Audio Briefs

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Theta Ships David II
Agoura Hills, Calif. -- Theta Digital released its second-generation DVD/CD transport, the David II, at a suggested $5,000. It has been improved to deliver sampling rates up to 96kHz, word lengths up to 24 bits, and optional progressive-scan video output. It can also read CD-R and CD-RW discs.

Lyra Addition, Promotion
Indianapolis -- Thomson has introduced Macintosh support for its original two Lyra Internet audio portables, and it has cut the price of a 32MB CompactFlash memory card to $20 from $100 for Lyra purchasers during a July-September back-to-school promotion. For Mac users, Thomson offers a USB adapter at a suggested $70 through its website, from which users can download a Mac version of the MusicMatch player software that supports the Lyra.

Yamaha's Custom Focus
Buena Park, Calif. -- Custom installation was one of the drivers behind home theater products introduced by Yamaha, which added RS-232C serial ports to two of four new receivers for integration with home automation systems. The two also add extended IR-code capability to automate the operation of a home theater system incorporating multiple brands of components. The receivers are priced from a suggested $499 to $1,999 ($2,099 for a gold finish). The company also unveiled a new DVD/CD changer at a suggested $499 ($549 in gold) and new $499 integrated amp. In other introductions, Yamaha said its $499-suggested PC-compatible A/V receiver, the RP-U100, can now be linked to Macintosh computers when owners install software downloaded from Yamaha's website. The Mac must run OS 9 and have USB inputs.

SpeakerCraft To Add Amps
Riverside, Calif. -- Custom-speaker maker SpeakerCraft will expand its selection of amplifiers with a six-model Big Bang lineup that includes its first four multichannel models. Two provide eight channels, and two provide 12 channels. Some models will ship beginning late this month. They retail for $750 to $1,699, and are part of the company's effort to diversify into a full-line custom supplier. SpeakerCraft also plans shipments, 60 to 90 days after the September CEDIA convention, of six new outdoor speakers meant to be mounted on a house exterior. Two models, the WS950 at $399 each and the WS940 at $299 each, widen dispersion to 270 degrees for use in big outdoor areas. Each model houses two woofer-tweeter combinations angled away from each other. Each model can be run as a left speaker or right speaker, or it can be run "dual-mono," with one side delivering the left channel and the other the right.


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