- Written by Piero Gabucci
- Published on 16 January 2012
Introduction to the Definitive Technology BP-8040ST SuperTower Speakers
Pssst….want to hear a really cool speaker, but you have to keep it a secret. The voice was familiar but I looked around for the white van, none to be seen. Sure, but they'd better not have fallen out of the back of a truck I replied. Nah he said just come up to my private room in this hotel. Up the exterior stairs we went to his suite, nice. Now I want to show you what's in this other room behind this curtain. Hmmmm
Well maybe it didn't quite go like that, and Paul DiComo, the SVP of Marketing and Product Development at Definitive Technology is one of the good guys in this business, but I was intrigued when he invited me to hear an early prototype of the complete-from-the-ground-up bi-polar tower floor speaker. Bi-polar speakers have been the legacy at Definitive Technology since the early days in the 1990's.
Immediate impressions told me he had something interesting happening as we heard one track after another. We chatted about where the image was coming from and how impressive the bass was. He said I'm really excited about this product and we should be in production soon. About a year later, a pair of stocking-clad speakers arrived from Def Tech.
Typically when there are a variety of sizes available as there are in the bipolar line, I usually ask for the big ones! When I asked Paul what he wanted to send, he said instead of just sending the largest, let me send you the smaller, third from the top in size, the BP-8040T because, well, wow, you just have to hear them!
So the nomenclature should be simple enough; "BP" is Bi-Polar of course and "ST" for Super Tower! Definitive Technology with Paul's lead developed the 8000 Series to include four sizes from the smallest BP-8020ST through the 8040, 8060 and the 8080. Each by the way has an available corresponding center channel and surround speaker.
So here's where I need to take a step backwards...
When Definitive Technology sent me a pair of thin Mythos XTR-50's I wasn't able to review them in a timely manner but let me include some information about them, and trust me this is going somewhere.
Super thin (or should I say super flat?) and very cool the XTR line comes in 3 lengths as needed for your panel size. The 50's at 27" high perfectly matched my 47" LCD panel. With flat panel TV's becoming ever thinner and thinner, the bulky on-wall speakers available diminished the sleek styling. Definitive's response was this amazing 1 ½" deep speaker with an array of drivers.
The unit is beautifully machined and compliments the design of any flat panel elegantly. Its face is slightly curved further exuding the slick style and thin profile. Naturally it was specifically designed acoustically and stylistically to be mounted on the wall next to your TV (wall mounting yields a bass response down to 92 Hz), yet it comes with a smoky glass stand in case you have your TV stand mounted instead.
Two aluminum dome 3.5" mid-bass drivers coupled with four passive radiators flank a 1" pure aluminum dome tweeter, the same one found in the Mythos STS Super Towers.
The XTR-50's yielded an exceptional and balanced sound. So much so that it began a discussion about developing a new bipolar design. Definitive Technology literally took a pair of XTR-50's and placed them back-to-back. Using a professional mixing board, Definitive's engineers varied the output of the front to rear speakers to establish the best balance, off axis image and large image size sought for bi-polar designs overcome two issues common with bipolar design, clarity and focus.
The engineers discovered that by varying the output from front to rear, they came up with a formula of a 10 ms delay, or 5 feet from any near wall surface. Secondly varying from traditional bi-poplar design, Def Tech reduced the energy output from the rear speakers by +/-6 dB. This not only enhanced the spacious feeling but also the potential for residual sound.
Hence the true benefits of bipolar design; it will fill your room with sound, ever-increasing the soundstage, or the proverbial "wall of sound". Whereas front-firing speakers no matter what you do or how you set them up, will tend to "funnel" sound in the mid and higher frequencies narrowing the sweet spot.
DEFINITIVE TECHNOLOGY BP-8040ST SUPERTOWER SPEAKERS SPECIFICATIONS
- Design: 2-way Hybrid Tower Speaker
- Drivers: Two 1" Aluminum Dome Tweeters, Two 3.5" Midrange, One 8" Powered Woofer with Two 8" Passive Radiators
- MFR: 25 Hz - 30 kHz
- Sensitivity: 92 dB
- Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohms
- Recommended Amplifier Power: 20 - 300 Watts
- Internal Amplifier Power for Woofer: 300 Watts
- Inputs: One pair of 5-way Binding Posts; One LFE Input (optional)
- Dimensions: 39" H x 5.6" W x 11.6" D
- Weight: 40 Pounds/each
- MSRP: $799/each USD
- Definitive Technology
- Secrets Tags: Tower Speakers