Right here’s an unconventional, terrific-sounding bookshelf speaker

Hsu Analysis is greatest identified for its line of high-performance, but inexpensive subwoofers, however it additionally makes audio system. This one I’ve right here, the CCB-Eight, is a big bookshelf mannequin with a single “coaxial” Eight-inch polypropylene driver, with a 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter nestled within the middle of it. The sound is vastly satisfying, excessive in decision, with huge stereo imaging. My overview samples an impeccable satin black end model that runs $699 per pair. The CCB-Eight can also be obtainable with actual rosenut wooden veneers for $859 a pair.

The Hsu Analysis CCB-Eight speaker.

Hsu Analysis

It isn’t all that small: The CCB-Eight measures 15x10x12 inches and weighs a hefty 22 kilos. I did not discover the speaker’s yellow driver all that engaging so I popped on the magnetically connected perforated metallic grilles. The CCB-Eight’s rear finish has two bass ports and durable metallic speaker wire connectors that settle for banana plugs, naked wires, or wires fitted with spades or pins. As shipped the ports have “bung” plugs in place that seal the ports, however I used the audio system with the plugs eliminated. Room acoustics fluctuate — I like to recommend listening with and with out the bungs and resolve which sounds higher for your self. Earlier than I overlook to say it, nominal impedance is rated at 6 ohms, and minimal impedance is four ohms. Hsu’s guarantee runs seven years, two years longer than what you get from most speaker firms these days.

Whereas I used the CCB-Eight as a part of a stereo setup, you may lay it on its aspect to be used as a middle channel speaker in a house theater. That manner you’d have three an identical audio system for the entrance left, middle and proper channel positions, which tends to sound higher than utilizing completely different speaker fashions for the entrance and middle audio system. You may also use CCB-8s as encompass audio system, or go for Hsu’s HB-1 MK2 ($139 every), or its HIW-1 in-wall/in-ceiling audio system ($299 per pair).

Paired with a Sony STR-DN1080 AV receiver the CCB-Eight’s sound was richly balanced, with gobs of element, and middle focus between the 2 audio system was wonderful. With nice recordings like Eriks Esenvalds’ “The Doorways of Heaven” with the Portland State College Chamber Choir the CCB-Eight reduce unfastened with an amazing sound stage that crammed the CNET listening room. Sound stage depth of the choir was spectacular, I simply wished I had the Outlaw Audio RR 2160 stereo receiver available for these listening exams — it is the perfect sounding receiver I’ve heard for a very long time. I am guessing the CCB-Eight would sound even higher with that receiver.

The Hsu Analysis CCB-Eight speaker, proven with out and with metallic grille.

Steve Guttenberg/CNET

I used to be keen to check the CCB-Eight with one other, equally priced speaker with a single coaxial driver, particularly the KEF Q350 ($650/pair) I reviewed only a few months in the past. Instantly the CCB-Eight’s richer steadiness and fuller tone made it sound like a a lot bigger speaker, however it’s simply barely larger. Rocking out to Jarvis Cocker’s “Fats Kids” on the “From the Basement” reside music DVD, the CCB-Eight conveyed extra power, and there was extra bass affect. Returning to the Q350, the sound was extra restrained. Vocals sounded smaller too: The CCB-Eight gave them extra room to maneuver. On the upside, the Q350’s treble was extra current and clear, and I felt its tonal steadiness was extra correct than the CCB-Eight’s. That mentioned, the CCB-Eight was extra enjoyable to hearken to. They’re each recommendable, however they sound very completely different.

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