Floor-standing Speakers

Axiom LFR1100 Omnidirectional Speakers and ADA-1500 Power Amplifier


Setup of the Axiom LFR1100 Omnidirectional Speakers and ADA-1500 Power Amplifier

The LFR1100s are a bit different than your average tower speaker. Some advance planning will be required to install them into your listening space. First off, they require two channels of amplification each. And since they’re rated at four Ohms, you’ll want a fair amount of current available to make them sing at their best. The ADA-1500 amplifier is more than up to this task. In addition, the magic that happens with the rear-firing drivers is managed by a DSP box that is included with the speakers. This is connected between your pre-amp and power amp. It’s fully balanced so you can use either XLR cables, as I did, or single-ended RCAs. The left and right signals are routed to the DSP, then output over four cables which you connect to your power amp. In my case, I used the Axiom amp to drive the LFRs and my Emotiva XPA-5 to drive the VP180 center and QS8 surrounds. All the speakers were connected with 12AWG cables from Blue Jeans Cable.

Positioning is not as difficult as you might think. The speakers are specific to the left and right spots thanks to a rear baffle that’s angled outward. It is recommended to set them at least 12 inches from the wall. If you have them closer, the DSP has a boundary compensation switch to address the issue. In my case, I placed them 12 inches out and toed in slightly. I did not engage the boundary compensation. My seating was 10 feet away and the speakers were eight feet apart.

I finished the setup by running the Audyssey MultEQ XT room correction routine in my Integra DHC-80.1 surround processor. I used the same measurement procedure I’ve used for all other speaker reviews. To begin, I level-matched all channels to 75 dB before plugging in the calibrated microphone. I placed the mic in five positions and let Audyssey do the rest. Check out the diagram below to see how I measure.

This approach has always given me consistent results no matter what speakers I have in the room. The main thing to remember is to set the microphone to the same height (ear-level) at each position. And use a tripod; holding the mic in your hand will color the measurement.

I quickly learned during the listening sessions that Audyssey EQ was not really necessary, especially for music and two-channel use. These speakers are so well-balanced; any sort of room correction makes little difference in their sound. You still may need some help controlling a subwoofer however. The LFR1100s would be well-matched to a sub that has its own EQ routine like Paradigm’s Perfect Bass for instance. In my setup, I used Audyssey only for movies and turned it off for two-channel music and concert videos.