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Technology Showcase: Ceiling Loudspeakers

New features offer better control over positioning and environmental challenges. 12/01/2008 7:00 AM Eastern

Technology Showcase: Ceiling Loudspeakers

Dec 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles

New features offer better control over positioning and environmental challenges.




Bose FreeSpace DS 100F

Bose FreeSpace DS 100F

The trend toward wall-mounted and ceiling-mounted loudspeakers has accelerated, and manufacturers have stepped up in response with advanced features including swiveling tweeters, tone adjustments, and stereo inputs. Some degree of tonal and directional control is a natural advance for ceiling loudspeakers since they are almost always mounted in places that are not ideal. They have to be mounted to accommodate ceiling joists, lighting fixtures, AC wiring, and other obstructions that often compromise their exact positioning. Heat and humidity in an attic or crawl space also threaten their survival, and sometimes special baffles are necessary to prevent sound in one room's loudspeakers from acoustically leaking into another room through a shared attic. With the challenges of location and environment in mind, let's have a look at what's available in the very competitive market of ceiling loudspeakers.

Designed to provide higher-than-average power and fidelity than has been traditionally associated with ceiling loudspeakers, the Formula FH6-C from Bic America uses six 1/2in. injection-molded woofers with high-power magnets to put out sound levels up to 116dB. With a sensitivity of 96dB, the unit employs a 1 1/2in., pivoting, mid/high-frequency horn with a neodymium magnet to round out the frequency response at 40Hz to 23kHz. The nominal impedance is 8Ω, and the power-handling range is from 10W to 150W. The connection terminals are gold-plated and each pair of FH6-C loudspeakers includes one pair of cloth décor grilles and a pair of paintable metal grilles. Mounting tabs aid installation.

The Bogen HFSF1 is a 7 1/4in. small-footprint ceiling loudspeaker for 70V or low-impedance ceiling systems. The unit includes selectable power taps for 16W, 8W, 4W, 2W, and 1W at 70V as well as 16Ω setting with the same front-mounted rotary dial under the grille. A quick-connecting terminal is removable for working in tight places above ceilings, and integral mounting clamps ensure a solid fit. The low-frequency driver is a 4in. polypropylene cone with a rubber surround, and the high-frequency driver is a 3/4in. polycarbonate dome providing a sensitivity of 86dB SPL and a frequency response of 78Hz to 20kHz. Maximum power input at 16Ω is 50W, and at 70V, the maximum power is 16W.

The surface-mount FreeSpace DS 100SF from Bose includes two Twiddler drivers and a proprietary articulated array can be easily rotated to maintain a 180-degree dispersion pattern. The power-tap settings for 70V and 100V systems are very easy to make with a thumbwheel either before or after installation. The unit provides a frequency response of 65Hz to 16kHz ±3dB, a sensitivity of 85dB, and long-term power-handling capacity of 100W.

Brand-new from Boston Acoustics (shipping in January) is the VSi580 with an 8in. DCD woofer in a cast basket and a pivoting 1in. aluminum VR tweeter in a cast-aluminum cup. For enhanced sound dispersion, it also features a cast-aluminum bezel, a floating tweeter island, and a dedicated boundary compensation switch. The reduced bezel and newly designed magnetic grille attachment are standard on all of the new ceiling loudspeaker models from Boston Acoustics.

For high power and maximum coverage in a ceiling loudspeaker, the Cloud 1299T from Community Professional Loudspeakers offers a two-way coaxial solution with a single-cast frame, a 12in. low-frequency driver, and a 1in. high-frequency compression driver that together provide 117dB SPL when tapped for 200W. The overall frequency response is 80Hz to 13kHz ±4dB, and the sensitivity is 94dB SPL. The unit also has built-in protection circuitry and selectable midband attenuation, and it may be used with 70V and 100V systems.

The DC365 from Dual Electronics features a treble volume control, two-way passive crossover, 1in. titanium-dome rotating directional tweeter, a power-handling capacity of 120W RMS and 180W peak, 8Ω nominal impedance, 92dB sensitivity, and a frequency response of 45Hz to 20kHz. Included are gold-plated loudspeaker-wiring binding posts, a paintable loudspeaker grille and frame, and tweeter-overload protection circuitry. The tweeter can be pivoted as much as 20 degrees off axis. The unit is covered by a limited two-year warranty.


Technology Showcase: Ceiling Loudspeakers

Dec 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles

New features offer better control over positioning and environmental challenges.




EAW markets the CIS50 5.25in. coaxial loudspeaker for flush-mount ceiling installation in 70V or 100V systems. The coupled HF cone and LF cone produce a frequency response of 100Hz to 20kHz, and the steel backcan with cable glands provides a solid attachment and durable enclosure. The grille assembly attaches from behind the baffle, and the driver/baffle assembly installs in the premounted backcan with spring-loaded hardware.

HiFi Works offers the HFW8R as part of a home surround-sound system. The 8in. woofer is black polypropylene with a rubber surround, and the 1in. tweeter has a cloth dome with ferrofluid-cooled voice coil. These provide a frequency response of 40Hz to 20kHz ±3dB, a power-handling capacity of 10W to 125W, a sensitivity of 91dB, and a nominal 8Ω impedance. The unit requires a 9in. cutout and is sold in pairs. The patented Roto-lock system aids installation, and the unit carries a five-year warranty on parts and labor.

The CX-8021 from HTX Audio has an 8in. woofer using a woven black fiberglass cone with an inverted butyl surround, a 1 1/4in. high-temp Kapton voice coil, and a 23oz. magnet. Highs are produced by a Neodymium ferrofluid soft-dome tweeter with a 1in. high-temp aluminum voice coil. These and the two-way, 12dB/octave 5000Hz crossover provide a frequency response of 55Hz to 22kHz ±3dB, a power-handling capacity of 80W RMS, and 160W peak along with a sensitivity of 90dB. The spring-loaded binding post terminals are suitable for loudspeaker wire up to 14 gauge.

Infinity Systems ERS610

Infinity Systems ERS610

Incorporating new technology in the form of ceramic metal matrix diaphragms (CMMD) for resonance-free response across their frequency range, maximum radiating surface (MRS) flatpanel transducer, a boundary compensation switch, and tweeter level controls, the ERS610 from Infinity Systems — a Harman company — has an 80Hz to 20kHz frequency response ±3dB, an 85dB sensitivity figure, 8Ω nominal impedance, 24dB per octave crossovers at 700Hz and 2kHz, and a recommended amplifier power range of 20W to 200W. The ERS610 also features dual 3in. midrange drivers, a 7 3/4"×3 3/8" low-frequency driver, and a 1in. high-frequency driver with acoustical waveguide. For high power and precise directivity, the relatively large external diameter of 12 3/4in. provides a solid base for sound projection with a weight of only 8lbs. The CMMD diaphragm is made of a ceramic compound called “Alumina” that is three times stiffer than titanium and 85 times stiffer than felted paper that is found in many loudspeaker cones.

Using the same driver technology already popular with the Extreme series of ceiling loudspeakers from JA Audio, the new 6 1/2in. EX-206C provides a two-way system with a fiberglass woofer and titanium tweeter to deliver a frequency response of 55Hz to 20kHz and 5W to 100W power-handling capability. The woofer is a yellow fiberglass cone with a rubber surround and sits at a 20-degree angle using the ceiling infinite baffle for maximum efficiency. With an 8Ω internal impedance and 89dB sensitivity, the EX-206C incorporates a high-end, 18dB crossover adjustable for tweeter level ±3dB, and the 25mm titanium-dome tweeter swivels to offer custom directivity. The unit also comes with a white aluminum grille.


Technology Showcase: Ceiling Loudspeakers

Dec 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles

New features offer better control over positioning and environmental challenges.




The JBL Control 47C/T uses a distinctive conical radiation boundary integrator to supply a waveguide for the 1in. soft-dome tweeter, while the 6 1/2in. polypropylene woofer with butyl-rubber surround and copper-clad coil projects through specially designed apertures in the RBI to provide an overall frequency response of 75Hz to 17kHz ±3dB. The large backcan on the unit assists with extended bass response. In 70V mode, the power taps allow 60W, 30W, 15W, and 7.5W settings. In bypass mode, the internal impedance is 8. The loudspeaker cable is attached with two removable locking 2-pin connectors with screw-down terminals. The Control 47C/T can handle 150W of continuous program power with a nominal sensitivity of 91dB.

Klipsch CDT-3800-C

Klipsch CDT-3800-C

The Klipsch CDT-3800-C uses a 1in. aluminum tweeter mated to a swiveling 100-degree Tractrix horn to produce an adjustable directivity that puts the sound where it is needed while having the loudspeaker mounted in the nearest available location. The 8in. woofer can rotate a full 360 degrees and then shift 15 degrees in any direction. Also featured is a treble contour switch, a frequency response of 56Hz to 20kHz ±3dB, a sensitivity of 92dB, nominal 8Ω impedance, a crossover frequency of 3455Hz, and a power-handling capacity of 50W (200W peak).

The CS10 ceiling-mounted subwoofer from Martin Audio is mounted in a fire-retardant MDF enclosure with a perforated steel grille and produces a maximum SPL of 115dB with a frequency response of 32Hz to 150Hz at -10dB. The unit has a nominal impedance of 8Ω and a sensitivity of 94dB. The connectors are rising-clamp plug-and-socket, and the grille is over-paintable.

The larger member of the Masterpiece Series from MAS Audio, the MAS-IC6, teams a 6 1/2in. woofer with a 1in. adjustable tweeter in a ported design to offer a frequency response of 55Hz to 20kHz at a sensitivity of 91dB. The unit can handle up to 150W and includes a ±3dB crossover switch to tailor the response. The unit is paintable and has push-type quick-connect clips for the wiring connections.

The Mirage Omnican OC-65 is designed for indoor or outdoor ceiling installation with a weather-resistant enclosure that mounts slightly below the plane of the ceiling to allow more coverage from its patented Omniguide technology. The Omniguide module rotates to direct sound to suit the coverage area. The pure-titanium hybrid (PTH) tweeter and the 6 1/2in. titanium-deposit propylene woofer with ribbed elliptical surround, along with the 2.5kHz crossover, enable a frequency response of 65Hz to 20kHz ±3dB with a sensitivity figure of 90dB. The unit includes a paintable grille and bezel.

Niles Audio CM750DSC

Niles Audio CM750DSC

The CM750DSC from Niles Audio is designed primarily as a center-channel loudspeaker featuring a 7in. woofer assembly that pivots up to 20 degrees to focus bass and midrange along with a twist-and-lock baffle and frame mechanism to help with easy mounting. The talc, carbon, and ceramic cone is extremely rigid to produce clean bass; it also includes a butyl surround for resonance damping. The bridge-mounted tweeter pivot mechanism allows the tweeter to pivot up to 20 degrees. A flush-mount MicroPerf aluminum grille adds aesthetics in the final installation. The unit offers a frequency response of 55Hz to 20kHz, a 8Ω nominal impedance, and power handling from 10W to 25W. Included are a two-position dialogue-enhance control and a three-position tweeter-level control.

Among the models in the Signature Series from NXG Audio, the NX-Si8522 dual voice coil ceiling-mount loudspeaker system includes a Titan metallic-anodized, graphite-filled, injection-molded woofer cone with a rubber surround for extended bass response. The Tetron tri-laminated, woven soft-dome tweeter and 12dB-per-octave crossover produce a frequency response of 35Hz to 21kHz and a sensitivity of 88dB. The internal impedance is 6Ω nominal and 4Ω minimum with a power-handling capacity of 10W to 150W.


Technology Showcase: Ceiling Loudspeakers

Dec 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles

New features offer better control over positioning and environmental challenges.




In Pioneer's Elite EX Series, the S-IC891A features Coherent Source Transducer (CST) technology, a three-dimensionally aligned sound source for the tweeter, and midrange to precisely control sound directivity at all frequencies. The woofer is an aramid/carbon composite shell cone, the midrange is a 5 1/2in. magnesium cone, and the tweeter is a 1 3/16in. ceramic graphite HSDOM type. These provide an overall frequency response of 26Hz to 100kHz with a sensitivity of 87dB. The maximum input power is 150W with an internal impedance of 6Ω and crossover frequencies of 480Hz and 2kHz.

Polk Audio LC80fx

Polk Audio LC80fx

The Polk Audio LC80fx is intended for surround systems and has a solid and diffuse imaging feature that helps create the desired surround effect. The unit can handle anywhere from 10W to 125W with a nominal impedance of 4Ω, a frequency response of 30Hz to 27kHz, and an efficiency (sensitivity) of 88dB. The midbass is produced by an 8in. polypropylene dynamic balance driver, while the highs emanate from the two ring radiator tweeters. Wiring connects to a pair of heavy-duty, spring-loaded push terminals.

The C1030 from Proficient Audio Systems is a three-way system using a 10in. Kevlar woofer in a cast-magnesium basket, a 3in. Kevlar midrange cone, and 1in. pivoting aluminum tweeter. There are contour switches to add or subtract 3dB from midrange and treble, 200W power-handling capacity, 40Hz-to-20kHz frequency response, nominal 4 impedance, and 92dB sensitivity. The required PCB-C1000 preconstruction/retro-fit bracket is included. This steel-bracket assembly facilitates mounting through the loudspeaker cut-out in existing construction. The unit weighs 14lbs. and requires a ceiling cutout of 11 7/8in.

The CW170FR fire-rated in-ceiling loudspeaker system from PSB Speakers is enclosed in a 20-gauge steel can that has a clamp suitable for sheathed or armored cable. The woofer is a 6 1/2in. polypropylene coned coaxial with a 3/4in. soft-dome pivoting tweeter. The system has a built-in 70V/100V transformer with three power settings and a fourth position that bypasses the transformer. The frequency response is 80Hz to 20kHz with a power-handling capability of 20W to 100W and an internal impedance of 8Ω. The sensitivity figure is 92dB, and the unit includes four dog-leg-style clamps for easy mounting.

RBH Sound MC-815

RBH Sound MC-815

The RBH Sound MC-815 has an 8in. aluminum-cone woofer and a 1in. aluminum-dome tweeter to provide a frequency response of 45Hz to 20kHz ±3dB, a sensitivity of 91dB, and a power-handling capacity of 15W to 150W. The swiveling tweeters have protection circuitry that automatically resets, and the 12dB-per-octave crossover at 2.5kHz delivers crisp highs to the two-way system. As with all RBH in-ceiling loudspeaker products, the MC-815 includes a swing-out, dog-leg mounting system with prestarted screws for easy installation.


Technology Showcase: Ceiling Loudspeakers

Dec 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles

New features offer better control over positioning and environmental challenges.




Phoenix Gold, a division of Rodin, offers the ATC8DM for in-ceiling summed stereo or single-channel operation. The unit features an 8in. polypropylene woofer with a butyl-rubber surround and dual 19mm parachute silk-domed tweeters and dual voice coils. These deliver an overall frequency response of 38Hz to 28kHz at an internal impedance of 8Ω with a power-handling capacity of 15W to 150W. The dog-leg mounting system allows easy mounting and the spray-paintable frame and grille enable precise color-matching.

The SP-M8TT from Russound represents a top-end model in the company's Advantage line and is a two-way system featuring a woofer with an 8in. woven glass-fiber cone and a rubber surround. Together with the 25mm silk-dome tweeter with neodymium magnet, these components provide a frequency response of 40Hz to 20kHz ±3dB, internal 8Ω impedance, an efficiency (sensitivity) of 90dB, and recommended power handling of up to 200W. The unit also offers a 15-degree twist-and-tilt mount and 3dB high-frequency boost switch.

SoundTube CM890i

SoundTube CM890i

SoundTube offers the CM890i 8in. high-power coaxial in-ceiling loudspeaker with rapid installation features including the SpeedWing mounting system, separate low-profile grille and magnetic bezel, and speed tap power settings, all for easy installation. The power taps include 25V, 70.7V, and 100V along with 8Ω direct. Protective functions include an automatic reset for high-frequency driver protection. An 8in. woofer and 1in. compression driver provide a frequency response of 77Hz to 20Khz (-3dB), a sensitivity of 95dB, and an RMS power capacity of 125W.

The SP30PT from Speco Technologies is a unique design for special mounting situations. The unit is a hanging pendant loudspeaker that swings free of the ceiling and delivers 30W RMS and 60W peak power with a frequency response of 95Hz to 20kHz. There is also an internal transformer with a 70V/100V system selector switch with 10 settings, including 8Ω. The sensitivity figure is 92dB ±2dB, and the whole unit — including 5in. woofer and 1/2in. tweeter — weighs only 5lbs.

The CMS801 DC ceiling loudspeaker from Tannoy is designed to work with 70V and 100V systems, and it provides a number of different power taps. It features an 8in. Tannoy Dual Concentric that includes a multifiber paper-pulp mid-bass cone and a 1in. ferrofluid-cooled titanium-dome HF unit with a neodymium magnet system. These produce a frequency response of 47Hz to 30kHz ±3dB, a sensitivity of 92dB, and a nominal conical coverage angle of 90 degrees. The loudspeaker is available with or without an integral backcan for a variety of installation options.

Thiel Audio PowerPoint 1.2

Thiel Audio PowerPoint 1.2

The PowerPoint 1.2 in-ceiling loudspeaker from Thiel Audio is housed in a distinctive aluminum cabinet with a sloped front to provide directivity. The unit's combination of coplanar/coaxial 6.5in. woofer and 90-degree radiation pattern provide wide room coverage. The woofer and 1in. dome tweeter use Thiel's short-coil/long-gap motor system for low distortion and optimum tonal response. The frequency response is 75Hz to 20kHz ±3dB, sensitivity is 89dB, and the nominal internal impedance is 4Ω.

Valcom's 8in. Model V-1220C is an amplified loudspeaker with a frequency response of 80Hz to 10kHz with a 5oz. ceramic magnet and a signal-to-noise ratio of -70dB. The amplifier module has a distortion figure of less than 1.5 percent at the rated output of 1W RMS; it operates on a -24VDC positive-ground power supply with an operating current of 50mA. The two inputs have separate volume controls. One is a screwdriver-adjustable knob at the center of the grille, and the other is located on the back of the loudspeaker. The unit uses standard Cat-3, Cat-5, or Cat-6 cable.

The NS-IW560C from Yamaha contains an 8in. Kevlar-cone woofer, a swiveling 1in. titanium-dome tweeter, and gold-plated push-type loudspeaker terminals. With a 150W maximum-input signal-level capability, the loudspeaker has a 45Hz-to-28kHz frequency response, a sensitivity of 88dB, and 8Ω nominal impedance. The large power-handling capability is packed into a unit that weighs only 4.5lbs. It also features a high-quality crossover network designed to minimize distortion. The NS-IW560C comes with a paintable grille and frame along with a cutout template and paint-protective cover.

Yorkville Sound offers the Coliseum C165W ceiling loudspeaker with a program power-handling capacity of 65W, 100Hz-to-20kHz frequency response, and a sensitivity of 92dB. Designed for club or restaurant environments, the C165W has four power taps at each of the 70V and 100V system configurations. The unit has aluminum and ABS plastic construction and features screw terminals for connection.


Technology Showcase: Ceiling Loudspeakers

Dec 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles

New features offer better control over positioning and environmental challenges.




MORE INFORMATION

Bic America
www.bicamerica.com

Bogen
www.bogen.com

Bose
www.bose.com

Boston Acoustics
www.bostonacoustics.com

Community Professional Loudspeakers
www.loudspeakers.net

Dual Electronics
www.dualav.com

EAW
www.eaw.com

HiFi Works
www.hifiworks.com

HTX Audio
www.htxaudio.com

Infinity
www.infinitysystems.com

JA Audio
www.jaaudiousa.com

JBL
www.jbl.com

Klipsch
www.klipsch.com

Martin Audio
www.martin-audio.com

MAS Audio
www.mas-audio.com

Mirage
www.miragespeakers.com

Niles Audio
www.nilesaudio.com

NXG Audio
www.nxgtech.com

Pioneer Electronics
www.pioneerelectronics.com

Polk Audio
www.polkaudio.com

Proficient Audio Systems
www.proficientaudio.com

PSB Speakers
www.psbspeakers.com

RBH Sound
www.rbhsound.com

Rodin
www.rodinaudio.com

Russound
www.russound.com

SoundTube
www.soundtube.com

Speco Technologies
www.specotech.com

Tannoy
www.tannoy-speakers.com

Thiel Audio
www.thielaudio.com

Valcom
www.valcom.com

Yamaha
www.yamahaca.com

Yorkville Sound
www.yorkville.com


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