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Sumiko Taps New Audio Segments, A/V Specialists

12/09/2002 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Audio importer/marketer Sumiko is expanding its selection of Vienna Acoustics-brand loudspeakers, Primare-brand electronics, and Sonus Faber speakers to tap new segments in the component-electronics and speaker markets.

The company also markets REL-brand powered subwoofers, Pro-Ject turntables, SME tonearms and turntables, OCOS cables and Sumiko-brand phono cartridges. All of the brands, except Sumiko, are owned by European manufacturers. All are targeted to A/V specialists.

The new products include the first lifestyle-oriented, thin speakers under the Vienna Acoustics brand, first multichannel electronics under the Primare brand, and a new price range under the Sonus Faber brand, said Sumiko marketing director John-Paul Lizars. The marketing position is a new one created because of the company's growth, said Lizars, a former Nakamichi marketer.

Under the Primare brand, Sumiko has begun marketing the brand's first DVD-Video player, at a suggested $2,000; first multichannel preamp/processor, at $4,000; and first multichannel amps: a three-channel model and a five-channel model. Also new: a two-channel amp. They were shown at the CEDIA Expo and will put in an International CES appearance.

Under the Sonus Faber brand, Sumiko is marketing a new speaker family at a price step between its reference Classis series and its Concert Home series. The new family is dubbed Cremona after the Italian city know for its violin manufacturing. The family already includes the $7,495/pair Cremona floorstanding pair. In the first quarter, it will be joined by a $3,995 center channel and a smaller speaker pair. The Classic series, in contrast, features the $22,000/pair Amati and $10,000/pair Guarneri, both named after violins.

Under the Vienna Acoustics brand, Sumiko began September shipments of the Schonberg family of three curvy, extruded-aluminum satellite speakers and a powered subwoofer in a stark deviation from the cosmetics of Vienna's wood speakers, said Lizars. "The cabinets are curved when looking at them from any angle," he said. The satellites, only 3.5-inches-deep, are voiced to stand close to a wall or be mounted to it with optional wall-mount brackets, he continued. All can be placed horizontally or vertically without changing dispersion patterns and performance, he said. Each is only 10 inches wide, and heights are 8.5, 20, and 42 inches.

The family's three satellites are the Berg at $495 each, Weburn at $795 each, and Schonberg at $2,500/pair. The series is named after the famous classical composer, and the Berg and Weburn were named after two of his students, Lizars said.

The powered Subson subwoofer 12-inch cone.

Schonberg pricing contrasts with that of the existing Vienna line, consisting of LR speakers named after other famous classical composers and priced from $995/pair to $9,800/pair.

To support the products, the company's full-time training manager trains up to 60 retail salespeople per month at the company's training facility, Lizars said.

Sumiko was formed about 20 years ago, when it mainly imported analog audio products from Japan.

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