Stereo – Sony SS-CS5 speaker review / Cheapest audiophile speaker vs polk audio RtiA9

My review of the sony ss-cs5 speaker. Also a quick mention of the Polk Audio RTi A9.
Overall, pretty ok for around $250 cdn.

Sony ss-cs5 speaker. Mcintosh 452 amp. Marantz SC11s1 preamp. PS audio Perfectwave.


Kaizen Kaizen says:

Hey Thomas, I notice you always mention speakers being too bright. Can you review the wharfedale denton 80th anniversary edition? Those are known to give a warm tube like sound. Hope you can consider since price went down from 1k usd to 499 usd

salmonline says:

$120 @ Best Buy here in Florida

Mal Reynolds says:

You finally got around to the Polk RTi-A9. You said they have more bass than your Cantons? You said they are “hard” sounding and you didn’t like them for music. ( Might be the crossovers ) The thing I don’t like about them is: you need a powerful amp to drive them. You can drive them okay with 100watts per channel, but they probably should have around 250 to 300watts. The Polk Audio site specs say they can take up to 500watts. Which is a lot. Their useful freq range is 30hz to 26khz. 90db sensitivity, and crossover points at 120hz and 1800hz. At $450, they seem to punch way above their price-point.

Rocky Guevara says:

I dunno why your not more popular than Z reviews.

joshua berger says:

Hi Thomas, I’m really enjoying your thorough reviews and perspectives on things. You hit upon a subject which I think you should peruse further that being your friend who use to spend a fortune on high-end audio who has now abandoned that quest and has gone vintage & budget conscious. I live in the UK and there is often an abundance of classic speakers to be found on Ebay from the 70s-80s. Those Celestion’s for example in this video you can buy on Ebay now for £40 – approx $60 Canadian!! I am currently using a pair of IMF tls80’s driven by a quad 606, Meridian Pre & Sansui graphic, which really is giving me everything I want from a pair of speakers – all of which i purchased for under £650. I’m sure you are aware that in the late 70s early 80s there was a an international unofficial competition between the UK,US & Japan in the world of Hi-Fi and thankfully the accountants hadn’t made it on to the boards of directors of these companies at the time because alas alot of these products would not have been created due to being uneconomical. This may explain the complex cabinet design eg: transmission line cabinets vs standard boxes which you still get at 50k-100k price points!?! These are supposed to be the holy grail! As always Thomas your opinions would be more than welcome! Regards, J.

Solar Eclipse says:

Inexpensive and good is great! I’m happy for the innovation and competition. Thanks for sharing!

Commander Russels says:

What draws your interest to bookshelves so much? I like them too. Often I hear “if you have to put them on a stand might as well have a tower” but I disagree, as I think the small cabinets seem to make the speakers disappear from the soundstage more. Have you tried Falcon Acoustics LS3/5a’s or Watkins Stereo Gen Fours?

Tiger Team Delta says:

$118 on Amazon in the US.

Mike Day says:

My Andrew Jones pioneer BS-22 bookshelf speakers (6 ohm rated) are not enough load on my Crown xls1002 class D power amp (350wpc @ 4 ohms). They sound dull and compressed with this amp. The same speakers sound open and really nice using my 30 year old yamaha AV-50 integrated (~115wpc @ 6 ohms).

Josue Serrano says:

i have one pair and i love it

Dave Leung says:

Hi Thomas, really enjoying your channel. Greatvwork! Are you in the GTA? Looking for audiophiles/audiophile clubs in GTA. Audiophiles are so hard to find! Congrats on the channel.

D. Leung

Vic G says:
Thomas, Paul spoke on class D amps.

Ken Lai says:

Hi Thomas do you do blind testing? I wonder if the results would be different.

Ron Bernard says:

these sony speakers in usa are $118 brand new on amazon with free shipping

Audiofilo says:

So thankful you got to this speaker! I bought my brother a pair and myself for $75 on sale on amazon here in thanksgiving and i remember returning my pair for the original debut 6 and didn’t look back but I enjoyed these puppies too!

59seank says:

Hi Thomas. Thanks for another interesting video. I’m glad you are reviewing inexpensive audio equipment.

ravi babu says:

Waiting for KEF LS50 Wireless review. I am hearing past 2 months and keep surprising me with dynamics and with full bodied instruments sound with Excellent vocals. I came from Elac ub5, Elac amp and then nad c388with kef r 300. In every audiophile verbiage KEF LS50 Wireless much superior than above 2 combos. After understanding KEF LS50 Wireless sound characteristics I realised that Elac ub5 speakers are fakeing mid bass sound between 150 to 500 hz frequency

Clyde Vee says:

Thomas how about a review of the Canton Chrono series… For around $400-500 price point, you get some pretty darn amazing bookshelf speakers. Power from a splendid Yaqin MC-13S tube amp or my 25 year old Yamaha RS-V 690 they sound amazing.

Seiser says:

I really wish you would listen to some of the jbl studio 5 series like the jbl studio 590s.. I really want to know your opinion on them.

Quetzalcoalt says:

Really wanna see some Dali speakers, Zensor series maybe. ^_^.

Donald Fletcher says:

I’m very interested in learning more about your friend who is into vintage equipment. I also have and use vintage gear so you can see why I’m interested 🙂

Mike Smith says:

Still waiting on the kef ls50 wirless vs passive ls50 review

Thomas & Stereo says:

Hi Everyone, I took down the Sound Demo for Sony SS-CS5 because the reverb that I was worried about turns out to be caused by the speaker wired out of phase. I will redo another recording and thanks to a subscriber for pointing out as I originally was wondering if it was caused by the Pioneer DSP. The demo against the vintage speaker is still good.

Siebe Warmoeskerken says:

Haven’t heard the Sony or Elac for myself but If I was on a tight budget I’d go with Elac without hesitation based on the name / history alone.

Random Tube says:

Next I would like to see the Polk Audio S20 review as a pair of budget bookshelf speakers.

salmonline says:

“I have to admit, if I were to start all over again, I might go the budget way. It’s so easy to built audiophile level system on a descent budget these days.”
I like that idea very much, Thomas.
Very much, indeed.

leohobb leohobb says:

I am never going back to that type off drivers no matter brand.planar magnetic upper bass/mid and amt tweeters is so much better.The best is with capton membran in both so they “color”the sound the same way.use mono 4 way dsp active filter from ground sound for each channel.My Power amps are a little spesial and dead silent.No power amplifier i have use and tried over the years can match it.most amps have 5 times more hiss and more.The 4 mono modules that drive my tweeter and midrange section is witouth negative feedack local or global.Tube sounding midrange detailed and smoth.I use 120 000uf pr 2 poweramp modules total for 4 channels is 240 000uf. 45 years i have build sound systems amplifiers etc and have listen to much high end.there is a lot of foolery in stereo sound land.When my last speaker system is totaly finish it wil have a line source 40 inch high 6 inch wide planar magnetic push pull midrange unit(4 B.G neo10)with 2 mundorf amt pr each speaker,toal high 10 inch. Tweeter section mounted on the side of the midrange line have adjustable angel on tweeter roof or floor reflection with the drivers i use.have the finish left to do.Until a get time to do it i enjoy listening to it.I use a bms 12 s330 in tapered quarter pipe t.line as woofer section with a power amp sligth modified it is from a manufactor in spain that C.W have slapped their name on.Have around 450w pr channel nominal 20-20 000hz.since it only get signal up to 270hz before the active dsp filter cut with 48db octav l/r type filter i get much more reserve do to efficent drivers and no passiv filter that take much of the power.Iuse a laptop and software that comes with those filter modules.import frekvenc responce from driver factory .RTA function 24bit 96khz.They are by many seen as expensive.You get to choose between 3 types of dac chip and 4 opamps.i wanted to go all the way with it.It is a hobby that gives me some extra in my life.Long live music! Sorry for my bad english

Phil Jones says:

Really enjoying these budget comparisons thanks for doing them

Mykal Fury says:

speaking of equipment that’s driving today’s speakers?
Aren’t today’s standard AVR’s better over-all in delivering sound to
speakers vs their equal in the vintage market when considering
the advances and breakthroughs in Hi-Fi audio today?
A Yamaha RX-V467 AVR 105 wpc “all chans driven” will house
Burr-Brown DAC’s as well as superior discrete amps.
So, the Sony speakers being studied here should shine with even
an entry level AVR of today’s Hi-Fi market.
If the Sony SS-CS5 struggles when driven by it’s own entry level,
Sony AVR, then the speaker is by way of reasoning,
not a good speaker.
Your thoughts?

Minga TV says:

Please review Kef R300

sirdan357 says:

I use the Sony SSCS5 as rear surrounds. They definitely need a sub and can’t really play terribly loud. Other than that they are a good neutral speaker for the price.

Dinamo says:

Wow,, I see we have some highly intriguing chapters coming up, in the Thomas & Stereo Hi-Fi adventure.
I can only agree that were living in facinating times when it comes down to bang for the buck vs, good sounding Hi-Fi gear.
It have never been cheaper to buy really really good stuff, and that by magnitudes.
Yes,, Mr Jones are an important part of it, but theres also many names at least I know little or nothing about.
Who designed the latest exellent Wharfedale Diamond series for example? I guess a Chinese team.

Well,, Iw said it before and it is very easy to say again.
Thank you Thomas for all your time, effort, etc, you are investing in this adventure.
It is with great pleasure and joy Im following this travel of yours, and I am very thankfull that you are letting us all in on it.
All the best to you and your clan, from all of us. D

Jeffrey Martin says:

hi was wondering..i own kefls50w also…do you use aftermarket power cables with it or just the stock ones? if u use aftermarket have there been any issues with that? i have heard of some issues of speakers dying if not using the stock power chords…thanks

David Parker says:

Thomas, is that a VPI Magic Brick I see in your video?

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