I was at my local B&W dealer auditioning speakers recently and came across this little puppy:
Episode Speakers C5-SUB12
I was mostly curious about it as I am trying to setup my first "audiophile" grade 5.1 and it has a very attractive MSRP of $599. I listened to it with a few varieties of music and a clip from a few movies and concert DVD/Blu-rays. Here are my initial (albeit novice) impressions.
The Crystal Method - Dirty Thirty
This is the second track off of their new album "Divided by Night". It's got some great drum samples by Peter Hook and some positively subterranean synth-bass. Over all, the album makes a great bass torture disc, and I recommend it to any who are fans of their earlier work or just like electronic music in general. Anyway, the sub handled the heavy kick drum rather well, while managing not to get too boomy with the generous bass lines. It did get a bit muddy during the choruses, when there was a lot of stuff going on, but still quite commendable given its low price. There is a particularly low sweep around 1:50 in and the sub gave me that "feel it in your gut" normally associated with car audio gear. In fact on track 5 of this same disc there are some sweeps that dig super low, the episode rock them so hard that some previously non-functional lighting in my dealers room kicked back on!
The Hush Sound - Dark Congregation
This band always reminds me of those New York piano bars. This track opens up with some great female vocals accompanied only by the vocalist's own piano chords. The opening chords Greta plays are all pretty low on the octave scale and poorer woofers tend to cover up her delicate voice with them. The C5 did well relating the weightiness of the piano, only occasionally stuffing the singer into the background.
Ironman Blu-ray, "Jericho" Missile demonstration scene
This scene is pretty much all about output. When Downy Jr. lifts up his arms to usher in the gigantic explosion, the C5 gave suitable rumble and verve. I've heard slightly more expensive subs that really give this scene that theater quality, which I didn't really get with the C5, but it did well with the low tones in his voice during little speech before the blast.
Unknown Cream Concert Blu-ray
Just some stuff laying around the shop. I think it was the farewell concert recording. The sub did a good job disapearing in the 5.1 mix, making the kick drum and electric base known, but not forefront during Clapton's solos.
Has anyone else heard these guys yet? Any other opinions? I'd love to know that the consensus is on the forum.