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CEDIA Checklist: Receivers To Controllers

9/30/2002 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Here's a brand-by-brand listing of select audio and home-control introductions at the CEDIA Expo:

Denon: Two new receivers and an expanded HTiB selection were among the displayed new products.

The $1,199-suggested AVR-3803, due in October, adds multiple features to the model it replaces, including upconversion of composite and S-video to component video. Denon called it the first receiver in that price range to upconvert to component video.

Compared with its predecessor, the 3803 also adds multiroom video, serial port, increased component-output bandwidth to 100MHz, remote IR ports, and assignable 7x100-watt amplification, which simultaneously delivers five home-theater channels and two second-zone channels. It also adds DTS 96/24 decoding as well as proprietary Widescreen 7.1 mode, which delivers 7.1-channel reproduction from 5.1-channel and stereo sources.

The $499-suggested AVR-1803, shipped in August, is a 6x80-watt receiver with DD EX and DTS ES. Compared to its predecessor, it adds multizone capability (mono through the speaker outs and stereo via preouts) when a five-channel home theater is playing. Other additions include IR ports and component-video switching.

In HTiBs, the company added five SKUs. All but two feature integrated or standalone DVD player. At the top, the $1,299-suggested DHT-1000DV features DVD receiver with progressive scan. The opening-price DHT483XP without DVD player retails for a suggested $549. All feature DD and DTS.

IntelliNet: The Russound-owned brand plans fall shipments of an upgraded Audio Matrix six-zone, six-source preamp that will retail for a suggested $2,200. Upgrades include discrete paging input, 12-volt triggers instead of dry-contact outputs for compatibility with more amplifier input triggers, and increased reliability due to higher tolerance components and shorter signal paths.

Linn: The company's second hard-drive audio server, the Kivor Tunboks, is a lower-cost, lower-capacity version of the 75GB Kivor Music Machine, retailing for a suggested $18,000-$20,000 depending on configuration. Both store music in MP3 and uncompressed CD form and feature CD recording/ripping drives.

Tunboks plays up to eight different songs simultaneously. Both integrate with distributed-audio systems. Additional details were unavailable.

Also new is a software suite that enables PC control of the Music Machine and Tunboks.

Marantz: Four new receivers bring DTS ES and DD EX decoding in Marantz's line down to the tentative suggested price range of $429 to $849. All four feature six-channel amps, Dolby Pro Logic II, and Circle Surround 2 to create a full-frequency 6.1-channel soundfield from mono, stereo, and matrixed surround sources. The highest priced of the four adds RS-232, 12-volt triggers, and DTS 96/24 decoding.

NHT: The company will show seven new architectural speakers and one on-wall. Included is a trio of in-walls that use concentric drivers to deliver broad 120-degree dispersion and enhanced off-axis response, delivering more flexible placement options without sonic hot spots. Fewer speakers will be needed to provide good coverage, according to the company.

Two are three-way models that mount a tweeter and two dome midranges over a woofer, and one is a two-way. The top-end model, at $400 a pair, is touted as suitable for home theater and critical music listening. The other two models are $200 and $300 a pair.

Three of four planned two-way in-ceiling speakers continue to use NHT's three-tweeter array to deliver 60-degree off-axis response. The three are priced at $300, $400 and $600 a pair. The single-tweeter two-way is $200 a pair.

To extend the Evolution enclosed-speaker lineup, NHT unveiled an Evolution on-wall L5 in paintable-white extruded-aluminum cabinets. The $500-each three-way on-wall can be mounted horizontally or vertically without changing dispersion.

Russound: A new controller/amplifier and two keypads ship in December.

The CAV6.6 controller/amp is a single-chassis six-zone, six-source model with 6x20-watt amp, front-panel RS-232, built-in IR learning, and pre-programmed library of IR codes. Four subzones can be added by installing A-Bus amplified-keypads. Each subzone would be dedicated to one of the six main zones, requiring the subzone to share the source in use in the adjacent main zone. The subzone, however, offers independent control of volume and on/off, among others.

The CAV6.6 and its dedicated Uno S2 in-wall keypad ship in December at an expected everyday $2,199 and $299, respectively.

The Uno S2 in-wall double-gang keypad features backlit LCD display and buttons with selectable green or amber color, custom source labels, IR remote control sensor with IR pass through and controls for volume, bass, treble, balance and source status.

The Uno-IR2, available in December at an expected everyday $349, is an in-wall preprogrammed/learning IR version of the Uno. It's programmed with its own library of more than 1,000 codes and can learn virtually all others.

A handheld preprogrammed/learning remote is also available for use with the keypads.