Sony Core Series High-Resolution Speakers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 39 Old 04-24-2014, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Sony's push into high-resolution audio continues with the introduction of its Core Series of high-performance speakers. The new models include the SS-CS3 floor-standing speaker ($240 each), SS-CS5 bookshelf speakers ($220/pair), SS-CS8 center-channel speaker ($170), and SS-CS9 10-inch subwoofer ($240).

 

Sony's new Core Series speakers

 

Sony says the super-tweeters on its Core Series speakers elevate the maximum frequency response to 50,000 Hz. While humans can't actually hear above 20,000 Hz (or so), modern high-resolution audio formats can store information in that range. Now, Sony offers speakers that can reproduce those frequencies—isn't progress wonderful? Hopefully, the elevated high-frequency spec translates into accurate, smooth treble response.

 

For the last couple of years, Pioneer enjoyed lots of positive feedback for its Andrew Jones-designed line of highly affordable, high-performance speakers. For example, the SP-BS22 bookshelf speaker was a Stereophile Magazine 2013 Product of the Year runner-up. With its new Core Series, Sony aims directly at the same sort of "audio enthusiast on a budget" that Pioneer went after.

Of course, it's impossible to draw any conclusions about the sound quality offered by the Core Series without hearing the new speakers in person, but spec-wise, the new Sony bookshelf does come out ahead of the equivalent Pioneer—at least in terms of power handling, efficiency, and high-frequency response. The towers are about evenly matched, and the Pioneer center channel actually beats the Sony version by a hair (spec-wise) thanks to a higher efficiency rating. On the other hand, Sony's subwoofer appears to be significantly more capable than what Pioneer offers—again, based on specs.

Speaking of speaker specs, initially I couldn't find any online. After some searching, I finally found the official specs for the Core Series speakers on Sony's Japanese website.

 

Sony Core Series 

 

SS-CS3 Tower ($240 each)

 

Enclosure system: Bass reflex

Impedance: 6 ohm

Maximum input: 145W

Output sound pressure level: 88dB (2.83V/1m)

Reproduction frequency band: 45-50,000 Hz

Dimensions (mm height × depth x width ): 230 × 992 × 260

Mass: About 11.5Kg

 

SS-CS5 Bookshelf ($220/pair)

 

Enclosure system: Bass reflex

Impedance: 6 ohm

Maximum input: 100W

Output sound pressure level: 87dB (2.83V/1m)

Reproduction frequency band: 53-50,000 Hz

Dimensions (mm height × depth x width): 178 × 335 × 220

Mass: About 4.5Kg

 

SS-CS8 Center Channel ($170)

 

Enclosure system: Bass reflex

Impedance: 6 ohm

Maximum input: 145W

Output sound pressure level: 86dB (2.83V/1m)

Reproduction frequency band: 55-25,000 Hz

Dimensions (mm height × depth x width): 430 × 146 × 220

Mass: About 5.0Kg

 

SS-CS9 Subwoofer ($240)

 

Enclosure system: Bass reflex

Use unit: 250mm cone type × 1

Reproduction frequency band: 28-200Hz

High-cut frequency: 50-200Hz

Practical maximum output: 115W

Power consumption: 70W

Dimensions (mm height × depth x width): 295x345x400

Mass: About 11.5Kg

 


 

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post #2 of 39 Old 04-24-2014, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

...

Sony says the super-tweeters on its Core Series speakers elevate the maximum frequency response to 50,000 Hz. While humans can't actually hear above 20,000 Hz (or so), modern high-resolution audio formats can store information in that range. Now, Sony offers speakers that can reproduce those frequencies—isn't progress wonderful? Hopefully, the elevated high-frequency spec translates into accurate, smooth treble response.

...

 

Awesome!  Now my dogs can listen to music while I sleep.

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post #3 of 39 Old 04-24-2014, 12:29 PM
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Sounds like 'is high end audio obsolete' again. Does a supertweeter really provide that much more in terms of musicality? I say no. Go buy a decent set of budget audio quality speakers
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post #4 of 39 Old 04-24-2014, 12:59 PM
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I hate marketing
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post #5 of 39 Old 04-24-2014, 01:51 PM
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So Sony is getting into the ultra high-end and the super entry-level? Interesting. Kinda makes you wonder how much of a different there is between the two levels in their line-up.
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Originally Posted by javanpohl View Post

So Sony is getting into the ultra high-end and the super entry-level? Interesting. Kinda makes you wonder how much of a different there is between the two levels in their line-up.

 

Sony makes ultra high-end speakers?  Do you have a link?  I am assuming that you were referring to the the Core series when you said "entry-level".

 

/edit I take it you meant the SS-AR series when you mentioned high-end Sony speakers?

http://discover.store.sony.com/ES/ar-speakers/

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Originally Posted by HockeyoAJB View Post

Sony makes ultra high-end speakers?  Do you have a link?  I am assuming that you were referring to the the Core series when you said "entry-level", because they may be high resolution, but I wouldn't call them high-end at all.

http://www.stereophile.com/content/sony-ss-ar1-loudspeaker-specifications

$27,000
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post #8 of 39 Old 04-24-2014, 03:05 PM
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Quote:

 

Yeah, I found them after I hit "submit".  Funny that the Sony Store portion of their website doesn't have anything on them or even the ES line of speakers, yet they have the ES line of receivers, projectors, 4K TV's, and high res audio players/amps.

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post #9 of 39 Old 04-24-2014, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyoAJB View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

...
Sony says the super-tweeters on its Core Series speakers elevate the maximum frequency response to 50,000 Hz. While humans can't actually hear above 20,000 Hz (or so), modern high-resolution audio formats can store information in that range. Now, Sony offers speakers that can reproduce those frequencies—isn't progress wonderful? Hopefully, the elevated high-frequency spec translates into accurate, smooth treble response.
...

Awesome!  Now my dogs can listen to music while I sleep.

If you rig your couch right, you'll also know when your wife is pregnant and what the sex will be biggrin.gif (yes I know its not rated up to 1mhz)
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post #10 of 39 Old 04-24-2014, 05:39 PM
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Got the Pioneer set last week actually. As most of the internet seems to agree, they sound pretty good. Though that's me coming from Logitech Z-5300s, so what do I know?

The Sony's does look more visually appealing, but the price is over twice of what I paid for the Pio's. Not exactly the same price segment.
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post #11 of 39 Old 04-25-2014, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delphiplasma View Post

Sounds like 'is high end audio obsolete' again. Does a supertweeter really provide that much more in terms of musicality? I say no. Go buy a decent set of budget audio quality speakers

That's what these are supposed to be. I'll reserve my judgments until somebody gets a hands-on review out there.
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post #12 of 39 Old 04-25-2014, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexwgoody View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyoAJB View Post

Sony makes ultra high-end speakers?  Do you have a link?  I am assuming that you were referring to the the Core series when you said "entry-level", because they may be high resolution, but I wouldn't call them high-end at all.

http://www.stereophile.com/content/sony-ss-ar1-loudspeaker-specifications

$27,000
Ideally you want your stuff represented in all price segments. Ideally you want several of your products to be the best that money can buy. That is the reason why Sony makes stuff like that an this.
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post #13 of 39 Old 04-26-2014, 08:11 PM
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Super tweeters are *not* a new idea. Infinity, when Arnie Nudell was at the helm back in the 70s and 80s, came out with a number of loudspeaker designs that incorporated super tweeter drivers.

Additionally, with some of their higher-end loudspeaker offerings, in an effort to increase the "depth" of the sound-stage that the loudspeaker would "throw", they also included a mid-range driver wired as a dipole, and an additional tweeter mounted in the rear of the speaker.

The higher-end Infinity loudspeakers were highly regarded by most of the professional reviewers of the time and even found their way into recording studios. A number of very famous bands/singers had their albums recorded in the studio with these higher-end consumer Infinity speakers as the studio monitors.


nx211
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post #14 of 39 Old 04-27-2014, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delphiplasma View Post

Sounds like 'is high end audio obsolete' again. Does a supertweeter really provide that much more in terms of musicality? I say no. Go buy a decent set of budget audio quality speakers

Often quite the contrary. During the most recent supertweet fad, their addition only hurt KEF's Reference speakers, and absolutely ruined Tannoy's speakers.

On the plus side, it looks like the tweeters are in decent-sized waveguides, so the speakers have a chance of having smooth power response through the midrange. If they got the axial response pretty flat and smooth, maybe Mr. Jones does have a competitor.

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post #15 of 39 Old 04-27-2014, 06:13 PM
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Ideally you want your stuff represented in all price segments. Ideally you want several of your products to be the best that money can buy. That is the reason why Sony makes stuff like that an this.
Well, I disagree, and that definitely doesn't seem to be a common business model. Granted, most audio companies do offer a wide range of price/quality products, but to go from a $240 speaker to a $27,000 speaker seems pretty bold to me. If you want to be identified as high-end, you don't also offer budget products. That would be like Kia offering a $200,000 luxury sports car or Ferrari selling a $15,000 car.
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post #16 of 39 Old 04-27-2014, 11:01 PM
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Two years ago I was looking for a series in the price range. I'd be curious to know how they would sound in a small room.
Those are pretty cheap towers, it almost becons you to try them out in another room. Wonder what the return policy is.

Too bad you can't go back, to before it got wrecked
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post #17 of 39 Old 04-28-2014, 04:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javanpohl 
Well, I disagree, and that definitely doesn't seem to be a common business model. Granted, most audio companies do offer a wide range of price/quality products, but to go from a $240 speaker to a $27,000 speaker seems pretty bold to me. If you want to be identified as high-end, you don't also offer budget products. That would be like Kia offering a $200,000 luxury sports car or Ferrari selling a $15,000 car.
Tell me why does Sony has cheap stuff and High-End stuff smile.gif
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post #18 of 39 Old 04-28-2014, 05:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javanpohl 
Well, I disagree, and that definitely doesn't seem to be a common business model. Granted, most audio companies do offer a wide range of price/quality products, but to go from a $240 speaker to a $27,000 speaker seems pretty bold to me. If you want to be identified as high-end, you don't also offer budget products. That would be like Kia offering a $200,000 luxury sports car or Ferrari selling a $15,000 car.
Tell me why does Sony has cheap stuff and High-End stuff smile.gif

Probably because globally, Sony is the #1 brand in audio.

 

Regarding your analogy about high-end vs. budget cars, Mercedes offers cars from $30,000 up to $215,000. I think Mercedes' reputation is intact.


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post #19 of 39 Old 04-28-2014, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javanpohl 
Well, I disagree, and that definitely doesn't seem to be a common business model. Granted, most audio companies do offer a wide range of price/quality products, but to go from a $240 speaker to a $27,000 speaker seems pretty bold to me. If you want to be identified as high-end, you don't also offer budget products. That would be like Kia offering a $200,000 luxury sports car or Ferrari selling a $15,000 car.
Tell me why does Sony has cheap stuff and High-End stuff smile.gif

 

Because Sony is a Japanese company and in Japan (as well of most other Asian countries) they are not nearly as hung up on the idea that a company can only be high-end or entry level as western countries seem to be.  If Sony were an American company, they would still make consumer and pro electronics at every price point.  However, they would use 2 or 3 different brand names to market their products.  Want proof, look at Japanese car manufacturers.  Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti do not exist in Japan (or at least they did not 20-30 years ago).  Many of the same models exist, but they do so under their parent companies' names (Honda, Toyota, and Nissan).  These brands were invented to sell cars in Western countries.

 

In Japan, this goes against their philosophy.  If a product is made by Sony, they want you to know it.  Brand loyalty is stronger there.  If you purchase any brand other than Sony, you are supporting the enemy.  Business is war.

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post #20 of 39 Old 04-28-2014, 06:20 AM
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I like the Sony SS-CS3 Tower's so I might have to take a look at them when they come out. I have never had any issues with Sony's audio products. They have always been well built and durable and sounded very good to my ears.
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post #21 of 39 Old 04-28-2014, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nx211 View Post

Super tweeters are *not* a new idea. Infinity, when Arnie Nudell was at the helm back in the 70s and 80s, came out with a number of loudspeaker designs that incorporated super tweeter drivers.

Additionally, with some of their higher-end loudspeaker offerings, in an effort to increase the "depth" of the sound-stage that the loudspeaker would "throw", they also included a mid-range driver wired as a dipole, and an additional tweeter mounted in the rear of the speaker.

The higher-end Infinity loudspeakers were highly regarded by most of the professional reviewers of the time and even found their way into recording studios. A number of very famous bands/singers had their albums recorded in the studio with these higher-end consumer Infinity speakers as the studio monitors.


nx211

And, Harmon Kardon, purchased the Infinity line to kill the brand so it could sell the over priced Revel line of speakers. I miss the old Infinity company. All my speakers, in both rooms are by the old Infinity because "There is nothing beyond Infinity."
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post #22 of 39 Old 04-28-2014, 01:20 PM
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I have the old line of Sony's entry level speakers, the SS-B series (SS-B3000 fronts, SS-B1000 bookshelf as surrounds and SS-CN5000 Center) and with the exception of the center speaker, they sound pretty good. These ultra-low priced entry level speakers also sport "super tweeters" (or whatever they are called) as they claim to go to 50k hz as well. The tweeters on the B3000 and B1000 bookshelf speakers do sound quite nice (crisp and clean) so maybe there is something to their claim.

Since I'm pleased with the sound on my current set of sony speakers, maybe when I'm ready to upgrade, I'll stick with Sony and upgrade to these. As it is, I just might upgrade to this center speaker if it proves to be better than my current speaker.

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post #23 of 39 Old 05-31-2014, 07:53 AM
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It's been a while since this thread got started, but I was finally able to get a brief listen in my local Best Buy. So, obviously keep in mind that the environment is far from optimal. The first thing that occurred to me is that overall it's not an unpleasant sound, but there's a lot going on in the high frequencies. My first guess is that would be due to some EQ by Sony's engineers/designers. I don't know if I would characterize the treble as biting or edgy, because I've heard Klipsch speakers that I WOULD call edgy. If anything, I'd say (on first impression) that the Sony's treble falls somewhere in between the Andrew Jones SP-FS52 series (which I own) and Klipsch Reference RB-51 (which I own). The midrange and bass sounds balanced and non-offensive. Where Pioneer added a third 5.25" woofer, Sony chose to add a second tweeter (which is .75" and that they call a "super tweeter"). Both the Pioneer and Sony are 6 ohm speakers, whereas the Pioneer is an 87db sensitivity, and the Sony is an 88db. The comparative volumes reflect that difference.

The visual impression - I liked their design. Their tower is a single front port, as opposed to the Pioneer towers which has two rear ports. The Sony tower sits about an inch higher (which I like) than the Pioneer tower, and has pushed the tweeter assembly about as close to the top edge of the enclosure as possible (which I like, because it aims at your ears at sitting height). The cabinet passes the knock test, with quite a high-pitched quality to the enclosure. The enclosure is perfectly smooth and already has scuffs on it just from being on display. Keep that in mind if you're thinking about installing them in a room where the kids like to touch everything with sticky fingers.

On first blush. smile.gif

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post #24 of 39 Old 06-05-2014, 10:10 PM
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THE PIONEER ANDREW JONES BS-22LR BOOKSHELFS

I guess it was my incessant preoccupation and all the positive reviews thats drew me straight to the Andrew Jones BS-22LR when the re-engineered models hit the floors last year.A really listenable pair for $120 retail? I had to give these a listen!. I suppose this was the price point that Pioneer was looking for to compete with other inexpensive loudspeakers. I liked how the tapered sides and smooth black wood grain cabinet finish looked so when I fired them up at home I was pleasantly surprised. The sound wasn't bad at all compared to some of the other Best Buy cheap bookshelf speaker offerings that tend to play loud with a hot upper-band that rock and pop fans love. I’ve always liked the kind of sound that didn’t make my ears ache for hours on end. On the contrary the AJ’s had an inviting, subdued response that the Klipsch Icons and Polk TSx's didn’t have which were purposefully voiced for rock and pop music. The BS-22's on the other hand have a richer, warmer sound that's easy to listen to for hours on end that drew me to them which is probably why they're selling so well to budget-minded buyers who want something a little more neutral-sounding. The problem with a product selling for $130 a pair is that as of now they're simply not going to outperform a $350 - $500 pair of speaks and this is where the Pioneers show their limitations and while the treble was not overdone and pleasant I also found it a little difficult to localize instruments and vocals in the soundstage, something I definitely want to hear happen.

THE SONY CORE SERIES SS-CS5 BOOKSHELFS

The new Sony Core Series SS-CS5 bookshelfs look a lot like the sb-1000's except that they have a plain matte finish. More attention was given to the cabinets than the sb-1000's in that the cabinetry is better. Give 'em a good rap and they seem pretty solid for a $220 pair of speakers. They also sport a set of binding posts. Taking the covers off the baffle is nicely designed. Not only do they look very striking, the driver complement includes a 5 inch woofer with a tweeter and supertweeter right above it. They actually sound pretty good with a non-fatiguing but a very present treble and so I would have to say that they have a brighter treble than the Pioneers. The mids on these Sony's midrange I found to be a bit more resolving of detail. They like the Pioneer AJ's are both decent speakers that I find enjoyable to listen to. Are the new Sonys worth an extra hundred bucks? I'd say yes but both have a lot going for them. Each pair is over 13 in tall and will fit nicely on stands or on a shelf.

Give both of these little wonders a listen. I think you’ll find that your money will buy you a lot these days no matter how much you want to spend. The Sonys and Pioneers also fill out the line with matching floorstanders, center channels and subwoofers…and if you’re doing a home theater believe me, you’ll need to buy a sub if you want low-frequency effects With music a sub will add substantial bass to your music so just set your receiver’s front left and right speaker outputs to the ‘small’ setting. That will pass on the lower tones to the sub. Oh, just to let you know...the only store that’s selling the Sony Core systems is Best Buy, just to save you time trying to hunt down the Sonys somewhere else. Some choice, huh? I'm wondering now if Yamaha is planning to up the ante and come up with a comparable 5.1 channel offering!
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post #25 of 39 Old 06-17-2014, 07:24 PM
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Sounds good. If the Sony Core has more detail than my current speakers, it sounds like this is where I want to upgrade when I'm ready in a few years or so.

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post #26 of 39 Old 07-08-2014, 04:46 PM
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Mini review of the Sony Core. Hopefully detailed reviews will follow soon.

http://stereos.about.com/od/stereosp...eaker-Line.htm

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post #27 of 39 Old 07-11-2014, 07:06 AM
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I have heard from some people and read in some magazines that's Sony speakers aint that good and Audio aint their strong point and so fourth. Well my wife bought me 2 Sony tower speakers last Friday for a real good price and since I have had them hooked up to my surround system I haven't had any issues with the sound in fact the only complaints I have heard is to be told to TURN IT DOWN!!! lol In my opinion Sony makes excellent speakers and their new core series speakers look to be winners with excellent sound. I cant wait to go to BB and hear them. I have my eye on that SS-CS8 Center Channel speaker that's for sure.
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post #28 of 39 Old 07-12-2014, 01:40 AM
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I have a set of Sony speakers and they work just fine. The only one I'm not satisfied with is the center speaker. Hopefully the CS8 will be better than the CN5000 in that regard. A few posters have reported in after listening to these speakers and have said they liked them. Thus far anyway...
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post #29 of 39 Old 07-13-2014, 12:58 AM
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It's very sad to see the depths to which Sony has descended. Does anybody remember when Sony was a really great brand, really respected in the industry? How low can they go?
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post #30 of 39 Old 07-13-2014, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
It's very sad to see the depths to which Sony has descended. Does anybody remember when Sony was a really great brand, really respected in the industry? How low can they go?

Sad to see the depths to which Sony has descended? How low can they go? How do these comments fit in with this topic? I thought this topic was about Sony's new Core Series speakers but I guess I was wrong. So here we go again.
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