|Energy CF-50 Floorstanding Loudspeakers Review|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Floorstanding Loudspeakers|
|Written by Todd Whitesel|
|Wednesday, 31 March 2010|
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For an actual live performance I went to the recent Eagle Rock release Live At Knebworth, a double-disc set from the 1990 show that brought Tears For Fears, Cliff Richard & The Shadows, Status Quo, Robert Plant, Genesis, Eric Clapton, Dire Straits, Elton John, Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd together to raise money for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Charity and the Brit School for Performing Arts. With that loaded roster, the performance that knocked me out was Tears For Fears' take on “Badman's Song.” This soulful rendering brings R&B, Latin percussion and rock and roll into a fevered 11-minute celebration. Knowing the band battled high winds and rain as they blew the top off, the impact is even greater. Dynamic and bold presentation via the CF-50s.Moving to vinyl, I grabbed a couple LPs: 1982's The John Lennon Collection and Crosby, Stills & Nash Demos, a Rhino Records collection of previously unreleased demos from 1968-71. The Lennon Collection is a greatest hits comp of the former Beatles' solo works. The original recordings are flawed sonically, with a haze and murkiness that led to later remastering. Still, songs such as “Mind Games” and “Love” are musical gems that can't be denied. The CF-50s exposed the sonic deficiencies yet did an excellent job of imaging and painting a coherent picture.
Demos, by contrast, is a set of nakedly pure recordings, often showcasing the song's writer as he works through the unfinished landscape of the tune. The bare-bones version of David Crosby's “Deja Vu,” with its crystalline guitar lines and Crosby's earthy vocals sounded in-room live. Arpeggios and harmonics rang and decayed with startling realism. At the end, Crosby scats the vocal line, finding the harmony where words haven't yet been found, and his voice resonates with breath and personality. Again, the CF-50's imaging and life-like presentation captivated me.
The CF-50s carry the legendary Energy name in convincing fashion. I've heard few components that I would describe as neutral and fewer speakers. For $800/pair, the CF-50s offer dynamic yet controlled sound that doesn't grate on the ear or the wallet. For the price and performance they're easily recommended.