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Cambridge SoundWorks Advice


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12 replies to this topic

#1 of 13 OFFLINE   Brian^BUr

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Posted April 13 2003 - 09:32 AM

I am planning to upgrade my bargain-basement KLH surround speakers for something better.

Originally, I had my heart set on a Bose Acoustimass 10 series III package. But after doing my homework online, it's apparent I could get a similar small-satellite system with better performance for less $.

I'm looking at buying the Cambridge SoundWorks "Newton Theater MC100.2 Home Theater Speaker System." CSW seems to get very favorable reviews on all their products. CSW labels it as in their "best" category of speaker systems (among good, better, best).

On hifi.com the MC100.2 sells for $900. So before I pull the trigger, I'd like to get some expert opinions on this product.

I primarily use my system for movies, not music. It will be used in a medium sized room. Towers and bookshelf speakers are not a possibility.

Thanks.

#2 of 13 OFFLINE   Brian^BUr

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Posted April 14 2003 - 04:01 AM

Here is the link to the product

http://www.hifi.com/....1xx&type=store

#3 of 13 OFFLINE   DanaA

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Posted April 14 2003 - 11:27 AM

First of all, I want to say that I've twice purchased and twice returned items to hifi.com for a refund. In each case, they treated me with first rate customer service. I'd personally never hesitate doing business with them if another occasion arose.

That said, I've never listened to the Newtons you refer to, but spent quite a bit of time listening to the top-of-the-line floorstanding Newtons and compared them to the "Tower" speakers, which they have listed for, I think, $899, roughly half the cost of the floorstanding Newtons. To my ears, the "Tower" speakers were significantly better than the Newtons, whose sound I didn't really like that much. The major drawback of the "Towers" were their looks, which I hated. The Newtons looked a lot better...but soundwise, the sonically warm Towers easily outperformed the Newtons.

Nonetheless, each of our ears/preferences are different. A lot of people at HTF love Klipsch reference speakers, as do I, but many can't stand them. You might want to audition them and keep them if they're the ticket for you and return them if not. If I recall from my previous experiences with the online vendor, they even cover the return shipping, but I'd check into that if I were you.

If you want to check out the Towers, the matching center channel was only a hundred dollars if I recall. Toss in some rears and you'd probably be out the door for only a little more money.

#4 of 13 OFFLINE   DanaA

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Posted April 14 2003 - 11:35 AM

I just went over to your link and the cost of the total five speaker package, but without a sub, would be only twenty of so dollars more. I think there are better values in subs available anyway. Just in case you're interested.


You might want to check if there are any of the Cambridge outlet stores anywhere near you. I happened to run across one in the S.F. Bay area and spent an hour or two there listening.

#5 of 13 OFFLINE   gregD

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Posted April 14 2003 - 11:57 AM

spent quite a bit of time listening to the top-of-the-line floorstanding Newtons and compared them to the "Tower" speakers . . . To my ears, the "Tower" speakers were significantly better than the Newtons, whose sound I didn't really like that much . . . the sonically warm Towers easily outperformed the Newtons.

wow... i had the exact same experience... those modest tower speakers are good by any standard.
You might want to check if there are any of the Cambridge outlet stores anywhere near you. I happened to run across one in the S.F. Bay area and spent an hour or two there listening

by all means try to find a csw outlet... the 3 that i've visited had decent listening rooms with extensive switching so you can easily compare many speakers on the fly.

overall, very good bang-for-the-buck speakers, and from my experience (more than a couple purchases for myself and others), decent retailers as well.

#6 of 13 OFFLINE   Brian^BUr

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Posted April 14 2003 - 01:57 PM

Thanks, all.

#7 of 13 OFFLINE   Michael.Cu

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Posted April 14 2003 - 03:09 PM

If you're set on Cambrdige Soundworks, by all means check hifi.com's eBay auctions. Everything still carries the full warranty and you can save quite a bit of money.

#8 of 13 OFFLINE   BrianGC

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Posted April 14 2003 - 04:24 PM

Hi,
I'd use the term 'auction' loosely when talking about the HiFi.com store at ebay. Alot of the stuff has a buy it now price, as an example $240. But, the starting bid is $239. Some of the stuff has a reserve price, and given the above example I'd imagine the reserve isn't going to allow you to save much if anything below the buy it now price.

BrianGC

#9 of 13 OFFLINE   Bill Kolp

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Posted April 15 2003 - 01:07 AM

I have been to a few of the CSW stores and found out that they have a discount program. You may want to ask your employer if they are part of it. CSW give a 20% discount to these groups. If your really interested in CSW, it doesn't hurt to ask.

#10 of 13 OFFLINE   ChrisMcK

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Posted April 15 2003 - 09:00 AM

I love my modest CSW Newton Speakers. I have the MC300's for L,R and C and 2 MC 200's for my rears along with a CSW sub. If you make a fairly large purchase as I did you become a gold member and get 10% off of all purchases

#11 of 13 OFFLINE   Mike Milillo

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Posted April 15 2003 - 12:04 PM

going to ebay for cambridge soundworks speakers is the best move I ever made. I picked up a complete set of movieworks 2 speakers and basscube 10S for 370 bucks, including shipping. These speakers sell for close to 700 on their site. The speakers have full 10 year warranty and had nothing wrong with them at all, not even cosmetic damage. Def check it out

#12 of 13 OFFLINE   Brian^BUr

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Posted April 21 2003 - 02:24 AM

Well, I went ahead and bought them. I've been listening to the MC100.2 all weekend and I'm very impressed. The speakers sound wonderful. Very rich LFE, no rattling. Very clear dialog and great high notes. I'm not a true audiophile, but I can tell these are quality products.

The sound is well-blended. I can tell there is more to speaker design than frequency response (phase, pole, etc.). I could be imagining things but the surround effects really envelope me now.

The satellites are tiny and attractive. Even if the subwoofer is not hidden, it is not an unpleasant sight. Good for the wife-factor. She still can't understand why we need $800 speakers, though.

Tip: CSW did not have this model on sale through ebay so I bought them through their website hifi.com. I stumbled upon an on-line coupon that saved me 15%. Do a google search for CSW and coupon, discount, etc. and results will pop up. You only need to enter the coupon code when purchasing on line. No rebates required.
[Edit: Here's the link

http://www.24hourede....cambridgesound ]

Bottom line: I'm very happy. Definitely a superior Bose Acoustimass alternative.

#13 of 13 OFFLINE   Mike Milillo

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Posted April 21 2003 - 02:44 AM

that's cool Brian. Good luck with em. thanks for the tip on the coupon, I wish I knew before I bought mine.