Atlantic Technology recently announced immediate deliveries of three StreamNet-enabled in-wall loudspeakers designed to use NetStreams whole-house internet-protocol (IP) technology. Remarkably, these loudspeakers take further advantage of IP technology for significantly improved audio performance, sound quality, and adaptability to local acoustic conditions.
These sonic improvements are made possible by using separate, individually-equalized power amplifiers for the tweeter and the woofer...a configuration known as active bi-amplification. It allows the speaker designer to use digital processing to create the ideal audio signal for each separate speaker driver, and to totally by-pass the use of conventional electrical crossover networks, which can be difficult to equalize and inefficient.
"IP technology is a game changer for loudspeaker designers," said Peter Tribeman, President, Atlantic Technology. "It's like going from chemical photography to digital photography. By giving speaker designers the ability to deliver the optimal audio signal directly to each individual transducer, it opens up a world of new possibilities. The signal stream remains digital all the way from the recording studio through the NetStreams system, until it reaches our speakers. The end user enjoys every last bit of potential performance from our speakers."
The new Atlantic Technology IWTS-4 LCR-IP, IWTS-7 LCR-IP and IWTS-14 LCR-IP loudspeakers are designed for home theater and music applications. They are based on three of the company's most popular models, and each also includes a conventional crossover network for traditional installations. A rear-panel switch selects between the conventional speaker wire input connectors and the NetStreams Phoenix-style connector.
While the basic concept of StreamNet-enabled speakers is relatively straightforward, Atlantic Technology's long history of in-wall innovation provides several unique design advantages that make them especially well-suited to NetStreams' applications. Atlantic Technology in-wall speakers include sophisticated adjustments to optimize for varying room absorptive characteristics, Boundary Compensation switches to tailor their frequency response depending on how close to an adjacent wall they're mounted, and Atlantic's exclusive Directional Vector Control (DVC•) to electronically direct the sound up or down from the speaker – without having to resort to unsophisticated mechanical "pivoting tweeters." Only Atlantic speakers provide the end-user with this comprehensive array of acoustic optimization controls, and now they have all been recreated in the StreamNet-enabled mode. Atlantic and NetStreams engineers worked hand-in-hand for months to replicate every single one of the Atlantic equalization and adjustment curves digitally in the NetStreams electronics.
Another benefit to the NetStreams mode is that the signal completely avoids all the resistors, capacitors, and inductors in the passive crossover, so there is no insertion loss. As a result, the system will play as much as 5dB louder. This means that the NetStreams' 50-watt amplifiers are the functional equivalent of conventional 160-watt amplifiers. The whole system plays louder, cleaner, with less distortion, and perfect uniformity from one speaker to the next.
The Atlantic Technology IWTS-4 LCR-IP, IWTS-7 LCR-IP and IWTS-14 LCR-IP are now shipping to dealers, and they have suggested retail prices, with grilles and frames, of $250, $385, and $515 each respectively. To help installers control costs, the grilles and frames for the two top models can be purchased separately in advance for $60 and $65 each. This allows the custom installation contractor to install the frames, but delay purchasing the more expensive components until near the end of the job.