By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Sunfire expects its sales to resume growth this year with the launch of its first receiver and its third-generation home-theater processor.
Late in the first quarter of next year, the company will launch its first powered subwoofer with digital preamp functions, including digital crossover and phase adjustment. The product will also feature digital room-error correction "to take out room modes," said sales and marketing VP Randy Bingham.
The new processor, the Theater Grand III at a suggested $3,495, is the company's first processor with Dolby Digital EX and DTS ES 6.1-channel processing, promising to accelerate the company's processor sales, Bingham said. The receiver, called the Ultimate Receiver, will further drive up company sales because, at a suggested $3,995, it's the first $3,000+ receiver that's compact (at 6x17x16.5 inches), light (at 35 pounds compared to other models at 60-80 pounds), and capable of delivering component-separate quality, Bingham claimed.
He attributed the receiver's advantages to the use of Bob Carver's Tracking DownConverter amplifier technology, whose 90 percent efficiency allows for high output in a compact chassis.
The Ultimate, said to be the most powerful receiver on the market, is tentatively rated at 7x200 watts into 8 ohms, from 20Hz-20kHz, with at least two channels driven simultaneously, Bingham said. "No one's doing more than 7x120 or 7x140 watts [in a receiver]," he said.
The receiver, due in late August, downmixes multichannel audio to two channels for second-zone delivery. "I don't think any high-end receiver does this," Bingham said.
The Theater Grand III, shipping since June, adds multiple features over its predecessor, including ability to downmix multichannel material to two channels for second-zone delivery.
Sunfire markets through 450 outlets, mainly independents but including 50 Ultimate stores in select markets.
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