|Aura LSCP-2 Line Source Cinema Package|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Speaker Systems|
|Written by Tony Kaklamanos|
|Tuesday, 01 July 1997|
Not so long ago, owning a palatable home theater loudspeaker system was cost-prohibitive and somewhat room-dependent. Aura Sound has broken down these barriers by developing the LSCP-2 Line Source Cinema Package at a very affordable $799.99.
Aura Systems, makers of the Aura Sound cinema speaker systems, has yielded 20 patents over the years in the pursuit of economical but excellent loudspeaker performance. The LSCP-2 is no exception. Four identical two-way bass reflex, LSB-527M, bookshelf speakers utilize 5.25-inch high-definition polypropylene woofers and the patented Line Source monopole tweeter to fill out the mains and surrounds. These speakers are magnetically shielded, allowing close proximity to TVs, and include a proprietary low-frequency alignment design, resulting in a low, tight bottom end from a small enclosure.
For controlled dispersion and increased handling for maximum bass output, the LSC-537M center channel speaker doubles up on the 5.25-inch woofer, incorporating dual woofers, the patented monopole tweeter and magnetic shielding.
The LSS-107A active subwoofer employs a built-in 100-watt amplifier. The 10-inch woofer is down-firing, using the floor as an acoustic reflector. This design allows the reproduction of frequencies down to 40 Hz. Variable sensitivity, cut-off frequency and phase adjustments are included.
Using the standard binding post terminals, hooking up the LSB-527M and LSC-537 speakers is no hassle at all. The LSS-107A subwoofer, however, can be hooked up two different ways. There is an RCA-type input for those of you who own a receiver or AV preamp with a dedicated subwoofer output for a direct and simple connection. If you're using an older receiver without a subwoofer out, don't sweat it. The LSS-107A subwoofer also is armed with two pairs of input and output terminals. Simply connect the left and right front speaker outputs from your receiver to the corresponding inputs on the subwoofer. Then connect the subwoofer right and left outputs to the two front LSB-527M (main) speakers. Now you're off and running.
Music and Movies
Personally, I prefer loudspeaker systems exhibiting a live presence. I dig that very present and forward "sound reinforcement"-type sound that is heard in well-mixed small venue environments. Aura's Line Source does just that, particularly in the upper-midrange and high-end. The sound is accurate and natural. This is accomplished through the proprietary Line Source tweeter, which features an innovative Etched Voice Coil (EVC) and Controlled Flexibility Diaphragm (CFD). This thing looks pretty funky, kind of like a celluloid flat-front bi-radial horn.
Another fine feature that is sometimes overlooked in modestly priced systems is tuned vented ports. The LSB-527 enclosures are vented in the rear, while the LSC-537M (center channel) is vented in the front. This allows the enclosure to "breathe" for greater power handling and low frequency extension.
This system delivers an outstanding flat frequency response without any bumps along the frequency continuum. On Joan Osborne's Relish (Polygram Records), the cymbal crash subtly fades off -- the haunting vocal resonating -- and then, the harmonic splitting tenor sax solo screams, true and unadulterated.
I put all types of source signals through the LSCP-2, from Pro Logic Surround, Dolby 3 Stereo and Dolby Digital to simple broadcast and VHS stereo. The result: the fidelity of the source material seemed to be delivered as it was originally intended. Of course, the most enjoyable listening experience was the Dolby Digital application. The LSCP-2 followed every nuance of "Armageddon." The shoot-out scene towards the end of "LA Confidential" had me ducking bullets.
What about power handling? The LSCP-2 demonstrated very little distortion, even at high output levels, performing admirably with the Sherwood Newcastle A/V receiver that delivers 165W (x2) into the mains, 120 Watts (x2) to the rear and center channels.
As for appearance, the industrial design of this product is inoffensive. The cabinets are well constructed and the look is clean: black with visible wood grain. The cloth grill is contoured with care.
The grill on the LSB-527Ms and SLC-537M is contoured and appears to be acoustically tuned for accurate dispersion. My first impression was that this grill structure might color the output signal. The truth of the matter is that after listening with the grills on, then off, and on, then off, and on . . . there was very little difference. However, the enclosures look very cool with the grills off (not recommended).
In addition, what proved to be a real positive for my listening taste may prove to be the bane of someone else's existence: the flat frequency response. Some people prefer a softer, less realistically bright sound. Depending on your taste, you may need to use your receiver to add and subtract via EQ.
The connection terminals on the LSB-572Ms and the LSC-537M are a little on the tight side. I hooked the system up using superior Camelot Technology cables terminated with spade lugs. The spade lugs would not fit the side-by-side binding posts. I had to utilize banana plug adapters to make things jive.
Last and certainly least, Aura has developed this nice compact system, but it seems the subwoofer is a little on the large size in contrast to the other components. However, I wouldn't want to compromise any existing features on the subwoofer. If making the enclosure smaller did so, well, forget it.
If true replication and value is the door, the LSCP-2 is the key. For the money, this system is hard to beat: great stereo imaging and pinpoint accuracy in surround applications, attractive and compact.
Again, whether or not the flat frequency response is a positive attribute will entirely be up to you. It was music to my ears. In fact, I wonder if Aura Sound has overlooked a potential market: entry level near field recording monitors. I have yet to try this application on my home recording suite, but I plan to.
Aura Sound has really come through delivering a system with an entry-level price tag and high-end sound. Give this one a good listening to.