TruAudio Select Series Helps Integrators by Raising the Performance Bar
CE Pro Review: TruAudio has developed a new high-performance line of products called the Select Series that are designed to deliver high SPLs and high levels of clarity for home theaters.
TruAudio has produced a lot of speakers over the years under its own brand name. The Utah-based company has also offered a number of other solutions under brands such as Unified Copper, Forge and Padimount that address the rack, cabling and iOS mounting categories. Adding another brand to its umbrella of solutions, TruAudio has just launched its Select Series high-performance loudspeakers.
The Select Series was developed specifically for professional integrators, for applications like home theater.
The first two products in the high-performance Select Series are the S63 monitor and W12 active subwoofer. These products can be used for stereo, traditional home theater and object-based surround sound installations.
S63 Monitor (MSRP $3,300)
- Two 6.5-inch midrange drivers
- Three 1-inch tweeters
- Bi-wire binding posts
- 8-ohm impedance rating
- 87dB sensitivity rating
W12 Active Subwoofer (MSRP $5,500)
- Dual 12-inch woofers
- Three-inch diameter voice coil and motor assembly
- Internal amplifier with ICE technology rated to produce 700 watts
- RCA and XLR (balanced) inputs
- Maximum SPL rating is 115dB
The S63 is a multi-driver, two-way sealed box design that utilizes a pair of 6.5-inch high-excursion midrange drivers and a trio of 1-inch tweeters set in a triple array. The drivers feature STEP Technologies’ MMAG motor technology, and the speaker also provides a dual set of binding posts for bi-wire configurations.
TruAudio rates the S63’s impedance at 8 ohms, its sensitivity at 87dB, and its continuous SPL at 111dB with 300 watts RMS at one meter.
The W12 employs dual 12-inch axially aligned 12-inch woofers, along with an ICE Power Class D internal amplifier that produces 700 watts of power. The company states the sub’s F3 rating is at 22Hz (-3dB), and it has a maximum continuous SPL rating of 115dB.
Rounding out the product lineup, TruAudio also offers an in-wall version of the S63 monitor, which is called the S63i.
Installing the TruAudio Select Series
Setting up a left, center, right front array of S63s with a pair of W12 subwoofers is a straight ahead proposition for professional residential integrators. The S63 sets up as a vertical or horizontal product, and in a home theater configuration the left and right speakers were aligned vertically with the center placed as a horizontal solution.
The S63 utilizes a modern-looking matte black/gray finish with what appears to be thick MDF enclosures. The speakers have some girth and are not lightweight products. Due to the weight and smooth finish, dealers will need to pay attention during the physical placement process. In this system, the speaker was placed on stands that included Auralex decoupling pads below a Stewart Filmscreen Phantom HALR screen.
The speaker’s binding posts easily accept cables like AudioQuest speaker cables, which were terminated in a standard configuration of banana plugs.
Moving on to the subwoofers, while not large by some subwoofer standards, the W12 does have a footprint that’s a little larger than a normal cube-type of product.
Beyond it’s height, which separates the W12 from those standard cube subwoofers that populate the market is its weight. The W12 is a monster. Because of its weight integrators should consider using two people to install the sub in clients’ homes.
Starting the installation with a single W12 subwoofer, it was placed between the center-channel S63 and the front right channel S63 below the Phantom HALR screen, and on an Auralex SubDude decoupling stand. Next up for the install, a Straight Wire subwoofer cable was run from the first LFE output on an Onkyo TX-RX810 receiver to the W12’s right RCA input (the W12 offers left/right RCA inputs).
Concluding the physical setup, the sub’s rear control panel features a number of performance options. Starting with the control panel’s three-way power selector (off/auto/on), it was set to on. The gain was set to noon, the low-frequency adjust was set a noon or unity between the cut and boost settings, and the low-pass filter was negated to allow the receiver to handle the subwoofer integration.
One last control was the low-frequency delay. This is an unusual control, and it could be a control that could be used with multiple subwoofers as a means to deal with phase and room integration. This control was turned off.
After recalibrating the systems levels through the receiver, it was time to listen to the speakers.
Just a note: several weeks after installing the first W12 sub, a second W12 subwoofer was added to the system. The integration of the second W12 followed an almost identical process as the first sub with the exception being it was placed directly across from the first in a mirror point type of alignment.
Sound & Performance
Here’s a little advice: approach the speakers with an open mind. While not known as a high-performance audio company, TruAudio’s Select Series are capable of delivering high levels of audio fidelity.
First of all, the speakers can be used with a variety of A/V receivers and amplifiers providing the products are capable of producing reliable clean power. In the case of the competitively priced Onkyo TX-RZ810, this is a product rated to produce 130 watts of power into an 8-ohm load and it was more than capable of driving the 8-ohm 87dB sensitive speakers to high SPL levels without strain with both stereo music and multichannel theater content.
Producing a nice airy soundstage, the S63 as an LCR trio work really well together. Moreover, the speaker produces a high level of detail within that soundstage to create an immersive listening experience that is lifelike.
As a center-channel speaker the S63 is mostly balanced, leaning on the dark side tonally, and thankfully it does not suffer from “chestiness” or noticeably rolled off high frequency attenuation. Its sound with dialog adds weight to both male and female voices, but it does not overdo “heft” for the sake of overemphasized lower midrange.
Watching everything from streaming martial arts movies on Netflix, to broadcast television, including Game of Thones, and music Blu-ray discs like Jeff Beck Performing This Week: Live at Ronnie Scott’s, the speakers displayed nothing but consistency. Characterizing that sound is a rich listening experience that is smooth, dynamic and punchy.
As good as the S63 is, the real star of the Select Series is the W12 subwoofer.
Considering its footprint, the sub, which is smaller than many high-output subs, easily plays down to 20Hz at significant output levels with seemingly little effort. At normal listening levels setup in a complementary manner with a room’s peaks and nulls, it’s achievable for the sub to achieve SPL levels north of 100dB at frequencies as low as 25Hz. Adding a second sub smoothens any system out, and in the case of the W12, depending on the room environment will find two W12s producing several dB of gain through normal listening levels and reasonable W12 control settings.
It should be pointed out the sub integrates well with the S63, and with music the Select Series does not sacrifice control and transient speed for output.
When viewed as a solution within a product portfolio, integrators should think of the Select Series as solutions they can utilize in situations where clients want high-output, clear-sounding speakers that are responsive enough to play music and movies equally well.
Separating test tones and real world content, nothing connects more with people than watching their favorite movie or TV shows in a system that brings a cinematic experience into their living rooms.
The Select Series is capable of this feat, and nothing proves it more than “Beyond the Wall,” the sixth episode from Game of Thrones’ seventh season. In a truly impressive display, the Select Series delivered a heightened level of “realness” to HBO’s popular show, as the subs added bottom end slam to the battle between Jon Snow and his men fighting the Night King’s dead white walker army. Such captivating television heard on high-performance speakers could convince Game of Thrones fans that, without a good system, they'd be missing something from their favorite program. It just goes to show why dealers should offer products capable of producing a visceral, emotional experience like the Select Series.
The additional benefit to dealers is that the Select Series will never be shopped on the Internet. The rise of GAFA and DIY presents a real problem for traditional integrators, and TruAudio delivers on the fundamentals that helped build the custom installation industry.
Adding everything up, TruAudio has hit all the critical points necessary to help dealers grow their revenues with its latest loudspeakers. It’s well worth any dealer’s time to hear the Select Series.
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Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org
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