On The Graph And To The Ear
The 3600 delivered well-balanced response, but with a particular profile: The midrange shows a relative dip and the extreme highs are attenuated, with a hiccup at around 17 kHz corresponding to the space between the radiating surfaces of the micro drivers in the satellites. The lower end of the spectrum showed a drop at around 200 Hz. Turning the volume of the subwoofer all the way down, we could see that the satellites' output stops at around 300 Hz, dropping off very quickly below that point. We opened one of the satellite enclosures to trace the impedance curve, and found that the system's resonant frequency was a little below 300 Hz, which is coherent with the preceding measurement. After closing the satellite, the impedance curve did show a bass-reflex effect, with the tuning shifted upwards. This means to us that the sophisticated loading system Creative has used is only moderately effective. But it does seem to provide good output up to the resonant frequency, which after all is not so bad. But getting a system using micro drivers to work well with a subwoofer is always tricky.
The response showed good overall balance and the high-resolution graph shows no hiccups, which is a very positive point.
On this high resolution graph with the subwoofer turned all the way down, you can see that the satellites' response drops off at around 300 Hz.
With the satellite enclosure open, the impedance curve shows a resonance peak at around 300 Hz, which confirms the response-curve graph.
In normal configuration, the impedance curve of the satellite shows a bass reflex-like acoustic load.
The subwoofer itself shows a response curve centered at approximately 100 Hz, with rapid attenuation above 150 Hz. This would explain the valley in the low midrange. In the bass, this subwoofer concentrates on the 60 - 150 Hz area, with the sub-bass strongly attenuated. This approach is quite well suited to a system of this type, which doesn't have the power or the enclosure volume needed to reproduce very low frequencies.
The maximum possible volume is commensurate with the design approach. It's quite sufficient for individual listening close up, but not quite enough to fill a room.
Maximum volume: 108 dB SLP