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Component Audio Electronics Aim To Enhance

9/24/2013 08:00:00 PM Eastern

DENVER – New home-audio components are turning up at the CEDIA Expo to enhance stereo music and surround sound performance, and some of them add the ability to enhance a home theater’s video performance.

Many of the products are targeting the luxury highend of the market, and some are coming with built-in HDBaseT technology to send uncompressed HDMI video and multichannel audio up to 328 feet (100 meters) over inexpensive CAT-5e or -6 cable.

To improve audio performance, Sony is showing its recently unveiled high-resolution audio line. With stereo or home-theater audio in mind, the Lyngdorf Audio brand is entering the U.S. market with an integrated stereo amplifier, while ATI is launching two high-end amplifiers and Theta Digital is launching its first Class D amp. Steinway Lyngdorf is adding its first CD player and first four-channel amplifier. For its part, StormAudio is entering the U.S. market with high-end components targeted to high-end residences, luxury hotels and yachts.

To improve video performance, Anthem is unveiling a trio of A/V receivers with 4K up-scaling and passthrough, and Integra and Pioneer are showing new audio components with those features.

Also at the show, Integra and Pioneer are showing the industry’s first audio components with HDBaseT technology built in.

Here’s what’s on display from these and other audio suppliers:

Anthem is introducing a trio of high-end AVRs: the $1,199 MRX 310, $1,599 MRX 510, and $1,999 MRX 710. The top two models ship in the fall, and the MRX 310 is due early 2014.

All feature a new version of Anthem’s room correction (ARC) system that uses a higher level of DSP. Software and a microphone are included with the AVRs like before.

All models have been upgraded from their predecessors to deliver 4K up-scaling and passthrough, HDMI audio return channel, faster HDMI switching, Apple and Android remote-control apps, optical and coaxial outputs for zone 2 audio, up to 20 input configurations, software updatability via USB drives, and IP and serial control for integration with home-automation systems.

Carryover features include 3D support, Dolby Volume, 1080p24 mode, Dolby Digital TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS-HF High Resolution. The top two models add DTS-HD Master Audio. All three also feature Dolby Pro Logic IIx, DTS Neo:6, and all-speaker stereo.

Amplifier Technologies has new products planned under the ATI, Audioaccess and Theta Digital brands.

Under the ATI brand, the brand’s first two new amps in a decade are the $7,995-suggested AT6007 and $3,995 AT6002, which comes with additional modules at $600 each. The seven- and two-channel amps feature dual-differential output stages, current feedback to increase amp speed, dual DC servos for minimal DC offset, new layout that places all AC components away from signal inputs, and stand or rackmount chassis. Output is rated at 300 watts RMS into 8 ohms and 450 watts RMS into 4 ohms with 20Hz- 20kHz frequency response with less than 0.02 percent THD.

Under the Theta Digital brand, the company is showing a new post-processing card for the Casablanca III HD preamp/processor, extending the component’s bandwidth from 48kHz to 192kHz and adding Dirac Live digital room correction. ThePR3 upgrade card retails for a suggested $3,995.

The company is also preparing to ship Theta’s first Class D amplifier, called Prometheus. The monoblock amp is rated at 250 watts RMS into 8 ohms with 20Hz-20kHz frequency response with no more than 0.01 percent THD, and into 2 ohms, it delivers 1,000 watts from 20Hz-20kHz with no more than 0.01 percent THD.

Integra is putting the DHC-60.5 A/V preamp processor and DTR-60.5 A/V receiver, with built-in HDBaseT technology, have begun shipping and are on display.

The HDBaseT output port in the two components can be assigned for either main- or second-zone configuration.

The two networked components are the DHC-60.5 A/V preamp processor and DTR-60.5 A/V receiver at a suggested $2,000 and $2,300, respectively.

Both also feature 4K up-scaling and 4k passthrough, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, THX certification, and ISF-certified video calibration control.

The DHC-60.5 7.2-channel networked preamp/ processor features THX Ultra2 Plus certification, nine HDMI inputs, one HDMI output, and the HDBaseT output.

The DTR-60.5 9.2-channel networked AVR features THX Select2 Plus certification, 9x135-watt output, nine HDMI inputs, one HDMI output, an HDBaseT port, and 11.2-channel pre-outs to add on an outboard amp to deliver 11-channel DTS Neo:X up-mixing for surround-sound playback.

The brand is sold only through custom installers.

Lyngdorf Audio, sister company of Steinway Lyngdorf, is being revived. Lyngdorf Audio has not introduced new products in several years and has not been represented in the U.S. It will sell components on an individual basis, starting with the TDAI-2170 integrated stereo amplifier. The 2x170-watt component features optional modules to customize the amplifier with CEC and ARC-compatible HDMI, a USB module, and an audiophile-quality ADC. It also features proprietary RoomPerfect room-compensation technology.

Pioneer is showing its first component with HDBaseT. The $3,000 9.2-channel networked SC-79 AVR also adds multiple new features compared to its predecessor, including upscaling of analog and digital video to 4K by 2K UltraHD resolution. The predecessor featured 4K by 2K passthrough. Other new features include 192kHz/32-bit audio scalers, 5.1-channel operation simultaneous with two powered stereo zones, MHL 2.0 connector, and 5.6MHz DSD (DSD128) playback from USB sources, joining 2.8GHz DSD playback.

Other features include a 9.2-channel implementation of DTS Neo:X post-processing, Apple AirPlay, DLNA 1.5 networking certification, and THX.

PSB will show the $239-suggested SubSeries 100 is a compact active subwoofer intended for desktop audio and gaming systems or any other nearfield application. It ships in October. Its 6.4 by 6.4 by 7.88 inch enclosure packs a 5.25-inch woofer and 50-watt (continuous) Class D amplifier. It’s finished in highgloss black.

A second SubSeries 100 can be added to the first for additional bass output.

It can be paired with the company’s $299-suggested Alpha PS1 active desktop speakers.

Sony is bringing its recently unveiled high-resolution audio line to the show. The products play almost every music-file format available, including 192kHz/24- bit PCM, DSD, and double DSD. They ship in the fall.

Steinway Lyngdorf is adding its first CD player, first four-channel amplifier, and an expanded selection of Model LS speakers. The company will also host the first public demonstration of its In-Wall Series for home theater use.

StormAudio is the new home-audio brand created by a French maker of cinema and music-studio electronics is entering the U.S. market with a CEDIA Expo launch of high-end surround processors, amplifiers and other electronics targeted to high-end residences, luxury hotels and yachts.

The lineup of StormAudio products includes two surround processors, one of which is the 16-channel SSP16.3D with 11.1-channel DTS Neo:X decoding and post-processing technology. The processor’s 16 channels are fully assignable for any function.

The Home Edition of the SSP16.3D is priced at $13,000, but more expensive editions are available.

The second processor is the $9,100 7.4-channel SSP7.

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