Subwoofers

Cadence CSX-15 Subwoofer

ARTICLE INDEX

In Use

Say what you want about burn-in but I'm stuck in my ways, I lived with the CSX-15 for a few days before giving it a serious workout. The thing I love most about new subwoofers is digging through my treasure chest of bass heavy DVD's, I'm sure I'm not the only one. The Lord of the Rings trilogy continues to be one of my favorites, not just because of the near constant low frequency action but because of the movies themselves, it's quite easy to lose yourself in them. In my opinion all three movies are demo material. To put the CSX-15 through its paces I turned to the third installment; "Return of the King". Right away the CSX-15 established its ground, midbass was strong and blended well with the main speakers. The front sound stage was seamless. It's important for a subwoofer to not draw attention to itself, the CSX-15 succeeded.

Chapter 37, "The Battle of Pelennor Fields" is one of my favorites. It's a scene I know well having demo'd it a 100 times. I was surprised how well the Cadence subwoofer performed; my reference sub had a bit more slam and is a step faster but the CSX-15 held its own. Cadence rates the useable frequency response of the CSX-15 at 25 Hz on the low end, which is pretty accurate. At reference levels the Candence remained composed, seeming to have much more headroom than the specifications suggest. At 105 db's the CSX-15 didn't flinch. In my room the CSX-15 was playable down to about 21 Hz, I experienced a roll-off of nearly 10db below that. I didn't expect the CSX-15 to reach ultimate subsonic depths but nearly 20 Hz playback at this price range is very good.

When it comes to subwoofers, music separates the men from the boys. I'll be honest, a 15" woofer wouldn't be my first choice for music, especially on fast paced material that requires a certain amount of agility. I popped in John Mayer's "Continuum" album to see how the CSX-15 would handle itself. Again I noticed the CSX-15 was a bit slower than what I was accustomed to, but not disappointingly so. Midbass accuracy and detail were both very good. On track 4 "Gravity" the CSX-15 was right at home, I was tapping my toes in no time. Every time I had a criticism of the CSX-15 I was drawn back to its price.

Multichannel music was equally satisfying. John Legend's "Live at the House of Blues" Blu-ray has an outstanding PCM 5.1 soundtrack, this is bass you can feel, the Cadence handled itself quite well. I experienced some boominess when the bass guitar kicked in, further adjustment of the bass boost control alleviated the problem, proper setup is critical with the CSX-15.