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Bowers & Wilkins Readies Opening-Price Speakers

NORTH READING, MASS. – Premium audio supplier Bowers & Wilkins unveiled its new opening-price series of in-room speaker series, which adds technology from the company’s higher end lines to improve performance.

The 600 series, shipping in March, includes the floorstanding 683 at $1,650/pair, the smaller floorstanding 684at $1,150/pair, and the $700/pair 685, which can be placed on a stand or bookshelf. The series also includes the $550/pair 686 bookshelf, which is the most compact speaker in the series. The HTM61 center channel retails for $750 each, and the HTM62 center channel retails for $450 each.

All six models will join a trio of 600-series subwoofers, and all will be available in black ash finish.

NEAR Ready For Its Closeup

GARDINER, MAINE – NEAR, which announced plans last fall to return to the residential custom-speaker market, priced its first eight all-environment speakers and announced plans for first-quarter shipments.

NEAR was acquired in 1997 by Ramsey, N.J.-based Bogen Communications and has since been focused on the commercial audio market.

In 8-ohm versions, the bracket-mount LB4, LB5, LB6 and LB8 speakers retail at $279, $499, $579 and $679 each, respectively. The 70-volt versions for large homes and yards are priced at $319, $539, $619 and $719 each.

The in- and on-ground IG5, IG6 and IG8 speakers can be used in 8-ohm and 70-volt installs and are each priced at $619, $779 and $859, respectively. The partial-burial IGS12 band-pass subwoofer at $1,599 drives either 8-ohm or multi-tap 70-volt install. The beehive-shaped IG and IGS models will be available in terra cotta color.

The speakers and sub can be driven by the $1,599 2x600-watt 6XL amp, which delivers 2x600-watt output into either 70-volt or 8 ohm loads.

URC Targets Home-Control System To Distributors

HARRISON, N.Y. – URC has developed an IP-based home-control system targeted to distributors serving custom installers.

The Complete Control Generation Two (ccGEN2) system is designed to complement the company’s premium Total Control two-way home-control system, which is sold only direct to installers. Both are IP-based systems whose components can be connected by CAT 5 wiring.

The systems also feature wireless Z-Wave for wireless control of lighting, door locks, thermostats, shades and the like.

The ccGEN2 products will be available through distributorsonly to dealers who have been authorized by URC, the company said. Employees must also complete live or online training and become certified.

The company, added marketing director Cat Toomey, is bringing IP-based home control “to the indirect installers who are now getting into whole-house automation.”


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