Speaker selection: CSW T300 or Polk LSi15?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by WaterEC, May 4, 2006.

  1. WaterEC

    WaterEC Agent

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    I'm looking into buying a pair of floor standing speakers for listening to classical music, not for home theater. I will be using a Harman Kardon 3480 Stereo receiver. I have narrowed down my choices to either Cambridge Soundworks Newton series T300, or Polk LSi15. Both are priced around $1500 a pair, and both are 3 way design (Subwoofer-midrange-tweeter). The T300 has built in powered subwoofer. I have listened to both speakers, but still hard to decide. Does anyone have experience with either speakers? Thanks in advance.

    BTW, I was consulting someone in the audio/video business, and for some reason, he is against CSW, for the same reason that most people here is against Bose. I'm not a Bose fan myself, and will probably never buy any Bose products, but that's the first time I heard someone talking about CSW in the same tone as Bose. Is CSW really that bad?
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I certainly wouldn't put CSW in the same ballpark as Bose.

    I have the Newton S300 surrounds. I haven't gotten to really play with them yet . . . I'm waiting until I move into my new place to set them up.

    When I was researching them, most reviews that I saw of the Newton series spoke very favorably of the S300's, but not so favorably of the other speakers in the lineup. However, I've never heard them, so I guess I'm not much help.
     
  3. WaterEC

    WaterEC Agent

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    Thanks Seth for your comments regarding CSW and Bose, this certainly makes me feel much better.

    Maybe it's fair to say that the T300 I'm interested in is kind of an upgrade to the S300 Seth mentioned, of course it comes with about 4 times the price. On CSW website, they do config their best home theater system as T300 + S300 + MC300.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    That's kind of a tough one. What else have you listened to? I didn't find the LSis the most musical speakers personally. The tweeter is great, but the midrange has a certain characteristic coloration that I am not partial to. I've only listened to the T300s once with movies and I found them to be pretty decent, though relatively mellow and I was not blown away.

    I might recommend you check for a Mordaunt Short dealer in your area and give the MS906 or 908s a listen. Very musical to my ears.

    I definitely wouldn't put CSW in the Bose category either. Whomever said that was sorely mistaken, especially when it comes to the Newton line.
     
  5. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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  6. BillSuneson

    BillSuneson Stunt Coordinator

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    Personally i've had experience with the Polk's and not with the CSW. For the dollar the polk perfom like a more expensive speaker. Musically i haven't heard anything better in that price range. When i purchased my LSi25's I demoed speakers from the big ones (Infinity,Klipsch,Polk,Energy, and also from Vienna Acoustics) The polks were the clear cut winners (based on both performance and price) You wouldn't be dissapointed in either, i'm sure, but the polks are an amazing speaker that not only sounds good but looks excellent too.

    Bill
     
  7. WaterEC

    WaterEC Agent

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    Thanks guys for your comments. I'm now more inclined towards Polk. I read the review from Seth's link, it's interesting. I also read a review from avguide.com, they have some similar comments on CSW T300, they also said that the T300 has some very weird tonal balance. My personal feeling is that the bass of T300 is artificially exaggerated. I will go for another test demo at CSW for the T300, and Tweeter for the Polk LSi15, but more likely I will choose the Polk.
     
  8. EdKBecker

    EdKBecker Extra

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    I have the T300 + S300 + MC300 setup for my home theater, but do play a fair amount of classical music through my Yamaha RX-V2500 A/V amplifier using the different soundfields (mostly the concert halls) as well as DPLII.

    I've been extremely happy with the setup and have been a pretty avid audiophile since 1976, so I've heard a lot of speakers through the years. I'm also an active musician (piano and bass) so my immersion into music and sound is more than passive.

    I've had Acoustic Research AR11s, Advents and Infinity amongst others down through the years and the CS setup compares very favorably to anything I've owned. The online reviews are perhaps a good starting point, but in the end let your own ears decide.
     

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