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After 15 Years "Proceed" To Recede

4/03/2003 03:25:00 PM Eastern

Middletown, Conn. - Madrigal Audio Labs will phase out its Proceed brand and build up the multichannel product selection in its Mark Levinson brand, the company announced.

The differences between the Levinson and Proceed brands became 'blurred' over the years, explained Keith Dowd, Madrigal's North American sales director. As a result, Madrigal will take the opportunity 'to concentrate resources on developing one line and refreshing it more often,' he said.

The first Proceed products were unveiled in 1989 to offer lower priced alternatives to high-end Levinson products and to launch new product categories for Madrigal. Proceed was the first of the two brands to enter the digital market with CD and the first with home theater products. Over the years, however, Proceed moved upmarket, and Levinson moved into digital technology and home theater. About a year ago, Levinson launched its first surround processor.

Nonetheless, Levinson is still largely a two-channel company, while almost all Proceed products are home-theater oriented, Dowd said. Now, with Proceed's phaseout, the Levinson selection will be reconfigured to 'strike a batter balance between two channel and multichannel,' he said. Toward that end, five of Proceed's most successful home-theater-related models will be reintroduced by this winter as Levinson models. Proceed will be phased out by the end of this year or early next.

With the phaseout, Madrigal expects its dealer base to contract slightly. Madrigal is inviting the 50 Proceed dealers who don't sell Levinson to apply for a Levinson franchise, but Dowd thinks only about a quarter to a third will do so. For some of these dealers, it may have been a 'stretch' to offer products at Proceed's price points, he said.

Among 85 Levinson dealers, all but one currently sell Proceed, Dowd noted.

Madrigal also markets Revel speakers and Audio Access custom-install products.

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