WHo has Studio Lab speakers? What do you think?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris PC, Apr 2, 2002.

  1. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Studio Lab is a manufacturer in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. I have always thought of them as decent, yet un-technical speaker manufacturers. Meaning, they are local like PSB and Paradigm, but I was not aware that they did any FFT in anechoic labs.
    In particular, I noticed they have a a really nice looking speaker with 2 midranges and a tweeter inbetween and two 8 inches woofers per speaker. Its called the Image 8. Not exactly subwoofer bass I imagine, but the volume the speakers must have and the two woofers, I imagine its pretty good. I might check it out myself. Anybody have any experience with these or other Studio Lab speakers?
    http://www.studiolabspeakers.com/
     
  2. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Second Unit

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    Hey Chris,

    Greetings from Scarborough. My experience with StudioLAB is limited only to owning a couple of pairs of bookshelf speakers in the past. One pair broke after two years (voice-coil), and they were repaired under warranty with no hassle or nonsense. Paid about $225 per pair. But for scarcely more than another $100, I later bought a pair of Axiom M3, and there's really no comparison at all; the M3s clobber the StudioLABs, which I no longer own.

    Consider this: two years ago when I was shopping for a pair of small towers, I had my mind set on PSB Image 4T (and I believe you have some experince with this line). Just for shits and giggles, I paid a visit to StudioLAB to see what they had. Closest in price to the 4T was SL's Image 6, which is most closely comparable in specs to PSB's 3LR , I suppose. Which just makes me wonder: they build 'em in the back, and sell 'em in the front, with no middle man, right? So where's the value? I bought the PSBs, without a second thought, and I think they're fantastic. FYI, the same SL Image 6 is priced today on their web-site at $749 CDN. Does that sound like a bargain to you? Sure doesn't to me. As an aside, six weeks ago I purchased a pair of first-quality (non-blemished) Axiom M60 towers for $700 plus gst and pst. Now that was a good buy, I think.

    I'm not trashing SL; their little bookshelf models were just fine for the limited bedroom use I gave them, and the Image 8, on paper, appears formidable. I simply believe your money can go further elsewhere.

    I look forward to any thoughts you may have. Cheers!

    DS.

    P.S. Ever settle that Marantz problem you had (have?)?
     
  3. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Thats good info. Really, the Studio lab speakers are simply a curious distraction. I have always wanted to hear a set of towers with dual 8 inch "SEALED" woofers. I'm just curious how it sounds. I had Boston Acoustics A70 series II's for years and was impressed with their bass for such a small speaker. They had a 1 inch dome and an 8 inch mid-woofer. I bought them in 88 or 89. Around that time, Boston also put out a speaker called the T1000 which was later updated to the T1030. It had what I considered then, to be the ultimate in driver usage. A 1 inch tweeter, a 6.5" midrange and two 8 inch woofers. Apparantly, as I'm learning now, two 8 inch woofers won't make THAT big a difference in extention, but alas, I have always lusted after the clean tight bass of TWO sealed 8 inch woofers. I'm just a speaker junky. I now own a pair of PSB 6T's and they are great. Nice bass right down there pretty low, but being ported, the very bottom end (sub 26 hz) is pretty nearly absent. My Boston A70II's were similar but I think at lower volumes, they actually put out a few more dB's at 20 hz and below. I've tested this in room with an SPL meter. In comparison to the PSB 6T's, I think the Bostons were + 1 dB at 19 hz and +4 dB at 14hz vs my PSB Image 6T's and thats as far as I wanted to go without blowing them or my receiver. It was very low, mind you, I could barely hear or feel it, I just wanted to test it a little bit. Reallistically, the level was so low below 25 hz for each speaker, so far below the overall response curve, that I doubt I'd have heard or felt either speaker much down there anyways. When I get a proper test CD, I'll test it one last time before I sell the old faithfull Bostons.
    Anyways.....I'm just curious what the speakers sound like. I might go there for a listen, but I already own speakers and I don't want a sales push. If they really were amazing, I might consider them, but also, like you say, the price is not decent. I bought my 6T's for less than that and they are a far more refined speaker. I also have a Mirage BPS-400 subwoofer, so I'm a bit of a spaz for even thinking about checking out the bass of something that surely can't compete toe to toe with the Mirage sub. Its just a curiousity. I really just checked their website looking for a test tone CD. I called there and got a very quick and short "NO" when I asked if they sell those CD's. I'm bloody sure that they know where to get one though! No thanks to them for the help.
    Do you know where to get a good Test Tone CD locally? I want one that goes to 10 hz in 1 or 2 hz increments. Hopefully with some sweeps from 10 or 20 hz up to 200 hz. I'm still trying to figure out my SR 6200. The Marantz receiver worked ok except for the following problems:
    1) Cuts off the begining, the first 1/4 second to 3/4 seconds of a track when connected via digital cable. So I use "analog" CD connection [​IMG]
    2) S-video can cause TV to mis-scan after bright flashes. I haven't experienced this much myself, but ChrisG has more issues with this happening on his setup.
    3) SMALL speaker setting crossover fixed at 100 hz. Too high in my opinion and not felxible. At least give me 60 or 80 hz to choose from.
    4) Source Direct ON and OFF sound too different to me. I think its a bad marketing flaw or something. With SOURCE DIRECT ON, the sound is better across the board at all frequencies, and in particular, it has much more bass. It seems un-realistic that the difference should be so great. And to top it off, I can't use my sub in Source Direct. Granted, with Source Direct OFF, the sub works and makes up for the lack of bass, but its kinda screwed up logic. The best sound should be available when using the subwoofer.
    5) The bass control has what seems to be, almost no effect, or very very little effect. I imagine its only boosting up to 6 dB at max and might be centered at a horribley high 100 hz.
    6) Not sure if the subwoofer output from the receiver is crossed over above 100 hz. I know the receiver crosses over 100 hz and below out of the front speakers when set to SMALL, but I'm not sure the subwoofer has any xover in the receiver output at all at any setting. I can hear high frequencies coming from it.
    My best results are using the PSB 6T's as LARGE or when using them SMALL with my sub is ok of course, I have now tried the Mirage subwoofer xover at 100 hz, since I suspect the receiver is sending above 100 hz to the sub and it seems to sound ok. If I'm wrong about the sub crossover in the receiver, then I'm using two crossovers. I need a test tone cd to determine whats really going on.
    Anyways.....there's a super long reply.
    Hope you like your system. Those Axioms are efficient speakers if memory serves [​IMG]
     
  4. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Second Unit

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    Chris,

    Man, you oughtta be out of breath after all that! I've gotta tell you that I'd've long ago thrown in the towel on the Marantz, and gone elsewhere (these digital drop-outs you describe would drive me up the wall; I've never had the problem with my aging Yammie 795a. CD player is connected via optical), but I understand that you've been seduced by the Marantz sound. Unfortunately for Marantz, I doubt many customers will be as patient as you've been. Best of luck with getting this resolved, once and for all.

    As for test-tone discs, I'm afraid I can't offer any help here. Have you called Whitby Audio? Perhaps they can provide a loaner, or at least point you in the right direction. Failing that, you may be stuck ordering something off the web. Say, don't the Avia and VE discs provide the tones you require, or are these discs not comprehensive enough to suit your needs?

    Regarding sub and receiver cross-overs, I sheepishly admit that it's largely greek to me, and your own knowledge obviously greatly exceeds my own. I can tell you only that I run my M60s as small, bass out to sub for movies, and M60s large, no sub for music (I live in a townhouse; can't shake the place too much). The Yammie's cross-over is fixed at 90hz, and I've got the dial on my Axiom sub all the up, to 180hz, per Axiom's advice. Works great for me.

    Say, do you suppose we've gotten somewhat off-topic here? Cheers, Chris!

    DS.
     
  5. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Yeah, I get a little carried away typing about audio/video stuff. Perhaps I should keep things simpler eh?
    I haven't been "patient" with Marantz, I've just thrown up my hands in defeat because the digital connection for CD is not essential for me "right now". I find my CD player connected with analog cables suits me just fine right now. I could have picked up the NAD T761 for not a whole lot more than my 6200 and its sound quality is great and it only cuts off CD audio in two instances:
    1) Upon first powering up the CD/DVD player and playing a CD, a very tiny portion of the first split second of music is missing.
    2) After viewing a Dolby Digital or DTS movie with the receiver in AUTO and you insert a CD, again the T761 cuts off the first split second of audio as it identifies the data stream.
    ...but after that, no amount of changing discs (used my 5 discs DVD player to test at Whitby Audio) going forward, back or entering direct track numbers, nothing made the receiver cut off the audio.
    But I wanted 6.1 and DPLII. I like the Marantz SR 6200 as I have a CD player connected via "Analog" cables and its fine. I love the sound and it otherwise works fine. My only real serious problems are 1) The bass management 2) The actual Bass control and 3) Source Direct being soo much better sounding and yet I have no sub in Source Direct.
    Getting it resolved will entail trading in the Marantz SR6200 for a NAD receiver I hope. I await the new NAD's because I am hoping they have better Bass Management etc. Right now I want a test disc so that I may configure my setup in terms of subwoofer placement. I'd also like a test disc to determine the receiver sub output crossover or lack there of. So far, using the FRONT=SMALL and running the receivers sub output into the sub WITH the subwoofer crossover set to 100 hz seems to work very good. This leads me to believe that the Marantz receiver has no xover in the sub output but I need to test to be sure. I guess I could just unhook my speakers and listen to the subwoofer alone [​IMG]
    Good to hear your stuff is working well. So you use the Axiom's for movies and music. What did you do with your PSB 4T's? Are your 4T's doing duty for music in another room?
     
  6. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Second Unit

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    Chris,
     
  7. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Cool. I wasn't aware of the meet at Miles place. I would have been able to be there for obvious reasons, living in Ajax! I have emailed Miles at some point, perhaps the next time people get together, you guys can send us locals an email or post it on here or AVS. Email is better.
    [email protected]
    thanx
     
  8. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Second Unit

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    Will do!

    DS.
     
  9. KevinGS

    KevinGS Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Chris and Dave, the meet was a good time, very informative.

    I was checking out StudioLabs before I bought my Axiom M80s.

    I went there for a demo and the guy I was emailing to wasn't there (the owner's son I believe) but this other fellow was there and he let me put in my music and I listened to the i8 hoping to hear the same as you (great bass).

    Well I can't recall hearing great bass because I didn't like the sound coming from the side firing woofers, it seemed to reverb too much (and that definitely wouldn't work in my room).

    I also listened to some of their reference speakers while I was there and they were powerful and good sounding but much more $$$ than I wanted to spend.

    I also compared the Paradigm Monitor 9 to the Axiom and found that the M9 are loose in the bass department compared to the Axiom M80.

    If you're looking for powerful bass in a tower speaker, check out the M80
     
  10. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Cool. Good to hear from local AV enthusiasts. I am a music person first, as I always will be. I can imagine spending no more than 50% of my AV time watching movies.
    So where did you folks get your Axioms from? There main office is kinda in Algonquin Park, or Dwight maybe? Do they have a local showroom? What stores carry Axiom? I love my speakers, but I like to listen to other stuff too [​IMG] Dangerous habit [​IMG]
     
  11. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Second Unit

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    Chris,
     
  12. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Thats cool. I'll keep that in mind Dave, thanks [​IMG]
    I'm actually getting a Demo of a Panasonic AE100 LCD front projector. I have a 32" TV but all this AE100 hoopla has got me curious and this AVS member lives literally 10 minutes from me. Couldn't pass up the chance to see a 106" screen! Should be pretty darn cool [​IMG]
    My PSB Image 6T's are 9 months old and I have no intention of replacing them. However, upon buying a house, I will require additional speakers to supplement my listening requirements[​IMG] See, the thing is, right now my PSB 6T's are both my music speakers AND my home theater speakers. I know that they work awesome this way, but I will want at least one other source of music when I move out. Really, I should call them my Room Theater Speakers. I'm almost surprised my friends don't crack the obvious joke "Chris, before you invest in Home Theater equipment, you need to buy a HOME!". Right now I'm living with my parents at home and paying off my student loan, when I'm not "investing" in audio and video equipment that is [​IMG] I hope to buy a house within the next year or two[​IMG]
    ...
    So what exactly did you guys do at your "meet". Did you select a few movies to view and some CD's to audition or something like that?
     
  13. KevinGS

    KevinGS Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Chris

    At the meet, we met at Audio Excellence then to DVD Wave, then over to Miles place for some scrutinizing of his system (music/movies).

    Some guys brought equipment to mess around with (speakers, games, etc). Very interesting to see/hear other stuff.

    About the AE100, I too am interested in it, have you seen it yet?
     
  14. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I was given a "demo" of the AE100 at trevors place in Scarborough. Here was the setup:

    1) Pioneer 300 + 1 DVD changer

    2) original DVDO iscan line doubler VGA out

    3) AE100 set to 480 or WIDE VGA in

    4) AE100 defocussed and using the Hoyo filter

    5) Draper 1300 1.3 gain screen

    6) We sat 10 feet back from a 90" wide or 106" diagonal 16:9 screen

    So we sat back from the screen about 1.33 times the screen width. It was impressive to say the very least. Crap I was blown away because I've never seen an LCD projector except for cheap power point presentations! The only issue is the screen door and I am pretty sure that if you sit far enough back, its not visible. At Trevors place, I walked behind his couch, which must have still been less than 2 times screen width. Going back away from the screen, there was a point where I could not, no matter how hard I tried, I could not see screen door.

    I am very seriously looking at the Panasonic AE100 as a potential for my setup. I might even sell my 32" NTSC TV since I don't watch much TV. I am pretty near positive that screen door won't be visible in my current setup because I can't utilze a screen as big as 106" diagonal. My screen would be a minimum of 56" diagonal, or a maximum of 73 to 80" diagonal. Even at 80" diagonal, thats about 70" wide and I'd be sitting over 140" away. Basically I'd be over 2.0 screen width. I would probably fine tune my setup so that I get maximum screen size and minimum screen door, but from my short experience, I'd say I'd have almost no screen door if I used the filter and defocussed. My only concerns are the iscan is essential in my view and thats an extra cost and also the cost of a screen. A screen is not neccessarily a concern though because people are able to use less expensive ones or even in some cases, they made their own.

    So that was my experience with the AE100. It looks great in my view and is well worth the $2700.00 CAD.
     
  15. KevinGS

    KevinGS Stunt Coordinator

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    Screen door? Is that a negative effect created by the projector?

    Where would you be buying it for $2700 CDN?

    What other costs would there be for total setup?

    What is iscan?

    As you can see I know nothing about projectors, any info would be appreciated. I don't have alot of time right now to do any research with my new job and other money making ventures right now, so if you could point me to any sites that would fill me in...

    (this post should probably be in displays now!!)
     
  16. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Second Unit

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    Hey, you two dudes, I'm plenty interested in this new Panny projector, also. $2700CDN!?! Where, Chris, where? And do I really need a line doubler with it? I'm as green as Kev regarding pjs...Cheers!

    DS.
     
  17. Miles_W

    Miles_W Second Unit

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    Dave, Kevin,

    The Ae100 at that price is being imported from Japan. over at avsforum you can click on the banner ads and see an ad for

    pricejapan.com

    It is here that you will find the pj... I have a local contact that is selling the same pj ( cdn) with local warrenty for 3100 + tax. Let me know if you need more info... that 2700 price is awesome I believe that is a final landed price.
     
  18. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Here, we can discuss the AE100 more here:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=63086
    As far as things along the lines of this topic, I have come to realize I might want to listen to the Axioms and some Paradigms. I am feeling that even though I use a subwoofer with my PSB 6T's, I have a sneaking feeling using the 6T's with the Marantz receiver, I have less bottom end bass than my older Bostons did with my older technics amp, cause the Bostons are sealed and the technics amp had a loudness control. I know i have a sub, but the idea was that I could use my main speakers alone sometimes and still have more bass than the old Bostons. That might not be the case.
    I am rambling on, er, discussing some other speaker stuff like the above in this thread:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=61791
    Anybody compare PSB, Axiom and Paradigm towers for bass?
     
  19. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Supporting Actor

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    I was able to compare the Paradigm Studio 60 and PSB 4T side by side at a co-worker's house. He had both speaker pairs hooked up to his Denon stereo amp's A-B terminals, so comparing was easy. The Paradigms had more bass, but not enormously so, and sounded slightly better on non-pop material, but not enough to justify the price difference, IMO. The PSB's sounded better on pop tunes like Duran Duran, for some strange reason [​IMG]
    You can't go wrong with either, and durning my speaker search I seriously considered each of them, plus the PSB 5T, and Mission 774. After continuing my search though, I settled on Mordaunt-Short 906's.
     
  20. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Problem with the paradigms is the ones I looked at have like 2 or 3 dB or even 4 dB less efficiency. I'm not willing to take that much of a hit in sensitivity. perhaps I'll check thatm out again. Those Axioms scream of sensitivity. 98 dB?!! Wow! I should take a listen some time [​IMG]
    Its basically the loudness curve and sealed speaker sound that I liked before. Without the loudness curve, I can't boost the low end and the ported speakers don't hae suable output down there anyways. Hmm.
     

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