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Freestanding Speakers Take Front Stage At Expo

9/08/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern
INDIANAPOLIS — With many A/V specialty stores having closed their doors in recent years, consumers in some markets have turned to custom integrators to fill the gap for a range of CE products.

So it makes more sense than ever for audio suppliers to come to the CEDIA Expo to unveil products that require professional selling but don’t necessarily require elaborate installation.

Attendees will find many such products at the show, ranging from active and passive soundbars, freestanding in-room speakers, wireless subwoofers and highperformance tabletop iPod/iPhone-docking speakers.

Here’s what dealers and installers will find on the show floor:

Atlantic Technology is bringing H-PAS (Hybrid Pressure Acceleration System) bass technology to an active soundbar for the first time to deliver deep bass from a soundbar without the need for a separate powered subwoofer.

The PowerBar 235 is a two-channel powered sound bar that packs a digital amplifier and virtual surround sound processor in a 42-inch by 5.25-inch by 5.75- inch cabinet that delivers bass response down to 47Hz at –3dB. It’s expected to ship at the end of the year at a price that wasn’t disclosed.

Atlantic Technology is also in the process of licensing H-PAS technology to a range of loudspeaker and consumer electronics manufacturers.

Definitive Technology is showing a completely new bookshelf-speaker series, its first two wireless-ready subwoofers, and the first passive multichannel soundbars in the company’s XTR series of ultra-thin on-wall speakers for use with ultra-thin flat-panel LCD displays.

Energy, a Klipsch Group brand, is launching its first soundbar, the active $399-suggested Energy Power Bar, a two-way model with included wireless 8-inch down-firing subwoofer.

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.

MK Sound is taking the wraps off three powered subwoofers and its first floorstanding speaker.

The X8, X10 and X12 subwoofers feature two 8-inch, two 10-inch and two 12-inch drivers, respectively. In each sub, the drivers are arrayed in a push-pull configuration with front-mounted woofer and identical bottommounted “back-out” woofer to deliver high SPLs and accurate extended low frequencies, the company said.

The brand is sold direct to brick-and-mortar retailers and installers, though a few items have been sold online by Abt. “However, going forward this will most likely not continue,” said MK Sound USA executive director Aldo Filippelli who said the plan is now to sell through specialty audio retailers and custom installers “who only sell in their stores or businesses, and not online sales.”

MK Sound of Denmark established MK Sound USA in June as its U.S. subsidiary to replace Abt and its distribution company, The Dolphin Group, as MK’s U.S. distributor.

Paradigm, the Canadian speaker maker, crosses the border with a completely redesigned value-oriented Cinema series said to step up performance with the adoption of technology from its Reference series.

The series of tabletop- and wall-mount speakers also sports new curved and sculpted acoustic-suspension cabinets with high-gloss finish.

The replacement series delivers lower frequency extension, reduced distortion, sustained sensitivity and improved dispersion, the company said.

The seven-SKU series consists of a $349 subwoofer, a $999 5.1 speaker package, and two- and 2.5-way speakers with estimated suggested retails ranging up to $549 each.

Procella Audio is launching its P610 biamplified full-range L/C/R speaker and the P10Si room-balancing subwoofer.

The three-way freestanding P610 is priced at $3,199 each without a companion rack-mount DSP amplifier, which biamplifies the speaker. The P10Si is $1,495 each. Both products are scheduled to ship in September.

One or more P10Si subwoofers can be used in conjunction with one or more P18, P15 or P10 subwoofers to smooth out low-frequency modes in a room to reduce seat-to-seat variances in low-frequency response, the company said.

The P610 L/C/R is designed for large to midsize rooms up to 30 feet deep and extends down to 40Hz. It features 1-inch compression driver on an elliptical waveguide, a 6.5-inch midrange with 1.5-inch voice coil, and 10-inch long-throw woofer with 2.5-inch voice coil.

The P610 is said to produce THX cinema referencelevel playback levels of 105dB continuous in all but the largest screening rooms and home theaters.

It is optimized for use with the planned four-channel rack-mounted DSP amplifier. One amp will biamplify two P610 models.

The P610 features a shallow depth of 5.9 inches for placement in a wall niche. It is 27.6 inches tall and 21.3 inches wide.

Proficient Audio’s halo in-room speaker series is the Proficient Signature series. It consists of the GL6 LCR speaker with dual 6.5-inch graphite woofers and 1-inch silk-dome tweeter and the GS10 10-inch 250- watt subwoofer. Both feature piano-black seven-layer gloss finish.

Wharfedale via Sound Import, the brand’s U.S. distributor, is launching the $799-suggested Wharfedale DX-1 home cinema speaker package system. It ships in November and consists of four wall-mountable two-way compact satellites, a compact two-way center channel, and powered 8-inch 150-watt subwoofer. The speakers are available high-gloss black or highgloss white.
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