Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out



  • pg 1
									  PHASE TECHNOLOGY PC-1.5

The Authority in Entertainment Intelligence • www.hometheatermag.com   Electronically reprinted from October 2010


                                                        “...THEY’RE EFFORTLESSLY
                                                         MUSICAL, CINEMA-WORTHY,
                                                                 AND SATISFYING ON
                                                                   EVERY LEVEL.”

                                                                 “EVEN WITH JUST TWO
                                                                SPEAKERS, THE PC-1.5
                                                                   IMAGED LIKE A

                                                                                     sid m e y
                                                                                   In ste eak log

                                                                                     Sy Sp hno

                                                                                         .5 c
                                                                                       -1 Te

                                                                                    PC se

MIDRANGE                                                                                                                                                                                                                           PhaSe TechnologY Pc-1.5 SPeaker SYSTem

                                                                                                                  BY Mark Fleischmann                                                                                              wired mode (because I was               Perhaps the most noteworthy
                                                                                                                                                     SPECS                                                                         impatient to get started) and           moment, my notes remind me,
                                                                                                                                                     Speaker:                              pc-1.5                                  wireless mode. The latter required      was the “dream rumble” that
 Phase Technology PC-1.5 Speaker System                                                                                                              type:
                                                                                                                                                     tweeter (Size in incheS, type):
                                                                                                                                                                                           Two-way, monitor
                                                                                                                                                                                           1, soft dome (silk blend textile)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   me to plug the sub cable into the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   transmitter and the transmitter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           accompanies an early scene. Here,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           the satellites and sub combined to

                                                                                                                                                     woofer (Size in incheS, type):        6.5, RPF-glass-Kevlar cone              into a power outlet. To pair the        enhance a psychological insight in
price: $4,925 at a glance: Soft-dome tweeter and solid piston woofer Absolute                                                                        nominal impedance (ohmS):             4
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   sub with its transmitter, I flipped a   the story line. Eventually, the
phase crossover keeps drivers in polarity Wireless servo-controlled subwoofer                                                                        recommended amp power (wattS):
                                                                                                                                                     available finiSheS:
                                                                                                                                                     dimenSionS (w x h x d, incheS):
                                                                                                                                                                                           Black Gloss, Cherry veneer
                                                                                                                                                                                           7.88 x 13.63 x 12.94
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   toggle on the back of the sub and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   used a pencil to press a tiny
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           soundtrack was forced to follow
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           the plot’s hackneyed predictability,
                                                                                                                                                     weight (poundS):                      20                                      button on the bottom of the             with injections of cheap, harsh

Set Your Phaser on Stunning
                                                                                                                                                     price:                                $630/each                               transmitter. The process took just      music, the clichéd phase shifting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   a few seconds and worked on the         of vampire Edward’s spectral
                                                                                                                                                    cooled and utilizes a silk-blend           As you’d expect, phase is a         first try. The two-way, 2.4-giga-       appearances, and the gutteral cries
                                                                                                                                                    textile dome, as opposed to            recurring theme in the Phase            hertz, uncompressed streaming           of Jacob’s pack of werewolves,
                                                                                                                                                    plastic, with a neodymium              Technology story. The company           can operate at distances of up to       which my notes said were “like a

                                                                                                                                                    magnet. Phase Technology was           takes special pride in its “absolute    50 feet, according to the manual.       garbage disposal gone awry.”
                   henever I hear a                                        brand, in which his son Ken has    Collection, which includes two        the first speaker maker to use this    phase crossover,” which ensures         For an additional sub, you’ll need      While the system was duty-bound
                   surround speaker     PHASE TECHNOLOGY PC-1.5            been active. Ken’s innovations     monitors, a floorstanding model,      type of lightweight but powerful       that the woofer and tweeter move        an additional transmitter.              to tell the truth, it did so with a
                                        SPEAKER SYSTEM
                   demonstration        PERFORMANCE                        include dARTS (the Digital Audio   two centers, and a bipole/dipole      magnet in a tweeter. This              both acoustically and electrically         Associated equipment included        high level of listening comfort.
                   that uses only       VALUE                              Reference Theater System), which   surround. I chose the PC-1.5, the     particular soft dome trickled          in phase—that is, in the same           a Rotel RSX-1550 A/V receiver,          Despite the aggressive and often
                   movie content        BUILD QUALITY                      thoroughly integrates digital      larger of the two monitors. I also    down from the bleeding-edge            direction at the same time.             OPPO BDP-83 universal disc              cheesy effects, my prolonged
and ignores music, I always feel                                           signal processing and speaker      added the WL12 subwoofer,             dARTS system.                          According to the literature, this       player, Rega Planar 25 turntable,       listening sessions were remarkably
like something has been                and the installation of both        design to provide powerful,        which supports both wired and            And then there’s the woofer,        prevents nulls from forming             Shure M97xE cartridge, and              free of fatigue.
missed—or even deliberately            projectors and sound systems in     room-corrected sound in            wireless operation. Before we get     which the company describes as a       among the front three speakers,         Bellari VP530 tube phono                    The lossless PCM soundtrack
hidden. As Phase Technology            places like New York’s Radio City   high-end applications. Phase       down to specifics, please note that   solid-piston driver. It is a triple    so sounds will pan smoothly from        preamp.                                 of Brooklyn’s Finest cruised along
notes in the brochure for its          Music Hall. In 1955, he started     Technology is now part of the      Phase Technology is one of the        laminate of rigid polymer foam         side to side. The company says                                                  at a higher than normal 69
Premier Collection speakers:           hand-building speakers. His prod-   MSE Audio Group, along with        rare American speaker brands          with a coating of glass fiber on its   this also improves vertical             A Familiar Voice                        percent of my A/V receiver’s
“We engineer our speakers to the       uct literature from that year       Induction Dynamics and others.     that currently manufactures           flat front surface, placed in the      dispersion, so the soundstage           The Phase Technology personality        volume control’s range, illustrat-
highest standards, knowing that if     includes the pregnant phrase,                                          domestically. Drivers are made in     same plane as the baffle, and          should remain the same whether          I’ve come to expect immediately         ing a thirst for power in this story
a speaker reproduces music with        “theater sound for the home.” In    Made in the U.S.A.                 the company’s Jacksonville            another coating of Kevlar on its       you sit, slouch, or stand. In           asserted itself. The midrange was       of an ethically challenged and
true transparency, then it will        1950, Hecht’s United Speaker        In addition to dARTS, Phase        factory, and final assembly takes     cone-shaped back surface. All of       practice, I found the soundfield        smooth and natural. Highs were          tormented police detective.
faithfully reproduce movie             Systems designed the first Fisher   Technology’s product lines         place in Kansas City.                 that is molded and laminated into      that the five PC-1.5s summoned          not exactly rolled off, but they        Despite the sudden blam that
soundtracks with the same              loudspeaker, the XP-1 monitor.      include the affordable Phase          The PC-1.5 is a stand-mount,       a single piece and is claimed to       to be enviably solid even as I took     weren’t accentuated in any way,         punctuates the opening scene, I
clarity.” Now I’ll put my oar in the      His most famous patent is for    Velocity Series, the CLR left/     two-way speaker in a sturdy           move as a single piece (or piston)     various positions on the sofa.          either. Instead, they seemed to be      never found the noisier action
water.                                 the soft-dome tweeter, although     center/right speaker, and Teatro   curved cabinet made of 0.75-inch      over its intended band. In some            The WL12 subwoofer has a            an organic extension of the mids.       sequences hard to take. I didn’t
    The reverse is also true: Some     he has several other patents,       soundbars, along with in-wall,     MDF. It mates one of Phase            more conventional cones, the           12-inch bottom-firing driver            That’s the way it should be.            touch the AVR remote’s volume
of the highest-quality recordings      mostly for driver-related           in-ceiling, outdoor, and multi-    Technology’s soft-dome tweeters       center’s movement doesn’t nec-         coupled with a 12-inch front-              The Twilight Saga: New Moon,         keys after the first few minutes. In
I’ve heard in recent years—with        technologies. In 1981, he           room products. But this review     with a 6.5-inch woofer on an          essarily directly transfer along the   firing passive radiator (in lieu of a   in DTS-HD Master Audio,                 a church confessional scene
the most moving dynamics and           established the Phase Technology    will focus on the Premiere         angled baffle. The tweeter is fluid   rest of the cone, which leads to       port). During my listening              brought out the system’s                accompanied by strings, the
the most complex layering—have                                                                                                                      breakup and muddied sound.             sessions, the sub operated in both      versatility, for both good and ill.     speakers summoned a gratifyingly
been movie soundtracks delivered
in lossless form on Blu-ray Disc.
A system that’s capable of
reproducing such soundtracks is
also ideal for orchestral works and
other challenging musical
    So: A system that reproduces
music well is also good for
movies. And a system that
reproduces movies well is also
good for music. We’re lucky that
high-resolution formats are now
available for both movie and
music content. In today’s
environment, a surround
audiophile is hip to the fact that
neither medium, movies or music,
is inherently second best in
relation to the other.
    Anyway, back to Phase
Technology. It is an all-American
company with an epic history. In
the early 1950s, founder Bill
Hecht was involved in the
development of cinema sound

OCTOBER 2010 hometheatermag.com
MIDRANGE PhaSe TechnologY Pc-1.5 SPeaker SYSTem

        hT labs                                    response (a five-point average of
                                                   axial and +/–15-degree horizontal                                   SPecS           wl12 Subwoofer

                                                                                                                       encloSure type: woofer (Size in incheS, type):
                                                   and vertical responses) measures
                                                                                                                       rated power (wattS): connectionS: croSSover
                                                   +1.87/–3.86 decibels from 200                                       bypaSS: available finiSheS:dimenSionS (w x h x
                                                   hertz to 10 kilohertz. An average of                                d, incheS): weight (poundS): price:
                                                   axial and +/–15-degree horizontal
phaSe technology pc-1.5
Speaker SyStem                                     responses measures +1.98/–3.34 dB
                                                   from 200 Hz to 10 kHz. The –3-dB
   Satellite Sensitivity:                          point is at 63 Hz, and the –6-dB
   88 dB from 500 Hz to 2 kHz                              point is at 52 Hz. Impedance
                                     Visit our Website

                                       for a detailed
                                                           reaches a minimum of 3.72
         his graph shows the        explanation of our ohms at 3.3 kHz and a phase           positioned the vocal (up front)       was fairly static. This did a great
                                     testing regimen,
         quasi-anechoic               plus a list of our   angle of –44.73 degrees at        with respect to the drums (way        job of turning the walls of my
         (employing close-            reference gear.      2.5 kHz.                          behind). The sub’s delivery of the    room into the fixed stone walls of
         miking of all woofers)                                The WL12’s close-miked        drums, which have a less              the church. With two tuned
frequency response of the              on the response, normalized to the                    prominent place in the mix, was       percussionists adding occasional
PC-1.5 satellite (purple trace)           web               level at 80 Hz, indicates that   amazingly subtle. I could only tell   vibraphone and glockenspiel, this
and WL12 subwoofer (blue trace).                         the lower –3-dB point is at 31 Hz   that the front driver was moving      was one of the most engaging
The passive loudspeaker was                         and the –6-dB point is at 24 Hz. The     by placing my fingertips on it.       chant recordings I’ve heard.
measured with grille at a distance of 1            upper –3-dB point is at 134 Hz with       (Low-level resolution is an aspect       These speakers are designed
meter with a 2.83-volt input.                      the Lo Pass control set to                of sub performance that doesn’t       and made in America by people
   The PC-1.5’s listening-window                   maximum.—MJP                              get enough attention in most          following long-standing trains of
                                                                                             surround speaker reviews,             original thought. More important,
              PHASE TECHNOLOGY PC-1.5 SPEAKER SYSTEM                                         including mine.)                      they are right up there with the
                                                                                                I moved on to the LP version of    most versatile speakers I’ve ever
                                                                                             Joan Armatrading, her untitled        reviewed; they’re effortlessly
                                                                                             1976 album. Like any Glyn Johns       musical, cinema-worthy, and
                                                                                             production, it has a big, mellow      satisfying on every level. And if
                                                                                             sound that works in any medium.       you’re having trouble running a
                                                                                             The vinyl and tube preamp             line-level cable to your room’s
                                                                                             spotlighted the vocal. It didn’t      most favorable subwoofer
                                                                                             sound bad in Dolby Pro Logic II       position, the seemingly minor
                                                                                             surround, but in stereo, Arma-        wireless-sub connection may
                                                                                             trading’s voice had a more tightly    become significant. This is an easy
                                                                                             focused and corporeal presence.       call for me: The Phase Technology
                                                                                             Much as I love hearing what           Premiere Collection PC-1.5
                                                                                             happens to stereo mixes when the      speaker and WL12 wireless sub
                                                                                             voice is routed to the center and     are beautiful performers and
                                                                                             ambience nudged toward the            deserve a top spot on your
                                                                                             surrounds, these speakers would       must-audition list.

                                                                                             not permit such tampering, at
                                                                                             least not with this album.               * Audio editor Mark
                                                                                             Two-channel was always the            Fleischmann is also the author
lush and emotionally fulfilling                 scene scored for a small string              better choice.                        of the annually updated book
tone.                                           ensemble. It was like listening to a            Except, that is, when the source   Practical Home Theater
   Perhaps I just like strings. In A            lunchtime concert in a church                material was recorded in sur-         (quietriverpress.com).
Single Man, an adaptation of                    with excellent acoustics—but with            round. That was the case with In
Christopher Isherwood’s                         haunting visuals that provided a             Nativitate Beatae Mariae Virginis,       Phase Technology Corporation •
semiautobiographical novel about                suitable end to the story.                   a Gregorian chant album by the           (888) PHASE-TK • phasetech.com
gay life in Santa Monica circa the                                                           Norwegian choir Schola Sanctae           Dealer Locator Code PHA
early 1960s, my favorite part of                Steel, Tube, Stone                           Sunnivae. The packaging labeled
the DTS-HD Master Audio                         Chris Whitley’s Perfect Day is an            the church recording as “5.0
soundtrack was the climactic                    album of cover versions dating               surround plus stereo.” Voices were
                                                    from 2000 with bassist Billy             arranged in an arc that lifted free
                                                    Martin and drummer Chris                 of the speakers (this out-of-
                                                    Wood from Medeski Martin                 speaker effect was also present in
                                                    & Wood. With Whitley on his              both of the previous music
                                                    National Steel acoustic guitar           demos). They sounded more like
                                                    and very little reverb, the feel         one voice than 14 women, in
                                                    was similar to Whitley’s                 much the same way as a great
                                                    audiophile classic Dirt                  orchestral string section, bowing
                                                    Floor—except with rhythm                 together, sometimes sounds like
                                                    section. I didn’t attempt to             a single instrument. Unlike a
                                                    rechannel the stereo-only                lot of surround recordings where
                                                    SACD/CD. Even with just two              reverberant sounds flow from
                                                   speakers, the PC-1.5 imaged               front to rear, this one had ambi-
                                                like a champion. They precisely              ence in all five channels, and it

     Posted with permission from the October 2010 issue of Home Theater ® www.hometheatermag.com. Copyright 2010, Source Interlink Media. All rights reserved.
                                       For more information on the use of this content, contact Wright’s Media at 877-652-5295

To top