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Cyber Acoustics CA-5001 5.1 Speaker Kit

By: James Vozar | Speakers in Audio, Sound & Speakers | Posted: Apr 15, 2008 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 74%Manufacturer: Cyber Acoustics

Testing Methodology



For the purposes of testing I have several systems around my home to provide an adequate representation of where these speakers stand, all things considered. I think that when evaluating speakers in general, it's a very good idea to try and listen to the same piece of music through several different systems. In fact, owning a 'test' CD that is known to the listener like the back of his/her hand can be a usual thing when testing speakers because it will soon become apparent as to what strengths and weaknesses are evident across different systems.


Of course, this is the challenge of a good engineer, to be able to produce a mix that sounds good on anything from $100-10,000 which is a far harder task than one might've first imagined. This also comes into play to a different and lesser extent when making speakers; questions such as "Who is the user?", "Where will they be used?" and "What for?" are all important ones. Music, film and radio are things which all must be considered.


First Impressions



Okay then, we have a sub with what appears to be a very respectable design using an 8" driver in a dual ported front firing cabinet. So, things should be fine, right? - Umm, not that simple I'm afraid. Unfortunately, and I've said this before, the system's crossover network between sub and speaker is absolutely integral to the performance of those two components, and if it's not up to the job then we have serious issues from the start.


Yes, you might have guessed by now that these speakers have some issues with their crossover network, resulting in the sub having to be turned right RIGHT down in order do any significant evaluating of the system's performance.


Initially I thought the speakers themselves where quite acceptable for music listening and lended themselves to the sound of a portable stereo with a built-in EQ that has the low and highs permanently boosted to add wow appeal to the passer by. However, before any wow'ing can be done, the sub needs to be tamed badly from its leggy ways. You see, this sub likes to wander out of its comfort zone into a dangerous place where only mid-range cones should be. In case anyone's slow on the uptake today, what I'm saying is this sub is very difficult to keep in its ideal range where bass exists, and out of the horrible muddy 150-200Hz mid-range zone that oh so many multimedia subs love to trek.


With that said, moving onto imaging and transients and again the boom box adage gets thrown about. When you think of boom boxes and the wow factor of such things, let's say it becomes less apparent to a prospective buyer in favour of spades of bass and treble, and it seems the target audience may have been addressed properly here as things do not stand up quite as well in this department. Although you do feel some of the nuances of the recording, much of the finer stuff and a lot of transient sounds between instruments just feels drowned out somewhat; glossed over, even.


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