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Atlantic In-Room Speakers Get Makeover

Norwood, Mass. — Atlantic Technology plans late-May shipments of three new home-theater speaker series, four new powered subwoofers and a previously announced front-height speaker as part of what it called the most extensive redesign of its in-room speaker lineup in more than five years.

In recent years, the company had been focusing its R&D efforts primarily on custom-installed speakers, and

now Atlantic wants to apply some of the custom lineup’s technology enhancements to in-room speakers, president Peter Tribeman said. The majority of Atlantic’s in-room lineup got the makeover, a spokesman added.

Three new speaker series, replacing previous generation series, are the System 1400, System 2400 and THX Select-certified System 4400, each consisting of a two-way front LR speaker, two-way horizontal center channel and a selectable dipole/bipole surround speaker. With a recommended matching subwoofer from the new SB sub series, 5.1-speaker packages built with the three new series would range in price from $1,680 to $3,800, the company said.

All three series include new cosmetics to match the company’s floorstanding speakers, switchable bipole/dipole

surrounds, and left-right and center-channel speakers with response-adjustment switches. A three-position switch compensates for bright or dull rooms, and a boundary-compensation switch adjusts lower midrange output to compensate for coloration caused by placement near a TV or in a cabinet or shelf.

In left, right and center speakers of the System 1400 and System 2400, the company added a proprietary tweeter design that crosses over at 2,250Hz from the woofer compared to their predecessors’ 3,500Hz, to “deliver markedly better off-axis response” in the upper midrange region, said Steve Feinstein, marketing and product development director. Those frequencies are being radiated by a 1-inch tweeter “that is essentially non-directional in this frequency range,” he explained. “The net benefit to the listener is that the new speakers provide greater listening area coverage in the critical upper midrange (sounds like breaking glass or squealing tires in movies, or percussion and brass in music), resulting in more placement flexibility for both the listeners and the speakers [and] retaining “the good sound” over a wider angle.”

The 1400 adds the previously announced $425/pair 1400 SR-z, whose shallow profile makes it suitable for use as a front-height speaker as well as a side surround. The 12.25-inch by 8-inchb by 5.4-inch sealed-box speaker uses two 3.5-inch full-range drivers.

The THX Select System 4400 was not changed sonically from its predecessor, but changes requested by dealers include integrated keyhole-mounting slots to simplify wall mounting, inset speaker-terminal cups and tweeter baffle that matches those of the company’s other THX-certified speakers.

 The new SB line of powered subwoofers, ranging from $550 to $1,200, boasts multiple changes, Feinstein said. “The new subs are considerably more powerful than before — all have either a 10- or 12-inch woofer (no more 8-inch), and all have the very latest incarnation of Atlantic’s exclusive Clear Filter Technology for ultra-clean bass reproduction.”

The company also put level controls on all four models, not just the top two models as in the previous line, because “customers liked that convenience very much,” he said. In addition, all models have forward-facing drivers, whereas the previous series had one down-firing model. “We found that people wanted forward-facing drivers in their subs when they mounted them behind cloth panels in their entertainment cabinets,” Feinstein said.