Cambridge Soundworks M80 Main / Stereo Speakers Reviews
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Cambridge Soundworks M80 Main / Stereo Speakers

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M 80's. Yeah, kind of like the firecracker.

Aug 1, 2001 (Updated Aug 1, 2001)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Flatness:
  • Imaging:
  • Overall Sound:

Pros:Incredible clarity, amazing sound.

Cons:~$500/pair.

The Bottom Line: No negatives except the price.


Most of you will be making this very same decision soon. In the mail a few weeks ago I received my notice that the government is going to be paying me $300 because I was a good worker and deserved some of the ~25% of my income they took from me back.

Politically I disagree with this, so my stance was to bank the cash and let it accrue. The G-monster wants me to spend this and spark the economy, I'll stick it to him!

After a quick jaunt with Tony Hawk 2, I realized that I needed new speakers and boy howdy. I have a very good amp (Sony TAN220), a very good dvd player (Toshiba SD2200 ) and a very good cd player (Sony CE525), how come I don't have very good speakers too?

A week went by and I saw that Hifi.com was having as they put it "Greatest Speaker Sale in History." $150 off $359+ and free shipping. Nice. I checked their ratings, looked at speakers with a "WOW" rating and pulled the trigger on a pair. $299.98 shipped.

The speakers came yesterday. They are about 18 inches tall and weight about 25 pounds each. Wow, I hope these bookshelf speakers will fit on my bookshelf! I take the grill off and look at the cones, injection molded polymer looks pretty. Hmm, nice tweeter. Hey, two bass cannons on the back, this'll come in handy. I decided to lay them on their side, so as not to look too imposing to guests. I repositioned the Cambridge soundworks logo, and rotated the midrange & tweeter. The speakers come with an instruction manual that tells you the best way to position the mid & tweeter depending on whether it's on it's side, and if the speaker is above ear level, and if it's raining in Baltimore and if the Pope's showering right now, etc. To say it succinctly; the printed material included is very thorough. I rotate both speakers, put the rubber feet on and Monster Wire them into the amp. Here goes.

I fire up Jimmy Eat World's "Bleed American" in my cd player. All right, that sounds good, so much better than the 9-year-old KLH and Aiwa stock speakers I had hooked up before. The Sony amp I have contains many equalizer settings that they call "Soundfields." Mine was set to Auto Format Decode. I decided to see what the M80's sounded like with a flat equalizer.

Holy shite! The speakers came to like Bob DeNiro in Awakenings. Oh my; my living room was full of beautifully squared digital sound waves! I turn it up and wait for the bass to overpower the treble, it's not happening. Nice. These speakers are basically studio reference. Music is best listened to without an equalizer, the way the mixer meant it to sound.

My roommate comes home. "Whoa, nice dude." I turn it up; it sounds nice, I try to talk to him, but he can't hear me. I didn't realize how loud it was because the sound wasn't distorted. Then I turned it down to talk to him. This is when I realized their true beauty. With regular speakers, once you turn the volume down, usually the bass washes out the voice and you can't hear the singing. With these the sound is like it should be, the music had the same levels, just everything turned down.

My dvd player is HDCD compatible. Let's see what Hum's "Downward Is Heavenward" sounds like, it's an HDCD (which btw, HDCD means that it's processed at 20-bits, better than a standard cd's 16-bits; more data). I wish every cd was mastered in HDCD! The bass kicks sound like the kit is in the room, you hear things in the vocals you never heard before. Basically it makes the music sound "more live." I flip to "Apollo." Because I'm a dork, I know that this song was recorded at the Kranert Center in Urbana, Illinois. The theatre this song was recorded in is known for having some of the best acoustics in the country. I turned it up loud and my roommate and I had our own little Hum concert in our living room. The clarity was beyond what I ever thought my stereo could produce.

I am very very pleased with this purchase. I wouldn't normally spend $450 (regular price) on speakers, but since it was $150 off, free shipping and the government was footing the bill, I'm so happy I have these. Now I just need a bigger place for better stereo separation......


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 299.98

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