Sunfire CRM-2 & SubRosa, Cont.

So, would I part with five large ones, especially in today’s tanked economy for a CRM-2/SubRosa stereo-only combination? Umm, probably not.  What can I say; it’s just too much ching in a highly competitive price range populated with a number of excellent two channel speaker options.

But, but, but, where a CRM-2/SubRosa combo starts to draw even, indeed, pull way ahead of its $5K and up competition is when three CRM-2’s are used in a LCR home theater/surround setup. For this money, a CRM-2 trio plus SubRosa are a game changer. It also tells you maybe why Bob Carver calls these "Cinema Ribbons", and not "Sit Really Still Stereo Ribbons."

Going from a stereo-only pair of CRM-2’s to a LCR trio was like witnessing a merry Moses whistling his way down the musical mountain top. I have never heard such a transformational effect brought about by simply adding a center channel speaker. Normally, most any good center channel widens and deepens the surround soundstage, broadens listener placement options, and anchors movie dialog.

The CRM-2 center channel did all that, sure, but was almost exponential in its overall positive effects. In watching movies or listening to surround music the speakers, the room, the lot, simply evaporated.  In their stead was a multi-dimensional, very high def space.

It was an awesome effect. There was just so much more going on with three CRM-2’s in the loop. Details, vocals, instrument placement; all positively transformed, as was the movie watching experience. 

With the Sunfire Signature sub anchoring the LFE bass channel and the SubRosa providing the deep woof for the CRM-2 trio, boom-boom movie effects brought down the house, plus building security once again to my front door (we were on a, “Hi, Chuck, how’s the kids”, basis by now).

I also tried swapping out the center channel CRM-2 for a CRM-2C speaker, which is supposed to be optimized for midway duties.  But the CRM-2C somewhat smeared the formerly glorious see through panorama. Whether this was due to its front rather than side firing woofers smudging the center ribbon’s output, or to the horizontal ribbon sitting smack between the two woofers, or both, is open for discussion.

If you didn’t hear the CRM-2/CRM-2C in a back-to-back listening comparison, you might not notice. But when you hear the difference, you really hear the difference.  As an added bonus, the CRM-2 looks more elegant and takes up less space than the CRM-2C.


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