Cambridge Audio Minx Satellite Speakers and Home Theater Systems Discussion Thread - Page 16 - AVS Forum
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post #451 of 1941 Old 02-15-2012, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

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.

Well, Jim, could you possibly ask your contact if Cambridge might be thinking of such a thing?

Thanks
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post #452 of 1941 Old 02-15-2012, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post

Well, Jim, could you possibly ask your contact if Cambridge might be thinking of such a thing?

My contact was one of the engineers that finally answered my questions because the ones I had been asking were not something the regular support techs could. But I haven't contacted him since. The person I have been emailing regularly is the guy at HiWave, because I'm trying to stay on top of the new drivers.

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post #453 of 1941 Old 02-15-2012, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

My contact was one of the engineers that finally answered my questions because the ones I had been asking were not something the regular support techs could. But I haven't contacted him since. The person I have been emailing regularly is the guy at HiWave, because I'm trying to stay on top of the new drivers.

Well, I remain hopeful, because the design concept is sound, and the larger driver is logical.

I hope you keep your ear to the ground, Jim.
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post #454 of 1941 Old 02-20-2012, 04:14 AM
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Hello,

I have been keeping an eye on this thread and I have to say its been very enjoyable and interesting read - especially the detailed reviews on the CA Mins.

I have a question regarding the sub. My room size is approximately 12' x 15' x 11' and I have pretty much decided on getting 2 x Min10s (FL + FR) and a 1 x Min20 for the centre. So getting back to the sub, I have a soft spot for the BK Gemini II as I have read it has a more musical rounded tone instead of the CA X200.

Can anyone recommend this set up ?

Appreciate any feedback - thanks
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post #455 of 1941 Old 02-20-2012, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by EnglishGent View Post

I have a question regarding the sub. My room size is approximately 12' x 15' x 11' and I have pretty much decided on getting 2 x Min10s (FL + FR) and a 1 x Min20 for the centre. So getting back to the sub, I have a soft spot for the BK Gemini II as I have read it has a more musical rounded tone instead of the CA X200.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of the CA subs. To me they seem like a poor value, costing a lot for what you get (and seemingly never on sale either). That directly contrasts the Minx speakers, which appear to be the exact opposite; quite a lot for your money. Be that as it may...

On BK Electronics website there is no indication of what the true frequency range is for the Gemini II, nor do they list it in the manual, so it's difficult to say if it would integrate well with the Mins. I do so where it says "Variable cut off frequency 40Hz - 120Hz", which implies the sub doesn't go much beyond 120Hz. If that's true then it wouldn't be compatible with either the Min 10 or 20, because you would need the sub to have strong output to at least 150Hz.

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post #456 of 1941 Old 02-20-2012, 09:01 AM
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Thanks for the reply Jim,

Yes, here in the UK it appears that only 1 chain sells CA Minx gear (Richer Sounds) so they may have an exclusive agreement with them.

From a price point of view I do agree that the CA subs appear to charge a premium for what they are. I did have a demo of the sub in my local store and wasn't too impressed

The Gemini (although I haven't listened to it) seems to get good reviews from real users as well as reviewers so that's why I had that in mind.

If that's not possible to marry up with the Min10s/20 - do you have any recommendations on other subs ? I also had the Wharfedale SW150 on my radar.

#thanks
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post #457 of 1941 Old 02-20-2012, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by EnglishGent View Post

Thanks for the reply Jim,

Yes, here in the UK it appears that only 1 chain sells CA Minx gear (Richer Sounds) so they may have an exclusive agreement with them.

From a price point of view I do agree that the CA subs appear to charge a premium for what they are. I did have a demo of the sub in my local store and wasn't too impressed

The Gemini (although I haven't listened to it) seems to get good reviews from real users as well as reviewers so that's why I had that in mind.

If that's not possible to marry up with the Min10s/20 - do you have any recommendations on other subs ? I also had the Wharfedale SW150 on my radar.

#thanks

Hi there englishgent, i have the min20s and x300 sub i have also owned the bk gemini and it is a really capable subwoofer.

it's got very good bass punch although when i changed speakers i thought that it would be better to use the cambridge audio sub with the minx speakers and i think that they mesh very well.

Richersounds isn't the best place to demo i have had problems there myself sometimes they don't set the speakers up correctly which could put you off a potential purchase.

But rest assured i feel that the cambridge audio x300 sub is very good imo and if your seeking more bass then x500.
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post #458 of 1941 Old 02-20-2012, 09:35 AM
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Personally, I'm not a big fan of the CA subs. To me they seem like a poor value, costing a lot for what you get (and seemingly never on sale either). That directly contrasts the Minx speakers, which appear to be the exact opposite; quite a lot for your money. Be that as it may...

On BK Electronics website there is no indication of what the true frequency range is for the Gemini II, nor do they list it in the manual, so it's difficult to say if it would integrate well with the Mins. I do so where it says "Variable cut off frequency 40Hz - 120Hz", which implies the sub doesn't go much beyond 120Hz. If that's true then it wouldn't be compatible with either the Min 10 or 20, because you would need the sub to have strong output to at least 150Hz.

Hi Jim,

I spoke to BK directly about the Gemini today and asked them about this and although the published frequency range is as you described above, they did say that "the gemini has 2 filters and one of them can be bypassed for AV use by using LFE and setting the desired frequency for the satellites through the AV receiver". Does that make it more feasible or should I still be looking at a different sub (or alternatively staying with the Gemini and looking at other satellites )

~thanks
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post #459 of 1941 Old 02-20-2012, 09:48 AM
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Richersounds isn't the best place to demo i have had problems there myself sometimes they don't set the speakers up correctly which could put you off a potential purchase.

If not Richer Sounds then where else can I get a demo since no one else sells them
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post #460 of 1941 Old 02-20-2012, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by EnglishGent View Post

If that's not possible to marry up with the Min10s/20 - do you have any recommendations on other subs ? I also had the Wharfedale SW150 on my radar.

Judging by the spec's it seems the SW150 would be even worse; the upper end of it's frequenct range is only 110Hz, so I doubt that's going to work either.


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I spoke to BK directly about the Gemini today and asked them about this and although the published frequency range is as you described above, they did say that "the gemini has 2 filters and one of them can be bypassed for AV use by using LFE and setting the desired frequency for the satellites through the AV receiver". Does that make it more feasible or should I still be looking at a different sub (or alternatively staying with the Gemini and looking at other satellites )

Unfortunately those filters and the bypass are not going to help for this situation. They're associated to something else.

The issue is the upper range that the subwoofer can achieve while still providing usable output. Since the Mins are so tiny they need a sub that can accomodate some of the frequencies that are normally handled by the speakers themselves. To properly integrate you need a sub that can go to at least 150Hz, so when looking for potential options the frequency range should say something like 25Hz-150Hz +/-3dB. The lower number can be different -- that was just an example -- but the higher number has to be at least 150Hz in order for you to have seamless integration.

Since you're in England I'm not 100% certain what products are available to you, but a couple of potential candidates that might be worth investigating are:

XTZ Sound. I own the 99 W10.16 myself -- even did a review -- and have found it to be a very nice subwoofer indeed. It handles music and movies with equal aplomb.

Martin Logan makes good speakers, but you'll need to spend a few dollars in order to get enough lower extension to really make movies come to life.

REL makes some nice products too, so they could be another option.

The Minx speakers are very unique, and offer an amazing sound for their size. They do have some physical limitations based upon their diminutive proportions, but if you can find a compatible sub it's probably worth the effort because the reward is some unbelievably good sound.

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post #461 of 1941 Old 02-20-2012, 11:18 AM
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Hey there, Jim.

I'm still not giving up on larger CA BMRs down the road.

The expensive NAIM Ovators apparently use BMRs, and it's interesting to read that reviewers (who by and large admire them) sometimes criticize them for a certain hardness at the upper end...similar to Minxes that have not been given time to open up. Reviewers of these kinds of drivers need to allow for a break-in period.

Cheers
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post #462 of 1941 Old 02-20-2012, 12:35 PM
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XTZ Sound. I own the 99 W10.16 myself -- even did a review -- and have found it to be a very nice subwoofer indeed. It handles music and movies with equal aplomb.

I read your review of the XTZ ... (I won't even try to say the model name - even the ever so reliable Messrs. Copy and Paste refuse to join in )

All I can say is Wow ! The only drawback (for me at least) is the company is based in Sweden and if things go wrong within the warranty period I'd have to ship it to Sweden for it to be fixed - I haven't still put it out of the frame though.

I'll have to look at other options. My room isn't that huge; its roughly 10'x15'x9' and although I'd like to hear all the detail if I'm watching a film in DD or DTS-HD I have to be a bit wary about the neighbours. I don't want to get into their bad books.

Still the search goes on ...
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post #463 of 1941 Old 02-20-2012, 12:55 PM
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I read your review of the XTZ ... (I won't even try to say the model name - even the ever so reliable Messrs. Copy and Paste refuse to join in )

I found their naming convention to be a bit odd myself. I know what some of it designates, but other portions of the name befuddle me. I've even mentioned that to them, but never really got a definitive answer.

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All I can say is Wow ! The only drawback (for me at least) is the company is based in Sweden and if things go wrong within the warranty period I'd have to ship it to Sweden for it to be fixed - I haven't still put it out of the frame though.

I can say, first hand, that it's a quality piece, but your concern is valid. Is Sweden where all their European shipments originate from?

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post #464 of 1941 Old 02-20-2012, 02:43 PM
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EnglishGent,

Ironically, I have spent an extraordinarily huge amount of time searching everywhere & every brand out there for non CA subs that have the variable frequency control that Jim talks about & it is like trying to find a needle in a haystack - there really are very, very few about & even then, it might not offer what you might want from a sub - size of driver, type of sub, form factor, price or even if a particular model is available in the home country.

I think the CA subs are grossly over priced & one can get better for much less money but the fly in the ointment is that most simply will not work with speakers like the Minx satellites. I am am pretty much giving up on the Minxes now because of this unless something turns up later on.

By the way, I understand, they have changed the specs of the satellites as they now apparently use smaller magnets to save costs (but the price of the speaker has actually gone up!!) & I can only assume this might have affected sound quality?

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post #465 of 1941 Old 02-20-2012, 03:15 PM
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By the way, I understand, they have changed the specs of the satellites as they now apparently use smaller magnets to save costs (but the price of the speaker has actually gone up!!) & I can only assume this might have affected sound quality?

Bazzy!

Well, the price here in the US appears to be the same... at least on Amazon. Where did you read that they changed the magnet size? That I would be terrible and strange, if true.
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post #466 of 1941 Old 02-20-2012, 06:28 PM
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Ironically, I have spent an extraordinarily huge amount of time searching everywhere & every brand out there for non CA subs that have the variable frequency control that Jim talks about & it is like trying to find a needle in a haystack - there really are very, very few about & even then, it might not offer what you might want from a sub - size of driver, type of sub, form factor, price or even if a particular model is available in the home country.

All of the companies I mentioned above do actually make sub's that can go to 150Hz, so any of them should work fine. But your point is valid; not every manufacturer makes a sub that can play up to 150Hz, and even those don't always sound good crossed that high. I know the XTZ does, because I've experienced both it and the Min 10's myself, but the number of available options to choose from is somewhat limited.

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post #467 of 1941 Old 02-20-2012, 06:31 PM
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Well, the price here in the US appears to be the same... at least on Amazon. Where did you read that they changed the magnet size? That I would be terrible and strange, if true.

I'm curious to know about that as well. Neodymium prices did skyrocket when China clamped down on the export of rare earth materials last year, so if this proves true perhaps that's the reason why.

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post #468 of 1941 Old 02-20-2012, 07:24 PM
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Guys,

I haven't got the Min20, but did get a chance to demo it at the local hi-fi shop. Like some here, I was impressed with the small satellite speaker as it'll be a great match for the small apartment I'm living in. Wanted see if there was another good sub that it can match with the Min20 other than CA standard X200, X300 or X500 subs as I wasn't impressed with the high cost.

That led me to GoldenEar Technology. I ended up looking at the Forcefield 3 sub - about $500. While the Forcefield 3 rating of 18 Hz to 250 Hz can be taken with a grain of salt, the high pass filter is rated at 6dB/octave from 150 Hz which seems to match the bottom crossover of the Min20. I haven't had a chance to demo the Forcefield 3 sub yet - still looking around for a place that has it set-up.

Will report back if there's anything worthwhile.

Steve

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post #469 of 1941 Old 02-20-2012, 08:33 PM
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\\That led me to GoldenEar Technology. I ended up looking at the Forcefield 3 sub - about $500. While the Forcefield 3 rating of 18 Hz to 250 Hz can be taken with a grain of salt, the high pass filter is rated at 6dB/octave from 150 Hz which seems to match the bottom crossover of the Min20. I haven't had a chance to demo the Forcefield 3 sub yet - still looking around for a place that has it set-up.

Ah yes, GoldenEar. The company with the prehistoric distribution model...

The guy who started that company -- Sandy Gross -- also started two others; Polk Audio and Definitive Technology. He obviously knows his stuff about loudspeakers, be he's woefully behind the times when it comes to how things are done today.

GoldenEar only sells through authorized dealers, which means you can't buy anything over the internet. Period. I discussed that shortcoming with him until I was blue in the face, but he was adamant about not changing his sales method. That's his prerogative, of course, but I find it hard to imagine GoldenEar will be anything more than a niche product because of that. This is the 21st century, after all. Shame too, because they might be good speakers.

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post #470 of 1941 Old 02-21-2012, 12:56 AM
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Hi Jim,

Speaking of Def Tech, I did have a listen to the Def Tech ProMon600 which was configured in a 5.1 system and in another hi-fi shop on the same day. The ProMon600 satellites were sitting on stands, the ProCenter1000 below the LCD TV and ProSub600 in a corner of the dedicated cinema room. Have to say that the ProMon600 system sounded really nice - very impressed. The ProMon600 system had a much deeper sound stage, the music was fuller, richer with details and coupled with tight base. Wanted to hear the larger ProMon1000 set and see if its better, but the hi-fi shop didn't have it available.

Thinking back on the Min20 demo it was apparent that the set-up wasn't good. The Min20 were sitting in a general open area, with distractions all around - so couldn't do a critical listen. The Min20 were mounted on a wooden frame and driven by Cambridge Audio CD player with built in small amp - forgot which model. I wish they had put a bit more thought in presenting the Min20, both visually and sonically. Even when turning up the volume to the loudest level, the small power output of the CD player and amount of space those little speakers and the x200 sub had to fill was much larger than what they were designed for. Sound quality suffered as a result. The music was muddy and the base was tiny. I'm sure if the Min20 was set in a proper room it would have been better and could have done some critical listening.

So between the ProMon600 and the Min20, it wasn't an apple to apple comparison - totally different environments. This is because the ProMon600 was set-up right, within a dedicated room, with proper room treatments and powered by a good multi-channel amp. The Min20 wasn't.

The ProMon600 are bigger and can go to a lower frequency of 65Hz, while the Min20 is rated down to 130Hz. Size wise, both would fit well into the apartment, the floor area is 10'x15'. The lower frequency of the Def Tech means it would be easier to match with a good musical sub.

I'm just having a re-think about the Min20 after the listening experience and see what other options are there. The small sat + sub concept is the only thing that going work inside a small apartment and get a good WAF. I'm mainly listen to music and watch movies/TV shows in a 60/40 split.

Will see if there's another hi-fi shop that has the Min20 properly set-up and some critical listening can be done.

Steve

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post #471 of 1941 Old 02-21-2012, 02:44 AM
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Well, the price here in the US appears to be the same... at least on Amazon. Where did you read that they changed the magnet size? That I would be terrible and strange, if true.

Hi,

I came across this post on the UK AVForums as apparently there are new Min11 & Min21 models:

"The Min11 and Min21 have been basically redesigned to use less neodymium as the cost of this as a raw material has shot up significantly since they were originally developed. They've also been made to allow greater excursion (i.e. the driver can move farther in and out, allowing for higher SPL levels and also slightly better low frequency performance, as seen from the spec) and to remove a peak in the frequency response at 8kHz. They look the same physically, but cost £10 more each. Subs are unchanged.

I'd contact RS, nguttridge, and let them know. More than anything else, I'd want to have them all matching since they've changed their EQ...
"

Post 78:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/speak...essions-2.html

Bazzy!
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post #472 of 1941 Old 02-21-2012, 04:28 AM
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Hi there englishgent, i have the min20s and x300 sub i have also owned the bk gemini and it is a really capable subwoofer.

Hi markidee,

When you had the Gemini, did you ever try it with the Min20s ?
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post #473 of 1941 Old 02-21-2012, 04:32 AM
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Hi,

I came across this post on the UK AVForums as apparently there are new Min11 & Min21 models:

Thanks Bazzy,

Indeed finding the right sub with a good frequency range to go with the Mins is proving difficult. I think I'd probably be nmore successful at locating the whereabouts of Lord Lucan before I find the right sub

Yes, I had a look at the link for the AVForums thread and even though the poster mentions the 'new' models, I had a look at the CA site and there's no mention of them. A search on their site came back with nothing. How strange ?
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post #474 of 1941 Old 02-21-2012, 06:01 AM
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Yes, I had a look at the link for the AVForums thread and even though the poster mentions the 'new' models, I had a look at the CA site and there's no mention of them. A search on their site came back with nothing. How strange ?

I'd say very strange. The poster claims to have actually heard them, so he's not simply implying they exist but categorically stating they do. A quick google search turns up a few references, so it appears as though something is going on, but I wouldn't call what I found anything definitive. They could stand to be freshened up, so perhaps there is some merit to thise.

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post #475 of 1941 Old 02-21-2012, 07:00 AM
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Hi markidee,

When you had the Gemini, did you ever try it with the Min20s ?

Unfortunately i didn't when i had the gemini it was used in conjuction with some monitor audio bx2's and bx center. The only reason for buying the minxs was due to me downsizing.

But i thought that it would be better to get the x300 alongside the min20s seeing as the sub is designed to work with them.

If i was you and you did decide to buy the minxs i would only consider either the x300, or x500. When i first demoed them they were poorly setup and the staff were useless to say the least.

I went to a different richersounds in the end for a second demo and they just so happened to have the min20s and x300 setup, i was able to switch between the min10s and min20s where you can hear a big difference between the too speakers.

The x300 just impressed me from the off with it's diminitive dimensions but tight clean punchy bass. I listened to various genres of music and was consistantly impressed with what i was hearing which led me to my purchase.

The only reason i brought the minxs was because i got a deal due to how i was treated in store previously which made it a no brainer to buy them and i'm really happy.

I always hate it when shops have speakers poorly setup because it makes it easy to dismiss a particular brand on how they sound... but when speakers are set up correctly they can definately alter your perceptions.

After calibrating mine with my denon the sound quality is crisp and powerful and at times i really feel like i'm listening to bigger speakers.
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post #476 of 1941 Old 02-21-2012, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by markiedee View Post


I went to a different richersounds in the end for a second demo and they just so happened to have the min20s and x300 setup, i was able to switch between the min10s and min20s where you can hear a big difference between the too speakers.

The x300 just impressed me from the off with it's diminitive dimensions but tight clean punchy bass. I listened to various genres of music and was consistantly impressed with what i was hearing which led me to my purchase.

The only reason i brought the minxs was because i got a deal due to how i was treated in store previously which made it a no brainer to buy them and i'm really happy.

I always hate it when shops have speakers poorly setup because it makes it easy to dismiss a particular brand on how they sound... but when speakers are set up correctly they can definately alter your perceptions.

After calibrating mine with my denon the sound quality is crisp and powerful and at times i really feel like i'm listening to bigger speakers.

Congratulations on getting a deal on your system.

Can you describe the sound difference between the Min 10s and Min 20s?

Does your Minx system sound like a larger system only "at times?" (Possibly at higher sound levels, when they open up?)
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post #477 of 1941 Old 02-21-2012, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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If not Richer Sounds then where else can I get a demo since no one else sells them

The best place is your own home dwelling.

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post #478 of 1941 Old 02-21-2012, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Ah yes, GoldenEar. The company with the prehistoric distribution model...

There seems to be a handful of these characters trying to save the smaller Mom & Pop audio shops from becoming extinct. My answer to this is fine, good luck, but you need to budge a little so as to sell a bit more product and to make some of your customers happy without pissing your retail outlets off. An example of this is that they should have a line or two of their smaller (lighter - easy to ship) speakers that they can sell off Amazon or their own Website and save the larger (heavy) models for in-store with the option to trade-in any model towards any larger model. Kind of what Magnepan does now. Gee, haven't we discussed this already?

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post #479 of 1941 Old 02-21-2012, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post

Congratulations on getting a deal on your system.

Can you describe the sound difference between the Min 10s and Min 20s?

Does your Minx system sound like a larger system only "at times?" (Possibly at higher sound levels, when they open up?)

Hi taichi, my intentions in the begining was to get just five min10s and either the x300 or x500 sub.

But when i went to the hifi shop for the second demo they had the cambridge audio minx booth which had both speakers setup, i was listening to the min10s which intially impressed me with the clarity and range but the salesmen said to me wait until you hear the min20s.

Once he switched to the min20 it was clear to me that there was a difference in sound quality... they sounded more open with more volume clarity and range.

Now i don't know how they would sound without any sort auto calibration but thats the first thing that i did when i hooked mine up with the denon.

After the process was done i was actually pretty impressed it did sound a bit sharp to begin with but i was able to pick out details that i haven't heard before in certain songs.

And as they started to wear in i felt that the minxs started to open up more and impress even further.

When i said at times they sound like bigger speakers i should have phrased my words better "they do sound like bigger speakers."

I find myself listening to music with my eyes closed and when i open them up and look at these little speakers producing this kind of sound quailty you can't help but be impressed with them.
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post #480 of 1941 Old 02-21-2012, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by markiedee View Post

Hi taichi, my intentions in the begining was to get just five min10s and either the x300 or x500 sub.

But when i went to the hifi shop for the second demo they had the cambridge audio minx booth which had both speakers setup, i was listening to the min10s which intially impressed me with the clarity and range but the salesmen said to me wait until you hear the min20s.

Once he switched to the min20 it was clear to me that there was a difference in sound quality... they sounded more open with more volume clarity and range.

Now i don't know how they would sound without any sort auto calibration but thats the first thing that i did when i hooked mine up with the denon.

After the process was done i was actually pretty impressed it did sound a bit sharp to begin with but i was able to pick out details that i haven't heard before in certain songs.

And as they started to wear in i felt that the minxs started to open up more and impress even further.

When i said at times they sound like bigger speakers i should have phrased my words better "they do sound like bigger speakers."

I find myself listening to music with my eyes closed and when i open them up and look at these little speakers producing this kind of sound quailty you can't help but be impressed with them.

Thanks for the response.

It makes sense to me that the Min20s have the qualities you describe, and I have felt (as a potential buyer) that the Minx 300W would be my choice as well, with a family resemblance and smooth transition in sound.

Congratulations again on your smart purchase.
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