Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bowers & Wilkins Introduces New CI 300 Custom Installation Series and ISW-3 Subwoofer

N. Reading, MA—July 2011—Just a little over a year ago, Bowers & Wilkins launched the CI600 and CI700 in-wall and in-ceiling loudspeaker systems which ushered in levels of performance, visual appeal and ease of installation that set new standards at their price points.

Now, B&W announces the CI300 series, an entry-level priced range designed for installations for which budgets are a consideration. "Our high-value, high-performance in-wall and in-ceiling CI 300 speakers are entry-level in price only," says Doug Henderson, V.P. Sales & Marketing. "The same acoustic and industrial design teams that created the higher-end ranges, led by Dr. John Dibb, developed the CI 300 models. From sound quality to installation mechanics, the CI 300s are extremely well-executed designs that have no peers at their price points."

There are three models in the CI 300 series: the CWM362, CCM362, and CCM382. The CCM362 ($300/pr) is an in-ceiling model with a 6-inch polypropylene cone bass/midrange driver and a 1-inch soft-dome tweeter. The CCM382 ($400/pr) is a larger in-ceiling speaker with the same 1-inch soft dome tweeter but with an 8-inch bass/midrange driver to provide deeper bass and higher sensitivity. The CWM362 ($400/pr) is a two-way, in-wall speaker based on the CCM362’s driver set. (Pictured is the model CCM362)

The CI300 models feature the same thin bezeled frame as the CI600 models, and the ceiling models can be used with optional square grille adapters designed to match popular in-ceiling lighting designs. They share the same cutout sizes, so PMKs and backboxes can be used interchangeably. Swing-out dogs and spring-clip wire terminals keep installation simple and easy.

The CI300 models have been designed with high moisture resistance for use in bathrooms, indoor pool areas, and more. Shallow in depth, the CCM362 is only 3.2” deep, and the CWM362 is 3” deep, to fit in 3” stud bays (assuming at least ½-inch Sheetrock.)

“While the new 300 Series has been designed for budget applications, the performance is clearly first rate.” continues Henderson. All drivers, crossovers components, and construction materials have been specified and evaluated by the best ears in the business. The sound is unmistakably B&W.”

The CI300 Series is the latest step in the revamping of the entire Custom Installation line.

Versatile Subwoofer: The ISW-3

The ISW-3 was born out of input from custom installers, particularly in the U.S., who were looking for an installation subwoofer with as close to a “zero visual footprint” as possible.

The ISW-3 features a unique forward-facing vent with a slotted grille that allows for installation into millwork and kitchen cabinets while venting through the base or toe kick, or it can be installed in walls, floors, or ceilings.

The subwoofer’s two 6.5” long-throw drivers vent through a 2 x 12” HVAC-type slot. Thanks to the balanced driver design, mechanical energy is not transmitted to the enclosure, thus eliminating any rattling of glassware or dishes even as plenty of deep bass is pumped into the room. The ISW-3 can vent directly through its slot facing forward, at which point it is only 9.25” deep (by 18.5” tall), or it can used with a unique right angle adaptor for placement on its face, taking up minimal height inside a cabinet. Placement choice is optional depending on the installation requirement. It is only 13” wide, designed to fit within many truss-style joists.

The ISW-3 is powered by a MkII version of the existing SA-250 rack mount amplifier. The SA-250MkII offers an external EQ switch setting for either the ISW-3 or ISW-4 in-wall subwoofer, plus a stereo summing input for distributed audio applications. A single SA-250MkII can power two ISW-3 or two ISW-4.

Of course, the ISW-3 had to be more than clever to please the Bowers & Wilkins engineers. With usable, low-distortion bass output down to a very respectable 21Hz, it is a true subwoofer. No energy is lost through pliable “vent hoses” and the like—the box is as solid as a rock, for clean output. Whether for distributed music or for stealth media-room applications, the ISW-3 will allow consumers to see nothing while hearing everything.

Availability & Suggested Retail Pricing: The ISW-3 and SA-250MkII will be available in mid-summer 2011. Both will retail for USD $1,000 each.