North Reading, Mass. - Bowers & Wilkins has begun shipping a new entry-level series of custom-install speakers as part of what it called the latest step in revamping its entire custom-install lineup.
The new entry-level CI 300 series, which replaces a similarly priced series, consists of three models, all with round and square grille options and narrow-bezel design. The introduction follows the launch more than a year ago of the CI 600 series, also with narrow bezels and round and square grille options, and the top-end CI700 series, which is designed for maximum performance.
The new series consists of the $300/pair in-ceiling CCM362 with a 6-inch polypropylene cone bass/midrange and 1-inch soft-dome tweeter, the $400/pair in-ceiling CCM382 with the same tweeter but with an 8-inch bass/midrange driver for deeper bass and higher sensitivity, and the $400/pair CWM362 two-way, in-wall speaker. It uses the same driver set as the in-ceiling CCM362.
All three feature high moisture resistance for use in bathrooms and indoor pool areas, and they offer a shallow mounting depth. The in-ceiling CCM362 is 3.2 inches deep, and the in-wall CWM362 is 3 inches deep to fit in 3-inch stud bays with a minimum of half-inch sheetrock.
All three models also share the same cutout sizes, so they can use the same PMKs and back boxes. To simplify installation, they feature swing-out dogs and spring clip wire terminals.
Sales and marketing VP Doug Henderson said the series combines high-value with high performance and are "entry-level in price only."
To go with these and other Bowers & Wilkins custom speakers, the company plans mid-summer availability of the $1,000 ISW-3 subwoofer, which can be installed in the wall, ceiling, floor, millwork or kitchen cabinets with what the company said was "as close to a zero visual footprint as possible."
The ISW-3 features two 6.5-inch long-throw drivers vented through a forward-facing vent whose slotted grille allows for installation in millwork and kitchen cabinets, the company said. Rattling is eliminated by a balanced driver design that prevents mechanical energy from being transmitted to the enclosure, the company added.
The ISW-3 can vent directly through its slot facing forward, making it 9.25 inches deep by 18.5 inches tall, or it can used with a right-angle adaptor for placement on its face to take up minimal height inside a cabinet. Width is 13 inches.
For power, the company will offer the $1,000 MkII version of an existing SA-250 rack mount amplifier. The SA-250MkII offers an external EQ switch setting for either the ISW-3 or ISW-4 in-wall subwoofer. A stereo summing input is included for distributed-audio applications. One SA-250MkII can power two ISW-3 subs or two ISW-4 subs. Usable, low-distortion bass output goes down to 21Hz, the company said.