In the Forums...
Posted: December 19, 1999
Written by: Chris Burek
Not only does the AV 390PL boast impressive performance specifications, it also has a very robust set of features differentiating it from the competition. With a rating 70-watts RMS - 15-watts per satellite and a 40-watt subwoofer - this system packs a serious punch. Each satellite houses two drivers -- a 1" tweeter and a 3" mid-woofer, while the subwoofer is home to a 6.5" woofer. The frequency range measures from 40Hz to 20kHz, which is the norm for the majority of today's speaker systems.
Specs aside, the AV 390PL has many useful features setting it apart. The system operates in three different modes: Normal Stereo, Enhanced Stereo, and Dolby Virtual Surround. The three modes can be toggled by the button marked DSP on the right satellite speaker.
Environmentalists rejoice, this system features an automatic power saving feature, which sends the speakers into a low power consumption mode if there are no sound signals being passed to the system. Once a signal is present, the system will automatically resume at full power.
One other feature some might find useful is that the system sports two stereo input connectors. Meaning, you can connect your PC, and also another peace of stereo equipment such as a Walkman or Discman.
The satellites are very nicely crafted to say the least. They stand almost 10" tall, and are very durable in structure. The speakers are designed with a small slant pointing upward, which helps the sound point more in line with your ears. Speakers are always positioned best when they are in line with your ears, because the sound is being pushed straight to you. That's why we love the idea of monitor mounted speakers or speakers with stands. Although the AV 390PL lacks monitor mounts or stands, slanting the design is a great idea.
The right satellite speaker holds most of the controls for the AV 390PL, which includes volume, DSP, treble, contour, and also a very useful feature which not enough speakers system have, a headphone jack. The volume knob also doubles as a mute button when pressed. As we mentioned before, the DSP button controls the three sound modes, and treble control speaks for itself. The contour control adjusts the bass response for the system.
On the subwoofer, the power button, and bass gain controls are positioned. One feature we've come to dislike about many speaker systems is having the power switch integrated onto the subwoofer, and this isn't by any means the first time we've seen it. It's a hassle to reach down each time to shut the system on or off, and would be much better implemented into a satellite speaker. The AV 390PL's subwoofer is designed unlike any other we've seen. Most subs are cube-like in shape, but in this case, the sub is square in shape, but almost flat. Another interesting feature is that the subwoofer can be mounted under your desk or on the wall to save floor space. This is done with screws. We choose to simply put the sub on the floor.