Sleekly stylish surrounds
All the speakers in the B&W FPM Series echo the forms, finishes and dimensions of plasma and LCD TV screens and offer superlative sound. The FPM2 matches the other models in the FPM series in terms of timbre and the choice of finishes, but the use of a single Kevlar® cone bass/midrange driver allows an ultra-compact design that makes ideal as a surround speaker.
Like the other models, a Nautilus™ tube-loaded tweeter completes the driver line-up and ensures superb performance, inviting the FPM2 also to be used for 2-channel audio where space is at a premium, especially if combined with a compact subwoofer such as the PV1.
A simple wall bracket is included to mount the speaker flat against the wall. If angling is required, threaded inserts are provided on the back to use an Omnimount® type 10.0 (wall or ceiling) or other compatible bracket.
As an alternative, the speaker can stand freely on a shelf or table when fitted with its detatchable rear support leg.
FPM frames are available in three finishes — silver, anthracite and gloss black — to harmonize with the most popular flat panel TV frames. Also, if you’re planning on countersinking your plasma screen into the wall, you can do the same with any of the FPM models to leave just the frame protruding.
Some of B&W’s cutting-edge technologies in this FPM Series speaker include:
The midrange is where the real musical action is invariably found, and a smooth midband is an invaluable loudspeaker quality. Enter Kevlar. It’s been B&W’s cone material of choice since 1974, and with good reason. The basic woven fabric is first impregnated with a stiffening resin that cures during the cone forming process. The cone is then further treated with a polymer coat, which seals the fibres and adds damping. The result is a semi-flexible cone, which exhibits a peculiar style of break-up behaviour, not found in more conventional materials, that maintains a more constant dispersion pattern at all frequencies in its range and transmits far fewer delayed, time-smearing sounds to the listener. Not only does it deliver a cleaner sound, it can do so to a wider group of listeners.
The parts of a speaker doing the hard, mechanical work, the drivers, act on the signals distributed to them by the electrical processing part: the crossover. The thing to look for is its simplicity. Some speakers demand complex crossovers to compensate for the shortcomings in their drive units. The better the mechanical design, the simpler the electronic design can be.
The engineers at B&W are still working to understand fully why and how certain components influence the sound of a speaker. Since different manufacturers’ versions of nominally the same component significantly alter the character of the sound, the experts at B&W feel the only solution is to put their trust in theeir ears and to choose what sounds best. They carry out exhaustive listening tests rigorously assessing the performance of each component until they find the optimum component for each position in the circuit. Fine-tuning by ear is only possible if the crossover is simple and the section of the crossover that perhaps benefits most from our policy of listen-and-learn is the part handling the signal for the tweeter. In most B&W speakers, it is carried by a single, ear-chosen component that preserves the very finest detail.
Nautilus Tapering Tube
The sound of silence. Not all sound generated by speaker drive units is good sound. The kind that emerges from the back of a working driver, into a conventional box cabinet, can bounce around and make a mess of the good sound coming out of the front. B&W’s trailblazing Nautilus™ speaker found a way around boxes. Tapering tubes filled with absorbent wadding soaked up the wayward sound energy and reduced resonances to an insignificant minimum.
Nautilus™ Tapering Tubes are fitted to nearly all B&W speakers, even when they’re not visible to the eye. Sound is channelled through a hollow pole magnet, away from the diaphragm, and disappears into the tail. So all the sound you hear is good sound.