Did anybody get to hear the Emerald Physics CS1's at RMAF 2008?

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zybar

They sure look a lot better than my CS2's!







I am looking for honest feedback and thoughts.

Thanks,

George

Se7en

Wow! They do look good!

jrebman

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I didn't hear them myself but the comments I did hear from several people who did were along the lines of "nice, but nothing to really write home about".

-- Jim


brj

I "scouted" the CS1s on Friday with only a couple of minutes in the sweet spot, but, despite several attempts, never made it back when Clayton and the prime listening position were available.

From my very brief exposure, I will say that they imaged exceptionally well when you were sitting dead center, but, given the use of a wave guide and previous CS2 experience, didn't have as large a sweet spot as I was expecting.  To qualify my comment on the imaging, however... have you ever listened to a system, admired the precise imaging conveyed by the recording, but then looked directly at one of the speakers only to find your eyes overriding your ears such that you suddenly lose the acoustic illusion and perceive the sound to be coming out of the individual speakers instead?  With the CS1s, I couldn't break the illusion in any way.  The speakers might as well have been end tables for all my visual impressions were able to affect my acoustic perceptions.  Many good speakers can do this in a well treated, symmetrical room, but the CS1s did it in a completely untreated room (as far as I recall), which I find quite impressive.

The CS1s went low and seemed quite clean, but I haven't had much exposure to dipole base yet, and thus missed some of the "punch" available via other base systems (sealed box, transmission line, etc.).  That said, base is so room dependent, although in a different fashion for dipoles, that I'm not sure I'd put much stock in my impressions.

Sorry I can't be more help - I like Clayton's work and was really looking forward to a more extended CS1 audition.

Russell Dawkins

I think this is a striking design, visually, and a large step up from previous Emerald Physics offerings.

Congratulations, Clayton! If this is the work of an industrial designer, it was really worth it! Brilliant! :thumb:

opnly bafld

I "scouted" the CS1s on Friday with only a couple of minutes in the sweet spot, but, despite several attempts, never made it back when Clayton and the prime listening position were available.

Clayton told me that he had stayed up most of the night Friday making adjustments and that the CS1s were sounding much better on Saturday (I didn't hear them on Friday).

I didn't have the opportunity to listen to them as much as I would have liked, but in my limited exposure on Saturday I would say they do exactly what you expect from a good speaker designer as you move up the line.

Lin

DaveC113

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Not my cup of tea, but I really respect what he's done, and believe it will appeal to a lot of people. Def more refined than the 2s is my initial impression with only brief listening. Imaging was very good. Didn't play my own music, so can't say much else. If you like the 2s, I'd guess the 1s will make you very happy. 

BrassEar

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Surprised that there was not a more positive response given how great the CS2s are.

Rumors were that the compression driver and waveguide were very high end in the CS1. That, coupled with 4, 15-inch OB drivers per side should be impressive given Clayton's track record.

Did anyone notice which electronic xover was being used with the CS1?

OB Designer

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I heard that the CS1 uses the DDS 90 waveguide and the BMS 4550 driver. Not sure about the 15s.

TomS

...Did anyone notice which electronic xover was being used with the CS1?
The crossover was a prototype version with many more data points than a single DCX.  Clayton mentioned a double version DCX with output stage mods, though this box had no display at all. 

I listened a couple of times and it definitely seemed like something wasn't right, mostly in the bass.  Saturday night, he thought they were having problems with a bad output connection in the crossover causing an intermittent bass uplift of +6db (switching back and forth from single ended to balanced).  I know when I've mismatched the LF and HF on my CS2's by as little as 2-3db, the sound and balance changes quite dramatically.

If they really were working ok, I felt the sound wasn't compelling enough for me to jump that big gap from $3.5k CS2's to $10k+ for CS1's.  For me, at least, that's more of a statement of how good the CS2's are already, and that they compete so well above their price point. 

Visually, there have been many interesting interpretations of the OB style out there, but this one was particularly innovative and much more domicile friendly than most.  Even with a 5 driver complement per side, they were quite beautiful and much more svelte in person vs. pictures.  The picture makes them look much bigger than the CS2's but they are actually the same size at 48x18, except they're 18" deep.

I hope Clayton can get the bugs worked out fairly easily.  I'm still looking forward to hearing these again when the crossover and tuning are settled.

Ric Schultz

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The original CS-1 (shown 2 years ago....a three way) had the DDS waveguide and the BMS driver, I believe.  However, it looks like there might not even be a waveguide/compression driver in the new CS1.  Maybe a full range driver on top?  Maybe Clayton will chime in here with what driver he is using on top and at what xover frequency......and maybe he wants to keep the info to himself......time will tell.  Nice looking speaker.  Should really put out some serious bass with those 4 woofs.

zybar

The original CS-1 (shown 2 years ago....a three way) had the DDS waveguide and the BMS driver, I believe.  However, it looks like there might not even be a waveguide/compression driver in the new CS1.  Maybe a full range driver on top?  Maybe Clayton will chime in here with what driver he is using on top and at what xover frequency......and maybe he wants to keep the info to himself......time will tell.  Nice looking speaker.  Should really put out some serious bass with those 4 woofs.

Clayton is using a different waveguide and compression tweeter in the CS1's, it is not a full range driver.

I'll leave it to Clayton to post details.

George

Clayton Shaw

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Hey Guys,

We introduced the CS1 to the world during RMAF2008 this last week. It was a great experience and lot of fun. I want to thank everyone that visited our display during the show.

As mentioned above, we had some initial setup issues to deal with which is fairly typical at shows. By Saturday morning we were making incredible sound, but part of the day was marred by an intermittent hardware problem that would cause the right bass channel to jump approx 6dB in level (balanced vs unbalanced levels) which made the sound boomy and ruined the imaging.  Unfortunately, a fairly large number of people heard the system during this period. When I returned to the room to learn of this, we shut down the display and dealt with the hardware problem.

Listeners who were familiar with the sound of the CS2 realized that the CS1 was on a much higher plane of performance, particularly in the areas of bass, midrange resolution and soundstage size. The CS1 has a way of lighting up the room and generates a very dynamic and exciting presentation with very low listening fatigue.

For the record, the CS1 incorporates the DDS waveguide and a German made BMS compression unit with neodymium motor assembly. This combination not only sounds very good and smooth, but is more stable at low frequencies (CS1 xover is 750Hz) than most other 1 inch format compression drivers. Its annular diaphram design has a ring radiator layout with twin, concentric voice coils and a mylar diaphram material.

The CS1 base price is set at $9995.00 per pair with DSP. Optional finishes and DSP processors will be available at additional charge. Shipping will commence in November.

Clayton Shaw
Emerald Physics





Duke

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Brj wrote:

"From my very brief exposure, I will say that they imaged exceptionally well when you were sitting dead center, but, given the use of a wave guide and previous CS2 experience, didn't have as large a sweet spot as I was expecting."

Based on my experiences with waveguide speakers, best imaging for one is with the waveguides pointed pretty much straight at the listener's ears.  Decent imaging over an exceptionally wide area is attained by toeing the speakers in even more, so that their axes criss-cross in front of the listening position (I can explain why if you'd like).  When setting up the room, one must choose which to optimize for. 

I am quite confident that the CS1 could be set up to give a very wide sweet spot, if that was the priority. 

I think the CS1 is an outstanding loudspeaker, especially at the price.

Duke

Horizons

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Interesting comment from Lynn Olson over on DIYAUDIO:

"The Emerald Physics CS1 wins another mention in the "most-improved" category. The things I didn't like about the CS2 last year are pretty much gone, and the CS1 has much better overall tonality and dynamic reach. The people at Emerald Physics told me that they replaced the (really bad) stock analog electronics of the Behringer digital equalizer and crossover with new electronics of their own design, and the system has an all-new crossover - maybe different drivers too, based on what I heard. Another gratifying surprise at this year's RMAF."

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=131174&perpage=25&pagenumber=1

GregC

I am a current CS2 owner and I was very much looking forward to hearing the CS1 speakers at RMAF.  I have to admit, they sounded ever so slightly bass heavy on Saturday.  I think Clayton found a problem with the DSP settings and corrected the issue before I went back to hear them on Sunday.  On Sunday I sat down in the sweet spot and I was extremely impressed.  The speakers possessed dynamics in spades, with an expansive soundstage and absolutely no glare.  The midrange was very resolving and natural sounding.  The crossover between the treble and bass was seamless and balanced.  The CS1 speakers also look cosmetically superior to the CS2 speakers. 

These were my favorite speakers at RMAF (especially for the price point).  They bested most the speakers I heard that cost 3 to 5 times as much, and even gave a pair of $538k speakers a run for the money.  Clayton set the bar high last year and was able to raise it and jump over it this year.

brj

Quote from: Duke
Based on my experiences with waveguide speakers, best imaging for one is with the waveguides pointed pretty much straight at the listener's ears.  Decent imaging over an exceptionally wide area is attained by toeing the speakers in even more, so that their axes criss-cross in front of the listening position (I can explain why if you'd like).

Of course! :wink:


By the way, keep in mind that my comments were based on a quick audition on Friday.  It sounds as if the system was tweaked to some degree during the 3 days - which, unfortunately, makes me even more disappointed that I didn't get back to listen to them on Sunday.


Clayton, if you could comment on the changes made over the course the show, it might help people better relate to the comments made so far.

I confess that I'm also curious about the different crossover options you'll be offering.  Is some form of modded DEQ/x going to fill the top slot?  (I've been watching to see how far someone can take the full-blown version with integrated Hypex amps, as it seems like a natural fit for this type of application.)

Sorry we didn't get to talk this time, but hopefully another opportunity will present itself soon.  Good luck with the CS1 - I look forward to another audition!

JustinY

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Clayton, if you could comment on the changes made over the course the show, it might help people better relate to the comments made so far.

Hello everyone, this was my first real show with Clayton and it was an eye opening experience. We arrived late Weds night after an 8 hour drive from UT and was unable to setup the speaker until mid afternoon Thurs.

Day 1
Over the course of Thurs afternoon/evening we were running into software issues whenever we try to load an existing DSP file to our prototype DSP. Our original plan was to load the file which we created at our production center and tweak/equalize the CS1 to the room, however after numerous attempts we were unable to successfully load the file and had to basically build it from scratch. All the hard work put in by Clayton building the original DSP file during the last few months was wasted.
As that part of the software issue was being addressed, we also found that we were getting a -6db drop on the low end coming out of the right channel. After another few hours of troubleshooting we concluded that a potential loose soldier joint inside the prototype unit in that specific channel was the cause of the difference in output. By midnight, we were finally able to get the system sounding okay.

Day 2 (Friday)
After a long day of troubleshooting and getting the system online, we had okay sound but both me and Clayton realized that it was not performing like what we have been accustom to back at the shop. We limped along through the day and after much debate we went back and remeasured the speakers. Like we expected, the two channels were not well matched like we had it the night before. Some how with this prototype, it just did not want to cooperate and save the file that we had created. After a few more hours of tweaking we were both satisfy with the sound before we call it a night.

Day 3 (Sat)
Prior to the show opening, we decide to remeasure the speaker to verified that we were getting the same level and matching that we had before and to our surprise, everything was as it was the night before. We were getting great sound and everything was good to go.... well until mid afternoon. During about 1-3pm, which was also our busiest time of the show, we notice what many of you guys had heard. The bass was a bit boomy and the imaging was not quite up to par. Well, it turned out that our -6db bug on the low end somehow fixed itself and now was putting out normal level (6db higher) than the left channel. Once we noticed the issue, we immediately shut down and fixed it. From that point on, we didn't run into any further problems but the show was almost over.

Day 4 (Sun)
Same routine as Sat, prior to the show opening, we remeasure and sound checked the system. The rest is history... Sunday by far was our best day of the show. We had many returning listeners and many compliments on the sound and the overall appearance of the speaker. We wished we could have had the type of sound that we did on Sunday, throughout the show but unfortunately we ran into problems. However, we did finish the show on a high note and that's all we can ask for.

I know many of you guys are interesting in the various DSP options that we have coming out but that part I am going to leave it for Clayton.


Happy Listening!

Justin   

consttraveler

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Justin:

Thank you for the details, and welcome to the wonderful world of Murphy's Law.  :o

Telstar

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Hey Guys,

We introduced the CS1 to the world during RMAF2008 this last week. It was a great experience and lot of fun. I want to thank everyone that visited our display during the show.

Absolutely beautiful design, my sincere compliments.
If you dont mind, I will pursue similar looks for my DIY speakers :)