Test Bench: Cerwin-Vega CVHD 5.1 Home Theater Speaker System

Frequency response (at 2 meters) front left/right: 368 Hz to 7.5 kHz ±2.7 dB center: 391 Hz to 7.4 kHz ±2.5 dB surround: 391 Hz to 5.9 kHz ±2.3 dB subwoofer: 40 to 89 Hz ±2.4 dB

Sensitivity (SPL at 1 meter with 2.8 volts of pink-noise input) left/right/center/surround: 95 dB

Impedance (minimum/nominal) left/right/center/surround: 4.0/5 ohms

Bass limits (lowest frequency and maximum SPL with limit of 10% distortion at 2 meters in a large room) left/right/center/surround: 80 Hz at 76 dB subwoofer: 32 Hz at 106 dB 107 dB average maximum SPL from 25 to 62 Hz 116 dB maximum SPL at 62 Hz

All of the curves in the frequency-response graph are weighted to reflect how sound arrives at a listener's ears with normal speaker placement. The curve for the left/right front channels reflects the CVHD-63's response averaged over a ±30° window, with double weight at 30° (the most typical listening angle). The center-speaker curve reflects the CVHD-63C's response averaged over ±45°, with double weight directly on-axis of the primary listener. The surround-channel curve shows the CVHD-63's response averaged over ±60°. Both speakers were tested on a 6-foot stand, which gives anechoic results to approximately 200 Hz. Except for the subwoofer, all measurements are taken at a full 2 meters, which emulates a typical listening distance, allows the outputs of large speakers to fully integrate acoustically, and, unlike near-field measurements, fully includes the effects of front-panel reflections and cabinet diffraction.


Measured as front left/right or surround-channel speakers, the CVHD-63 satellite's response exhibits a 4-dB bump from 2 through 5 kHz and a rapid roll-off below 400 Hz (along with limited dynamic capability). The CVHD-63C center speaker's response shows the effects of fairly severe lobing as soon as the measuring microphone is moved off-axis. There's a deep, 21-dB notch centered at 1,375 Hz with the mike at ±22.5°; it shifts downward in frequency to become a 31-dB notch at 845 Hz by the time the mike is at ±45°. Our averaging technique tends to obscure this effect, however, making it look more like a slight reduction in mid-band level.


The CVHD-12S subwoofer's bass limits were measured with it set to maximum bandwidth and placed in the optimal corner of a 7,500-cubic-foot room. In a smaller room users can expect 2 to 3 Hz deeper extension and as much as 3 dB greater sound-pressure level (SPL).

This sub delivers 106 dB SPL at 32 Hz and all frequencies above but seems to be sharply filtered below that. Although the crossover control is marked from 50 to 150 Hz, the actual acoustical turnover frequency at the 150-Hz dial position is only 89 Hz. Turnover frequency at the 50-Hz position is 58 Hz, but with a 4-dB drop in level. Because of the satellites' limited low-frequency capability and the subwoofer's limited upper-frequency extension, this system will exhibit some upper-bass dynamic compression.

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