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The first products launched by NHT since its November 2005 acquisition by Vinci Labs include the home-speaker brand's first component audio electronics.
By the end of February, NHT will ship its first preamp/processor and power amplifier. Dubbed the Controller and Power5, they retail for a suggested $2,750 and $2,000, respectively.
Both devices communicate with each other via a TCP/IP-based data bus to simplify system operation. The Controller, when used with NHT-brand speakers, also simplifies system setup when used with NHT LCR and surround speakers and an NHT powered subwoofer. When users initially set up their system, they are asked if they are using NHT speakers. They are then prompted to click on the speaker model number for each individual channel, at which point the Controller automatically adjusts the speakers' EQ, phase, and low and high pass filters for the specific NHT speaker/subwoofer combination.
The 7.1-channel preamp/processor, which comes with HDMI interface, lacks button and knobs, instead relying on a Q Wheel and Q Touch touch-sensitive design for system control. The interface is said to deliver intuitive operation and uncluttered and easy-to-read function displays.
The 5x200-watt Power5 Class D amplifier, when connected to the Controller via NHTBus, allows the Controller to control and continuously monitor individual channels or groups of channels for operational status and overall "health" with little user interaction.
For users who prefer an understated look, the products' LED graphics power down, only to "wake up" when the end-user waves a hand in front of the components.
The brand's previously announced entry into multiroom-audio electronics has been rescheduled for the fourth quarter of 2006 or first quarter of 2007. The launch, announced at 2004's CEDIA Expo, was postponed after NHT's previous owner, Rockford, decided to divest itself of non-autosound product lines, a spokesman said.