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Cambridge Audio Minx - First Impressions

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by tonybb, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. tonybb

    tonybb Member

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    I bought a Cambridge Audio Minx S215 (5.1) setup the other day, consisting of five Min10 BMR satellites and the X200 subwoofer, and having now got them connected up, I thought I should record my first impressions.

    It is probably worth saying why I chose the Minx setup. I was replacing an old Philips all-in-one system, had already bought a Sony STR-DA2400ES receiver and was looking for budget speakers that would be good enough for music as well as TV & movies. I had thought about the Boston Acoustics Soundware XS as the room layout made positioning even bookshelf speakers very difficult, but had then decided I really should go for bookshelfs to get the sound I wanted for music. I was on the point of buying a Q Acoustics 1010i setup, but having listened to them in the shop, I was slightly disappointed in their clarity although they had a nice full sound. At the same time, I had a quick listen to the Minx speakers and I was seriously impressed with their clarity although they were above my budget. Trying to stick to my budget, I reserved the QA 1010i set for a couple of days while I went home to have a think about things.

    Having looked at the room again, bookshelf speakers were going to be a nightmare. The TV is next to an archway so they couldn’t be wall-mounted, and would have to go on stands where they would be at serious risk from dogs and grandchildren! The Minx satellites, however, at only 3 inches square, could go on the equipment stand where they would be safe. So I went back to the shop for another listen with the thought of perhaps buying a 2.1 setup, or maybe a centre as well and retaining my old rear speakers until I could afford more. The demo in the shop was pretty limited as they were wired up in a demo unit which could only be driven by an iPod, but at least I could listen to the same music (albeit mp3) on similarly priced bookshelf speakers. The sound from the Minx was not as full as from bookshelf setups, but again the clarity was better and the bass was all there, even from the diminutive 9 inch square X200 subwoofer. To cut a long story short, without having to spend money on stands, and needing some other kit as well, I was able to haggle a little and came away with the full 5.1 setup.

    I have now got everything wired up, although the rear speakers are not properly positioned yet. I am familiarising myself with the new receiver, and although I am still playing around with calibration and equalisation settings, I am extremely pleased with the Minx speakers. To be honest, virtually anything was going to be a huge improvement on the old kit, so I can’t really give any meaningful comparisons, but I am more than happy with them for both music and movies. For movies, they are superb and the subwoofer seems to deliver all it should. It’s a 200W subwoofer with only a 6.5” active driver, but also two 6.5” passive “Auxiliary Bass Radiators” which seem to enable it to deliver the goods. For music, again the clarity is superb, and the bass performance excellent. I don’t think the sound is quite as full as you would get with larger speakers, so personal preference perhaps plays a big role here, but I prefer the added clarity and I am experimenting with equalization settings a bit, and may well end up turning down the treble slightly.

    The satellites are BMR (Balanced Mode Radiator) speakers which use a single driver which simultaneously acts as a piston and a bending mode radiator to deliver the full range of frequencies. Cambridge Audio claim that BMR speakers deliver a much broader sound dispersion and I think this is helping in our room where we have two sofas pushed into the far left and right corners of the room (because of an archway, fireplace, front door and stairs), and often four or more people are listening from all around the room.

    As you may gather, these speakers seem to be proving ideal for me, but personal preference is a huge part of this decision. I would definitely recommend anyone considering these to get a demo.

    Any views from others who have had a listen to these?
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    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010
  2. jimarchy

    jimarchy Member

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    Tony, maybe post some pics if you can... Nice post too.

    I popped in to Richer sounds in York today for a demo but they did'nt have any on display. Would like to demo them as they look like a nice compact unit for me to use as satellites in my system.
  3. speedalini

    speedalini Member

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    Hi tonybb,

    What do you think of this setup now that you have had it a little longer? I'm 95% certain I'm going to buy the Sony DA2400ES amp and now looking for speakers to go with it. I've got these, the Boston Acoustics and Q Acoustics 2000s on the shortlist at the moment, cheers
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  4. tonybb

    tonybb Member

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    Having had the setup three weeks now, I am very pleased indeed with it. I find the sound quality fine for both music and movies, and I'm glad I chose them. I adjusted the auto-calibration settings, but didn't need to make any changes to the equalisation. Mind you, I am probably very easily pleased, as the sound quality on my old system was so lousy! So you should definitely have a listen to them before buying.

    I have attached a photo of the setup. I haven't bought any stands yet, but will probably get the desk stands for the L & R speakers, although at the moment they are safer from being knocked over by toddling grandchildren without! The Min10s come with little stick on plastic feet, which grip well as the speakers are heavy for their size, and which saves having to use blu-tack.

    One potential problem with this setup was shorting out the centre speaker connectors on the metal strip along the bottom of the TV. I have taped over the connectors to prevent that. The connectors do actually pull out (not immediately obvious) to reveal banana plug sockets, but the connectors were better than the cheap banana plugs I had, and as they do pull out, they are actually banana plugs themselves.

    I will probably get a longer cable and move the sub out of view at the other end of the room. I also have the surround speakers just sitting on tables at the moment, but will probably wall mount them. I bought them in white to blend in better with the decor - you can mix and match black and white as you please.

    The Minx may carry a bit of a price premium, but the setup was just what I needed for my situation.

    Tony

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  5. Silverblack

    Silverblack Active Member

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    hey tonybb really good review and also appreicate the pics. i was sure that in the new year i was gonna get a bk subwoofer and partner it with my current bookshelf speakers.

    but after looking at the minx speakers and going on the website and reading more about them i'm not to sure what to do now. i like the discreet look and the overall build quality which sounds like its up to scratch.

    i also like the fact that you can buy the speakers individually, as i would start with the 2.1 first and add more over time.

    my option at the moment is hold onto my cheap bookshelfs and get the bk xls200 or get the minx 2.1 and add more of them over time. decisions decisions i guess.:D

    one question how are you finding the overall bass? is it deep and have you heard any distortion from it at all i know the x200 uses 6.5inch bass drivers so theres only so much bass you can get although i like the fact that there are options to upgrade to the more powerful subs.

    thanks in advance.
  6. shahedz

    shahedz Active Member

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    I've gone from using a sound bar for my music to a minx sub sat. Markiedee i have the x200 such, it has one 6.5 inch driver , the 2 drivers on the side are passive so they're not actually speakers.

    I am very impressed with it. It's not as good as floor standers but i use it with a sonos zone player and i have cranked it up with out it distorting . I bought the x200 mainly on aesthetics. It's a very nice looking sub in white and very, very small.

    It performs a lot better than i thought it would and have no complaints.
  7. Silverblack

    Silverblack Active Member

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    shahedz i really appreicate the response i really like the look of the minxs i got to go and see if i can get a demo they are really minimalistic looking and would really work in my flat.

    still undecided on what to do though, i could get a pair of monitor audio speakers and a gemini sub or even a monitor audio sub for a good price but i really like the minxs.

    could you tell me about the bass of the sub in a bit more detail does it sound nice deep and clean or does it struggle when pushed?

    thanks.:smashin:
  8. Nasaldo

    Nasaldo Member

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    Hi,

    I tested this set out yesterday and was extremely disappointed by them. The bass was really terrible and the speakers weren't good at all. Its priced high for its styling but if you want good sound, don't bother with it.

    If you are looking for small satellite speakers with a budget, The Boston Acousitcs Soundware are much better and £200 cheaper!

    Although initially i was looking for small satellite speakers, you do really notice a big difference from book shelf speakers and i wasn't happy for what i wanted in my room.

    I was just very glad i had a demo of all the speakers i had on my shortlist. You can read reviews on mags, internet etc but until you hear it for yourself you will not know how good/bad the sets can be.
  9. shahedz

    shahedz Active Member

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    I demoed them at Richer sounds- all the richers sounds have them on a demo stand. I have to say i thought it was expensive , as i bought a sonos systems the chap gave them to me for £275 instead of £350 which is what swung it for me.

    For a little sub it really does pack a punch. I have it connected to the Sonos and have the sub volume actually turned down quite a bit. I haven't experienced it distorting and i have cranked the Sonos to almost max. (Then again the Sonos isn't a super loud system)

    My room isn't huge - it's L shaped but it comfortably feels the room.

    I am only using mine for music at the moment (need to get round to connecting it to the soundbar for movies) and with the music it does sound very nice and deep. i haven't experienced it struggling and this is the baby of the bunch. The bass it produces is nice and deep , and rich. My previous subs were gale and Yamaha ones from years back and this sounds a lot richer.

    I have no regrets going for the smallest one , but if you have a bigger room and want more oomph you could go for a bigger one- in my room i don't need it.

    Richer sounds don't have a demo room (or they didn't in the ones i went to) and the shops are far from ideal listening conditions. My one is too noisy , open with an open door. But i was impressed enough to buy it and am glad to say it sounds a lot better in my place.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
  10. Silverblack

    Silverblack Active Member

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    any chance of pic of how the speakers look in your setup shahedz.:smashin:
  11. tonybb

    tonybb Member

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    The depth of the bass was one of the things that first impressed me when I heard the Minx setup in the shop. At home, the X200 certainly gives me all the bass that I need, and with no hint of distortion. But then, I'm not really allowed to use it a room-shaking levels. :nono:

    When I first set up the system, I turned up the level of the subwoofer, but have since turned it back down for a more balanced sound.

    I'm not too sure of the physics behind the auxiliary passive radiators, but they seem to successfully avoid the boominess you get with some reflex enclosures.

    However, I can't offer any meaningful comparisons with other subs as it is the first decent one that I have owned.

    Tony
  12. shahedz

    shahedz Active Member

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    Hi Markiedee, i'll upload some during this week and will let you know when i do. I went for the Minx satelites and Sub in white.
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  13. Silverblack

    Silverblack Active Member

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    thanks for the info tony if i do get the minx system i will probably get the 2.1 version working towards the bigger center speaker and eventually with the small cubes as rears.
  14. JJF

    JJF Guest

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    Thanks Tonybb for taking the time to write up your positive experience with Minx. It is always great to receive feedback so I'll make sure it is passed to the team responsible for the product too.

    The X200 sub does indeed punch above its weight because unlike other "traditional" subs it employs proprietary DSP to tightly control the sound and optimise a small driver in a small cabinet. Thus we were able to achieve the kind of results you'd normally expect from a bigger box. The X300 is my personal favorite as for a little bit more volume the bass it gives out is quite astounding. If you have a chance, do give it a try.

    Nasaldo, I appreciate your feedback also however I am sure there is something wrong with the setup of the system that you listened to for you to post the comments you have which are quite the opposite to my personal listening experiences. I guess you listened to Minx at a Richer Sounds store, if so would you be so kind as to let me know the location so we can look into the system on dem.

    Cheers guys,
    James Johnson-Flint
    CEO, Cambridge Audio
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  15. SaintJimmy

    SaintJimmy Member

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    I'm thinking about getting the x200 and 2 MIN 10's this weekend for use with the Cambridge Audio ONE+. They would be used mostly for music from CD, ipod, and for use with my PC.

    As they are so small I'm a little worried about not having enough mid range, they would need to sound good close up (from pc desk) and from 2-3 meters away.

    The sub needs to be small and I think any in the range will be fine, but the speakers don't need to be as small as these. Anyone have any thoughts on if these would be a good choice for me or do you think there are better options?
  16. peebles23

    peebles23 Member

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    I have recently brought the cambridge minx 2.1 with an onkyo amp. My wife insisted she did not wires all over the place & wanted the speaker to be discreet. Read through the reviews of the minx and on balanced they seemed to be well received.
    I'm not an audiophile but have to say I'm really impressed with the setup. Watched a dvd with the lights off and the sound created is amazing..i cant beleive the speakers are so small. Would recommend a listen.

    Also pleased its a british company..top stuff
  17. gibbo99

    gibbo99 Member

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    I've just purchased the Minx speakers consisting of 3 min 20's and 3 min 10s (soon to be 4), I've had to replace my old B&W DM303 fronts and LCR3 centre with denon surrounds due to space issues. Since moving the TV location and getting a Samsung LED the older speakers were more in the way and we needed something more discreate. First impressions so far are excellent with music and DVD / blueray. I'm sticking with my M&K 10 sub for now rather than go for the minx one. Keeps costs down and my sub is still a good one. Will see how they perform over next few day's / weeks to see if they match the first impression.
  18. ginga_dj

    ginga_dj Member

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    I am planning to purchase 5 Min 20's and 2 Min 10's, keeping my existing sub.
    Gibbo99 - would love to hear what you think of your setup.
  19. Jonty64

    Jonty64 Member

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    Tony, I like the cabinet you have, where did you get it?
  20. sneerfulbrute

    sneerfulbrute Member

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    I have listened to the min10 and min20's twice now and am impressed from the output of such a small footprint. I am going to buy 2 min10's in black to give me 7.1. I thought about buying CA own floorstands, but at £80 I have thought again and found a decent stand from the internet for £34 delivered. I am a huge fan(boy?) of Cambridge Audio and they can do no wrong in my book. That said my next upgrade will be a Denon AVR2311. Sorry CA but nothing you have at the mo matches its specs!
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  21. tonybb

    tonybb Member

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    Jonty, it's an Alphason Walnut Ambri TV Stand ABR1100-W - bought from www.theplasmacentre.com They were selling it cheaper on eBay when I bought it.

    There are threads here with more photos and good information on enlarging the openings in the the back panel for better access and ventilation.
  22. bennyvin

    bennyvin Member

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    I'm looking at minx10 satellites. Can they be mounted to any old floorstands? Like you, I like the look of the CA ones but bit pricey!!!
  23. sneerfulbrute

    sneerfulbrute Member

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    They can be mounted on generic floor mounts, infact one of the three reviews on CA's own site say that they used reference quality stand's for their test. However, very cleverly CA have recessed a small square area on the back of the speaker apparently to make a lock between their stands and the speaker. The upshot of this is that if you buy any floorstand with a thick mounting plate there may not be enough thread left on the screw that comes with the speaker to make a secure joint. I have bought the desk stands at ten pounds each and see how I get on with them - BUT in the end I may be forced into buying CA's own - Clever a! I don't know if the cheap wall mount bracket that comes with them can be rigged onto other stands?
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    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011
  24. gibbo99

    gibbo99 Member

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    I've set my system up in 7.1 format. 4 minx 10s and 3 Minx 20s for front and centre. Using a Miller and Kriesel KX10 sub all powered by a yamaha rx667 amp. Tv is a Samsung led series 6. The minx speakers were the final piece of my revised setup replacing B&W bookshelfs (Dm303 & LCR3) I had feared that these new small speakers would not be up to the job however and pleasantly pleased and relieved (due to their cost) that they do put out a powerful sound stage. Most importantly though the dialogue is really clear. I watched James Bonds Quantum of Solice on DVD as I'd seen a review with these speakers and can now say I agree - they are very good. As for the size they are very discrete so this pleases the wife!. Playing music or watching tv is also a pleasure on 7.1 setting especially sports. Well happy.:)
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011
  25. Silverblack

    Silverblack Active Member

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    your setup with these speakers sounds good gibbo still kind of considering them myself. is it possible to upload some pics of them if you can.:smashin:
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011
  26. sneerfulbrute

    sneerfulbrute Member

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    I have just had a lightbulb idea. I have a pair of bookcase speaker stands I bought for a pair of Q A speakers. I can use them to listen to my Minx speakers and see how good they are in that position - if I find them to be a really useful asset to my listening experience, then I will invest in a pair of CA's own floorstands! :clap::clap::clap:

    I have just visited an old thread about 7.1 BD titles. I was pleased to see that Tron is being released in 7.1, that will be 3 whole titles that i will then own in 7.1. I only mention this as this was my reason for buying the two min 10's was that they will be used for 7.1. And all things being equal I should get my new 7.1 reciever next week. Did I mention 7.1? LOL.
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    Last edited: Apr 9, 2011
  27. sneerfulbrute

    sneerfulbrute Member

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    I have just completed 95% of my new setup using Minx min10's off of my new Denon AVR-1911. I have only heard the Minx's briefly as I fiddled with settings. But I have to say I am really pleased so far. I am on seventh heaven not only getting the exact right speakers to give 7.1 in the most discreet possible arrangement, but having bought the Denon for a mere £200 I can cannot believe my luck. As things stand(no pun) I am happy to fork out another £80 to buy the CA floorstands as they are really well made!
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  28. bennyvin

    bennyvin Member

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    I've been into Richer Sounds in Milton Keynes this week to pick up my new Onkyo TXSR608 and they've got the CA minx 5.1 set up for demo in store. For the size of the speakers they really pack quite a punch so I'm deffo gonna put them on my shopping list...better start saving!!!
  29. xit2050

    xit2050 Active Member

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    Don't get it...
    Every time someone on these forums mentions a small satellite system (e.g. Jamo A102 or BA Soundware xs) everyone is on about how bad these systems are and that you should at least buy bookshelf speakers. Now, all of a sudden, these are supposed to be incredible good?
  30. sneerfulbrute

    sneerfulbrute Member

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    Well xit2050 I cannot believe I'm going to say this to a senior member but it seems to me that unless you have heard them your selve you are not qualified to speak,the reason I find that funny is for I was once in the same boat. Another member said that as far as he could tell a new panasonic BD player was based on the(then) new LG BD390, I challenged him and he gave all this proof to support his claim. Three esteemed sources have backed up Minx as performing really well for there size. Now I know experts are often the least trustworthy source's of advice. But from what I've experienced personally at the very least they are excellent as support in a larger system. And at least are worthy units(and heres the point) good performing style based speakers for any one whos really tight for space. If you live in a nice roomy house that can swollow Monoliths, then more power to you, but please don't shoot of command's about things you cannot have any knowledge of!:oops:

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