Cerwin Vega XLS215...can it be so cheap???

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Hi all!
It's about two weeks i'm reading about these speakers, how great they sound and how CHEAP they are!!!
Google it and you'll have an interesting panorama.
In Italy they're available for less than 1200 euro for the pair.
Now... let's use some mathematics:
four cast frame 15" drivers, two 6,5" drivers with horns, two 1" dome tweeter with horns, crossover, wood and some paint!!!
how can it be so cheap??? i think it could be hard to go any cheaper even with a DIY similar project!
What do you think guys? have you heard those big boxes?
Am i right to be suspicious?

Anyway, i'm so tempted... the specs are great and the reviews are very encouraging.
If the components were very poor quality, there wouldn't be all this enthusiasm around the web, even more because Cerwing Vega is a very underrated brand from the snob audiophile club.

The layout of the Cervin Vega looks very good.

big cone area for high output subbass horn loaded mid and high frequency will give good acoustic loading to the cone this also will contribute to sensitivity and impulse behaivour.

Paper cones are still till today a hard to beat cone material. and the basic construction of loudspeakers and drivers have developed on details but a good standard construction can still perform perfect.

So I do not see a restriction on the first look that the cervin vega can't sound great. It even is a complexer construction as many "high end designs" because of the horn loaded drivers.

Only the colours used hold the middle between cool and faulty :D. Looks like one will have a real party at home when these are playing.

And maybe it is a nice speaker to improve the filter with Janzen parts.

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The problem is they are only sold online and the "test drive" it's not possible.
That's why i was wondering what's going on with these speakers.
Surely if i'd take the risk, 1200 euro won't break the bank..
But i'm not Berlusconi and i don't like to throw my money away :)

@Flaesh: what was wrong in your listening experience? What sort of speakers are you used to and how they compare with speakers in the 2000euro range?


At the moment my speakers are the Leak 2060 (the sandwich), i like the "piston effect" but they are not exactely fast, i also think the area above 5KHz is not of impact and dry enough.
Would they be any better?
What do you think of the horns shapes? I don't have a clue on how can it sounds a non-compression-driver for tweeter.
The speakers sound just fine, especially if you plan to use them for providing entertainment for the entire neighbourhood. Those things are loud. Very very loud. There's no wonder they're called "party speakers" quite often.

I've got two of those. Keep in mind that they take space. Quite a lot of it. If you don't have room, find smaller speakers. The price is quite normal for this model. It's still expensive though, the smaller models cost half of that and they are still loud enough for the neighbours across the street :)
I was interested in such a big and inexpensive horn :) speakers and asked to arrange an audition for me, when I saw it (clsc212)in the store. It was a few years ago. I do not remember the player\amp that were in the store, something around $2000 for each. Test disk was Holy Death/Sodomy Of Megido.
I'm definetly not [snob] audiophile :D. It's difficult to me describe bad sound in english.. it sounded like cheap radio.. yes, with some adding of 2x12" :(.. I just could not recognise my favorite songs:D..

While my speakers were OB 2x12 "+8"FR..

Now my speakers is http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi-way/174256-my-flush-inwall-ib-system.html :spin: (about <$2000 with xover and without :p wall. or about $1100 with 1" drivers from sale :))
The same disc at the moment - music creeps into the soul and I want to tapping my foot :D..

I definetly can not recommend to buy this CW without audition.
I definetly can recommend to buy some Italian drivers and make your oun 2 or 3way:D.
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I posted my comments on this speaker here:
Cerwin-Vega-Fans.com • View topic - XLS 215 Reviews

and I will quote what I wrote
"I went to the local Hi Fi shop today to listen to the XLS215. Unfortunately the listening room was far from ideal. they had a large glass display cabinet sitting a meter in front of the speakers, and due to the layout of the shop, and the size and weight of the speakers were not able to relocate them to a better room.

However the listening began with Dianna Krall (All or nothing at all). The double bass intro was pleasingly punchy but still reasonably clear, with a hint of box resonance, when Dianna starts singing she is clear and right there in front and sounding nice. Immediate impressions are that the speakers are very smooth in the mids and highs. Everything sounds "right", I am not missing out on anything. Next track, Frente (ordinary angels) this is a tricky recording to play as a top notch front end is required to clearly reproduce accurate bass, in this case the 150 Watt NAD integrated and toshiba DVD player was not quite up to the job, and the bass was a bit murky sounding, however Angie Hart sounded very nice as always. Chris Isaac (Blue Hotel) was reproduced with really nice attack, the bass and drums were punchy and the guitars and vocals were presented in a warm and forward way with nice presence with a nice "surrounding" sensation. Just how it should sound. there was never any edginess to the sound. The snare at the start of this track can sometimes sound a little "cutting" but on this system was full without hurting. Very nice.
When playing Devo (freedom of choice)(original master) I was pleasantly rewarded with some nice low bass punch at the start which is sometimes lacking with lesser speakers. Marks vocals were coming through nice and strong and the guitars sounded very vibrant in the midrange.

Alan Parsons project (Eye in the sky) had very clear bass and a nice punchiness to the bass drums and keys.
The Doors ( Riders on the storm) was a stand out track on these speakers the thunderstorm at the start was presented with nice dynamics but when the bass kicks in at the start there is a wonderful sense of drive to the song. the keys jump out nicely without being harsh as they sometimes can be. Jim Morrison's vocals come across smoothly and warm.
I also listened to some Percy Grainger ( English country garden) clarity and dynamics were outstanding and gave a nice sense of being at the concert.

If I were to make some criticisms of these speakers, I would say that the HF waveguide design, fires the HF downwards slightly. This causes the high frequencies to sound a little less "sparkly" and extended. A nice flush mounted dome tweeter would probably give more even dispersion of highs upwards into the room and create a more "open"

These speakers sounded a little less detailed all round than my reference speaker ( modified KEF concerto). However this equally is as much an advantage as a disadvantage. Sounds were never harsh or unpleasant on the XLS-215. A tiny bit less detail is probably a good trade off for the composure across all frequencies that these speakers have.
With some more detailed "Hi-Fi" speakers the extra detail can have you diving to turn down the volume as the extra detail allows all the harshness of bad (and good) recordings to come through.
Another pleasing trait of these speakers was the way they had the same tonal balance whether at low or high volume. With a great many speakers there is no bass at low volume and then more bass as you turn them up, but then the highs can become cutting. Absolutely not the case here just nicely balanced sound all the time.

In conclusion I would say that although the listening room was not ideal, hence I cant comment on the depth of sound or sound stage, these speakers are well worthy of being called "audiophile" quality speakers. People who are looking for the last "n-th" of detail should look elsewhere, and be prepared to spend much more.
Those who are after a well rounded, acceptably detailed, well balanced and pleasant sounding speaker, would be advised to give these speakers a serious listen and consideration.

Of course these speakers will also play incredibly loud, probably as loud as you would ever need at home -given a suitably powerful amplifier, and the bass really moves some air, but I was approaching these speakers from an audiophiles point of view, and was looking for detail and overall refinement to the sound. I was suitably impressed.
At this price point, no other brand of speaker I have come across can deliver such a big full sound, yet still achieve such finesse over a wide variety of music."

I will also comment here that the slight lack of some very small detail was most likely also a result of the NAD amp, which in my experience NAD tends to be a relaxed sort of a sound that is not very detailed. With my source at home and better speaker positioning I would expect better results from these speakers. No doubt the highs could be made to be more detailed and "sparkly" (in a good way) by installing better crossover capacitors. In fact a re-cap all round would improve things quite a bit.
Not that there is too much to improve upon anyway. But of course with a bit of DIY, everything can be improved.
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Joined 2004
Paid Member
Thanks Erin for that good review.

These CV CLS-215 were reviewed in a number of high end audio mags last year, including TAS. They said very much what you did, including the tweeter comment. The reviewers were surprised, of course!

I sent a friend in London to listen to them, but he could not find them, they had been discontinued. Maybe the XLS is the replacement?

The second to last sentence in this review really hits the nail on the head.
TESTED: Cerwin-Vega CLS-215 Loudspeaker | AVguide
Sorry if I was not clear, I was reviewing the the XLS-215. I have never heard the CLS-215.
But from what I heard from the XLS-215, the many reviews of the CLS-215 can also be applied to the XLS-215.

I don't know anything about the Cerwin Vega of old, but this new series is really worth a listen if in the market for new speakers.
I would say not to pre-judge the CV brand, just go and listen to a pair of these speakers and judge for yourself.
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