Definitive Technology BP2006TL Speaker System Page 2
Def Tech unleashed the idea of a powered subwoofer built into a tower speaker with the BP2000. Reviewers and consumers ate up the idea like a hot bratwurst late in the fourth inning. It's definitely convenient. There's no need to find room and run wiring for an extra subwoofer box in your listening room. That alone might have made the idea a bestseller, but, according to Def Tech, the idea really originated as a way to make the speaker sound better. Dual subwoofers (one in the left speaker and one in the right speaker) can provide more-linear bass reproduction throughout the room than a single one can. Since the sub is right there near the tweeter and midbass drivers, there are fewer potential timing or phasing problems. And, since Def Tech knows which subwoofer is going to be used with the mid and upper portions of the main speaker, they can optimize the entire system to take advantage of what each part does best.
Speaking of optimizing the system, building a good bipolar speaker means more than just slapping the same drivers on the backside of the cabinet and shipping it out the door. Definitive uses separate and different crossovers for the front and the rear drivers because, with a bipole, it's the total output of the front and rear that's important. The company spends oodles of time fine-tuning and voicing the speakers, doing real-world analysis in a real anechoic chamber at the NRC in Canada—an expensive, exhausting step other manufacturers often choose to forego in place of computer modeling. For speaker designers, the NRC is the equivalent of Mecca, the Vatican, or Cooperstown, depending on your religion. It's kind of like the difference between taking batting practice on your PlayStation and walking up to the plate and really swinging at 90-mile-per-hour-plus fastballs. (We know which one McGwire does.)
Listening to the BP2006TLs, the first thing I sensed was that something was wrong. As far as tower speakers go, these aren't that big, and yet the sound coming out was big—way bigger than what I thought was physically possible! And that was the impression with just casual listening. Acoustically simple pieces like "Fatherless at 14," a sad but sweet song by Kendall Payne (from Jordan's Sister), came across with the singer's voice rock-solid in the center, flanked by the guitar accompaniment on the left and right. You could easily imagine yourself sitting there in the studio with her as she cut this piece. The detail was pinpoint and precise, like a fine European speaker, yet the bass was not shy (nothing dinky here!). The soundstage was big and bold. Additional discs confirmed that these are not just fine music speakers—they're fantastic music speakers.
Next out of the box was the C/L/R 2300. At only 5¾ inches tall, 19½ wide, and 12 deep and sporting a black sock and end caps, it looks right at home on top of most any big tube or projection TV. To go along with its dual 4½-inch midbass drivers (the same ones found in the BP2006TL), there's an 8-inch long-throw woofer with a dedicated 150-watt amp. The woofer fires out of the top of the speaker (when positioned horizontally). There's even an LFE input on the back.