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Speakers Play Active Role At CEDIA Expo

INDIANAPOLIS -- There's more than one way to design a speaker to deliver hi-fi sound, custom installers found during the CEDIA Expo.

Installers, for example, encountered at least one more supplier with active in-wall speakers, one more with active enclosed speakers, and one more with rock speakers. Here's some of what they discovered:

Dynaudio: The company revised its Audience opening-price series with new vinyl cabinets said to be "virtually indistinguishable" from wood veneer, improved crossover design, and integrated floor stands for what were previously bookshelf models. Audience L-R speakers range from $700 to $2,400/pair.

Genelec: The active-speaker specialist unveiled its AIW26 active in-wall biamplified two-way speaker, which comes with matched outboard amplifier module. It's due in January at a tentative $2,000 each. The amp is a 130-watt 12.4 x 5.5 x 4.2-inch model with integrated electronic crossover and room response equalizers. The speaker comes with rear enclosure.

Active speakers deliver higher dynamic range, lower distortion, and more SPLs than passive speakers mated with amps intended for use with many types and brands of speakers, Genelec said.

M&K: The company acknowledged the advantages of active speakers with the introduction of its first active enclosed speaker, the S150P at $2,100 each. The biamped model is rated at 2 x 180 watts. More are planned next year. The company's K series line of small, high-performance speakers were also shown.

SpeakerCraft: Along with launching its first distributed-audio system, the company introduced its first rock speakers, its first enclosed speakers (said to be the first with pivoting tweeters), $50,000/pair Rogue 7-foot-tall in-wall speakers, and a greater selection of custom amps.

Mission: Its fs2 series of speakers incorporate NXT's flat-panel technology. The satellites feature enclosures that mount in corners to use otherwise unusable wall space. They can be mounted vertically or horizontally and deliver 180Hz-20kHz. They can be complemented by a powered cone-driver subwoofer also shaped to fit in a corner.

The fs2 series will create a home theater system for $1,500.

NXT-based speakers previously shown by Mission, including the X-Space sub/sat system, weren't shipped.

Mitek: The supplier of multiple speaker brands introduced new DCM-brand enclosed speakers and brought DCM's TimeFrame-series name into the in-wall market as part of its plans to add independent dealers to the brand's Circuit City distribution.

Circuit City will carry DCM floorstanding speakers and subwoofers, and all products including in-walls will be available to independents, a spokesman said.

New DCM enclosed speakers include three powered subs, two floorstanding models, a bookshelf pair and a center channel.

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