Energy Take 5.2 surround speaker system Page 3
I was initially concerned about not being able to bypass the subwoofer's auto-on circuit; other subs can produce an audible hiccup when a signal turns them on. Happily, this wasn't a problem with the S8.2; I was never audibly aware of when it turned on and off. (However, I was aware of it when the bright blue LED turned on and off, which was mildly distracting.) Also, I heard no chuffing or other windy noises from the port, which, as Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing.
In my opinion, the S8.2 sub's A/V switch was better left at its Audio setting, which bypasses the internal EQ. As mentioned earlier, the Video setting boosts 50Hz by 3dB while reducing the response at the lowest frequencies. This is clearly intended to intensify the impact of sound effects in movies, especially gunfire. It produced a more boomy sound, with less pitch definition and low-end extension, which I found less appealing than the flat response, even with movie material.
To judge overall frequency response and stereo imaging, I often use a 2-channel CD recorded by my trio, Many Axes, on which, along with another wind player and a hand percussionist, I play a wide variety of flute-like instruments, trombone, didjeridoo, and other winds. The low rumble of large drums and didj is balanced by the midrange fundamentals of large flutes and high, tinkly cymbals and overtones, and the dynamic range is fairly wide, from delicate to bombastic. Having recorded and mastered the CD, I know intimately how it should sound.
The Take 5.2 system did not disappoint with this material. Its somewhat lean but clean presentation was not lacking in any particular frequency range, so each instrument was clear and present. Imaging was excellent, allowing each instrument to occupy its carefully panned position in the stereo field. Again, the transition from satellites to sub was smooth and seamless.
Of all the small sat/sub systems I've heard, Energy Speaker Systems' Take 5.2 package definitely packed the biggest punch. It provided a clean, lean, transparent sound throughout the audible range, with excellent integration of satellites and subwoofer, and played plenty loud enough for my small room. The sub's bass extension was surprisingly good for its size (if I left the A/V switch off!), and its auto-on circuit and port were silent in operation. The ergonomics of the entire system are very good, with the exception of the binding posts on the Take 1.2 center-channel.
The Energy Take 5.2 surround-speaker package is an excellent system and a terrific value, offering more bang for the buck than any other sat/sub system I know. In fact, at this price, I recommend getting two subs, to smooth out most of the low-frequency problems that occur in just about all rooms. If you want to fill a little room with big surround sound, there are definitely good things in this small package.