Test Report: GoldenEar Technology 3D Array Ultra High-Performance Soundbar System Page 2

Setup

While the SuperCinema 3D Array is designed with placement above or below a wall-mounted flat-panel TV in mind — it comes with a template to help toward that end — you can also position it on a TV stand. I did exactly that, dropping the soundbar in front of a 55-inch LCD and angling its position toward my ears using the adjustable glides on the bar’s screw-on feet attachments.

The next step was to run speaker cables from my five-channel amp to the gold-plated multiway connectors on the SuperCinema 3D Array’s back panel. For best performance, GoldenEar suggests you clear away any stuff sitting between the bar and your room’s side walls, so I pushed the Triton Two tower speakers — also made by GoldenEar — that normally squat along- side my TV well out of the way.

Using GoldenEars stands for the SuperSat 3s, I positioned those speakers slightly behind my listening seat and pointed in toward my head. The relatively tall height allowed for the sound coming from the direct- radiating SuperSats to disperse a bit instead of beam- ing directly at my ears — a factor that helped provide a stronger sense of surround-channel envelopment.

After trying out a number of positions for the Golden- Ear ForceField 3, including my room’s front-right corner and against the front wall near the soundbar,?I had a duh! moment and hit upon a better placement strategy: in the same spot where one of my Triton Twos, which feature built-in subs, normally stands (about 2 feet forward from the back wall, and 2.5 feet from the side). Bass coming from the ForceField 3 subwoofer sounded decidedly less lumpy in this position — as it should have, considering how much time I’d previously spent tweaking the placement of the towers.

Less lumpy, but not quite perfect: The final setup step was to enable the ARC auto-setup/room EQ processing on my Anthem AVM50 preamp/processor. In my room at least, I’ve found ARC to work wonders in tightening up clarity and focus, not to mention bass- response evenness, though its effects in this case were limited to the subwoofer range so that it wouldn’t alter the sound of the other speakers during evaluation. After running the ARC setup, the system’s low end was definitely improved: It sounded solid and satisfyingly smooth. One additional tweak was to disregard ARC’s 160-Hz speaker crossover recommendation and set it instead to 120 Hz for all channels as per GoldenEar. (Yes, you’re permitted to do that without penalty.)

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