IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER

Posted by: da-drifter

IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 01:20 PM

I purchased the Epic 80 home theater system with the EP600 back in October. The system works perfect for my needs EXCEPT for the EP600. Since day one I had a popping nose whenever I turned the sub volume past the 1 or 2 oíclock position. The popping would occur during extreme bass soundtracks on movies. I would assume it occurs during music playback as well but haven't tested it.

Over the course of three months I have been in contact with Axiom to fix this problem. Here is what we tried:

1. Replaced the speaker. (Didnít work)
2. Replaced the amplifier. (Didnít work)

Now, after replacing everything in the speaker cabinet they discovered that there was a problem in their software that controls the sub amplifier. (Really? Do other EP600 owners know this?)

So now what?

3. Replaced the amplifier again with a "fixed" amplifier but this time I had to remove and reinstall the speaker with it. (Didnít work completely)

Result? I still had popping but not nearly as frequent.

So now what?

Axiom worked out a good deal with me to upgrade to the EP800 so here I give them credit. This was my suggestion because I am so impressed with their other products and believe this problem is just an anomaly with the EP600. I will receive my EP800 in a few days and look forward to a non-popping sub.

I'm wondering why Axiom hasnít had a flood of complaints from EP600 owners. I know that I can't be the first guy to turn the sub volume past 1 or 2 oíclock and listen to deep bass movie soundtracks. The Axiom website states: "Crank it up - XLF makes the EP600 unbreakable!" and ďThe Intelligent DSP wants things to go smoothly all the time - no bumps in the road." And what about the glowing reviews? Don't the reviewers put the speakers through rigorous testing? I checked out the frequency response chart on www.audioholics.com and apparently everything works great however in reality it does not. I must be special because no one else has discovered this problem or they have not reported it. How long has this sub been tested and sold anyway? Another thing, I purchased the recommended AV receiver for this specific speaker system and all wiring and components are new. I even had everything professionally installed through Axiom's recommended installer in my area.

I'm VERY happy with the rest of my system and Axiom has provided excellent support through this ordeal (thanks Brent and JC) but I cannot recommend the EP600 to anyone at this time. I just don't think they have all the bugs worked out yet. Hopefully the EP800 is up to the task.

Sincerely,
Da-Drifter
Posted by: grunt

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 01:36 PM

Quote:

I'm wondering why Axiom hasnít had a flood of complaints from EP600 owners.

Probably because they incrementally update their speakers and probably DSP software trying to improve things over time and not all EP600 sold have the software glitch. Probably slipped past QC because there standard testing protocol didnít catch it but more in depth troubleshooting when trying to find the source of your problem did.

Not sure about the amp you have but the one that came with my EP500 has the capability to receive firmware updates probably in anticipation of this very type of thing. Iíve already had to update the firmware on my BDP-83 twice.

So my best guess is the reason there arenít a ton of reports is most likely because not that many people have the problem.
Posted by: Dduval

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 02:16 PM

You are the first I have heard of any EP600 issues. That said, I'm sorry you are experiencing issues.

However, rest assured Axiom will make it right. I would definitely take the upgrade offer on the EP800 and move on to deep wall shaking bliss!

Dana
Posted by: da-drifter

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 03:16 PM

What surprises me is the fact that even after the second time I installed a new amplifier the problem wasnít completely fixed. I just didnít want to go through more time and work on my end until they get it right. Iím confident that they will and probably already have but I have had enough. I donít want blood just a good powerful trouble free sub. My first and only home theater audio was a Bose 5.1 with the tiny little cube speakers and sub. I just spent over 16K on a new home theater system and the Epic 80 7.1 is at the heart of it. I have had my eye on Axiom for a couple years now and havenít read any bad reviews so naturally Iím disappointed with the sub issue but all the other speakers are awesome. The good news is that the EP600 is working well enough now that I can get some sort of feel for the potential of it. I havenít turned up the volume past 2 oíclock because when it pops (just occasionally now) itís like being slapped in the ears. Even at this level the walls of my house shakeÖ:) So Iím thinking that an EP800 set at 3 or 4 oíclock will be more then Iíll ever need. I canít wait, after 3 months Iíll finally be able to experience the complete system.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 03:28 PM

Just curious. Isn't the 12 o'clock position at half volume? If so, it would seem like the 4 o'clock position would be at full volume. I may be wrong, but I doubt that any subwoofer would be playable at full volume without some problems. That would be like turning your receiver up all the way it would go and not expect any problems.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 03:43 PM

My Paradigm sub is at 1/4 gain, not sure how sensitive the gain is on the Axiom, but that's an important point you brought up there, Brian.
Posted by: Dduval

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 04:08 PM

I think he meant 9:00 or 10:00 o'clock. However, he should be able to turn the volume up on any Axiom DSP controlled sub to 1:00 or 2:00 o'clock with no issues. As long as he is not over-driving the input signal to the sub with his avr's sub level out, hopefully it's not at +5 or something...

I have my EP500 at 2:00 o'clock for months now without any pops whatsoever. Sub out level set to 0. FYI

Dana
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 04:12 PM

Turning the sub's volume control up all the way, is worse than turning the receiver's volume up all the way. I can play my receiver at -0 dB without too much trouble (I'll more than likely get trouble from the police).

But the subwoofer's volume control is designed to make it so full volume on the receiver equals full output from the sub's amp. Voltage levels for the sub-out vary from receiver to receiver. All sub maker can do is design a control to try to cover the all the variances. The right setting is the one that makes the sub produce an output level exactly equal to the main speakers regardless of the volume control on the receiver.

Turning a sub's volume control nearly all the way to get more bass is a mistake.
Posted by: da-drifter

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 04:57 PM

I apologize, Iím not an audiophile (not even close) but I did experiment with both the AV receiver sub level adjustments and the physical volume control knob on the subwoofer. I followed the instructions with the Axiom sub and with my receiver. Since Axiom admitted it was there subs software in the amplifier I put the question to rest. But Iím confused. I really donít understand the whole + or Ė DB from my Denon receiver. Why not 1-100% volume control? Why not crank the sub all the way up and control the output 1-100% on the receiver?

I donít understand the relationship between my receiverís volume control and the physical volume control on the subwoofer.
Posted by: Dduval

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 05:06 PM

Drifter,

First, what receiver do you have?

Your sub out level on your avr should roughly be set between -2 and +2. If your avr has auto room level/calibration, you should start there. Then use the sub's volume to adjust to your listening taste.

This all should have been done by the professional installer when they setup your system.

Dana
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 05:13 PM

Volume 0 on the receiver is the THX reference level for theaters. Anything over this is positive numbers, anything under this is negative numbers. My personal listening range is from -25 to -8, but this will vary depending on the speakers used and the room size and the listening distance.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 05:19 PM

But, I think what people are referring to is how loud the subwoofer was set at when Audyssey, or MCACC or whatever auto equalizer calibration software is built into your receiver, was run. If when you pull up the calibration data in the reciever and it says the subwoofer is +10 then this means that the subwoofer was not turned up enough when the calibration was run. It should be closer to -2, 0, +2 db.
Posted by: da-drifter

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 05:33 PM

Dduval,

I have a Denon AVR 3311CI

I did the auto calibration but donít remember the initial physical volume setting on the sub, it was whatever Axiom recommended. I had to keep increasing it physically on the sub to get expectable bass. My current bass channel level on the Denon is -1.5 DB and the physical control knob on the sub is at 2 oíclock. By the way the installer didnít touch the bass or AV programming, maybe a mistake on my part.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 05:38 PM

Once the auto-calibration is run you shouldn't need to touch the volume control on the sub. That setting is the right one for your receiver. You may be able to dial in a little more bass from the receiver, but it really shouldn't be needed.

Maybe you're used to really boomy bass. With smooth, accurate bass reproduction the subwoofer shouldn't call attention to itself. It will just sound like all the speakers in the room are reaching lower than they normally can.
Posted by: da-drifter

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 05:42 PM

So again I wonder...what is the relationship between the subs physical volume control knob and the AV receivers volume control?
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 05:48 PM

The sub's volume control "trims" the output of the receiver so the sub will play at the same level as the rest of the speakers. It is "set and forget", just a control that makes one sub compatible with many different receivers.

What you're shooting for is to be able to play pink noise through the left channel, and have it measure 75 dB on an SPL meter, and then play the same noise through the sub and have it also read 75 dB. Then if you turn the main volume up or down the sub will track the rest of the speakers at the same level.

Using the auto-calibration built into the receiver will do this for you.
Posted by: Dduval

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 05:48 PM

Drifter,

Ok very good. Seems your settings are good. Now, I am assuming you are turning up the sub volume so you get some fantastic knock your socks off low end. smile

The most critical thing you want to do now is look at sub placement. Hopefully, (depending on your room) you can place your sub in a corner to raise your room gain. I remember when I first got my sub, hell I thought there was something wrong with it. Then I place it in the corner of my room and BAM! There was my low end.

Also, is your sub "popping" on music? or movies? or both?

Let us know where in your room you have your sub, this will make all the difference in the world, depending on placement, you may have to turn your sub down! Follow Axiom sub placement guide as well here.

Dana
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 05:53 PM

Sorry to hear about your troubles with the ep600.

Although it is always frustrating to go through problems with new equipment not functioning as designed (especially when it is not cheap) it sounds like Axiom is making a solid effort to make things right.

Neon has provided some good advice on calibration. I choose to run my sub about 5-6 db hot during most movies. I usually use the quick access to the sub level from my denon remote to bring it back down during music playback though.
Posted by: da-drifter

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 05:55 PM

ClubNeon,
Your probably are right about being use to boomy bass. Iím just trying to reproduce the effects I hear in the theater. So far the surrounds and fronts work fantastic for me. I think I should hold off my questions about the bass part of the system until I get my EP800 and go fresh start from there if there are issues. I thank all of you for your input.
Posted by: Dduval

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 06:19 PM

Just remember Drifter, even when you get the EP800 and you don't have it placed correctly in your room, you will still be disappointed.

A bad room/incorrect sub placement/out of phase, etc can kill your low end. Doesn't matter what sub you get.

Keep us posted and good luck!

Dana
Posted by: da-drifter

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 06:29 PM

Thanks Dana!
Posted by: jakewash

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 07:11 PM

Just curious about the sub cable you are using. Did you try a different cable? I know I have one with poor shielding and if my kids are goofing around near the cable, I can get odd pops etc out of my sub.
Posted by: da-drifter

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 07:39 PM

No. I didnít try a different cable. The cable is about 50 ft long and is run through my attic. I used the specified shielding and connectors recommended from Axiom and had it installed by their local installer. I did everything to exact specifications. But why does this matter? Axiom agreed that this is a fault in their software. This post is about informing people that the EP600 currently has some negative issues.
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/29/10 09:49 PM

If I recall you said that even with the new amp without a software problem you said you have experienced some popping? I think Jason was just pointing out that sometimes little things (like cables) may be the culprit.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/30/10 05:43 AM

David is correct .
Posted by: RickF

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/30/10 07:03 AM

Originally Posted By: da-drifter
This post is about informing people that the EP600 currently has some negative issues.

Yea but...

Originally Posted By: da-drifter
Now, after replacing everything in the speaker cabinet they discovered that there was a problem in their software that controls the sub amplifier. (Really? Do other EP600 owners know this?)

****
I'm wondering why Axiom hasnít had a flood of complaints from EP600 owners. I know that I can't be the first guy to turn the sub volume past 1 or 2 oíclock and listen to deep bass movie soundtracks.

You wrote this in such a manner that it sounds as if each and every EP600 should be having the issues you experienced with your particular EP600 and this just isn't the case, there are many EP600 owners who have owned their subwoofers for years without any issues whatsoever ... including myself who is going on six trouble free years.

Jason and these other guys are just trying to lend a hand from their own experiences and others which have been posted on these boards that is almost always first attributed as being a bad speaker or other component when in fact many times it turns out to be something as simple as a bad or wrong connection, setting or bad cabling. Over the years we've seen it time and time again.

Sorry to hear about your particular 600 and I hope the 800 works out great for you. smile
Posted by: Jc

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/30/10 11:07 AM

Originally Posted By: da-drifter
. . . the EP600 currently has some negative issues.


Hi,
The issue which you have experienced was limited to only a few units and it has been fixed. Currently the EP600 has no issues and performs flawlessly in a spectacular fashion.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/30/10 07:23 PM

JC, I volunteer to test the current EP600, just to make sure it's cool. You guys have my shipping address, right?

Actually, I think my wife would probably draw the line at that one...
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/30/10 11:43 PM

She wouldn't let you test it unless there was two of them to help smooth out the bass throughout the whole room?
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: IMPORTANT INFORMATION EP600 SUBWOFFER - 12/31/10 01:26 AM

Well, yeah.