Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice
Those passive radiators function just as ports do, so the output is going to be the same as a pair of eight inch loaded ported subs.
That's one way to look at it. The other is that you can't put them in the sweetspot.
Q: How are speakers not like politics? They're always a compromise.
Mark - Always look forward to your reviews. As a very happy owner of a 5.1.2 Atmos system in my family room with Definitive 8060 towers and center who is considering setting up a full on home theater in a bedroom I am certainly interested in the 9000 series. I do wish you were reviewing the bigger 9060 or 9080's, though - I didn't really love the 8040 or 8020 towers, it seemed as though the smaller mid drivers weren't quite balanced right with the tweeters and the bass, but the 8060's sounded almost perfectly balanced and much better overall.
About powered woofers, maybe my ears are used to that particular sound, but every time I listen to price-competitive direct radiating speakers (Martin Logan Motion, B&W CM, etc.) they sound "thin". And when a subwoofer is added (for music at least) they still sound thin, just with good bass thump, but not as well balanced as my BP 8060's.
Not sure what the objection to powered woofers in the towers is, though. For music, just about everything can be played full range with no sub, but if you want to add a sub (for movies or deep bass music), you can cross it over lower (maybe 60 HZ) so it blends better with the sub, and you can still put the sub in its optimal placement. Though I think the "optimal placement" argument is overstated - Unless you are planning an ultimate audio room with no placement constraints, there are usually not too many places a decent sized sub can really be placed in most home environments. At least with powered towers, you can spread the bass around in multiple locations and STILL put an additional sub wherever you think is best.
As for bipolar main speakers, you are trading more precise imaging for a broader sweetspot and more lifelike soundstage, but I think the imaging argument is overstated as well - unless you sit in a very small "sweetspot", the imaging breaks down on direct radiating speakers, so you are pretty much enjoying your music by yourself. And if you listen in multichannel the center speaker provides precise imaging anyway. And while vocals may benefit from super-precise stereo imaging, orchestral and acoustic instruments spit sound out in all directions, and therefore are arguably more accurately reproduced by bipolar speakers.