Epic 80 Adjusting the Speakers
All rooms are different, so here are some considerations when setting up your system:
- Room dimensions
- Entertainment center configuration
(placement of speakers in relation to)
- Flooring material
- Wall placement, reflections, etc for surrounds
As mentioned earlier, in my 12 x 20 listening room I have situated the M80ti(s) about 9 feet apart. This allows for the entertainment center and the subwoofer to be located inside the two floor-standing speakers. I have the M80ti(s) slightly toed in (this was adjusted more after I reviewed the first CD.) The backs of the speakers are located about 1 foot from the rear wall and they are bi-wired to my Sherbourn 7/2100 amplifier. The Yamaha RX-V3000 serves as the preamp and processor for the entire system.
Upon setting up the speakers and integrating them into my system, the first thing I noticed was the incredible presence and detail of the highs. Having previously been an owner of B&W 602 speakers, the clarity and imaging put forth by the M80ti(s) was a refreshing upgrade. Vocals and guitars, which I had previously thought sounded good, all of a sudden appeared to sound much livelier. "Good" highs suddenly became great .
The center channel, which anchors the main dialogue and action to the television is locate on top of the entertainment center, about 5 feet above the floor. By utilizing typical rubber door stops, I am able to point the center channel directly at the listening position - a must for accurate on-axis sound reproduction. I also recommend bringing all three main speakers into alignment so that the center channel driver isn't in front of or behind the main speakers.
As this was my first experience with 'quadpolar' surrounds I had many expectations, but no idea of exactly how well the directionality of the decoded sound would be reproduced. Following the advice of Axiom aficionado Alan Lofft, I mounted the QS8s at a height of 7 feet on the rear wall of my listening room, about 7 feet apart (side wall mounting is not possible in my case.) This set the speakers in a position so that the side-firing titanium tweeters could fire into the rear-center position as well as to the sides for a wider soundstage. Once installed, the ability of these quadpolar surrounds to complete the soundstage is nothing short of remarkable. I don't suppose I will ever go back.
Placing the EP350 has proven to be the most difficult aspect of setting up the Epic80 system. Having heard this subwoofer in 3 different rooms so far, the EP350 has always been a challenge to situate and obtain clean, tight sub frequencies. After much positioning and testing, I ended up finding the best spot just inside of the left M80ti, about 1 foot from the rear wall, with the phase switch set to 180 degrees . I can guarantee from experience that you will need to do your own positioning to find a spot in your own home. Once found, the result is a nice, clean resonating subwoofer.
I have heard subwoofers with tighter punch, but not for this price. At $620 you get a strong subwoofer that isn't going to break up on you during extended low-end sequences. After some careful tweaking and manipulations, I found that the EP350 could blend in nicely with the frequency range supported by the M80ti(s). Using the subwoofer frequency sweep test on the Avia set up DVD I was able to set the crossover where it blended almost seamlessly into the system. For my system, that was around 55Hz.