Axiom Speaker Company VP150 Center Channels

4.26/5 (23 Reviews) MSRP : $450.00


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Product Description

This audiophile center channel needs only a moderately-powered amp to fill a large room, without being overpowering. Capable of the incredible sound pressure levels needed for realistic reproduction of Dolby digital/DTS encoded materials. Triple 5.25" woofers and dual 1" titanium tweeters ensure that the dialogue is smack in the center of the action. Features our proprietary anti-standing wave cabinet. Measures 7.5" high by 27.5" wide by 7.5" deep. Can be inverted for low installation. Beautifully finished in Black Oak or Boston Cherry, or over 100 custom finishes available in Axiom's Customize Yours store.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (23 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by terror_beast a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 21, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I felt it necessary to add a few comments for this product. I spend a great deal of time listening to various home theater gear. If I had an unlimited budget, I'd have no problem in exceeding it :p But I am rather the reverse; I have a very limited budget for new gear and thus, I make careful decisions when I lay down my cash for new items.
Axiom Audio has earned my respect and won my hard earned dollars by offering high levels of performance and extremely high value together with excellent service. Many others have also found this to be true. Axiom's bookshelf, tower and especially their spectacular QS surround speakers have all found nearly universal praise.
But Axiom's center speakers have received more negativity. That negativity almost led me to purchase Ascend Acoustic speakers instead of Axioms. The fact of the matter is that I hold Ascend in the highest regard and wouldn't hesitate at all to recommend their speakers as they are excellent. I likely would have bought Ascend were it not for the costly shipping and brokerage fees I would have paid to have their speakers delivered to me in Canada. In the end, Axiom's free shipping saved me a sizable amount of money and was a deciding factor in my final purchase.
Based purely on sound, BOTH Axiom and Ascend speakers offer superb performance. A slight difference emerges though and the Ascend speakers reveal themselves to be extremely neutral, while the Axiom speakers are a tad more forward.
But let's move on to the point of this review. The VP150 has been criticized for having sibilance (over-pronounced "s", "sh" sounds,) a lack of bass and poor off-axis response with too great a degree of timbral change. The simple fact is that I can totally understand how people may have heard this from the VP150 speaker, but these are not inherent characteristics of the speaker itself.
The VP150 is an unforgiving speaker, not only of source material and the equipment upstream, but of room acoustics and placement as well. Axiom designs their speakers for flat frequency response in an anechoic environment, not an adjusted response for estimated room acoustics. What Axiom delivers with the VP150 is a technically and mathematically well designed speaker. But unlike Paradigm, Axiom has not adjusted the output to compensate for what they can only guess to be YOUR room's acoustics.
The result is simply this: if you have not treated your room acoustically with absorption and diffusion panels, you will likely find the VP150 sibilant, bright and/or harsh. Unlike most speaker companies, Axiom does not roll off the high end frequencies. Nor does Ascend, which is why both sound very detailed. But Ascend's cross-overs have been designed to partially compensate for room boundary reflections, leading to what sounds like a more spacious and even sound in most untreated rooms. That spaciousness actually collapses a little in a properly treated room and the CMT-340c and VP150 sound much the same.
As for the complaint of little bass from the VP150; I can only say that Axiom plainly states the -3 dB point at 85 Hz, which is JUST low enough to blend with a subwoofer crossed-over at the THX spec of 80 Hz.
And speaking of THX - there is indeed a reason why they include their own brand of processing on THX approved receivers and pre/pros. One of the key features is THX equalization, which largely reduces high frequency output. The reason for this is because movie theaters require boosted high frequency levels to overcome the damping of so many human bodies in the theater. When this boosted high frequency soundtrack is played at home, it is overbearing. BUT most speakers roll-off the high frequencies anyway! Many people have wondered why THX equalization even exists because they have never heard these boosted high frequencies. The VP150 plays these boosted high frequencies with no manufactured roll-off of their own, leading to the sibilance and brightness many people describe. Engaging THX equalization finally makes sense and the result is very pleasing.
Finally, poor off-axis response is also the result of an acoustically untreated room in most cases. Within a 30 degree window, each tweeter has no timbre change in a room without wall and ceiling reflections. Part of the problem is that the Axiom tweeter actually has a very wide cone of relatively flat frequency response, leading to cancellations and peaks in an untreated room.
All-in-all, this is a fabulous sounding speaker, but only in the proper environment. Given proper room treatment and placement, the VP150 delivers extremely clear and articulate sound with superior detail and even response within 15-20 degress to either side of the speaker.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $398.00

Purchased At:   Axiomaudio.ca



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Oskins a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 21, 2005

Bottom Line:   
As a professional musician, I am very careful about the recordings I buy and the speakers I use to play them on.

After auditioning several speakers, I finally settled on the VP150 (2005 Model) for my center channel (paired with M60s for mains, QS8s for surrounds, and an EP350).

I was amazed at how natural-sounding the speaker was, without any of the unnatural suppression of a lot of competitors' centers. It really highlights the quality of my recordings.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $385.00

Purchased At:   AxiomAudio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by douga a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 15, 2005

Bottom Line:   
This Center is part of my Axiom Epic 80 System. Clear, concise, and
authoritative, this center has changed movie watching forever. Dialog is so
crisp and intelligible, I can't believe I strained through Bose-powered
movies for so long! Finally, I hear everything!

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $385.00

Purchased At:   Axiom



Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by GeneticDrift a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 13, 2005

Bottom Line:   
I would like to start by saying I really did want to like this center, unfortunately as you will read below it didn’t meet my expectations.

There were a couple issues with this center:

Upon first hooking it up I noticed the sound was similar to the sound you would get if you talked into a metal trash can. The sound was tinny and un-natural, S’s were not anything you could miss in dialog and were overbearing.

The second problem I encountered with this center was the off axis listening. When immediately in front of it sound was totally different than if you moved into my side recliners, it sounded like you had just placed a pillow over the speaker, the distance is only about 6 ft. This is something I had read about but I still felt compelled to try it, as I said I really wanted to like this center.

This is where the troubleshooting began. I first called axiom and spoke with their tech, they informed me they had heard a few instances of this but could offer no real solution other than to return it.

Compelled to sort this thing out I tried changing the settings from small to large in my receiver, also trying every combination of crossover point imaginable. While setting it to large did take some of the tinny characteristic away from it, it still was unacceptable.

I did notice that when I blocked the center of the 3 drivers that it did seem to help the off axis a bit so again I called axiom and stated my findings. I was informed they could send me a different resistor do decrease the signal to the center driver. While I appreciate the effort on axioms part there was just too many problems with this center to keep, I could not justify spending 385.00 for a mediocre sounding speaker, a speaker that would actually gave me listener fatigue (read headache) after just 20 minutes.

I promptly returned it to axiom.



The story does have a happy ending, I since purchased the Paradigm CC-370 and couldn’t be happier!

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $385.00

Purchased At:   Axiom



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by metalaaron a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 29, 2004

Bottom Line:   
within 1 - 2 months i was able to do more critical listening. the soundstage was missing at different positions on the couch. mainly the the vp150 was not able to handle the dynamics of 5.1 very well. at least not compared to other center channels.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   axiomaudio.com




Reviews 1 - 5 (23 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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