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Harman's JBL Synthesis Systems Upgraded

10/15/2015 08:00:00 AM Eastern

The Harman Luxury group is bringing Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and Auro 3D surround to its line of high-end JBL Synthesis home-theater electronics/speaker packages, which will also for the first time get HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2.

The new surround and connectivity technologies will appear in the JBL Synthesis SDP-75 audio/video processor, which will be available in March or April and will be demonstrated at the Expo.

The SDP-75 would be available for use with an unspecified number of the brand’s nine Synthesis systems, which run from $27,500 to $265,000 for preconfigured systems that can be customized by the installer.

The component will be built by Trinnov for JBL and based on Trinnov’s Altitude 32 flagship surround processor. Differences will include substituting Trinnov’s room-correction technology for JBL’s own technology, which will be incorporated in an outboard SDEC-3500 room-correction processor.

Two versions of the SDP-75 will have 16-channel and 32-channel inputs to connect to movie-theater digital cinema server/processors that are DCI-compliant and play DCI content via encrypted keys. Those movie-theater processors appear in the home theaters of movie-industry types and the very wealthy.

The number of output channels depends on the connected Synthesis SDEC room-correction processor and can exceed 32-channels if necessary.

The Luxury group will also show two new JBL Synthesis systems that reduce the opening price of a Synthesis system to $27,500 from $53,800; a $15,000 flagship speaker in the Studio Monitor series to replace a current model; and Revel’s refreshed entry-level speaker series.

The two new Synthesis systems are the $27,500 Synthesis LSR and $39,500 Synthesis Three Array. Both are 7.2 systems that are shipping. The brand hasn’t offered Synthesis systems at these prices for several years, the company said. They don’t decode Atmos or DTS:X or HDCP 2.2 over their HDMI connections, which are version 1.4.

The $27,500 Synthesis LSR system delivers 7x200 watts into three LCRs and four surrounds, and 2x1200 watts into the subwoofer pair. The LCRs and surrounds are from JBL’s professional lines. The LCRs and surrounds are two-way 8-inch monitors, and the two subs are 15-inch models.

At $39,500, the Synthesis 3 Array keeps the speaker array used in the $53,800 system that it replaces but adds all-new electronics and amps, higher power, and new subwoofers. The new electronics brought the price down, the company said. The main channels get 300 watts apiece, and the two subs get 1,200 watts each. The three front channels are three-way dual 6.5-inch monitors, and four surround speakers are multipolar models. The two subs are 15-inch models.

For JBL’s Studio Monitor speaker series, the group is replacing the flagship $15,000/pair 4365 speaker with the 4367 at the same price.

The new model is a two-way 15-inch speaker that has been upgraded to add a punchier woofer, more midrange snap, and more detailed high frequencies with higher output, a spokesperson said. It will be available in November in two cosmetic versions. One features walnut cabinet with blue baffle and blue grille like the original studio monitors, and the other comes in black walnut with black grille that completely covers the iconic blue baffle. It’s designed for consumers who like to keep the grilles off when playing music.

In its other brands, the group will show the $15,000 Levinson 536 mono block amp, due in November and rated at 400 watts into 8 ohms and 800 watts in 4 ohms.

Under the Revel brand, a completely refreshed entry-level series will be shown and shipped 45 days after the show at prices ranging from $900/pair to $2,000/pair. The line also includes a center-channel speaker, sub, and on-wall speaker.

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