Boston Acoustics has focused on home theater and custom installation in its latest round of speaker introductions, which include its second three-way center-channel speaker and one of the industry's first single-enclosure THX-certified subwoofers.
Three new in-wall speakers and the company's most sophisticated "diffuse field," or dipole, surround speaker to date were also among the introductions, which were displayed at the CEDIA Expo.
The THX subwoofer, demonstrated in prototype, is the VR2000, a 12-inch 225-watt powered model due in the fall at a suggested $1,200, said president Andy Petite Kotsatos.
In the past, suppliers had to market a pair of subwoofers to meet THX's response and output criteria, Kotsatos said. Powered THX subwoofers are coming into favor, he also noted, because of the growing number of THX-certified receivers, which lack subwoofer amplification.
The new VR10 center channel, due in the fall at an approximate $300, is smaller than the $400 VR12, Boston's first three-way center channel introduced last fall. The new model will fit on top of 25- and 27-inch TVs.
The three-way design consists of a vertically arrayed tweeter-midrange combination flanked by one active and one passive woofer. The design provides for wide, uniform horizontal dispersion. In comparison, said Kotsatos, traditional D'Appolito designs, which feature a tweeter flanked by dual midrange/woofers, provide wide dispersion only partway through the midrange frequencies while creating nulls and hot spots throughout a room.
The new VRS Pro diffuse-field surrounds are Boston Acoustic's third pair of diffuse-field models. The new ones, which will be the company's most expensive at a targeted $500 per pair, provide more power handling capacity and lower response.
The three new in-walls, all indoor/outdoor models, are its first in-walls with rubber surrounds for longer life and neodymium tweeter magnets, which permit closer placement of the tweeters to the woofers to create more of a point-source effect, Kotsatos said.◊[text]? Curtis Mathes has re-entered the audio market after a one-and-a-half-year absence with a 100-watt shelf system that begins shipping this month. The company, which sells video through independently owned stores bearing its name, plans to expand its audio lineup in the future.
? Samsung has licensed Spatializer 3-D audio technology for use in future multimedia and audio products.
? Kenwood has licensed SRS Labs' SRS 3D sound technology and will incorporate it in two entry-level receivers and two shelf systems slated for January introduction.
? Aiwa has introduced its first midisystems, first changer-equipped boombox, new micro shelf systems, and one of the industry's lowest priced Dolby S cassette decks at a suggested $325.
Three new midisystems, all with three-disc carousel changers and karaoke features, are priced at suggested retails of $450, $500 and $650.
Two new micro systems include the top-end $500-suggested-retail LCX-700M with seven-disc elevator-style changer, 2x12-watt amplifier, and two-speaker surround system. A seven-disc changer also winds up in the new CA-DW700M three-piece boombox, the company's first changer-equipped boombox, at a suggested $299. It comes with dual cassette and remote. The new Dolby S deck, the two-head AD-S750, features Doby B, C, and HX Pro and complements a $500 Dolby S deck already in the line.
? AudioControl introduced its first multiroom preamp-level controller, the Director 46, to complement its Director 15 speaker-level switcher. The four-source, six-zone Director 46, dealer-priced at $1,245, can be controlled from different rooms via Lutron or LiteTouch lighting-system keypads. AudioControl provides engraved keycaps that fit over the keypads' individual switches to identify various audio/video system functions. The unit is programmed with macros to provide one-touch controls.