop the mids slightly, and raise the high end ever so slightly. You can blame my years of eq'ing my guitar amps for this lol.
I've come along way since Cerwin Vega party days.
My paradigm monitor 90P's was when I really started to appreciate proper and neutral response.
Now the days of room correction and auto eq....there is no going back for me haha.
That being said...i always used to run my speakers as large. For this setup, the auto tried to set them all large. I opted to set them all to small(and for the first time im keeping it!)...with one caveat...i set the crossover to 50hz and the subwoofer to plus.
What i understand of that is this, LFE aside, when listening to music or playing my games, the subwoofers will play ALL bass content below 50hz. And it's a gradual cut off and the axioms are capable within this range too. So I'm sure within the 30 to 50hz region I'm getting bass out of the speaker AND the subwoofer....correct?
I've spent many years lurking all the major audio forum boards and I understand that not running an 80 Hz crossover and running the subwoofer as plus is considered blasphemy to some. Lol
All I know is....my system has never sounded so dialed in! It's crisp, detailed, powerful and enjoyable.
70% of my listening is music in the format of flac files via usb into the pioneer, cd's and recently, spotify on the ps4.
I generally put it on extended stereo to take advantage of all speakers while i motor around the house. Another reason I was looking forward to a capable surround. My last surrounds were some 30 watt sound dynamic bookshelves and they could not hang with my axioms.
So in the above application it's about filling the upper house with sound and not about the sweet spot
Well the qs10's deliver in impressive fashion!
It's clear to me that I definitely need more power and I'm missing my rotel 5 channel power amp.
That being said, what I can throw at them through the pioneer, they throw their weight. And the extended stereo effect only has a max of "90" for the effect itself.
I put on many styles of music over the past week. One of many notable tracks was "I need your love" - Calvin Harris - R3HAB remix. I took the main grills off and watched the HP driver moved deep and fast. The bass is tight, controlled and impressive for the size of speaker. It captured the energy of the song well.
The snoop lion - reincarnated album is full of impressive deep end, but being new age reggae, comes with great dynamics in vocals(guest singers) and other instruments. The qs10s running in extended stereo did not disappoint. They kept up with my m80s until i could safely go no further on the volume knob. I refuse to risk sending clipping signals to the speakers. My entire upper floor was pressurized with accurate and enjoyable sound. I could feel it anywhere I walked as I cleaned the house. When I sat down in the sweet spot, I was engulfed in it. I can't pin point the sound coming from any speaker, but especially the qs10's. I was wrapped in a bubble of a high quality sound!
I can't imagine what kind of volume and dynamics I could get if I had more juice!
I went through many hours of classic rock, new hard rock and new pop.
The vocals coming out of the rears are astonishing for being a dedicated rear. The deep bass and punch of mids are well defined and while I have no basis to compare to past qs models, this is clearly a 3 way speaker. There is such an accurate finesse to them when needed and some serious fucking horsepower and muscle when also needed.
I knew that the 5HP would be a better fit for my extended stereo listening, but I also wanted a speaker that shined in the home theater department and was forgiving with placement. The quad polar design was something I really wanted and needed. And it is no slouch running in stereo. I plan to be wowed by them for a long way to come.
I played a view of my blu ray concerts in 5.1
Dave Matthews live at radio city;
I felt like I was 5 rows back from the stage. The speakers created such a warm concert hall sound. Could hear audience behind and beside me. I smoked a little herb for this one and they tranced me right out. I felt I was there!
On to movies and games.
Wow. Just wow. For the first time, I was damn near speechless. The wife is getting tired of my "wow"s and "whoooa"s haha. I know going from a 20 year old 30 watt bookshelf to the axiom qs10HP is quite a leap, so my impressions are obviously going to be skewed. Lol. They blend so seamlessly with the rest of the system and are so brutal in the best way when called upon.
All my sources have been blu ray.
In the past, any movie with a helicopter/aircraft scene(take your pick), when the sound travelled around me, something was lost. It was thin, subdued, etc. Now, I feel like that aircraft is in my living room flying by me or landing damn near on me!! The chest thump of a helicopter blade travels seamlessly around the listening position. It's had my future wife giving me looks of "what the fuck is happening" haha
She is impressed. And that is saying a lot.
Guns firing around me have weight to their shots and the tiniest details can be picked out in the chaos....such as the tinkering of shells on the ground, footsteps, clinking of military gear or even breathing. It's mind blowingly immersive and powerful. My movies were good before but have taken on a whole new life!
Me and the future wife have spent a couple hours every night when kids are in bed playing resident evil 7 on the ps4. I believe it's dts 5.1 format. For any unfamiliar with this franchise, it is a survival horror and is extremely dependent on its sound for atmosphere. The sound effects and orchestra music are off the charts. We were playing it before the speakers arrived
...and after...well...it almost rendered the game damn well unplayable for fear of shitting our pants! Haha. The smallest subtleties were heard and engulfed us...from the creaking of the old wood house we were in, somewhere far off in a distant part of the house, to some distant footsteps the floor above and behind us. These are things not heard before with the surrounds I had before. One notable moment had me hearing something really faint that I could not see because it was too dark and no flashlight. I followed the noise according to where I was hearing it and finally came to a window on the perimeter of the house that was broken and the wind was bellowing in and the curtain was blowing about!
We started finding these secret collectables easier. They are little bobble head things that make a bobbling/clinking sound. They are scattered in such a way to be difficult to find. We started finding them much easier because of the qs10's ability to reproduce such accurate and delicate sound.
When it was time to fight and die, the qs10's flexed their muscle and had me hitting pause often for adrenaline overload haha. Id have a door slam behind me at the very moment the intense and scary orchestra soundtrack would triple in volume....i could feel the door slam like it was slamming on the side of my head. I could feel it in my chest.
These speakers are amazingly capable and immerse me in a full surround sound field, never before experienced. Accurate, powerful and most importantly FUN! And that's what the audio experience is about for me at the end of the day. It's why most of us obsess over this stuff I suspect.
I have lots more to experience and a lot more tweaking, but my first week with them has been very impressive.