Anyone who has been to my house knows that I like planar speakers. The sound
comes out the front and the back, and the design is formally called dipolar
as the front is out of phase with the rear. This means that when air is
moving out of the front, it is moving in towards the speaker in the rear.
Although planar speakers don't have an enclosure sound - because there
really is no enclosure - they have other problems, namely that the sound
emerging from the rear comes around to the front and cancels some of it out,
specifically the low frequencies.
The advantage of the planar speaker is the openness and transparency.
Some consumers don't like this kind of sound, because you can end up with
a 12 foot guitar playing in your living room.
I love it.
Anyway, a second configuration is called bipolar, meaning the sound
coming out the rear is in phase with that from the front. When the front
speaker moves air outward, so does the rear. Bipolar speakers have cones,
since there is no other way to have sound moving away from the speaker on
both sides at the same time.
You end up with less cancellation, but the sound is somewhat different.
A third type is the equipolar (not an often used word). This is where the
sound emanates out of the speaker front, sides, and back. Except for certain
very specific designs, it does not come out top and bottom as well, because
the drivers have to sit somewhere. In one case, the drivers are on top, so
it comes out everywhere except towards the bottom.
Bolzano Villetri is an Italian speaker company, and I jumped at the
chance to review a pair of their products, because the Italians build some
of the most exquisite cabinetry in the world. The engineering comes from
Russia, but they are built in Italy.
Their speakers are of the equipolar variety, with the sound coming out of
the enclosure center, in 3600 fashion, sort of like the equator
around our planet.
You can see from the photo above that the model they sent to me, the BV
HF3003 Campanile Piazzettta, is truly beautiful (the photo shows the 3003 on
the left and a 3005 on the right). The finish appears to be
quarter sawn mahogany, with about a dozen hand rubbed coats of polyurethane.
The BV 3003s
The 3003s are floor-standers in their 3000 Campanile series, which
also includes the larger 3005 Torre floor-standers, the smaller 3002 Duomo
floor-standers, the BV Center Channel, and BV Subwoofer.
Recently, we attended the Home Entertainment Show 2006 in Los Angeles,
California, and the review pair were there along with some of the other
products in this line. In the photo shown below -
used in our show report - you can see a pair of 3005s with the subwoofer
and center channel speaker.
The 3003s have two enclosures, one on top and one on the bottom. Each
enclosure houses one of the 6.5" woofers. The enclosures are ported.
The woofers face towards the center, and the two tweeters are mounted in
the open area between the woofers, facing up towards one of the woofers, and
down towards the other.
You can see in the photo below that the tweeters are held in place by
The drivers fire in phase with each other, so that when one cone is
moving out of its enclosure, the others are too. This creates a pressure
zone in the center, and the air then moves out into the room
Each speaker has a set of very large five-way binding posts, for
bi-wiring or bi-amplifying (remove the bus connector for this purpose).
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