Entering the Axiom Family

Posted by: AdrianD

Entering the Axiom Family - 01/12/12 07:52 AM

Hello everyone. I've recently purchased a new house, and what better way to start this new chapter in my life than finally acquiring my dream speakers?
On Monday, a beautiful pair of M80s v3 was delivered through my door; excited, I carefully unpacked them proceed with the initial setup and listening.
Firstly... they're bigger than I anticipated; I have two friends who both have M60s so I thought I am prepared. No issues here, I like them big smile.
Secondly, the speakers have a "feel" of a high quality product... at least in my opinion.
Thirdly... the sound (initial sound that is, without a proper break-in and tweaking) was overwhelming! Big, loud, clean and beautiful to my ears. The imaging is like nothing I've heard before, and the soundstage presence is incredible.
The one thing I was looking for, and one of the reasons for picking up the M80s was that I like to listen to music pretty loud, but I hate distortions. Well... so far I am literally "blown away" on how effortlessly these speakers deliver music with the above qualities.
By the way, I am powering them with a pair of Emotiva UPA-1 Monoblocks; as a preamp, I have tried three that I have, but I need more time to decide: two old plain preamps: an Advent 3000, a Carver C2 and a new Emotiva UMC-1 PrePro.
The only other thing I am currently working on right now is the ideal placement for bass response; I will most likely open another thread in the appropriate section once the speakers have enough break-in.

It is great to be able to post in this forum after years of "lurking" around.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/12/12 08:08 AM

Welcome Adrian!

That sounds like a fantastic system!
Posted by: J. B.

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/12/12 08:22 AM

welcome and enjoy!
Posted by: Murph

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/12/12 09:53 AM

Welcome! Looking forward to more of your comments and results of your experimentations.
Posted by: Lampshade

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/12/12 10:04 AM

High quality product: when I unboxed my eighties I thought they had made a mistake at the factory and sent me real wood.
Posted by: BobKay

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/12/12 10:07 AM

Originally Posted By: Lampshade
High quality product: when I unboxed my eighties I thought they had made a mistake at the factory and sent me real wood.

I remember! I also remember dashing right over tell you otherwise.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/12/12 11:09 AM

Originally Posted By: BobKay
I also remember dashing right over tell you otherwise.

BobKay: Dream Dasher.
Posted by: medic8r

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/12/12 11:51 AM

Welcome! Enjoy!
Posted by: fredk

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/12/12 07:17 PM

Should have checked for crazy relatives first! Too late now. Welcome to the family. Oh, don't forget to post pictures of your setup.
Posted by: AdrianD

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/12/12 08:30 PM

Many thanks Gents for your words and welcoming; I will for sure bug you with questions and, I will give a more detailed review after things settle down a bit.

Oh yeah... I was thinking about some pictures, but as I said, I just moved into the house; unfinished basement, tons of boxes/stuff laying around etc. It's not pretty blush
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/12/12 10:04 PM

Adrian, welcome. Great to hear your enthusiasm. You can proceed with your setup arrangements; "proper break-in" took place during testing at the factory. Takes about 30 seconds.
Posted by: AdrianD

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/12/12 10:56 PM

Originally Posted By: JohnK
Adrian, welcome. Great to hear your enthusiasm. You can proceed with your setup arrangements; "proper break-in" took place during testing at the factory. Takes about 30 seconds.

laugh... so I heard about breaking-in the M80s.
I finally had some time to setup my prepro; I've listened to a few favourite tracks I bought from HDTRACKS in hi-rez.
All I can tell you is that I started listening at about 7:30PM... and now it's 11!! That should tell you something; absolutely stunning sound!
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/13/12 01:25 AM

Ahh yes, that wonderful time of the first listening session, enjoy it. the best part is that feeling never really goes away but to get it you have to keep buying new music.
Posted by: PerfectDrug

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/16/12 10:54 PM

I plan to purchase a set of M80s when I move into my new home as well. Enjoy your M80s, can't wait to get mine!
Posted by: AdrianD

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/24/12 10:30 PM

The last few days I spent some quality time with my M80s; I've tried various configurations, sources and cables.
At this point, the only thing I'm not happy about is what I perceive a lack of low frequencies; I tried repositioning them a dozen times... to no avail. Some interesting facts:
- Bass seems to diminish in the sweet-spot. As I walk around my room (which is fairly large by the way, at 600 sq ft), I can find spots with a lot more lows than I get in the sweet spot.
- Also, if I stand up from the sweet spot, the bass is more pronounced. A friend mentioned that it may be the attenuation effect of the highs and mids.
- Usually I try to listen to music as flat as possible; if I want a decent sound (for my ears that is), I have to pump up the bass a little.

Now... don't get me wrong, the lows are not anaemic by any strech, it;s just that I hoped for a little more. At high volume, there is no issue, the speakers sound fantastic. It's at the lower volume levels. Maybe I'm asking too much?

In any case, I am very happy; I can't think of anything original right now, so here is the cliche, which happens to be absolutely true: I am rediscovering my music with every tune I play.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/24/12 10:44 PM

Adrian, it's something that's impossible to precisely diagnose at long range, of course, but what you "perceive" as to the bass level may be normal. Bass frequencies(and to a lesser extent, treble)are less prominent at lower listening levels because of the nature of human hearing.

You should, of course, double check to make sure that the speakers are connected in the proper polarity and that all the bass drivers are in fact operating(including verifying that the connecting strips on the speaker terminals are tight).
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/24/12 10:49 PM

You are describing how low frequencies can be perceived from a subwoofer as you move about the room, or even just a few feet. The 80's can play pretty low, and often people will ask during auditions if I have my subwoofer(s) even turned on, when often I will turn them off as a comparison.

If you don't have a subwoofer, it would be a good idea as it will move more air with the larger driver, and the proper crossover will blend with the 80's and fill those voids. If you do have a subwoofer, how do you have things configured. For me multiple subs positioned correctly makes it hard to find any position with out intense bass.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/24/12 10:58 PM

I used to have my couch in a bass null. I know what you mean.
Posted by: fredk

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/24/12 11:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken.C
I used to have my couch in a bass null. I know what you mean.

And you fixed it by...? grin

Quote:
I tried repositioning them a dozen times... to no avail. Some interesting facts:

It sounds like you have a bass null at the listening position. Nulls are created when sound waves reflecting off room surfaces cancel each other out. I have a few questions:

When you say you tried repositioning, how much have you moved the speakers around? Sometimes changing the distance from the back and/or side walls can change the timing and eliminate a null. Sometimes not. For instance, I have a null at around 72 Hz that is there no matter where I put my sub and speakers. Fortunately it is very narrow, so not very audible.

What shape is your room? Square is not good as it tends to replicate room modes that cause peaks and nulls. Again, I had a giant 16 db peak at 56 Hz, precisely because my apartment is essentially square. Fortunately, peaks can be dealt with by equalization.

Somewhere in the article section on the Axiom site on a simple method of finding the best place for your sub. It involves putting your sub at the listening position and crawling about the room to find where the bass sounds the best. That is then where you put the sub. I wonder if you can do something similar with one of your M80s?

If you are technically inclined and somewhat obsessive, you can try to measure your speaker response using software called REW and an spl meter to see what's really going on.

Lastly, you can always drastically rearrange you room based on where you get the best sound.

Hopefully that gives you a bit to think about.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/25/12 06:55 AM

Moving across the country and buying a house.
Posted by: AdrianD

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/25/12 07:48 AM

Originally Posted By: JohnK
... what you "perceive" as to the bass level may be normal. Bass frequencies(and to a lesser extent, treble)are less prominent at lower listening levels because of the nature of human hearing.

I was in fact thinking exactly that; what if the extended bass I hear in other spots is in fact low frequency response error?

Originally Posted By: JohnK
You should, of course, double check to make sure that the speakers are connected in the proper polarity and that all the bass drivers are in fact operating(including verifying that the connecting strips on the speaker terminals are tight).

I triple checked; all connections are tight and secure, polarity is correct and all the drivers are working.

Originally Posted By: SirQuack
...If you do have a subwoofer, how do you have things configured. For me multiple subs positioned correctly makes it hard to find any position with out intense bass.

I don't have a subwoofer (well... I do, but it's connected to a HT system in a different room). One of the reasons for picking up the M80s was the hope that for music, I won't need a sub.

Originally Posted By: fredk
It sounds like you have a bass null at the listening position. Nulls are created when sound waves reflecting off room surfaces cancel each other out. I have a few questions:

When you say you tried repositioning, how much have you moved the speakers around?

Good point, as I am not sure it was enough to make a difference.
1. From the wall: from almost touching the wall to about 2 feet. Currently they sit at about 1 ft, which sounded the best IMO.
2. Angle: from no angle to 30 degrees. Currently they are at about 5... very little toe-in. Again, the best sound, at least in regards to sound stage and imaging, which are "out of this world" to my ears.
3. Distance between the speakers: from 6 to 12 feet, currently at about 9.

Originally Posted By: fredk
What shape is your room?

It's rectangular: 22 x 28 feet. The speakers are on one of the
22 sides.

Originally Posted By: fredk
Somewhere in the article section on the Axiom site on a simple method of finding the best place for your sub....
I wonder if you can do something similar with one of your M80s?

I think I may have read it, but I did not try that yet. I'll leave it for last... if everything else fails. I'm thinking that my back will thank me grin

Originally Posted By: fredk
If you are technically inclined and somewhat obsessive, you can try to measure your speaker response using software called REW and an spl meter to see what's really going on.

In some people's opinion, "somewhat obsessive"= audiophile laugh
Joking aside, I do have an SPL Meter, but no software yet. I will definitely would like to try the "by the numbers" approach.

Originally Posted By: fredk
Lastly, you can always drastically rearrange you room based on where you get the best sound.

The room is mine to "play", so that's in books as well; a friend of mine suggested to switch the speakers onto the larger side of the room. If nothing else seems to work, I would give that a try as well.

Thank you very much Gents for all your valuable input; my goal is to try and get the best possible sound out of my system. And of course, something to do in my spare time smile.

PS Does anyone think at this point, that it may be worth trying the automatic calibration that came with my Pre/Pro?
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/25/12 08:41 AM

As long as you write down your current settings so you can revert to them, I don't see an issue with doing that.
Posted by: RickF

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/25/12 09:02 AM

Originally Posted By: Ken.C
Moving across the country and buying a house.


Well that was an easy fix.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/25/12 09:52 AM

I found it to be a straightforward, effective, and quick solution and I would recommend it to anyone with similar problems.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/27/12 01:25 AM

Does the UMC-1 have bass/treble settings? If so turn the bass up a notch or 2 to see if that helps with the lower volume play back. I like Audyssey just for this reason, it boosts the bass and treble for lower volume playback and it works very well.
Posted by: AdrianD

Re: Entering the Axiom Family - 01/30/12 10:42 PM

Originally Posted By: jakewash
Does the UMC-1 have bass/treble settings? If so turn the bass up a notch or 2 to see if that helps with the lower volume play back. I like Audyssey just for this reason, it boosts the bass and treble for lower volume playback and it works very well.


Yes it does; it has an Equaliser AND separate, general Bass and Treble, but I didn't use them. I'll give it a try and report back; I tried to get the best possible sound without tone controls (although I don't think there is anything wrong with using it). But it sounds like a good, quick idea.