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B&W Redefines the Subwoofer

PV1’s Unique Small Size Belies Impressive Power and Extension

N. Reading, MA–January, 2004–The newest subwoofer from Bowers & Wilkins not only redefines how we expect a high-end subwoofer to look, it will redefine how we expect one to perform as well. The innovative PV1 Pressure Vessel Subwoofer, conceived by the British firm known around the world as the leading designer of high-performance loudspeakers for music and home-theater systems, breaks ground from all previous designs with a unique, spherical enclosure and all-new driver and amplifier concepts.

“The PV1 doesn’t look like any other subwoofer, and its performance is equally uncommon,” says B&W Loudspeakers Executive Vice President Chris Browder. “It is perhaps the most efficient and elegant marriage of driver and enclosure ever developed for a subwoofer, at any price.”

At the same time, the striking 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 PV1 is so stunning,” continues B&W’s Browder, “that we anticipate many owners will deliberately place it in a highly visible location up front.”

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 and visual effect), will fit gracefully 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 Monitor Series (FPM).

The PV1’s singular, spherical pressure-vessel cabinet is formed from aluminum and composite materials to be amazingly strong, rigid, and free from virtually all vibration and internal resonance–a claim 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 any given 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 a spherical-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 virtually every other subwoofer.

The PV1’s heavy duty, aluminum dish 8-inch drivers operate back to back (an intrinsically distortion-canceling layout), and are powered by a dedicated 500-watt amplifier designed to be radically compact and efficient. Engineering this electronics package to fit fully within the PV1’s modest form was no easy feat.

The amp’s impressive 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 times its 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 40/140Hz adjustable) while producing a smooth, 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 maximum output. 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 striking brushed aluminum, the B&W PV1 Active Subwoofer will be available February 2004, at a manufacturer’s suggested price of $1,500.

Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) is Britain’s leading exporter of loudspeakers, and is also the number-one imported brand in North America. Since 1966, B&W’s “Quest for Perfection” has resulted in a succession of technical loudspeaker innovations that have satisfied the world’s most demanding listeners. B&W’s rave reviews and universal acceptance as the monitor for classical music recordings have helped B&W become the dominant premium loudspeaker company throughout the world.
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