Dual 15-inch drivers produce 130 dB maximum output at 20 Hz
Wisdom Audio announced the STS In-Wall Subwoofer, which boasts an incredible 130 dB output capability at 20 Hz combined with an outstanding 5 kW power handling capability and an incredible 101 dB sensitivity, delivering both superlative efficiency along with astonishing deep bass output.
Building on the success of the Wisdom Audio SCS compact dual-driver architectural subwoofer featuring their exclusive RTL technology, the STS seeks to re-define subwoofer performance in a package that includes some of the world's widest and most ambitious range of installation scenarios. Within the surprisingly space-efficient cabinet that is only 17 3/4″ wide and 36″ deep, the STS houses dual ultra high-performance 15-inch subwoofer drivers and Wisdom Audio's exclusive Regenerative Transmission Line rear wave recovery and reinforcement system. This arrangement provides increased deep bass output; increased sensitivity (efficiency) along with flatter power response and lower distortion than is possible via conventional sealed cabinet subwoofer technology.
Regenerative Transmission Line Technology
Once popular with audiophiles looking for deep bass from a compact cabinet, the transmission line design was short-lived. A transmission line loudspeaker usually featured a relatively small bass or full-range transducer (8-inch or less) in a cabinet that included a complex labyrinth of channels behind the driver. Thos channels provided a dissipative path for the acoustical energy coming from the rear of the diaphragm (cone), such that only energy from the front of the driver emanated from the speaker cabinet. Even though it produced rich sounding bass, the drawbacks to this method were decreased output, lower efficiency and limited power handling capacity. Consequently the technology never really found widespread acceptance.
At the time that transmission line speakers found their way into the audiophile milieu back in the 1950's, proposals for a higher efficiency, higher output transmission line system where the driver's rear energy was utilized and not discarded were theorized, but due to the unavailability of sophisticated computer modeling technology, were never fully realized.
The Wisdom Audio STS
Now, Wisdom Audio's RTL technology expands upon those concepts and realizes substantial benefits. The new STS high performance subwoofer provides designers and installing dealers with a host of advantages along with a level of performance that simply can't be found elsewhere.
The STS features a slim-profile cabinet (less than 18 inches wide) that can be easily installed in both standalone and hidden applications. For maximum installation flexibility, the STS features an output port that can be quickly and easily re-positioned from the slim cabinet's front to either of the two cabinet sides. In addition, the STS comes with a hidden installation option via a port extension that allows for the STS itself to be installed in a closet, under a floor, in a ceiling or some other hidden locale within or adjacent to the room.
Compared to traditional theater-type subwoofers, which often eschew detail in favor of acoustical output, the STS provides both, which translates into not only prodigious deep bass output, but also deep bass with detail, definition and musicality. With two very high efficiency 15-inch subwoofer drivers and Wisdom Audio's proprietary Regenerative Transmission Line technology, the STS boasts remarkable acoustic performance:
- 130 dB maximum SPL at 20 Hz (this is a remarkable 15 dB above the requirement for commercial theater Low Frequency Effects acoustical output) – 101 dB sensitivity @1W/2.83V/1m – 5 kW power handling peak
- 20 Hz – 80 Hz ±2 dB response (relative to the target curve)
Each bass driver features a massive cast aluminum alloy frame, along with a substantial neodymium magnet motor assembly, and a 4-inch edge-wound copper voice coil with an exceptional 11,000 Gauss (1.1 Teslas) magnetic field in the gap. Each driver also boasts a peak power handling of 2.8 kW, and both are parallel-wired for maximum efficiency and power handling.
The Best of Both Worlds
Compared to conventional subwoofers, the Wisdom Audio STS provides two significant benefits:
- Prodigious Bass Output — With a peak output of 130 dB, the STS can provide room-filling, seat-shaking bass for large and very large home theater rooms. When connected to Wisdom Audio's Sage Series electronics, the STS gains additional advantages due to Audyssey's MultEQ room acoustic measurement and correction system, which fine tunes the system response for optimum matching with the subwoofer and the other speakers in the system as well as the room.
- Very High Efficiency — As the efficiency of the STS is an astounding 101 dB/W, the system provides substantial bass output for comparably low amplifier power. The inherent efficiency of the RTL technology ensures that even at elevated bass levels, the dual 15-inch high efficiency/high power drivers are individually coasting and are nowhere near being overly taxed.
Price and Availability
The Wisdom Audio STS subwoofer will be available in October 2010 with a suggested retail price of $10,000.00.
“Unlike traditional subwoofer designs, the STS sonically complements the speed and clarity of our planar magnetic transducer based speakers, and is the ideal solution for the large scale Sage systems.”
— Mark Glazier, President of Wisdom Audio