Bamberg Series 3 TMW Loudspeaker Preview
- Height: 122 cm / 48.0"
- Width: 30.5 cm / 12.0"
- Depth: 44.5 cm / 17.5"
- Weight: 40 kg / 88 lb
- Internal amplifier power T/M/W: 100/100/170 W
- Input Impedance: 10 kOhm
- Bandwidth, -6dB: 22 Hz - 26 kHz
- Accuracy: +/- 2.5 dB
- Sensitivity, 2.8v, 1M, HS: 89 dB
Bamberg Engineering is a company that has been quietly producing loudspeakers that push the price/performance envelope for twenty years. If the name isn’t familiar to you, maybe a few of his clients are. Philip Bamberg has also designed loudspeakers for companies such as Klipsch, SVS, and Thiel, among others. His goals are relatively straightforward: achieving great sound, real-world size/format/cost, and attractive looking speakers to last a lifetime. "Speakers for life" is his motto and looking at these beauties we're pretty sure any owner would agree.
Part of Bamberg’s philosophy is that nothing more complicated than a 3-way is necessary for full-range audio reproduction, and that monitors atop stereo bass cabinets is the optimal way to go. Enter the Bamberg 3 TMW. Priced at $5,800 a pair, the Bamberg 3 is a three-way loudspeaker with built in amplification and DSP active crossovers. Numerous finish options are available, ensuring that potential customers will find something to fit their tastes.
Starting from the top, the monitor is a standalone speaker in its own right. The 22mm [7/8”] soft-dome tweeter and overbuilt 15cm [6”] midwoofer are mounted in a vented cabinet with low end output that extends down to 40Hz. This monitor is self-powered by a two-channel DSP plate amplifier rated for 100W/channel located on the back panel along with the dual-flared port. On the monitor’s bottom are four hemispherical vibration-isolating rubber feet. These soft feet provide high traction for the credenza or speaker stands, as well as isolate vibrations from the bass cabinet which could smear the acoustic image.
Closeup shot of the monitor section's built in amplifier.
Meanwhile, there’s the 32” tall bass cabinets, which support the monitors higher than is typical, putting the tweeters 1.15 meters [45”] above the floor. Bamberg states that this raises the sound stage to make it sound subjectively larger and more impressive. The cabinet contains a meaty 22cm [8.75”] aluminum cone woofer, as well as a 4” dual flared port which tunes the 2 cubic foot cabinet to 25Hz. As one might imagine, the bass cabinet is heavily built, with multiple internal braces as well as OC703 2” fiberglass lining for optimal damping. Power is provided by an internal 170 watt full-range amplifier.
Rear shot of the Bamberg Series 3 TMW.
One interesting technical feature is the crossover has been meticulously engineered to eliminate the floor bounce dip that normally occurs around 250-300Hz. Bamberg notes this leads to a richer tonal balance, and without artificially deviating from the neutral voicing. In addition, the 6° rearward lean further enhances imaging such that the speaker truly disappears when optimally located in the room. Crossover slopes are all 24dB/octave Linkwitz-Riley, with an eye toward maintaining extreme phase coherency across a wide band. Treble dispersion has been crafted to remain level off-axis, and with less drop-off than is exhibited by the more traditional 7” woofer / 1” tweeter format speakers.
A Modern Twist
With more seasoned audiophiles migrating to digital music servers and younger folks interested in high-end audio but without all the gear, one of the goals of the Bamberg 3 was to be compatible with a 21st century lifestyle. Inputs are available for for analog (from conventional outboard preamp), SPDIF digital (such as from CD transport), and USB audio (from phone, laptop, iPod, etc.). Each left/right speaker has its own internal amplifier in a Master/Slave setup. Remote volume control works with any programmable remote, meaning no external preamp or amp is needed; just add a music source and you’re all set.
We’ll admit to being more than a little excited about the Bamberg 3’s. A high end loudspeaker with extension down to 25Hz and stunning looks for $5,800/pair isn’t a bad deal on its own. Add in active DSP crossovers, a total of 370W of built in amplification per speaker, and the ability to just hook up a CD player and go…now you’re talking some serious value. Granted, $5,800 isn’t pocket change, but for speakers that can last a lifetime, that’s not such a bad price in our books. Anybody interested in a full review of these speakers? Make sure to sound off on our forums.
For more information, visit: http://bambergaudio.com/products/series3/3tmw.php
Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.