Cabasse MT-30 5.1 review

We'd like this assertive looking Cabasse speaker system to have better integration, but there's still lots to like here Tested at £2100.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

It sounds less assertive than it looks, but there’s a lot to like here


  • +

    Generally precise and speedy


  • -

    Lacks absolute low-end rigour

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Not for French specialists Cabasse the tedium of traditional letters-and-numbers speaker model designations.

The speakers in this package are all taken from the MT30 range, sure, but their specific titles (‘Jersey' at the front, ‘Socoa' in the centre, ‘Antigua' at the rear and ‘Orion' the sub) are far more diverting than anything else.

There's less innovation about the way this MT30 system presents itself.

This is a handsome enough set-up in a bog-standard, vinyl-wrap kind of way: the rear speakers are noticeably large, the centre deeper than the norm, and the front speakers' reflex ports gape like a boy racer's exhaust pipe.

The subwoofer is tidily proportioned, though, and its downward-firing configuration helps its ‘not a speaker, more a coffee table' pretentions.

Unflustered dynamics
Belting out the DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack to Gamer, the Cabasse system offers enjoyable brio and unflustered dynamic ability.

The awkwardly proportioned centre speaker is eloquent, steeping dialogue in detail both great and small, and has no trouble muscling its way to the front of the soundstage when necessary.

The MT30 set-up sounds subtler than it looks, and has greater speed and precision than the considerable capacity of its cabinets might suggest.

Effects are steered vigorously around the room, the overall presentation wanting for nothing in terms of attack.

Integration not the best
Flaws? Integration between the centre and its partners on either side is far from the smoothest class-leaders, and there's a lack of out-and-out scale to presentation that's at odds with the visual impression this system creates.

More significant is the rather soft, hazy way the Cabasse enters into and exits from low-frequency information – this relative lack of authority impacts on the overall impression of speed the MT30 5.1 otherwise fosters.

As long as you don't amplify them with similarly inclined amplification, then, the MT30 5.1 is well worth a listen – and not only because someone who loves a holiday named its speakers.

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What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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