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Listening

After getting the system unpacked and inspected, I mounted the C65’s in my listening rooms baffles and sat down to find out how it sounded. I have to admit, I came away fairly C65_optimpressed at the EFX C65 systems overall pleasant tonal balance and timbre. Generally speaking, I’ve never had very high expectations of moderately priced systems such as this, but the EFX C65’s surprised me. The high frequency output was good, if a tad on the polite side. I specifically listened for traces of sibilance or edginess in the metal dome tweeters, and found very little to gripe about. In fact if anything, I would have liked just a touch more output from the tweets, but that would be easy to do with a bit of carefully applied equalization.

I thought the midrange output of the system sounded natural and reasonably uncolored, female vocals such as Tracy Chapman and Norah Jones were reproduced with great clarity and a sense of space. Saxophone and trumpet “cut” nicely without becoming harsh or edgy, and background detail was clearly evident regardless of what I listened to. This is a good indication that someone paid attention to intermodulation distortion during the design phase, and the speakers were assembled with care.

As good as they are, the brutal realities of the laws of physics always apply, and with a cone diameter of just a bit more than 4.5 inches, you can’t expect the C65’s (or any other speaker of a similar size) to dish out a lot of bottom end. But, I found they were more than capable down to about 80Hz, which is where your subwoofer will take over anyway, so it’s not really an issue unless you don’t have a subwoofer in your system.

And if you wanna rock and roll, the EFX’s won’t let you down there either. I dug deep into my musical archives and pulled out Deep Purple’s classics “Mary Long” and “Smooth Dancer” sounded great, and the incredible detail in the bands performance wasn’t lost or difficult to hear.

(Side Note: Deep Purple was one of the pioneers of hard rock and metal music. The musicianship in the band is legendary, particularly in the MarkII lineup of 1960-1973. If you have never heard these pioneering songs of hard rock on a very good system, you should. Both songs mentioned above are from the less popular but excellent, “Who Do We Think We Are” album. Each of the band members provide a unique and astonishing performance, and the songs are fast paced and driving. To be able to pick out Ian Paice’s fantastic stickwork on “Smooth Dancer” while Roger Glovers bass lines, Jon Lord’s Hammond B3, and the amazing Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar work all combine to deliver a fast paced, hard edged but rhythm and blues feel. Fantastic.)

And if you’re simply not a fan of hard rock, never fear, the C65’s sounded good with everything I threw at them, from classical to country, hip-hop and jazz. No matter what your favorite tunes are, the EFX C65’s will have you covered.

On the Bench

After my listening was completed, I brought the system to my acoustics test bench to have a look at the mechanical and electrical aspects of the system, and to measure the actual EFX C65 Zimp_opton-axis frequency response.

I always like it when what I think I hear correlates with my measured data, and that’s exactly what happened in this case. The response curve is quite flat, with a small dip right around 10kHz, which probably accounts for the “politeness” of the tweeters, but also contributes to the lack of sibilance and hard sounding highs.

The system has a nominal impedance of just over 4 ohms, and the midrange drivers resonant frequency measured about 70Hz, which is the lowest frequency you should use when setting the systems crossover point.

Conclusion

I’m fortunate to be able to make my living working with and listening to some of the best audio gear on the planet, so I sometimes find it difficult to get excited about a 200 dollar pair of car speakers. But in the case of the EFX C65’s I was actually quite impressed, especially given the actual size of the cones and the modest price. If you’re in the market for a new set of coaxes or components, have a listen to the C65’s at your local Scosche dealer and see if you don’t agree.www.scosche.com