|Definitive Technology BP3000TL Loudspeakers|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Floorstanding Loudspeakers|
|Written by Bryan Southard|
|Monday, 01 July 2002|
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Once connected, I spent several days optimizing the placement of the speakers in my room until I felt that they were performing at their very best. After I was satisfied with the placement, I installed spikes to assure that the bass performance was as solid as it could be. I have slab flooring beneath the speakers, which helps to assure a proper grounding of the cabinet.
In the song "Ground On Down" from Ben Harper's Fight for Your Mind (Virgin Records), I was particularly interested in the BP3000TLs' ability to handle the heavy bass information and to delineate guitar lines at the same time. The bass was very deep and abundant in this track. I typically do not run subwoofers in my audio system because I have never been able to properly blend subs to my satisfaction. With a slight adjustment of the bass level on the rear of the speakers, the lowest frequency information was integrated very well with the other supporting frequencies. Also, many speakers can struggle in the upper octaves during heavy bass passages, causing them to sound constrained and compressed. The BP3000TLs demonstrated a keen ability to separate this information due to their separate bass drivers and built-in amplifiers. Ben Harper's slide guitar was very detailed. The top end of the BP3000TLs intrigued me from the beginning. With some music, the upper octaves had the propensity to be on the aggressive side of neutral, yet on others, they sounded pleasantly smooth. After living with the speakers and acclimating myself to their sound, I determined that they were not aggressive, but rather extraordinarily revealing, perhaps so much so that they are somewhat unforgiving. This description is not meant as a negative, as the overall goal in reproduction is to achieve every recorded frequency. The BP3000TLs consistently delivered everything recorded, good or bad. The slide guitar in this cut had the information necessary to turn what many speakers provide as merely the distant squeal into a blues instrument that gave me goosebumps up and down my spine. I listened to this cut several times over the review period and never failed to be amazed.
On the song "25 or 6 to 4" from Chicago’s IX Greatest Hits recording (Chicago Records), the BP3000TLs performed well. I have owned this cut in every format ever produced (LP, eight-track, CD) and have used it to audition hundreds of components over the years. I have great familiarity with the song's strengths and shortcomings and was impressed with the way the BP3000TLs handed both. Horns were distant, yet focused well. They weren’t forward, but they were immediate enough to sound engaging.
I had the opportunity to listen to many movies, both new and old, through the BP3000TLs. "The Others" (Dimension Films) served as a great platform for evaluation, as it contains a variety of sonic conditions. Much of this movie was quiet, yet provided abundant higher-frequency detail, with spots of great sonic and emotional impact. The BP3000TLs had a very effortless sound. They supplied extended dynamic range without being labored or constrained. The bass impact in the louder sections was massive, yet the subtle detail was still there, with a sense of ease. This is something that every speaker manufacturer will claim is true of a given product, yet many loudspeakers can sound stressed and dynamically squeezed at high volumes. These speakers had completely involved me (of course, I was partially overcome by fear). The BP3000TLs are both revealing and forceful.
When compared to my current reference setup of two Sunfire True Subwoofer Signature Subs, the bass performance of the BP3000TLs was similar, at times less solid, but with comparable impact. The Def Techs blended better than I have been able to achieve with my Sunfire subs and my Revel Salons.
I did not have the opportunity (because of the logistics of my upcoming move to a new house) to review any of Definitive Technology center or rear speakers, but I can still discuss some seemingly sensible options that they provide.
In combination with the BP3000TLs, Definitive Technology recommends the CLR3000 center-channel speaker, which has its own integrated powered subwoofer, for $999. The BPBVP bipolar rear speakers, which also have integrated subs, are priced at $1,500 per pair. This may sound like a lot of sub support, but balance is the name of the game. I am intrigued by the philosophy.