Atlantic Technology's System 4200e - New Woofer, New Look

Not content to rest on their laurels (laurels can be so uncomfortable at times), Atlantic Technology has upgraded their well-regarded System 4200 THX Select home theater speaker system by adding an "e" to the model number. Well, in all honesty, Atlantic Technology has done more than simply reprint brochures with the new nomenclature. (Although it is a great, money-saving idea...) The new improvements include permanently attached finishing panels on the front- and center-channel speakers and a couple of improvements to the system's subwoofer.


The original System 4200 was designed to utilize user-installed cosmetic side panels. Although side-panel variety is a great idea in theory, the use of permanently attached side panels typically winds up being easier and more practical (no additional parts and pieces for the dealers to stock and no additional assembly required of the customer). An additional benefit of the cabinet redesign is the creation of a slightly larger interior volume than in the previous models. Taking this into account, Atlantic Technology was able to tweak the satellites, giving them slightly better bass response.


Sonically, however, the largest improvement is to be heard from the 642e SB subwoofer. The new subwoofer includes a new 12" woofer with a magnet three times heavier than the one in the previous model's driver as well as a new cone design with a lower resonant frequency. Mounted in a sturdier cabinet, the new sub has improved output over the two lowest octaves plus a significant reduction in harmonic distortion. The 642e relies on a 300-watt internal amplifier and incorporates the company's Clear Filter Technology - said by Atlantic Technology to eliminate deleterious effects that the subwoofer's enclosure can have on sound quality.


According to THX, THX Select Certified products are designed for small to medium-sized residential rooms. Using Atlantic Technology's CORE (Custom Optimized, Room Enhanced) design philosophy, the 4200e is said to have timber characteristics very similar to that of the more exotic (and more expensive) System 8200 THX Ultra2 speaker package that's designed for larger room environments. The 4200e's center channel, 4200e C, features a unique tilting base design that makes it easy to aim the speaker directly at the listeners for optimum dialog reproduction. All three front speakers include controls for adjusting the sound quality based on each speaker's room placement. The 4200e SR surround speakers operate in either bipole or dipole mode thanks to a front-panel switch.

Cash, Check, or Charge?

The System 4200e from Atlantic Technology has a suggested retail of $3,500 for a 5.1-channel system. Purchased individually, the suggested retail prices are: 4200e LR, $930/pair; 4200e C, $550/pair; 4200e SR, $900/pair; and the 642e SB, $920/each. The system should be available at your local Atlantic Technology dealer now.