Bookshelf Speakers

Definitive Technology AW 6500 Outdoor Speakers

ARTICLE INDEX

Setup of the Definitive Technology AW 6500 Outdoor Speakers

The Definitive AW 6500's replaced a pair of outdoor speakers I'd been using for the last two years or so. The old speakers also have a 6-1/2" woofer, but the AW 6500's felt much larger in my hands. As it turned out, the holes on the old speaker brackets were spaced just wide enough for me to re-use the same holes in my home's siding. This was nothing more than dumb luck, but not having to fill and drill sped along the installation process significantly.

So I installed the brackets, attached the speakers and connected the speaker cables. I used the existing 14 gage braided cables from the prior installation. I screwed down the bare ends of the wires with the binding posts. By now, it was quite obvious that these speakers have been field-tested - the binding posts did not spin freely in the cabinet while the milled knobs on the brackets held firmly and the speaker was well balanced when mounted.

Once the AW 6500's were mounted under the eaves of my 16' x 24' covered patio, they appeared to be much smaller than when I was holding them in my hand. They blend in nicely from a visual standpoint too. The angled cabinet is designed to direct low bass from the radiator towards the adjacent boundary while direct sounds from the active drivers are aimed at the seating area. This brilliant concept offers boundary reinforcement for the bass while direct radiating the mids and treble.

Since there is a lowish roof over my 16' x 24' covered patio, the AW 6500's sounded a bit tubby in the bass whenever I sat on the patio. But they sound perfectly balanced at a distance when I was out in the yard, away from the patio cover. So I knew the issue was with the set-up, not the speakers. Since we spend most of our outdoor time in the shade of the patio cover, I turned down the bass about 3 – 4 db on my pre amp and that livened up the frequency balance nicely.

I was driving the AW 6500's with a 100 wpc Onkyo stereo amplifier which is fed by an Adcom preamp. Sources were steaming via Apple Airplay over an Airport Express box and CD's/SACD's played on an old Sony SACD changer.