ULTRA AUDIO -- Archived Article

December 1, 2008

James Bond's Stereo

Ian Fleming’s James Bond has always had a special relationship with technology. One reason this has been highlighted to such a degree in the many Bond movies is the fact that the makers of luxury goods pay to associate their products with the suave but tough Bond: from the Omega Seamaster to the Aston Martin DB5, Bond always has the coolest gear and shows it off in the most exotic and lavish locations around the world.

In light of the recent release of the latest Bond flick, Quantum of Solace, I came to the conclusion that Agent 007 would be a prime candidate for a really good stereo system, albeit one with some modifications to suit his, uh, personal needs. Let’s face it: whether he’s entertaining a striking but dangerous double agent or protecting his top-secret bachelor pad from a rogue assassin, a good hi-fi system can come in handy. So here is my proposed stereo system for James Bond:

Anchoring 007’s stereo system would be the Fujitsu Ten Eclipse TD712z loudspeakers. With their all-metal finish and distinctively modern pod-esque appearance, they look the part of Bond-approved gear. Q would modify each speaker’s cylindrical head so that it rotates through 360 degrees via an ultraquiet motor system, and inside each tweeter’s voice-coil would be a small-caliber automatic weapon. When not in use as a sprayer of lead, the barrel would provide extra heatsinking for cooling the tweeter during those raucous, swinging parties that only spies, top government officials, and aristocrats are invited to.

James Bond would never approve a hi-fi system that had been assembled without a nod to British-made components. The Chord QBD76, the perfect digital front end for Bond’s stereo, is made in Kent, England. Bond can connect to it wirelessly from his laptop computer, where his music will be stored in a lossless, proprietary software format designed by MI6 (with cooperation from Meridian, of course). Modifications: Q would fit the QBD76 with a custom GPS device and MI6’s brand-new Loudspeaker Guidance System. The LGS/GPS system -- in conjunction with a dedicated heat-sensing satellite -- would be able to locate intruders in real time, then wirelessly transmit firing coordinates to the loudspeakers. The LGS would serve two purposes: adjust speaker toe-in for best imaging no matter where Bond happens to be sitting, and aim the speakers at those unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time -- and on the wrong side. The Chord is small enough to fit unobtrusively into a suitcase should Bond need to quickly bug out, and it’s housed in a chunky aluminium case that’s good for surviving those unexpected detonations of plastic explosives.

Cabling would be Crystal Cable Dreamlines -- extralong speaker cables that, in a pinch, can be used as ultrastrong rope when Bond needs to escape from his fifth-floor apartment by leaping through a window and rappelling to the ground. The Dreamlines are also thin enough to be used as weapons in hand-to-hand combat by . . . well you’ve seen the movies. Think lack of oxygen.

A quad array of JL Audio Gotham subwoofers would provide the groovy bass lines that Bond so desires while relaxing from a three-month undercover stint. The Gothams’ massive low-bass output could also be used to disorient unsuspecting intruders, or mask explosions so that sleeping guests aren’t awakened -- two handy features available with no modifications at all.

A set of Krell Master Reference amplifiers could be bolted to the foundations of Bond’s home -- but these Master Refs would not be fitted with the usual massive Krell innards. Instead, Jeff Rowland would modify these units with tiny class-D amps capable of outputting more power than the original Krell specs, leaving enough room inside the bulletproof metal chassis that they can be used as his-and-hers fallout shelters in case Bond can’t defuse that suitcase nuke in time.

Now that I’ve outlined it, you, too, can have James Bond’s stereo system. My understanding is that it sounds terrific, and has been measured to a tight frequency-response spec of +/-0.007dB from 20Hz to 20kHz. You might have noted that I’ve left out the preamplifier. All I can say is that it’s Top Secret. I could tell you, but then . . . I’d have to kill you.

. . . Jeff Fritz

PART OF THE SOUNDSTAGE NETWORK -- www.soundstagenetwork.com
All contents copyright Schneider Publishing Inc., all rights reserved.
Any reproduction, without permission, is prohibited.

Ultra Audio is part of the SoundStage! Network.
A world of websites and publications for audio, video, music, and movie enthusiasts.