This is Part 2 of a four-part report on High-Performance Audio at CEDIA 2011, which highlights new products from: Definitive Technology, Focal, GoldenEar Technology, Harman/Kardon, Integra, JBL Synthesis, KEF, Klipsch, Labgruppen, and Lexicon.
Part 1 covers new products from: AKG, Anthem, Atlantic Technology, AudioQuest, Audio Research Corporation, Bryston, Canton, Cambridge Audio and Cary Audio. CLICK HERE to read Part 1.
Part 3 covers new products from: Linn, Mark Levinson, MartinLogan, Monitor Audio, NAD, Onkyo, Paradigm, and Paradigm Shift. CLICK HERE to read Part 3.
Part 4 covers new products from: Pioneer, Polk Audio, Pro-Ject, PSB, Rotel, Soundmatters, TAD (Technical Audio Devices), Totem Acoustic, Wadia Digital, Wharfedale, Wisdom Audio, and Yamaha. CLICK HERE to read Part 4.
Also check out David-Birch Jones’ mostly video-oriented CEDIA 2011—Highlights, which highlights new products and technologies from Sony, JVC, Pioneer Elite, THX/LG, Panasonic Business Solutions, Sim2, Screen Innovations, Epson, Runco, and Lexicon. CLICK HERE to read CEDIA 2011—Highlights.
Definitive’s new product rollouts for CEDIA focused on two product categories: high-performance bookshelf speakers and powered subwoofers.
In the bookshelf monitors arena, new offering comprised three new models, with the primary Definitive demo emphasizing the middle model called the SM55 ($599/pair)—a 6.5” 2-way with bass output enhanced by a somewhat unusual, top-firing passive radiator. Other models include the smaller SM45 (a 5.25” 2-way priced at $399/pair) and the larger SM65 (a dual 5.25” 2-way/three-driver design sporting a D’Appolito-type array, and priced at $899/pair). The new monitors become available in late October or early November 2011.
Commenting on the design of the SM55, Definitive SVP Paul DiComo said, “we’re maximizing the available bass radiating area (of the speaker), while still keeping the enclosure compact.” The speaker also features the second-generation version of Definitive’s signature BDSS mid/bass driver with its distinctive linear response waveguide—a design element that first appeared in Definitive’s recently updated Bipolar SuperTower speakers, which debuted at CEDIA a year ago.
Using a combination of revealing digital and analog (i.e., vinyl) source material, DiComo convincingly demonstrated the well-balanced sound of the SM55, which offered levels of sonic sophistication that belied its modest price. After playing a good selection of demo cuts on the SM55 alone, DiComo then moved forward to show what the SM55 could do when supplemented by one of the firm’s new SuperCube subwoofers.
In a nutshell, the new SuperCube models feature all new “class HD” amplifiers, with new, more compact enclosures. The SuperCube 4000 will sell for $799, while the somewhat larger SuperCube 6000—the model featured in Definitive’s CEDIA demos—will sell for $999. Both amps provide 56-bit digital front ends and unusually flexible remote controls that allow for tuning on the fly. The 6000 features a 9” active driver and two 10” passive radiators. The bottom line is that the new SuperCubes are smaller and less expensive than the old SuperCubes they replace yet sound better. Both SuperCube woofers are in productions now, and should be available from dealers in a matter of weeks.
After listening to a handful of demonstration tracks rich in demanding bass content, I was struck by the fact that the SuperCube 6000 not only goes deep and plays loudly, but offers really impressive levels of transient speed and pitch definition, so that the woofer integrated exceptionally well with the SM55 monitors. According to DiComo, the SuperCube’s “performance optimizing” remote control deserves much of the credit for this seamless integration, since it not only offers a wide range of woofer set-up controls, but also allows listeners to assess adjustments on the fly and in real-time from the comfort of their favorite listening chairs.