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Reviews Categories | Speakers for communications use | Optimus CS-5 Center Channel Speaker. Help

Reviews Summary for Optimus CS-5 Center Channel Speaker.
Optimus CS-5 Center Channel Speaker. Reviews: 1 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $89.99 (No Longer Made)
Description: Normally used as a center channel speaker in a home theater surround system.
Product is not in production.
More info: http://
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K3DAV Rating: 5/5 Sep 15, 2010 01:34 Send this review to a friend
Best radio speaker ever made.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned many of the best communications speakers available. Some were just...OK. Some were horrible. I hated the over rated and over priced, "Sounds Sweet" speaker. It was too bassy and muddy. It had no highs for clarity. The "Clear Speech" speaker was the opposite. Too brassy and no natural bass. Some stereo bookshelf speakers were not bad, but lacked the dynamic range to pull voices from the noise. So many years looking for a good speaker for my radio and never finding the one that I liked. Then I finally found it, and it was sitting under my TV all the time.

It was the Optimus CS-5 center channel speaker of my home theater surround system. It dawned on me that this speaker is designed for dialogue (Voices) in movies and TV shows. But not for use as a regular music left or right speaker.

This speaker has two 5 1/2 inch mid-woofers that cover 70Hz to 2.8KHz. This covers most of the frequency response that most ham radios can deliver. The tweeter is a mono-pole ribbon type, that takes over for 2.8KHz to 25KHz response. But the cross-over on the tweeter slightly attenuates the volume level to the tweeter to reduce extreme high frequency sounds such as hiss, and voice slurring. This allows only the voice range to be predominant. And that makes it the perfect radio communications speaker.

When I first hooked this speaker up to my 746PRO, I couldn't believe my ears. I first listened to FM simplex. It had a broadcast type quality I have never heard from my radio.

Then I listened to AM broadcast short wave stations with music, and just talking. Again I heard a real AM broadcast quality as it should be.

Then the big test. SSB! I tuned into a few guys just rag chewing with stronger signals, and they were so easy to listen to. Nice clean audio with a nice natural bass tone that was normal but not muddy. And just enough highs to understand every word clearly.

Then I Listened to a DX'er from Italy. He had a pile-up going, and he was just above my extreme noise level that day. But I noticed that his weak signal in the noise was still getting through easily. I didn't have to strain to hear what he was saying. The extreme hiss from most speakers was not there. But the natural highs of his voice was clean and clear.

It is agreed on by most hams that headphones are the best speakers for DX'ing and pulling weak signals out of the noise. And they are correct. This is mainly because there is no air or space between the speakers and your ears to alter or distort the sound. So you hear more of the detail with less fatigue on your ears. The Optimus CS-5 is the first speaker I have ever used on a ham radio that acted somewhat the same way. With the speaker 18 to 24 inches away from my head, I could hear the details through the noise without fatigue of straining to hear them.

That CS-5 speaker has never been disconnected from my 746PRO ever since. I bought a new center channel speaker for the stereo system to replace it.

By the way. One of the real pleasures was listening to a couple of guys using wide SSB audio. They had that AM commercial broadcast quality you get from the big stations. The bass response was smooth and not at all muddy. and the highs were crystal clear with little to no noise and hiss.

Since then I have turned on many hams to center channel speakers for their radios. Any good quality center channel speaker with 5 inch or larger speakers can work as well. The better center speakers are all designed for the voice range, and can do the job.

It is just too bad that Radio Shack stopped making this speaker many years ago. The Optimus line was designed and built by Pioneer Electronics. The audio/video system experts. If this speaker ever dies, it will be tough finding the right replacement, but I will do my best with another center channel speaker.

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