Ever notice the way cheap audio gear usually gives you controls with names like "spatial expan-der" and "hyper bass" to, well, hype up the sound, whereas top-of-the-line gear is typically devoid of such controls? While I suppose many would argue that a cheap system usually needs a little sonic goosing at the top and bottom to sound good, I feel it has more to do with the system's ability, or lack thereof, to deliver an accurate and articulate midrange performance. While foundation-shifting bass and a soaring top end might keep the kiddies impressed for a few minutes, it's that vast stretch of octaves in between that really separates the men from the boys when it comes to delivering knockout audio performance.
The B&W CM7 tower speaker was designed in step with this way of thinking. As a true three-way model, the speaker has a dedicated midrange driver that employs B&W's FST ("fixed suspension transducer") technology. This innovative fixed-edge design (with no driver surround) takes advantage of the fact that a pure midrange driver doesn't require the longer excursion capabilities of the mid-woofer typically found in more common two-way or two-and-a-half-way speakers. This means a stiffer cone edge support can be used, which B&W says gives the driver much improved damping and faster response with less ringing. The CM7's tweeter is pretty special, too, a naked aluminum dome that's back-loaded using B&W's well-known Nautilus tube design, while the Kevlar/paper-cone woofer is loaded by a clever adjustable port (more about that later).
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