The Sound of Style Page 9

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Infinity TSS-4000 For the Infinity TSS-4000 system, all three satellite speakers exhibited moderate sensitivity, limited low-frequency capability, and smooth on-axis response. The vertically oriented SAT4000 left/right front and SAT1100 surround satellites also had tightly controlled horizontal directivity, but the horizontally arrayed CENTER4000 speaker began lobing at 15° off-axis. The effect became progressively more severe at wider listening angles, reaching by 45° a 4-octave-wide, 16-dB-deep notch centered at 1.3 kHz. Although the SUB750 subwoofer's crossover dial markings range from 50 to 150 Hz, its acoustical range measured only 76 to 134 Hz, and there was a large, -12-dB interaction betweeen the crossover and level controls over the full rotation of the crossover dial. The system had good output at 62 Hz, but dynamic capability fell at 12 dB per octave below that frequency.

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Mirage Omnisat V2 series Because they share a common driver topology, the curves for the V2 FS left/right front, V2 CC center, and V2 surround speakers in the Mirage Omnisat V2 system have a similar characteristic, marked by a raised low-frequency band and roughened highs that are shelved downward above approximately 1 kHz. Directivity was quite uniform at all listening angles. The speakers also had unusually low sensitivity. The S10 subwoofer had above-average dynamic capability and virtually no level/crossover control interaction. The actual acoustical turnover frequencies varied only between 60 and 101 Hz although the dial was marked from 40 to 120 Hz.

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Polk Audio RM30 Polk Audio's RM30 left/right front satellite had well-controlled directivity, with a curious 3-dB hump between 1 and 2 kHz and roughness at higher frequencies. The RM302 center speaker began lobing at 15° off-axis, and this became progressively more severe at wider listening angles. The RM101 surround also had well-controlled directivity, but the roughness between 1.5 and 8 kHz and shelved response above 8 kHz showed in every trace I ran, at every angle. The PSW404 subwoofer had moderate overall dynamic capability but delivered 105 dB SPL between 40 and 62 Hz. Although the crossover control is specified as 60 to 125 Hz, the true acoustical range varies from 66 to 113 Hz, and there was a moderate (-3.5-dB) interaction with the level control.
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