Blue Diamond treasure trove

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					04_HCC_119_audiopro diamond   20/6/05     12:23 pm          Page 75




                                                                                                                                                                  Tried&Tested




                                                                     AUDIOPRO BLUE DIAMOND N £1,550 (Approx) N 01423 359054 N www.audiopro.com




                                        Blue Diamond
                                        treasure trove
                                        Adam Rayner gets turbo charged by two
                                        towers with active bass as part of the Audio
                                        Pro Blue Diamond system


                                        I
                                            ’m one of the Horribly Unashamed         are arranged so the 5.25in driver and
                                            when it comes to low frequency           tweeter are pointing out at the listener
                                            reproduction. I like it loud, deeper     from the rear corners, although they can
                                        than hell, very powerful, and able to        obviously be used in subtle zone
                                        scare the cat. I figure that if Jerry        applications. They are ported
                                        Bruckheimer or Steven Spielberg want         underneath, where the hole can be
                                        me to jump clear out of my seat, then        stopped up with a supplied piece of
                                        the reproduction system I’m using to         foam pluggery if you wish. I preferred
                                        enjoy their films should be able to do       them unimpeded. They have four blunt         RATINGS
                                        this for me.                                 conical feet underneath to hold the port     Highs: Looks gorgeous and not intrusive;
                                           Of course, that sort of massive scale     the right distance above the surface they    no need for a separate subwoofer
                                                                                                                                  Lows: Set up can be challenging
                                        and might will cost plenty, unless you       stand upon for some acoustic resistance.
                                        choose very carefully from the               There are carefully shaped rubber feet       Fronts/rears                    #####
                                        equipment that’s thought to offer            supplied with adhesive layers of tape for    Centre                          #####
                                        synergy. Audio Pro consider themselves       sticking to these cones if you want to       Bass                             ####
                                        kings of synergy. Take a look at the         spread the load.                             OVERALL                         #####
                                                                                                                              M




                                        imposing floorstanders included in this        The centre speaker and the Blue
                                        system. For the price of an upper-mid
                                        band set of five speakers, you are            SPECIFICATIONS
                                        getting paired active subwoofers, as         ITEM                           DETAILS
                                                                                     Audio Pro Blue Diamond v.2 fronts
                                        built in as well. This already looks like    Drive units                    One 10in long throw subwoofer with active
                                        good value.                                                                 175W amplifier per side; one 1in soft dome
                                           This review system actually comprises
                                                                                                                    tweeter; 1 6.5in coated midrange driver
                                                                                     Enclosure type                 3-way dual enclosure ported, one for midbass,
                                        a pair of weird-looking surround lumps                                      one for bass
                                        called QUBE, a centre speaker known as       Frequency response             22Hz-25kHz
                                                                                     Sensitivity                    89dB
                                        the Black Vector in its v.2 guise, and the
                                                                                     Power handling                 125w
                                        aforementioned set of front left and         Dimensions                     190(w) x 975(h) x 360(d)mm
                                        right towers with active subwoofers in       Weight                         30.5kg each
                                                                                     Audio Pro Black Vector v.2 centre
                                        each, the so-called Blue Diamond (v.2)       Drive units                    One 6.5in woofer; one 6.5in passive radiator
                                        that lend this system its name.                                             driver; one 3.5in midrange driver; one 1in
                                                                                                                    super tweeter
                                                                                     Enclosure type                 3-way passive radiator
                                        Is it a mirage?                              Frequency response             40Hz-25kHz
                                        The QUBE is a product that is sold           Sensitivity                    89dB
                                        individually and reminds me powerfully       Power handling                 125W
                                                                                     Dimensions                     185(w) 560(h) x 270(d)mm
                                        of the intent behind the Mirage              Weight                         12.7kg each
                                        Omnipolar concept. Although not as           Audio Pro QUBE
                                        wide-dispersing, their sloping faces still   Drive unit                     One 2.5in woofer; one 1in soft dome tweeter
                                                                                     Enclosure type                 2-way ported bass reflex
                                        radiate sound. They have an angled top       Frequency response             43Hz-28kHz
                                        with an asymmetrical cloth and plastic       Sensitivity                    87dB
                                        grille to cover what is a cube with a
                                                                                     Power handling                 125W
                                                                                     Dimensions                     335(w) x 250(h) x 250(d)mm
                                        diagonal slice lopped off the top. They      Weight                         9kg



       J U LY   2005                                                                                                               H O M E C I N E M A C H O I C E 75
04_HCC_119_audiopro diamond          20/6/05   12:24 pm            Page 76




     SpeakerSystem




                                                       The stunning piano black finish
                                                       means you’ll need the
                                                       protective gloves that are
                                                       supplied with the kit




     Smart cloth grills are offset by the
     piano black finish




                                                                                                                                               soundtrack and familiar sequences. I
                                                      ‘You get a fabulous 3D field along                                                       wanted to explore the depths of those
     The twin active subs can be fed via
     LFE phonos or line level                        with a vocal clarity and perfection                                                       twin subs, so started at the point where
                                                                                                                                               the water starts to shake in both the

                                                      of placement that is exceptional’                                                        glass and the huge T-Rex footprint.
                                                                                                                                                 Immediately, despite the differences
                                                                                                                                               between the tweeters front-to-back, I
                                                   Diamond towers all have super tweeters       input gain and master volume. The set is       could tell they were all voice matched.
                                               M




                                                   that reach a quoted 25,000Hz, yet the        supplied with two long single core             You get a fabulous three-dimensional
                                                   tweeters on the QUBE are ‘better’ in that    phono leads and a ‘Y’ lead. You take the       sound field, in this case of surrounding
                                                   they claim to reach 28,000Hz. The            LFE feed from your amp and split it            jungle noises, along with a vocal clarity
                                                   tweeters on the front soundstage             between the two boxes’ inputs and then         and perfection of placement that is
                                                   speakers all live in floating die-cast       balance it all up. A little like balancing a   truly exceptional.
                                                   aluminium sub-enclosures so as to keep       broomstick on your nose, I had two               When the bass comes along, it is
                                                   their output clean. The centre sports a      master volumes, two phono level input          fittingly impressive. The bass is rich, fat
                                                   3.5inch midband driver beneath the           controls and of course the LFE feed            and drops deeply, if not quite as low as a
                                                   tweeter to keep the horizontal energy        attenuator system from the reference           reference quality sub, like my resident
     The two floorstanders have integrated         dispersion more even, we are told. The       Acurus ACT3 pre-power combo I use for          Rel can do. Rated down to 22Hz, I also
     active subwoofers                             left and right have a rear-firing port to    this sort of thing to get hunky dory.          tried my standard 16Hz ‘can you cope’
                                                   help the 6in driver go with their tweeter,     This was in fact a total doddle,             test from the old Mars Telarc recording. It
                                                   in a separate enclosure at the top of the    although you do have to get up, sit            was clear that something was rumbling
                                                   tower.                                       down, go ‘Hmm?’ and do it again a              even if they didn’t reach fully flat down
                                                     The Black Vector centre speaker            couple of times before it sounds right         into the snake’s belly zone.
                                                   uniquely sports a passive radiator. This     rather than overblown. Once you have
                                                   means that instead of a port, only one of    put the knobs in place, put on the pairs       Conclusion
                                                   the bigger 6.5in drivers is driven. The      of white cloth gloves you have been            Once again this is an impressive 5.1
                                                   other allows the enclosure to breathe a      using, as supplied, to install the system      system from Audio Pro. It delivers a
                                                   bit and thus raises the efficiency to 89dB   back in their cartons. It is time              superb all round performance, with great
                                                   so it can keep up with the left and right    to enjoy….                                     imaging, dynamics, clarity and
                                                   towers a little better.                                                                     intelligibility, even when it is under
                                                     The Blue Diamonds each have fins on        Mixed and matched                              heavy drive, with bass that makes you
                                                   the back to allow cooling of their           Sometimes, I like to go retro and              look for paired coffee-table sized
                                                   onboard 175W amplifiers. They also have      evaluate speakers with an old movie. My        woofers that simply ain’t there. Stylish
     An underneath shot of the curious             an on/off switch, a sub-operating            choice here was Jurassic Park, a home          and surprisingly good value, they are
     Qube’s downward-firing port                   on/auto switch and knobs for both LFE        cinema classic with an awesome                 well worth auditioning I



       76 H O M E C I N E M A C H O I C E                                                                                                                           AUGUST          2005

				
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