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Two Old Audio Brands Are Resurrected

10/03/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

NEW YORK – Some old audio brands — Audio Pro and
Acurus — have returned to the U.S. market.

Swedish brand Audio Pro is imported and marketed by
Minneapolis-based Group Madsen, which also imports
and markets the Canton audio brand. Audio Pro has had
U.S. distribution in the past at times but not in many years,
Group Madsen owner Paul Madsen told TWICE.

Acurus is owned by Indianapolis-based Indy Audio
Labs, which is also working on relaunching the Aragon
brand. Both brands were acquired in 2009 from Klipsch
Group, which purchased them in late 2000 from Mondial
Designs. The Acurus brand, launched in 1993, has been
out of production since 2001, and the Aragon brand has
been out of production since 2005, said Dion Longworth,
Indy Audio Labs director of product development.

After Indy acquired the two brands in 2009, the company
engaged in fundraising and limited product development,
then closed on its startup capital in March 2011.
With that, Longworth said, “we were able to focus 100
percent on product development and have been working
hard on launching new lines of Acurus and Aragon ever
since.”

At Audio Pro, the focus is on high-end active computer
speakers and active wireless speakers,
which can be used to create a wireless
multi-room-audio system whose source
is a PC or any other music-storing device.
Wireless speakers range in price from
$329 to $2,000/pair, and wireless singlechassis
speakers are priced from $600 to
$750. USB-connected PC speakers start
at $329 and range up to $599 in price
for a 2.1 system. A pair of clock radios is
also part of the brand’s lineup at $249 and
$299.

Audio Pro’s “initial claim to fame in
the U.S. was in subwoofers,” said Madsen.
“Audio Pro developed the first highperformance,
smaller cabinet subwoofers
long before the home theater market
existed.” The company, founded in 1978,
launched a patented ACE (amplifier controlled euphonic
bass) Bass subwoofers at International CES in Chicago
around in 1981, he continued. “The Audio Pro B-250 was
the model that put them on the map.”

Since then, Audio Pro has been “a significant factor in
the European audio and home theater loudspeaker business,”
Madsen said.

Audio Pro product-line highlights include the LV series
of high-performance, active wireless loudspeakers, he
said. The LV series, “while clearly targeted to people who
store music on their computers,” enables consumers to
create a wireless whole-house music using any musicstorage
device, such as a tablet, as the source, Madsen
said. An almost infinite number of speakers can be added
to the system, he added. “Your only limitation is distance,
which in an ideal world is 100 meters (328
feet).” In most homes, the usable distance
will be 150 feet to 50 feet depending on
construction, he said.

Audio Pro’s wireless technology will support
up to three different sources, each requiring
its own wireless transmitter.

For its part, Indy Audio Labs positions the
Acurus brand as a high-performance, highvalue
brand. The first Acurus products in 10
years, shown at the CEDIA Expo, are three
amplifiers in the A2000 amplifier series.
They are the 2x200-watt A2002, 5x200-
watt A2005, and 7x200-watt A2007 in
black-anodized aluminum chassis. The former
is shipping with THX Ultra2 certification
at $2,499; the latter two ship in November
at $3,499 and $3,999, respectively.

The A2000 series amplifiers were developed with electronic
systems contractors in mind, the company said.
Each model features an Ethernet port and web-page
server, enabling remote diagnostics from any device with
a web browser. Each unit also includes a serial
port compatible with popular home control
systems, an external trigger input for remote
on/off operation, and white back panels to ease
hookup in a dimly-lit rack system.

Also at the Expo, Acurus showed a pre-production
version of the Acurus Act 4 preamplifier/
processor, available for order in the first
quarter. The Act 4 will feature Ethernet port to
directly control and monitor other Acurus amplifiers
in the system.