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Harman Group Reveals CEDIA Plans

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

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

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, 2×300 amp, 3×300 amp, and a 5×200 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.

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.

: 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 2×200 watts. Prices range from $4,000 to
$6,650. They are available.