New Speaker Line from B&W Includes Center Channel, Surrounds

British loudspeaker maker B&W is moving into the home theater market in a big way with its new affordable CDM NT series. Four high-performance models include a center channel, freshly designed surround speakers, and two new full-range stereo pairs.

The new products use key technologies first incorporated in B&W's “statement” loudspeaker, the Nautilus 801. All CDM NT designs except the surround-specific CDMS NT incorporate the Nautilus’s prime concept: tapered-tube tweeter loading with a free-standing tweeter "pod." The combination is said to “contribute so much to the Nautilus families' world-renowned performance,” as do the series’ refined drivers and crossovers. B&W has a long tradition of letting its technical breakthroughs “trickle down” into more affordably priced products.

"With Nautilus-technology tweeters throughout the range and improved woofer and enclosure designs as well, the new CDM NT series gives B&W a truly world-beating ‘affordable high-end performance' range,” says B&W executive v.p. Chris Browder. “I'm completely comfortable in saying that there are no speakers, from Europe, North America, or elsewhere, that can equal them dollar for dollar in acoustic performance."

All four CDM NT loudspeakers feature B&W’s famous alloy-dome one-inch tweeter in a Nautilus-derived tapered-tube tweeter enclosure, said by the company to “efficiently and transparently absorb the high-frequency driver's back-wave radiation, setting new benchmarks for clarity and articulation.” The freestanding, hemispherical tweeter "pod" eliminates undesirable high-frequency reflections, for excellent detail and a precise soundstage. 6.5-inch bass/midrange drivers with woven-Kevlar diaphragms render clear midrange frequencies and punchy bass. Crossover networks are mounted on independent circuit boards for minimum interaction with each other, and enclosures are dense, solid and non-resonant. The claimed result: “clear, articulate mids and quick, defined bass . . . with impressive detail and low-level resolution abilities. ”

The CDMS NT is a wide-dispersion two-way system in an on-wall enclosure, said to be “a perfect match with low profile plasma screen televisions.” All new B&W speakers are available in real-wood finishes: Black Ash, Red Ash, and Cherrywood, and should be in stock at dealers now. Manufacturers suggested retail prices: CDM1 NT: $1,200/pr. CDM7 NT: $2,000/pr. CDMC NT (center): $600/ea. CDMS NT (surround): $1,200/pr. CDM1 NT stands: $350/pr.