Surround Sound Speaker Systems
- Written by Brian Alvarez
- Published on 11 February 2013
Design of the Bowers & Wilkins MT-60D Speaker System
There are few speakers at any price that are as beautifully executed from a design perspective as the M-1. At first glance the differences between the new M-1 and the previous generation are hard to spot. It takes time to appreciate to subtlety and refinement to the M-1 design. The overall shape and character are similar for sure.
Details, details, details. Contours are better defined. Edges have a more refined bevels, the detailing is toned down and more elegant, especially the pedestal/base.
Materials including soft touch plastics and rubber lend to a better tactile experience when handling the speakers. All small design tweaks that add up to a product exuding more luxury and refinement than the previous generation M-1.
As part of the updates the M-1 receives improvements to the tweeter, woofer, cross over and connectors. The spring loaded gold plated connectors for attaching speaker cables are much improved over the old set screw design.
The new connectors and revised routing also allow for thicker speaker cables to be used. Drivers have been refined across the board. The tweeter utilizes a Nautilus tapered and damped tube to cancel out the back wave energy of the tweeter for less distortion. Additional improvements have been made to the bass driver to lower the bass response from the previous 90hz down to 50hz. To achieve this some trickle down technology from the PM1 in the form of an Anti Resonance Plug. Additionally a four layer voice coil has been added for a claimed increase in efficiency and power handling. The M-1 also receives a simpler but higher quality 1st order cross over much like the rest of the Bowers and Wilkins product line.
While the M-1 receives tweaks and updates the PV1D feels more like an outright new product. It looks like the previous PV1 but it seems to only share good looks. The PV1D is a computer with a few drivers installed in what B&W refers to as a pressure vessel. The D most assuredly stands for digital and I doubt that reference is for the 400 watt amplifier powering the twin 8" drivers (this is not a passive radiator with an active driver set up). Digital Signal Processing is used extensively in the PV1D to improve performance across the board. The DSP is used to insure lower distortion and greater extension, tailor the cross over and built in EQ for specific B&W speakers and if hooked up to a Windows PC (I only have a Mac) the DSP can be used to do custom tailored EQ settings. Changes can also be made through the front panel display.