I bought this little micro system back in 2004. It suited me very well. I never had any complaints with it other than wondering how linear the frequency response really was and just how high and low it would really play after I started getting interested in home audio.
Not quite two years ago I picked up some M Audio Studiophile AV40s to replace my old Logitech Z-2300s. I wanted better sound quality and I got it, although I know I'm missing out on the lower frequencies provided by the Z-2300 sub.
Yesterday I decided to research just what I was getting with my M Audios. I typed "frequency sweep" into YouTube. I found many hits providing test tones of either incremental sweeps (either 5 or 10 hz tones at a time) or smooth sweeps (from 20hz-20khz).
I found that my M Audios don't really do anything below about 45 hz. I get audible response around 35-40, but I would guess that it's many decibels down from the rest of the range it produces.
I also found that my cat is freaked completely the fark out by YouTube frequency sweep videos.
So, getting to the point, I decided to see just how good my old Sony box system really was. Like I said, I never had any complaints. I was delighted with it. I played the same test tracks through it and got pretty much the same results with it that I got with my M Audios. Bass came on at about the same time, highs rolled off at about the same time. It would take a meter of some sort to graph their curves, so I can't comment on the actual performance between the two setups, but I can say that they perform more or less in the same envelope, but the M Audios are much more accurate, which I attribute to better components in the woofers/tweeters/crossovers.
So here's where things get interesting. The top tweeter of the Sony appears to be completely ornamental. It looks like the speaker is a two-way speaker/woofer setup, but it appears (at a glance) that it has three drivers. I am curious by nature, and I wanted to see at which points the crossovers came into play and at which frequencies the tweeters began performing.
Keep in mind that in Sony's specs, and in every review of the CMT-HPX9 online, you will see that this little micro-fi system is advertised as a three-way, featuring a 4.75" woofer, a 1.75" tweeter, and a .75" "super tweeter" or some such nonsense.
I wanted to get inside the speaker box and see everything for myself. You see those four allen head screws on the front of the speakers. They are ornamental. Insert the proper allen key and all you'll do is mar the plastic out of which they're made. If you try to pry the front fascia off of the speaker box, you make some slight headway before you encounter resistance and cracking sounds. I decided not to pry off the front fascia, fearing that I would destroy my beloved little Sony that has served me so well.
I decided to perform a different test. I would try to listen to the two tweeters by holding a pin to the cone of the tweeters and trying to gauge it's response through what I felt in my fingertips. I performed the same frequency sweeps and I felt absolutely nothingthrough my fingers at any point in the sweep.
I understand that my sense of touch may be unable to detect vibrations of many thousands of cycles per second. My fingers may not be that sensitive, reliable. But my deductions from this experience are that either this speaker, advertised as a 3-way, is actually a 1-way, with the single 4.75" driver trying to produce the entire range and Sony is absolutely lying their asses off trying to pass these things off as they do, ORthat the two tweeters on the front fascia are ornamental but there are actually two internal tweeters that you can only see by prying apart the enclosure.
I hesitate to pry further into the speaker boxes, because I am using the little Sony micro-fi in my workout room and I don't want to damage it further because it's not in the budget to replace.
I guess my two questions are:
1. Are manufacturers of box systems like this one really that disingenuous as I suspect Sony of being in the the case of this model?
2. Do any of you have any experience with this model, and if so what was your experience?