Blown Away by Cadence CSX-12 MKII
I recently bought the Cadence CSX-II MKII subwoofer based off forum posts here and various online reviews, and I'd like to complement those sources with my own opinion.
This subwoofer is a fantastic value. I got mine off eBay for $200 shipped (open box but unused). The first thing I noticed when FedEx dropped it off was that 1) at 76lbs, it weighs double that of any other subwoofer in its price range, and 2) it is also double the size. I opened up the package and I was extremely impressed by how well built and sturdy the cabinet was. It felt much, much more expensive and solid than any other subwoofers I have seen below $500.
I set it up with my Yamaha RX-V675 ($350 refurb at Amazon) using YPAO and tweaked from there, and the configuration that sounded best to my ears in my small room (18x16 or so) was as follows:
Front: JBL L1s ($20 for the pair at Goodwill), set to large
Center: JBL S-Center II ($50 used on eBay), great timbral match to the L1s, set to large
Subwoofer 1: Cadence CSX-12 MKII ($200 shipped open box), crossover set at 80hz
Subwoofer 2: MartinLogan Dynamo 300 ($100 on sale new on Amazon), crossover set at 80hz
Surrounds: Cambridge Soundworks by Kloss Ensemble IIs ($10 at Goodwill), set to small
I kept my old subwoofer, the MartinLogan Dynamo 300, to patch up the midrange in the front of the room. That sub only has an 8-incher in it, and it really isn't a thumper at all— it's more of a smooth but accurate musical speaker, and I suppose it's only fair that it doesn't offer much thump given its price ($130 new and shipped from Amazon). I keep it right below my center speaker to avoid localization.
The Cadence is in the rear corner of the room, and it offers the thump from around 35-50hz (where the MartinLogan is much weaker).
I was really, really pleased by how well both subs worked in unison. They provided quick, accurate, and well-blended thump to both movies and music. This subwoofer is terrifyingly loud during explosions. I could feel my heart nearly stopping while watching War of the Worlds, which is something I have never experienced with a subwoofer I could afford (below $300). The couch shook during half of the scenes in that film. Afterwards, I had to take a Xanax because I felt shell-shocked.
I have had a fair amount of experience with the MartinLogan Dynamo 1000, which is what my father has, and this Cadence sounded very, very similar for a fraction of the price. I noticed that Sound & Vision's review noted the same— this subwoofer is able to compete with a number of $1000 subwoofers. I'm sure it isn't on the same level as some nice SVSs and other hardcore subs, and this sub definitely doesn't hit much below 35hz, but for $200, I can't complain. My ears aren't that good anyways, so I don't spend too much on audio systems. I'm extremely happy with what I have!
If you can't decide between this and any of the other recommended sub-$300 subwoofers, pick this one. It feels like a much more expensive one than the other budget models, and it sounds like one too.
Last edited by sk5987; 07-26-2014 at 12:21 AM.