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Crystal Audio TX-T2-12 review




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Crystal Audio TX-T2-12
  • Crystal Audio TX-T2-12
  • Crystal Audio TX-T2-12
  • Crystal Audio TX-T2-12
  • Crystal Audio TX-T2-12
  • Crystal Audio TX-T2-12
  • Crystal Audio TX-T2-12
  • Crystal Audio TX-T2-12


Our Score:


Greece may be deep in financial crisis and out of the World Cup, but at least Athens-based Crystal Audio is giving the country something to cheer about. Its latest speaker system is here to provide some much-needed escapism from all the doom and gloom, but the best news is that, according to the blurb, it offers 'high-end home cinema at a fraction of the usual cost' – a phrase that will be music to the ears of recession-ravaged audiophiles everywhere.

The TX-T2-12 is a 5.1-channel system with THX certification, which means it satisfies a list of requirements that’ll get the best-possible performance from your system. The front speakers boast THX Ultra 2 certification, which is THX’s top honour and suggests they’re capable of some pretty special movie playback. The rears, centre and subwoofer are THX Select certified, which has a less demanding but equally strict set of requirements.

As well as knockout sound performance, you should expect nothing short of rock-solid build quality when spending over £1,000 on a speaker system, and that’s exactly what you get. Fondling each speaker reveals impeccable construction and elegant, understated looks. Tasteful use of high gloss and black ash across the entire system makes them a stylish presence in the room without sticking out like a sore thumb. All of the speakers come with a sturdy removable grille that fits snugly into holes on the front. The only downside of their substantial build quality is that you need two people to haul some of them out of the boxes.

The solid TX-T2SE floorstanding front speakers, topped with a tweeter

At the heart of the system is a pair of THX Ultra 2-certified TX-T2SE front floorstanders, worth £549 a pair when bought separately. These are a re-tweaked version of Crystal Audio’s original TX-T2 speakers, using a shorter cabinet and increased volume. Despite being shorter they’re still remarkably deep, which enables them to deliver gut-wrenching low frequencies, plus the cabinets have been heavily braced to create an 'acoustically dead' enclosure that helps convey soundtracks as cleanly and dynamically as possible.

The webcam-like 'free air' tweeter

The most distinctive design aspect of the front speakers is the 'free air' tweeter, which sits on top of each cabinet and looks like a webcam. The benefit of placing it on top is to deliver high frequencies directly to your ears without unwanted diffraction, and the clever part is that you can rotate them to find the best angle according to your listening position. It’s an interesting idea, but plonking those little spheres on such big cabinets does look a bit odd.


July 7, 2010, 5:37 pm

Nearly stumping up for a pair of used Linn Komponents... now you throw this under my nose! Arrrrgh!


July 7, 2010, 5:50 pm

Ah - my newly purchased Onkyo TX-SR608 only outputs 160w p/ch. Reading the specs of these here: http://www.crystalaudiovideo.c... , is the Onkyo sufficient enough to drive these?



July 7, 2010, 6:33 pm

Very tempting! Would be good to know what components you test with, just for reference - amp, source, interconnects, speaker cable? You mention biwiring the fronts is possible - did you do this? Some 7(/9/11).1 amps allow you to repurpose unused inputs to bi-amp the front channel of a 5.1 setup - did you try that?


July 7, 2010, 7:01 pm

@Tobeman - yes, you won't have any problems. In fact it is generally considered good practice to have speakers rated to at least the maximum output wattage of your amp - this means the amp should be able to drive the speakers as hard as you like without the speakers being over-driven and introducing distortion, or (worse) blowing their drivers. Trust me, unless you have an absolutely vast listening room, or you are planning a music festival, or you are profoundly deaf, 160W per channel into a decent set of speakers will go hard enough to make your ears bleed.


July 7, 2010, 8:33 pm

Nice review about a company with a purpose.


July 9, 2010, 11:42 am

@john mclean - it is better to have the amplifier more powerfull than the speakers, sometimes up to twice the rating, because if the amplifier 'clips' the output will be a square wave and will probably fry your tweeters. speakers are very robust & will take short term peak overlords easily especially if they are meant for sound re-inforcement, i.e. PA use. professional users such as DJ's etc usually have limiters to stop the amplifier being driven into overload and clipping.


July 9, 2010, 2:13 pm

@alchobot - I stand corrected. Interesting to know. Still, 160W per channel into a decent set of speakers in a home environment is more than enough to fry your eardrums before you get anywhere close to overloading the amp.


July 9, 2010, 5:18 pm

Looks strikingly like an older B&W package! I didn't have much hopes for the centre...


July 10, 2010, 10:24 pm

@Tobeman.It is a great combination thanks to THX. My friend uses this Crystal system with Onkyo 3007. With THX and Audyssey processing the sound is amazing both for movies and music.Onkyo 3007 offers 200Watt instead of 160Watt of yours. Taking account that every doubling of power equals 3db, yours TR3007 offers only 1db more maximum power than yours TR 608.The power Difference is calculated in db by 10log(160/200)=0,97db


July 10, 2010, 10:37 pm

@poisonjam. I had similar thoughts with you especially because the towers use 2 woofers and the center uses only one. It is probably because towers are designed to meet THX Ultra2 Sound levels and the Crystal THX Center is designed for lower THX Select sound levels. But the main difference according to THX is the lower maximum Sound levels and not the sound quality. According THX both Select and Ultra2 speakers should offer similar response above 80Hz. We know that it is easy to have similar excellent midrange with pure design of 2 drivers, than using 2 woofers, 2 midranges and one tweeter as in most Ultra 2 center speakers. And the small size sometimes is more important than the lower price benefit.

martin gillespie

July 17, 2010, 2:34 am

YE im kind off considering these myself, to go with my onkyo nr906 in 7.2 guise of course, centre could be a problem space wise. and why mix the two THX specs.

Martin Gillespie

June 3, 2013, 6:55 pm

Looking at getting the 7.2 system in dec ,maybe with the larger fronts, to go with the onk 906, this will be upgraded nxt year ? maybe

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