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Sunfire CRM-2 & SubRosa, Cont.

On the SRA-2700EQ’s low rise rump lives a pair of line-level, output jacks that incorporate a passive network with a fixed crossover frequency of 70 Hz and a 6 dB per octave slope. These output jacks can be used when your main/satellite speakers are small and not meant to reproduce low frequencies. Enabling this setup allows your main speakers to operate at frequencies above 70 Hz and the subwoofer to operate below 70Hz.

I tried various CRM-2 speaker configurations in this review, including using two CRM-2’s and the SubRosa for stereo-only listening. In a surround setup, I used three CRM-2’s as the LCR speakers. In another LCR configuration, I substituted a CRM-2C for the center channel. The Sunfire CRM-2C uses the same drivers as the CRM-2, but instead of a pair of side-firing woofers, it mounts the two 4.5” drivers facing straight ahead, flanking a now horizontally positioned 6” ribbon.

CRM-2C Center Channel

For a total surround setup with perfect timbre matching, Sunfire also makes the CRM-2BIP, a rear channel surround speaker with a slim 3-5/8” deep profile that uniquely features the only on-wall ribbon bipole currently available. (“Unique” gets a work out when discussing any Bob Carver design.) The CRM-2BIP has two 6” ribbons, one on each of the speaker’s angled side panels, with a straight ahead firing 6” woofer anchoring the middle panel. A pair of them retails for $1,750.

As with all good quality speakers, getting everything setup right is critical for best listening results. This is even truer for ribbons, as well as electrostats. Toe-in has to be just so, the speakers the right distance from the wall, and so forth. On the back of the CRM-2 is a “Boundary Compensation Switch” that compensates for bass and mid-bass loading. One setting is for when the speaker is placed close to a wall, or maybe sat next to a baleful big babushka. The other setting is for when she shoves the CRM-2 out into the room.

Because these are not tall, floor-standing ribbon speakers other positioning issues arise. The upper frequencies of the short 6” ribbon can get “lost” in the room, so to speak, which means the little darlings must be perfectly mounted, which means at around ear height for best results. If your significant other is a dwarf, speaker height comprises obviously have to be made.

Also unlike big floor-standing ribbons, which although fussy allow you some wiggle room on the listening seat, the CRM-2’s in stereo listening mode are very much a sweet spot speaker. Finally, the CRM-2 ribbons must be kept absolutely vertical. If they get positioned of out of whack so also goes the music.

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