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Re: Out with the old and in with the new
Mojo #431212 02/05/19 11:13 PM
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Posted those up for TDIPablo. Dont throw in the towel yet!

Re: Out with the old and in with the new
Mojo #431214 02/06/19 12:11 AM
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Thanks for the vids. I don't know about those Axiom amps. Is their S/N ratio good enough? And are the channel gains constant enough across frequency and signal level to preserve imaging? What about transient response and DC off-set? Life used to be so easy with the crystal radio I built in grade 7. LOL!


A-LFR/1000-8 & 2/500v4x2
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had v2
Re: Out with the old and in with the new
Mojo #431215 02/06/19 02:59 PM
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My NAD has served me well but it's one of these L53 models that has an integrated CD/DVD player that no longer works. I only use it to power my 2 Totem Hawks that I'm contemplating upgrading to the M100's. The only source I use is a Sonos Connect module playing FLAC files or Spotify.

The more I think about it now, the more I think the issue may actually be the receiver as the Hawks should be sounding quite a bit fuller than they actually are. Hmmm.... I still have time before I head up to Dwight to test the Hawks using a new amp.

Re: Out with the old and in with the new
Mojo #431216 02/06/19 04:08 PM
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It would be very interesting to compare the Hawks against the M100s. I expect the M100s will have higher dynamic capability but what would interest me more, is the so-called holographic imaging. I have the Dreamcatchers circa 2009 and when I stacked them up against the M3v4, I was very surprised to discover I liked the M3 much better in all ways including the holographic imaging that my Dreamcatchers totally lack. I wasn't the only one who felt this way.

The newer generation Dreamcatchers may very well offer holographic imaging. This is a very interesting topic actually. It appears to me, as an industry outsider looking in, advances have been made in the understanding of the family of curves and this must be general industry knowledge because many vendors are now claiming holographic imaging.

Be careful with your Hawk's woofer. My Dreamcatcher's woofer is toast and I can't get help from Totem or their dealer. This is a stark contrast to the blown tweeter I had in 2011. I was promptly sent a new one no charge. It's also a stark contrast to Axiom that has been right on top of any problems I've experienced.

Re: Out with the old and in with the new
TDIPablo #431217 02/06/19 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted By TDIPablo

The more I think about it now, the more I think the issue may actually be the receiver as the Hawks should be sounding quite a bit fuller than they actually are. Hmmm.... I still have time before I head up to Dwight to test the Hawks using a new amp.

Not trying to put Ian on the spot, but maybe you could take your Totems up to Dwight with you an compare them directly to the 100's.


Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.
Re: Out with the old and in with the new
Adrian #431221 02/06/19 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted By Adrian
Not trying to put Ian on the spot, but maybe you could take your Totems up to Dwight with you an compare them directly to the 100's.


I thought of that but with all the gear I'm bringing up to the cottage, I won't be able to bring back the Hawks and the M100's if I choose to take them (and I don't want to trade in the Hawks, they would move to the office). It shouldn't be hard to do an initial test of the Hawks using my Sonos Connect:Amp that's in the same room (powering the Kitchen and Dining room ceiling speakers). It's also rated at 50wpc so I should quickly see if the NAD is the culprit and underperforming. I can also bring up my Onkyo from the basement if I want to try them with even more power. Yikes, I think I'm talking myself out of the M100's and into simply picking up a powerful 2-channel amp. If the sound still leaves me wanting after that, then maybe I'll reconsider the M100's.

Last edited by TDIPablo; 02/06/19 07:00 PM.
Re: Out with the old and in with the new
Mojo #431223 02/06/19 09:53 PM
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I have set up a sonos connect setup for a job. Not really a great dynamic amp at all. More of a serviceable choice than a performer.

Re: Out with the old and in with the new
AAAA #431229 02/07/19 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted By Serenity_then
I have set up a sonos connect setup for a job. Not really a great dynamic amp at all. More of a serviceable choice than a performer.


I can confirm this. The Sonos Connect:Amp does a great job powering the ceiling speakers in the Kitchen and Dining room but actually produced inferior results when trying to power the Hawks. The female vocals were especially bad. I'm wondering if I'm having tweeter issues now. Tonight I'll bring up the Onkyo and try that out. Process of elimination I guess. It may very well be the speakers frown

Re: Out with the old and in with the new
Mojo #431232 02/08/19 12:22 AM
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Time for an update.

As you all know, I had a Chromecast Audio connected to a 17-year old Denon which wass connected to the M5s. I liked it. Then I decided to try out my Pioneer 2-channel receiver (dual mono construction) in place of the Denon. As I reported above, it was a revelation. Then I ran the Pioneer's pre-outs through an outboard amp which has twice the voltage gain of the Pioneer and it sounded even better. I think the only reason it sounds better is because it can get louder. The amp doesn't add anything else. Even the transient response appears to be the same between just the Pioneer and the Pioneer mated to the external amp.

Fast forward to today. I decided to take the Pioneer out of the picture and connect my Chromecast audio directly to the external amp. Would you believe I like it better with the Pioneer in the picture?

I thought "This doesn't make any sense". So I connected the Pioneer downstream of my Onk to feed my M100s. The Chromecast is connected to my Onk. Wow! It gave life to the M100s compared to just the Onk. That made me even more puzzled because why should it be better? If the Onk's crummy pre-amp is feeding it garbage, garbage should be coming out.

So I then connected the Chromecast Audio to the Pioneer. In other words, I took the Onk out. Now even better! The dynamics improved and so did everything else. I then connected the external amp and got the same results as the M5 system. Louder but not better in any other way.

So I suspected the Pioneer was "coloring the sound" in a good sort of way. I looked up the model and saw in the description it was tuned by Air Studios. I had no idea what that was all about. Apparently this is some place in the UK that tunes audio equipment to make it sound better???

I think this explains what I am hearing. No doubt the Pioneer is superior to the Denon and the Onk in many ways and hence I am hearing more dynamic range and improved everything. Part of it though is the receiver is not "flat" throughout the audio band. The M5 and M100 woofers are being worked more with the Pioneer. More so than with the external amp which has twice the voltage gain of the Pioneer! Other things are different also. I think there's less weight to the upper bass/lower mid-range resulting in a more transparent sound.

Given all this, I am starting to think some receivers and maybe even amps and pre-amps do sound different relative to each other because some manufacturers choose to embed their own sonic signature into the amp. This is actually no different than speakers. It's well known that speaker manufacturers select different weighting factors when interpreting the parametric curves for their speakers. This results in speakers which are borne of the same methodology but sound different because Joe believes his coefficients are superior to Bob's.

We're all being toyed with. We're all part of a big experiment.

Re: Out with the old and in with the new
Mojo #431234 02/08/19 01:54 PM
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I guess that is why there is a whole industry building DAC's, each of which "colours" the sound by it's processing of the digital signal to analogue.

What happens to the sound Mojo when you play "direct" through the Onkyo vs the Pioneer. In theory, "direct" is supposed to bypass any signal processing and play exactly what the engineer encoded but again, the signal still needs to be converted from digital to analogue somewhere.

Last night I brought up the Onkyo from the basement (holy crap I have a lot of things plugged into it! Had to make sure everything was properly labeled to make it easier to put back in!) to test if "more power" affects the Hawks. Well, to my relief, the Hawks that I remembered came back to life. Clearly something has happened to the NAD (which I already suspected as the CD/DVD player wasn't working). So, time to peruse Canuck Audio Mart for some exotic 2-channel equipment that I can afford. smile

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