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Cambridge SoundWorks HT setups - Page 12

post #331 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bostown View Post


It could just be a good excuse to go with separates.
There's some decent "pre-owned" deals to be had out there that brings the price into the realm of some receivers.

I think that's really a stretch to try to justify separates

The relatively small drivers in an Ensemble II passive sub will not put much strain on any reasonable AVR even if driving full range.
post #332 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by speedbump View Post

I think that's really a stretch to try to justify separates

The relatively small drivers in an Ensemble II passive sub will not put much strain on any reasonable AVR even if driving full range.

You'd be surprised how different the early CSW products sound when powered by a power amp. The Ensembles/ ensemble 2, Ambiance, or even the Tower series becomes quite a different animal when fed a signal by say, an NAD 2200 , Acurus A200/ A150, Adcom 555 II or an older Crown SA-2 power amp.

The 4 speaker ensemble system bi-amped sounds pretty amazing - but certainly at a premium. - Now, That kind of set up might be a stretch, but well worth it if you can put your hands on a pair of good stereo amps on the cheap.

A receiver with pre-outs is a good way to kick things off, as it allows you to add a power amp at some point later if desired. It's not for everyone and certainly not required but that's my personal experience with the CSW line. Henry's CSW speakers, although sold often with mass market receivers in their stores, The speakers performed far better "To my ears" with separates. Particularly the Ensemble and Ambiance models, which aren't very efficient speakers. They definitely put a modest receiver's amp section to task.

There were some receivers that they sold which had difficulty powering them and were limited to being sold with the Model 6 and Ambiance Outdoor models.
post #333 of 391
Hmm... maybe, but I wouldn't go that far I would just keep it in mind with your current setup
post #334 of 391
Thanks everyone for your suggestions and help.
I did some adjustments the last few days and the system sounds very good.
I found the crossover on the mains sounded best at 110hz. My receiver seems to handle everything well, gets a little warm but not hot.
post #335 of 391
I threw up my csw setup on craigslist. T500s, MC500 main, and S300 surrounds. Some nicks on the T500s, but all are in good working condition.

I put it at 1600 for the whole set...seeing as they retailed for around 3000 as a set, is this considering too much for these?

Thanks
post #336 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by FantaXP7
I threw up my csw setup on craigslist. T500s, MC500 main, and S300 surrounds. Some nicks on the T500s, but all are in good working condition.

I put it at 1600 for the whole set...seeing as they retailed for around 3000 as a set, is this considering too much for these?

Thanks
I guess you'll find out. I'm sure they sound great but I'd be shocked if you get any interest at all at that price no matter how much you paid for them.
post #337 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by speedbump View Post

I guess you'll find out. I'm sure they sound great but I'd be shocked if you get any interest at all at that price no matter how much you paid for them.

Yea it's unfortunate, oh well. Might end up keeping them.
post #338 of 391
Put them down to $1300...I did have one person interested when I had it at 1700, but ended up losing interest because of lack of warranty vs. buying new.

Time will tell if these will sell.
post #339 of 391
You might be better off selling the the speakers as separate units. T500 then the MC500...etc. where is your listing?
post #340 of 391
actually, would you be offering auditions for the t500s? There is another listing for them at only 750.
post #341 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamHandMan View Post

You might be better off selling the the speakers as separate units. T500 then the MC500...etc. where is your listing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamHandMan View Post

actually, would you be offering auditions for the t500s? There is another listing for them at only 750.

Ya I actually had an offer for th MC500's and the S300's. I might be fine going that route.

And by offering auditions you me a chance to listen? I have the whole setup connected to my main system, so they are ready to be heard.

750 for the T500's ain't too bad...if I got the other speakers sold for a decent price.

Here is my listing:

http://boston.craigslist.org/nos/ele/2259745267.html
post #342 of 391
I dont think thats an MC500.
I have three in my system and they have a mid/tweeter combo between the larger 6.5" drivers.
I think thats an MC400 in your picture.
post #343 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by FoSheezy View Post

I dont think thats an MC500.
I have three in my system and they have a mid/tweeter combo between the larger 6.5" drivers.
I think thats an MC400 in your picture.

You are correct, that is not an MC500. I owned one, it has a tweeter/mid mounted on a rotatable disc so the speaker can be used vertically as well as horizontally. It was a pretty sweet center along with my T-500s.
post #344 of 391
Wow good catch...I bought it maybe 8 years ago and figured it was the mc500 after seeing it in pics with the whole set of speakers online (serves me right for not looking at the back of the speaker...)...gonna change that right when I get home.
post #345 of 391
Pretty embarrassed about that.
post #346 of 391
This review here really upset me:

http://www.ultimateavmag.com/content...speaker-system

And it's the only in depth review I can find on my speakers (minus the center ofcourse).

It's a shame.
post #347 of 391
yeah, I read that and was not happy with it. I feel the reviewer didn't like that the speakers didn't color the sound. I guess when something is too neutral that can be a bad thing?
post #348 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamHandMan View Post

yeah, I read that and was not happy with it. I feel the reviewer didn't like that the speakers didn't color the sound. I guess when something is too neutral that can be a bad thing?

Some interesting pics there in your system. I have the MC300, and the tweeters on the MC305 look so much nicer. I can only imagine the improvement on sound, I find that the MC300 is muddy and bland.
post #349 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamHandMan View Post

yeah, I read that and was not happy with it. I feel the reviewer didn't like that the speakers didn't color the sound. I guess when something is too neutral that can be a bad thing?

Reviews are pretty worthless overall, specifically when it comes to what something sounds like, as if to say that everyone hears the same thing. everyone's ears are tuned the same. Even with measurements ( its just data, it doesn't represent "the experience"). - It's damn near like reviewing how a roller coaster feels, you can put all the specs out there, ( valid data) but everyone on the ride experiences something different. - For me to say that this coaster ride sucks, is pretty foul. Yeah maybe I've been on better coasters, but that thousands of other people are ill affected by my commentary (if I were supposed to be the Coaster "EXPERT") is just bogus.

We have to view "EXPERT" commentary from that perspective. - but I just don't get how our culture allows someone else to TELL us what is good or bad when the item in question is so subjective. - It's a nice gig if you can get it though. Holding the power of opinion is powerful, it just has no place in HEAR, TASTE, SMELL ,TOUCH and SEE - ( So If I like my women with a little extra something something, and he doesn't, so she's fat and ugly to him and voluptuous and sexy to me. ) Rubbish I say, pure rubbish! Plug in any sensory based example and the outcome is the same. There really is no place for "EXPERT" opinion with matters of the senses. - And even MY opinion really has no place for that matter
post #350 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bostown View Post

Reviews are pretty worthless overall, specifically when it comes to what something sounds like, as if to say that everyone hears the same thing. everyone's ears are tuned the same. Even with measurements ( its just data, it doesn't represent "the experience"). - It's damn near like reviewing how a roller coaster feels, you can put all the specs out there, ( valid data) but everyone on the ride experiences something different. - For me to say that this coaster ride sucks, is pretty foul. Yeah maybe I've been on better coasters, but that thousands of other people are ill affected by my commentary (if I were supposed to be the Coaster "EXPERT") is just bogus.

We have to view "EXPERT" commentary from that perspective. - but I just don't get how our culture allows someone else to TELL us what is good or bad when the item in question is so subjective. - It's a nice gig if you can get it though. Holding the power of opinion is powerful, it just has no place in HEAR, TASTE, SMELL ,TOUCH and SEE - ( So If I like my women with a little extra something something, and he doesn't, so she's fat and ugly to him and voluptuous and sexy to me. ) Rubbish I say, pure rubbish! Plug in any sensory based example and the outcome is the same. There really is no place for "EXPERT" opinion with matters of the senses. - And even MY opinion really has no place for that matter

Very similar to a weather man lol, one heck of an easy job.
post #351 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by FantaXP7 View Post

Some interesting pics there in your system. I have the MC300, and the tweeters on the MC305 look so much nicer. I can only imagine the improvement on sound, I find that the MC300 is muddy and bland.

Actually, I've moved... I thought I updated with a new pic. let me see... I guess I have not. I'll try to get a few pics up.

Yeah I took those when it was new and didn't sound as good as it does now. I really love the p1005 sub, the best!!!
post #352 of 391
Glad to see there are still some CSW fans out there. I had not been paying attention to the AV world for a while now and was unpleasantly surprised to find out the changes to CSW. I wanted to upgrade my center channel, fronts and sub. I was pretty bummed out to find CSW no longer makes nice Newton series stuff.

I was able to find an MC400 on ebay, but I am still looking for an set of M60s in mahogany.

I am not an audiophile and the system will be used more for HT than music. I want to go with M60s over M80s due to size and having read some opinions that the M60s actually sound better. Anyone have any insights on the M60s vs. the M80s?
post #353 of 391
I don't know from experience, but you can normally find a pair on craigslist.

I really like the MC 305s, but that's because I haven't heard better.
post #354 of 391
I use a pair of M80s in a 2-channel setup and am very happy with them. The 8" woofer puts out a good amount of bass imo. I have never heard the M60s.

For HT (9.2) I run three MC500s for LCR, a pair of S300s for wides and a pair of S300s for rears. I also run a pair of Def Tech PM1000s for Heights. I would have liked to find a pair of small CSW speakers that could go down to 60-70Hz for my heights but couldnt find any, so I went with the Def Techs. They blend well with all the CSW speakers.

I also run a pair of T500s in our bedroom.

Very happy with all the setups and with CSW in general. Too bad they arent building new speakers anymore. IMO it was their larger speakers that were their best.
post #355 of 391
I'm glad people are still adding to the thread. I am considering a pair of Model 10A's. What's the consensus on these. I would use them as LR fronts in a 7.1 configuration. I have an original Movieworks 5.1 system that I pieced together. I'm using a pair of Ensemble 4's for the surround back channels and would move the movieworks 5.1 LR speakers to the back.
post #356 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by sucram65 View Post

I'm glad people are still adding to the thread. I am considering a pair of Model 10A's. What's the consensus on these. I would use them as LR fronts in a 7.1 configuration. I have an original Movieworks 5.1 system that I pieced together. I'm using a pair of Ensemble 4's for the surround back channels and would move the movieworks 5.1 LR speakers to the back.

There are still a few CSW users kicking around. I've changed out the speakers in my active systems but I still own 2 pairs of CSW Ambiance Bookshelf speakers ( I posted some photos earlier in the thread along with the Tripod stands) . I have a soundworks PC speaker system that I still use, A pair of Ambiance Outdoor all weather speakers, and I have a Powered sub 10 that I got in a trade deal. The sub will be sold with some other items I have.

I even got my hands on an EXO-1 Active crossover for the Ambiance ( just for completeness).

The Model 10A were supposed to be a standalone limited range micro bookshelf speaker ( it looks like the sat from the original Ensemble III , Model 11, Model 12 ). Your movie works Satellites might be better served up front. The Model 10A would make a good rear/surround , or extension speaker. it works pretty well with a sub too from what I recall. There were 3 ( or 5 depending on who's counting) NON satellite speaker systems in the original CSW Line up.

MODEL 6
AMBIANCE ( Black and SOLID OAK)
AMBIANCE Outdoor ( all weather speaker)
AMBIANCE In-Wall
Model 10A ( short lived and discontinued after a few years in production)

The Model 17 bookshelf speaker came out later around the time when Tower series was released.
post #357 of 391
So how are things going here?

I'm always look on ebay for Cambridge soundworks and I noticed a LOT of stuff being put up for sale lately. Do you guys still have your systems running?

I have my MC305s and p1005 still kicking! Sound rocking good!
post #358 of 391
I still have my MC305's up and running (x7) and they sound better than ever. I upgraded from a Onkyo 707 to an Integra 40.2 as pre/pro with an Emotiva XPA-5 and UPA-2 driving them.

They haven't sounded better. Played Tron Legacy @ reference level without a flaw or distortion, and neither myself nor my wife had any "listening fatigue" afterwards. Awesome.

I'm still using my Klipsch Synergy Sub-12, as soon as finances permit I'll be getting a VTF-15H from Hsu. I may or may not keep the Sub-12 for mid-bass punch, since the 15H will placed nearfield with one port open eq1 for max extension, with the crossover at 90Hz and the Sub-12 handling the full LFE range, placed far-field.

So, my setup:


Room: 13x18x8, no back wall (open to kitchen) Main Seating @ 11'
Pre/Pro: Integra 40.2 in DSX Wide w/ceiling mounted rear surrounds
Amp: XPA-5
Amp: UPA-2
Speakers: CSW MC305's x7
Sub: Klipsch Synergy Sub-12
BD/DVD: Sony BDP-S560
TV: Sony Bravia 52z5100 (on wall above fireplace)
Console/Extender: Xbox 360
HTPC: Custom
Remote: Logitech Harmony 900
Power: APC G5 in rack downstairs hooked to the 40.2, HTPC & the Logitech IR Blaster. Amps plug directly into the wall.
Upstairs Power: APC H15 under the BDP-S560, with the TV, Xbox, & BD

I ran 3 new dedicated 20amp circuits for the downstairs setup, installed a CSHPT2Ultra with the CHSPCable attachment for whole house surge protection, and picked up a Great Gramma (cut down and fabric spraypainted black to fit the sub) and connected the sub through a Panamax MD2.

I also purchased 2 more Emotiva UPA-2's, and 2 pairs of ERD-1's to make it 11.2, when I have the cash for a new sub and a Denon 4311ci (or equivalent) when the time comes.

Can't beat the price on that Emo gear right now @ clearance.
post #359 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamHandMan View Post

yeah, I read that and was not happy with it. I feel the reviewer didn't like that the speakers didn't color the sound. I guess when something is too neutral that can be a bad thing?

That review sounded similar to reviews I have read of many Acoustic Research speakers sold in the 70s and 80s that still adhered to Kloss' and Villchur's opinion of what a speaker should sound like. Though obviously instead of thinking of them as uncolored, those reviewers perceived them to sound veiled and extremely warm, and while I own & like Advent speakers*, another Kloss product, I have to admit I also thought AR's speakers were definitely on the laid-back side unless powered by a powerful amp and listened to at higher volume levels.

AR did a lot of research on speakers and how they behaved in real-world listening situations :thumbsup:, in other words actual living rooms filled with sound-absorbing furniture and reflective surfaces like windows and bare walls. This was in stark contrast to many other brands who SOLELY used acoustically-inert anechoic chambers to design & test their speakers, but when used in the typical living room to many people that almost always resulted in them sounding sterile, overly-bright and unpleasantly aggressive or to use a subjective term, "unmusical".

* Advents were designed for a slightly different listener and especially, for a different (lower) price point, the result being a speaker that required less power for the same volume level and relatively speaking a bit more of a "lively" sound quality at low-to-mid volume levels
post #360 of 391
I *just* discovered this thread (which may have met its demise) while searching for the best CSW speakers to replace my old Ensemble 2 satellites. I ended up ordering 3 MC305s for my front speakers (they should be here within a week). I use an old pair of Ambiance speakers for the rear; I've always been impressed with the full range of sound they put out (though admittedly this isn't called for often in a surround speaker). For the bottom end I have a Velodyne Servo powered sub.

After perusing this thread, it seems that I will want to set the crossover on my Velodyne to 90 Hz. I will be hooking the MC305s directly to the sub and then the sub to the speaker inputs on my Pioneer receiver. The MCACC on my Pioneer sets the front speakers to *large* with that setup.

I should add that I've used (and loved) CSW speakers for nearly 20 years and aside from my Velodyne sub I plan to use them to the end!
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