Polk Audio, Boston Acoustics Debut Fall Speaker Lines

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Two speaker companies - Polk Audio and Boston Acoustics - are debuting lines this fall.

Polk Audio will show at January's CES its first car audio speakers to result from a collaboration with MOMO, the Italian performance car accessories manufacturer made famous by its association with Ferrari and top racing teams.

MOMO was responsible for the cosmetic design of the new speakers, while Polk engineered the acoustics, a spokesman said.

The high-end product line consists of two two-way component systems, a tweeter and two subwoofers.

The Polk component systems lead with a 5.25-inch mid/driver, the MM455, with 1-inch tweeter and an external crossover network. The step-up version, MM465, adds a 6.5-inch mid/driver. Both systems feature cast-aluminum mid/driver grilles for improved performance and design. Estimated retail prices for the systems are $550 per set.

The MM400 1-inch tweeter from the component systems will be available as a separate item, along with 10- and 12-inch subwoofers.

The mid/drivers in the component systems feature cast-aluminum baskets and grilles, binding post input terminals, and ultra-stiff polymer composite cones. They also have woven carbon-fiber dustcaps and oversize voice coils.

The MM400 1-inch tweeter dome is a polymer/metal composite and pivots to provide proper sound staging regardless of tweeter position. It is expected to have an estimated retail price of $400 per pair.

These units are joined by two drivers: the MM100 (10 inches) and MM120 (12 inches). Both feature cast-aluminum baskets, air-cooled voice coils, vented flat spiders, extra-long pole pieces to promote long excursion, and extremely stiff cones to withstand the high back pressure that develops in sealed enclosures.

Suggested retail prices are $300 each for the MM100 and $350 each for the MM120.

Boston Acoustics is introducing a line of Competition subwoofers designed to offer the same performance as the high-end Pro Series but without the costly cosmetics.

"The Competitor series is virtually the same as the Pro Series but less expensive because we did not invest the cost on cosmetics," the company said. "It's designed to bring Pro Series technology to a little wider audience in the competition, high-output market."

Like the Pro Series, the new Competition subwoofers use RadialVent technology that allows the speakers' action to draw cool air in and around the voice coils and take heat away, expelling that heat as the driver moves in the opposite direction.

This allows for significantly greater power handling, Boston said. In addition, the Competition series is optimized to work in very small enclosures so they don't take up a lot of space in the car.

The new line of four drivers comes in both 4- and 2-ohm versions, with the 2-ohm impedance allowing users to run multiple subwoofers off the same amplifier.

There are four raw drivers and two enclosed subwoofer systems in the Competition lineup.

Subwoofer drivers include the 15-inch Model 1500, 12-inch Model 1200, 10-inch Model 1000 and 8-inch Model 800 - each designed for very high output and high power handling in a small enclosure.

Power handling ranges from 50 to 1000 watts on the top two models and 50 to 850 watts on the 10-inch version. The new 8-inch Competition drivers have a power handling of 50 to 500 watts. Suggested retail prices are $199.95 each for both the Models 800 and 1000, $219.95 for the model 1200, and $279.95 for the 1500.

The new enclosed systems consist of a 10-inch woofer, model C11, in an MDF enclosure, and a dual 10-inch driver version, the C210. Both have a tuned radiator design and are engineered to eliminate the port noise inherent in most vented designs, the company said.

Both systems have a 2-ohm nominal impedance and feature a high-mass copolymer cone, which Boston Acoustics' claims is "the thickest copolymer cone we have ever made."

Suggested retail prices for the Competition subwoofer systems are $399.95 for the C110 and $649.95 for the C210.

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