Cambridge Audio Minx Satellite Speakers and Home Theater Systems Discussion Thread - Page 15 - AVS Forum
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post #421 of 1948 Old 02-10-2012, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by andy782 View Post

Hi guys.
I bought the minx 215 (5 min10 + X200) for my small lounge based on a lot of research and some advice here (unfortunately I couldn't demo).
Finished set-up last weekend and have just started testing them out. Paired them with a Denon 1912 (MultiEQ XT set the crossover at 150Hz as expected).

My first impressions are:
Excellent clarity / definition
Great performance in the couple of movies I've watched (albeit my first 5.1 setup)
I'm left disappointed by music performance thus far. Resolves most tracks satisfactorily, but seems to struggle a bit with others. They're not terrible, but they're just not great (and I had very high expectations). Specifically:
* seems to struggle a bit in the midrange, or more specifically, the midrange seems barely there (they are good high and low)
* the transition from speaker to sub seems a bit clumbsy / is pretty obvious on tracks which travel through the crossover a lot.
* the main problem I have is that I don't feel like I'm getting a really "full" sound. They're not exactly immersing me in sound (maybe a reiteration of the midrange comment)

I've triple checked my settings, but everything is in order.
I'm desperately hoping that this is a burn in issue as I've only got a couple of hours on them in stereo. Perpendicular and professional reviews say they improve up to 20-30hrs, but I was expecting this to be minor. I've always been of the opinion that break in was a bit of a myth and more to do with the listener than the speaker, but I'm kinda pinning my hopes to it now. If they don't dramatically improve I'll be left underwhelmed.
Maybe my expectations were too high for such a tiny speaker.

Plan on running a few hours of break-in tracks on them tonight, will keep playing them and will repost in a week once they're fully broken in.

I listen to music in the 5 channel stereo setting to help fill the room. I think you will notice improvement including the sub. My sub sounded muddy for a while.
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post #422 of 1948 Old 02-10-2012, 07:48 AM
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Andy;

After hearing the Min 10's for myself I echo a lot of your sentiments. But to be perfectly honest, you're expectations may have indeed been misplaced to a degree.

Jeff was kind enough to lend me a pair of Min 10's so I could experience them for myself. After listening to them for a few weeks I can unequivocally say they do an astonishing job for their size but they do suffer from a few deficiencies, none of which I didn't anticipate though.

There are certain immutable laws of physics that can't be overcome, regardless of how clever or cutting-edge the engineering behind something is (and the Min 10's are unique in that regard). One of those rules is that a 2.25" driver is just not going to provide midrange with much authority. That's like expecting an 8" subwoofer to give you chest-slamming, window rattling bass; it's simply not possible.

Small satellites are particularly finicky about crossovers and sub placement. With the former there's little you can do to mitigate the problem -- it needs to be set at 150Hz -- but the latter can almost always be rectified with careful placement. Jeff gave you some good suggestions regarding that already. When it comes to the Min speakers he's truly the expert, so you should reach out to him for assistance.

His concern associated to the sub is well founded. If you look at the specifications of the X300 and Min 10's that Cambridge pairs they appear to be a bad match, which is quite perplexing given how highly regarded their products generally are. I noticed that my ELA-3 subwoofer didn't particularly like being crossed over at 150Hz, even though that's well within it's specifications. There was no "hole" in the frequency response, but it did tend to excite a room mode and began to ring a little. My XTZ, on the other hand, seemed far more comfortable with the higher crossover and the integration was very smooth. The point I'm trying to make is the subwoofer is extremely critical when it comes to small satellites, so it's not an area that should be overlooked.

Like the others have said, break-in is crucial. With so few hours on them I'd caution against doing any critical evaluating, in spite of how difficult that might be (and yes, I definitely understand how hard it is to refrain from that ). What I've found is they have incredible soundstage, and a level of detail that belies their diminutive proportions. I've also noticed a distinct lack of compression, even when the volume is increased to what should be considered above normal for something the size of a lemon. I was almost in constant amazement about what I heard, vis-a-vis their size. It didn't really seem possible.

Ultimately it will be your subject opinion that determines whether they'll work for you. Give them some time, and maybe try a different subwoofer location, but I don't think it would be in your best interest to give up on them just yet. They do have a tremendous number of good qualities.

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post #423 of 1948 Old 02-10-2012, 09:24 AM
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Wouldn't the Min 20 increase the overall output of the Minx in the midrange area over the Min 10? It must, because you have a larger radiating area. There may be some subtle interaction between the two BMRs, as it is no longer a precisely single point source, but still...
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post #424 of 1948 Old 02-10-2012, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post

Wouldn't the Min 20 increase the overall output of the Minx in the midrange area over the Min 10? It must, because you have a larger radiating area. There may be some subtle interaction between the two BMRs, as it is no longer a precisely single point source, but still...

Yes. It's something about having two drivers per enclosure. Plus, the larger cabinet. Since, I heard the Min 10 first in my system, I would definitely recommend the Min 20 over them. I'm glad I purchased the Min 10 first before the Min 20. So, I know what they sound like but I gotta say, I wouldn't recommend the Min 10 to most people.

As stated earlier in this Thread, I have no idea what the X200 or X300 sound like. Nor, do I know the specs on the X300 relative to the X200 but I would think they are close on the upper end. That is why I chose another brand of Sub altogether. I found the Min 20's sounded best when the crossover was set to 200 hz. Now, that is with two Subs (different brand) along the front wall. The Min 20's sound their best crossed over at 150 hz when playing real loud.

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post #425 of 1948 Old 02-10-2012, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I found this recommendation for the Minx S215 system, over Bose, off of the Home Theater Website.

http://www.hometheater.com/content/a...ers-under-1500

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post #426 of 1948 Old 02-10-2012, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

That's like expecting an 8" subwoofer to give you chest-slamming, window rattling bass; it's simply not possible.

Apparently, you haven't heard my Subs.

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post #427 of 1948 Old 02-10-2012, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mark McIntosh View Post

I listen to music in the 5 channel stereo setting to help fill the room. I think you will notice improvement including the sub. My sub sounded muddy for a while.

I forgot about this fact. Yes, metal drivers take a very long time for break-in. One needs as much as 50 hours to start sounding good but all is well around 100 hours of break-in. So, this may be his problem with the sound quality he's hearing.

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post #428 of 1948 Old 02-10-2012, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post

Wouldn't the Min 20 increase the overall output of the Minx in the midrange area over the Min 10? It must, because you have a larger radiating area. There may be some subtle interaction between the two BMRs, as it is no longer a precisely single point source, but still...

Yes and no... you would get more output, but not really more range. Doubling up the drivers does increase the total amount of sound you can get, and aids in it's dispersion, but there is a finite limit to the frequency response the driver is able to provide.

The Min 20 is not a true two-way system though, it's more like 1.5 way. Both drivers handle a certain portion of the range -- I believe up until around 900 Hz -- but then one of them takes over and essentially becomes the tweeter, so it's not both drivers playing in unison for the entire frequency range.

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post #429 of 1948 Old 02-10-2012, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Perpendicular View Post

Apparently, you haven't heard my Subs.

Apparently it's been too long since you've heard a real sub my friend...

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post #430 of 1948 Old 02-10-2012, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes and no... you would get more output, but not really more range. Doubling up the drivers does increase the total amount of sound you can get, and aids in it's dispersion, but there is a finite limit to the frequency response the driver is able to provide.

I don't agree. Doubling up the driver will extend the range. Why else is the frequency range different between the two models? Top end, no. Bottom end, yes. They really are two different sounding speakers.

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Apparently it's been too long since you've heard a real sub my friend...

Not really. I have a good memory of what larger driver Subs are capable of. Are my two MM-8's capable of what one larger Sub can do? No, but if they rattle my windows, picture frames and shake my foundation, I know there very good for their size.

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post #431 of 1948 Old 02-10-2012, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Perpendicular View Post

I don't agree. Doubling up the driver will extend the range. Why else is the frequency range different between the two models? Top end, no. Bottom end, yes. They really are two different sounding speakers.

Maybe you should slow down a little when you read... my comment was "but not really more range", I didn't say "no more range".

I know the lower end drops from 140Hz to 130Hz, but that's due more to the fact the drivers are not being pushed as hard because there's two of them sharing the load. I guess CA felt more confident that people wouldn't blow them up as easily, so they opted to lower that a bit. At least from my perspective 10Hz is a "not really" (unless your talking about a subwoofer going from 30Hz to 20Hz, then it would be meaningful).

I'm sure they sound much different too, at least I would hope so. By adding all that extra output in the sub-900Hz range you are addressing a critical shortcoming inherent in the single, tiny driver design. But realistically going from 140Hz to 130Hz for the lower extension -- which is the range the sub is working in anyway, since the crossover's set for 150Hz -- isn't going to be all that significant to the depth of the midrange. I suspect the improvements are more related to the double drivers, and the additional output they impart, more than anything else.

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post #432 of 1948 Old 02-10-2012, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

Maybe you should slow down a little when you read... my comment was "but not really more range", I didn't say "no more range".

I know the lower end drops from 140Hz to 130Hz, but that's due more to the fact the drivers are not being pushed as hard because there's two of them sharing the load. I guess CA felt more confident that people wouldn't blow them up as easily, so they opted to lower that a bit. At least from my perspective 10Hz is a "not really" (unless your talking about a subwoofer going from 30Hz to 20Hz, then it would be meaningful).

I'm sure they sound much different too, at least I would hope so. By adding all that extra output in the sub-900Hz range you are addressing a critical shortcoming inherent in the single, tiny driver design. But realistically going from 140Hz to 130Hz for the lower extension -- which is the range the sub is working in anyway, since the crossover's set for 150Hz -- isn't going to be all that significant to the depth of the midrange. I suspect the improvements are more related to the double drivers, and the additional output they impart, more than anything else.

Well, Sub Dude saying anything is implying that their frequency range is the same.

Double drivers or not, you still need to factor in the size of the cabinet. Although, the Min 20 cabinet is slightly smaller with the two drivers compared to the volume in the Min 10, there is more room inside of it. After my listening measurements, I'm not sure why Cambridge didn't lower the specs on the Min 20 to perhaps 120 hz. Though, it could be, as you stated, so no one plays them too loud and blows out one of (or both) the drivers. I'll say it again, the Min 20 is definitely the better speaker here, not just double better.


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By adding all that extra output in the sub-900Hz range you are addressing a critical shortcoming inherent in the single, tiny driver design.

This may be the reason why the Min 10 sounds better crossed over at 200 hz when play at moderate to loud levels.

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post #433 of 1948 Old 02-10-2012, 01:44 PM
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I'm not an engineer, but from my understanding, a mid range driver produces midrange frequencies because of its greater radiating area than a tweeter. By this logic two BMRs operating in parallel produces a greater radiating area, which should make a more effective radiator in the midrange frequencies. Your point, Jim, was that the size of the radiator limited output in the midrange.

I'm reminded of one of the few interesting Bose designs, the original 901s, which had no woofer but produced ample bass and midrange (and higher) frequencies through an array of equal size drivers, producing a much larger radiating area.

I seriously have my doubts that one BMR in the Min 20 design takes over for the higher frequencies. It would be more logical that both radiators are operating in parallel, with each of them transitioning into the ripple effect for the higher frequencies.
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post #434 of 1948 Old 02-11-2012, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not an engineer...

Like any of us are?

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I seriously have my doubts that one BMR in the Min 20 design takes over for the higher frequencies.

Are you saying that you don't think that one of the drivers is rolled off in the Min 20?

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post #435 of 1948 Old 02-11-2012, 05:09 PM
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Well, Sub Dude saying anything is implying that their frequency range is the same.

OK, I get it now. Imply=assume, and everyone knows what happens when one assumes...

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post #436 of 1948 Old 02-11-2012, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post

I'm not an engineer, but from my understanding, a mid range driver produces midrange frequencies because of its greater radiating area than a tweeter. By this logic two BMRs operating in parallel produces a greater radiating area, which should make a more effective radiator in the midrange frequencies. Your point, Jim, was that the size of the radiator limited output in the midrange.

Think of it like a motor; two 4 cylinder engines aren't equivalent to a single 8 cylinder. It's still just a 4 cylinder engine, times two. Same basic logic. Two of them would be better than one, but they still wouldn't equal a V8.


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I seriously have my doubts that one BMR in the Min 20 design takes over for the higher frequencies. It would be more logical that both radiators are operating in parallel, with each of them transitioning into the ripple effect for the higher frequencies.

While it may be more logical, it's not how they were designed. I specifically asked an engineer at CA because at one time I was seriously considering the Min 20's. While my post was slightly paraphrased, the essence of his answer to me was just that; the Min 20 is a 1.5 way system, and not simply dual drivers wired in parallel. I would think parallel is the better choice too, but CA decided otherwise.

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post #437 of 1948 Old 02-11-2012, 07:39 PM
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Think of it like a motor; two 4 cylinder engines aren't equivalent to a single 8 cylinder. It's still just a 4 cylinder engine, times two. Same basic logic. Two of them would be better than one, but they still wouldn't equal a V8...

...While it may be more logical, it's not how they were designed. I specifically asked an engineer at CA because at one time I was seriously considering the Min 20's. While my post was slightly paraphrased, the essence of his answer to me was just that; the Min 20 is a 1.5 way system, and not simply dual drivers wired in parallel. I would think parallel is the better choice too, but CA decided otherwise.

Thanks for the clarification, Jim. I particularly appreciate your getting information from the horse's mouth regarding the choice CA made in how they connected the two BMRs.

So have you heard the 325s setup?

I wish there were larger BMRs available from CA!
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post #438 of 1948 Old 02-12-2012, 07:55 PM
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A bit of burn in, a few tweaks and the difference in sound is significant.
I've gone from wanting to return them to thinking they're great.

After burn in (2hrs white / pink noise, 5hrs of frequency loops and a few hrs listening over the weekend):
* Min10's are noticeably better at their low range
* The sat to sub crossover is no longer obvious
* No longer feel like I have a hole in the midrange
* My only remaining gripe was that they still sounded a bit small scale playing in stereo 2.1

Switching to DPLII completes it for me (thanks Mark McIntosh). Including the centre in my front stage overcomes the "small scale" issue and gives me a full, satisfying, immersive sound.
I'm now at a point where, on most tracks, I feel like I'm limited by the recording quality, not the system. Fantastic.

"Crawling" the sub around the room to find it's sweet spot helped greatly with overall performance (thanks Perpendicular). Was able to get much cleaner bass than before. I don't think the X200 is fantastic at either end (bit muddy low, drops off high), but it's good enough for me and I knew I was making this compromise going in.

Can't wait to get more hours on them and hear how they sound after I recalibrate Audyssey.

Based on the difference I hear between 2ch and DPLII, I can understand Perpendicular's assessment that the Min20 is much more capable (note that I haven't heard the min20, just guessing based on my experience using 3 vs 2 min10s at the front). However, when I weigh the price point (215 system was less than half the price of a 325) and the smaller footprint of the min10 (this was always a system compromised by aesthetics) I'd definitely go for the 215 set up again.
Also worth noting that I have them in a small room (~15' x 11'). If I had a larger room or if I was a purist who preferred 2ch stereo, the min10 would likely be too small.
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post #439 of 1948 Old 02-13-2012, 08:10 AM
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So have you heard the 325s setup?

No, I haven't. The only CA speaker I've had the opportunity to hear is the Min 10.

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I wish there were larger BMRs available from CA!

There may be at some point; I'm not privy to what CA's product plans are, so this is purely conjecture, but I do know larger BMR drivers are just around the corner.

CA licenses the BMR technology (and probably gets their drivers from) a company named HiWave. I've been in contact with them for about a year now, as they've gone through the design and engineering phase of building larger BMR drivers. The reason I've stuck it out so long is I have every intention of building a satellite speaker using the 3.5" version, so I want to be the first kid on the block to get my hands on them.

They've missed two shipping dates thus far but they did have a demo of them at CES last month, so production is soon (or should be). Latest estimate is I can get samples by the end of March.

I imagine CA has a better inside track to HiWave then I do, so my guess is they could get them before I can. That being the case, if they do have any intention of offering a larger Min series speaker it may already be in the works. I could certainly see a market for them, but the question is do they. Only time will tell though.

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post #440 of 1948 Old 02-13-2012, 08:52 AM
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...I do know larger BMR drivers are just around the corner.

CA licenses the BMR technology (and probably gets their drivers from) a company named HiWave. I've been in contact with them for about a year now, as they've gone through the design and engineering phase of building larger BMR drivers...

...I imagine CA has a better inside track to HiWave then I do, so my guess is they could get them before I can. That being the case, if they do have any intention of offering a larger Min series speaker it may already be in the works...

Great news on the BMR front. A 3.5 inch driver should offer real benefits. So is the larger driver of the same construction...i.e. paper?

If CA doesn't utilize them, then it would seem some other vendor would. I can't imagine HiWave is building them just for fun. Any news regarding that?
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post #441 of 1948 Old 02-13-2012, 12:09 PM
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Great news on the BMR front. A 3.5 inch driver should offer real benefits. So is the larger driver of the same construction...i.e. paper?

Based upon the preliminary design documents I have it appears to be pretty much the same, only larger. But that's a good thing, because right now all the Minx speakers need -- in my opinion -- is a bit more strength in the midrange, something a larger driver should rectify. The diameter increase is approximately 50%, so we'll see.


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If CA doesn't utilize them, then it would seem some other vendor would. I can't imagine HiWave is building them just for fun. Any news regarding that?

If CA doesn't do anything with them I would certainly hope someone else does, but HiWave hasn't divulged that information to me. Either way, I'll certainly be taking a stab at it.

The FR lookings very appealing. The charts they supply are using a 50dB scale, which provides a fair amount of detail. There's a an interesting drop around 1.5kHz, and a jump in the impedance at the exact same spot, but other than that it's virtually flat -- and within +/-3dB -- almost all the way from 100-20kHz. If the graph is accurate it has an amazing range.

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post #442 of 1948 Old 02-13-2012, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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andy782,

Try experimenting with the grills on/off. You'll be surprised by how much better they sound with the grill removed.


Jim,

The rear of the Min 10 driver states Cambridge Audio with the NXT logo below that. I seem to remember that NXT & Hi-Wave are one in the same. CA gets their drivers from the factory in England.

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post #443 of 1948 Old 02-13-2012, 05:56 PM
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The rear of the Min 10 driver states Cambridge Audio with the NXT logo below that. I seem to remember that NXT & Hi-Wave are one in the same. CA gets their drivers from the factory in England.

NXT went out of business and HiWave bought their patents. Or, NXT changed it's name to HiWave and it's still the same company. I've found conflicting information about precisely what happened, but NXT (as a name at least) ceased to exist a few years ago. They had a long history too, so if it was simply a name change I don't understand the logic behind it frankly.

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post #444 of 1948 Old 02-13-2012, 06:59 PM
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This appears to tell the NXT to HiWave story, gentlemen:

http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Busi...s-01112011.htm
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post #445 of 1948 Old 02-14-2012, 06:08 AM
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Interesting article. Thanks for the link.

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post #446 of 1948 Old 02-14-2012, 09:55 AM
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Interesting article. Thanks for the link.

And thank you, Jim, for pushing the BMR quest forward.
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post #447 of 1948 Old 02-14-2012, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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And thank you, Jim, for pushing the BMR quest forward.

Which will, in turn, end up nowhere.

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post #448 of 1948 Old 02-14-2012, 12:04 PM
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Which will, in turn, end up nowhere.

How so?

If you take yourself too seriously expect me to do the exact opposite
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post #449 of 1948 Old 02-15-2012, 01:34 AM - Thread Starter
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How so?

I'm speaking of CA producing a Minx model that contains a larger BMR driver. It won't happen.

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post #450 of 1948 Old 02-15-2012, 07:44 AM
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I'm speaking of CA producing a Minx model that contains a larger BMR driver. It won't happen.

Gotcha. That's certainly a possibility, albeit a sad one. If anyone knows the market -- and driver -- it would be them, which means they could more than likely produce the best speaker using one of the larger drivers.

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