San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Parsippany, N.J.— Emerson will enter the flash-memory music portable business under an OEM agreement with Auvi Technologies. Emerson will market Auvi's SA1000 portable through U.S. retail channels, while Auvi will continue to market outside the U.S. and through its online store. As the Emerson-brand MP100, the device takes shape as a USB drive capable of playing MP3 and WMA files and storing other types of files. It will be available in the late second quarter.
Mountain View, Calif.— Cirago International has begun shipping three new USB-type flash-memory music portables, all with built-in FM tuner and voice recording. The 256MB Stanchion at $169 plays MP3, WMA and WAV files for 12 hours on a single AAA alkaline battery. The Blastoff, available in 128MB and 256MB versions at $99 and $159, plays MP3 and WMA files and records directly from FM. They operate for 8 hours on internal NiMH battery.
Lexington, Ky.— Elan's second digital amplifier is the 16-channel D1650, rated at 16x50 watts into 4 ohms. It complements the System 12 eight-zone AV controller. The price will be announced in September.
Ontario, Canada — Paradigm unveiled its highest priced speaker series to date, the Reference Signature series. It tops out at $6,000/pair for the Signature S8 six-driver, three-way tower speakers. The company previously topped out at $2,200/pair. Also in the series: a six-driver, three-way center channel at $2,800 each; a five-driver, three-way surround at $2,700/pair; and a 1,200-watt Class D powered sub at $3,500.
Ontario, Canada — Anthem is stepping up its selection with two new amplifiers and a preamp/processor/tuner. The $4,999 D1 three-zone preamp/processor/tuner features THX Ultra II certification, THX EX and DTS ES decoding, Dolby Pro Logic II decoding, HDTV video switching, video scaling, whole-house-audio control center and upsampling to 192kHz on all channels. The brand's highest priced amps are the 5x325-watt (into 8 ohm) P5 at $4,999 and the 2x325-watt P2 at $2,499.
Binghamton, N.Y.— McIntosh's fourth-generation dual-zone home theater preamp/processor, the $7,600-suggested MX135, improves on an existing model by adding the following: Dolby Pro Logic IIx, DTS Neo:6, 1200 mips Texas Instruments Aureus DSP, a phono section, balanced ins and outs, five component-video inputs instead of two, a Harmony-brand remote and fiber optics in lieu of light bulbs. It also features upconversion to component video, stereo preamp and an optional plug-in AM/FM tuner module at $500.
Also new: the bridgeable MC275 vacuum-tube stereo amp, rated at 2x75 watts into stereo at 4 ohms, 8 ohms or 16 ohms and priced at a suggested $3,500.