Anybody built/heard the Audax Hometheater Speaker Kits?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tom Rosback, Jun 21, 2002.

  1. Tom Rosback

    Tom Rosback Stunt Coordinator

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  2. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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  3. Rick Guynn

    Rick Guynn Second Unit

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    I built these about 2 years ago. Unfortunately I am not a speaker conaissure so I can't really tell you a whole lot comparison-wise.

    I *can* tell you that I like mine. They seem very smooth. The vocals on music are good through the mains. The dialogue sounds good on the center. I will not be replacing them any time in the foreseable future.

    Now, be warned that the center is very big and weighs close to 50 lbs. Also be warned that the plans on the Audax site contain a few errors in the crossovers so you need to look at them closely.

    If you have any specific questions, I can try to answer them the best that I can.

    RG
     
  4. Tom Rosback

    Tom Rosback Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks, Dustin, I've e-mailed Brian. Hopefully he'll stop by the thread and weigh in.

    Rick, how do they sound when you run them loud? Any harshness? Also, how well does the timbre match from the center to the fronts? The white noise setup tones from your receiver should sound almost identical as you switch through left, center, and right speakers. Do they?
     
  5. warrick

    warrick Stunt Coordinator

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    Rick,


    I also am thinking of building the Audax HT system, so could you please tell where the errors are in the plans from the Audax site. This way I can adjust the plans I already have.

    Regards

    Warrick
     
  6. Rick Guynn

    Rick Guynn Second Unit

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    Tom, I *believe* timber matching is good, but I have to relate a couple of observations. The test tones sound the same, but there have been a few movies where the sound was noticeably different from center to mains. I honestly believe it is either something my receiver is doing to the sound, or the way the movie got mixed. Two examples I can think of are a scene in Blade at the hospital after he has jumped to the other roof, the gunfire pans from center to left and right and they sound different. There is a similar occurance with the Matrix lobby scene. I swapped out my center with one of the mains once and the "different" sound moved to the main being used as a center, so I don't think it's the speakers.

    They do not seem to have any problems playing loud. Of course, loud is subjective. I only get to play them loud when the wife isn't home. But they have never lost clarity, or at least I haven't played them loud enough to drive them to distortion. But, seeing as how they don't hit reference until you get close to 100W into them, and they were designed to run to reference, I don;t think it should be a problem.

    Warrick, I don't remember all of the errors, but one in particular is in the woofer crossover in the mains. The layout shows a connection between L1 and R2 that effectively shorts out the LRC filter that is supposed to be between them. The electrical schematic has it correct however. There is another one where the polarities are wrong on one of the layouts (I don't remember which right now). So I would compare all of the electrical schematics to the layout diagrams *and* to what the eplanatory text says.

    RG
     
  7. NikhilC

    NikhilC Auditioning

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    Tom,
    I recently built this set - it would be hard to beat at the price level ($650 or so in driver and crossover parts), to say the least. The speakers have the usual praises - well designed, easy to build, exhibit good clarity, good imaging, good dynamics, good timbre matching. The center channel has a slightly different sound if you run a noise test tone across the front speakers, but it's due to the midrange speaker and not a problem.
    Sound at high levels stays clear (as long as your amp doesn't start clipping, of course). While testing the center channel on a friend's system, he noted that the speaker must be rather inefficient, because of how far he needed to up the volume for the speaker to "sound" loud. It wasn't until he said that that he realized he was having to yell to be heard over the speaker at low volume.
    If you haven't heard this bit of advice before, don't build the sub.
    There is some info on the center channel speaker construction at:
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...er-9-2001.html
    If you're not sure of the system, you could always just build the surround channels and listen to them for a while. All channels use the same tweeter and midwoofer, so it'll give you an idea of the sound to expect.
    FWIW, I haven't seen negative comments on this system - which is quite remarkable considering the scrutiny of folks on the internet boards.
    Good luck,
    Nikhil
     
  8. Tom Rosback

    Tom Rosback Stunt Coordinator

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    Rick,
    Thanks for the info on timbre matching. Sounds like the system will be very close. Since I'm using an FPTV setup, the large center is not a problem.

    Nikhil,
    Thanks for the link, and your comments. Very helpful. I definitely won't build the sub.

    Although one of my options is to use three identical fronts, I've decided that I need the dispersion controlled front mains, so I've settled on MtM configurations. Running a vertical MtM center will put the tweeter too far below the screen. That's why the Audax center appeals to me.

    Thanks again,
     
  9. Brian Steeves

    Brian Steeves Second Unit

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    Tom,
    Sorry it took me so long to respond. I've been busy re-arranging my audio rack [​IMG] Just got a new B&K Ref30 and Sony NS900V DVD/SACD player!
    Anyway about the Audax system..
    I have been living with the L&R mains for several months now and must say I like them quite a bit. They have a very "smooth" sound. The highs could be better but not at all weak! They definitely lack in the low end. But Joe designed this system to be used as a "System". Once a sub is added to the mix...Forgetta boutit! [​IMG] They are definitely not what I'd call bright, in fact somewhat mello. They do have a slightly forward character but not "in your face" kind of forward. I can play them at high volumes for extended periods and not get a headache like some speakers I've heard. Oh yeah, they have a fairly tight sweetspot and once in it they image quite well. If I were building a music only speaker I wouldn't necessarily pick these, but they do ok for music. I prefer a slightly wider sweetspot and more airy high end. But this could be my room and placement.
    I just finished building the center and surrounds. The center has been in use for about a week. At first I was a little concerned because it sounded a little boxy. But now it's starting to loosen up a bit. Dialog is very clean and clear without a hint of distortion even at very high volumes! Horizontal dispersion is quite good. Moving from one side of the couch to the other doesn't change the sound at all, in fact listening wayyy off axis it doesn't seem to change. No complaints here, great center channel!
    As for the surrounds? Well I can't comment as of yet. They are awaiting mounting to the walls. I haven't had the cake to order speaker mounts. I also will be doing a dual Tempest "Infinite Baffle" sub so I figured I'd wait to run the wires for both the sub and the surrounds at the same time through the attic.
    Well I hope this helps.
    Brian
     
  10. Tom Rosback

    Tom Rosback Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian,
    Thanks for the information. Very insightful. Its hard to describe a speaker's particular character, and you, Rick, and Nikhil have done a great job doing just that. A picture of the speaker's sound is beginning to emerge, and I like what I've heard so far. I'm looking for something that is not overly agressive on the high end, yet very detailed.
    I'm currently running a pair of ProAc Response 1sc minimonitors in my music only system, which is located in the main room of our finished basement. They are augmented by 12" sealed box subs and passive crossovers of my own design. I can place the ProAc's far away (4 feet) away from all the walls, and they image like crazy. They are very airy, not agressive on the high end, rather mellow, but very detailed and articulate. Still a relatively small sweet spot, though.
    I've moved them into the HT room, and was going to buy their matching center and DIY the surrounds. That isn't going to work very well. My HT room is 11' wide, and has an 8' foot wide fixed screen, leaving only 18 inches on each side for front mains! Going to a smaller screen is not an option. [​IMG] Soooo, what happened, even with 2" TheaterShield acoustic treatments on all the walls, was the imaging, while still good, is not great, due to early reflections from the walls. Sounds just great with DD/DTS 5.1, less than great with stereo sources. Stil very detailed and dynamic, but the imaging is compressed. Bottom line, the Proacs just don't play well in this room. Not well enough to justify $1800 for a center!
    Which started the hunt for alternatives. The Audax HT system has come to the head of the list because:
    1.) Dispersion controlled front mains will help tame early reflections from the walls.
    2.) The center has a vertical mid/tweet combo flanked by additional woofers. So I should get great coverage from the center, wall to wall, without any suckout. Brian, your comments support that.
    3.) I like the AeroGel material Audax uses. I think it is a real improvement over straight polypropylene drivers.
    4.) From everyone's descriptions, I think the overall character of the speaker will suit my taste. And I can tweak 'em later if I choose.
    Thanks for everyone's inputs.
    Brian, what kind of speaker mounts are you getting? I've wired the room for rears and sides, but not done anything about mounts.
    Thanks all. The Audax HT system could be a sleeper.
     
  11. Brian Steeves

    Brian Steeves Second Unit

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