VP-160 arrived - questions

Posted by: VoicOfReason

VP-160 arrived - questions - 04/30/12 07:42 PM

Just got my VP-160 today. Hooked it up to replace my VP-150 v2. Re-ran Audyssey. I'm going to need more time to evaluate the sound difference. I was expecting a center that was more in my face, but what I'm hearing so far is a more blended/integrated experience. So, it is definitely different than what I expected. I am going to re-run Audyssey tonight when it is more quiet and see if that changes anything.

My questions so far:
1. 60hz is a great crossover setting for my M80's in my room (I have an SVS sub). But, should I set the VP-160 at 60hz as well? I know it can go down to 40hz, so I'm wondering what other people have their crossovers set at?

2. Are others having the experience of a seamless experience as well? I really was expecting a louder center. Maybe it's too soon to tell. So, is the VP-180 more of a punchy center or is that a seamless integrated experience as well?
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 04/30/12 07:55 PM

I would think that the desired result would be a more seamless experience. I mean, the ultimate goal would be super seamless all around, not just the front stage.

THAT should be a sign of a nicely matched set of speakers. Your receiver can always be bumped up a dB or two if need be to increase the volume of the center channel if you would like.
Posted by: VoicOfReason

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 04/30/12 08:05 PM

Yeah, good point. I'm just not used to it yet because the VP-150 sort of stuck out, and maybe not so much in a good way. I noticed it more while I notice this one less. What I certainly did notice so far that was good is that I can push the volume up to reference level and it is much less harsh. In fact, it is quite enjoyable at that level.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 04/30/12 08:20 PM

Try it without Audyssey and just set the levels manually.
Posted by: casey01

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 04/30/12 08:27 PM

Originally Posted By: VoicOfReason
Yeah, good point. I'm just not used to it yet because the VP-150 sort of stuck out, and maybe not so much in a good way. I noticed it more while I notice this one less. What I certainly did notice so far that was good is that I can push the volume up to reference level and it is much less harsh. In fact, it is quite enjoyable at that level.


In essence, what you are dealing with here is a center channel that is closer to "full range" in design, hence, unlike the VP150, the more seamless integration with the L/R speakers that you noticed. Although good, speakers like the VP150 are like the vast majority of small center channels in that they operate in a more limited frequency range especially emphasizing the mid-range(300-1000Hz)which is where the human voice predominates and the more "in your face" sound you are hearing.
This sound however, to me, is much less natural than a speaker the size and design of the VP160.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 04/30/12 08:45 PM

I've calibrated my system and listen to it both with Audyssey on and off, sounds far better with Audyssey on. Most people that don't like Audyssey, don't run the setup correctly or assume it is like previous setup products from the past. My VP180 is a huge improvement over my 150, can't comment on the 160. One thing you could try is to bump up the dB levels of the center channel a little.
Posted by: Wid

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 04/30/12 09:09 PM


I've ran Audyssey a few times, correctly from what I've read, and I personally don't care for what it sounds like.

OK, back to the OP. I have my 160 set at 60HZ as is the M80s. A seamless soundstage is just what you should be looking for.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 04/30/12 09:22 PM

Peter, as some of the other replies have indicated, what you describe is exactly the way things should be. The auto-calibration has set the VP-160 at the correct level to blend with the other speakers. If a speaker(or sub)stands out as a separate entity, it hasn't been calibrated correctly and it's too loud.
Posted by: VoicOfReason

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 04/30/12 10:20 PM

Originally Posted By: JohnK
Peter, as some of the other replies have indicated, what you describe is exactly the way things should be. The auto-calibration has set the VP-160 at the correct level to blend with the other speakers. If a speaker(or sub)stands out as a separate entity, it hasn't been calibrated correctly and it's too loud.


Sounds good. I'm sure once I get used to it, it's going to be great.

I do love Audyssey. My room acoustics are absolutely horrendous and so I need a lot of correction. However, I HATE Audyssey for 2-channel music listening.
Posted by: VoicOfReason

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 05/01/12 12:01 AM

Thanks everyone. So far, the Axiom forums have been a good experience for me.
Posted by: VoicOfReason

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 05/01/12 12:04 AM

I almost forgot. Here's my next question. I got the VP-160 with the inverse design so it is meant to be placed on the floor. However, if I turn it over for normal heigh use then the tweeter is on the bottom rather than on the top. For now I have a little foam padding under the back so that it points straight (not mounted on floor) but is there any disadvantage to using the tweeter on the bottom setup? My initial thought is that since it is a little higher than the M80's right now that if I did turn it upside down so that it is flat and the tweeter is on the bottom that the tweeter would line up closer with the M80's tweeters. But, then the mid-range and woofer would not. Any thoughts?
Posted by: JohnK

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 05/01/12 12:31 AM

The inherently wider dispersion at bass and mid frequencies makes the relative alignment of those drivers less critical than the tweeters.
Posted by: dakkon

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 05/01/12 01:10 AM

My VP-180 is about 3 feet higher than my M60's... So my tweeters are not on the same plane.. My 180 is angled down, even though the tweeters are not on the same plane everything in my system blends quite well...

Doesn't Audyssey make time corrections when configuring all of the speakers, so that all of the sound waves arrive at the mic at the same time? I don't have Audyssey so i have no clue...
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 05/01/12 06:23 AM

Originally Posted By: JohnK
Peter, as some of the other replies have indicated, what you describe is exactly the way things should be. The auto-calibration has set the VP-160 at the correct level to blend with the other speakers. If a speaker(or sub)stands out as a separate entity, it hasn't been calibrated correctly and it's too loud.

....or poorly-matched....
Posted by: VoicOfReason

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 05/02/12 12:16 AM

OK. I got some better interconnects (for other reasons) and re-ran Audyssey calibration. Wow! The VP-160 is starting to sound really good now. The Denon set the center level at +2.5db so it is now sounding just like the VP-150 in terms of being front and center, but it gives a much richer experience. I'm really liking this new center! I need to watch a few more movies with intense action to get a better sense of exactly what I like about it compared to the VP-150.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 05/02/12 12:52 AM

When I fired up my VP180 for the first time (upgrade from the VP150 for me), I noticed a LOT more sound, but the vocals were lost. This was without ANY tuning/calibration from my receiver. I still haven't calibrated anything, but I just bumped up the mid/upper frequencies on the receiver for the center, and bam, nice and clear vocals PLUS all of the smooth soundstage between the front speakers and the center that I didn't have before.

I can't wait until I can run Audyssey and see what it does with everything, but I am going to wait until I get my front wall acoustically treated which *might* be this weekend, but that is another story.
Posted by: VoicOfReason

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 05/02/12 08:19 AM

Originally Posted By: nickbuol
When I fired up my VP180 for the first time (upgrade from the VP150 for me), I noticed a LOT more sound, but the vocals were lost. This was without ANY tuning/calibration from my receiver. I still haven't calibrated anything, but I just bumped up the mid/upper frequencies on the receiver for the center, and bam, nice and clear vocals PLUS all of the smooth soundstage between the front speakers and the center that I didn't have before.

I can't wait until I can run Audyssey and see what it does with everything, but I am going to wait until I get my front wall acoustically treated which *might* be this weekend, but that is another story.



Yeah, I had the same experience with the VP-160 at first. For me, strangely enough, a better interconnect seemed to fix the problem, although when I re-ran Audyssey, it changed the center from +2db to +2.5db. I don't know if that little amount is enough to make the center really stand out now, but if not, then it must have been the new interconnect cable I got (Emotiva RCA X-series). Have you tried something like this?
Posted by: J. B.

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 05/02/12 09:09 AM

a difference of .5 dB is not easily discernable, it usually is perceived as a difference in the quality of the sound, not so much the loudness.
Posted by: alan

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 05/02/12 09:31 AM

In fact, a difference of 0.5 dB is not detectable as an increase or decrease in loudness. By definition, a 1-dB difference is the smallest difference we hear as an increase or decrease in loudness, and it's hard to hear.

You are quite correct in stating that a 0.5-dB difference is heard as a change in the quality of the sound, not as a volume difference.

Alan
Posted by: VoicOfReason

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 05/02/12 12:03 PM

Originally Posted By: alan
In fact, a difference of 0.5 dB is not detectable as an increase or decrease in loudness. By definition, a 1-dB difference is the smallest difference we hear as an increase or decrease in loudness, and it's hard to hear.

You are quite correct in stating that a 0.5-dB difference is heard as a change in the quality of the sound, not as a volume difference.

Alan


So it will remain a mystery to me why the new interconnect has improved the VP-160 quality dramatically as well as loudness (or perceived loudness). I was using a sub-standard cable before this. In any case, I'm pretty happy right now.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 05/02/12 12:30 PM

The interconnect should not have made any difference whatsoever. My guess is that your first Audyssey run was bad in some way.
Posted by: dakkon

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 05/02/12 01:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken.C
The interconnect should not have made any difference whatsoever. My guess is that your first Audyssey run was bad in some way.


I can attest to this.. I have some interconnects in my system that are 100$ each, they sound no different than my 20$ interconnects to me....
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 05/02/12 03:38 PM

I did have an interconnect from my old receiver to my old sub, the total outside diameter was about 1/8", I'm guessing the center conductor couldn't have been more than a few strands. Anyway, replacing it with a $20 cable made a world of difference.
Posted by: VoicOfReason

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 05/02/12 05:56 PM

Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
I did have an interconnect from my old receiver to my old sub, the total outside diameter was about 1/8", I'm guessing the center conductor couldn't have been more than a few strands. Anyway, replacing it with a $20 cable made a world of difference.


Yeah, the interconnects made SOME difference in general. Certainly my Better Cables subwoofer cable made a big difference. I am certainly skeptical that a better interconnect would improve the VP-160 THAT much. Like some of you have said, it is just very unlikely. But, I don't know.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: VP-160 arrived - questions - 05/05/12 01:42 AM

Could easily have been a bad connection and replacing the interconnect gave you a good connection or the original cable had a different routing and was picking up some interference due to some weak/worn shielding etc. Either way as long as you are now happy that is the important thing.