I just sold a pair of Castle Howard S3's, their newest flagship. The build quality and sound were first-rate. Highly recommended.
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I just bought a pair of Castle Warwick 3's. So far I have a very bad image of this IAG group!
I can not use my speakers because the binding posts are not 5 way ones! They only accept bare wire and spades! I use bananas so I am out of luck until I can buy new cables! Wow, great!
This day and age $1000 pair of speakers that don't have 5 ways? That's pretty strange. Also CHEAP I might add!
They used to cost $1390 when they were English owned and made. I think they might have been better then.
Maybe I answered my own question to this post the hard way. As I have very little respect for this IAG group from China.
I tried to call them at their USA number and it is disconnected! I wrote two emails on the Castle website and my emails were returned failure to deliver.
The IAG group itself gives no email address.
So far I am very disappointed in them.
Just a quick update. I have the Castle Warwick 3's up and running now in my main system as of last night. I had to buy new cables that have spade connectors as the speakers themselves only use bare wire and spades. They are not banana end compatible. Only a few of their models in the classic range do this and I am not sure why.
Anyways, other than that issue the speakers are made flawless. The cabinet work is outstanding. I got mine in rosewood. They seem very well made. It is still a bit early to tell sound wise but I like what I hear so far.
It is a very easy on the ear kind of sound. Smooth. The music is presented in an interesting manner. The bass starts and stops on a dime. Soundstage is good and fairly deep. Even though my Proacs seem better overall, at almost twice the price I might add, I still find the Castles to be musical and very enjoyable to listen to. I am having fun here. I actually could hear some details in my recordings I didn't hear before which surprised me. Upper bass and midrange detail are superb.
Anything negative to say would have to wait because there is less than 5 hours on these so far.
I tried getting in tough with IAG once before, suffice to say it's not as easy as it should be. They definitely need to do a better job on that front. This makes buying from a local dealer more attractive, since if you have a problem you can deal with them. Failing that, you can also try contacting the distributor for Castle products in your area.
I'm not sure about the binding posts on Castle speakers, but many speakers come with a little plastic cover that blocks the area where banana plugs would go. Try to see if your binding posts have this cover, if they do it'll take some effort to pry them off, but then the banana plugs will become accessible.
If anyone would like any detailed info on Castle, please email me and I would be happy to discuss via email. We were in talks with IAG to be the Castle distributor for the US and have sold several pairs of Castles on here in the past 2 weeks (sold the Warwicks to Mezzanine in this post). I have quite a bit of info on the speakers.
I really do like the sound of the of the Castle Warwick's and the fit and finish are amazing.
I am only disappointed with IAG customer service and the fact the Warwick's do not come with 5-way posts. I know many of the other Castle speakers do have them, while a few in the Classic range do not. I like the sound style so much that I am thinking of buying some of their more expensive models in the future.
Goldprintaudio, the store I bought them from was very friendly and also helpful to me. I think that makes a difference. It does help to buy them from a dealer that cares.
I have the latest Howard S3 and they are simply the best speaker in their price range. They (by a large margin) bettered Tyler, Dynaudio and Usher speakers, some costing twice as much.
Moving to IAG doesn't seem to affect the quality, mine has the most beautiful carbinatry and very nice 5-way binding posts. A piece of plastic insert sits at the center of each binding post will block any bananas, so you have to take them out before connecting any banana-ended cable.
The Howard S3 has the typical British sound without losing dynamics. The palpable midrange made all vocals sound real; the large-than-average soft tweeter never sounds harsh, and brings violin solo to life; the twin pipeline design combined with carbon fiber woofers really works, providing tuneful bass down to 30+ Hz and my guests walked around looking for a subwoofer. I won't call them the most neutral speakers but they've got taste, elegance and grace; I found myself listening much more without fatigue. I highly recommend the Classic line from Castle, or IAG. You get great value from a relatively small brandname which does fantastic job.