M60 ear fatigue?

Posted by: truenorth

M60 ear fatigue? - 01/14/03 04:23 PM

After considerable research I decided to go with the Axiom towers. I first bought a pair of M40ti and found it lacking a bid in the upper middle frequency compared to my old PolkAudio SDA compacts. Otherwise, it outperformed the Polks. Not satisfied I then upgraded to the M60ti which produced my missing upper middle sound I found lacking in the M40tis. Overall I am happy with the sound except that I noticed that I now have a listner fatigue after 15 minuites of listening at normal listening level in my 18x14x8.5 room with me sitting roughly 12 feet from the speakers slightly toe-in. Could this be related to the resistor adjustment phenomemon posted in the other post?

Posted by: alan

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 01/14/03 04:52 PM

Hi truenorth,

It could be. There are two values of resistors available. One lowers the tweeter output by 1to 2 dB. It's audible and noticeable but not dramatic. I use resistors on my M80ti's but not on the M22ti's.

The other value of resistor considerably reduces the tweeter output. Call Joe Vassallo and ask him to send you a couple of resistors. They are easy to install. He'll tell you how.

Posted by: ralderman

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 01/14/03 08:55 PM

Hi all,
This is very interesting to me, can you explain the use of resistors in more detail, what is the benefits? What is the audible difference?


Posted by: Patchwork

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 01/15/03 09:45 AM

the listening fatigue you are experiencing is likely due to the tweeters putting out too much sound. Consider it like if the treble setting on your receiver was too high. These resistors will lessen the dedibel level (volume output) of the tweeter. This would be like permanently reducing the treble setting.

Most listening fatigue occurs when speakers sound too bright to someone, which is quite likely what you are experiencing. I get that sometimes on my M22's when a recording is not very good. I also used to get it all the time from my computer speakers that had boomy, one-note bass.
Posted by: jazzdrummer

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 01/15/03 04:47 PM

I had a similar experience with my M60's. I used the resistors from Joe and they helped considerably. I would recommend giving it a try, just be careful removing the tweeter from the cabinet - they are verrrrry delicate.
Posted by: truenorth

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 01/16/03 12:35 AM

Hi Guys, Joe is sending me the resistors and will let everyone know how it turns out. Thanks!
Posted by: truenorth

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 01/24/03 09:37 PM

Ok. Now I am a happy camper! I installed the 2.7 ohm resistors and my ears are no longer complaining. As jazzdrummer mentioned before the toughest part in the entire process was to pop those tweeters out of the cabinet. Hint, if you are trying this I would suggest to use a very small flat screw driver to "pop" the tweeters. Now, I am wondering how is my ear going to react if I were to install 1.2 ohm resistors instead... something for alater project. Thanks again for all the suggestions.
Posted by: Randyman

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 01/25/03 04:26 AM

ALOHA Alan!!!

It would be nice to know at what frequency the resistors reduce the outout. Are they aimed at a specific frequency and then attenuate at a lesser amount from that specific frequency (i.e a bell curve) or do they reduce the volume flat across a specific range.

I know I have been gone a LONG time (I was in school in Virginia for 4 months) and I am trying to get back into the swing of things.

We have had a lot of discussion here (in the past) about listening fatigue from the M60s (and I experience it on mine from some recordings) - but I am curious about this (so called) cure with the resistors. And wouldn't it be "almost" as good a effect to just lower the treble a bit???

Posted by: fhw

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 01/25/03 06:04 AM

Bite your tongue, Randyman!

No self-respecting audiophile would EVER touch the tone controls.

Welcome back.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 01/25/03 07:53 AM

Welcome back, Randey(I remembered). Inserting a resistor in series with the tweeter reduces its output uniformly over its entire operating range, unlike the effect of a tone control.I'd be hesitant to do that, and not being an audiophile, would have no hesitancy in using the tone controls or even a graphic equalizer to help some of the lousy recording jobs sound less appalling.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 01/25/03 11:32 AM

Oh my lord WELCOME BACK!

You've missed alot.
Posted by: Randyman

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 01/25/03 01:59 PM

fhw, JohnK, chess... (and others)

Thanks for the welcome back! Glad you didn't forget me....

It's true - I missed a lot here. And as time rolls on, I will try to read some of the older threads etc. but that takes time. I missed the lively (and often humorous) discussions here, and the help et all. But what I REALLY missed was beautiful music from my M60s!!!

Back to the resistors though...

To me, it seems to be (somewhat) a defeatest approach to solving a problem with the speaker that (at least in my mind) doesn't exist. As I have stated in the past, the effect of a horn loaded midrange or tweeter often does cause listening fatigue because of their design for "aiming" the output to a smaller area in space (thus intensifying - i.e. increasing the SPL for those frequencies. The Axiom tweeters were NOT designed that way, they are just very efficient! If you experience a bit of listening fatigue on SOME recordings - is it the best solution to alter the sound for ALL recordings (by installing the resistors)?

Granted, some recordings that I have listened to do indeed cause me a bit of fatigue - but most do not. So (fhw) I would rather "tone" the sound down a bit on those particular recordings rather than permanently "alter" the beautiful, bright, clear sound (the way Ian designed them) of those wonderful speakers.

(Oh, ain't this grand!)


Posted by: chesseroo

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 01/25/03 08:39 PM

I agree with the decision to maybe use the temporary treble option over the more semi-permanent resistor option.
But i'm more miffed at how different the sound recording companies mix the tunes. Why do they have to enhance the high end?
Why why why?
Maybe they should make 2 copies, one for general re-sale and one as an 'original sound' mix for those who have decent systems and decent ears.
Posted by: jkohn

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 01/27/03 06:13 PM

One thing about the tone controls is that they may not have the effect you really want. For instance my Rotel 1066's service manual states that the treble control operates at 10khz; but I've read that the frequencies that we as listeners associate with harshness/brightness are actually much lower than that, around 4-6 khz I believe. Now the treble probably filters on a slope just like EQ (since it's essentially a very simple EQ), but I would think that if you're trying to reduce output at 4-6khz using a control that has the most effect at 10khz isn't the way to go.

So maybe the resistors would be better in this regard, I don't know. I'm waiting for mine to arrive, and I'll probably give it a try since I can alway change it back.
Posted by: alan

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 01/28/03 10:53 AM

Hi Jkohn and Bonjour Randyman, Bienvenu!

(After 7 years of French in Canadian schools, I have to use it now and then to keep from getting rusty). You are right, Jkohn about the tone controls. It depends at what frequency the "hinge" of the treble control begins. The Rotel's hinge is much higher than usual, not uncommon in "audiophile" tone-control circuits. Most treble controls on mainstream receivers begin acting in the midrange, around 3 kHz.

And yes, Randyman, permanently installing resistors is a trade-off. For example, the sound of brushed cymbals was a bit muted on the M80ti's (with resistors) compared to the M22ti's without them when I A/B'd them. I also compared one M80ti in mono with the resistors to the other without. Same result. The resistor will uniformly reduce tweeter output across the spectrum that the tweeter covers. In the M60 and M80, that would begin approximately at the crossover frequency at 3,500 Hz.

Posted by: jkohn

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 01/28/03 05:51 PM

In reply to:

You are right, Jkohn about the tone controls. It depends at what frequency the "hinge" of the treble control begins. The Rotel's hinge is much higher than usual, not uncommon in "audiophile" tone-control circuits. Most treble controls on mainstream receivers begin acting in the midrange, around 3 kHz.

This makes sense, because in the past when I've tried to lower the treble a bit for those problematic "bright" CD's I've found that it helps some, but not much, and at the same time it totally removes the "air" from the sound. I'm thinking with the resistors, I might actually be able to raise the treble a notch, since it's at 10k and would restore the "air" without affecting the brightness too much. We'll see, can't hurt to try...
Posted by: truenorth

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 01/28/03 06:54 PM

I would agree with Alan and the rest regarding the effects of resistor on high frequency response... Over the weekend I removed my 2.7 ohm resistor and replaced it with 1.2 ohm and yes some of the attenuated high frequency signal is back and my ear has not complainted. My conclusion to this entire episode can be addressed with speaker placement and installation of low resistor value pending room layout... By the way, the cost for two resistors and connectors was less than $5 from local electronic surplus store.
Posted by: gem41573

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 01/29/03 09:59 PM

Anybody know which ohm resistor I have received from Axiom? It says 7W1R8 on the outside. If it is the higher ohm resistor, I probably won't use it with my M22's, as I only find a slight hint of brightness that I am trying to remedy. Thanks in advance.
Posted by: Joe90

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 01/29/03 11:28 PM

Gem, you have the 1.8 ohm resistor. I believe Axiom also sends out a resistor rated at 2.7 ohms.

Posted by: TheTruth

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 03/06/03 12:19 AM

I have reduced the output of the tweeter in my M3 a full 3db. This has kept my M3's from sounding like the worlds largest tweeter (my wife's comment.) You can do this by placing a 2.4 Ohm resistor in series to the tweeter and a 20 Ohm resistor in parallel to the tweeter. This will greatly reduce the brightness, harshness and fatiguing problems with this tweeter. I turn up the treble knob on the preamp to add some sparkle and life above 10KHz. I have found with the resistors and a slight increase of the output above 10k turns the little M3's into a very nice warm sounding reproducer.
Posted by: vtimpaler

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 03/09/03 01:36 PM

I just purchased the M60's, and have been listening to them for the past 2 days. I noticed some brightness only when pushed to levels far greater than I usually listen to music, I had to push them hard, kinda like getting a new car, and wanting to lay some rubber. I noticed that the speakers just seemed to play better as I pushed them harder, only when I pushed them to wall vibrating levels did I notice the harshness. My room is fully carpeted, with a huge sectional, plus a few side chairs. I believe this helps keep the speakers from sounding harsh.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 03/13/03 01:08 AM

I think Vtimpaler raises an important point. The room is an integral element in the sound of your system. I love the sound of every Axiom and Axiom made speaker I've ever owned. I'd work on my room before I would ever consider dulling down an Axiom.

On the other hand, I had an extra pair of M22 like speakers which I did tweak a bit by replacing the OEM resistors with Caddocks of the same resistance and the capacitors with great big Jensens also of the same values. I also replaced the internal wiring with some 4x9s silver wire, and added some additional internal damping. That particular pair of speakers sounds wonderful. Better than stock? Dunno, maybe, but I do have extra affection for them for the tweaking entertainment they provided.

I'm looking for a pair of rugs to hang on the wall behind my front pair of M60 like speakers in my HT system, am thinking about moving the front center speaker back a bit. I've also moved the twin subs in the room from the 11:00 and 3:00 positions to the 11:00 and 1:00 positions - one behind each front main speaker. Maybe play with the room a bit before you open those beauties up and dull them down.
Posted by: Steven

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 03/13/03 06:32 AM

I have totally rebuilt the crossovers in my M60's, VP150, & QS8's

I constructed them using the factory inductors, Mills resistors, & Sonic Caps from Jeff @ Sonic Craft. I used like for like values for the resistors & caps. I built new boards using point to point wiring.

I also did some internal damping work and replaced all internal wiring with Teflon coated 14g Tef-Flex AG from North Creek Music.

The result was nothing short of stunning. Sound is very fluid, extremely detailed, huge sound stage, speakers have actually disappeared.

Any & all problems with top end ear fatigue, edginess, or harshness are totally gone! Mids and highs are now simply beautiful.
Posted by: truenorth

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 03/13/03 09:18 PM

So what I am reading here is with some new resistors, caps, and wires plus labour of love it turns an already excellent M60s to something even better? This is worth considering! By the way which woofer did you remove to get to the cross-over? What did you use to remove the woofer?

Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 03/13/03 10:19 PM

Hi Steven
Could you post the components of the M60's cross over and their values? Thanks!! BTW, did you shock mount the cross overs?
Posted by: Steven

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 03/14/03 06:58 AM

The M60 crossovers are attached directly to the back of the speaker binding posts. There are two pcb boards, one on top of the other, and the two boards are connected together by a pair a red & black wire. You get at the crossovers by removing the black binding post basket on the rear of the speakers.

The bottom pc board which is connected to the lower set of binding posts has the crossovers for the woofers and also the crossovers for the tweeters. However, the tweeter section is actually fed (black & red connection wires) from the upper pc board which houses the mid crossover and is connected to the upper binding posts.

So the tweeters & mids are connected to the upper set of binding posts and the woofers to the lower set of posts. Again the tweeter cossover section actually sits on the lower pc board.

The hardest part in doing this was to follow the pc board tracings and get the crossover laid out correctly.
Posted by: Steven

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 03/14/03 07:06 AM

Yes I did carefully mount my components on my new crossover board and I securely mounted the new crossovers to the inside floor of the M60.

Components (per speaker):

1. There are 3 inductors 1 each for tweeters, mids, woofers - I did not measure them, they are unmarked for value, and I just reused them.

2. Resistors - Mids two 20W15R & two 20W5R - Tweeters 7W5R & 7W10R - Woofers none

3. Caps - Tweeters 3.3uf & 4.7uf - Mids 3.3uf - Woofers none

I would like to add that doing this is not for the faint of heart. I chose to totally rebuild the crossovers because the factory pc boards are very small in size. All the factory components are mounted close together and are secured by globs of hot glue. There is little room to work with the factory boards.

I had to totally disassemble the speakers to do this project.

The VP150 and QS8's sound wonderful now too.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 03/14/03 10:25 AM

Thank you very much, Steven!
Posted by: truenorth

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 03/14/03 12:08 PM

Thank you again for your detailed descriptions. If it is not too much trouble could you post a picture of your new cross-over network?
Posted by: Steven

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 03/15/03 06:20 AM

Give me your email & I will send you a picture
Posted by: dharmatone

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 09/12/03 02:24 AM

So, i'm way out of my depth here. I'm hoping for plug n' play. Does adding resistors to the 60's make them very good 50's. You suggested to me that for a bright room the 50's might be a better choice. Why, for your ears, don't your 22's need resistors while the 80's do. Gee i wish a 30 day demo on the 60's wasn't a $125+ risk, then i wouldn't have to ask all these unanswerable questions.
Posted by: littleb

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 09/12/03 03:24 AM

It sounds like that brightness thing is rearing it's ugly head again. After reading this, I think I made the right decision in getting the m22's vs the m60's. I found the 22's to be a little harsh until I set the treble on the receiver at the straight up or neutral position. Now, it sounds perfect to me. This is the absolute best I could have done for $360. I thought the 60's are identical to the 22's except for the added bass. Is this a misconception on my part?
Posted by: twodan19

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 09/12/03 08:30 AM

if you're wondering about the 60's and brightness, to me it is no longer an issue. when i first hooked up my 60's to a yammi receiver, which are said to be bright, they seemed harsh, and the wow factor was not present. after a few weeks i guess they seemed to soften to me; i have the trebel maxed out on the receiver. when pared with a sub, and set to small, everything sounds terrific. now that is no to say aerosmith sounds laid back. i do turn down the treble when steve screams, i mean sings, some tunes. my wife and i now prefer not to listen to some of our older cds that were recorded poorly. so...go for the 60's crank them until the neighbors complain, and enjoy.
Posted by: sushi

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 09/12/03 11:35 AM


From what I've read/heard, very few classical music listeners complain about the alleged "brightness" of the Axioms. Although I don't subscribe to the thought that there are different optimal speakers for different genres of music, it is true in my view that serious classical music lovers tend to desire great details in reproduced sound. In addition, good classical music recordings are almost always sonically neutral -- no "hot" voicing seen in some of the mainstream pop/rock recordings. The Axioms are notoriously honest in revealing these hot-EQ'ed recordings, which you don't seem to listen often...

I bet it is unlikely that you will find the M60 (or other Axioms) too bright.
Posted by: curtis

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 09/12/03 11:54 AM

The bottomline here is to make sure you listen to variety of speakers and know what you like.

I have had the M60 and M22 in my home for listening, and as good as they are, they were fatigueing to me.

To put things in a non-biased perspective, when I had the M60's, I had four people over to specifically listen to them. Two ended up buying Axioms, the other two said they were too bright. Nobody can better tell you how you feel about speakers than yourself.


Posted by: BigWill

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 09/18/03 08:01 PM

The M60s are clear and loud at the upper frequencies. Whenever they sound a little too bright just knock back some grog and relax. You don't need no stinkin' resistors, just loosen your orifice and let those crystalline highs sing. After owning Axioms since April, IMO most everything else sounds like shiite.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 09/18/03 08:12 PM

So how exactly does one loosen those vortex ports?
Posted by: sushi

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 09/18/03 10:22 PM

Peter! Would you shut up???

So, Mark, I have a due question -- how does shiite sound?
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 09/18/03 11:53 PM

I have decided to refrain from answering that (to much relief of everyone here).
Posted by: BigWill

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 09/19/03 08:42 PM

I reckon I oughta find another way to get around their censor, but I just love saying "SHEEEEEE-ITE".
Posted by: Aeromos

Re: M60 ear fatigue? - 09/23/03 07:13 PM

When first I listened to the M80's, I found them to be on the bright side at times. But when I went back for a second listen, I had them set up the M80's and M60's in a different part of their store and with different components. The brightness I had heard was gone. All I heard was pristine clear detailed sound that was dynamic. I really think it matters what components you use and the way your room is laid out. For those of you who haven't yet read my post (M60 & M80) and you're trying to decide between Axiom's line of speakers, I've posted my impressions of a side by side comparison.