Phase Tech Updates dARTS Calibration System

Phase Technology, the company that invented the soft-dome tweeter nearly 50 years ago under the United Speakers Systems banner, will demonstrate a new version of its sophisticated dARTS room calibration system at the upcoming CEDIA trade exhibition that opens in Dallas on September 15.

The latest version of dARTS—short for Digital Audio Reference Theater System—is integrated into Phase Tech’s 660 and 535 series speaker systems, each of which comprises performance-matched speakers and an advanced digital amplifier/processor said to precisely calibrate the speakers’ output to compensate for room acoustics; all drivers in the system are critically matched to within 0.5 dB of one another.

“By using full digital amplification and digitally tuned crossovers, dARTS speakers can be matched to one another to incredibly fine tolerances,” explained Ken Hecht, vice president of R&D. “This is a truly one-of-a-kind system that takes the listening room’s acoustical anomalies out of the equation, letting listeners enjoy the pure movie sound soundtrack and music that the artists intended.”

The new dARTS speaker systems are available in a variety of configurations—including tower, monitor, in-wall, and custom boxes—that can accommodate spaces up to 18,000 cubic feet. All speakers use PhaseTech’s signature silk-dome tweeters and 5.25- or 6.5-inch woofers made from a three-layer composite of glass fiber and Nomex honeycomb materials.

To insure reference-level performance, every dARTS system is calibrated and aligned to a custom response curve at the factory before it is shipped. Once set up at home, calibration software that integrates Audyssey MultEQ processing removes response anomalies imposed by room acoustics. The updated version of dARTS utilizes a custom version of MultEQ Pro and a new 16 x 250-watt amplifier (DP4000 IA) featuring increased dynamic power. Phase Tech says no external equipment is required for setup or testing other than a standard Audyssey Pro calibration kit.

Retail pricing for a dART-equipped system ranges from $17,000 to $49,000 for a full-blown 7.4.4-channel Dolby Atmos setup.

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javanp's picture

Is that really the cheapest those systems go for? They have some pretty small systems that seemed like they would be much more affordable, especially for a 5.1 system. Regardless, I would say it's still worth it. I heard their system at CEDIA in Denver a few years ago and I thought it was better than the JBL Synthesis on demo at the show. It was a pretty easy comparison because they played the same clip from Open Range. dARTS sounded loud, clean, and controlled whereas Synthesis sounded loud, harsh, and boomy. Though I am coming to realize that people actually do like that exaggerated "cinema" sound. Maybe it's just preference.

bkeeler10's picture

Yes, the least expensive 5.1 dARTS system retail price is about $17k. I tend to agree with you regarding Synthesis. I have heard it a couple of times at CEDIA too. It is impressive in some ways, but I ultimately don't enjoy it as I find it too harsh and fatiguing. I definitely prefer the dARTS system. It is very nice indeed, and quite a lot less expensive than Synthesis too.