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Cabasse Ambrose 3 LCR Loudspeaker First Look

Cabasse Ambrose 3 LCR Loudspeaker

Cabasse Ambrose 3 LCR Loudspeaker


  • Product Name: Ambrose 3
  • Manufacturer: Cabasse
  • Distributor: StJohn Group
  • Review Date: March 28, 2010 19:25
  • MSRP: $3050/each
  • First Impression: Mildly Interesting
  • Use: Main speakers; Left, center, right; Surrounds
  • Ways: 3
  • Drivers: - 1 x coaxial BC13 - 2 x 17MD18LR2 (17 cm – 7")
  • Sensitivity 1W/1m : 91 dB
  • Crossover points: 920 - 4,800 Hz
  • Frequency Response: 75 - 24,000 Hz
  • Nominal impedance: 8 ohms; Minimum impedance: 3.6 ohms
  • Power handling: 110 W; Peak power handling: 770 W
  • Standard finish: Golden Cherry; Santos; Glossy Black
  • Dimensions:
    - Horizontal mount: 7.5 x 31.5 x 8.3 in
    - Vertical mount: 31.5 x 7.5 x 8.3 in
  • Weight: 33 lbs. / 15 kg

If you spend a little time in this industry, you'll find out a few truths. Manufacturers lie about their display's contrast ratio, you can never truly understand the size of the Internet direct sub until you get it in your room, and companies like to specialize. If a company finds one design to be successful, you can bet that they'll capitalize on it. That means more products along the same lines. Now for some they find success in price point - both ways. Some find that the lower they set the price, the more they sell and even through their profit margins are lower, the volume more than makes up for it. Others find that even when they raise their prices their sales remain about the same which means more profits for them. Some find success in form factor, in late night infomercials, or in retail space.

One thing you'll find often among speaker manufacturers is an almost religious adherence to driver typology and orientation. If they find success with aluminum cone woofers, you'll bet you'll see them in more than one offering. If they employ an MTM D'Appolito orientation, you'll see everything from centers to bookshelves to towers with the design. Part of this (as discussed with Technical Director and Vice President of Engineering at RBH Sound Shane Rich on AV Rant) is designer familiarity. They are familiar with certain driver types and speaker designs so they continue to employ them. But part of this is building on previous successes. Regardless of how comfortable they are with a driver or design, you better believe that they'd be changing their design if they didn't sell.

Cabasse is a speaker brand that is little known here in the States. They do have an international presence, however, and are one of those manufacturers that have a favored driver - the coaxial. A coaxial driver is one that had a tweeter mounted in the center of a woofer where you'd expect a dust cap to be. Their idea is that the sound needs to be "spatially coherent." This means that the sound from each and ever driver needs to hit your ear at the same time. You can see how a coaxially mounted tweeter would lend itself to this design ideal.

The newest offering in the Cabasse line is the Ambrose 3 LCR. A LCR is a speaker that is designed to be used either as a traditional speaker (usually a main left or right speaker) in a vertical orientation or as a center in a horizontal one. Traditionally you see a D'Appolito design with such speakers as the MTM arrangement lends itself well to both orientations. Here, Cabasse falls in line with the rest of the world and jumps on the MTM bandwagon.

There are other familiar design elements in the Ambrose 3 to those familiar with home theater speakers. The speakers come in either Golden Cherry, Santos (a redish wood), or Gloss Black finishes. The cabinets employ non-parallel sides to combat standing waves with in the box. The cabinets employ a "variable thickness" design to improve rigidity and neutrality. Usually we associate using thicker materials overall as a adding rigidity. Perhaps they are using a double-thick front baffle.

In the center of the speaker is the coaxial midrange/tweeter with 7" woofers on either side. The speaker employs a 3 way design with a spec'ed frequency response down to 75Hz. This should allow for good integration with a sub at the THX recommended 80Hz crossover. The speakers present an 8ohm nominal/3.6ohm minimum load to your receiver/amp with a 91dB efficiency so most midlevel and up receivers should be able to power the speakers with little problem.

The speaker is fairly heavy at 33 lbs and a bit larger than you might guess from the pictures at 31.5" wide/tall and ~8" deep/wide/tall (depending on the orientation). It is sealed which allows for more forgiving placement near walls/boundaries.

What is not forgiving is the price. AT $3050 a piece, the Ambrose 3 may leave a bit of a sour taste in many consumer's mouths. The fact is that Cabasse designs their own drivers and even invented the DUOCELL cone material in the woofers. The BC13 tweeter is brand new and according to Cabasse top of the line. While this might be enough to convince some buyers, Cabasse is betting that enough consumers will be convinced by their spatially coherent system technology which is touted to eliminate off axis mid/tweeter lobing or suckouts to take the plunge.


The Cabasse Ambrose 3 LCR speaker is obviously priced for the more audiophile crowd. At over $3000 a pop. you're looking at a significant monetary investment just for the front three channels. But their coaxial design and spatially coherent system designed to better integrate the tweeter and midrange is looking to make that price worth it. We don't know where you might audition them but we'd love to give them a listen. At this price, they should be quite impressive. One would think.

For more information please visit www.cabasse.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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