New Products

Lexington, KY–based Thiel Audio has announced a new line of SmartSub subwoofers, "designed as the ultimate solution for bass management and reproduction in home theater and music sound systems." The line includes the SS1, SS2, SS3, and SS4 subwoofers, the SmartSub Integrator, and the PX02 and PX05 Passive Crossovers, a group of products said "to offer the most seamless and realistic low frequency reproduction possible." Company president Kathy Gornik describes the new line as "the world's first intelligent subwoofers."

Thiel claims that the SmartSub Integrator, an active electronic device selling for $4400, can be adjusted to automatically match any of the four subwoofers to your main speakers, regardless of brand or type, for the most accurate and seamless sonic integration, and that each of the subwoofers can be easily adjusted to accurately eliminate room interaction problems for any placement, without microphones or complicated measurements. Proprietary circuitry in the SS2, SS3, and SS4 corrects for compression distortion due to heating of the drivers' voice-coils for "more dynamic and effortless reproduction" reaching as low as 10Hz. Large magnet-structures and special high-excursion suspensions allow the subwoofers to move a very large amount of air for effortless, realistic reproduction of the most demanding sources; drivers are powered by an internal 1000-watt high efficiency switch-mode amplifier (500W for the SS1) with thermal overload protection. Prices range from $2900 for the SS1, with one long-throw 10" driver, up to $8900 for the SS4, with two long-throw 15" drivers.

Threshold modular multichannel amp: On July 8, Houston, TX–based audio manufacturer Threshold Audio, Inc. announced the latest addition to its S/e line of amplifiers. The S/3700e ships in a standard five-channel configuration and may be expanded to six or seven channels at any time. Each channel puts out 120W into 8 ohms and 200W into 4 ohms, with both balanced and single-ended inputs. The 3700 is Threshold's first modular design and the company's first amp with internal heatsinks, according to vice president Kevin Lee. "Even so," he says, "it is a true S/e product, making use of the same circuit topology, quality of construction, and front panel design as our well-received S/5000e Stereo Amplifier."

Vice president of manufacturing Billy Curtis points out that on a per-channel basis, the S/3700e represents the lowest-priced Threshold-branded amplifier since the 1980s, making the unit a "very high value." The five-channel S/3700e has a recommended retail price of $3500 but is being made available direct from the manufacturer within the US at a special introductory retail price of $2500. The 3700 may also be ordered as a six- or seven-channel amp containing one or two additional modules.