Speaker/Amp Combo Problems

Posted by: ToddRogers

Speaker/Amp Combo Problems - 08/20/03 03:11 PM

I am displeased with my current integrated amp/speaker combo, and I hope that someone more knowledgeable than me about audio might have some recommendations. My integrated amp is the Vecteur I-4. My speakers are the Axiom Audio M-22's. In order for the speakers to sound good, I must turn the integrated amplifier up to about half of its volume capacity. This volume is too loud for my small, 12' x 15' x 8' Manhattan studio. At lower volumes, the sound seems vague, lost, and distant. At lower volumes, my guess is that the speakers' capacities are not being utilized. I think that with smaller, less powerful speakers, I might get better results at lower volumes. At greater volumes, the sound is too rich and insufficiently precise. I can still return the Axioms and replace them with other speakers, but the amp is not returnable, though I could probably sell it on Audiogon for the amount I paid for it. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could improve the performance of my stereo?
Here are links to the specs. for my speakers and amp.:


Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Speaker/Amp Combo Problems - 08/20/03 03:36 PM

Hmmm. I've got a pair of M22tis in a roughly 12x12x8 room and they are plenty detailed and "present" at any volume.

I don't think the integrated amp is at fault, since it can clearly drive the speakers louder than you like. If it were really making your speakers sound bad, it's a poor design and you should return it. We here on the boards like to believe that most amps do not color the sound of speakers to a degree that's very noticeable. And, ideally at least, this should be true of any decent amp on the market today.

Anyway, could you describe your listening space and how you have your speakers placed a little more? Is it a spartan arrangement with lots of hard and reflective surfaces, or more of a soft environment with cushy furniture? Are your speakers close to the walls or placed more out into the room?

All these factors contribute to how your speakers sound. With some tweaking, I have a feeling you can greatly improve your enjoyment of the M22s. There is a possibility, however, that you just don't find the sound of the M22s appealing.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Speaker/Amp Combo Problems - 08/20/03 03:54 PM

From his description it certainly doesn't seem like the issue is that he doesn't like the sound of the M22's.

I've NEVER heard the M22's described as "...vague, lost, and distant". Anyone who's ever complained about the sound of the M22's it's because they're just the opposite of that.

Have you tried switching out the M22's with another pair of speakers? I know they aren't going to sound the same, but if they play ok, perhaps you got a bad pair of M22's. If the second pair has the same issue, perhaps your amp is bad. ???

Posted by: webbb

Re: Speaker/Amp Combo Problems - 08/20/03 05:36 PM

I also suggest you check the speaker wiring to make sure you are in phase. That is, plus to red for both speakers. If that is already correct, then just try reversing it for one speaker, to see if something is mis-marked. That amp got a fairly good review in March 2001 (pushing Axiom M3Ti) SoundStage. My M3s certainly fill a room 12 x 22 beautifully on <50 watts with good imaging. Good luck.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Speaker/Amp Combo Problems - 08/20/03 07:44 PM


nice catch with the phase issue. that seems like the likeliest culprit so far.
Posted by: ToddRogers

Re: Speaker/Amp Combo Problems - 08/22/03 12:13 AM

I think I've solved the problem. Believe it or not, the problem seems to have been the positioning of the speakers. Previously, I did not have the speakers at exactly the same distance from the listener, due to some obstructions in the room. I managed to remove the obstructions today and position the speakers evenly, and now they sound awesome. I'm so glad I went with Axioms. One question: how loud can I safely play the speakers, without blowing anything?
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Speaker/Amp Combo Problems - 08/22/03 12:38 AM

Louder than you can stand them, probably.

Earlier today I was listening to my M22s REALLY LOUD. There was no sign of stress. I could have taken them further, but the neighbors would not have been happy.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: Speaker/Amp Combo Problems - 08/22/03 01:01 AM

I've done the same with my M22's as well. Stupid loud is what I like to call it. I don't even want to think how loud my M60's could go. Though it does depend somewhat on your amp. If you plan on pushing them...do it gradually. Find out what your amp is able to output without a problem before just cranking it and letting it go.

Posted by: sushi

Re: Speaker/Amp Combo Problems - 08/22/03 03:27 AM

Yup, worry about injuring your own ears rather than the Axioms!