Artison Shows Off its Masterpiece

Artison has turned the soundbar concept on its ear at CEDIA 2013. The Masterpiece LCR DualMono MK2 on-wall speaker system produces three front channels from two speakers flanking the TV. Each enclosure is made of extruded aluminum and comprises a “curved line array” of 16 tweeters with a pair of carbon-fiber woofers mounted above and below for a system total of 40 drivers.

Designed by Artison President Cary Christie, who developed the first on-wall speaker designed to integrate with a flat-panel TV a decade ago, the system’s unconventional driver layout is designed to produce a wide horizontal image with controlled vertical dispersion for mid and high frequencies, while patented DualMono technology focuses dialogue and other center-channel information in the middle of the TV screen. The center channel is produced by the inside column of tweeters and the woofers on top, while left- and right-channel sound is projected from the outer tweeter columns and the lower woofers.

The speakers are 29.6 inches tall, 6.3 inches wide and only 2.4 inches deep, making them ideal for flat panels with screens 55 inches or larger. The system is rated to play down to 80 Hz for hand off to a subwoofer and recommended power is 100 to 250 watts. A pair of LCRDM-MK2s sells for $3,000, which includes wall mounting brackets. An optional in-wall kit with magnetic grilles is available and you can order custom grilles to match the exact height of your TV.

Artison also previewed a new series of in-wall subwoofers designed to virtually disappear into the living space. The RCC 320 ($899, due out in October) and RCC 640 ($1,499, due out in December) feature multiple drivers facing each other in a "reactance cancelling" configuration. The result is an enclosure that loads through a forward firing slot while cancelling vibration that would normally transfer into the wall. The 320 uses four proprietary drivers with a combined surface area greater than a 10-inch woofer, while the 640 has eight drivers and a combined surface area comparable to that of a 14-inch woofer.

Available in retrofit and pre-construction versions, both subs are made of extruded aluminum and do not require a back-box for installation; retrofit models include a paintable magnetic grille. Artison also previewed the 600-watt RCC 620 amplifier, which can drive two RCC 640 modules or up to four RCC 320s. The amplifier will sell for $799 when it becomes available in October.