But the essential point to grasp is that the Minx system sound night/day different and better than other systems in its size/price class, in large part, we suspect, because of its use of exotic NXT/BMR (balanced mode radiator) drivers—driver of a type heretofore used only in expensive flagship stereo speakers from Naim.
In simple terms, NXT/BMR drivers behave like rigid pistons over part of the audible frequency range, but transition at higher frequencies to a entirely different mode of operation where the disc shaped drivers propagate sound waves through a rippling motion that originates in the center of the driver and spreads outward (picture waves spreading out concentrically, like those you would see if you tossed a pebble into the surface of a still pond). The result is a driver that handles lower and some middle frequencies like a high-quality piston-type driver, but whose dispersion characteristics become better and better the higher in frequency the driver plays.
The end result is a tiny and affordable system than not only sounds huge, but sounds surprisingly refined and sophisticated, too. Trust us on this one: the Minx can and will recalibrate your notion of what “entry-level” high-end speaker system can do.
From the very beginning Definitive Technology built its reputation in the marketplace by offering high-performance, high-value bipolar loudspeakers. The term “bipolar” means that the speakers radiate sound wave forward and backward at the same time (and in phase), in the process creating unusually broad and deep sound stages.
Now, Definitive has revised and in certain respects “re-invented” its Bipolar Series speaker family in ways that not only makes the new models sound better, but also makes them a better value than ever before. We’ll highlight some of those key changes, below.
In the past, Definitive’s bipolar models have featured identical front and rear driver arrays, but after carefully evaluating the way these “symmetrical” bipolar arrays worked in most listened rooms, Definitive concluded that better overall sound might be achieved by using “asymmetrical” bipolar arrays. Instead of using identical groups of front and rear drivers, then, Definitive’s new BP models use similarly voiced but not identical front and rear arrays. On the new models, the front-side array is full-scaled (since it contributes most to the listener’s sense of precise imaging and focus), while the rear side array (which mostly helps balance out the speaker’s power response and creates a sense of greater soundstage depth and breadth) uses a slightly scaled-back driver array. This change helps preserve the strengths of Definitive bipolar designs, while giving them a noticeably more open and sharply focused character.
Next, Definitive gave the BP models across-the-board driver improvements, equipping them with the improved aluminum dome tweeters initially developed for the firm’s popular Mythos ST and STS speakers, and then giving them all-new, second-generation BDSS (balanced double surround system) midrange drivers equipped with a distinctive-looking Linear Response Waveguide/pole piece. The second-generation BDSS midrange driver is the most sophisticated of its type that Definitive has ever produced—and audibly superior to the first-generation BDSS driver used in the firm’s ProCinema and Mythos ST/STS-series speakers. Again, the benefit is a sound that is significantly more open and detailed, yet at the same smoother and less edgy.
Finally, the BP models feature improved self-powered subwoofer sections with new DSP-controlled class D woofer amplifiers. But one other change has also helped to improve manufacturing consistency and to control costs. In earlier-generation BP models, tower-type speaker were sold in mirror image pair (so woofers on both speakers could either face inward or outward, depending on the owner’s preference). This sounds like a nice idea on paper, but behind the scenes it was a bit of a logistics nightmare for the Definitive warehouse and (I’m told) for Definitive dealers (because it was all too easy to ship/deliver two “left” or two “right” towers by accident). But finally Definitive did carefully controlled listening tests and found that, at the frequencies where the woofers operated, there was no need to go to the costly extreme of building/shipping mirror image cabinet pairs. As a result, the new BPs all use common woofer placement while savings are effectively passed on to the customer in the form of a more accessible MSRP.