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Cambridge SoundWorks HT setups - Page 9

post #241 of 391
Thanks for the photos. I'm delighted that many of us are deciding to use Cambridge SoundWorks speakers. The name "Ambiance" brought back memories. We used to own a pair of original Ambiance box speakers which were installed in our home office. Our daughter and son in law are still using them in their home. For their relatively diminutive size, they produce prodigious bass, and their treble output was quite adequate. Here is a twenty year-old review of the Ambiance speakers that some might find interesting:

http://www.stereophile.com/standloudspeakers/390cam/
post #242 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCaron View Post

Been using CSW speakers for years and just recently my Ensemble II passive sub developed a rattle (bought it on ebay a few years ago so who knows what the former owner did with it) so I hand to change my settup a bit so I picked 3 of the MC305s and the P205 to blend with my 13 year old CSW powered sub and surround speakers and yet again I'm completely impressed. I did decide to connect the P205 via the speaker level inputs to blend it with the MC305s (especially for 2 channel CD playback) and just couldn't be more pleased. I read 1 review about the P205 and that it was difficult to blend but I had no issue at all and the base couldn't be more natural and tight. Glad to see the quality is still there as it was back in their Hey Day in the mid 90s!


That was my review. There are a lot of variables as to why we had different experiences, such as room and how much of the range you're using the subwoofer for. I'm using much bigger speakers than your MC305 so I am definitely not running the xover as high as you would be. The review was just my experience with the sub...as with all reviews YMMV of course.
post #243 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by boulderdashcci View Post

That was my review. There are a lot of variables as to why we had different experiences, such as room and how much of the range you're using the subwoofer for. I'm using much bigger speakers than your MC305 so I am definitely not running the xover as high as you would be. The review was just my experience with the sub...as with all reviews YMMV of course.

When it comes to home audio / video 1 shoe can't possibly fit all. All the variables involved can make or break even a good product.

One thing I did when approaching this that really seemed to help in my situation is I auto calibrated my set-up with out the P205 on as I didn't really want a lot of focus base wise going to this sub but instead the much bigger sub that I have connected via the line out. Once I completed the auto calibration I turned on the sub and started adjusting from there. I think calibrating in this fashion gave me a better starting point for the P205.
post #244 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by rreid66 View Post

Thanks for the photos. I'm delighted that many of us are deciding to use Cambridge SoundWorks speakers. The name "Ambiance" brought back memories. We used to own a pair of original Ambiance box speakers which were installed in our home office. Our daughter and son in law are still using them in their home. For their relatively diminutive size, they produce prodigious bass, and their treble output was quite adequate. Here is a twenty year-old review of the Ambiance speakers that some might find interesting:

http://www.stereophile.com/standloudspeakers/390cam/

Funny review... for $100 a pair these are a steal! Back in the 1980s $250 per pair was VERY pricey.
post #245 of 391
I have to p1005 and it has the same woofer that the 205 has and I have no trouble blending with the MC305s. I'm using the line level input since I have a 5.1 setup and have had no issues. These small speakers are great! I always recommend them to everyone I know, but normally everyone just ends up with Sony or B&W...that I know.

I head the Polk Audio speakers are really good and can be found for cheap, glad to hear the CSW speakers blend well. :^) I'm still aiming for MC305s all around.
post #246 of 391
Sony or B&W....quite opposite ends of the spectrum (with CSW on the Sony end of in between).
post #247 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by boulderdashcci View Post

Sony or B&W....quite opposite ends of the spectrum (with CSW on the Sony end of in between).

yeah I work with people ranging in income greatly...
post #248 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamHandMan View Post

I have to p1005 and it has the same woofer that the 205 has and I have no trouble blending with the MC305s. I'm using the line level input since I have a 5.1 setup and have had no issues. These small speakers are great! I always recommend them to everyone I know, but normally everyone just ends up with Sony or B&W...that I know.

I head the Polk Audio speakers are really good and can be found for cheap, glad to hear the CSW speakers blend well. :^) I'm still aiming for MC305s all around.

I'm only using the MC305's for the front and center but they match real well with the older Dipole CSW's I have. For the price I still think they are the really the best out there.
post #249 of 391
It's nice to see people still using Ensembles (the ones with the dual 8" woofers). I have a set from '89 that I've owned nice new. They're on nice stands that CSW used to sell back in the day. I had a generic center speaker (not CSW) for years that was OK with my old Pro-Logic receiver. It just didn't cut it when I finally upgraded to 5.1 with a VSX-23TXH. I bought a pair of Ensembles without the subs on eBay and use one as my center. It sounds so much better. The room I use for my HT is fairly small - around 11x14. The two CSW woofers and my LFE sub are in a corner closet with louvered doors. Even without the sub (and L/R set to 'large' in my receiver), there is plenty of bass. I've always been impressed with the Ensembles in the various locations I've used them. In particular, the imaging is excellent to me. I'm curious as to how they would 'rank' now against newer speakers.
post #250 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by tunaman4u2 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by rreid66 View Post

Thanks for the photos. I'm delighted that many of us are deciding to use Cambridge SoundWorks speakers. The name "Ambiance" brought back memories. We used to own a pair of original Ambiance box speakers which were installed in our home office. Our daughter and son in law are still using them in their home. For their relatively diminutive size, they produce prodigious bass, and their treble output was quite adequate. Here is a twenty year-old review of the Ambiance speakers that some might find interesting:

http://www.stereophile.com/standloudspeakers/390cam/

Funny review... for $100 a pair these are a steal! Back in the 1980s $250 per pair was VERY pricey.

I bought two pair of the original Cambridge SoundWorks "Ambiance" speakers in the late '80s, and two single matching "Ambiance Shielded Center" speakers in the mid '90s [when this series was discontinued?] I've used them as mains (in both 2.0 and 2.1 systems), 'presence' speakers . . . and two sets have been in place as the left/right surround pairs in two of my surround systems for almost 20 years. I am anticipating returning the remaining pair to service as the center and center-surround speakers in a 6.1 system rebuild planned for next year.
post #251 of 391
The Ambiance 80s are sounding fantastic, excellent surround ceilings.
post #252 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundChex View Post

I bought two pair of the original Cambridge SoundWorks "Ambiance" speakers in the late '80s, and two single matching "Ambiance Shielded Center" speakers in the mid '90s [when this series was discontinued?] I've used them as mains (in both 2.0 and 2.1 systems), 'presence' speakers . . . and two sets have been in place as the left/right surround pairs in two of my surround systems for almost 20 years. I am anticipating returning the remaining pair to service as the center and center-surround speakers in a 6.1 system rebuild planned for next year.

I recently returned one of 2 pair of Ambiance speakers to active duty. I Have the now rare, solid OAK Ambiance. Periodically over the years I've pulled them out of hiding to give them a bath in wood polish. The solid oak cabinets made these some of the best looking speakers CSW ever produced especially when mounted to those original tripod stands. Not the most efficient speaker in the world but sound great when you feed them a healthy dose of amplification.

I plan on putting them up for sale, I simply haven't made much use of them and already have far more speakers in my audio stash than I know what to do with. Adopting CSW speakers became some kind of addiction which started back when I worked at the original Factory/catalog call center/store in Newton. I had a blast during that time.
post #253 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bostown View Post

I recently returned one of 2 pair of Ambiance speakers to active duty. I Have the now rare, solid OAK Ambiance. Periodically over the years I've pulled them out of hiding to give them a bath in wood polish. The solid oak cabinets made these some of the best looking speakers CSW ever produced especially when mounted to those original tripod stands. Not the most efficient speaker in the world but sound great when you feed them a healthy dose of amplification.

I plan on putting them up for sale, I simply haven't made much use of them and already have far more speakers in my audio stash than I know what to do with. Adopting CSW speakers became some kind of addiction which started back when I worked at the original Factory/catalog call center/store in Newton. I had a blast during that time.

I have a pair of those oak ones as the extension speakers in my kitchen. Some of the most balanced and pleasant-sounding small speakers I've ever heard, to this day.

When I decided to implement 7.1 in my living room (which has 4 original Ensembles, a CSW Center Channel (ie, a shielded Ensemble satellite), and a Basscube 15, I found a pair of charcoal Ambiances on ebay for $25, a bit scuffed up but sounding perfect, to use as the rear surrounds. A very nice match. I also have a pair of Model Sixes from the original batch, up in the bedroom.

The ghost of Henry rules!
post #254 of 391
Hello, everyone:

Our CSW P1000 subwoofer uses a phone cable to connect to its control module. As a result, it is absolutely hum free. The 70-pound CSW P300HD has a 60 Hz hum. I haven't tested many other subs, but I wonder if they are as hum free as the P1000.

There is a lot of discussion in several of these forums about high-performing subs that plumb the aural depths to 15 Hz or lower, but not too much is said about whether the sound of these subs is intruded upon by hum.

Without any fiddling with special shielded cables or isolation transformers, the hum-free CSW P1000 sub performs qualitatively better to my mind than others with more profound bass reach but have bothersome hum. Are there other subs that have a built-in system for suppressing hum like the CSW P1000 has?
post #255 of 391
No, the hum has nothing to do with how the sub responds or anything like that. You have a ground loop, probably from your cable line being improperly grounded. Different transformers react differently, so thats why your P1000 doesn't have it and your P300 does. Try it on a different circuit and see if it still happens.
post #256 of 391
Thanks, boulderdashcci.

We returned the P300HD sub. In addition to the hum, it was much too heavy for us to maneuver from place to place. We will replace it with a CSW P205.

To avoid a ground loop, we will first try connecting the P205 with an RCA plug to the receiver's subwoofer out. If the hum appears we'll use the alternative connection via RCA stereo signal plugs to the receiver's L and R preamp outputs. If hum persists, we also have the third option of connecting the sub with speaker level connections.

As to our hum-free P1000, Anthony DiMarco wrote the following:

"...Forgoing a potentially expensive, typically hum-sensitive RCA-type unbalanced interconnect for an inexpensive two-line RJ11 phone cord, Newton engineers were able to create a fully balanced, hum-proof connection between the sub and controller module. If anything was proven during the course of my evaluation, it was that this single feature worked like a charm. No matter how far the sub was from the controller, no hum ever ruined my fun" (Home Theater Sound, August 2001).

Perhaps I should rephrase my original question: Beside the CSW P1000 and P1005, are there other subs that use a fully balanced, hum-proof connection?

I've attached some illustrations to show how the P1000 is connected using RJ11 phone cord. Although the attached illustrations show connections for the CSW P500, the connections are identical to those of the CSW P1000.
LL
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post #257 of 391
Well, that quotation is talking about hum from a different place. Because the controls are separate from the sub itself, there has to be a cable run, and the longer the cable run the more susceptible it is to picking up hum along it. The phone cord solves that by being a balanced connection, similar to what they use in live music (XLR) as they have to do long runs and often cross paths with mains cables. If they were to use regular RCAs, they would pick up the hum from that. The line/speaker level connections are a little different, they work on a different bandwith and carry different current. They can still pick up hum, but not as likely as if they used an RCA setup in place of the RJ11 between the module and sub.

With the P300/P205, the controls are inside the sub so all the cabling is an extremely short run, so you aren't going to pick hum up that way. You can still pick it up (I have with my P205) from improper grounding/bad wiring in your house. For that you would need an isolation transformer. The P1005 shouldn't be immune from this either, it's just immune from picking it up between the controls and the amplifier.

There are some subs that use wireless connections which should work the same way as the RJ11...but they have their own set of issues with microwaves and cordless phones.
post #258 of 391
When we built the house in 2004, a local AV dealer installed all wiring in the wall and ceiling prior to sheet rock placement. The approximately 30 feet of wiring between the receiver and our CSW P1000 has been irrelevant; that sub with its control module just does not hum at all. For the short time that we had the P300HD, connecting it directly to the same subwoofer wall jack resulted in a steady hum which became even greater with each increase in volume. That 30 feet of subwoofer wiring would not allow a direct RCA cable connection to the sub's wall jack without humming.

The only way to use a second CSW sub in one room without annoying hum interference would be to connect the interface jacks of each sub using RJ11 phone cord. That way, both subs have the advantage of a balanced connection.

All this may be important to others with dual CSW subs in one location. We plan to use our new P205 sub in a separate area of the house and not in combination with the P1000.
post #259 of 391
I'm still using a pair of P-1000 subs in my HT, as mid-bass modules located behind my seating position. I use a pair of Outlaw LFM-1EX subs for the very low stuff. The P-1000s are totally silent, no hum ever. These subs were really well designed, and while not bottom feeders, they sound great with music and provide very articulate mid-bass. Too bad CSW overpriced them, but at the closeout price I paid I'm real happy with them.
post #260 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by floridapoolboy View Post

I'm still using a pair of P-1000 subs in my HT, as mid-bass modules located behind my seating position. I use a pair of Outlaw LFM-1EX subs for the very low stuff. The P-1000s are totally silent, no hum ever. These subs were really well designed, and while not bottom feeders, they sound great with music and provide very articulate mid-bass. Too bad CSW overpriced them, but at the closeout price I paid I'm real happy with them.

Are the Outlaws as hum proof as your P1000s? If yes, did you install the Outlaws in a specific way to avoid hum?
post #261 of 391
No sub is hum proof! I have plugged my P205 into outlets where other things are running on the same circuit (lights, etc) with NO input cable plugged in and it still picked up hum. The balanced connection only eliminates one place where hum can be introduced to the signal, there are many other places it can pick it up and too many variables to find out exactly where it happens.

The 30' you mention is a long run for an RCA cable, and there's a good chance that it runs parallel to your mains wiring for part of that distance, so that could be where the P300 was getting it. But to think that the P1000 is completely immune to any hum is not correct....it's just immune to it for the run between the module and sub.
post #262 of 391
I'm convinced that you're right. Connected to its control module, however, I simply have never heard our P1000 hum. For whatever combination of happenstance and clever engineering, I am grateful.
post #263 of 391
I also have to agree that some of the new subs do tend to have a slight hum where I never ran into this my older sub. Have have a 13 year old CSW powered sub (probably their 1st) and the thing is dead silent and recently I had to replace a passive sub connected at the speaker level and went through several brands (Sony, Polk.....) that had a noticeable hum so since I had no luck with the other brands and tried the P205 and though it has a slight hum (very slight) it was considerably quieter than the others I tried.
post #264 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by rreid66 View Post

Are the Outlaws as hum proof as your P1000s? If yes, did you install the Outlaws in a specific way to avoid hum?

My Outlaws don't hum either, just lucky I guess! I do hear a "thump" from the Outlaws at the beginning of a DVD or Bluray, when the player is jumping from opening menu to previews, etc. The P-1000s are silent through this. Once the movie starts both sets of subs do their jobs with no extraneous noise.
post #265 of 391
I have a P1005 and previous I was using a KHL sub that hummed really bad. After getting the p1005 at clearance price I was extremely happy that the hum vanish, and the sound was awesome. I actually think the P1005 has a low enough sound that extra subs are not required, but I guess that's because I have a small area to fill sound with.

Did you enjoy the P300's sound? I thought of getting it a few years back, but figured to p1005 was a better deal.
post #266 of 391
Anyone here own the P300HD? Are you happy with it?
I was considering buying one or two to fit behind my theater seating. I could probably squeeze 8.5 inches back there. Not many subs out there that thin. I could even use them as mid-bass modules.
BTW, here is a pic of my most up to date Cambridge setup. I had T500s but when I got a bigger screen I had to push everything down which made the stand spread out which took my floor space. So I used M80s for a while till I was able to find two more MC500s to complete my front soundstage.
post #267 of 391
Nice setup, how do the mc500s sound? I really like the sound of the mc305s. :^) I wish this stuff was still made. :^/
post #268 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamHandMan View Post

Nice setup, how do the mc500s sound? I really like the sound of the mc305s. :^) I wish this stuff was still made. :^/

Im very happy with the new setup. Three MC500s across the front give a very full sound.

I just checked the space behind my chairs and while I have 8.5 inches I dont have 27 inches of height available when the seats are in recline position. Thats a tall sub!
Oh well... at least I got my upgrade excitement going for a while there.
post #269 of 391
I couldn't be happier with my 7 MC305's and my VTF-3 combo.

Pure....awesome.
post #270 of 391
CSW MC300IW speakers are great floor space savers. We have them in a L-C-R array in our family room surrounding our wall-mounted Panasonic 65-inch plasma. The bass is well covered by one P1000 subwoofer. All the wiring is of course hidden in the wall and ceiling. Four CSW S300s complete the 7.1 system. Except for the P1000, the floor is clear of speakers.

A few days ago, I listened to a CD of several of the early string quartets by Dmitri Shostakovich. Last night we watched "12 Monkeys." Today we watched parts of a National Geographic program. Luminosity, a recently released CD by James Whitbourn displays a thrilling dynamic range with powerful bass of the pipe organ. In each case the sound was rich and fully satisfying.

Very soon we will have L-C-R MC300IWs installed around our Sony LCD in another part of the house. In this location, there will be no need for surround speakers. We wanted to improve upon the barely passable Sony TV speakers. At first we purchased the 75-pound P300. It is truly a beautiful package and a potent performer, but the weight was too much for us. We exchanged it for a P205 subwoofer.

Instead of doing the installation of the in-walls ourselves, we will bring in the electricians who installed the first set of in-walls. It will be necessary to run the 12-guage wiring behind the wall and to cross a few wall studs. I'm not keen to cut and patch drywall.
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