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Harman Group Reveals CEDIA Plans

7/22/2009 03:30:00 PM Eastern

Elkhart, Ind. - The Harman Performance AV Group (HPAV) will put in an appearance at September's CEDIA Expo to launch Lexicon's first Blu-ray player, new Revel subwoofers, new amps from Mark Levinson and JBL Synthesis, and new JBL speakers.

Here's a brief look at the group's plans by brand:

Lexicon: The brand, which previously offered DVD players, will make the HD transition with its first Blu-ray player, a Profile 2.0 model due in November at an undisclosed price. The player plays DVD-Audio and SACD discs, features

 Harman Performance Group Steps Up Marketing Efforts

BD Live with embedded 1GB memory, and decodes all authorized Blu-ray surround formats. It also features Anchor Bay's VRS video processing, supports 24fps video output, upscales DVD discs to 1080p, and comes with 7.1-channel analog outputs for audiophiles not satisfied with the audio performance of HDMI outputs.

The player also features USB port to play back audio and video from connected USB sources that support the USB transfer protocol. It also plays AVCHD camcorder video and Kodak Picture CDs.

In September, Lexicon will also offer a free firmware update for its MC-12 preamp/surround processor, which will then be able to send 7.1-channel PCM over its HDMI output. It previously sent 5.1 PCM over HDMI. The firmware upgrade, downloadable from the web, can be installed via an RS-232 connection to a PC by consumers or dealers.

Mark Levinson: Four new amps, due in October, will bring Levinson amp technology to lower price points of $6,000 to $12,000, down from a starting price of $15,000. "We have not been at these price points for years," HPAV marketing VP Mark Kellom told TWICE. The N 500H series consists of a 300-watt mono amp, 2x300 amp, 3x300 amp, and a 5x200 amp. All ratings are into 8 ohms.

Revel: Two new powered subwoofers, due in October, include the Performa B150 with 15-inch driver, 4-inch voice coil, and 1,200-watt RMS amp capable of delivering 2,800 watts of peak power. The Ultima Rhythm2 adopts the dual-differential-drive technology of amplifiers used in stadium and arena venues to perform at "astonishingly high output levels" with "virtually no distortion," company literature states. The design consists of an 18-inch driver with dual 4-inch voice coils, each voice coil driven by a separate amplifier in opposing polarity to generate high output in a 24.5x28x28-inch cabinet. The amps deliver 2,400 watts RMS and 5,600 watts peak. Without the dual-differential technology, the cabinet would have to be larger to deliver the same performance, Kellom said.

Prices weren't disclosed.

JBL: A new version of the K2 tower, the K2 S9900, will be available in September at about $15,000 each. It features updated drivers and crossovers to boost frequency response down to 33Hz and deliver 35 percent more power handling at 500 watts RMS. It will join the $30,000-each Everest at the very top of the line.

With the launch of the JBL Performance LS series, the brand will offer speakers in a new price range to bridge the gap between the K2 speakers and the more broadly distributed JBL speakers marketed by Harman Consumer, Kellom said. The series, due in August, consists of a compact bookshelf speaker, a center channel, a powered sub, and two tower speakers, each tower with 3.5-way crossover system. Prices start at $699 each for the bookshelf and range up to $1,499 each for one of the towers.

JBL Synthesis: Updated versions of three amps deliver lower distortion, better transient response, and wider dynamic range than their predecessors, and they add power sequencing to eliminate pops and thumps when turning them on or off. The seven- and five-channel models are rated at 160 watts per channel into 8 ohms, and the two-channel model is rated at 2x200 watts. Prices range from $4,000 to $6,650. They are available.

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