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B&W Releases Sphere Shaped PV1 Subwoofer

“The PV1 doesn’t look like any other subwoofer, and its performance is equally uncommon,” says B&W Loudspeakers Executive Vice President Chris Browder.

At the same time, the B&W industrial design moves the subwoofer from its traditional dark corner to pride of place, front and center, in today’s new-tech, “lifestyle” AV systems.

The new model’s aluminum-skinned pressure-vessel enclosure, visually unbroken by obtrusive controls or input panels (or even the driver cones, which are also aluminum dished for both functional andvisual effect), will fit into design conscious setups such as the growing population of plasma-monitor-based systems—most particularly, those that are assembled around B&W’s Flat Panel MonitorSeries (FPM).

The PV1’s singular, spherical pressure-vessel cabinet is formed from aluminum and composite materials to be strong, rigid, and free from virtually all vibration and internal resonance—a claim B&Wsays is easily proven by placing a hand on the unit while it is playing at a high volume: virtually zero palpable vibrations. A sphere is nature’s most compact, space-efficient way to enclose anygiven volume of air, and of course naturally eliminates all corners and with them whole classes of standing waves and other internal resonances. By solving the challenges of creating aspherical-section enclosure and thus taking box influences out of the equation, the PV1 delivers the output of its driver-amplifier system free of the colorations and restrictions that inhibit othersubwoofers.

The PV1’s heavy duty, aluminum dish 8-inch drivers operate back to back and are powered by a 500-watt amplifier designed to be compact and efficient.

The amp’s large output and substantial dynamic reserves join with the PV1’s dual drivers’ long throw and high output for results that would be exceptional for a typical subwoofer two to three timesits size. The PV1 is, in fact, just a little bigger than a bowling ball (H-13.2”, W-11.4”, D-13.7”) and weighs 45 pounds. Useful output extends down to an impressive 18 Hz (-6dB at 18Hz and 40/140Hzadjustable) while producing a musical response covering the full two and a half octaves of the true bass range.

The B&W PV1 supplies line-level input with fully adjustable bass-rolloff and level controls, and B&W’s unique Bass Alignment control to optimize the subwoofer for maximum extension or maximumoutput. There are also speaker-level inputs via a unique, space-saving RJ-11 connector, a pass-through “Link” line output, a phase-invert switch, and signal-sensing auto-on/off power controls.

Finished in brushed aluminum, the B&W PV1 Active Subwoofer will be available February 2004, at a manufacturer’s suggested price of $1,500.

Pictures and discussion can be found here: