Newport Audio Systems Columbia SC
West Columbia, SC
Audio / Video, Central Vac, Home Automation / Systems Integration / Home Networking, Home Theater, Security / Access Control / Surveillance / Gate Access
Klipsch, Onkyo, Panasonic, Samsung, Mirage, Honeywell, OnQ, Aton, Pronto, URC
One or more employees at this company have achieved CEDIA Professional Certification status:- Matthew Bridges, CEDIA Certified Professional EST II
Design, Sales, Installation, Sound Treatment, Control Systems, Multi-Room Music, Digital Media Servers, Programming, Structured Wiring, Home Automation
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Newport Audio Systems
October 20, 2008 By Brent Butterworth
Masters of Metal
Plastic is often unfairly derided in today’s world. Without plastic, we wouldn’t have Barbie dolls. Or Tupperware. Or Hyundais.
But sometimes plastic’s bad rep is warranted. Most in-wall speakers are made from plastic, and that’s one reason some of them don’t sound good. Unless the plastic is impregnated with a stiffening substance, it tends to vibrate in sympathy with the speaker drivers. The result is often smeared, unnatural sound.
Of course, you couldn’t make cheap in-walls without plastic. But Newport Audio isn’t interested in cheap in-walls.
Newport is a spin-off of California Audio Technologies, also known as CAT. Much of the technology in CAT’s ultra-high-end speakers trickles down into Newport’s line. CAT uses sophisticated computer numeric control (CNC) machines to carve the 5mm-thick aluminum faceplates on Newport’s Gold Series in-wall speakers. The faceplates provide a firm mounting surface for the speakers’ woofers and tweeters—and the faceplates contribute practically no vibration of their own.
Aluminum even finds its way into the doglegs that clamp the speakers into place.
The Newports feature drivers made in CAT’s own factories, using techniques developed in CAT’s high-end designs. The woofers employ a curvilinear cone design to increase stiffness. While the cones are made from polypropylene (a kind of plastic), they’re mica-impregnated to improve rigidity.
The crossover circuitry relies on high-grade components, such as 400-volt capacitors with a 5-percent value tolerance instead of the 100-volt, 5-percent (or even 10-percent) caps used in most crossovers.
I recently spent some quality time with a Newport Audio surround-sound system: seven G60MBR speakers for left, center, right, and surround channels, plus two G85.2SUB in-wall subwoofers. The G60MBR is an LCR-type speaker with two 5.5-inch woofers flanking a 1-inch tweeter. The tweeter has a switch that boosts or cuts the treble by 3 decibels to compensate for applications that don’t use a grille, or that hide the speakers behind thick fabric. The G60MBR produces little bass, so it must be used with a sub.
The G85.2SUB has two 8.5-inch aluminum-cone woofers. Each has a compact neodymium magnet positioned in front of the cone instead of behind it, an arrangement that allows the woofer to fit in a standard 3.5-inch-deep stud bay.
I later auditioned a pair of G85REC speakers, each of which has a single 8.5-inch woofer and a 1-inch tweeter (and the same tweeter level switch). This one can be used without a sub, so it’s the choice for a stereo system and for multiroom audio.
All of the speakers were installed with Newport Audio’s back boxes. These prevent the sound from the speaker drivers from leaking into the walls, and also minimize vibration of the drywall panels.
They’re optional, but strongly recommended. Incidentally, all of these speakers are weather-resistant enough to be used outdoors; severa...