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rippingdragon

SGR CX4F In-Depth Speaker Review

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Incredible effort put into this review. As an owner of competing equipment with a near identical cost to the reviewed system (CX4Fs + Transporter)...I found it most interesting.

Cheers.

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Guest JohnA

finally got to reading it all and must say it was one hell of a review.

well thought out, well written and puts everything into perspective from what the auditioners preferances are, and how he graded the speaker for his own needs.

Thanks again for taking the time to post this Rahn

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I also have just read it and I am crying in my beer that I can't afford to take the plunge - yet. Have to work out a payment plan!

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G'day,

I also have just read it and I am crying in my beer that I can't afford to take the plunge - yet. Have to work out a payment plan!

I've read the review and I'm crying in my beer that I can't write as well as that nor express my thoughts with so much claritynessitude ... guess that's why I'm not a tech writer.

As for not having the readies right now for the CX4F ... well, I would not be waiting too long. I doubt that they will be getting any cheaper.

Edit: hey ... my 2000th post. Only took 5 years. How serendipitous that it occurs on a thread about the same speakers I have.

--Geoff

Edited by hired goon

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Thanks for all of the comments and kind words gents!

Danton,

The speakers are in a large open plan living room. The room is roughly 8m * 8m * 3.5m. The room isn't as square as the raw dimensions would have you believe. It's got a lot of alcoves, walls, and variable ceiling heights that make the shape rather uneven with plenty of diffusion. The speakers are set up as follows (all measurements from the centre of drivers):

  • In one corner of the room.
  • The right speaker is 1.10m away from its side wall.
  • The left speaker is 4.75m away from its side wall.
  • The speakers are 1.2m away from the rear wall.
  • The speakers are 2.15m apart.
  • The distance from one speaker to the listening position is 2.75m.

We did a little bit of position tweaking and found one that didn't need any tuning. Stuart was a bit disappointed because he put a lot of effort into designing the parametric EQ and wanted to use it. I on the other hand was stoked that my room was behaving well without need for bass EQ.

I'll be sure to take some photos and add them to this thread in the near future. I have a few other chores I need to do first that I have been putting off until I could get this review out the door.

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This review puts the big magazines to shame.

Well done to SGR Team :P

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Fabulous review of a superb speaker. I spent an evening listening to some CX4Fs a short while ago, and they were truly impressive.

RD, your explanation for the relative lack of "chest slam" is very interesting. That's about the only thing I felt was lacking during my audition, but perhaps as you say it's because these active speakers are more accurate and better damped than most systems. I could live with that.

Your comment about SPL is important to note, too. We were auditioning tracks at around the 85-90dB (A-weighted) level in a medium-sized room and on several occasions the amps went into overload protection. That deep, precise bass is not easy to wrangle from four 6-inch drivers in a slim sealed box and there are very real limits. Anybody who really wants to shake the windows is going to need to activate the 40Hz high-pass filter and add a (worthy) external subwoofer, but I think this just highlights the value these speakers provide in terms of flexibility and customisation.

Thanks for your contribution to the forum, RD. Top marks.

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Wow, great read RD. Thanks for contributing your thoughts and passion

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Your comment about SPL is important to note, too. We were auditioning tracks at around the 85-90dB (A-weighted) level in a medium-sized room and on several occasions the amps went into overload protection.

I've done a bit of testing to try and get the speakers to go into overload protection. I've had them playing comfortably at 90dB with most music in my large room. I tried upping them a bit more and was about to have to get earplugs when they shut-off at 92-95db depending on the track. However with music that has some serious low bass content they will go into protection mode when a large bass hit comes in but will otherwise play a sustained 90dB. I hadn't commented about it earlier because I still have an earlier version of firmware which runs the protection circuit very strictly. Stuart's going to come by soon and update it to some new firmware that's a bit more lenient about engaging protection mode and I'll report back on how they perform afterwards.

Edit for clarification: all measurements were done from the listening position (2.75 meters away from the speakers).

Edited by rippingdragon
Clarification

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I also have just read it and I am crying in my beer that I can't afford to take the plunge - yet. Have to work out a payment plan!

Wow, i've just read the review and i'm crying into my beer that i can't spend that much time listening to music !! Thanks RD what a tremendous effort you've put into the review. Detailed but clear, analytical but emotional.

Regards,

Ed

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G'day,

I've done a bit of testing to try and get the speakers to go into overload protection. I've had them playing comfortably at 90dB with most music in my large room. I tried upping them a bit more and was about to have to get earplugs when they shut-off at 92-95db depending on the track. However with music that has some serious low bass content they will go into protection mode when a large bass hit comes in but will otherwise play a sustained 90dB. I hadn't commented about it earlier because I still have an earlier version of firmware which runs the protection circuit very strictly. Stuart's going to come by soon and update it to some new firmware that's a bit more lenient about engaging protection mode and I'll report back on how they perform afterwards.

I found that I had to send low bass output to subwoofer when playing movies through the CX4F (due to frequent loud bass transients), but didn't find any overload when playing music (though it is certainly possible).

The firmware update I received (version 2 IIRC, you can tell by the number of LED blinks when the speakers are powered up) didn't stop the speakers going to protected mode, but did allow for automatic reset after a few seconds (instead of manually resetting the speakers by powering off & on).

--Geoff

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G'day,

I found that I had to send low bass output to subwoofer when playing movies through the CX4F (due to frequent loud bass transients), but didn't find any overload when playing music (though it is certainly possible).

The firmware update I received (version 2 IIRC, you can tell by the number of LED blinks when the speakers are powered up) didn't stop the speakers going to protected mode, but did allow for automatic reset after a few seconds (instead of manually resetting the speakers by powering off & on).

--Geoff

Mine currently automatically reset. I think there is another update again that changes the protection sensitivity. It may have been bundled with your last firmware update. My LEDs don't blink when powered up either.

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I noticed that the SGR website has changed with a different picture gallery.

Jeff

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Congrats on a great writeup. There were so many aspects to your post that I could relate to with my SGR's.

Your passion and enthusiasm for a product that is giving you many hours of enjoyment everyday, is shared by a number of other SGR owners on SNA. This has been sometimes mis-understood. You've articulated your views and observations in a way that commands respect and admiration - even from the harshest of sceptics I would suggest. Thanks for your time to write up such a great report.

BTW; I'm demoing a tube dac at the moment, that has added some magic and romance into the delivery of music on my system - without smothering it in golden syrup. Experimenting with front end changes, has been a very rewarding experience for me over the last 2 years, as every change I make, I can hear it.

Edited by ozmillsy

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Guest Drizzt

Keep us posted on the sensitive protection feature firmware update. Maybe it should be made less sensitive or even introduce a bypass / off for it.

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Keep us posted on the sensitive protection feature firmware update. Maybe it should be made less sensitive or even introduce a bypass / off for it.

I say keep it as. As important as protecting the speakers is, surely even more important is to protect our hearing from losses due to excessive volume? Whats the point of refining our listening abilities and upgrading equipment over the years if we just end up deaf?

Due to loud music and a generally noisy environment, young people in the United States have a rate of impaired hearing 2.5 times greater than their parents and grandparents, with an estimated 50 million individuals with impaired hearing estimated in 2050.[3]

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that exposure to 85 dB(A) of noise, known as an exposure action value, for more than eight hours per day can result in permanent hearing loss (Occupational Health and Safety Administration [OSHA], 2002)

Wikipedia (it must be tru)

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Guest Drizzt

Although I agree there is no need to get to the extremes with regards to SPL, they cut out at much lower SPL levels with heavy bass passages. In its current state it trips up under normal listening levels with my music. I don't want to be seen as being negative. I'm sure Stuart will resolve the issue.

I say keep it as. As important as protecting the speakers is, surely even more important is to protect our hearing from losses due to excessive volume? Whats the point of refining our listening abilities and upgrading equipment over the years if we just end up deaf?

Due to loud music and a generally noisy environment, young people in the United States have a rate of impaired hearing 2.5 times greater than their parents and grandparents, with an estimated 50 million individuals with impaired hearing estimated in 2050.[3]

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that exposure to 85 dB(A) of noise, known as an exposure action value, for more than eight hours per day can result in permanent hearing loss (Occupational Health and Safety Administration [OSHA], 2002)

Wikipedia (it must be tru)

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Although I agree there is no need to get to the extremes with regards to SPL, they cut out at much lower SPL levels with heavy bass passages. In its current state it trips up under normal listening levels with my music. I don't want to be seen as being negative. I'm sure Stuart will resolve the issue.

Yeah all fixed now with firmware V2.3

Had a couple of teething issues which field testing picked up in different environments, but I've got it all sorted now :-)

Be surprised if they cut out now even with your bass heavy tracks Drizt. Well, of course they have their limits (woofer cooker :o), but I have recently had the CX4F's here at the factory playing over 100dB with no issues or cutouts.

The point to note here is that these are active speakers, the amps connect straight to the drivers so the protection mechanism is critical. A passive speaker has capacitors and inductors which filter and smooth out the harshness from a clipped amplifier, but when an active speaker clips you get square waves sent to the drivers. And drivers don't particularly like square waves!

Also, they're only 6.5" bass drivers. Although they are quite high power handling and rather long throw, 20-35Hz is still a lot to ask from them. But they do it remarkably well within reasonable limits. After the V2.3 upgrade I tested them with a massively dynamic orchestral piece and the pounding bass notes shook the windows in the downstairs offices. I had people asking what sub I was testing :)

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Guest Drizzt

Thanks for the reply Stuart. Good to know the issue is sorted now :)

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Thanks for all of the comments and kind words gents!

Danton,

The speakers are in a large open plan living room. The room is roughly 8m * 8m * 3.5m. The room isn't as square as the raw dimensions would have you believe. It's got a lot of alcoves, walls, and variable ceiling heights that make the shape rather uneven with plenty of diffusion. The speakers are set up as follows (all measurements from the centre of drivers):

  • In one corner of the room.
  • The right speaker is 1.10m away from its side wall.
  • The left speaker is 4.75m away from its side wall.
  • The speakers are 1.2m away from the rear wall.
  • The speakers are 2.15m apart.
  • The distance from one speaker to the listening position is 2.75m.

We did a little bit of position tweaking and found one that didn't need any tuning. Stuart was a bit disappointed because he put a lot of effort into designing the parametric EQ and wanted to use it. I on the other hand was stoked that my room was behaving well without need for bass EQ.

I'll be sure to take some photos and add them to this thread in the near future. I have a few other chores I need to do first that I have been putting off until I could get this review out the door.

Thanks RP!

It would be Interesting to see how the CX4F's would work in my smaller room, 4m X 5m (with a kitchen behind it)..

Maybe my wallet does not want to know..

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they shut-off at 92-95db depending on the track. However with music that has some serious low bass content they will go into protection mode when a large bass hit comes in but will otherwise play a sustained 90dB. .

Is this at less than 1 metre ( ie directly in front of the speakers) or at the listening position ?

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Guest VladimirFreddie

Thanks for an excellent review RD!

Your comments make me want to auditon a pair :o

I'm sure that "Hi-Fi and music are very important hobbies to my personal well-being and happiness" resonate with more than a few people around here :)

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I have yet to set off the protection mode on the CX3B's, and I have not had a firmware upgrade. To be honest I was not aware there where any. Could be I'm not tying hard enough.:)

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Is this at less than 1 metre ( ie directly in front of the speakers) or at the listening position ?

That's at the LP (2.75M) . So the 1M dB output would be a bit higher again.

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OMG Rahn!

I have finally read your review.

I take my hat off for your efforts with your wonderful writings and coverage of your new speakers.

As you mentioned in your review I must also strongly agree about the extaordinary value that these speakers give.

Not only what they offer as a near complete package ( well there is no source or pre) but with their style fit and finish.

I have yet to ee or hear anything at their price that competes.

Well done Rahn and to the creators!

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