Performance Continued: Movie Playback
The 8060ST towers’ bipole design doesn’t contribute anything in particular to elevate movie-sound playback. Nonetheless, the CS-8060HD center-channel proved an exceptionally strong tonal match to the towers, on-axis, and within about 45º horizontally (subtended) it held its tonality very well, offering consistently excellent dialogue intelligibility.
The SR-8080BP surrounds spread an equally consistent tonality around the listening area, their bipolar design aiding broad, smooth coverage (though still slightly more “localizable” than dipoles to my ear). And the towers produced plenty of deep movie bass for fully cinematic sensations, even in bigger rooms.
That said, over the very last half-octave of meaningful sound — below 35 Hz or so — bass dropped off somewhat at higher levels in my room, and I found that compensatory EQ occasionally induced port noise (passive-radiator “shluff-ing”). Executive summary: Full-bore, big-dollar systems might still be well served with a large, infrasonics-ready LFE-channel subwoofer.
Among the dozen or so movies I ran during the speakers’ stay in my system was the rather joyless Angelina Jolie action vehicle Salt. Fast-cut sequences like Chapter 9, which races around first in the echoing bowels of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and then through the requisite high-velocity car chase, gave the speakers ample opportunity to reveal any shortcomings — which they declined to do. In fact, the system’s overall sonic impact struck me as more than usually involving and encompassing, despite this flick’s drab look and robotic performances. (The system will also play shockingly loud without any sign of breaking the least sweat on both movies and music.)
Here are the sets to which you need to belong to consider these new Definitive Technology bipolars: prepared to spend north of 3 grand (a subwoofer is by no means required); willing to place a pair of large though very slim towers at least a couple feet, and probably rather more, from your room’s front wall (with AC power within reach); able to accommodate a rather deep center speaker (ditto the AC power here) and rather tall surrounds. If you can tick all three of those boxes, run to your local Definitive dealer and give the new bippers an audition. You won’t be sorry.
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