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post #31 of 396 Old 10-15-2006, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stubeeef View Post

of course the argument is also, 3 M80's across the front or 3 mc500's or will 3 mc300's do it?
Lord I need to sleep! I can't stop with this all. The other problem is size, anything over 8" wide (mc500 and m80) cuts into the screen width available and knocks a 110" screen to 106".

anyone?

WAF
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post #32 of 396 Old 10-16-2006, 09:14 AM
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Your sound system is at least as important as your video system. If not more. So I think trying to preserve an extra 4" of an already large screen by cutting back on your speakers is a very poor trade-off.

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post #33 of 396 Old 10-16-2006, 11:23 AM
 
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I would have to generally agree with what the others have said, and suggest going with the MC400 or larger up front. I've owned both the 300 and 400 in the past as a center speaker in a room similar in size to your own, and found that the 400 added a reasonable amount of fullness to the sound. That said, I would personally aim for the M80's, simply because you get more speaker for the money.

As for my general opinion of CSW, in spite of the fact that I no longer own any (ex got my Towers , which still rank pretty highly for me), I wouldn't hesitate to put them on my short list of speakers to audition. There are a few models I've found to be lacking (I used to live in Nor Cal, so I've listened to their lines extensively), such as the T200, but most of their stuff is pretty solid, with the M80 being built like a brick ****house and sounding pretty darned good to my ears (especially at the B-stock price).
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post #34 of 396 Old 11-30-2006, 05:40 PM
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I'm curious -- what was your objection to the CSW T200?

I've got an all-CSW system now: MC500 center, S300 surrounds, and P1000 sub, and I'm thinking of replacing my little tiny M60 mains with something more like the rest. The CSW clearance outlet near me says that my best choice would be the T200, but somebody here was suggesting all M500s across the front (maybe that was one of you?). That would actually be a little cheaper too.

CSW said that the timbre would match just right with the T200s, but I suppose nothing is better than exactly the same speakers for timbre matching.

I'm also considering something like Ascend CMT-340SEs instead -- have any of you done any comparisons with those?

FYI -- my main interest is classical music. I don't do a lot of HT, but I will do something like that occasionally.

Thanks for your help!

Chris
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post #35 of 396 Old 11-30-2006, 10:09 PM
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stu, here are my thoughts:

I currently run three MC500's up front. I started with a MC300 center channel but found that it just didn't get me the authority up front that I wanted from a center. It wasn't a bad speaker at all, but I play movies at very high volumes and it simply couldn't keep up. The MC500 is an awesome speaker, and getting two more to use as my front mains was a great decision.

I think that anyone that watches movies at moderate volumes would be ok with MC300's (my Uncle has three MC300's up front) but if you like to really crank things from time to time I'd recommend something a little bigger.

My father runs four S300's for his surrounds/backs and they sound incredible. I look forward to upgrading to those around the holidays this year.

Overall IMO Cambridge Soundworks makes great speakers for the price, but I will be the one to go against the grain here in this thread with regard to their subwoofers.

I have NEVER been a fan of Cambridge Soundworks subwoofers and believe that they are VERY overpriced for what you get. Years ago one of the first subwoofers I purchased was the Basscube 12 which at the time I believe was their biggest/best sub (before the P500 and P1000 models). Of course being one of my first subs I thought it was great.

Anyway I went through subwoofers like water for about 5 years or so. During that time my father (after he scored the S300's) dropped $999 for a brand new P1000. He figured that since he was very happy with Cambridge Soundworks quality so far, why not go for the P1000. And for $999, it "has" to be good right?

I was never before so disappointed with a subwoofer in my life. The P1000 to me sounded incredibly lifeless; it had NO authority and didn't play low at all. I mean just looking at the thing left me scratching my head. I don't recall the exact dimensions, but it's got to be about a 14" cube (picturing it and its two 10" drivers) and the thing was so light I could pick it up with one arm. Sorry guys but a $999 subwoofer should be fairly big, certainly heavy and should perform very well. The P1000 in my opinion performed exactly the way it looked - small.

I own two low end subs that are currently sitting in a spare room in my house... a Cerwin Vega CLS15 and an MTX Sub 15 (both 15" drivers obviously) both have about 250-300 watt amps and both play louder and lower than the P1000. Both 15" subs I purchased for about $275 each.

My father ditched the P1000 (actually sold it to my Uncle who runs the three MC300's up front) and he went all out on the SVS PB12-Ultra+2 and I currently run a PB12+2. The PB12+2 does circles around the P1000... louder, lower, more accurate, the list goes on.

This is just my personal experience with the P1000... for those that have posted that they like the P1000 have you swapped it out for a PB12+2? It's only 20% more in price but EASILY 100% more (twice) performance/sound. Again, this is coming from a guy that loves Cambridge Soundworks speakers (non-subs) and believes they make great bang for the buck products.

Another thing, I highly recommend ebay for Cambridge Soundworks products. While the hifi seller of b-stock items from Cambridge Soundworks offers decent deals, I've found other sellers that crush their prices.

The three MC500's that I've purchased in ebay I got for $169, $156 and $127. Two out of those three were brand new/sealed and the third was slightly used at 2 months old. The hifi.com guy sells them for $211 buy it now. Still a solid deal over the $399 new from site price, but if you watch auctions for a week or two you can find steals.
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post #36 of 396 Old 12-01-2006, 06:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctloschen View Post

I'm curious -- what was your objection to the CSW T200?

...

I'm also considering something like Ascend CMT-340SEs instead -- have any of you done any comparisons with those?

The seemed a lot less defined than other CSW speakers, potentially a tradeoff of having all those 5" drivers.

While I have not compared CSW to Ascend, the speakers that I currently own (Alegria Audio Emmas) I think are a step up from all except the original CSW Tower (which I owned and loved dearly). The original Towers were superb at conveying the scale and emotion of an event. The Emmas simply sound more true to life I suppose. They have a palpability that few other speakers I have listened to at any price have. But like all speakers, they aren't perfect either. They aren't particularly detailed and they are fairly inefficient.
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post #37 of 396 Old 12-01-2006, 07:28 AM
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They are having a half off retail on mapple Newtons. Are thes good for that price namely M50 and M80s? Only have experience with the T100 and MC300 both of which I liked and the 500 center was impressive during a demo at a local Frys.

The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.

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post #38 of 396 Old 12-01-2006, 08:15 AM
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I hav the M-50s and they are very good for the price. I use them as office speakers but I could easily see a 5.1 system with them all-around. I generally just use them for music (mostly classical and jazz), but I have listened to rock and movie previews with them and they really do well with those. For 1/2 off they'd be a steal. I have not heard the M-80s.

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post #39 of 396 Old 12-01-2006, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefano-M View Post

The seemed a lot less defined than other CSW speakers, potentially a tradeoff of having all those 5" drivers.

Thank you, that's very interesting. Definition and detail is very important to me, as that's very important in the classical music I listen to. I should definitely try comparing the MC500s with the T200s to see if I can hear that as well.

The Ascends, by the way, are supposed to be extremely detailed -- their fans rave about being able to hear all sorts of tiny details of the performance that they couldn't hear with other speakers. I can't say that I've noticed that with the speakers I have now, but then again, the mains I have now are pretty small and underpowered.

I wish there were a way to more easily compare them. Well, I'll do what I can. Thanks again!

Chris
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post #40 of 396 Old 12-01-2006, 06:04 PM
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I tried the T200 against the M80s, I liked the M80s better since for some reason I felt the T200 lacked some bass and they felt a little anemic. Overall I like the M80s, I want to try them agains teh MC500, those are some monsters, stetically there is something about the M80s that draw me to them, so what do you guys think?
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post #41 of 396 Old 12-01-2006, 11:49 PM
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I still want to hear someones opinion on the CS P1000 that has heard some other subs and can give a comparison. Am I alone in thinking that the P1000 isn't worth a fraction of the $999 it costs?
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post #42 of 396 Old 12-02-2006, 05:34 AM
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I have a P1000, and it seems like it's producing a lot of bass for me, but it's the only sub I've ever owned so I can't really make a fair comparison. Also, I bought it open-box, so didn't pay anywhere near the $1000 you quote.

Chris
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post #43 of 396 Old 12-02-2006, 08:46 AM
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If you want a good sub I would avoid csw, theyr speakers are greats but I think the subs are a little anemic and overpriced.
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post #44 of 396 Old 12-02-2006, 09:11 AM
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The P1000 and P500 are good subs if you are looking for a small sealed sub. I have owned both in a 20' x 20' room which is pretty big, and the did quite well. I now have the Axiom EP500 which is much better, but it is not a fair fight to compare the CSWSubs to Axiom, SVS or HSU. The subs are huge in comparison, and size means a lot. You need to compare the CSW subs to other small subs in its price range, and when you do, I found they do quite well.
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post #45 of 396 Old 12-02-2006, 09:17 AM
 
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Ditto on Redskin. CSW is about both style and quality. The subs are good for what they are, and the quality of the bass is definately respectable. But you simply can't expect a 14" cube to outperform a sub with four or five times the internal volume.
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post #46 of 396 Old 12-02-2006, 09:42 AM
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Well I guess I have a different view on that. I feel that a $1000 sub should outperform a $275 sub, bottom line. While some may say it is unfair to compare a small enclosured sub to a larger enclosured sub I say if they are in the same price range why not?

I just don't get what it is that makes the P1000 cost $1000. Certainly it isn't the enclosure =)

I also do not believe that the amp is all it's beefed up to be in that unit. Quite often we were able to clip the amp at moderate volumes and I found it very hard to believe that a 1000 watt amp was maxing out yet there was so little output from the subwoofers. So either the amp wasn't all that great, or maybe the amp is fine and the drivers aren't anything special - probably a combination of the two.

ellover009 I completely agree with your statement.
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post #47 of 396 Old 12-02-2006, 04:28 PM
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I'm running the T500s up front in stereo and am considering upgrading the center and surround channels to MC500s from older CS speakers (a very thin, excellent sounding center channel that I'd only replace to make my center channel match the 500s, and ensemble surrounds). I've loved the crisp dialogue playback from my thin center channel, but for music playback, surround playback is way too uneven with my current configuration.

Why go MC500s for surrounds? The S300s are great for films, but I'm not convinced that they're the right choice for music. To take full advantage of music surround sound modes and to make surround effects more powerful on movies, I think the MC500s are a better investment. If I go with an HK receiver capable of Logic 7 processing (AVR 745), which I'm inclined to do, or even a Marantz with Circle Surround II processing (SR8100 or SR9600), I would expect this speaker configuration to shine.

The T500s are pretty great for movies and most of the music I listen to. Frankly, I do wish the bass response was smoother in music playback, though I'm finding that my overall listening experience is vastly improved when playing SACDs versus CDs.

Cambridge Soundworks has done a pretty great job of surviving its acquisition by Creative and not losing its commitment to quality products, and unprecedented customer service. The ability to evaluate their speakers and receiver offerings for 45 days with a no questions asked return policy and free shipping to boot, is absolutely beyond belief fantastic. There's also always a knowledgeable guy available to discuss your installation with. Great company! Love'm.
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post #48 of 396 Old 12-02-2006, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamwc1776 View Post

I'm running the T500s up front in stereo and am considering upgrading the center and surround channels to MC500s from older CS speakers (a very thin, excellent sounding center channel that I'd only replace to make my center channel match the 500s, and ensemble surrounds). I've loved the crisp dialogue playback from my thin center channel, but for music playback, surround playback is way too uneven with my current configuration.

Why go MC500s for surrounds? The S300s are great for films, but I'm not convinced that they're the right choice for music. To take full advantage of music surround sound modes and to make surround effects more powerful on movies, I think the MC500s are a better investment. If I go with an HK receiver capable of Logic 7 processing (AVR 745), which I'm inclined to do, or even a Marantz with Circle Surround II processing (SR8100 or SR9600), I would expect this speaker configuration to shine.

The T500s are pretty great for movies and most of the music I listen to. Frankly, I do wish the bass response was smoother in music playback, though I'm finding that my overall listening experience is vastly improved when playing SACDs versus CDs.

Cambridge Soundworks has done a pretty great job of surviving its acquisition by Creative and not losing its commitment to quality products, and unprecedented customer service. The ability to evaluate their speakers and receiver offerings for 45 days with a no questions asked return policy and free shipping to boot, is absolutely beyond belief fantastic. There's also always a knowledgeable guy available to discuss your installation with. Great company! Love'm.

Evidently, CSW will be closing their retail stores after Christmas. I'm not sure what this means for the T500, as it's not available online (too big to ship cost effectively, I think). The T500 is a very high value speaker, for sure.

Tony

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post #49 of 396 Old 12-02-2006, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by tonygeno View Post

Evidently, CSW will be closing their retail stores after Christmas.

Hmm, that's news! Where did you hear it? All their retail stores everywhere? Any indication if that's a sign of bigger problems, or just that they'd rather sell online?

I'm in the Boston area, and the outlet store is around here too -- that's where I've gotten just about everything I've got. Wonder if that's going to close too...

Chris
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post #50 of 396 Old 12-02-2006, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ctloschen View Post

Hmm, that's news! Where did you hear it? All their retail stores everywhere? Any indication if that's a sign of bigger problems, or just that they'd rather sell online?

I'm in the Boston area, and the outlet store is around here too -- that's where I've gotten just about everything I've got. Wonder if that's going to close too...

Chris

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Tony

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post #51 of 396 Old 12-02-2006, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BrutalBodyShots View Post

Well I guess I have a different view on that. I feel that a $1000 sub should outperform a $275 sub, bottom line. While some may say it is unfair to compare a small enclosured sub to a larger enclosured sub I say if they are in the same price range why not?

I just don't get what it is that makes the P1000 cost $1000. Certainly it isn't the enclosure =)

I also do not believe that the amp is all it's beefed up to be in that unit. Quite often we were able to clip the amp at moderate volumes and I found it very hard to believe that a 1000 watt amp was maxing out yet there was so little output from the subwoofers. So either the amp wasn't all that great, or maybe the amp is fine and the drivers aren't anything special - probably a combination of the two.

ellover009 I completely agree with your statement.

Well it certainly is your perogative to to like the CSW subs or not, but it is a fact that it costs more money to make a small sub perform anywhere near a larger sub. Look at the Paridigm Seismic12 or the Velo SPL1200. Both great subs, that can be outperformed by cheaper SVS or HSU's. If you can go with a large sub, than don't even bother looking at these smaller subs, because you are paying too much. If size matters, as it does to most of the buying public, than you will pay more to obtain similar performance of a large enclosure.
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post #52 of 396 Old 12-02-2006, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Redskin View Post

Well it certainly is your perogative to to like the CSW subs or not, but it is a fact that it costs more money to make a small sub perform anywhere near a larger sub. Look at the Paridigm Seismic12 or the Velo SPL1200. Both great subs, that can be outperformed by cheaper SVS or HSU's. If you can go with a large sub, than don't even bother looking at these smaller subs, because you are paying too much. If size matters, as it does to most of the buying public, than you will pay more to obtain similar performance of a large enclosure.

I see what you are getting at... and if I had the need for a very small enclosure I guess I'd be a little more open minded to it.

I just can't justify spending $1000 on a subwoofer that doesn't even hit real sub frequencies. The P1000 enclosure barely has enough internal volume for one 10" driver, much less two. You can't ignore basic physics when it comes to subs.

The reason I brought up this discussion was in response to the original thread starter. He did not indicate at all that enclosure size was anything of an issue in his decision and was comparing the P1000 to other larger enclosures. He said he wanted honest feedback in terms of SQ, performance, value etc. So for his application, assuming that size isn't a big concern... the P1000 in terms of the areas he was looking at like price/performance and such is certainly not the way to go as for $1000 he could easily blow the P1000 out of the water.
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post #53 of 396 Old 12-03-2006, 08:33 AM
 
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I'm running a pair of P-1000s, one in each front corner. Sure, much larger subs can hit lower and play louder, but not at this size. My subs go down to about 20HZ (verified with test cd), and do so with enough volume to work in my somewhat small room, 12 X 20. One great thing about the P-1000s (and P-500s) is that they have a remote control, and use telephone wire (!) to connect to their interface controller. This allows a very short line level run to the interface, while the telephone cable can be run for however long is necessary without inducing hum, a great idea. Also, with all the controls mounted on a separate box adjustments are VERY easy, no more flashlights and crawling on the floor! At B-stock pricing the P-1000s are great little subs, and while they can't keep up with the big SVS and HSU subs, they do a pretty good job and offer convenience to boot.
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post #54 of 396 Old 12-03-2006, 09:48 AM
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Not to argue, but if anyone is able to run two P1000's than the size cannot be the only reason you made the purchase, right? Maybe it takes two P1000's to hit 20hz at any kind of decent level, because with one we couldn't get close to that.
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post #55 of 396 Old 12-03-2006, 02:30 PM
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When it comes to subs In my oppinion Klipsch is the king, they make some nasty subwoofers, but guys who do you think makes one of the best subs for the money, something that's not too boomy.
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post #56 of 396 Old 12-03-2006, 03:17 PM
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I think SVS does a good job of designing their vented subs/enclosures to still sound accurate and not too boomy. They aren't as accurate as some JL Audio's that I've heard, but I wouldn't expect them to be since the JL's were sealed... Night and day difference however verses a vented Cerwin Vega or lower end sub in terms of being boomy.
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post #57 of 396 Old 12-03-2006, 05:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrutalBodyShots View Post

Not to argue, but if anyone is able to run two P1000's than the size cannot be the only reason you made the purchase, right? Maybe it takes two P1000's to hit 20hz at any kind of decent level, because with one we couldn't get close to that.

Actually, I also own 2 P-500s as well. Back when I ran 3 MC-300s across the front and MC-200s for surrounds I used a sub in all 4 corners, fed from my pre-outs. I ran all my speakers as "Large", and the sound was really nice. This was when I lived in N.H., and the room was much larger. Don't underestimate these little subs, they can do quite well. I agree that at list price there are better choices, but I bought mine at B-stock pricing.
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post #58 of 396 Old 12-03-2006, 06:38 PM
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I'll agree that for the size of their enclosure they may do well, but unless size is a huge deal (which I can't imagine it would be if you were running 4 of those things at one point) you can do MUCH better.

Like I said above, my MTX 15" sub and Cerwin Vega 15" sub (paid around $275 for each NEW) played lower and louder at lower frequencies than the P1000 did. The P1000 had a little more to offer up top... say 40hz up but who's really after that with a SUBwoofer?

The last time I checked B-stock pricing the P1000's were in the ballpark of $650 on ebay as opposed to $1000 new. For $650 one could still purchase a pair of $325 subs NEW or get a pair of B-stocked MSRP ~$500 subs and still blow away the P1000. Again, this is only assuming that enclosure size isn't a main concern.

Did you go with the P1000's and P500's due to space/size constraints?
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post #59 of 396 Old 12-04-2006, 06:37 AM
 
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I went with the P series subs for a variety of reasons, including size, features and performance. The innovative hookup of the subs prevents hum, and the interface control makes adjustments easy. The remote is a somewhat unique and cool feature, and the small size is icing on the cake. I don't know why you were unable to surpass the performance of your low cost subs with CSW, I have had great results. The onboard semi-parametric equalizer (another great feature) lets me hit 20 HZ, and that's plenty for me. These are very musical subs, and also provide enough "UMPH" for HT in most rooms. It's been my experience that large, inexpensive subs are typically "boomers", great for explosions but lacking in finesse for music use. To each his own!
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post #60 of 396 Old 12-04-2006, 07:56 AM
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I am sorry, but not surprised, to hear that CSW is having problems and closing stores. In my opinion, they make some of the best products on the market in their price range but then gut their product line through horrible marketing. How, for instance, can a company that actually makes really good speakers refuse to post specs on those same speakers? That just makes them look like a company that makes bad speakers and knows it, which is definitely not the case.

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