Cambridge Soundworks Tower II Floorstanding Speakers

Tower II

Floorstanding Speakers

User Reviews (62)

Showing 1-10 of 62  
charles thomas   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 24, 2016]

I have owned these speakers for about 12 or 14 years-when I purchased them they were closing them out at Cambridge-I paid 450 for the pair I think-best money I have ever spent-I found a second pair on Craigslist last year and drove from Knoxville to Kentucky to pick them up for $250.00! I use the second pair as rear surrounds-needless to say I have the most amazing sounding setup I could imagine-paired these with a Def Tech sub which is barely turned up just for the low end rumble in movies mostly. Everyone who comes over is blown away by the sound. I have an older Denon 3808 CL receiver that allowed me to bi-amp the front speakers. It's rated at 130 watts per channel but in reality probably pushes around 80 per channel. That is more than adequate. If you can find these speakers don't hesitate. they were well worth the $1000 original price but at today's prices they are a steal!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Cliff Wells   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 07, 2015]

Bought a pair of these to replace my extremely disappointing Bose 601 Series IV towers. I got these (plus CS subwoofer, center, and rear speakers) for $400 on craigslist. I use them for both TV and music (through an older Denon reciever).

I find these speakers to be amazing. Now that I've listened to them for a while, I am certain that I'd gladly pay retail for another set (yes, even for a 12 year old speaker). If you can find a pair below retail, they are a steal. My girlfriend also loves them, and her previous system cost several thousand dollars and was hand-selected by her snobby audiophile ex.

The clarity and separation is breathtaking. The response feels very even, with no frequency getting lost or overpowering. Everything just sounds detailed, from top to bottom. The high end is crisp, but not fatiguing. The midrange doesn't disappear or sound woody. The bass is deep and clear, punchy and never boomy (we ended up not bothering with the subwoofer).

They get louder than I can stand, and that's saying something, since I get polite knocks and from my neighbors now and again due to my preferred listening volume (and I live in a house).

As others have mentioned, placement is important with any speaker. Don't push them against the wall. Get a decent amp, even if it's older and you have to eschew some features in favor of sound quality and power.

If you've done all this and they still don't sound good, try buying better music.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mygaffer   AudioPhile [Dec 22, 2010]

These are awesome full range speakers. They can usually be had for a steal, they sound great, the only con is they take up a lot of room, but if you are buying floor standing speakers you should know that.
I recommend them heartily, I have never heard anything that sounds as good for the money.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
imwired   AudioPhile [May 30, 2006]
Strength:

Bass, overall sound

Weakness:

looks; but I don't care because they sound so good.

I traded up to these from Infinity's and a pionneer reciver. Heard these in csw and was blown away. Walked out of store with these and a Marantz sr-5000. Couldn't wait to get home. Wired up with 8ga. fine strand wire. They are the best sounding speakers i've heard for the money. Bass is awesome, mids and highs are good.Wattage doen't matter much but should be hooked up to a high currant reciever or amp. They are well worth a try for the money, you won't be di
disappointed. If you have surrond system, they pair great with Fosgate Audionics FA51.0 Rear & FA62.0 center(company went bankrupt due to poor marketing, but you can still get them online for less than half msrp. Great sound and quality.

Similar Products Used: Infinity, Cerwin Vega, AR, JBL
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tquest   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 30, 2004]
Strength:

bass,clarity,support

Weakness:

ships UPS...the package killer!

Man, I have listened to all the good mid range stuff, alpha 50’s (very good but tiring poor sibilance) primus 250’s (amazing detail but distort at high volume) IL50’s (bland), whafedale pacific 50’s very nice (but no impact) klipsch RF3 (wow, cleaaar...lots of nice bass vibrations (just no kick, overwhelming in smaller rooms) cerwin vega d3, d5, d7, dx3, at12, vs120 cvt10 (the last 2 really good) Vegas have a sound that appeals to me… excellent impact, very clear mids, respectable highs and loud...Vega’s have a deep chested balance & nice sound stage/imaging… but are wholly un-inspiring with the details… great for parties but they just don't take you away...the tower II's do...right out of the box...they image, show a huge sound stage, bring out the sounds well separated in detail and have a great bass kick… impact & subtle vibrations… not at all tiring...you really can close your eyes and be startled... It’s all about the engineering...these really do add up to more than the sum of their parts...no aluminum frame woofers or exotic cone materials… just well built cabinets with tough, well matched drivers that deliver clear sound at any volume... They do an especially good job with the detailed bass vibrations, while pumping tons of air... They won't please everyone...but 9 out of ten who buy them will be happily surprised...if you’re a fan of 12 and 15 inch woofers or rocking down the house…the tower II’s are up to that as well as the classics....

Similar Products Used: listed in review
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
BRAULINO   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 04, 2003]
Strength:

Overall sound, value, power handling, and overall sound again

Weakness:

Vinyl finish

I realize that most of the reviews for these speakers are older but afetr reading 90% of them I feel the need to place this review. I have been buying and listening to music for 30 years now and do have some expertise. What is an audiofile? I'm really not sure but I beleive it is someone that has experience and can give on honest review base on that. Are these the best sounding speakers one can buy? The answer is no. Are the speakers an incredible value, yes. The users bashing these speakers don't seem to have much of a leg to stand on (to me). I don't care who designed them or who tested them, or who constructed them. For the money they are one of the better sounding speakers on the market. At 1000.00 per pair it is a bargain. I have listened to speakers that range in price from 500.00 to 28,000.00 per pair. There are better sounding speakers on the market for sure. But at what cost? I have spent many hours testing and listening to speakers over the last six months. These are the real deal! After a relatively short break in period the sound is accurate through all frequencies. The bass is tight, the midrange is even, and the tweeters are not harsh. They perform well with all music but are tremendous with jazz, blues, and vocal. To those of you that decide to disassemble products you buy, do you also reassemble them? as usual there are people out there that need the reassurance of buying a "Name" not a product. I have listened to the snell, b&k, and so on. Their products are precise and sound great as do these speakers. I do not buy trash, over the years I have spent my hard earned money on Klipsch, Kef, Bang & Olufsen, Yamaha, Dennon, and Harmon Kardon. these are not the 50,000.00 names but quality none the less. If you want a great sounding speaker at a great price try these out. You wont be dissapointed. Try many of the other higher priced names out, but you will buy these!

Similar Products Used: Kef, Klipsch, Bang & Olufsen, Yamaha, Sansui
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mike   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 18, 2003]
Strength:

Rich, full sound and detail. Deep bass.

Weakness:

None at the price.

I really like these speakers. I wasn't really hesitant to buy these because any reasonably intelligent person could tell that the bad reviews for this product were obviously exaggerated and/or downright untrue. Besides, for the price, I felt I couldn't go wrong. These speakers produce a full, rich sound that is equally good for all types of music I've tried so far. From Spro Gyra to Social Distortion, from David Sanborn to the Chemical Brothers, they sound equally good. The bass is deep and powerful. The treble and midrange is well defined and not at all harsh. I bought them used in perfect condition on ebay, so there may be a break-in period for new models, I can't speak for new ones. I've owned several pairs of $1,000.00 or more retail priced speakers, and I rate these right up there with the best of them. I've not owned speakers retailing for more than $1,500.00 so I can't make the comparison, and it wouldn't be fair anyway. The fit and finish are very nice, athough I do wish they were real wood veneer instead of vinyl. I find the imaging to be particularly nice. I can close my eyes, and hear a "wall" of great music as opposed to hear the speakers. The other speakers I've owned in this price range were the AR TSW610, Infinity Kappa 7, and the JBL L80t3. I would say they are better than the JBL's, and compare favorably with the Infinity's and AR's. I can also say they sound better than any speakers I've listened to retailing for under $1,000.00. I really like Klipsch speakers also, but I've always thought they had a "Klipsch" sound, and not necessarily a neutral sound. I may try some of the new Reference models by Klipsch. Would I pay the $1,000.00 retail price for these speakers? No. However, for under $300.00 including shipping, it was a no-brainer decision. These can be had for anywhere from $250-420 plus shipping on the web, and I consider them a bargain. I highly recommend these speakers, especially at the current prices.

Similar Products Used: AR TSW610, Infinity Kappa 7, JBL L80T3, Klipsch 5.2
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
James   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 04, 2003]
Strength:

Excellent value. Accurate sound. Dollars to Db's. Quality. Ten year warranty (check the warranty on those $3000 speakers that you are considering).

Weakness:

For this kind of money? NONE. If you cannot afford a Rolls Royce or Bentley, it does not mean that you will be dissatisfied with a car that you can actually afford.

I read with great interest the many reviews of these speakers before listening to and purchasing them. I would give other consumers the following advice: Don't bother to read any of the reviews that gave these speakers less than a rating of three. The individuals that gave zero's one's and two's appear to have an axe to grind. The low reviews appear to reflect excessive income or having read too many articles about the over-priced equipment aimed at the 'audiophile' market. I worked as an audio engineer for many years including live mixing as well as a bit of studio work and post-mix. I know what most instruments are supposed to sound like. I still have very good ears and tend to dislike many of the products on the market. Many of those products cost 2 - 3 times as much as these speakers. These cabinets are fine, very accurate and have a solid low end. Are there better speakers on the market? Of course there are. I just can not see spending the extra money for the small differences. The overall quality of the cabinetry (form, fit and finish) is superb. To get the same level of quality and performance, I would expect to spend a great deal more than this. The low-ball ratings contained on this website were likely written by individuals that wished only to show off the knowledge that they believe they posses. I do not refer to myself as an audiophile because I always felt that the term is overused by snobs with more money than actual working knowledge. My advice is simple: Buy speakers with your ears. Ignore the advice of the wealthy and 'educated'. If you cannot afford $2000 - $5000 for speakers, give these a listen (Make up your OWN mind). The overall rating for these speakers (comparing to similarly priced equiment) should be in the 4.5 range.

Similar Products Used: Klipsch - home audio and commercial sound equipment.(In the 70's, I had the pleasure to meet Paul Klipsch, tour his facility and listen to his cabinet designs in his listening room) JBL -Home audio,
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
phokus   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 26, 2002]
Strength:

Rich, full sound - maybe not the most transparent, but still revealing speakers. Quality build - and 10 year warranty to match! Bi-wire/Bi-Amp capable posts Excellent sound for the price ($600)

Weakness:

Could be a bit more sensitive/efficient (90db) to compensate for less powerful amps.

I've had the Tower IIs for about 8 months now and have been happy with them since the day i took them out of the box. They have a full, rich sound and excel with acoustic guitar/vocal oriented vinyl as well as full-on electronica. The bass is tight and deep enough that I've put off buying a sub for a while. They provide a full image, but have a rather focused sweet spot so it's best to place them in ideal locations (at least 12" from the wall and equidistant from each ear). DVD soundtracks are lush and effects like clanging metal and breaking glass are immediate and realistic. They were overpowering the vintage Bose 301 I was using for a center, so I upgraded that to a Newton MC500 and I now have a very well balanced front stage. My receiver is a weak link, it gets the job done, but not so gracefully. I've heard that the more watts you throw at the Tower IIs, the happier they are and my obsevations only confirm this. I would recommend these speakers to anyone, especially someone like me who was looking to upgrade bookshelfs to floorstanders without breaking the budget or the spouse's patience level. Setup: JVC RX-6000 VBK 100wpc Receiver Fischer early 80s 10 band EQ Vintage NuMark Phono EQ Vintage Stanton 8008 Turntable Apex AD-6000a DVD Yamaha 3 head Cassette Deck Sony 5 Disc CD Changer Cambridge Speakers: Tower IIs MC500 center S300 surrounds

Similar Products Used: JBL, Sony, Bose
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Rich   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 18, 2002]
Strength:

PERFORMANCE FOR THE PRICE

Weakness:

NONE

I just wanted to remind everyone that I remain thoroughly impressed with these speakers. Also, I felt the need to remind everyone to once a year trim and re-strip your speaker wire and polish your connections as the elements tend to deteriorate connections over time. It is a simple task (assuming you don''t mind entering that thicket) but worth the effort to keep these speakers and your system performing its best. On another note, I don''t know if I mentioned this before but a friend of mine who takes high performance to a new level swears that you must insulate your components from vibration. So I listened and went to Home Depot and for $7 bought a bag of styrofoam sheets about 1/4" thick and cut them to size to allow all my components to sit on them. Some beleive towers should also be set on styrofoam to reduce vibration delivered to the floor but, in fact, that deters from the quality of the sound as the speakers will ever so slightly be permitted to sway thereby reducing the sound waves that are delivered to the ambient air. If these speakers are set on carpet.... USE THE INCLUDED STUDS YOU MAY HAVE STUCK IN A DRAWER TO ANCHOR THEM TO THE UNDERLYING FLOOR. If they are sitting on a hardwood floor USE THE STUDS STILL to eliminate any resonance that may develop between the speaker base and the floor. FOr what its worth... Happy listening.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 62  

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