Thiel ss2 브로셔

페이지 6
into an A/V or stereo system and addressing a number of 
performance issues.
Smarter bass
It's an understatement to say that Thiel Audio offers a line of
subwoofers. In fact, a substantial portion of Thiel's current product
line is devoted to providing deep bass. The SmartSub lineup
comprises four subwoofers that range in price from $2900 to
$8900 USD, with the SS2 reviewed here coming in at $4900.
All SmartSubs are powered and can be used at the line or
speaker level. But this is where the similarities to traditional
subwoofers end. Gone from the SmartSubs are the standard
adjustments for phase, crossover slopes, output and the like.
These are replaced with a few adjustments on the SmartSub
i t s e l f, and either a passive crossover for use with various models
of Thiel loudspeakers or the SI 1 Integr a t o r, which tailors up
to 16 (!) SmartSubs for mono or stereo use in home-theater
and audio-only systems and with any main speakers.
With its SmartSub lineup, Thiel decided to address the deficiencies
of traditional subwoofers, not only in terms of use but also
performance. Configuring a subwoofer optimally has always
been a challenge. So much of the fine-tuning that has to be done
is unintuitive, and this leads most often to bass that's overly
prominent. In conceiving its first-ever subwoofer offerings, Th i el
decided to redesign the interface between the subwoofer and
its owner, and came up with a truly user-friendly alternative.
Instead of flipping switches and turning dials to effect a change
in the subwoofer's performance (and oftentimes make matters
worse), with a Thiel SmartSub and Integrator, you enter data
that  is  used  to  adjust  the  subwoofer's  output  and  thereby
match it optimally to your main speakers. And if you own Th i e l
speakers, you can forego the Integrator in favor of a matching
stereo or multichannel passive crossover. This saves you money
and makes for an even less-involved setup regime.
In assessing the performance of existing subwoofers, Thiel
identified a number of specific problems that they felt required
attention. These include problems with output, distortion and
uniformity; problems with sonic integration with the main
speakers; and problems with room interaction. To address
sheer output capability, Thiel designed a series of special drivers.
These aluminum-cone woofers boast very high excursion —
1 1/4" peak to peak — and engineering that takes full advantage
of this range of movement without introducing other issues.
To move the air that such drivers are capable of propelling,
the  dual-driver SmartSub SS2, SS3 and  SS4 have internal
1000-watt switch-mode amplifiers that offer high efficiency and
low heat. The differences among these models is in the size
of the drivers and cabinet, and therefore the output capabilities.
The electronics remain the same. The single-driver SS1 uses a
similar 500-watt amp.
Bass distortion and uniformity problems are addressed in the
design of the drivers and the SmartSub's electronics. Th e
drivers use Thiel's short-coil/long-gap motor system, which is
said to result in distortion that's one-tenth that produced by
conventional drivers, along with a copper pole sleeve and ring,
which stabilize the driver's magnetic-field strength and t h e r e b y
f u rther reduce distortion. Uniformity refers to the ability, or
inability, of a subwoofer to deliver deep bass as the voice coils
of the drivers heat up, which can increase resistance by 70 %
and lower output by up to 4.5dB. To solve this, each Smart S u b
measures  the temperature  of  the  drivers'  voice  coils  and
adjusts the gain and frequency response of the internal amplifier
to ensure that there is no compression or imbalance while
the drivers are being stressed.
Sonic integration and room interaction have always been issues
with subwoofers. If the problem with a subwoofer is not the
inability to blend it with the main speakers, it is the deleterious
interaction with the room, or both. To address integration, Th i e l
created the SI 1 Integr a t o r, which takes speculation out of
setting up a subwoofer for use with main speakers that will
be sealed or ported and whose low-frequency extension may
be great or not. There is also the variable of the main amplifier
used, its voltage gain, which affects the output of the entire
system at a given volume setting. Room interaction is addressed
inside  each  SmartSub,  where  measurements  to  walls  are
entered, adjusting and correcting output accordingly. One thing
I wondered  right  off  was  if  furniture,  especially  large  main
speakers, might affect this data. "No," was Jim Thiel's response.
"Bass wavelengths are so long that furniture is not an issue."
If this discussion of design considerations seems cursory, it is.
However, for those of you who want more insight, Thiel has
created a well-written ten-page white paper that covers all of the
S m a rtSub's and Integrator's innovations. It is very good reading.
Like all Thiel loudspeakers, the SmartSub SS2 is beautifully
made, with furniture-grade touches. If you need to match a
SmartSub to your existing speakers or décor, Thiel can do it,
either by matching veneer or replicating just about any finish.
The SS2 is a solid mass, 11"W x 23 1/2"H x 20"D and 108
pounds, whose rear-mounted handles make it a heavy, but
feasible, one-person lift. The cabinet is constructed completely
of 1" MD F. Thiel loudspeakers often use multiple layers of MD F
for  their  baffles,  but,  according  to  Jim  Thiel,  because  of  the
width of the basket of the SmartSub drivers, baffle strength is
not an issue with the SmartSubs, whose baffles are 1" thick.
Also, there is no worry of bass energy exciting the baffle and
mucking up the midrange or treble. All inputs and controls are
on the rear, with the only front-mounted feature being an LED
that, when lit, indicates that the SS2 is on. You can turn this
indicator off if it bothers you, a thoughtful touch.
The $4400 SI 1 Integrator shows the same attention to detail
as the SS2. You can enter data either from the included remote
control or via the front-panel buttons, while various LEDs and
the center-mounted readout let you know the values. You can
P r o d u c t   R e v i e w