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Cadence CSX15 Mark II Measurements and Analysis


Configuration for Measurements

The Cadence CSX15 MK II subwoofer was measured outdoors sitting on the ground in its normal orientation with the M30 microphone placed 2 meters from and pointed directly at one of the front panel of the cabinet. The RCA input was used, the internal low pass filter was disabled, the phase was set to 0, the bass boost was set to zero and the subwoofer volume was set to its maximum. All tests were conducted in this configuration, except for those tests purposely conducted to examine the effects of the built in functions, different cabinet orientations, or different operational modes.

The overall approach to this testing along with the equipment and software used is outlined in the article here.

Powered Subwoofer Testing Outline and Procedures Overview

Outdoor Groundplane Measurements & Analysis

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Cadence CSX15 MK II: Basic Response

Above is the basic response measurement of the Cadence CSX15 MK II in an outdoor ground plane condition with the 50Hz EQ boost and low pass filter defeated. As can be seen there is a very abrupt roll off towards the deep bass frequencies. Cadence provides an effective frequency range of 25-250Hz for the CSX15 MK II but gives no tolerance. The measurement fits within a 10dB total window from 53-300Hz. By 30Hz the response is down over 21dB compared to the peak at 85Hz. The CSX15 MK II has very limited extension. The onset of an even steeper roll off below 30Hz indicates that the rumble filter has probably kicked in with what appears to be an 18dB/octave slope.

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Cadence CSX15 MK II: Effect of Low and High Pass Filter Settings

Above is the effect of various settings of the low pass crossover on the CSX15 MK II’s response shape. The filter exhibits decent correlation with the labels on the control and a 12dB octave slope but the roll off of the system response and peaking near 85Hz make it difficult to discern.

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 Cadence CSX15 MK II: Effect of 50Hz Bass Boost EQ Settings

The above measurements show what changes can be made to the response using the bass boost knob and indicate that it does provide a moderate to low Q boost centered at roughly 50Hz as indicated. Varying this control in combination with the low pass filter control can produce large changes in the overall frequency response shape in order to flatten or extend the response.

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Cadence CSX15 MK II: Waterfall Decay

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Cadence CSX15 MK II: Group Delay

Viewing the group delay and waterfall measurements of the CSX15 MK II indicate that it has no notable issues with energy storage or ringing and exhibits a clean and rapid decay of energy across the bandwidth of interest.

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Cadence CSX15 MK II: Long Term Output Compression

Above are the results of the long term output compression test for the Cadence CSX15 MK II. Since this test is referenced to 90dB at 50Hz and the CSX15 MK II’s response is tilted heavily towards the top end it was asked to produce very high SPL levels at the top of its range even though the base SPL of the sweep is considerably lower. As can be seen the CSX15 MK II performs well with little compression up to and through the 105dB nominal sweep but increasing the signal a further 5dB resulted in only 2 to 3dB increase in output indicating that the subwoofer was out of gas by that point. Note that above 65Hz the CSX15 MK II produced in excess of 115dB and reaches about 119dB briefly near 80Hz which is very loud indeed.

Note on Output Compression Testing: This is by far the most demanding measurement type conducted on the subwoofers and will reveal any issues with overload, port compression, port noise, driver distress, cabinet creaks, rattles, buzzes, clipping, etc. Additionally this is outdoors with the subwoofer operating alone and with no nearby walls or objects to vibrate and no upper frequency content from other speakers that would normally help to cover up or mask any objectionable noises from the subwoofer in a typical room. Any sort of audible distress or issues with the subwoofer will be readily apparent in this environment.

During the high power sine wave sweeps the CSX15 MK II was well behaved up until the 105dB nominal sweep where some distress noise from the driver was in evidence below 40Hz. By the 110dB nominal sweep level the driver was obviously badly overloaded below 40Hz and produced a loud doubling noise accompanied by lots of distortion. The extra high tuning of this system coupled with a rumble filter that appears to not kick in until almost a full octave below the tuning frequency puts the driver into a situation where it is unloaded below the tuning of the vent but still capable of receiving full power from the amplifier which is not an ideal situation for a bass reflex system to be in. There was never any significant port noise or noise from the cabinet itself which was stoic throughout and free from buzzes, rattles or any other spurious noises.

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Cadence CSX15 MK II: Output Compression Magnitude

Looking at the output compression measurements in a different manner which only shows the amount of signal compression occurring, again indicates that the CSX15 MK II is basically free from compression up to and through the 105dB sweep level but has entered heavy compression during the 110dB sweep indicating that it is out of useful headroom by that point.


Cadence CSX15 MK II: Total Harmonic Distortion


Cadence CSX15 MK II: 105dB Sweep Distortion by Component

Total harmonic distortion and distortion by harmonic component testing reveals that the CSX15MK II has very low THD levels above 50Hz even when driven to extreme output levels, but below 50Hz the THD skyrockets even with much lower output levels. With bass reflex systems this is a common occurrence below the vent tuning which in this case appears to be about 50-55Hz judging from some of the measurements. Of note is that the distortion is greatly dominated by the second harmonic which is held as the least offensive to the ear so despite elevated levels below 50Hz the distortion may not be as audible as that from a subwoofer with lower overall THD levels but containing a higher concentration of higher order harmonics.


Cadence CSX15 MK II: CEA2010 2 Meter Groundplane RMS Results


Cadence CSX15 MK II: CEA2010 2 Meter Groundplane RMS Output

CEA2010 Results

The 2 meter groundplane rms CEA-2010 maximum short term distortion limited output results for the Cadence CSX15 MK II indicate that there is a massive amount of clean headroom available over the 63-125Hz octave, even breaking 120dB at 80Hz and that it still provides nearly 110dB at 50Hz. The CSX15 MK II is amplifier limited at 50Hz and higher in frequency. However the maximum output plummets quickly below 50Hz with a passing result of 98.6dB at 40Hz, 93.3dB at 31.5Hz and a passing output of only 89.7dB at 25Hz. If no distortion limit is imposed the CSX15 MK II can generate roughly 6dB greater output below 50Hz but accompanied with extremely high levels of distortion. This behavior in the deep bass is unsurprising given that these frequencies are below the system vent tuning. The measurements suggest that the CSX15 MK II’s effective useful extension is limited to 30 to 35Hz in room and that good bandwidth uniformity is only maintained into the 50Hz range.


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Recent Forum Posts:

theJman posts on June 22, 2012 15:07
Ricci, post: 891663
Thanks for the kind words guys. We've got another coming down the pipe shortly.

Glad to hear. Looking forward to it.
Ricci posts on June 22, 2012 14:59
Thanks for the kind words guys. We've got another coming down the pipe shortly.

Tom…Glad to see you around.
Tom V. posts on June 22, 2012 12:05
double post
Tom V. posts on June 22, 2012 11:58
spyboy, post: 891493
At Josh Ricci:

Thanks for the thorough review of the Cadence CSX 15 II. In a short span of time you have come to be highly respected for your subwoofer reviews


Tom Vodhanel
Power Sound Audio
theJman posts on June 21, 2012 15:25
spyboy, post: 891493
At Josh Ricci:

Thanks for the thorough review of the Cadence CSX 15 II. In a short span of time you have come to be highly respected for your subwoofer reviews, (unlike some professed reviewers).

Someone who thinks that suggesting the addition of an additional 8 ounces of poly fill doesn't qualify as “doing design projects”, nor does suggesting that screws be replaced with “T” nuts …

Keep up the great work. Your technical expertise in measuring critical data makes your reviews truly superior to much of what is passing for reviews that lack a single number, especially the base frequency response. For example one so-called reviewer thinks that a subwoofer with a passive radiator is an “acoustic suspension” design and doesn't know that a sub with a single driver and a single passive radiator behaves much more like a ported design rather than a sealed design.

All the other reviews – whether or not they contain numbers – greatly exceed that which you contribute, which amounts to essentially nothing but sarcasm, in this and every other forum. You really need to back off and go find something productive to do. Your incessant jabs and hollow comments have no value to anyone but yourself. Self aggrandizing has no place here. Move on already.
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