Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. That may be true, but in my humble opinion, the mother of all truly good invention is the struggle of fixing things born purely out of necessity. Take the relatively recent trend of speakers designed to mimic and blend in with in-ceiling can lighting. This was a thing our industry desperately needed. Here’s the thing, though: once you’ve installed a beefy in-ceiling speaker cabinet that ports out of a tiny little hole, what on earth do you do when repairs are needed, assuming they’re possible at all?
This is one of the many problems Triad addressed in the design of its new Designer Series In-Ceiling Speaker line, which makes its debut today and begins shipping—you guessed it—also today. I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek at the Designer Series speakers last month at manufacturing facilities in Portland, OR, though, and I have to admit that reparability isn’t the first characteristic that piqued my interest. Instead, I was blown away by the speakers’ incredible dispersion. And I don’t mean incredible for an in-ceiling offering; I mean incredible. Think of the sort of ultra-wide stereo image you get with a great pair of planar magnetic diaphragms. That wall-to-wall image that you just want to crawl right inside.
That dispersion is thanks to Triad’s Ultra-Broad Dispersion (UBD) tweeter, appropriately enough, which cranks out an amazing 150-degree cone of sound. But that’s not the only driver packed into the Designer Series speakers. In addition, the DS4-FR full-range speaker will pack in two 3-inch x 6-inch woofers, delivering bass extension down to a hefty 55Hz.
Not enough bass! I hear you yelling. And Triad heard you, too, before you even said it. That’s why there’s the DS4-SUB, which shares the same chassis as the full-range DS4-FR, but swaps its 2.5-inch UBD tweeter for another 3-inch x 6-inch woofer, dropping the low-frequency extension down to 28Hz. And all of this sound cranks out of a single four-inch port, which can be covered by either a round or square (sold separately) flush-mount grill.
As for the serviceability mentioned above? It applies not only to the three drivers in each speaker, but also its crossover, should something go wrong in that department. The speed and ease with which the UBD tweeter pops out of the DS4-FR, providing easy access to all of the speaker’s internals, is really neat when you see it in action.
Now you see it, now you don’t! One of the coolest things about the DS4-FR is its modular, serviceable design. Here we see the speaker with and without its UBD tweeter, which can be quickly removed for access to the speaker’s woofers and crossover.
Other cool design features include the solid wood cabinetry of both the DS4-FR and DS4-SUB, which isolates the sound and keeps it focused in the room, where you want to hear it. As for pricing, both speakers in the Design Series carry a $1,400 MSRP, and come with a 10-year warranty.
When mounted in-ceiling (in this case, the ceiling of Triad founder Larry Pexton), the new Design Series speakers boast a minimal footprint and maximum performance.