DENVER – SpeakerCraft is launching its first multiroom-audio controller in almost a decade, revamping its stereo and multiroom-amplifier lineup, and unveiling its next-generation AIM in-ceiling speakers with woofers and tweeters that can be aimed in many more directions than before.
Speaker details were unavailable, but the company said 12 new AIM speakers incorporate technologies not available before in in-ceiling speakers to deliver higher performance. Their suggested retails range up to about $1,000 each.
The speakers can be used with the brand’s $2,000-suggested six-zone MRA-664 multiroom controller/amplifier, which also controls a home-theater system via IR outputs and Ethernet. It ships the first week of November.
The controller/amp can be controlled from Android and iOS apps, a $1,000 7-inch in-wall touchpanel (sTP7), a $200 seven-button in-wall keypad (sKP7), and a $870 handheld Wi-Fi remote (sHR200). The 7-inch touchpanel fits over a standard dual-gang box, and the keypad fits in a single-gang box. Both connect and communicate to the controller/amp via a single CAT-5 cable to the end user’s LAN. Power for these units is via Power over Ethernet (PoE).
Thanks to its industrial design, the MRA-664 can be located with other A/V gear in a home-theater room or placed in an out-of-the-way A/V equipment rack/ equipment closet.
The component features four amplified zones, each rated at 2x30 watts, and two pre-out zones. It distributes music from six analog input sources with source control via IR and IP for a variety of devices. For now, the controller accesses and distributes streaming services available through Yamaha AVRs as well as Sonos Connect, Fusion, S1 Digital, and Autonomic Controls music streamers with updates planned to add support for other-brand AVRs and media streamers. The company also plans to add support for multiple Sonos Connect streamers.
All amplified zones also feature preouts, and two controller/amps can be cascaded to create a 12-zone system. The controller is 2U high with standard component width and depth.
The controller matches the industrial design of the three new two-channel amps and two new multichannel amps. All are built on a new amp platform that delivers more compact sizes, higher output, and greater stability into lower impedances. The two multiroom amps are robust enough to be RMS rated with all channels driven, the company noted.
The two multiroom amps are the $3,499 16x50-watt SC16-50 and $1,529 12x30-watt SC12-30. Ratings are into 8 ohms. Both can be cascaded to support more zones.
The 12-channel model features analog circuitry, bridging capability to deliver 6x60 watts, and stability into 2.88-ohm loads. The 16-channel amp, which like the 12-channel is 3U tall, features Class D amplification and an IP-based interface so installers can, in tight confines, use a browser wizard instead of back-panel dipswitches to direct outputs to different zones, set EQ settings, set crossovers when driving a subwoofer, and the like.
Two adjacent channels on the SC16-50 can be combined to deliver 100 Watts output. This high power mode eliminates the sonic drawbacks of bridging.