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Definitive Technology BP2X Supplementary Manual

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test report

BY RICH WARREN

Definitive Technology

PowerMonitor 700 Home Theater Speakers

STEREO REVIEW’S

SOUND & VISION

2500 has a 150-watt amp. And in the tradition of big,
bad subwoofers, Def Tech’s PF15

TL

+ comes loaded

with a 500-watt amp.

The clearly written manual lays out setup options and

supplies all the information you’ll need to maximize 
the speakers’s performance. You can simply wire the
PowerMonitor 700 as you would a conventional speak-
er, using the binding-post connections on its rear panel,
but Definitive also provides a line-level LFE (low-fre-
quency effects) input to connect its powered woofer to
the corresponding output on your receiver or
preamp/processor. I skipped the LFE connection and
wired all five main speakers to my 100-watt-per-channel
McIntosh amp in normal fashion.

I arranged the system in a typical layout for my 12 x

22-foot home theater, which is designed to THX speci-
fications. The left and right front speakers were on
waist-high stands about 2 feet from either side of a
widescreen rear-projection TV and toed-in slightly. I put
the center speaker on a paving block under the screen
and angled it up toward the listening position. All three
speakers were oriented vertically, which gives more
seamless front-stage imaging if you have the room for it.
The subwoofer sat about halfway between the left front

and center speakers. All of these speakers were at least 2
feet from the nearest wall. The surrounds were mounted
on the side walls, about 9 feet from the front speakers
and slightly above and behind my listening position.

I set the woofer-level controls on the PowerMonitor

700s to the one o’clock position and the level control on
the PF15

TL

+ sub to 11 o’clock with a 40-Hz low-pass

crossover setting. The sub’s back panel also has contin-
uously variable high-pass crossover and phase controls.

Setup chores complete, I popped Cast Away into by

DVD player. Tom Hanks gives a remarkable perfor-
mance as an executive whose jumbo jet veers off course

efinitive Technology’s PowerMonitor 700
home theater speaker system might be a
good thing to have wash ashore if you’re
ever a castaway on a desert island. The
PowerMonitor 700 left/right front and
C/L/R 2500 center speakers are small
enough to hang from a palm tree, yet their

powered woofers could shake loose all its coconuts. And
you’d better hope no dormant volcanoes wake when the
PF15

TL

+ powered subwoofer rumbles the ground.

Throw in a pair of Definitive’s tried-and-true BP2X sur-
round speakers, and you have a complete home theater
speaker setup—island or no island. (Of course, since
four of the six speakers require power, you’d need AC
outlets for them—but why ruin a good fantasy?)

Def Tech takes a mix-and-match approach to putting

together its home theater systems. For example, if you’re
short on space and cash, going with a smaller, less
expensive subwoofer would mean only a modest sacri-
fice in bass, or you could save $200 and half a foot in
shelf space by using a third PowerMonitor 700 for cen-
ter-channel duties instead of the beefier C/L/R 2500.

Both speakers carry on Definitive’s styling traditions

with classy but simple black lacquer end caps and a
wraparound black knit grille. The wall-mountable 

BP2X bipolar surround also has a black knit grille on its
two angled faces but vinyl wood grain instead of lacquer
end caps.

The PowerMonitor series, however, diverges from

tradition in a more significant respect. Definitive is best
known for its bipolar tower speakers, in which two sets
of drivers radiate sound both forward and rearward. The
PM 700 is in the middle of a three-model line of for-
ward-radiating bookshelf speakers. In addition to mag-
netic shielding, which allows the speakers to be next to
a TV without distorting the image, all PowerMonitor
models sport side-firing powered woofers and can be ori-
ented either vertically or horizontally.

The idea behind using powered woofers is to reduce

the burden on your receiver or power amplifier, which in
turn lowers distortion at high volumes. And because the
built-in amp is matched to the characteristics of the
woofer, you can get surprisingly deep, powerful bass
from a relatively compact speaker (loading the woofer in
the side of the cabinet keeps the baffle slender). The
result can come closer to the Dolby Digital ideal of full-
range frequency response in every main channel, instead
of a typical subwoofer/satellite system where even the
upper bass is relegated to the sub. Each PowerMonitor
700 packs its own 250-watt amplifier, while the C/L/R

D

“Exceptional…I heard imposing monoliths, 

but all I saw were bookshelf speakers.”

HIGH POINTS

Wide dynamic range.

Smooth, broad frequency response.

Ample bass even without subwoofer.

Exceptional imaging.

Compact, easy to place.

LOW POINTS

Requires four AC outlets.

Heftier surrounds would be icing 

on the cake.