Surround Sound Speaker Systems
- Written by Jim Clements
- Published on 23 January 2012
Design and Setup of the Energy Veritas V-6.3 Speakers
Energy's design goal for the updated Veritas range was to address three vital sound principles:
- Flat On-Axis Frequency Response with Wide Bandwidth
- Wide and Constant Dispersion
- Low Distortion and Resonance
Here is Energy's take on each of these points - To achieve flat on-axis frequency response, Energy uses wide bandwidth drivers with smooth roll-off characteristics that are divided by 2nd order crossover networks with frequencies selected to promote excellent driver-to-driver coherence.
In regards to a wide and constant dispersion, Energy has designed a tweeter assembly with a low resonant frequency so they could implement a lower crossover frequency between the tweeter and midrange.
Energy tackled the last design goal of low distortion and resonance by instituting tight manufacturing tolerances, solid cabinet construction and well-damped linear suspension designs. Energy also has a strict Quality Assurance program that involves testing random production samples to ensure the production units are meeting the design specifications.
The most telling feature of all Veritas speakers is the Convergent Source Module (CSM). This system provides close spacing between the tweeter and midrange in order to reduce the interaction between the two drivers. This reduced interaction means the CSM allows the drivers to act as a single source to increase dispersion. Also, the drivers' rear chamber lowers their resonant frequencies and helps reduce distortion further.
The CSM system involves a stiffener plate between the drivers which becomes the speakers' most obvious visual feature. And despite the optical illusion that the mids are evenly spaced on the center speaker, the tweeter is actually 1" closer to the left mid than to the right mid.
Energy incorporates another of their important proprietary innovations in the new Veritas speakers. This is called the Ribbed Elliptical Surround Technology. Here is an explanation from the Energy website in their own words, "[The] Patented Ribbed Elliptical Surround technology (U.S. patent #6,725,967, Canadian patent #2,407,123) increases excursion, eliminates distortion and raises efficiency on our woofers and subwoofers. The Elliptical Surround encompasses the cone, allowing it to move identically in both directions, resulting in near zero distortion. And while conventional designs are often plagued with surround dimpling, which causes them to radiate in and out of phase and distort at all listening levels, our designs aren't influenced by dimpling at all. Our proprietary Ribbed Elliptical Surrounds allow for a larger cone surface, resulting in greater efficiency. This design also lets the cone achieve greater peak to peak movement, thus allowing it to travel more than double the distance of the competition. These attributes enable our woofers and subwoofers to move incredible amounts of air, ultimately allowing them to play lower frequencies with greater bass extension and fidelity."
The visual appeal of these speakers is very striking. They are available in two piano high-gloss finishes – black or rosenut. My review samples were rosenut and they garnered more positive comments from my house guests than almost any other speaker I have reviewed in the past couple of years. People (me included) also liked the magnetic grilles that were among the clingiest I've seen. In another nice touch, an Enegy logo is imprinted on the front baffles so the clean look without the grille and sans mounting hardware was about as good as it gets.
The rear speakers have some unique features as well. They have a front-firing CSM in addition to a pair of 2" cone midranges on the sides. These drivers are switch selectable between bi-pole or di-pole operation. There is an L-Pad on the control panel that attenuates the response of the side drivers. Special keyhole wall mount hardware is included with the speakers. The mounting hardware is designed to leave ample space behind the cabinet so you can use thick gauge speaker wires to connect the rears.
Outside of its high gloss black finish, I found the V-SW10 subwoofer to be pretty basic by today's standards. Its 10-inch fiberglass main driver is in a rear-ported cabinet and is powered by a 300 watt RMS Bash amplifier. The plate amp has line level and speaker level inputs, a variable crossover setting, a 0/180 phase switch, a level control and an On/Off/Auto selector. This sub does not have automatic room correction.
Some assembly of the main towers was required. This involved installing the plinth and the included floor spikes or rubber feet. Once I had this done, I placed the main speakers 10' apart and 3' away from the front wall. The center was placed on a shelf below my plasma display while the sub was placed in the front left corner of the room. I mounted the rears on the back wall and set them to bi-pole operation.
Associated equipment was my Oppo BDP 83 SE player, a Marantz AV7005 pre pro and an Emotiva XPA 5 power amp. I ran the automated Audyssey room correction and then reduced the side drivers on the rears by 2 – 3 dB before auditioning. The mains were being run full range with the center and rears crossed over at 80 Hz. All my below listening impressions were made with Audyssey room correction engaged unless otherwise noted.