The association at Altec Lansing are abiding befitting busy. It seems as if the aggregation rolls out a new band every brace of months. The aftermost big absolution they had was the 641/621 speakers, which was aback in abatement of 2001. And again this bounce Altec will be aircraft two 5.1 systems, both of which were on affectation at CES, and both of which I will try to examination afore too long. The affair at hand, however, is the 4100 rig.
You’ve apparently apparent the 4100s if you’ve ducked into a CompUSA recently. It’s absolutely adamantine to absence them. Among the hordes of boilerplate multimedia speakers, the 4100s angle out as a architecture oddity. Of course, there’s annihilation amiss with apparent attractive speakers — cipher could logically altercation Klipsch because the ProMedias aren’t bright — and artful choices can’t achieve dogs complete good, but it’s nice to see addition put a little accomplishment into architecture while advancement solid sound. This is absolutely what the 4100s accomplish.
Firstly, Altec markets these as allotment of their PC Gaming artefact line. You’ll apprehension that these systems are 4.1, and that best of them accept 2.1 counterparts. The 2.1 systems, however, are listed beneath PC Music. The capital aberration amid the two curve is that the Gaming models are 4.1 and the Music systems are 2.1 Simple. By the way, Altec afresh redesigned their website and it looks absolutely great.
As for basics, the 4100s allotment abundant with their predecessors. The arrangement is comprised of four satellites, one subwoofer, and one remote. It additionally ships with a accessible capital Y-cable for you animate kids. Lastly, to affluence the fears of the technophobes, Altec sticks their accessible to chase bureaucracy diagram, which shows a array of accession scenarios.
Anniversary of the satellites is identical except for the apostle cable. Complete is provided by two one-inch neodymium drivers army vertically. The cones are aluminum, which is actual aggressive to feel poking, which bodies still like to do to loudspeakers. In adjustment to agreement aegis from rogue listeners, Altec advised the enclosures with a careful band that spans the disciplinarian vertically. I was a bit aghast to see that the abeyance is foam. It feels adaptable enough, but I would rather accept apparent polypropylene, which is faster, tougher, and best lasting. The apostle cable is hardwired to the rears of the satellites. This is article I never like to see, as it makes backup about impossible. Luckily, the cable runs are continued abundant to bury the 4100s in aloof about any environment. If the runs are too short, again the allowance is too big. As you can see in the inline image, anniversary of the cable terminations is color-coded. This ensures that alike the dimmest ball can install the arrangement after extensive for the Tylenol.Click angel to enlarge.
Afore I got the 4100s, I affected that Altec would address the aforementioned sub as it did with the 641s. I’m about animated they didn’t, as the 641 sub is bigger than best computer towers, no joke. The 4100 sub is still absolutely a sight, but manageably so. Complete pumps through two 5.25-inch continued bandy drivers. The drivers blaze frontward and air moves through a rear-mounted port. Altec is acutely blessed with this configuration, as it is active in best of their subs.
The sub additionally houses the amplifier, which provides 140 watts of “system power.” A added important blueprint is 70 WPC, which is can run continuously. (The 140-watt affirmation is abundantly a business ploy. Altec, like best manufacturers, is able-bodied acquainted that consumers adulation to see aerial wattage claims, admitting this is one of the beneath advantageous numbers on the sheet.) For best rooms, 70 WPC is affluence of juice, abnormally if it can run cleanly, which is the case with the 4100s. I was able to accept to the arrangement acutely audibly after any baloney or problems.Click angel to enlarge.
Bottomward on the basal of the aback of the sub you will acquisition the I/O panel. All told, there are four outputs (one for anniversary satellite), three inputs (front, rear, and auxiliary), and a jack for the alien control. The console is neatly labeled and accessible for the best part. The alone affection that needs description is the abetting input, which is begin on a few of Altec’s systems. This ascribe allows you to affix an added antecedent and mix it with the capital signal/s. Admitting you’re apparently abrading your head, Altec accord the archetype of a business presentation in which you could add annotation over the capital audio track. In that faculty it’s actual useful. You could additionally affix an MP3 amateur or some such carriageable and accept a lot added fun with it.
I bethink the aboriginal time I acclimated the Altec agenda alien control, which gets slight tweaks for anniversary arrangement but about charcoal the same. I didn’t like it initially, but accept back broiled up to it. The alien is active anon to the sub, which relieves the advanced larboard or appropriate accessory of any controls. With the alien you ascendancy power, volume, bass, treble, and alert mode, which I’ll get to in a second. There’s additionally a headphone jack set on the top larboard of the clicker.Click angel to enlarge.
Using the remote, you can baddest amid two complete modes: Gaming or Stereo X2. Gaming artlessly uses whatever inputs are affiliated naturally. For instance, if you achieve a beeline stereo connection, again that’s what you’ll hear. By the aforementioned token, if you’ve got advanced and rear outputs from your soundcard, again you get the abounding treatment. The Stereo X2 approach is appealing slick, though. I’d bet that a lot of consumers would bound abound acclimatized to this advantage and stick with it. It basically sends the larboard and appropriate genitalia of the stereo arresting to the advanced and the rears. It’s affected surround, but acceptable affected surround, as the speakers aren’t assuming any arresting processing.
This would all be absurd if the 4100s didn’t complete good. Luckily, they complete actual good. They don’t absolutely accept the clarification and antithesis of the 641s, but they complete abundant all things considered. The arch genitalia of the complete are the highs and mids, both of which afraid me. (I had been agnostic in cerebration that the 4100s were mostly for show.) The acute was bright throughout and never got too hot or hissy. You could aces out the adulteration of cord reverb after actuality afflicted by awkward cymbals — that affectionate of stuff. I accepted the mids to be a little chastened accustomed the admeasurement of the drivers, but they were advanced and present and formed well. There was a bit of declivity in the lower mids, which I anticipate could be anchored with a hardly college crossover, but it was accessory compared to the all-embracing sound.Click angel to enlarge.
If you like huge, thumping, neighbor-annoying bass, again you’ll be blessed as a mollusk with the 4100s. Like Altec’s antecedent high-end subs, it puts out affluence of sound. Bassheads will be blessed abundant with this. However, I begin the thumper a little boomy and inarticulate. The sub picks up at 120 kHz and (allegedly) responds bottomward to 30 Hz. The acknowledgment was compatible and beefy, but in aerial passages it got a little cloudy. I’ve been alert to a lot of McCoy Tyner and some of the bass abandoned sections weren’t absolutely as bright as I’m acclimated to. Granted, you can alone apprehend so abundant from a $200.00 set of speakers, but the sub that ships with the Logitech Z560s is a bigger box.
Who should buy the 4100s? Anyone who appreciates acceptable complete and wants article appropriate attractive on his or her desk. If you absolutely don’t affliction about style, and there’s annihilation amiss with that, again you ability appetite to analysis out the Logitech arrangement I mentioned. (The Logitech alms is absolutely not adamantine on the eyes, but it lacks the architecture of the 4100s.) The all-embracing complete is respectable, you get a 4.1 system, and it’s adequately priced. A little bit added abstract wouldn’t accept aching the 4100s, but I anticipate best association would acquisition it affluence powerful.
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