Completing a Cambridge Soundworks 5.1 system - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-02-2008, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi.
I have recently purchased a Sony STR-DG820 and am looking to complete a 5.1 HT system for a small living room.
Hooked up to the 820 is a PS3 and a 40 inch XBR2.

I am using the following 4 speakers:
- 2 Cambridge Soundworks Ensemble IV as Fronts (L,R)
- 2 Cambridge Soundworks Microworks as Surrounds (L,R)
- 1 Bose VSC-10 Center Channel Speaker (I know... bad sounding)
- Sony SAW2500 subwoofer

I am going to be returning the Bose VSC-10 since I'm not too happy with how it sounds.
When I do this I can either:
- purchase a different Center speaker (CSW - Newton Series II MC155, Polk, Klipsch, etc)
or
- spend a little more $$ and replace all my CSW speakers, sub and center channel with a completely new 5.1 Speaker setup (Polk, KEF, etc).

I've had the CSW speakers for almost 8 years now. Do they still hold a good spot in today's standards?

Would it be advisable to just purchase the CSW center channel (Newton Series II MC155) and keep the 4 CSW speakers I currently own?
Are the Ensemble IV speakers the same as the Microworks speakers? On the outside they seem exactly the same.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Cheers.

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post #2 of 9 Old 09-03-2008, 06:16 AM
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I can't give you any information on the "guts" of the newer CSW speakers, but CSW is now owned by Creative Technology Ltd since 2003 (I read this recently, please correct me if this info is wrong), so there may be some unseen changes in the speakers. That said....unless your REALLY want to spend money on a new speaker setup... just purchase a speaker from CSW to function as a center (check their "clearance" speakers for good pricing).
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-03-2008, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks m_vanmeter!!

The reason I was asking if I should just go ahead and purchase a new complete 5.1 speaker package was because I am returning the Bose VSC-10 and maybe even the Sony SAW2500 subwoofer (if I decide to go with a complete 5.1 speaker system).
By doing so I will have around $300 to spend.

I can either spend it on a new 5.1 speaker system or just a good center channel.
If you think that my 8 year old Cambridge Soundworks (Ensemble IV and Microworks) are still a "keeper", than I would probably take your advice and just get a good center channel.

The ones I'm looking at are:
- Cambridge Soundworks Newton Series II MC155 ($119.99)
- Cambridge SoundWorks Newton Series II MC305 ($159.99)
- Cambridge SoundWorks Newton Series II MC405 ($254.99)
or
- Polk CS10 Center ($179.99)
- Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000 ($219.98)

or if you can suggest any others I should consider...

Once again, your opinion will definitely help me make a better decision and would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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post #4 of 9 Old 09-03-2008, 10:43 AM
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if your current CSW speakers are OK for the small room, the $300 would be better spent on just a center and a better sub. That tight a buget does not go very far towards a 5.1 system, unless it is very low end. Build on what you have.
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-03-2008, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome!
I just went to CC to check out what they have for center channels when I return my Bose VSC-10.
At the moment I'm in between:

- Klipsch C-2 ($279.99)

- Boston Acoustics HS225 ($249.99)

- Polk M Series PLK CSM ($129.99)

Which of these would anyone here recommend?

Personally, I think the Klipsch sounded a little better/clearer than the other two.
Also, after listening to the full setup they had at the store... I think I will be slowly upgrading my entire 5.1 speaker system.
That being said, I would start with the center channel speaker.
So, whatever brand I decide to go with will probably be the same brand I get when I do get the other speakers (Fronts, Surrounds and Sub).
Since this complete upgrade might take some time... would any of the 3 speakers above be "overkill" for my current Cambridge Soundworks setup?

Once again... thanks!

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post #6 of 9 Old 09-03-2008, 05:31 PM
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The old CSW systems were designed and voiced by Henry Kloss which is a pretty high recommendation. IMHO the best center would be another Ensemble IV speaker, or maybe one of the larger Ensemble speakers. After many, many years I am still using CSW Surround 5.1s as my surround speakers (set in bipole mode). At any rate whatever center channel you get, if that's what you're going to do next, should sound as much like the Ensemble IVs as possible. Don't pay any attention to what they sound like at the big box store.

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post #7 of 9 Old 09-03-2008, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your replies.
Per the advice I got from you guys, I am going to go with the Cambridge Soundworks as far as the center channel.
I am debating whether to get the:
- Newton Series II MC305 ($159.99)
- Newton Series II MC405 ($299.99)
- Newton Series MC630HD ($199.99)

Does anyone here have any experience with either of these speakers?
I am leaning against the MC405's but noticed the MC630HD's - they're fairly new but how is their quality?

Once again, thank you for all your help.

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post #8 of 9 Old 09-04-2008, 06:09 AM
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I suggest you make use of the CSW return policy and give the speaker of your choice a try. Worst case you are out the 2-way shipping costs.
http://www.cambridgesoundworks.com/s...uarantee_30day
you might check out their clearance pricing on some subwoofers at the same time
http://www.cambridgesoundworks.com/s...=clr_subwoofer
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-04-2008, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_vanmeter View Post

I suggest you make use of the CSW return policy and give the speaker of your choice a try. Worst case you are out the 2-way shipping costs.
http://www.cambridgesoundworks.com/s...uarantee_30day
you might check out their clearance pricing on some subwoofers at the same time
http://www.cambridgesoundworks.com/s...=clr_subwoofer

Thanks again m_vanmeter!!

You are %100 correct as far as trying them out first. Probably my best bet.
I was just trying to find out if anyone here has already gone through that process before and if so... which of the 3 CSW speakers I mentioned, had they stuck with.
As far as the subs... Damn! They have some pretty good deals!!
I might just order one of those as well.
Thanks for the "heads-up"!!

Cheers.

my TV is HD... not my writing!
Check out my thread: Sony BRAVIA KDL46XBR2 - User Settings/calibration
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