White Plains, N.Y. — High-end custom supplier Audio Design Associates (ADA) shored up its selection of more affordable multiroom systems, unveiling its first remote volume-control system in years and planning its first home theater preamp/surround processor that doubles as a multiroom-audio controller.
In a distribution departure, the company unveiled its first residential product, a component HD-Radio tuner, for sale outside the custom install channel.
“Our goal is to bring exceptional audio to a wider audience,” said VP/COO Richard Stoerger.
The volume-control system, the eight-room RVCS-8 at a targeted suggested $1,000, is positioned as a starter system that can be upgraded at a later date to allow for the addition of ADA’s remote in-wall keypads that control source selection and other system functions, not just room on/off and volume. To provide for future upgrades without running new wires, the single-rack RVCS-8 uses CAT-5 structured-wiring cables to send speaker-level audio to the remote RVC-5 in-wall volume controls.
Before coming out with the system, ADA dealers had to use other suppliers’ remote volume control solutions mated with ADA amplifiers, the company said. ADA had remote volume control systems “years ago” using speaker controls and relays, but the RVCS-8 “is a modern implementation that offers much higher audio quality," said Stoerger.
The RVCS-8 enables custom integrators to connect a single source input to eight outputs, each with individual volume controls. The unit is matched to work with ADA’s PTM-1645 eight-zone amplifier with 90 watts per zone. The RVCS-8 features eight digitally controlled volume preamplifiers with 20 volume steps in 2dB steps (-50dB - 0dB), and unlike many low-priced volume-control systems, RVCS-8 volume is controlled at the line level rather than at the speaker level, the company said.
Low voltage triggers activate each amplifier zone. LED displays indicate each zone’s volume, main power switch and all off/standby switches.
Another type of multiroom audio system can be built around the new Cinema Suite high-end home theater preamplifier with eight-zone, eight-source multiroom-audio controller. A front-panel 4-inch color TFT touch screen permits control of both the home theater and eight-stereo zones.
Cinema Suite, due in the second quarter at a suggested $6,500, is designed as a step-up to home theater processors that feature only one or two extra zones, Stoerger said. Its “home theater” section includes multiple default presets for movies, TV and music. Its “multiroom” section incorporates features found in ADA’s “luxury” suite of multiroom systems, including bass, midrange and treble tones controls, stereo enhancement and active loudness contour. Each room also gets its own turn-on acoustical preset.
Other features include Dolby EX/ES, THX Ultra 2, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, and DTS Neo 6 surround decoding, six-channel DVD Audio/SACD input, eight analog audio inputs, six coax and two TOS-Link digital inputs, eight composite video inputs, eight S-Video inputs, eight component video inputs for HDTV, analog and digital audio outputs, two main composite video outputs, two main component video outputs, two programmable low-voltage output triggers, eight-zone preamplified analog audio outputs, low-voltage source and zone DC triggers, and connectivity with all ADA keypads and touchscreens.
In a similar vein, ADA already offers a $10,000 HTR-2400 A/V receiver with 24 amplifier channels to drive a 7.1-channel home theater simultaneously with eight other A/V zones.
Pricing hasn’t been determined for the company’s first HD-Radio tuner, a component-style model, targeted for the mass retail market. The unit isn’t part of ADA’s custom-install product line but will be ADA-branded when it ships in April to national and regional consumer electronics retailers. ADA continues to target its $600 HD-Radio module and a $999 component tuner to custom installers.
ADA is entering mass retail channels, said CEO Albert Langella, at the encouragement of iBiquity, developer of the HD-Radio format. Said Stoerger, “The HDMT-1 HD-Radio tuner leverages ADA’s vast expertise in tuner design and manufacturing and will enable us to widen our reach and associated branding into larger, more mainstream consumer electronics channels.” In another distribution change, ADA plans April availability of the component-style SRX-1 Sirius satellite tuner, designed for use in commercial applications and distributed by Sirius Satellite Radio’s sales distribution network. Commercial-oriented features include a programmable time schedule that the installer can program to turn the tuner on and off and change channels at specific times and dates. With single-knob operation, a retail clerk can press-and-turn to navigate the menu system, the company added.
To go with the Sirius tuner, ADA is offering packaging its PF-201 power amplifier to the commercial market. It’s stable to ½-ohm and powers up to 32 speakers without the use of standard 70-volt step-down transformers common to commercial audio applications. The package “delivers sound quality far beyond the standard 70-volt systems,” contended Langella.