Surround Sound Speaker Systems

Crystal Acoustics TX-3D12 5.1 Home Theater Speaker System

ARTICLE INDEX

On the Bench

All bench tests were performed with the speakers in the middle of the room, to avoid interaction with corners and walls. Except as noted below, all measurements were taken from one foot at a height equal to the center of the speaker being tested.

The TX-T3SE's tweeter had very low distortion at 1 kilohertz.

Distortion at 10 kHz was 0.33 THD+N.

The TX-T3SE is designed to be used as a full-range speaker, without a subwoofer. Distortion at 50 Hz is a very low 1.82%. Some subwoofers that have trouble producing 50Hz at such low distortion.

At 35 Hz, below the lowest note of a bass guitar, the TX-T3SE was still producing 84 decibels without clipping.

The back of the TX-T3SE speakers list the minimum impedance as 3.2 ohms, consistent with my measurements showing the impedance dipping to 3 ohms between 1500-2500 Hz. Phase angle above the LF crossover is within 50 degrees.

Crystal Acoustics lists the THX-12SUB as flat down to 35 Hz, which seems conservative since my tests showed the sub producing very low distortion (3.23%) at the even lower third-octave frequency of 31.5 Hz.

I was so impressed by the low frequency output that I cranked up the 31.5 Hz sine wave, and even at a room-shaking 108 decibels, distortion was still an impressively low 3.87%. The THX-12SUB could have taken more, but it had already made its point.

The total harmonic frequency plus noise vs. frequency graph shows that the THX-12SUB dips below 10% distortion at 27 Hz, and after a spike at 40 Hz (likely the port tuning frequency) distortion drops off rapidly. This is really good performance for a sub that sells for only $649. Even more amazing, the black ash version of the THX-12SUB was at this writing offered via web special at the Crystal Audio website for only $399.