Cerwin Vega owner

Good afternoon,

I consider myself a bit of a sound nerd and have been involved with music since I was young. I never sat down and put money into any particular hifi or audiophile system, but I do love music and I have a clear opinion on how it should sound.

About 3 months ago I came across a pair of VS-120s and picked them - great condition and all. All I had around to drive these with was a Yamaha amp (Rx-V371).

I hooked this up using some 16-gauge cables and the first thing I listened too was some lossless audio files from Apple with analog connection to the Yamaha from my Macbook. The amp has a "straight" setting with all controls being disabled. No Sub is present. So my playback has no EQ or filtering.

My listening space has all the problems with 1 wall being 3 windows, 2nd wall being behind the speakers, 3 wall being open to a dining room and the backwall (isnt a wall) open to my office double doors, 10 foot ceiling, uncovered wood floor, no speaker "spikes".

No matter what I play, it sounds terrific including opening this amp all the way up. I was expecting this to blow fuses. It doesn’t. I haven’t measured the SPL from my listening point, but it goes waay up. Still sounding clean.

I have been through about all tracks I have ever seen mentioned as "reference tracks" and I dont miss anything from what I can tell.

I would love to add some critical listening "skills" to my very basic setup here to show me what I could possibly be missing out on. There has to be a reason I am 10-20k under "good", but I don't seem to hear that...


The definition of good varies by individual experience.  If I were you, I'd stay right where you are and enjoy the music instead of looking for flaws and allowing it to become an obsession as so many audiophiles do and spend your $ elsewhere! It took me decades to reach audio contentment!

As with everything in life, the more/better you experience the more you'll want and the less content you'll become with what you have.  If you like it the way it is, stay with what you've got.  As the saying goes- If it ain't broke don't fix it! 

I would invest in a book and learn about acoustics and speaker positioning.  That will go a long way into improving your system and room at very little cost!

Engineer Paul Mcgowan of Ps Audio has written various books on audio that I'd highly recommend!  They're sold on the Ps Audio website and also Amazon.

  Happy journey...



I know a thing or two about acoustics, waves, standing waves, frequencies and electronics in general. I also know what there is to know about amplification classes and tube amps. I know what english EQ is and I can definitely distinguish the cons  in compression algorithms.

I think my point is I want something tangible that is reproduceable that point to a specific "item" in sound reproduction that cannot be done with my basic setup. For example, amps have the THD descriptor, some "cheaper ones" has a 0.9% where better ones have maybe 0.09. If someone can tell me how to "hear this" I am very open to learn about this. Or, how you can tell me how your sound changes if you change your 8 foot speaker cable to another gauge and what that sounds like. I hope i dont sound confrontational, I am here to learn. 


As far as THD, it will be most noticeable whenever your volume is turned up and the source is muted.  It will be a hiss. 

I would never use anything less than 14-gauge speaker wire, depending on distance and wattage.  I am not sure how to describe the difference in sound with words between different gauges of wire, but you will hear it with good speakers!  16 gauge is way too thin.  I like to use oxygen free finely stranded thinned wire of at least 12 or 10 gauge. The material, construction, manner of extrusion and other variables of the wire has a lot to do with it also.

Specs are a good reference point but should not be the deciding factor when you buy something but a THD of .9% is very high and undesirable though. To me the musicality of any audio component is the most important aspect.  People can give you suggestions, but everyone's system, room and ears will be different.  Musicality is something that only you can judge in person in your specific room, ears and with your equipment.

This link gives you some basic info, but there are many other specs such as damping factor, slew rate, amplifier class etc. to consider that you can google.  YouTube is also a good source. Understanding Amplifier Power Output Specifications (lifewire.com)

If there is a specific question that you have feel free to send me a message.  I'll do my best to answer for you!


I suggest you stay away from critical listening skills a remain happy with your system. 


As far as THD, it will be most noticeable whenever your volume is turned up and the source is muted. It will be a hiss.

Huh? You need a signal to measure THD. While all THD is noise by definition, not all noise is THD. Hiss is not THD, which by definition is harmonic distortion.


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What I can say is that with all things being equal, an amp with lower THD will have less hiss with NO SIGNAL when you put your ear next to a tweeter. The components inside of an amp are not silent.

    • Hiss is one form of distortion. It often manifests as a faint, high-frequency noise in the background.
    • High THD can contribute to increased hiss because it distorts the audio signal, including any inherent noise. As THD decreases, the overall noise level also decreases.


... an amp with lower THD will have less hiss with NO SIGNAL ...

I'm not sure what your point is. Any amp is likely to have less his with no signal.

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The point is that you said that a signal is necessary to hear THD. That is not the case since there is no need for a signal going into the amp to hear hiss, and not all amps produce AUDIBLE hiss or noise on their own. My better ones are dead silent as far as hiss or any noise is concerned even when touching my ear on the tweeters.

The OP asked what THD sounded like and I replied with my suggestion on how to hear it but you instead challenged my post and then when I clarified it for you, you suddenly didn't make sense of it.   Good day...

The point is that you said that a signal is necessary to hear THD ...

No, I never said that at all. You seem to be confused.

- If the dac in a MacBook and Cerwin Vega made you happy, that’s all there is to it (enjoy the music).

- if curiosity got the better of you, get on Facebook, find a audiophile group local to your area and invite yourself to a few guys’ houses. Audit their rigs. If you audit a few rigs and feel that your rig sounds good enough, i.e., you are not missing anything sonically, that’s all there is to it (enjoy the music).

- But, if you audit a few hifi rigs (obtain a few different points of reference) and now your rig suddenly seems less enjoyable, you could look into improving things a bit.

For example, I get the feeling that this (following vid) is how most Cerwin Vegas tend to measure. You could always diy/mod it and make it sound better since all internals are built to a price point. DIY is also a good way to learn about various technical and economic matters, keeping things affordable, etc.... when you’re starting to explore things in hifi.

Cerwin Vega - GR Research Measurements & Mod




Excellent advice as above. The "VS' Cerwin Vega is a fine series. Very easy on the ears, very easy to accommodate. Enjoy the sound instead of searching for fault(s),

In other words, if nothing is broken, no fix is required.


Happy Listening!

If you’re happy hifi is a bottomless pit that will take your enjoyment of music and turn it into misery.

I use cerwin vega XLS15 speakers for my outdoor BBQ with a crown amp. The bass is awesome. Rocks the yard and the neighbors. 

@no_r_way    Mostly PA components. One of the first big powered solid state amps the Cerwin-Vega A-1800-A, two V-B12's and a B-36. Despite the typical PA thrashing Czerwinski's stuff worked terrific right up to being sold. I still have the B-36.

The 18" Vega driver in my 69' acoustic Control 361 was reconed twelve years ago. The iconic 360/361's designer, Russ Allee was said to have designed the system around that driver and credited it with his powered cabinets success.  

I loved my stereo when I had a realistic receiver driving my bose 901vl that were flipped upside down on their pedestals and bolted to the ceiling, then an audiophile neighbor got jealous of my happiness (ignorance) and introduced me to Hifi shops and now I care about every little thing instead of being grateful I can enjoy a stereo.  Whats that old saying our dads used to sa? If it ain't broke...

Welcome to teh start of the journey. You have a long and enjoyable road ahead of you. Some of it can/will be inexpensive, some not so much.

Time listening, and hearing other good systems, will show you the path forward.  

Here is some important advice:  whenever you think your system sounds great, relax and enjoy it.  You will decide you need to upgrade some part of it soon enough.