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AudioControl Readies Flagship Pre-Pro

CEDIA Expo 2009

Mountlake Terrace, Wash. – AudioControl will launch its highest-end home-theater preamp-processor to date.

The flagship Maestro M3 is said to be unique in offering active balanced outputs that extend component, composite and HDMI signals several hundred feet over Cat-5/6 cabling to separately sold active balanced receivers. The M3 will debut at the CEDIA Expo alongside the Pantages G3 companion amplifier.

Designed with a cost-is-no-object approach, the audiophile-quality M3 features 10 channels of preamp-level balanced (XLR) and unbalanced outputs, a stereo direct mode that disables digital processing when 2two-channel sources are played, and 20 video inputs, including five discrete1080p Deep Color HDMI inputs. Also included: dual assignable HDMI outputs and a broadcast-quality internal video scaler that up-converts, up-scales and frame converts all video sources to 1080p HDMI.

Other features include all Blu-ray surround decoders; Dolby Volume to provide a consistent volume level across all sources and content; a moving magnet phono input; and control via IR, RS-232 or Ethernet IP control. Its high-gloss black front is highlighted by rose gold lettering and a cool-blue display. It ships before the CEDIA Expo.

The company expects installers will specify the Maestro M3 at a customer cost of $6,000 plus programming.

The 5×230-watt Pantages G3 theater amplifier features cool-running Class H amplifier topology and AudioControl’s LightDrive anti-clipping circuitry, said to eliminate the possibility of clipping, audible distortion and amplifier damage under the heaviest-use conditions. Pricing wasn’t available.