|Definitive Technology BP7000SC Bipolar Super Tower Loudspeakers|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Floorstanding Loudspeakers|
|Written by Andrew Robinson|
|Thursday, 01 March 2007|
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Definitive Technology has built one of the single most impressive brands in the highly competitive world of loudspeakers. Definitive has built a name where they are a “call brand” loudspeaker that consumers demand with the likes of Bose, Boston Acoustics, B&W, Paradigm, Klipsch and a handful of the other biggest manufacturers. While Definitive Technology’s ads and mighty distribution certainly have aided the company’s growth, it is more the bang for the buck performance that keeps consumers asking for them and dealers pushing. Whether you are looking for wafer-thin speakers for your new 63-inch HDTV or you need no-holds-barred audiophile floor-standing speakers, Definitive has a solution for you. In the case of this review, the Super Towers are in the latter class – they are ultimate floor-standing speakers, a statement without question in terms of sound as well as value.
The BP7000SCs arrived at my house right on the heels of some of audiophiles’ most touted and coveted loudspeakers: Magnepan 3.6, Gallo Reference, Martin Logan and even Wilson Audio. My room prior to the BP7000SC Super Towers’ arrival was truly a revolving door of noncommittal relationships as I searched for Miss Right Now. Needless to say, the Super Towers had their work cut out for them.
I unpacked the BP7000SCs, which is without question a job for two people (or better yet, two installers), and sat them haphazardly in the middle of my room for a once-over. The BP7000SCs are truly epic in more ways than one. For starters, they are quite large, measuring a little less than nine inches wide by 16 inches deep and a towering 52-and-a-half inches high. Visually, the BP7000SCs are Definitive through and through, with their black piano gloss base and top plates and black fabric sides. The BP7000SCs are also quite heavy and, while I didn’t have a scale on hand to accurately measure the BP7000SCs’ true weight, I’d venture a guess and say they’re upwards of 150 pounds apiece. All of these figures add up to one gargantuan loudspeaker. However, their price of $4,998 a pair is rather modest in comparison to the competition, which can fairly be priced as much as four to five times the retail price.
Behind the seams, the BP7000SC has a true bi-polar design, with its high-mounted, dual six-and-a-half inch midrange drivers and single one-inch aluminum dome tweeter mirrored on the speaker’s backside. The BP7000SC is fairly efficient for a speaker of its size and stature, with a stated efficiency of 92dB into a rather benign eight-ohm load. Each of the BP7000SCs feature a 14-inch Super Cube® long-throw powered subwoofer, coupled to two 14-inch infrasonic radiators. The internal sub is powered by an internal ***1800-watt*** Class D amplifier, which gives the BP7000SC a stated frequency response of 11Hz-30kHz. Definitive Technology states that the single 14-inch sub inside the BP7000SC is capable of achieving depths equal to that of seven stand-alone Super Cube® subwoofers. If even half of that statement is true, we’re talking about a copious amount of bass. The subwoofer portion of the BP7000SC can be controlled via the speaker’s binding posts and large, rear-mounted volume pot or via the LFE input. This allows you connectivity options you just don’t get with even the highest-priced loudspeakers. However, due to the presence of a powered subwoofer, the BP7000SC must be plugged into a standard US outlet or power conditioner to take advantage of the prodigious bass capabilities.
After I took stock in all that the BP7000SCs had to offer, I began the process of integrating them into my system. For starters, I placed them in approximately in the same place where the Yao Ming-like Magnepan 3.6s had rested. This put the BP7000SCs roughly three feet from my front wall and two-and-a-half feet from each of the side walls. To be fully forthright, most of my speakers find themselves roughly in this position in my room, as this yields the best overall coherence and sound stage depth. However, unlike the Maggies, the BP7000SCs did sound best with considerable toe-in, with the main midrange drivers and tweeter coming to a point virtually right at the listening position. There was some minor tweaking here and there but, for the most part, I had achieved a suitable sound, at least throughout the midrange and high frequencies, with little effort. I connected the bass or Super Cube® portion of the BP7000SCs to my Meridian G68’s LFE output using a splitter. However, after much experimentation, I found I preferred to simply run the BP7000SCs full range through single and very sexy runs of Transparent Reference speaker cable. This configuration allowed me to set my processor’s speaker settings to Large and then dial in the sub’s overall volume at the speaker itself. This configuration also came in handy when I connect the BP7000SCs to my two-channel rig, consisting of a Mark Levinson 433 amplifier and matching 326 preamp (reviews pending on both Mark Levinson components), which doesn’t have a speaker setting and must run everything full-range. I ended up setting the volume dials on each of the speakers to roughly 10’o clock, with high noon signaling halfway. That’s a scary thought, considering the amount of blissful bass I experienced at such a low setting; needless to say, I didn’t really scratch the surface of the BP7000SCs’ sub-sonic output.
I must also point out that, for the course of this review, Definitive Technology sent me a matching full-range powered center, the L/C/R 3000, and a pair of bipolar surrounds, the BPVX/Ps. I should also mention that, should you invest in this system, the entire system price for what I’ve just described will run you roughly $7,500. Considering the price of most high-end multi-channel speaker groupings, it’s an astonishingly low figure for a full-range speaker system.