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Showing 1-10 of 80 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 101 reviews
on February 18, 2015
Here's the deal...I am not into rap or heavy bass. So, why did I go with Cerwin Vega XLS-215s, the biggest bass speakers? Simple, I like my movies and music at moderate levels, but when there is an explosion or a loud passage, I want to move some air. I want "omph", if that is an 'audiophile' term. :-)
Reviews by professionals state the speakers are actually a great value for those seeking serious music listening results. I wanted speakers that would dive down to the lower end of the sound spectrum and not disappear. I wanted speakers that did not artificially produce the bass, as Bose does, for my basement (and that is not a slight against Bose. They do a great job with a low-profile system).
And the results have been wonderful. It reminded me of my college days when speakers had huge woofers and, as I said, moved some air. Those are the pros of this system. I am using these with the dual 6 inch XLS center.
As for the cons, you must be aware the speakers are huge. Two 15 inch woofers need some space. and the speakers weigh about 118 pounds each. So, for a home theater or man cave, or a big room, they are great. For a smaller room? I would go for the other smaller speakers in the Cerwin Vega XLS series. They have choices that 'move air' and have 'omph' but are lower in profile.
I hope this review was helpful and welcome comments.
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on June 14, 2016
Having owned Martin Logan monoliths to Polk sda-srs"s I have to say for they money, if you want to play metal, these are awesome. Have them hooked up to 2 Adcom gfa-555 se's mono blocked and from Accept to Metallica, godsmack, Dokken, its amazing. For mid fi, can't beat them. Will get your heart pounding and you won't hear the police at your door 😀 Kinda feel bad for my neighbors even 10 houses down. If you want old school 2 channel metal, can't see doing better for the money.
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on February 23, 2015
My Dad has a set of these from the 80's and they still sound better than any other floor tower I have ever heard. I grew up with them and their thounderous booms rattling the house. So it seemed only natural to buy a set for my house. I love the sound these speakers produce. I will never have to buy any other speakers for the rest of my life. The fuse protected system means that I dont have to worry about my children blowing them in their teen years. I honestly can not say enough great things about them.
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on October 12, 2014
Go Big...or...Go Home! I am tired of all the mamby-pambies out there telling us small speakers and sub-woofers are the way to go. These are definitely the monster truck of home speakers but, while they are speakers designed for a man, they can play delicate like a woman. I am an Amazon Prime member but, I purchased my speakers new in a private sale and mine were packaged way beyond excessive so, I did not encounter some of the issues mentioned in other reviews. The speakers weigh 116lbs a piece and have thick rubber feet on them. I used furniture mover pads to slide them around my room. With that said, let's get into the meat of the review.

Build quality is really good. Quality metal speaker grills, gold binding posts with gold bi-amp connectors for bi-amping if desired. Speaker comes with a owners manual and an additional "party" fuse if the built in overload circuit is blown. A nice touch to have an overload circuit built in to the speaker to protect it from an overload of wattage...admittedly, that might be hard to do though. The front of the speaker features a 1" soft dome tweeter with ferro fluid, set in a waveguide for increased sensitivity, dynamic response and lower distortion. The waveguide config results in near-perfect integration for a supposed seamless convergence of midrange and high frequencies. More about this later. There is one 6.5" fiber impregnated midrange cone and two monster truck like cast frame woofers. The back features the nice gold binding posts, fuse holder and two ports.

Specs: 500 watts peak power, rated frequency response of 38hz to 20khz. Speaker sensitivity is 95.3 dB. That is a nice number especially when comparing them to higher priced speakers with a rating of around 86 dB. What that means to the layman is that this speaker will require less power to have the same volume level of a speaker with a lower sensitivity. Personally, I have always found speakers with higher sensitivity ratings to fatigue my ear less because they require less power to drive them.

Let's talk briefly about the set up, the room config and the equipment I used. My test centered around my home theater which I primarily use for movie watching but, also have set up as a two channel music room. I played both movies and music on these and had very good results with both. Here is the equipment I used for testing: Emotiva UPA-700, Emotiva UPC-200 (thanks to the folks over there), Oppo BDP-103 Darby Edition, Monitor Audio Sliver 8 center channel speaker, AR Series 303 12" sub woofer, PSA XS15 sub woofer and audiophile grade interconnects and speaker wire. My room is rectangular with Auralex sound deadening pads on all walls and about 19' wide and 15' with my set up on the long wall. This puts my listening ear about 13' from the speaker. I set the XLS-215's about eight feet apart and toed-in slightly to my listening position. With my room depth, I could only get them about 12" away from the wall. They really need to be about two to four feet off the wall to the get the best bass response out of them.

I started out with watching the second Transformers movie with both subs and the XLS-215's firing. I thought I was going to split the house in two. After getting my hearing back, I calibrated everything and gave a more careful listen with the dual subs shut off so, I was using only the Cerwin's subs. What I found was quite a capable and able speaker. The sound was never distorted and was always smooth even when it was played at earthquake levels. The sound stage was very broad with superb spatial detail. The stage was spread out very broad and blended well with the rear surrounds with a seamless motion and no variance in detail and did I mention the BASS? Yes, there is bass in these speakers. Response was stellar and faithfully rendered as the sound engineers would want it to be. Folks, this is better than going to the movies. The XLS-215's are speakers with cajones! Next up was the mostly dialog driven American Psycho from 2000 with a stellar 80's soundtrack. The scene where Bateman is getting ready to axe Paul while Huey Lewis was playing is as just crisp and life-like as can be. The music sounded much like it was recorded and intended to be heard. The dialog through out the whole movie was clean and every little subtle nuance in Bale's voice was easily rendered perfectly by the XLS-215's. These speakers have oodles of dynamics.

Okay so, we know these big dogs can destroy a real movie theater but, what can they do with two channel music? I used the Emotiva UPC-200 in two channel stereo mode since I did not feel like setting up a separate two channel amp.

The first test was the Huey Lewis CD Sports! On the opening cut the "hearbeat" rhythm of the bass drum kicked out with clarity and punch. The guitar had great width and depth while Lewis' voice was dead center of the soundstage. The saxophone solo was full and warm and filled the room nicely with great detail. The driving keyboard bass line of Walking on a Thin Line that plays through the whole song is just a room destroyer with that deep driving bass. I could feel it in my chest and on the chair cushion.

Next up was the Dee Snider solo CD called "Never Let The Bastards Wear You Down". On Dee's version of Dion's "The Wander" I was blown away. Listening to the song, it was like I had been transported to a small, private venue to hear the song live. The XLS-215's ability to reproduce the recording material gave the impression that Dee Snider was belting this out live. If it had been a blind listening test, it would have been very difficult to tell if it was "live or if it was Memorex" so to speak. It was as if Dee was standing 15 feet from me singing. While his voice proclaimed he was the type of guy who likes to run around, the drums kicked out directly behind him as if nailed to the center of soundstage while the bass filled the bottom end and the guitar filled out across the whole room.

I had to step away after that...I am a believer now. Folks don't get these confused with the reviews stating that Cerwin-Vega makes nothing but frat house speakers. It's just not true. I have been listening to audio for almost 40 years and while this isn't the highest end pair I have had they are very damn good and can compete with those costing twice as much. To pack this much performance in at this price point, I do not know how they do it.

Okay, so earlier I had stated they these were gentle like a woman. What speaker review would not be complete with some Norah Jones? On "Don't Know Why", Norah's graceful smoothness played so gently and smooth with warm timbre. The XLS-215's create a great ambient feel and have an uncanny knack of duplicating the ambiance of the recording studio or venue as if the artist was playing live. Detail is remarkable at all listening levels which is what I meant by gentle like woman.

Final thoughts and wrap up: My one nit-pick with these speakers is there is a VERY slight directivity with the horn-loaded tweeters. During a few listening sessions when I got up from my chair I noticed a very slight change in the high frequency response. Due the tall 49" nature of these speakers, the highs could be blown over your head and you would not be catching all the detail. To resolve this I put two small one inch thick blocks under each back foot to cant the speaker front downward aiming it towards the listening ear. This resolved that minor detail for me. YMMV.

If you want monster truck performance on a Ford F-150 budget then these speakers are for you. If you are fanatical about watching movies at home and refuse to hit the theaters, this could be the ticket for you. Just remember these things are monsters and you'll need help moving them unless you have furniture slides. Spend the time for proper set up and calibration for your room. Most of all, enjoy them. I had to give them five-stars.

UPDATE: It's been almost six months and these things have only gotten better as I have made adjustments to the listening area. The sound stage is now 12ft wide between the speakers vs. the 8ft. I had previously. The improvement was very good. I left them slightly toed-in. I streamed up some Diana Krall and gave it a listen. I used an Oppo BDP-103 which does such a fantastic job rendering mp3's over the network and the mighty Cerwin Vegas are so wonderfully neutral with out any discoloration of bass or treble. There is a slight hint of a bright presence in the mids but, it is really only noticeable when playing that type of material such as rock music with a crunchy electric guitar.

They really do need a big soundstage. I have them 12ft apart and that seems just right. The vocals were imaged so precise that I thought the center channel speaker was playing! They easily perform just as well or better than speakers north of $2k. Bring your Paradigms, Klipsch and Polks - The 215's will eat them for breakfast.

UPDATE 03/2016: These speakers are still amazing. They sound great with all types of music and equally with home theater content. Do yourself a favor and find a pair if you can. You won't be disappointed in them at all. I've done varied listening from rock, metal, jazz, blues, country and movie content along with the series matched center channel speaker. One good track that spans a wide frequency range would be Halie Loren's rendition of "Ode to Billie Joe". The low end guttural bass is smooth and well defined that can be felt as well as heard. Halie's vocals are precise, well defined and defined so well you can hear her delicate pauses between each verse. The soundstage is well balanced and it sounds like she is standing there in front of me on stage. Bottom line: I love these speakers!
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on April 28, 2016
This line of consumer market speakers has always been a strong value. As to this largest of the large - it is unlikely that a more efficient, robust design will ever be marketed to compete with CV's price point in this home market niche. This IS the option, and a good one. Your existing amp will become the weak link as these drivers can absorb a LOT of power. Cerwin's packaging for the largest and heaviest model is barely adequate for US shipping purposes. More than one try was required. Shipping methods can be insensitive to box corners but Amazon is dedicated to 100% fulfillment.
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on August 16, 2013
Ordered two of these through separate Amazon providers... both came in great condition.

I bought them mainly for music... and my god do they deliver. I've driven them to unbelievable volumes with Hip-Hop, Metal, Rock, Jazz... you name it, they eat it without flinching. The sound is crisp and beautiful at high volumes.

What is "high volume", I hear you asking from across the ether? Well, I woke up the morning after a small get-together, and the bass response had knocked some of the pot-lights out of my kitchen ceiling. On top of that, both my neighbors now hate me.

Basically, for an incredible listening experience that doesn't break the bank as much as some of the bigger models... I got exactly what I wanted. I highly suggest grabbing a pair of these. They seem to get better reviews than the XLS-12, which is the next step up.

Paired with a Yamaha A830 AV receiver and a SVS PB1000 subwoofwer, I'm living in audio paradise. For a receiver like the one I use, which drives 100WPC, I suggest an amplifier to get the full range of sound at all volume levels.
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on June 22, 2012
So... I love these speakers. The bass is crazy! I am currently bi-amping these speakers do to the power required to drive the two 8-inch sub's and my walls are shaking! I was going to purchase a separate sub however don't think I need to anymore! The High and Mid range drivers (Two upper speakers) are crisper then my vintage speakers ($500 each)! Those are my pride and joy and now... These things are my favorite things in the world! When I pop the grille's off of them and show my friends the woofers flex and the beautiful red rings their jaw drops. The low's are super crisp and the mid and high's are breath taking. Honestly, they are some of the best speakers out there! I love my Cerwin-Vega's! (Note: Screws hold the grille on the speaker, hidden under the rubber flap at the top and bottom of grille)

UPDATE: (July 1st, 2012) My speakers are about fully broken in now, I had the speakers wired for bi-amping, however recently switched to a single speaker wire (+/-) to the terminal and using the bridge provided with the speaker. I have an ear for how well my speakers sound and it sounds like the tweeters pick up some distortion from a lower frequency... On some songs this is bothersome. So I have concluded, if you are spending the money for these bad boys, BI-AMP THEM. The lows are louder and the mid's and high's are crisper! No joke! If you don't know how to bi-amp a speaker, Bi-amping in a nutshell is one channel handling only low frequency sounds and the other channel handling high frequency audio sounds. I have my Power Amp driving the woofers (Bottom Terminal), and my receiver driving the mid and high drivers (Top Terminal). I have recently switched them back to this format. After the break in period, THEY SOUND EVEN BETTER!!! I love my CV's!

UPDATE 1: (September 27th, 2012) I took out the bi-amping and just have my Equalizer and Onkyo m-282 powering these beasts, I think they sound better. I have them running through my computer acting in sorts like "computer speakers" but my computer has a cool sound card that acts like a receiver... So yea... I also bought stands but had to take the rubber feet off the bottom so they are now towering 8" off the ground! I love these things and they are fully broken in and sounding amazing. Best purchase I have ever made hands down. I ran down my street a good half a mile and can still hear them turned up to a reasonable volume... lol (My Neighbors HATE me)

UPDATE 2: (August 9th, 2013) Its been a year and I still think these have been my best investment and purchase thus far in my life. They still sound impeccable and look amazing on the stands I bought, link in the pictures I posted. The Setup I'm running now I'm amplifying the Dual subs separately due to my receiver clouding the highs and mids when turned up fairly loud. The subs are connected through my Onkyo M-5010 and then connected to the pre-out's on my receiver. It now completely is done and sounds amazing. I don't use them as "computer speakers" and now use JBL speakers amped with my old Onkyo Amplifier. I still a year after having these amazing speakers would recommend them to anyone! If you have ANY questions feel free to ask away!

My Equipment:
-Onkyo TX-NR509 (Reciever)
-Onkyo M-5010 (Power Amp for Dual Subs)
-Cerwin-Vega XLS-28's
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on September 15, 2016
Love them. A little on the pricey side. I have a pair I purchased in 1973 that still make the walls shake. So I know they will last.
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on November 22, 2015
Great speakers, replaced a much older set of 12" Cerwin Vegas (AT-12s) with much better sound. My woofers haven't fully loosened up yet with about 8 hours through them, but the mids, highs and separation are head and shoulders above what my 20 plus year old pair could ever produce. Vegas have a reputation as a bass-heavy 'party speaker', and while they will shake pictures off your walls in a way that a bookshelf/sub combo can't, they are generally much more well regarded now for sound quality at their price.

These are heavy, large speakers, but the cabinet is actually noticeably narrower than the older models of the same cone size.
Cerwin-Vega XLS-12 3-Way Home Audio Floor Tower Speaker (Each, Black)
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on April 9, 2013
I love these speakers. The main reason I bought these was because I wanted to be able to play my music LOUD! They sound fantastic. I do have a 600wpc amp powering these babys so things can get pretty loud. Have had my floor and walls really vibrating when I put on some heavy rock. They have plenty of bass. I also have listened to quieter piano and newAge stuff. Like the way they sound when the volume is lower as well. One thing I have noticed is the horns on these are more directional than the rest of the speakers. When I am directly in front of one of them the highs are louder than when I am sitting inbetween them. These speakers want to be played LOUD and they really shine at higher volume levels.

I bought these sight unseen and am very happy with my purchase.
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