Cambridge Audio Minx M5 Setup and Use
As you probably guessed, rather than setting up the Cambridge Audio Minx M5 in some sort of weird, non-standard way that doesn't at all mimic the real world, I did what I thought most people would do - I put the bass module under my desk and the speakers flanking my monitor. Those of you that listen to the AV Rant podcast will know that I've been running the KRK Rokit Powered 6/10 speakers in my office. And, frankly, I love them. But when I moved back to the states from Australia, I had a choice between a dedicated home theater or a dedicated office.
For an Audioholic, that's no choice at all.
So my computer now sits off the side of my kitchen. A full sized sub and speakers with exposed yellow cones and dust caps just begging to be pushed in by tiny fingers is not a good combination for a common area. I needed something smaller. The Cambridge Audio Minx M5 looked to be just the thing.
Running the cables up and down four times was a bit of hassle but it didn't take long. As I mentioned, I found the right bass mix pretty much in the first 30 seconds of listening and was ready to go. Yes, at first the satellites sounded a bit harsh but they mellowed out very quickly. Once all that was done I was ready for a long session of listening.
Except I couldn't.
I'm very sensitive to subwoofer placement. I found an 80Hz crossover to be too high in most cases. I can locate that too often and I find it extremely distracting to have Darth Varder's voice coming from the side (or back) of a room. The bass module at my feet just contained far too much of the vocals for me. It was like someone had hidden the band I was listening to in the basement and I was hearing them though a floor vent.
I'm sure you'd find that disconcerting as well.
Fortunately for me, I was able to place the bass module behind my monitor. I have mine on an articulated arm. When in use, I pull it toward me. When I "put it away" I would push it back. Since the bass module is only 8" or so deep, I just don't push it back any more. So, when you are reading the rest of this review you need to ask yourself you are as sensitive as I am to bass modules. If you don't think so, this isn't a concern. If you are, you need to make sure you have space on your desk for a bass module.
Have I mentioned I loved the control module? I LOVED it. Having the connections so accessible and the volume control where I could actually reach it was a Godsend. I just kept a cable close at hand and never had to worry about someone saying, "Hey, I downloaded this great track. You want to listen to it on my phone?"
No, no I don't. But I will listen to it on the Cambridge Audio Minx M5.
The only weirdness there was that the 3.5mm input and the mini USB port were both active at the same time. So if both were playing something, the Minx M5 would do both. I also wished that the Minx would remember the volume settings on each input/output type. There were no numbers or any indication of what volume level you were at so when you changed USB or 3.5mm inputs, you risked damaging the speakers if the gain discrepancies were too large. I did like that when you plugged in you headphones (or unplugged them) the volume would fade up and not just "pop" to the level. It gave you a bit of warning. Though, again, I wished the M5s would remember the last volume level for the headphone output as it was often dramatically different from my computer's volume setting.
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If the sat's are like the Min 10's you need to twist the grill to remove it (to the left, if I recall correctly - I haven't listen to the pair I have in a while).
But, when I first turned these on, they sounded very harsh. I played with placement at first but eventually just forgot about it. Later, I thought they sounded better. I left for a week for a vacation and fully expected that they would once again sound harsh as my ears had “unbroken” in. But that wasn't the case. They still sounded pretty good to me.
That's quite true; out of the box the BMR driver sounds awful, and definitely ‘warms up’ after a good 25 or more hours.
The really unique part of the Minx M5 speakers is the control module.
That control modules appearance is virtually identical to the BMR driver itself, which is a brilliant tie-in on CA's part.
I'm very sensitive to subwoofer placement. I found an 80Hz crossover to be too high in most cases
What did you ultimately run the crossover at (assuming it's adjustable, of course)? For the Min 10's anything lower than 120Hz is going to create a massive hole in the crossover region. Realistically, 150Hz is probably better.
BTW… the first paragraph in the Overview sections contains the line "All the speakers were covered with a very thin cotton fabric because AUDIOPHILE!". Not sure what you had intended to publish, but I doubt that was it.