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Almost got floored by Cambridge S30 - Page 9

post #241 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

I would match the center with the fronts (brand/series) - the brand
choice is yours. You can use a diffent brand, for the surrounds.

thanks for the advice.
post #242 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by hungbee View Post

I am trying to just make a simple home system and wanted your inputs because you guys are really knowledgeable about speakers and I have 0 clue. Do you think the s30s can be used as centers and the rest of the JBL speakers as fronts(tlx171), and rears(L3)? Should I just not use the JBL speakers at all? Any help/ideas are much appreciated.

It's not advisable to use two speakers as your center.

If it were me and I wanted to keep it "simple".. I would sell off the jbl and save up for a s50 and s20. Keep the sub if it performs well.

Having a somewhat Frankenstein system is good for learning but it will most likely be a temporary solution.

I would only advise you to keep the jbl if..
a) you find yourself clearly enjoying the sound quality over the s30.
c) If you don't mind it's size and aesthetics.
b) you are able to use/find a center speaker that has the same sound signature (or very, very close) to the JBLs. Very important for HT.
post #243 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaeelarr View Post

They are still breaking in, so i will reserve judgement for a bit.

I look forward to your judgment

I am concerned about these speakers being used in a desktop setup. I have a feeling the sound quality will muddy up considerably if placed directly on a flat surface and against or very near a wall. Let us know.
post #244 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ster3ohead View Post

I look forward to your judgment

I am concerned about these speakers being used in a desktop setup. I have a feeling the sound quality will muddy up considerably if placed directly on a flat surface and against or very near a wall. Let us know.

Just for clarification, i have placed rubber feet on the bottom of them, and my desk is not against a wall, so the ports are fully breathing with no obstruction. Also of note...i have a sub in my setup.
post #245 of 384
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaeelarr View Post

Just for clarification, i have placed rubber feet on the bottom of them, and my desk is not against a wall, so the ports are fully breathing with no obstruction. Also of note...i have a sub in my setup.

Good luck - rubber feet does help, I just could not listen near field. They
may work out for you - let us know how it turns out.
post #246 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ster3ohead View Post

I do need to spend more time with them before I comment any further...


Well... I've definitely spent plenty of time with the modded Cambridge s30. Unfortunately too much time has passed by since I last heard the stock s30 making it difficult to confidently pick out differences heard between the modded and unmodded versions. Most of what you will read below are more like my gut feelings which is why I often avoid saying definitive statements.

The one thing I can say for sure is the modded s30 sounds more balanced. It is a bit smoother and seems to have a more natural, lively presence to the sound. My gf describes a "pitchyness" quality to the original s30 which she says has mellowed a bit with the modded version. I personally didn't feel the original was pitchy but I do believe the the little beast has been tamed. The treble and mids seem a little bit more open and clear. I feel I hear some more air and clarity around voices and instruments. I think the highs has gotten closer to the level of the cbm-170, but without the fatigue and a more natural presence. As far as bass, it's hard for me to hear a difference. Honestly, it felt great before and it still feels great now. I could be wrong about this next point but I think voices, although the sound still has a nice weight, might have lost a little heft. It might be because of the added clarity... or I could just be way off and my perception of the s30 sound has slightly changed since I don't have the cbm-170 anymore to influence me. With the help of my B&W 603 s1 as reference, there also seems to be an added sense of depth and realism with the newly modded s30.

In conclusion, the modded s30 does sound better. Possibly a lot better. It's just hard for me to comment how obvious or subtle the improvements are without a stock s30 to compare directly against.

So is the Mod worth it?
Absolutely! Especially if you're a picky audio enthusiast on a budget, who loves the s30, and is looking for more refinement. If the service is still available from Dennis, the price for the mod is very reasonable and worth it in my opinion. Keep in mind Dennis Murphy is a very talented individual who knows his audio. I wouldn't be surprise if he has speaker wires for veins. I expressed my interest in his highly regarded mbow1/caow1 speakers but he insists the modded s30 are very capable speakers and that the differences that will be heard is not big. That says a lot for the modded s30, as well as his honesty. I guess when I upgrade I have to aim higher from Salksound or maybe something from Dennis's own speaker line once it launches.

Is the mod needed?
Nop. I just want to clarify the s30 does not need the mod to sound good. The original s30 is really great the way it is and I would of been completely content with them unchanged. They had the ability to make me constantly go wow! even while having more expensive speakers lying around. Again, the mod is not needed for the s30 to sound good. It already is good. What the mod will do is bring the s30 sound a step or two closer to the truth.
post #247 of 384
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ster3ohead View Post

so is the mod worth it?
absolutely! Especially if you're a picky audio enthusiast on a budget, who loves the s30, and is looking for more refinement.
is the mod needed?
nop. I just want to clarify the s30 does not need the mod to sound good. The original s30 is really great the way it is and i would of been completely content with them unchanged. They had the ability to make me constantly go wow! even while having more expensive speakers lying around. Again, the mod is not needed for the s30 to sound good. It already is good. What the mod will do is bring the s30 sound a step or two closer to the truth.

+1
post #248 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

Good luck - rubber feet does help, I just could not listen near field. They
may work out for you - let us know how it turns out.

SO far, so good. I might try and snag a pair of the modded one's if i can find them online.
post #249 of 384
Don't have the S30s, but I have the floorstander version, S70, which is also excellent! Originally I planned on buying a pair of S30s to act as rear speakers for them, but unfortunately they didn't manufacture the Oak finish anymore, which is what the S70s are (got them at basically half the normal price). So I ended up using 4x PSB Alpha B1s (of which I also had a pair of already) in the surround setup instead.

I still have the S70s, but they're not being used. It's a shame, since they are very good speakers for the money. Only problem I had with them was that if there was excessive bass (and I mean really excessive, test track style mostly), the cabinets would resonate rather harshly.

I'd still be interested in hearing the S30s too, but no resellers nearby. Some day I might hunt down a pair of Oak ones used, just to finish the set
post #250 of 384
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaeelarr View Post

SO far, so good. I might try and snag a pair of the modded one's if i can find them online.

For the modded S30 if you want to do it - you will need to PM Dennis Murphy
and let him know, that you are interested. You will need to send your S30's
to him, or buy another stock pair and send to him - which is what I did. It is
interesting, listening to the two versions.
post #251 of 384
^tvih

Interesting comments on the s70. If I already feel the bass is good on the s30, I can only imagine how much stronger it is with the s70. My s30 can get boomy as well if I place them too close to the wall.

I bought my dark oak s30 from audioadvisor.com. They seem to still have them in stock.
post #252 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

For the modded S30 if you want to do it - you will need to PM Dennis Murphy
and let him know, that you are interested. You will need to send your S30's
to him, or buy another stock pair and send to him - which is what I did. It is
interesting, listening to the two versions.

I hadn't realized this was a custom job. The Cambridge SL30 was what i was referring to...

http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/summary.php?PID=343
post #253 of 384
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaeelarr View Post

I hadn't realized this was a custom job. The Cambridge SL30 was what i was referring to...

http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/summary.php?PID=343

That has not, and may not hit the states - time will tell. That one looks
to have an upgraded tweeter, and a more expensive cabinet finish. It
still has a first order crossover. The modified crossover work, in the S30
allows the tweeter and woofer to perform better - and it takes care of
some phasing issues.
post #254 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

That has not, and may not hit the states - time will tell. That one looks
to have an upgraded tweeter, and a more expensive cabinet finish. It
still has a first order crossover. The modified crossover work, in the S30
allows the tweeter and woofer to perform better - and it takes care of
some phasing issues.

Right--I don't know what they did to the tweeter, but all they did to the crossover was to substitute air core inductors for the standard iron core. I doubt that you couuld hear any difference except maybe at very high output levels where the little S30 isn't very happy anyway.
post #255 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ster3ohead View Post

Well... I've definitely spent plenty of time with the modded Cambridge s30. Unfortunately too much time has passed by since I last heard the stock s30 making it difficult to confidently pick out differences heard between the modded and unmodded versions. Most of what you will read below are more like my gut feelings which is why I often avoid saying definitive statements.

.



Thanks for taking the time to write up your impressions. I think all of that conforms to my take on the two versions, except perhaps for voices not having as much body. Besides sharpening up the phase tracking at the crossover point and getting the woofer breakup further down in response, my mod basically just adds more baffle step compensation. That will normally add to the weight of voices--particularly male voices. At the same time, it will bring them back a little in the balance. I thought voices sounded a little too forward in the stock. Maybe that's what you're hearing--the voices aren't quite as prominent.
post #256 of 384
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ster3ohead View Post

I could be wrong about this next point but I think voices, although the sound still has a nice weight, might have lost a little heft. It might be because of the added clarity... or I could just be way off and my perception of the s30 sound has slightly changed
In conclusion, the modded s30 does sound better. Possibly a lot better. It's just hard for me to comment how obvious or subtle the improvements are without a stock s30 to compare directly against.

The voices sound more natural and realistic to me, on the Modded version.
Everything is a little more balanced.
post #257 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy View Post

...I think all of that conforms to my take on the two versions, except perhaps for voices not having as much body...

...That will normally ad to the weight of voices--particularly male voices. At the same time, it will bring them back a little in the balance. I thought voices sounded a little too forward in the stock. Maybe that's what you're hearing--the voices aren't quite as prominent.

That could be it. The voices still have body. It just feels different somewhere. Regardless, it still sounds great.

Interesting comment about the added weight in male voices. When I listen to my local classical radio station here in L.A. the male announcers voice seems unaffected or maybe even slightly deeper after the mod. When I commented about the voice possibly having less heft and more clarity I was mostly using Ella Fitzgerald's album Clap Hands Here Comes Charlie.

Honestly, I wasn't very confident with that observation. I even considered omitting it.
post #258 of 384
Interesting comments regarding voices, and how the stock vs modded S30 handles them.

One thing I distinctly remember writing down while doing the S30 vs Energy RC-10 and S30 vs NHT Absolute Zero comparisons (yes, level-matched) was that the S30 seemed to lack a little depth with male voices compared to what I heard in the Energy and NHT.... and the deeper the voice, the more noticeable this difference was...

Not surprising, considering the Absolute Zero is pretty flat through the low mids and has a mild upper bass bump... and the RC-10 is a little more emphasized in the low mids and upper bass... whereas the stock S30 has no upper bass bump at all, and is actually shelved down in the upper bass/low mids relative to the upper mids/treble.

I would expect the modded S30 to have an overall more natural sound to male voices.... based on Dennis' measurements...

I remember female voices sounding really nice on the stock S30... but with a more forward presentation compared to the Energy and NHT.


On a side note... I need to dig out those comparison notes and type them up. They're just my opinions... but some folks might find them useful.
post #259 of 384
I bought the S30 because of this thread , and a coworker recommended the Behringer 2031P.

Spent probably 40 hours with each of them on my PC in nearfield setup About 10 inches of clearance from the wall, I found myself liking the Behringer more, because it is more detailed & crisp, goes higher, vocals on them impress me every time. On the other hand, the S30 is more laid back and musical, but lacks in detail, and does not go as high.

Both are great speakers, but I definitely liked the Behringer more, I ultimately kept the S30 because of lack of desk space.

Also did a little comparison (unfair) of the S30 against Dynaudio X12 ($1200 pair), let's just say boy I want the x12
post #260 of 384
I didn't think the stock s30 was a treble and detail king either in my setup. It was very good, but not as seemingly impressive as the other speaker I was comparing them against at the time. The s30's overall sound and "musicality" is what kept me hooked though.

The Behringer 2031P are powered monitors and are much taller. Do you have the s30 elevated from your desk or pointing up towards you? What are you powering it with?
post #261 of 384
Since I've been commenting on the s30 sound I do want to mention I have a weak link in my system. My source.

I'm using the internal DAC of the Pure i-20 for critical listening. It's a big improvement from using my ipod touch alone but it's not an ideal source. I actually used to own a Cambridge Audio D500se cd player for years but sold it in favor of funding a device to play my collection of lossless (alac) music.

The Pure i-20 is great but the D500se was in a different league. Eventually I will get a quality external DAC to connect to the i-20.

So the s30 sounds great to me now, but I still have a lot to look forward to.
post #262 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ster3ohead View Post

I didn't think the stock s30 was a treble and detail king either in my setup. It was very good, but not as seemingly impressive as the other speaker I was comparing them against at the time. The s30's overall sound and "musicality" is what kept me hooked though.

The Behringer 2031P are powered monitors and are much taller. Do you have the s30 elevated from your desk or pointing up towards you? What are you powering it with?

The 2031P are not active (2031A are), I have the S30 sitting on 2 bricks on my desk, proping the tweeter at ear level, very similar in height to the 2031P. Both were powered using a customized T-AMP and a MusiLand DAC/Pre-amp.

I will replace the T-AMP and MUSILAND DAC with my Panasonic XR55, which offered similar sound last time I compared.
post #263 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by ri3eboi View Post

The 2031P are not active (2031A are), I have the S30 sitting on 2 bricks on my desk, proping the tweeter at ear level, very similar in height to the 2031P. Both were powered using a customized T-AMP and a MusiLand DAC/Pre-amp.

I will replace the T-AMP and MUSILAND DAC with my Panasonic XR55, which offered similar sound last time I compared.

I would be interested to see measurements for the 2031P. I know the active version measures with a shelved down treble and upper midrange response, which wouldn't conform to your impressions. The tweeter must be voiced a good bit higher on the passive version, particularly since the S30 voicing is definitely on the hot side.
post #264 of 384
hey guys, so i've got 2 s30's and an s50 hooked up to my denon 791. great system.... i use it 50% music 50% home theater and i really can't imagine anything better for my needs. my question for you guys is... do any of you have experiences making a cambridge system a 5.1?

i'm looking at picking up a pair of s20's. thing is... my couch is flush against the wall and there really isn't too much room for stands, or putting the speakers behind it. that pretty much just leaves me the option of getting wall mounts, and putting them next to the couch angled at it. has anyone done this? what is your recommendations/advice for my situation?

i assume the s20's are smaller than the s30's... but they still look pretty deep. are these even wall mountable? if anyone has pics of the s20's on a wall, it'd be greatly appreciated

as always, thats for your help!
post #265 of 384
There's the ws30 but I have no idea where one can buy it.

I would consider these if I had surround sound placement restriction.
Cambridge - Minx- Min 10
Won't cost much to return if it doesn't work out.

Glad you're enjoying your system.
post #266 of 384
Anyone tried to remove the front baffle from their Cambridge S series speakers? Would it even be possible? I'm thinking they are glued to the rest of the cabinet... but without having a pair anymore, I'm not 100% sure...

I really don't dig the silver (older) or graphite (new) colored baffle... and had the crazy idea of trying to get a pair black powder coated... if I can find some used for cheap...

I suppose I could remove the drivers/xovers and take empty cabinets to some place local, and just drill the point home that the vinyl needs to be well protected while they're powder coating the baffle...

But for some reason... I can't say I have faith in people not to screw it up in some way, whether it be to coat part of the vinyl, or damage the cabinet while moving it around...
post #267 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvih View Post

Don't have the S30s, but I have the floorstander version, S70, which is also excellent! Originally I planned on buying a pair of S30s to act as rear speakers for them, but unfortunately they didn't manufacture the Oak finish anymore, which is what the S70s are (got them at basically half the normal price). So I ended up using 4x PSB Alpha B1s (of which I also had a pair of already) in the surround setup instead.

I still have the S70s, but they're not being used. It's a shame, since they are very good speakers for the money. Only problem I had with them was that if there was excessive bass (and I mean really excessive, test track style mostly), the cabinets would resonate rather harshly.

I'd still be interested in hearing the S30s too, but no resellers nearby. Some day I might hunt down a pair of Oak ones used, just to finish the set

I am thinking of picking up a pair of S70s, but this maybe a con. I don't normally listen to tracks with excessive bass, but I know I'll keep looking for the resonance. However, I did like the sound of the S30.

How would the Mordaunt Short Carnival 8 compare to the S70? They have the same parent company, and they are very similar on paper. The difference is that the Carnival 8 have a larger woofer/midrange 6.5" and they look to have a heavier cabinet. Perhaps the added weight would help subdue the resonance experienced by the S70.

Any thoughts by anyone?
post #268 of 384
I bought a pair of S30s because of good reviews. I tried with 3 amplifiers, but the result is the same: terrible sound. I'm very disappointed now and I don't know what's wrong.

Anyway I found that there are more versions from S30 with different crossovers:
Version 1. Back: shop.strato.de/WebRoot/Store10/Shops/61412864/47EE/B2E1/323F/2319/BE6A/C0A8/28B9/A81F/s30_black_front_rear.jpg Crossover: stereo.de/index.php?id=391
Version 2. goldenears.net/board/527330

I have version 2. Could you write me which version do you have and what are your experiences?
post #269 of 384
I did open my modded s30 recently and the components used are more similar to version 2 but not exactly. It did have the two bennic capacitors but mounted horizontally.

I hope you can figure out what's wrong. What do you hear that makes it terrible?
post #270 of 384
These are cool little speakers.

I received a pair of S30s yesterday and had a chance to set them up in a little 2.1 system in my living room. I have eclectic taste and listen to a lot of music. For this room I wanted smaller, inexpensive speakers that would be enjoyable to listen to for long stretches and be able to be pretty versatile. After considering the HSU HB-1 MK2, Energy RC-10, and the Pioneer BS-41s, I decided to take a chance on the Cambridge S30s.

The speakers image well, have a clear sound with surprising mid-bass and appear to have a pretty neutral and laid-back sound. Neither driver makes itself apparent. Off-axis response is still fairly good, and can be enjoyed throughout the room whether seated or standing. Toed-in they have a nice presentation and reproduce a sound bigger than they appear capable of.

I played some test tones and while I don't get usable response to 55 Hz, as published on the Cambridge website, I do have a nice transition between the S30s and the subwoofer with the standard 80 Hz crossover. Integration with the sub was a snap. For reference, they are placed in what I would consider a fairly large room (4,560 ft^3) which is open to most of the remaining house.

They S30s have a pleasing aesthetic but don't draw attention to themselves. The noir laminate surprisingly looks good and I suspect will fit nicely in most rooms. They have a squat appearance with a deep cabinet which will probably balance well on most speaker stands.

It's hard to believe the sound these speakers produce and when considering the price, I feel that they may be one of the best bargain speakers out now. Needless to say, I'm enjoying them so far.

The Set-up:

Harman/Kardon 3380
Squeezebox Touch
Cambridge Audio S30
Epik Legend
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