San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Dolby Digital EX receivers and preamps will turn up for the first time at CES, where other suppliers will unveil their first THX Ultra2-certified electronics and their first products equipped with DTS 96/24. Here's what dealers will find:
Aragon: The brand's first THX Ultra2-certified products include the Stage One tuner/preamp/processor and five two- and multichannel amps, including the brand's first seven-channel amp. They're the first new products from Aragon since its year-ago purchase by Klipsch. They ship in late January.
The $4,000-suggested Stage One tuner/preamp/processor features THX EX and DTS Discrete and Matrix processing, 192/24 DACs, and a one-touch user interface to reduce front-panel clutter and eliminate on-screen character generators said to degrade video signals. Wide-band video ins and out allow for HDTV routing without signal degradation, the company said. An RS-232 allows for software upgrades.
The Ultra2 amps are the $1,500-suggested 2x200-watt 2002, $2,500 5x200-watt 2005, $3,000 7x200-watt 2007, $2,500 2x300-watt 3002, and $3,500 5x300-watt 3005. All ratings are into 8 ohms.
Atlantic Technology: The company is delving into electronics with a preamp/processor incorporating DVD-Audio bass management, routing all signals above 80 cycles to satellites while sending the low frequencies to a subwoofer. The P2000, due February, is projected to retail for $1,695. It will be, the company said, the first commercially available preamp to offer Dolby Digital EX. A matching A2000 six-channel power amp ($1,200-$1,300) is rated as 130 watts per channel.
Denon: The company's new flagship receiver, the $4,300-suggested AVR-5803, is the company's first THX Ultra2-certified receiver, its first to upsample composite and S-video inputs to a component output, and its first with proprietary Digital Link 1394 connection to its Ultra2 DVD-9000 DVD-Audio/Video player. It's the company's second receiver with DTS 5.1 96/24 decoding. Other features: THX EX and DTS ES Discrete and Matrix decoding, and Dolby Headphone processing to deliver a 5.1-channel experience through two-channel headphones. Ship date is unavailable.
Panasonic/Technics: As part of its effort to phase out the Technics name in home audio, Matsushita will launch no new Technics-branded receivers but will launch new Panasonic-branded receivers. The new models include the company's first receivers with DTS ES and Dolby Pro Logic II. Each will be available in black or silver.
The $249-MAP SAHE70 open the series with DD/DTS, Pro Logic II, six-channel input, three S-Video ins, and two digital in. It's due April.
Next, the $349-MAP SAHE100 due May adds DTS ES Discrete and Matrix, DTS Neo: 6,compatibility with Dolby Digital EX soundtracks, DTS Neo: 6, and 6x100-watt amp. At $599 MAP, the SAHE200 adds component switching, more inputs, and 6x100-watt amp.
The $599-MAP DD/DTS 5.1 SAXR10 is only 1.7-inches-tall because of its 5x100-watt digital amplifier. It ships in January.
ReVox: The high-end company will launch its first DVD-receiver, sans speakers. The $7,000-suggested M51, due January, features single-disc DVD-Video player, DD/DTS 5.1 decoding, 5x60-wtt amp, and a six-card card frame allowing for future upgrades to DVD-Audio, digital radio, DD EX and DTS ES, or a multizone card.
Rotel: The company's first Dolby Digital EX products are two receivers at a suggested $1,000 and $2,000 and a $1,500 preamp processor. All feature DTS ES Discrete and Matrix. They'll be displayed at the Mirage.
Theta: A new DAC Card for Theta's Casablanca II Cinema and Music Controller delivers four channels of balanced audio and is capable of processing four 24-bit signals at 96kHz, 192kHz, and 384kHz sampling rates. When three cards are used, the Casablanca can deliver 12-channel audio: front L:CR, surround left and right, side left and right, front left and right subwoofer, surround left and right sub, and rear center (which can also be front center sub).It's available at $3,990 each.
Pioneer: The company began shipping its first two Ultra2-certified receivers in October in its Elite series at a suggested $3,000 and $4,200. They are also its first with DTS 96/24 and built-in room-error correction.
In its non-Elite series, Pioneer will show four AV receivers, two with Virtual Surround back-surround-channel processing to deliver a 6.1-channel-like effect from standard DD and DTS 5.1 discs. Of the four models, only the top model comes with six-channel amp and DD EX/DTS ES Discrete and Matrix decoding, making it the company's first receiver with DD EX. Price and ship dates were unavailable.
Yamaha: In expanding its receiver selection to eight from seven, the company will offer its first models with DD EX, DTS 96/24, virtual center-rear channel for DD EX and DTS ES Matrix decoding, and RS-232 port to download new surround-sound formats and upgraded DSP algorithms. The receivers are priced from a suggested $299 to $2,799. Like the '01 line, four are multizone, multisource models.
DD EX starts at a suggested $299 in the RX-V420, which also features DTS ES Matrix, 5x80-watt amp, virtual rear-center-channel reproduction, and DPL II. The V530 at $399 adds more digital ins and outs. The $499 V630 adds six-channel 6x80-watt amp, and the $590 V730 adds on-screen display, a remote with LCD, and phono input. These four models ship in March.
DD EX and DTS Discrete and Matrix appear in the new flagship $2,799-suggested RX-Z1, due in April. It features DD EX, DTS Discrete and Matrix, DTS 96/24, DPL II, DTS Neo:6, Cinema DSP, and eight-channel amp whose two front-effects channels can be used to power a second zone. Power output is 6x130 watts plus 2x45 watts. It uses 192/24 DACs for all channels, features three 100MHz component-video inputs and one component output, and comes with LCD touchscreen remote.
Three other receivers priced at $899, $1,199, and $1,599 features Yamaha's proprietary Dolby Digital Matrix 6.1 in lieu of licensed DD EX, and they offer DTS ES Discrete and Matrix.