Altec Lansing BIAS 550
(1987 - c. 1991 ?)

ALTEC's attempt to crash into the home market, a few years short of Altec's gradual goodbye. A huge effort built like a professional monitor with features galore, the list price must have been... quite discouraging. BIAS means Built In Amplification System btw.

The BIAS 550 is, naturally, an active loudspeaker system : five Class AAB amplifier power each transducer, each designed to meet the other - 700W per channel in pentamplification, with a maximum of .05% of distortion per amplifier.

Adding to this is the active equalization : plus or minus 6dB for each amplifier/transducer. And all this with either on the BIAS550 itself or.. with an IR remote !

The enclosure itself is in fact four in one : each bass, sub-bass driver and filter/amplifier is enclosed in its own A.C.R.S. (Acoustical Cabinet Resonance Suppression) sub-cabinet ; each cabinet is separated from the other with big damping foam rubber bars.

The high/mid vertical array is condensed into another cabinet which can also swivel around 15° for better positioning - Kenwood (and others) had tried that in the late 1970s with the LS-1900.

The drivers themselves are carbon fiber for the bass and polyimide diamond-coated for the high frequency drivers - rigid, lightweight and costly.

All in all a big 400kg wow which however didn't help Altec staying afloat, let alone keep the competition with the once in-house JBL men. I have no idea how many of the BIAS 550 were produced - probably a model "made to order" ?

Click the buttons below for the specs and detailed views !!!



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