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Vendors Increase Placement Options For Home Speakers

9/16/2002 02:00:00 AM Eastern

New speakers will fall into several camps at the CEDIA Expo.

Some speakers are designed to be unobtrusively tucked away inside an A/V cabinet. Others are designed to call attention to themselves through stylish design or sheer size. And others are designed to be out in the open but inconspicuously small.

Here are the details on selected introductions:

Atlantic Technology: A top-of-the-line home theater speaker system will be the company's first THX Ultra 2-certified system. It will come with features suitable for installation out of sight in A/V cabinets. Details were unavailable.

Boston Acoustics: The three speakers in the new BT series are designed for mounting in A/V cabinets. The BT1 and BT2 high-output three-way LCRs at $1,000 and $1,800 each feature mid/tweet baffle that can be rotated, allowing for horizontal or vertical placement in a cabinet. The baffle can also be angled when they're far off-axis from the listening position.

The BT2 features two woofers compared to the BT1's one.

The BT1200 sub at $1,400 adds parametric EQ to the LCRs' multiple custom-install features.

DCM: All-new home theater speakers, including the brand's first home theater speaker packages, will greet installers. The Cinema1 and Cinema2 packages were due mid-September at a suggested $299 and $399, respectively.

Two tower speakers and a center channel are priced at $199, $249 and $149 each. They match a bookshelf speaker with a retail of $199 per pair. They're available now.

Definitive: The 1-foot-square SuperCube 2 compact subwoofer, rated at 1,250 watts, will ship in October at a suggested $899. The sub will be part of the Studio Cinema 350 speaker system, due in October at a suggested $2,247.

Jamo: The D7, the company's first THX Ultra2-certified speaker system, consists of five LCRs, two dipolar left/right surrounds, and a subwoofer at a combined suggested $6,398. A compact home-theater sub/sat system, the $599-suggested A210PDD, features compact oval-shaped two-way speakers and a round low-profile sub. Both systems ship around Expo time.

M&K: Four Column Surrounds are floorstanding tower surrounds that use tripole designs to deliver an enveloping sound field. Heights range from 22 inches to 40 inches, and prices range from $1,149 to $1,299 per pair.

Three feature 3-inch woofer and 1-inch tweeter firing up from the cabinet's top, 6.5-inch woofer on the front baffle at the bottom, and pair of 300Hz-10kHz 3-inch bipolar drivers, one on the left side and the other on the right. A fourth model features 1-inch tweeter and 5.25-inch woofer on the front near the top, plus the 3-inch dipolar drivers. They ship in September.

McIntosh: Three new speakers include the $25,000/pair XRT30, which is available only to Premier-program dealers. It's scheduled for production in October or November. It consists of two 60x13 x5-inch towers, which can be mounted on the wall or on floor stands, and two vertical floorstanding passive subwoofers. Each tower contains a column of 25 1-inch soft-dome tweeters flanked by two columns of 4-inch midranges, 15 per column. The design limits early floor and ceiling reflections and yields symmetrical horizontal polar response for superior imaging. The subwoofer module houses two 12-inch woofers.

The $8,000-each XRT29 is the on-wall/in-wall version of the XRT30's tweeter/midrange tower. And the 5-inch-deep XR27 center channel, also for on- and in-wall mounting, features five tweeters, one 6.5-inch midrange and four 8-inch woofers at $4,000 each. It goes into production at year's end.

Pioneer: The company will be among the first to offer 1Limited's Digital Sound Projector technology as part of its Elite series. Pioneer will marry the technology with a Dolby Digital EX/DTS ES processor. A ship date and pricing weren't available.

U.K.-based 1Limited demonstrated the technology at CES to potential OEM customers. The technology "beams" separate steerable surround channels around a room, reflecting them off walls and other surfaces so they arrive at listeners from the front, back and sides.

Polk: The company will replace three of its four powered subwoofers, introduce two upgraded home theater speaker systems and unveil a top-end model in its floorstanding RTi series.

The RTi150 tower at a suggested $889 ships in September with 1-inch tweeter, 6.5-inch midrange, and trio of unpowered 6.5-inch woofers. It replaces a powered tower discontinued last year that retailed for $2,000 per pair. The RTi series offers one powered tower at a suggested $1,180 per pair.

The three new subs in the PSW series at $359, $479 and $589 each offer real wood finishes and higher power in cabinets that are the same sizes as their predecessors.

The new home theater systems are the five-speaker $740 RM6700 and the six-speaker RM6005 with powered sub at $599. They're due in October and September, respectively.

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