MartinLogan Announces Grotto, Compact, High-Resolution Subwoofer

MartinLogan Announces Grotto, Compact, High-Resolution Subwoofer

High-end loudspeaker maker MartinLogan®, known for pricey, high-performance hybrid electrostatic speakers, has introduced the Grotto™, a reference-standard, powered, servo-control subwoofer system.

The new Grotto builds on the success of MartinLogan’s Descent and Depth subwoofers, delivering dramatic bass detail and attack using a proprietary low-mass, high-excursion, high-resolution driver, advanced servo monitoring and control, a precision crossover and an intuitive 25Hz level control.

The Grotto model is available immediately at a suggested retail price of $995 (US).

High-Resolution Driver Provides Powerful Bass

The heart of the Grotto subwoofer is a proprietary MartinLogan, 10-inch, high-resolution driver – identical to those used in the more expensive Descent subwoofer. The combination of Grotto’s extreme low mass aluminum cone and the tremendous field strength generated by the magnet motor structure results in huge excursions and massive cubic displacement capability.

Advanced Servo Monitoring Provides Control and Low-Distortion

Grotto’s advanced servo monitoring and control system, combined with state-of-the-art driver and cabinet technologies, dramatically reduce intermodulated and harmonic distortions found in most subwoofers. By constantly monitoring and correcting for any deviation from the original audio signal, MartinLogan’s control system yields literally a 3- to 10-fold distortion reduction. This results in highly resolved, tight fisted and dynamic bass.

Seamless System Integration in Any Setting

Grotto is suitable for use in all stereo- and multi-channel applications, and it is designed to excel in all installation configurations: in corners, inside cabinets, underneath or behind furniture.

Intuitive control functions allow the Grotto to be easily tuned for any installation. MartinLogan designed the Grotto with a robust input/output architecture that easily integrates in both stereo- and multi-channel audiophile systems. Additionally, RCA output allows multiple Grottos to operate in a serial configuration.

Extreme care has been focused on the group delay (phase) characteristics for each of Grotto’s 6 discrete crossover settings (ranging from 30-80Hz) to deliver precise contouring in both the amplitude and time domain. The result? Seamless and cohesive integration with any system.

The handy and intuitive 25Hz level control allows easy correction of bass problems common to most rooms. It also permits increased deep bass if you desire a subsonic sense of energy at the lowest frequencies.

MartinLogan Web Site

Also see: MartinLogan Mosaic Floor Standing Loudspeaker

Key Features and Benefits

  • High-Excursion Aluminum Driver: massive cubic displacement
  • Advanced Servo Control: dramatically reduces distortion
  • 25 Hz Level Control: tames your rooms Most problematic frequency
  • Low Distortion, Ultra-Fast Amplifier: provides precision and power in a small package

System Frequency Response: 22-150 Hz ± 3 dB. Anechoic through the LFE effects input.
Low Pass Filter Frequencies: 30, 35, 45, 55, 65, 80Hz
High Pass Filter Frequency: 70Hz
Phase: 0°, 90°, 180°
25Hz Level Control: ±12dB
Components: 10″ (25.4cm) high excursion, aluminum element woofer with extend throw drive assembly
Amplifier: 250 watts (350 watts peak)
Inputs: RCA Line Level; RCA LFE; Speaker Level
Outputs: RCA for Multiple Subwoofer Connection
Weight: 40 lbs. each (18.2 kg)
Size: 15″ W × 12.9″ D × 15.38″ H (38.1 cm W × 32.8 cm D × 39 cm H)

Onkyo Introduces Affordable THX Select Home Theater Receiver with Bass Management for DVD-A and SACD

Onkyo has unveiled the TX-SR701 A/V receiver, available immediately at a suggested retail price of $800 (US).

The new multichannel control center delivers 6 x 100 Watts of power, along with THX Select certified performance and processing capabilities. It includes a full suite of high-end features, including digital bass management for DVD-A and SACD multichannel inputs, sophisticated video conversion and switching capabilities, and multi-room control flexibility.

Onkyo's new TX-SR701 multichannel receiver offers high-end features and THX Select certified performance at an affordable price

“With the TX-SR701, consumers can have the guaranteed performance and capabilities of a THX certified receiver at a very affordable price point,” said Onkyo product manager Don Milks.

“When you also look at features like digital bass management for SACD and DVD-A inputs, Onkyo’s zone 2 flexibility, and high definition video switching, we think this receiver is a real giant-killer.”

The TX-SR701 features Onkyo’s Powered Zone 2 capability, which can be used to power stereo speakers in a second room as well as the main zone thanks to a dedicated set of zone 2 L/R speaker terminals. The receiver is capable of processing separate stereo sources simultaneously for each zone, or sending the same signal to both. There is also a zone 2 pre-out that can be used in conjunction with an external amplifier.

The TX-SR701’s 5.1-channel analog input includes sophisticated bass management capabilities, which are critical for listening to high resolution DVD-A and SACD with most multichannel speaker systems. The incoming signals are digitized and then processed by the receiver’s DSP to route low frequency information to a subwoofer while excluding it from small satellite speakers that are not meant to handle deep bass. The subwoofer crossover is selectable at 40, 60, 80, 100, 120, or 150 Hz for optimal integration with any speaker arrangement. This feature can also be bypassed with Onkyo’s exclusive Pure Audio Mode for the ultimate in analog signal fidelity with full-range speakers.

For integration with video equipment, the TX-SR701 features five A/V inputs and three outputs, each with both Composite and S-Video connections, and two assignable Component Video inputs. The receiver features Y/C separation using a 3-line digital comb filter to convert Composite to S-Video for superior reproduction and simplified connection to any display. For HDTV and DVD video fidelity, component video switching boasts a 50 MHz bandwidth to prevent the signal degradation that can occur with low-bandwidth components.

The TX-SR701’s high quality AM/FM tuner section has 40 random presets, and the included backlit preprogrammed/learning remote control makes system integration and control simple and convenient.

Onkyo USA Web Site

Denon and Dolby Laboratories Announce World’s First Audio Product with Dolby Virtual Speaker Surround Sound Technology

Denon Electronics has announced the D-M71DVXP, a DVD receiver system that is the world’s first audio/video product to incorporate Dolby Virtual Speaker surround sound technology.

The new system consists of an integrated DVD/receiver unit, two satellite speakers, and a subwoofer. The Dolby Virtual Speaker technology, which uses core algorithms developed by Australian OEM developer Lake Technology, will produce a realistic 5.1-channel surround listening experience from the 2-speaker-plus-sub set-up that Denon and Dolby Labs representatives say is far superior to any previously available virtual surround process.

The Denon D-M71DVXP DVD Receiver System will be available in September 2003, with a suggested retail price of $999 (US). In addition, a two-channel version without the subwoofer will be available for $699 (US).

“Denon’s philosophy has always been to utilize the most advanced audio and video technologies to deliver the best home entertainment experience to our customers,” says Stephen Baker, Denon senior VP of sales and marketing. “Thanks to Dolby Virtual Speaker, our D-M71DVXP delivers a level of sonic performance that would simply not be possible otherwise.”

The D-M71DVXP uses the same advanced Analog Devices Hammerhead SHARC 32-bit DSP audio processors used in Denon’s acclaimed AVR-5803 and AVR-3803 audio/video receivers.

Speaking for Dolby Laboratories, the company’s director of consumer technology marketing Craig Eggers comments: “The Denon D-M71DVXP is the perfect component to showcase the benefits of Dolby Virtual Speaker – it’s exactly the type of compact, performance-oriented system that the technology was designed to enhance. The technology gives a significant number of consumers whose lifestyles simply cannot accommodate a 5.1-channel speaker system the ability to enjoy true high-quality surround sound home theater. The D-M71DVXP is the perfect solution for smaller home listening rooms, apartments, dorm rooms, or anywhere great multichannel home entertainment is desired from a compact system.”

Denon has also recently announced a similar integrated DVD/Receiver component for the Japanese consumer market only. Like the D-M71DVXP, the Japanese Denon ADV-M71 “Lapisia” system also offers Dolby Virtual Speaker, Dolby Headphone and Dolby Pro Logic II capabilities.

A Breakthrough in Virtualized Surround Sound

Dolby Virtual Speaker technology is a practical alternative to multispeaker systems. It uses proprietary digital audio processing technology to simulate a realistic 5.1-channel surround sound experience using just two stereo speakers.

In the Denon D-M71DVXP system, the inclusion of Dolby Pro Logic II decoding alongside Dolby Virtual Speaker processing allows listeners to play back any program material, from stereo music CDs and MP3 files to 5.1-channel DVDs and broadcast content encoded in Dolby Digital, with rich, enveloping surround sound.

Dolby Virtual Speaker utilizes a proprietary technique that re-creates, in their entirety, the multiple, complex sonic signatures that the listener would ordinarily hear from a properly positioned 5.1-channel speaker setup.

According to Dolby Labs, most virtualizers on the market today limit their processing to the direct sound, which means they overlook a significant portion of the sonic signature essential for producing a convincing 5.1-channel virtualized surround sound field. The result is often an “enhanced stereo” listening environment.

Dolby Virtual Speaker ensures the integrity of the virtual 5.1 sound field by reproducing the entire sonic signature, and its multiple reflection tails, which can often vary significantly in level and spectral balance from the direct sound. The further addition of crosstalk cancellation maintains the integrity of each processed signal, thereby insuring a highly realistic and natural sounding 360-degree sonic environment.

Stylish Design, Exceptional Performance

The Denon D-M71DVXP combines true component-quality audio and video performance with stylish, space-saving design. The single-chassis DVD player/receiver unit provides a progressive scan DVD player that can play back DVD-Video, CD, CD-R/RW, VCD and CD-DA discs, as well as MP3-encoded CDs. The leading edge Analog Devices Hammerhead SHARC DSP audio processors ensure the ultimate in refined audio performance, while advanced video D/A converters and digital video processing provide sharp, high-resolution images.

In addition to Dolby Virtual Speaker, the D-M71DVXP also incorporates Dolby Headphone signal processing, also developed for Dolby by Lake Technology. Dolby Headphone delivers a natural-sounding surround sound listening experience through any set of connected stereo headphones. It is an ideal technology for late-night movie viewing, video game playing, or private listening to audio- or video-based entertainment.

The D-M71DVXP includes a 20-watt per channel stereo amplifier to deliver clear, room-filling sound, along with an FM/AM tuner with 40-station preset memory tuning. It also comes with a host of additional performance and convenience features, such as a clock with sleep timer, bass and treble tone controls, a full complement of digital and analog video and audio inputs and outputs, plus progressive-scan component video outputs.

The included two-way speakers each feature dual 2-inch mid-bass drivers and a half-inch dome tweeter for rich, dynamic sound quality with detailed midrange and extended, open highs. The system’s 100-watt powered subwoofer rounds out the sonic spectrum with deep, articulate low-frequency performance.

The Denon D-M71DVXP DVD/receiver unit features a metallic silver chassis with an aluminum faceplate. The satellite speakers are housed in real aluminum with wood-finish end caps and light gray grille cloths, while the subwoofer has a wood finish.

Denon Home Audio (US) Web Site

Dolby Laboratories Web Site

Lake Technology Web Site

Integra Launches 2 New Multichannel, Multizone Home Theater Receivers

Integra has introduced a pair of new home theater audio/video control receivers, featuring A-Bus multi-room capability and built-in 2-zone control. Both will be available from Integra dealers this month.

The higher-end model is the DTR-6.4 ($1,000 US), a 6 x 100 Watt THX Select certified receiver that features selectable bass management for the DVD-A/SACD 5.1 analog inputs. The mid-price model is the DTR-5.4 ($600 US), offering most of the same features as the DTR-6.4 in a 6 x 85 Watt package, without the multichannel-in bass management.

The Integra DTR-6.4 provides advanced bass management features for multichannel 5.1 analog inputs (DVD-Audio and SACD)

The Integra DTR-6.4 features powerful 32-bit Dual-DSP audio processing for THX Surround EX, Dolby Digital EX and ProLogic II, DTS-ES, Neo:6, and the new DTS-96/24 format. The high quality 192 kHz/24-bit DAC found on each channel is combined with Integra’s VLSC (Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry), previously found on the company’s high-end DVD players, to smooth the analog output, generating cleaner and more detailed audio reproduction.

The DTR-6.4’s 5.1-channel analog input includes optional bass management, a feature that is critical when listening to high resolution DVD-A and SACDs with most multichannel speaker systems. The incoming signals are digitized and then processed by the receiver’s DSP to route low frequency information to a subwoofer while excluding it from small satellite speakers that are ill equipped to handle deep bass. The subwoofer crossover is selectable at 40, 60, 80, 100, 120, or 150 Hz for optimal integration with any speaker arrangement. This feature can also be bypassed with Integra’s exclusive Pure Audio Mode for the ultimate in analog signal fidelity with full-range speakers.

Designed to offer maximum flexibility and integration options for whole-house audio distribution and control, the DTR-6.4 multizone receiver is capable of processing two sources simultaneously, or sending the same signal to both the main zone and systems in other rooms. It includes a built-in port for the flexible A-Bus audio distribution system favored by many installers, and also features both fixed and variable line level zone 2 outputs to feed second zone receivers or amplifiers. There is even Integra’s Powered Zone 2 feature, which dedicates two of the receiver’s internal amplifier channels to directly power speakers in a second room.

For integration with video equipment, the Integra DTR-6.4 features five A/V inputs and three outputs, each with both Composite and S-Video connections, and two assignable Component Video inputs. The receiver features Composite to S-Video conversion using a 3-line digital comb filter for superior reproduction, and all video inputs are upconverted to 480i Component video to simplify connection to displays. For HDTV and DVD video fidelity, component video switching boasts a 50 MHz bandwidth to prevent signal degradation.

The DTR-5.4 features the same 32-bit dual DSP processing, broad support for the full range of multichannel decoding formats, and the Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry (VLSC) of its more-expensive sibling. It provides inputs for five A/V sources and two audio-only sources, including four assignable digital inputs, and one digital output. One A/V input, including optical digital jack and S-Video, is located on the front panel for easy connection of a camcorder or portable MP3 player. There are two assignable component video inputs and one output, with a component video switching bandwidth of 50 MHz to prevent degradation of HDTV and progressive scan DVD signals.

The Integra DTR-5.4 shares the sophisticated DSP audio processing circuitry of the more expensive DTR-6.4

The DTR-5.4’s six internal power amplifier channels deliver a continuous power output of 85 Watts per channel into 8-ohm loads, and 110 Watts into 6 ohms. It boasts a linear frequency response range of 10 Hz – 100 Hz, thanks to Integra’s Wide Range Amplifier Technology (WRAT). The inclusion of a new, more massive High Current Power Supply (HCPS) transformer, combined with high-capacity filter capacitors, gives the receiver tremendous current reserves for audio transients and instantaneous power on demand.

As a versatile two source multizone receiver, the DTR-5.4 includes a built-in port for the flexible A-Bus audio distribution system favored by many installers, and also features both fixed and variable line level Zone 2 outputs to feed second zone receivers or amplifiers. In addition, with Integra’s Powered Zone 2 feature, two of the receiver’s internal amplifier channels can be dedicated to powering a second room, eliminating the need for any additional electronics components.

The DTR-5.4 also features two programmable 12-Volt trigger outputs for the main zone, an additional 12V trigger output for the second zone, IR control input and output jacks, and an RS-232 port to integrate the receiver with whole-home control systems and touchscreens.

Both new Integra receivers include a high quality AM/FM tuner section with 30 random presets, including direct access tuning via IR and RS-232 control ports. The included backlit preprogrammed/learning remote control makes system integration and control simple and convenient.

Integra Web Site

Martinlogan Updates Script Surround Speakers, Theater and Cinema Center-Channels, With New Electrostatic Technology

Audiophile electrostatic speaker maker MartinLogan has introduced updated versions of its Script wall-mount surrounds, Cinema center channel, and Theater reference standard center channel loudspeakers.

The new models carry the ‘i’ designation – Script i, Cinema i, Theater i – to distinguish them from the earlier versions. Key improvements in the new line-up include MartinLogan’s Generation 2 stat panel featuring ClearSpar technology, MicroPerf stators, low-voltage DC power, improved low-frequency performance, enhanced cabinet and stator finishes, and flexible mounting and installation features.

All speakers are now shipping. The Script i surrounds retail at $1,995 per pair (US); the Cinema i center channel is priced at $1795 each (US); and the Theater i reference center channel is listed at $2795 each (US).

“The world’s most accurate transducer – the patented MartinLogan CLS (curvilinear line source) ESL – has advanced to a new level. The i’s Generation 2 stat panel featuring ClearSpar™ and MicroPerf stator technology provides astounding output and detail from our proprietary ESL transducer.”

The new Generation 2 stat panels incorporate a reformulation of MartinLogan’s conductive coating and a new plasma deposition process. This refined thin film technology provides improved impedance tolerance and maximum adhesion and abrasion resistance.

The new MicroPerf design reduces the size of individual holes in the stator, allowing more openings compared to a traditional MartinLogan ESL transducer. This maximizes the efficiency of the small ESL transducers in each of the new models.

ClearSpar™ technology enhances the transparent look of the new speakers, and increases both efficiency and dynamics.

MartinLogan has redeveloped the successful Script surround loudspeaker from the ground up, marrying the performance of the original Script with the lifestyle- and video-friendly look and styling of the recently-introduced Clarity loudspeaker.

Script i maintains its high frequency response and precision with advanced crossover topology, audiophile-grade components and point-to-point wiring.

In addition to the upgraded electrostatic technologies of the new series speakers, the discretely-sized Script i also offers a state-of-the-art poly-cone woofer optimized for bass reflex design that delivers an accurate low-end response.

To eliminate the need for a traditional IEC power cord and significantly increase ease of installation, especially for custom applications, the Script i features a low-voltage DC power supply. To further enhance custom application options, the Script i is only 7 inches deep when mounted on its pivoting wall-bracket (included with the Script i).

MartinLogan's New Theater i Center Channel Hybrid Electrostatic

The new Theater i center channel speaker fuses the high-performance Generation 2 CLS transducer with dual proprietary 6.5″ dynamic bass drivers and an innovative controlled-dispersion array. This has resulted in a design capable of fully resolving any sound from the subtlest dialog to room-shaking effects. Theater i’s innovative controlled dispersion array maintains precise frequency versus dispersion, minimizing destructive room interactions.

Theater i’s custom designed components, along with its electrostatic and dynamic drivers, all combine to insure the highest levels ever of transparency, linearity and seamless integration. The speaker is fully shielded, for zero impact on picture quality.

To further enhance custom application options, the Theater i ships with a multi-mount stand attached. Whether the Theater i is placed atop a rear projection TV, wall mounted under a plasma screen or placed on the floor, the unit can be precisely aimed simply by adjusting the proprietary MartinLogan handgrips.

MartinLogan's Affordably-Priced New Cinema i Center Channel

Like the Script i and Theater i, the Cinema i leverages all of MartinLogan’s engineering, design and manufacturing prowess to deliver a high standard of performance at an affordable price.

Enhanced cabinet and stator finishes and standard on both the Cinema i and the Theater i center channels. The finishes include an attractive and durable new semi-gloss black cabinet finish and shimmering, dark gray Meteor colored stator (the front and back perforated steel electrostatic panel elements).

Both center channel models are supplied with single-wire, high-resolution, proprietary toolless binding posts for effortless cable attachment and management.

MartinLogan Web Site