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#1397 - 02/05/02 04:06 PM Awful vibration from my AX 1.5s

I have had a pair of ax1.5s for a few years and 90% of the time play classical, jazz and easy listening through them. I've loved the sound despite the limitations of bass response without a sub.

I stumbled across a problem though. It could be either a fault in the speakers, or a limitation of playing a certain type of music through a speaker not designed for it. I did mention the type of music I normally play, but I'm a bit of an enigma and every once in a while like to put on a little driving rock. Here's where I noticed the problem. When playing the Red Hot Chili Peppers' CD, Californication, the speaker released a horrible vibration on many of the songs. A predominant characteristic of RHCP music is a rumbling bass line (their bass player is quite a renowned bass player). The vibration is loud and sounds like the speaker is blown, though I put on just about any other CD and it sounds great - even CDs with a strong bass demand. If you by some chance have access to this CD, it is most evident on track 4, "Otherside."

I don't really ever raise the volume high enough to blow the speakers and I've never once clipped them, so I can't see how I could have damaged the speaker. In fact you don't really have to have the volume that high to hear this problem.

Would this indicate that I have done some damage to my speakers, or is it just showing the limitation of a speaker that does lack bass response? As I mentioned, this is about the only CD I have noticed this problem with. Are there certain frequencies that certain speakers just do not have the ability to handle?

I'd be curious to hear how this CD plays on anyone else's Axioms, particularly if you have a bookshelf speaker like the AX1.5.

I'm a bit concerned needless to say, but suspect that given this is the only CD that causes this problem, then it's maybe just the speakers natural limitations. I hope so - please tell me this is possible.


#1398 - 02/06/02 10:24 AM Re: Awful vibration from my AX 1.5s
duff Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 71
Good news its the CD. I just listened to it on my axiom m22's and I then listened to it on my cambridgesound works system (main speakers M80 (not axiom m80) and the p1000 sub ( they can handle just about anything).
The sound is very annoying. In song 4 it's just below his voice and it's a crackling like sound. Not one of my favorite RHCP's cd so I had not noticed it before, I had mostly just listened to it a work through the computer speakers.
I'll listen to jazz and some blues but mostly it's very heavy and fast music. Various style of hardcore, grindcore, sludge, doom metal, etc. My point is the axiom handle just about every style of music.
I'd like to see if anyone else hears this also. I bought my
CD the day it came out, so I wonder if this problem have been taken care of?

#1399 - 02/06/02 11:04 AM Re: Awful vibration from my AX 1.5s
alan Offline


Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 3200
Loc: Toronto/New York/Dwight
Glad to hear it's the CD, as I rather expected because the symptoms weren't audible on other recordings with well-recorded bass lines. Just a thought here: the recording of electric bass can vary widely from one recording engineer to another. Some engineers take the feed from the electric bass "direct", plugging it directly into the recording console, thus bypassing any acoustic output through a bass amp/speaker in the studio. It could be distortion or overload by the former method or (it just occurred to me), if the bass was recorded the convenional way, with a mike in front of the bass amp in the studio, a damaged driver in the bass amp (or distorion) or a combination of the two could be the source of the problem. I don't have the CD, but audible distortion on CDs because of eccentric recording practices isn't all that uncommon. I have several in my own collection, and I know the stories behind them. People make mistakes, including recording engineers!

Glad your Axiom speakers continue to satisfy.


Alan Lofft
Axiom Resident Expert
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert

#1400 - 02/06/02 11:29 AM Re: Awful vibration from my AX 1.5s

...or perhaps that is the effect the musician wanted to acheive?

Lets not over analyze everything! ;)

#1401 - 02/06/02 12:53 PM Re: Awful vibration from my AX 1.5s

Thanks Duff and Alan. That's a relief. Actually, I talked to a couple audiophile friends (one who has experience being a concert sound engineer) last night. They said that there is barely a speaker out there that does not have some kind of peculiarity or difficulty with some frequencies. Apparantly this is one of the main reason for exhaustive sound checks before concerts, because the last thing they want is to hear an overpowering obnoxious vibration from a particular speaker. It's totally normal and does not have anything to due with the quality of the speakers themselves.

I have decided that I will solve some of my bass limitations though, by picking up an axiom sub. Can you (Alan, Ian or anyone) suggest which of the subs might marry up to the ax 1.5s? I'm wondering if the ep175 might be a little overkill, and the ep125 better matched to the 1.5s. I'm using a 2x100 amp.

Thank you.

#1402 - 02/06/02 01:06 PM Re: Awful vibration from my AX 1.5s

#1403 - 02/07/02 06:35 PM Re: Awful vibration from my AX 1.5s
Ian Offline

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 847
In a small to medium sized room for stereo listening the EP125 is lots of sub. If you have a large room or are looking to use it in a Home Theater system then I think I would go up to the EP175.

Ian Colquhoun
President & Chief Engineer
Ian Colquhoun
President & Chief Engineer


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