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|Besonderheiten||Der erste Blub|
|Hersteller / Marke der Chassis||Gradient|
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Once I had infected myself with the loudspeaker bug while building my Needles, it quickly became clear that that was just the beginning! In building the Needles, I got to use my favorite building material, acrylic, which has a very positive effect on the design. That’s not meant as a criticism of the usually very spartan designs on this website!
I would have loved to build loudspeakers completely out of acrylic. After some online research, however, I unfortunately found that the only structure allowing me to leave out a lot of the interior insulation was a horn loudspeaker. Because of their fairly large structure and difficult setup, however, horns were out of the question for me. In addition, horns look to me like they have “too much” cabinet and “not enough” chassis. So that was out. And since almost every other kind of loudspeaker needed insulation, transparent acrylic speakers were also out of the question for aesthetic reasons. What good are picture-perfect loudspeakers if they don’t sound good?! Since I lack the necessary specialized knowledge and measuring equipment, I could rule out developing my own. Besides, the high cost was also a breaking point. There’s no way to throw together a cost-effective test cabinet using acrylic.
So once again I ended up making some compromises. I spent my evenings digging through the various assembly-kit providers and forums to pick out “my” compromise. I stumbled across the AXIS 85, which appealed to me right away. I thought Udo’s idea was different. And I like “different”! An oversized shelf speaker on a pedestal. I liked the pedestals, which add to the volume while also lengthening the appearance of the entire loudspeaker and bringing the chassis up to ear height. But it took some getting used to the overall look.
- Structure is almost identical to the plan instructions
- Two-colored acrylic cover for the whole construction
- Crossovers moved to the fronts of the pedestals
- One bass reflex tube at the front of each pedestal (unfortunately I couldn’t avoid setting it up near the wall)
- Small visual “highlights”
- More stable stand bases
- Illumination for the pedestals (SMD LEDs / remote-controlled)
- Illumination for the stand bases (SMD LEDs/ remote-controlled)
- Integrate the decoupler into the stand base
So I got started: before ordering the assembly kits, I peppered the Lautsprecherbau team with emails (thanks once again for all the information and responses). Then it was off to my local hardware store to give them my slightly modified wood list. I ordered 22-mm-thick MDF, letting them know that I was using it for loudspeakers and that everything needed to fit exactly. Great! The boards had the right dimensions. But then came the disappointment when I started putting them together: the dimensions may have been correct, but the boards were very warped. Since I was anxious to get started, I not only glued the boards but also screwed them together. The screws would be invisible later, so it didn’t matter. Of course I pre-drilled the holes for all of the screws and countersank the screws.
I don’t have a router, but I didn’t need one for my project in this case because nothing needed to be recessed. So I just made the cutouts with a curved saw blade on the jigsaw. I also glued the joints of the two components (pedestal and box) flush without any routing, and then added screws. The cutout for the pedestal was also made using a jigsaw. I glued in the wide-range chamber, screwed it in and sealed it.
I intentionally left out an explanation of how to glue and/or screw boards together, since it wasn’t especially exciting or complicated for my AXIS 85 and I’m sure those steps have been shown plenty of times here before.
In the pictures, please note the sizes compared to the Needle and the CD set on top of the cabinet. Pretty good-sized. Also clearly visible: the “expanded” volume.
The floor plate of the box is shifted 10 mm inward. The wires for the external crossovers run along the outside. I wanted to use something shiny here, and I had the idea of using chrome-plated pipes. Have you ever tried to get chrome-plated copper pipes in a hardware store? You can either get very short pieces for a lot of money, or a whole roll. In the fifth hardware store I finally found fairly inexpensive one-meter-long chrome-plated copper pipes. But I had to be selective. Eight out of ten pipes were as crooked as bananas.
The chassis elements got to visit their future home for the first time.
For the wiring, I used 4 mm² silicon-coated measuring line. I know it’s not necessary, but these very flexible wires fit perfectly into the pipe without any extra wiggle room, and the wires were just lying around in my basement.
The crossovers needed to feel a little bit sophisticated and “open.” So I started working on a visual separation of the components – one structure for the left side and its mirror image for the right side. Then I sketched out the circuit board based on the look of the components. I have hidden the component values suggested by the developer. After all, intellectual property is intellectual property. You can obtain these values by ordering the assembly kit. Just to give you an idea of the size: the base plate of the crossover measures 190 x 100 x 5 mm. To determine the component positions, I just used a piece of cardboard. This cardboard template was then used to transfer the drill holes to the acrylic boards. After I had drilled what felt like 2000 holes, the boards were ready to install the equipment. The connections used 1.5 mm² copper wire.
All of the components were attached using cable ties and hot glue. I also installed two on/off switches, which were attached using small transparent 6-mm acrylic brackets. For the switch functions, let me quote from the standard assembly report to save long descriptions: “The doubled resistance through the small air coil cuts the value in half, which adds about 3 dB of volume above 7 kHz and gives the upper range additional freshness in the more heavily insulated space. The second version uses a smaller capacitor to eliminate the fairly wide-range, slight hump between 200 and 1500 Hz, which gives the voices a pleasantly warm tone.” So I can make the “switch” to adjust them anytime I want.
I inserted the damping insulation and soldered on all of the necessary wires. All of the holes for the wires were sealed with hot glue. The bass chassis elements received a layer of thin sealing tape. The wide-range speakers were given a seal made of window and door sealing tape. That makes the AX-5 about 1.5 mm bigger, exactly the dimension I needed to match the height of the AXT-8. The two rough cabinets were temporarily screwed together and connected so that they could start warming up.
I could give you my initial listening impressions at this point, but I would rather save them for the end of the report.
After precisely measuring out the necessary acrylic parts, I then cut individual strips of 5-mm-thick acrylic to size for the fronts and lids, as well as matching pieces for the sides. The material is a glossy black, as well as opaque acrylic in high-gloss white. The only small problem with the material: instead of a consistent 5-mm thickness, some spots are “only” 4.8 mm thick and some are 5.2 mm thick. That doesn’t exactly make the gluing any easier. But since I had planned in 2 mm between the acrylic cabinet and the MDF cabinet (except for the front), the fairly low tolerances faced inward. The first complication is gluing the individual strips flush with each other. Since the acrylic glue has a “pulling” effect due to the capillary action between the boards, glue can also seep out on the outside. It’s almost impossible to remove the extra glue, and your piece could be ruined… So everything needed to be handled very carefully, and put together not when the pieces were lying down but standing on edge. In order to glue together the various layers, I built a few small brackets from scraps. They held the three boards in the right positions while they were being glued.
Once the lids were finished, I started on the front panels. The important thing here was to MEASURE PRECISELY and make markings. Then I used my €35 hardware-store scroll saw for the round cutouts. The cutouts needed to be sawed very carefully, since the connections between the boards are very delicate. After about 6-7 hours of filing and sawing, and what felt like 100 rounds of stopping and making adjustments, the fronts were finally finished.
The front was matched with the height of the chassis (5.5 mm) using two-sided adhesive tape. However, it was only glued to the acrylic boards on one side, from the inside, and it acts as a spacer and decoupling so that nothing will rattle around later on. Since the cutouts are measured down to the millimeter (or rather 1/10 of a mm) and can be pushed onto the chassis with a “sucking/smacking” motion, the front does not need to be glued on. The lids and the fronts were glued together, and the side pieces were also fitted into place and glued in. Here are the two acrylic hoods in their later permanent positions.
The hoods were then put on. The padded two-sided adhesive band was also affixed to the side pieces of the MDF cabinet. In addition, several strips of Velcro were affixed (only the loop side). The acrylic cabinets “simply” slid over them from the front. The rear walls were made to size and firmly glued on to the MDF rear wall. Small bracket ridges are glued onto the rear walls. These fix the side pieces in place and prevent them from rattling. Thus no screws or anything else can be seen. Everything looks like it was cast in a single piece. When it’s clean and polished, it’s a feast for the eyes!
The pedestals were also covered with 5-cm black acrylic boards, and the BR tube was inserted from the front. Then I moved on to building the stand bases, which consist of 20-mm MDF boards. They, too, were covered in 5-mm acrylic. I applied a 20-mm-high transparent strip of acrylic all the way around the lower pedestal. About 20 mm behind that is a square wooden frame, which I simply cut to size, glued and painted matte black with spray paint.
Then came the real work. For each loudspeaker, I cut approx. 90-cm-long RGB LED strips to size and placed them around the wood frame. All of the connections had to be soldered, since unfortunately there wasn’t anything available in the length I needed. Each loudspeaker has a control module in the base, with a receiver unit. I had also already prepared wires for the later assembly of the upper LED units at the back of the pedestals. Underneath the bases, a 10-mm-thick hard foam layer decouples the speakers from the floor. The total height has now increased to an impressive 115 cm.
In addition to the individual lighting, many different lighting scenarios are possible – from string lights to flashing lights, mixed colors and so on.
I made the crossover covers and adapted them to the existing conditions. Unfortunately I had miscalculated, so I didn’t have quite enough material available. But that wasn’t a big deal. Two of the long sides are still open, but I can close them up as soon as the next opportunity arises. For now, the crossovers are protected from any expected and even unexpected handling and most of the dust.
The upper lighting was then finished. As with the pedestal, I used RGB SMD LED strips. This lighting can now be changed in pairs or for each loudspeaker, using a remote control. If desired, the left speaker can flash any color or cycle through a pre-set sequence of lights while the right speaker glows a different color, for instance. The intensity of the lighting can also be adjusted. Here are a couple of impressions:
And now a few words on the topic of listening impressions:
For the first few days, the two boxes sounded very “nasal.” It almost seemed like there was a veil over them. This “veil” was gradually drawn back one day at a time. The two speakers were played (constantly) at low volume, and sometimes a little louder in the evening. Every day, the two sounded a little bit clearer (what will they sound like once they’ve been playing for a couple of months?). My old Sony amplifier (from the ’80s) did an amazingly good job with the Axis speakers. Gradually, I started listening to all kinds of musical genres on them. What can I say?! The (old) Needles are really outstanding (although not very loud); but I think that what the AXIS 85s achieved here is truly impressive by comparison. I hadn’t realized how badly some CDs are recorded. My “BLAB AXIS 85s” mercilessly show me which recordings are good and which ones are poorly recorded. When they are facing the listening spot, the wide-range speakers show off what they can do. The “support” from the basses is a very satisfying addition to it all. So I listened to all kinds of music: Maria Mena, Schiller with Jette von Roth/ Kim Sanders Isgaard/ etc. Heppner, Despina Vandi, Adele, Joe Cocker, Tina Turner, Tracy Chapman, Sade, Yello, Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars, Nirvana, Evanescence, Genesis, AC/DC… but also Depeche Mode, Jean Michel Jarre, Kraftwerk and much more. It’s hard to explain – after all, I’m a layman here. Let me try to describe my impressions here. Please don’t be upset if I explain something wrong. The speakers sound very “grown up.” They also play very well at low volume, but they really get going when the volume is cranked up. The bass sounds like a bass rather than a smashed kind of droning, which we are unfortunately very familiar with. The bass is very crisp and direct. The high notes are very clean, without any hissing or the often-mentioned exaggerated S-sounds. The mid-range is clear and unobtrusive. Even at a high volume, nothing really changes. It stays the way it is: very “clean,” just louder.
It’s really fun to listen to music now. I can pick out the instruments, and it seems like they’re actually in the room. The singers sound like they’re standing in the room and giving it their best. I think that’s the “stage” that the Needles are also very good at representing, but the AXIS 85 produces it much more clearly and precisely. What can I say, I’m very excited. The sound completely meets my expectations, even exceeds them. Very impressive for this price-performance ratio.
Special thanks go to the team at Loudspeakerbuilding.com. Without the brain power that you are always investing in your “compositions,” many of us would still be sitting in front of plastic sound cubes or handing over huge piles of money for readymade speakers. To be honest, I wouldn’t have thought that these two speakers could sound so good, at such a good price. But you matched my listening taste 100%. And with a little creativity and brain power on my part, I was able to create these little “MAICOXIS 85s.”
Nonstop music -
Kuddels Axis 85
Kuddels Gradient Axis 85
Once I had built the Ax-6 HR, I wanted to bring another project to life with the new gradient chassis. The main reason was not just the fun of building it, but also my passion for wide-range speakers. They had always worked really well with my EL34 amp.
Unfortunately, the construction process took a long time because of various other deadlines. I also wanted the boxes to be visually appealing and very low-resonance. Well, all of that just takes a while. I had changed Udo’s assembly plans a little bit: I wanted to skip the hollow stands, so I had to make the cabinet a little bigger (2 cm higher) in order to get at least 25 liters of net volume for the bass. I also wanted to have a reflex channel, which is 15 cm long and about 1.6 cm tall.
First I built the interior...
and than I attached the two sides and the back. Once the cabinets were closed, it was easy to carve out the reflex channel with a trimming cutter.
In order to make the boxes as non-resonant and stable as possible, I added 4-mm multiplex veneer to the lid, floor and sides; I also used wood nails all the way around the front and rear walls. Another benefit is that the MDF boards can no longer (visibly) slide underneath the actual veneer. Finally, I covered the raw cabinet in ash veneer.
As always, that was followed by sanding, waxing, sanding, waxing, polishing… and assembly. After carefully listening to the boxes with my transistor and tube and trying out all the various crossover configurations, my finding was: like the Axis-6, these loudspeakers (in my opinion) prefer the EL34. The TransAmp works really well too, but I think the tube creates a more harmonious soundscape. That could also be because the Axis 85 is very dynamic. The wide-range speaker in particular builds up a good head of steam, so I only used one resistor for the wiring. I also preferred the option with two capacitors before the wide-range speaker. If you think the wide-range speaker is too loud, you can also calm it down by adding a small resistor before it. As always, it’s a matter of preference.
In any case, one thing is clear: these Blabs have a huge amount of wide-range charm. In contrast to the Axis-6, the #85s offer a slightly stronger bass and a little more pressure. Overall, they create a very holographic, clearly defined sound. The small wide-range speaker is completely free from attitude and distortion, even though the measurement diagrams might indicate otherwise. Once again, I relied on the reviews, and it works! The bass is sonorous and has a lot of quality. One more thing about the deep range: in the beginning, I wasn’t happy with it at all. What happened? I had stuffed too much insulation into the boxes, and some of the wool had made its way into the opening of the reflex channel. Problem solved – great bass!
In a hi-fi forum, I described the parts as a “monitor.” If you define the term “monitor” as something with precise and exact sound reproduction, then that certainly applies to this speaker. In addition, it has a nice base tone with a lot of atmosphere.
Because I have now built three Loudspeakerbuilding.com loudspeakers – the SB 18, AX-6 HR and the Axis 85 – I was asked in the abovementioned hi-fi forum if I could compare the three. Here is my evaluation:
The Axis-6 is certainly the more impressive speaker – it’s big and crazy. I like it because it takes off like a rocket and still remains clean and relatively neutral. The downside: these things are large and heavy. At some point, my back called it quits, but that was also because my design was very elaborate (veneers). If you avoid the extra work and expense, this concept is a good, cheap option.
The SB18 is a real gem. It has the personality of a hi-fi speaker, but a great one. We compared it with various industry products, which cost several times as much and in my opinion are not any better… Afterward, Volker from Lübeck built the SB36 and loved it. The SB chassis elements are really great.
The Axis 85 falls somewhere in the middle: holographic wide-range sound with a sonorous 2-way bass. These parts are relatively cheap to build, and (unlike the SB18) they practically play at the “Blues” level, in my opinion.
Well, a ranking list is always one of those things. It depends strongly on your personal preferences and moods. Let me try anyway, though. If I want to listen to “normal” music, in other words while I’m reading or something, then I think the SB18 is the better choice. But even then I’m always looking up and thinking to myself, “Man, this box is good!” In those situations, I would be playing jazz or something calm (otherwise I wouldn’t be able to read, either!).
But if I want to launch the rocket and listen to something louder, then the Axis comes into play. I think the sound of the Axis-85 is a little different from the Axis-6, although the #6 isn’t any “worse” – just more direct. Sometimes there’s no alternative.
... and that’s why rankings are so problematic! The SB18 definitely has better resolution overall, but there are some things that the “Blab” does a little better.
Anyway, thanks again to the loud speaker buildig team for developing this product and for your super support!!
Best wishes, Kuddel
Sometimes you come up with an idea that you want to implement, and you immediately start running around telling the world about your plan at the top of your lungs. That’s how we felt after the presentation of the AXT speakers when someone asked us about a wide-range box with a bass supplement. To be completely honest, that was actually the reason for the similarity between the two Axis series built by Patrick Even. So we promised ourselves that we would design a shelf box with the AXT-8 and the AX-5; the initial simulation was very promising. But the dream and the reality are often far apart from each other, and sometimes there are hindrances that have little to do with the plan but cannot be avoided in the end. In any case, the best thing would probably be to start the story of the Axis 85 from the beginning.
It is an old habit of ours, before we start building a loudspeaker, to think about who we could give it to – even though by all appearances, our approach often seems to be the other way around. We are always reminded of the old Hollywood flick, with Doris Day charmingly playing the starring role of a naïve American blonde, where something is launched on the market without choosing anything other than the name – they haven’t even defined the product category. It’s a great comedy, and people might be surprised to hear us say we watched something like that. But movies with comprehensible content have always interested us more than meaningless action. Anyway, back to the plan.
We were sold on the LspCAD, which offered us a reflex volume of just 19 liters for the AXT-8 if we separated out an additional 3 liters from the AX-5. It looked very usable, and its height and width also made it shelf-worthy. So we got to work, using SketchUp to draw a construction plan on the monitor. There was plenty of wood in the cellar, and we cut it quickly ourselves from 22-mm particleboard. We didn’t take any pictures of that step, nor of the subsequent assembly, sanding and routing. But since we have gradually become immune to the sight of the naked OSB, we were no longer very excited about the familiar yellow surface. So we decided to make the wood components a different color. Aside from white, blue is currently still in fashion, and we still had a small package of water-based stain lying around the workshop. We added a quarter liter of warm water from the tap, and we had a colorant that left the slightly recessed surfaces of the OSB unstained. We applied it using one of the many scrub sponges that my wife buys me for doing the dishes. Here we were finally able to put our photographic skills to work.
So far so good, but now the real work began. The second box, still untreated, already measured 1.5 meters in height so that the bass and wide-range speakers could be separated by a crossover. Here it should be mentioned why we are refusing to describe the planned coupling of the two chassis elements as FAST (Full-range And Subwoofer Technology), as the technology was first named by a user of an online forum. A subwoofer is always coupled below 150 Hz, or ideally even much lower, and supports a satellite system that reproduces the entire voicing range. Our project uses more of a traditional three-way box without a tweeter, and with a separation between 300 and 600 Hz. That avoids the big problem with sub-sat sets, where a small bass mid-range speaker is usually dynamically overburdened by the much-too-low separation, while the bass could actually add on another octave but would then unfortunately be locatable. The result is a singer who sounds like he’s lying on the ground, which is not so great for the musical quality. Since the bass and the mid-range speaker are very close together in the Axis 85, a deep transition is not necessary. A useful side effect: the components for the crossover are smaller, so they are correspondingly cheaper and provide better performance. We think a good name for our construction would be the “BLAW” – bass loudspeaker and widrange! It sounds better than “fast,” anyway, which means “almost” in German – in other words, a “not-quite” loudspeaker.
If you have been paying attention to our criticism of the commonly used name, you can probably already guess which unexpected hindrance forced us to scrap all of our plans. A three-way system without a tweeter has to transmit the upper frequencies from a large membrane, which makes the sweet spot very narrow. The solution is positioning the boxes at ear level and also angling them toward the listener. And that’s where the problem comes up, something that only became apparent during the angle measurements: how are we supposed to do those two things with a shelf box that is more than 30 cm deep? Simply taking it off the shelf and putting it on a stand wasn’t a viable solution. The bass amplification from its proximity to the wall was part of the design – otherwise, the 20 liters would be too small for the bass. But because the idea itself was a good one, we didn’t hesitate long. We built a hollow box stand that also expanded the volume of the boxes to about 30 liters. In order to gain access to the bass, we cut out a square in the floor of the shelf, first theoretically in the drawing and then in real life, using a Geat routing template.
two assembly plans are of course also available in SketchUp format as a zip file.
[Wood list in 22-mm particleboard per box: front/rear wall/sides; lid/floor; rear chamber wall; chamber floor; Milling depth; base in 22-mm particleboard per box: base; floor]
Since the construction of the Axis 85 turned out to be more complicated than we thought, making the crossover was downright pleasant. We capped the AXT-8 at 200 Hz, which is where the increase started thanks to the baffle-board reflections. That created the beautiful blue curve seen here. The AX-5 was not much harder, even though we were not able to adapt anything from its Quickly or HR crossover. We first altered its green curve in the box at the bottom by soldering an MKP-Q4 (red) into the signal path. At the top, a small air coil with an overlaid resistor reduced the increase above 3 kHZ (blue). The jerkiness of the curve in this area falls within a narrow range and is common for wide-range speakers, so it’s nothing to be concerned about. Overall, the amplitude curve was satisfactory, with an intersection point at 600 Hz and an excellent addition of the branches. In exchange, the bass needed to be connected with reverse polarity against the wide-range speaker. We also gave in to the occasional requests by readers to make their own adjustments, measuring out two other versions for the mid-range and high range.
The doubled resistance through the small air coil cuts the value in half, which adds about 3 dB of volume above 7 kHz and gives the upper range additional freshness in the more heavily insulated space. The second version uses a smaller capacitor to eliminate the fairly wide-range, slight hump between 200 and 1500 Hz, which gives the voices a pleasantly warm tone. The blue version has the advantage when it is set up near the wall, and the red one is better when the boxes are positioned freely. Since capacitors cannot simply be cut down to smaller values but can easily add larger values by connecting them in parallel, we provide a second one in addition to the smaller C. This creates the larger capacity. We reached for the camera again to avoid the last question about how to assemble the crossover and its variations.
Do-it-yourselfers can now unconcernedly start their projects by taking a look at the last photo gallery – for today – showing the installation of the assembly kit components.
Once both of the boxes were finished, it was time to go to the listening room. We couldn’t decide which signal sources to use for our test. We don’t mean to underrate the stereo qualities of the new AV receiver, which we use to listen to the radio every day. But we were certain that our SAC components would give us a better sound; these in turn have something of a price discrepancy with the Axis 85. So in keeping with the good price-performance ratio, we decided on our eXperience KT 88 tube with a clear conscience, knowing full well that only a few do-it-yourselfers will use a tube amp to listen to music. That was also the second problem, because of course we couldn’t focus exclusively on younger customers based merely on the cheaper price of the Axis 85 and the assembly principles. Given the roughly 90 dB of volume, which is quite a bit for boxes with 8 Ohms, we could imagine a few more senior users might also want to enjoy the sound with their record collections and a class A amplifier (or tube). The fact that this involves a completely different kind of music in each case didn’t make the listening test any easier. But what’s the use of complaining? No one is going to believe our sound description anyway. So we put all kinds of CDs into the player, one after the other, and marveled at the boxes’ unusual quality of not really having any unusual qualities. The first thing we grabbed was a two-year-old CD of Bravo hits, where Madonna and Justin Timberlake surprised us with “4 Minutes” and a deep, well-defined bass. Leona Lewis’ voice was clear as she sang to us of “Bleeding Love,” but without any of those feared hissing sounds. When Alicia Keys also failed to disappear into the thundering drums of “No one,” we felt confident enough to recommend the Axis 85 for our younger readers who enjoy this musical genre – although in the absence of appropriately-aged contacts, we haven’t been able to find out whether those names are even still popular.
It was easier for us when we were able to move to the rock, blues and jazz arena, where older box-builders are more commonly found. we weren’t able to keep the volume down on the old Canned Heat classic “On the Road Again,” this time in the original rather than the cover by Katie Melua. The boxes kept up a danceable volume level without any complaints or noticeable effort, giving Udos old bones a good shaking. Even in this very active listening room, there was no sign of a three-way box with a missing tweeter. However, we only really noticed the three-dimensional stage, with the singer out in front with the boxes and the solo guitar grouped behind them with the rest of the band, when we listened to the grandiose “Fried Hockey Boogie” from a seated position more appropriate to some peoples age. By the time we heard the spectacular “Tutu” by Miles Davis without feeling an impulse to give the job to another, more capable box, there was no longer any reason to dissuade the gray-haired generation from trying out the Axis. “Perfect Way,” another track we tried out, was a perfect description.
The classical segment was calmer, but by no means boring. Bach’s Mass in H minor, played on an LP by the Tübingen Kantaten Choir, showed off the room representation that is often used to describe the wide-range speakers. It was easy to imagine that there were no speaker boxes involved at all. As a caveat, not to be overlooked in our enjoyment of the successful project, we should mention that the position of the Axis is very important here. They are most fun when angled toward the listener, but not pointing directly at the listener’s ears. The problem is that you can only share this pleasure with others if you give up the best listening spot, either voluntarily or under duress.