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TWICE 09/10/2009

Special Report:

Speaker Placement Gets More Flexible

roidal transformer to con- vert 70 volts into current at the point of sound re- production to deliver “spar- kling, clean resolution,” said executive Ben Gos- vig. BY JOSEPH PALENCHAR AtlAntA — the placement of in- room and custom-installed speakers con- tinues to get more flexible with the launch here of new wireless subs, thin in-room speakers, an expanded assortment of out- door landscape speakers and more in-wall speakers designed to be nearly invisible. Definitive Tech- nology: the brand will go to the CE- DI A E x p o with the first of its thinnest in-room speakers to date and with the first lCR speakers in its Disappearing In-Wall speaker series. In landscape speakers, startup Am- biSonic Systems will launch its first models, Induction Dynamics will show off its first rock speakers, and SpeakerCraft will flaunt its latest se- ries of rocks. For indoor use, Defini- tive technology will expand its selec- tion of Disappearing In-Wall speakers and display its thinnest in-room speak- er ever with a depth of 1.5 inches for placement near ever-thinner flat-pan- el displays. the super-thin in-room speaker is the two-way Mythos XtR-50, a 1.5-inch- deep lCR/ It ships to dealers in the first quarter at a suggested $799. two more will ship later in 2010. likewise, offsite at the Omni Hotel, Polk Audio will display a prototype of its thinnest passive five-channel sound bar ever at 1.5 inches, and it will display the first custom speakers also meant to be barely visible, given that they protrude only 7mm from t he wa l l or ceiling, have a slim be- zel of about 1/8 inch, and come with micro-perf grilles. (See www.twice.com.) the Disappearing In-Wall series, launched in 2008, is promoted as offer- ing near-invisibility because of the speak- ers’ small diameters, hidden flanges, and low-profile mi- cro-perf grilles. Each new lCR features pivot ing 1- inch tweet- er between two woof- ers. they ship in January 2010 at a suggested $399 and $499 each. Induc tion Dy namics : the company will launch its on-wall ID speaker series to sonical- ly match its IW in-wall speakers and ID in-room speakers. SpeakerCraft’s Ruckus rock speak- ers can be scratched or chipped without changing the color of their finishes. Sub placement flex- ibility is the intent of the first wireless subs from high-end makers KEF and Martin logan (see p. xx) and a suitcase- shaped sub from Wisdom Audio (see story, top right). the brand will also introduce its RockSolid line of outdoor speakers, whose molded polyurethane shells lack visible grille holes because their trans- ducers couple directly to the shells, vi- brating the shells to deliver omnidirec- tional sound. three colors are available. Additional details were unavailable. For its part, Bowers & Wilkins will make its broadest custom-speaker launch ever. (See www.twice.com.) Here are what these and other compa- nies plan to show. AmbiSonic Sy s tems : the lake Havasu City, Ariz., company will dem- onstrate outdoor subs and satellite speak- ers in the SoniScape Systems series. the satellites look like aimable outdoor light- ing fixtures that can be mounted in the ground or on trees. the subs use an un- derground enclosure that vents above ground through a tube topped by a cop- per canopy. Paradigm Electronics: the third generation of the company’s flagship Ref- erence Signature series speakers is the highest output generation. the in-room speakers boost output by 3dB over their predecessors, thanks in part to extensive- ly modified bass/midrange and bass driv- ers in the two-, three- and 3.5-way speak- ers, the company said.

the company offers an 8-ohm series for replacing existing installs and a sepa- rate series that adapts the 70-volt system design popularized in commercial speak- ers to deliver audio up to 1,000 feet. the 70-volt satellite speakers incorporate a to-

A dozen Reference speakers, posi- tioned as value and performance lead- ers in reference models, are priced up to $3,499 each for a three-way six-driver floorstander with cherry finish.

Phase Technology: the company

comes to the show with im- provements to its two pas- sive three-chan- nel sound bar speakers. they are the two- way teatro V-3. 0 a nd the three- way teatro PC-3.0. Both add proprietary Spatial Field Expander circuitry and availability of custom-or- dered grilles to match the width of dif- ferent widescreen tVs. AmbiSonic Systems’ SoniScape series

Proficient Audio: For fourth-quarter delivery, Proficient will introduce the C655 in-ceiling lCR cinema speak- er at a suggested $175 and the $250- suggested C625 in-ceiling distributed- audio speaker, also due in the fourth quarter. they feature silk-dome tweet- er and graphite woofer to replace their predecessors’ polypropylene woofer.

PSB: the company replaced its Im- age series of in-room speakers, adopting some of the industrial-design and tech- nology elements of the company’s step-up Imagine and Synchrony series.

SpeakerCraft: the company plans first-quarter shipments of three Vital in- room powered subs and shipments this month of new rock speakers.

the Vital subs deliver improved out- put, efficiency, and aesthetics compared to the BassX models they replace. the Vi- tals are the $465-suggested V8, $589 V10 and $839 V12, all with front-facing driv- er and dual front-facing ports so that they can be placed in cabinets or wall units.

SpeakerCraft’s Ruckus is a new line of five outdoor rock speakers that sport upgraded sonics and cosmetics over their Rox-series predecessors. Each is available in granite and sandstone fin- ishes. Because they feature a lacquer coating on top of a reinforced, poly-res- in enclosure of the same color, the out- er coating can be chipped, but the chip will reveal the same-color material un- derneath to maintain the model’s rock- like appearance, the company said. the lineup consists of three coaxial models from $225 to $450 each, a $350 single- speaker stereo and a $999 sub.

Thiel: the company is taking the surface-mount design of its indoor PowerPoint 1.2 on-wall/on-ceiling speakers to a home’s exterior with the DewPoint speakers. they shipped Sept. 1 at a suggested $1,450 each. o

See www.twice.com for more details on many of these introductions.



Wisdom Readies Behind-Screen Planar Speakers

BY JOSEPH PALENCHAR ATLANTA — Wisdom Audio plans to launch two Sage-series line- source planar-magnetic in-wall speakers whose 50-inch heights were designed for installation behind in- creasingly popular 2.35:1 aspect-ra- tio projection screens.

A suitcase-shaped subwoofer is also new.

“There was demand for models in- corporating our line-source technol- ogy that could physically fit behind the increasingly popular 2.35:1 aspect

See Wisdom on page 44

Big Bass

continued from page 34

less than 3 percent. “Conventionally designed loudspeaker systems would require bass drivers of at least triple the size in an enclosure at least twice as large to produce comparable per- formance,” the company said.

Atlantic will ship its first H-PAS product, the H-PAS-1 floorstanding speaker, in the fourth quarter. So- lus/Clements will deliver a tower and bookshelf model early next year.

The completely passive patent- pending design requires no active electronics and no special drivers, and it’s compatible with conventional amplifiers and A/V receivers, Atlan- tic said. H-PAS combines elements of bass-reflex, inverse-horn and trans- mission-line cabinet design, the com- pany explained. The designs “are cas- caded one to another to pressurize and accelerate low frequencies,” and the audio signal is passed through a passive resonance/harmonic distor- tion line filter, Atlantic continued.

“This new system,” Atlantic pres- ident Peter Tribeman contended, “is the first ever to break the famous iron law of loudspeaker design.” That law, he said, states that among three ma- jor goals of speaker design — deep bass extension, a compact enclo- sure and good efficiency — speaker designers must chose two at the ex- pense of the third.

H-PAS “has applications in almost every corner of the loudspeaker busi- ness,” he added. o

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