Axiom AudioFile Newsletter: 127 Edition!
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In This Month's Newsletter

Axiom AudioFile Newsletter Continues

Have You Shared Your Speakers?

Axiom Owners, we need a little help! Would you consider taking a turn being the reviewer? The most common reason we hear for customers deciding what to purchase from us is that they read reviews about our products, both on audio sites, shopping sites, and right on

Would you consider helping us spread the word by posting a review of your experience with Axiom loudspeakers and amplifiers, either on or another review site? Or sending in your pictures, like Bon in Puerto Rico and George in Phoenix did this month? Both are a big help to potential customers to virtually experience Axioms.

Give us your opinion!To submit a review, just click on 'Write a Review' on your product's page, type away, and you're done! Click here for a list of product pages on our site and others.

Thanks for helping us spread the word!

Axiom AudioFile Newsletter Continues

Home Theater Set Up: Subwoofer Setup: Where to Begin To Get Great Bass

There's something so exciting about unboxing a new home theater system. You can almost smell the popcorn in the air . . . but once you've got everything in your room and you have the front speakers, center channel, and surround speakers in their designated space, you're left with the one speaker whose placement isn't immediately obvious.

Andrew Welker, Axiom design engineer, has a beginning guide to subwoofer setup in the video below.

Subwoofer Setup Guide

Andrew: Today we're going to do a preliminary introduction to where to place your subwoofer in the room. Now, subwoofers, and the way they behave and interact with a typical listening room, is a very complex subject. There are all kinds of tools and other things that will allow you to get very very precise ideas of where you can place the subwoofer for the best response. But a lot of those techniques don't work well if you don't have a reasonably good starting point.

Initial Placement

Conventional wisdom says you want to take your subwoofer and drop it in the corner of the room. In many cases, that will give you the loudsest bass, but in most cases it won't give you the smoothest and most linear bass. So it's a decent starting point, but don't assume once you've put the subwoofer down and in place that it should stay there necessarily.

If you're forced into a certain location - and in many homes the only place you can put your subwoofer is close to the television set, which usually means it will be behind either the right or left front speaker - and probably in the corner, unless you've got an L-shaped layout. The corner placement is going to give you the biggest amount of what's called room gain, which is additional output because of the loading of the room boundaries (the walls and the floor). If you are limited in terms of your placement, even if you only have a couple of feet to the left or right to play with in any direction, you should try moving the subwoofer out from being up against the corner, moving it to the left or right by a few feet as much as you can.

As you do this, listen to music you are familiar with, and try to find the position that gives you the smoothest bass. Even a couple of feet of pulling the subwoofer out from the corner can smooth out the bottom end significantly.

Two Subwoofers

Now, if you have two subwoofers in your setup and again you're fairly limited in your placement, you're going to do exactly the same thing. I always like, when I have two subwoofers, to actually set them up in terms of looking for the best placement separately, and then balance the levels and make the adjustments with both of them playing, after you've found a good position that gives you the smoothest bass for each subwoofer individually.

Continue Reading Subwoofer Setup: Getting Great Deep Bass

Axiom AudioFile Newsletter Continues

Home Theater Set Up: A Few Considerations When Installing Surround Sound Speakers

Surround sound is everywhere: once only available for movies and concert DVDs, it's now being broadcast nightly on our favorite TV shows. If you've been resisting switching to 5- or 7.1-channel surround sound because you didn't know how you were going to fit the speakers into your room, take heart: it's easier than ever to get the right sound right where you want it. Here's a step-by-step guide to follow when you install surround speakers in your home.

Aim for Optimal Positioning First

Placing Surround SpeakersAs you can see from the picture to the right, Dolby Labs recommends placing surround speakers to the left and right of the sitting area, above ear level about 2 feet or more, and somewhere between 90 and 110 from the center..

So what do you do if there are no walls in that area, or if that height isn't going to work for you? Don't worry: Axiom's unique driver arrangement means that you're going to get great surround effects even if things aren't ideally placed.

If it suits your room better, consider using stands for placement. The QSS Surround Stand, for example, is 38 inches high, placing the speakers above ear level when you are sitting on your couch.

Some rooms have different challenges: for example, your home theater might be half of an open-concept finished basement, as a lot of our customers' are. In that case, you may want to mount the speakers from the ceiling so that they are still in the main listening area, rather than on a wall far away from the center of the action.

The only place you can't place Axiom surround speakers? In a shelving unit or bookcase. Because there is a driver on the bottom of the speaker, it can't sit on a shelf the way a traditional bookshelf speaker does. We've had innovative customers come up with mini-stands to elevate the quadpolar speaker in a bookcase; if you'd like to try that route just be sure to get between 1.5 and 2 inches of clearance between the speaker and the surface beneath it.

For more detailed placement options, including 7.1-channel surround-sound options, read our article on Home Theater Layout.

Watch Andrew discuss surround sound setup

Choose the Best Mounting Option

As you can see in the video above, there are a lot of mounting options with Axiom's speakers. The easiest (and most innovative!) if you are wall-mounting is to use the included Power Mount bracket. Unique to Axiom, we engineered this bracket to get around the problem of banana plugs forcing the speaker to jut out from the wall.

To use the Power Mount bracket, simply carefully remove it from the speaker, attach it the wires coming from your receiver, and then mount it to the wall. The QS8, QS4, or on-wall speaker model simply slides into the two gold-colored hooks on the back of the speaker and makes the electrical connection.

The QSS Surround Speaker Stand also includes accommodation for using the Power Mount on it.

The next option is the hex-bolt at the back of the speaker. This will accept our Full Metal Bracket or our Full Metal Ceiling Bracket, or a variety of other after-market speaker mounts. If you choose to install surround speakers in a position where you need to angle them or hang them from the ceiling, these are the best options.

Making the Connection

There are a couple of options when you choose the cables for your speakers. If you are installing surround speakers on outside walls, you may have a challenge fishing the wire through the tightly-packed insulation.

Continue Reading A Few Considerations When Installing Surround Sound Speakers

Axiom AudioFile Newsletter Continues

New Subwoofer Design?

Ben from Nebraska wrote on our message boards "Curious what folks/Axiom think about opposed subwoofer design in general. Where you have two drivers in a single box on opposite sides of each other."

Andrew Welker replied:

"Ah...a topic near and dear to my heart. If I am not mistaken, Mirage produced the first commercial subwoofer with an opposed woofer design with the drivers operated in phase with one another. This first model was the BPSS-210 and was originally designed for use in systems with the first Mirage bipolar speakers, the M-1 and M-3. This was in the very early days of home theatre and most of the original subs were sold with 2-channel systems. The design benefits behind opposed driver subwoofers are improved room loading from the multiple drivers and an almost complete cancellation of cabinet vibration. These designs are not gimmicks, they most certainly result in improved performance when well designed. I believe the main reason that we don't see more of them on the market is that the second (or third) driver(s) add significantly to the cost. One thing to watch are designs claiming to have force cancelling drivers where one driver is actually a passive radiator. In this case there will be no benefit in terms of reducing cabinet vibration. Interestingly enough, as Ian and I have been working on design ideas for the "v4" series of subwoofers we have been discussing the possibility of one or two models incorporating a balanced or force cancelling driver configuration. As with everything we do the designs would be evaluated strictly based on their performance versus the current models. Now is as good a time as any to throw the question out there: Is this type of design something that would interest you?"

What do you think? Would you be interested? Weigh in on our message boards


Axiom Home Theaters

Looking for some decoration inspiration?

Check out this den in Denmark!

Or look at Bon's home theater in Puerto Rico

Or George's Phoenix Media Room

Have you
sent us your photos yet?

Axiom Home Theaters

Your Latest Letters

M80 Speakers in Cherry Wood with a Semi Gloss

"The M80s are all wired in and everything they are cracked up to be - I'm a fanatical audiophile with tastes running to B&W Nautilus and the like, and these punch at the weight of speakers that cost far, far more. If I'd paid four thousand for these in a store, I'd say I got superb value for the money. I'll never let anybody I know buy any other brand. "

Graeme C., ON

I have had my 3 Channel ADA1000 now for several months and my long term impressions remain the same as my initial impression, awesome. Sonic performance is what you would expect from a high end power amplifier, clean power with lots of headroom. There are however two things that really set it apart, 1) Configuration flexibility and 2) Efficiency.

This amp can be configured from 1 to 8 channels and even upgraded at a later time. I purchased a 3 channel version for my home theater to drive my mains and center. This unit can and will remain with me for many years as it will easily adapt to my changing requirements.

The hybrid class D design is super-efficient. It runs cool and even after a week's worth playing movies and music at as high as I dared levels, a power monitor I had hooked up to the 120 supply only clocked in at 248 Watts/2.02 Amps peak. As my mains are 4 ohms and center is 6 ohms, the amp must have peaked over 600 output watts a few times easily. It's pretty awesome. Moreover, due to the design I have no fears of entering clipping and causing distortion and damage to my speakers.

I am very happy with the amp and recommend it with no reservations.

Bill C., ON

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Home Theater Basics

What to Look For When Buying a Receiver

Do I Need Two Subs?

Cable Quandary: Composite, S-Video, Component Video,
DVI, and HDMI Connectors

Choosing A Home Theater: Ten Mistakes to Avoid

Beginners' Guide to Home Theater

Budgeting and Building a Dedicated Home Theater Room

AV Surround Sound Receiver Buying Guide

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Home Theater Setup Guides

An Essential Guide to Home Theater Layout

Subwoofer Connections

Subwoofer Placement Tips

Running Multiple Sets of Speakers in Other Rooms

Basement Home Theater

Bringing Sound Outdoors

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The Tech Talk

Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

The Inside Dope on Surround Speakers

Dolby Pro Logic II

What Defines a Reference Loudspeaker?

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Tips and Tweaks

Do I Need Two Subs?

Acoustical Room Treatments

Trouble Hearing TV?

Do I Need Separates?

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