What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Fri, 20 Jun 2008, 3:00pm

System Fidelity 5000

Tested at £1480
60100
3

We had high hopes based on its styling, but the 5000 Series is left behind in terms of sonic ability

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For

  • Smartly finished speaker for your sterling
  • large sound
  • dynamics, power and plenty of bass

Against

  • Lack of subtlety and insight
  • cluttered sound
  • not the most musical
  • soft bass

Drum roll please… This is a world-exclusive review of this System Fidelity speaker package. It's also the first time we've looked at anything from this company, which has its head office in Denmark.

Quoting from the website, a ‘Slovenian enthusiast' by the name of Andrej Persin is said to be the brains behind the sound. All very intriguing, we're sure you'll agree...

While this is the most expensive system in this test, there is at least plenty of it – it scores well on the box-for-your-buck rating. And a nicely finished box it is, too. All the speakers are available in gloss black; the fronts are also yours in cherry wood veneer, while the rears can be bought in a gloss white finish.

Regardless of colour, the big ol' units feel solid and sturdy, with no rough edges or loose screws. More
than that, they come complete with clever, easy-to-attach speaker terminals and screw-in feet that you attach flush to the speakers.

Give it a good run-in

First things first, makes sure you give this system a good run-in. The system has an unmistakeable hardness to it for a good 24 hours, but this eventually subsides with time – it's still a touch hard, but easier on the ears than at first listen.

Rambo is an action-packed death-fest from start to finish, and while this System Fidelity package can undoubtedly deliver peaks and troughs and really fill a room, it lacks subtlety and cohesion – which makes listening much harder work than it should be.

Hefty sub, deep bass

The subwoofer is not inconsiderable in size and, as a result, produces a hefty serving of powerful, deep bass. It's a touch on the soft side, though, and, highlighted neatly by The Good, The Bad and The Queen's turn on Live From Abbey Road, basslines lack detail and dexterity.

The large centre isn't without fault either – dialogue sounding a touch muffled – but it integrates well with the front pair and is relatively detailed, too.

While it can do raw power and excitement, others do it better, and more crucially the lack of organisation and refinement hinder this package all along the way. Couple this with its large price tag, and we're left with plenty of reasons to be fearful of a hearty recommendation.

As a world exclusive, we would have liked to be blown away. As it is, we're rather nonplussed.

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