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Custom, Non-Custom SKUs To Debut At CEDIA

8/22/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern
INDIANAPOLIS – CEDIA Expo returns in September to this Midwestern city for the first time in years to view the latest in custom and noncustom A/V products.

The products will include at least one new postprocessing surround technology, an expanded selection of low-profile bezel-less custom speakers, and a handful of audio specialty brands offering up their first active soundbar systems.

In addition, at least two more suppliers of inroom speakers, including Krell, will enter the custom-speaker market, as will at least one multiroom audio/home-control supplier.

New products that distribute music wirelessly to multiple rooms will also debut at the show to be held Sept. 8-11.

In the weeks before the show, however, the number of new custom A/V products scheduled to debut seemed light, with many major suppliers focused on showing previously announced products to potential dealers.

Suppliers of traditional in-room speakers, however, will show up in force with new products. The suppliers include Definitive Technology, Jamo, GoldenEar Technology, Mirage, Paradigm, and Monitor Audio.

In bezel-less custom speakers designed for a less obtrusive look, SpeakerCraft will go to next month’s CEDIA Expo with an expanded selection of models, and Niles will launch a new entry-level in-ceiling speaker line that has been upgraded to include narrow bezels, magnet-mount grilles, and low profiles. Jamo will also show its recently shipped series of bezel-less speakers with flat low-profile grilles.

New audio brands entering the active soundbar business include Energy, JBL, and a third company that will demonstrate a model promoted as offer bass deep enough to make an outboard subwoofer unnecessary.

In wireless audio, Proficient and Jamo will show new products, and the new surround processing technology will be demonstrated by Lexicon.

Here are some of the products that dealers will see next month. More details can be found at www.twice.com and in the special Sept. 8 CEDIA print edition of TWICE:

Elan: For its g! entertainment and control system, Elan has added two new system controllers and a 10-inch touchscreen to control the systems. All are shipping.

The $1,100 HC4 and $2,400 HC8 controllers are designed for installation in Elan’s on-wall structured-wiring enclosures. They join two rack-mount G! control systems.

The HC4 is a compact foursubsystem controller for smaller home-control systems but with expansion capabilities. It features one audio output to distribute audio from sources connected to a home network, features 720p video out for on-screen-displays, IR, relays and sense inputs. It comes with Shoutcast Internet radio.

The HC8 is a full-featured eight-subsystem controller that adds embedded 500GB hard drive to store security video, music and photos. It also adds a second audio output.

Both models act as audio sources for Elan’s six-source eight-zone M8 audio zone controller/ amplifier, a rack-mount model.

The $2,200 in-wall TS10 10-inch 16:9 touchscreen features touch-and-swipe control and a display suitable for viewing television or security cameras in a kitchen or bathroom through a composite-video input.

Energy: The $399-suggested Energy Power Bar is the brand’s first-ever soundbar, an active two-way model with included wireless 8-inch down-firing subwoofer. The soundbar measures 4.4 inches by 30 inches by 4.1 inches, and it incorporates two 0.78-inch softdome tweeters and two 3.5-inch drivers.

Total system power is 200 watts peak, and frequency response is 50Hz to 20kHz at +/- 3dB.

It features one optical digital input and one analog RCA input.

Krell: Architectural speakers is in the line for the first time with the $5,000-each onwall/ in-wall Modulari Ion, which incorporates technologies from the company’s reference in-room Modulari Duo.

Krell is considering more in-wall/onwall speakers and other architectural models. A high-performance soundbar is also in the works, said president Bill McKiegan.

The Ion, sized at 32 inches by 9.5 inches by 6 inches, can be installed in horizontal or vertical configuration because of its driver array. The drivers consist of a 1-inch ring-radiator tweeter flanked on both sides by a 7-inch woofer with aluminum cone, proprietary suspension and extended voice coil to deliver high power handling with linear response. The tweeters go out to 64kHz.

Woofers are positioned ahead of the tweeters to achieve time alignment between the woofer and tweeter.

Niles: A new entry-level in-ceiling speaker line that has been upgraded to include narrow bezels, magnet-mount grilles, and low profiles are part of Niles CEDIA introductions.

The design already appears in the company’s step-up in-ceiling Directed Soundfield speakers, which feature independently pivoting woofers and tweeters.

Thirteen two-way speakers in the CM line feature pivoting tweeters and suggested retails ranging from $99 to $299 each. Each CM speaker can be used with a round, paintable rust-resistant grille, but square grilles are available as an option for $45/pair. Each model fits the same 7- and 8-inch cutouts used for Directed Sound- Field speakers, letting installers specify a hole size but still have the option later to install speakers at a wide range of price points from $200/pair to $2,000, said Niles president Mike Detmer.

The series is split into groups based on application.

Paradigm: The company completely redesigned the technology and cosmetics of its Monitor Series 7 speakers, reducing the sizes of the floorstanders and center channels but preserving the series’s acoustic signature, the company said.

The floorstander and center speakers also offer greater sensitivity and deeper bass extension than their predecessors.

“We wanted the highest possible performance in the smallest physical envelope while maintaining the important Paradigm affordability difference,” said product development manager Paul Wojciechowski.

The series also features a more streamlined, more linear aesthetic, the company said.

The line consists of nine speakers ranging from compact monitors to floorstanding L-R speakers priced from $199-$749 each, two center channels at $349 and $549 each, and two surrounds, whose prices were unavailable.

Proficient Audio: The company plans a CEDIA Expo launch of a wireless multiroom- audio system with more capabilities than its predecessor.

The Zero Wireless Audio System, designed for retrofit installations, promises wireless distribution of up to six audio sources simultaneously to freestanding stereo speakers in up to 24 rooms.

It is positioned as expanding the multiroom- audio market to existing singlefamily homes and to renters because cables don’t have to be run through walls.

SpeakerCraft: The company will go to next month’s CEDIA Expo with an expanded selection of flangeless (or bezel-less) in-wall and in-ceiling speakers with magnet-mount grilles to deliver a less-obtrusive look.

The first eight models in the Profile selection were shown at last year’s CEDIA, and another 14 will ship before CEDIA, the company said. By the end of the fourth quarter, the company expects to ship most of its core speakers, or 43 models, with the flangeless design at prices ranging from $370- $2,000/pair.

The Profile series adopts the audio technologies of the company’s AIM and CRS speaker series. AIM speakers feature pivoting tweeters and woofers to direct sound to the main listening position. CRS speakers feature pivoting tweeters and Wave- Plane baffle to broaden high-frequency dispersion. The Profile versions of the speakers feature driver complements that match their corresponding flanged models to deliver identical performance characteristics, the company said.

The line consists of nine speakers ranging from compact monitors to floorstanding L-R speakers priced from $199 to $799 each, two center channels at $379 and $599 each, and two surrounds at $279 and $399 each.
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