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Teufel Columa 700 R Speaker System and Receiver - Teufel Columa 700 R
As for the CL 700/6 SWR, it's bulky, built like a tank and comes with four chunky spikes that screw onto the bottom. The downward-firing, long throw 250mm driver delivers bass frequencies from 30Hz up to 200Hz.
It's surprisingly attractive for a subwoofer too, and features an eye-catching illuminated red Teufel logo at the bottom of its gently curved front panel. Towards the top, you'll find a small, purple-illuminated display panel, which shows the current input and format being decoded. Beneath it are power, input and volume buttons for up-close control, but it also comes with a small remote, which is stumpy, cluttered and surprisingly cheap-looking for such a luxurious system.
On the back is a decent array of sockets, including two analogue stereo inputs, PC audio input, optical and coaxial digital audio inputs and FM/AM antenna inputs for the built-in radio tuners. This isn't a bad selection, but most home cinema fans will bemoan the lack of HDMI ports and Dolby TrueHD/DTS HD decoding, particularly with Blu-ray players being an increasingly common feature in British living rooms.
We hooked up the coaxial digital output from a Samsung DVD player to the Columa's digital input and let it loose with The Fellowship of the Ring's Mines of Moria sequence. Its performance with this pulse-racing scene is sensational, delivering a fast, fiery sound with clean treble lending loads of snap to sudden effects like clanking swords and swishing arrows, without it ever lapsing into brashness.
Moving around the room, you get the sense that the tweeter waveguides are doing a great job, as the character of the treble stays the same no matter where you are. This excellent handling of high frequencies also allows the speakers to effortlessly convey the movie's rich tapestry of sonic detail, from the distant rustling of leaves to gentle background ambience. The use of the same speakers for the front and rear channels - plus the same driver arrangement in the centre - ensures a uniform tonality across the soundstage, and of course their fantastic detail reproduction allows effects from the rear channels to be reproduced with pin-sharp clarity.
At the other end of the frequency range, the CL 700/6 SWR's bass output is tight and punchy, and as a result the cave troll's footsteps are given real presence as it stomps around the chamber, while its bellowing roar is deep and menacing. It's perhaps not as potent as the subs supplied with some of Teufel's more expensive systems, but there's more than enough power on tap to give action scenes real clout.