B&W Unveils Compact Custom Theater Lineup - CT700 Series
Bowers & Wilkins’ Custom Theater lineup, which brought the world-standard performance of B&W’s 800-series Nautilus™ designs to high-end custom-installed home theaters, created quite a stir upon its introduction two years ago. Now the British maker will unveil a new, more widely accessible Custom Theater lineup at the 2007 CEDIA Expo in Denver, Colorado. B&W’s CT700 Custom Theater lineup is more modest in enclosure size, and considerably more modest in price than the frankly cost-no-object Custom Theater 800 range—yet it delivers precisely the same kind of jaw-dropping sonic impact, timbral and dialog integrity, and sonic transparency as its larger siblings.
The CT700 comprises three different front/surround-channel options, 10-inch and 12-inch subwoofers, plus an outboard, rack-mounted subwoofer amplifier of 1,000 watts. All five 700-series loudspeaker elements are finished in a durable matte black, being intended for custom-installed concealed locations behind acoustically transparent screens, in custom cabinetry, or built into custom theater partitions. (To facilitate such designs, maximum depth of all CT700 models is 10.5 inches.)
The new CT700 models uniformly employ B&W’s well-known, proprietary woven-Kevlar® materials technology in their midrange and low-frequency drivers. There, its unique acoustic properties inhibit unwanted vibrations, for impressive freedom from the colorations that degrade transparency and realism.
To eliminate reflections from projectors or other bright light sources all cones in the CT700 models utilize Blue Kevlar. Similarly, all CT700 models (save the subs) employ B&W’s famous Nautilus™ tube-loaded tweeter design to absorb the unwanted back wave from their high-frequency drivers, greatly promoting clarity and detail, as well as its FlowPort™ turbulence-canceling cabinet vents for improved bass definition and dynamic agility.
There are three options for CT700-series front and surround channels. The CT7.3 LCRS is a three-way layout using dual 8-inch Kevlar woofers, a 6-inch Kevlar midrange, and 1-inch cloth-dome, Nautilus-loaded tweeter. The two-way CT7.4 LCRS employs dual 6-inch Kevlar mid/bass drivers with the same tweeter system, while the generally similar CT7.5 LCRS substitutes a single 7-inch Kevlar mid/bass unit. All three CT700 variants are rigorously engineered for precisely matching timbre and overall transient and dynamics characteristics, so that a system may be freely laid out between any combination of models.
The 700-series Custom Theater subwoofers are compact, closed-box designs to facilitate installation in cabinetry or partitions. The CT SW12 utilizes a single very long-throw 12-inch driver composed of a paper/Kevlar composite, while the CT SW10 is proportionately identical using a 10-inch cone. Both CT700 subs are intended for use with their new companion, the SA1000 Subwoofer Amplifier. This deceptively compact (2U rackmount) unit less than 4 inches tall and barely 17 pounds in weight nonetheless produces an astounding 1,000 watts of subwoofer-range power, thanks to its ultra-efficient ICEpower™ Class D amplifier design. The SA1000 also incorporates extensive crossover flexibility, including equalization custom-tailored to the CT700 woofers, delivering deep-bass extension all the way to 18 Hz (CT SW12). Designers may easily specify multiple subwoofers, using each SA1000 to power as many as two units.
All of the Custom Theater CT700 models are supplied in matte black finish, with acoustically transparent, magnetically affixed grilles.
B&W’s newest Custom Theater models will be available from October 2007, at the following manufacturer’s suggested prices:
CT7.3 LCRS $1,500
CT7.4 LCRS $1,000
CT7.5 LCRS $600
CT SW10 $tba
CT SW12 $tba
SA1000 Subwoofer Amplifier $tba