Definitive Technology BP7002 Home Theater Speaker System

Looking for a good test DVD for Definitive Technology's BP7002 system, I settled on the swashbuckling Master and Commander. The commander, Jack Aubrey, portrayed by Russell Crowe, set sail in 1805 in this adaptation of Patrick O'Brian's historically accurate novel, but the special effects and sound quality are definitely 21st century. Whether it's fusillades of cannonballs or the roaring 40s blowing around Cape Horn, the DVD can test the mettle and endurance of any speaker system - not to mention the floor, ceiling, and walls. If the Definitive Tech speakers did their jobs right, I'd need a Dramamine.

The system consists of a pair of BP7002 front towers, the hefty C/L/R 2500 center speaker, and the trapezoidal BP 2X surrounds. Unlike the front left/right speakers in your typical home theater systems, the BP7002s are bipolar, as are the surrounds. Bipolar speakers typically produce a more spacious sound by radiating equally (and in phase) from both the front and back.

All three front speakers have powered subwoofers built in, eliminating the need for an external sub with all its connection issues while relieving your receiver or power amplifier from having to feed the power-hungry woofers. The sub in the C/L/R 2500 center speaker fires upward to simplify its positioning, and the speaker is shielded to prevent its magnets from distorting the color on direct-view tube TVs. It has the common configuration of a tweeter flanked by a pair of woofers, which produces better-defined sound in a horizontal orientation than a single woofer and tweeter.

You can wire all three front speakers to your amplifier or receiver with plain speaker cable, as I did, allowing their crossovers to send the appropriate frequencies to each driver, including the subwoofers. Or you can connect the line-level subwoofer/LFE (low-frequency effects) output of your receiver to the center sub and use speaker connections for the left and right.