Audio Briefs

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Nak Knocking Again

SANTA MONICA, CALIF. — An independent import/marketing company, Nak U.S.A., has assumed responsibility for the sales and marketing of Nakamichi-brand products in the United States. Previously, marketing was the responsibility of Nakamichi U.S.A. Corp., a subsidiary of Hong Kong's Grande Holdings, which owns the Sansui, Akai, and Kawa brands. In 1997, Grande bought a majority share of Nakamichi Corp. of Japan, which owned the U.S. marketing company but, elsewhere in the world, sold through independent marketing companies. Earlier this year, Nakamichi Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection. At the time, the Nakamichi sales arm was owned directly by Grande, and Nakamichi Corp. in Japan concentrated on R&D and product development.

NEAR Not Far From Home

RAMSEY, N.J. — The NEAR (New England Audio Resource) brand is returning to the residential and custom home install markets after an absence of several years. NEAR was acquired in July 1997 by Bogen Communications, which refocused the NEAR brand on the commercial market. Now, the company is launching the NEAR-branded Armadillo series of outdoor speakers and rock-style landscape speakers, which will be followed by NEAR-brand in-ceiling and pendant-type speakers, said William Kieltyka, who founded NEAR in 1988 and is now Bogen's speaker development manager. The new speakers come with adjustable mounting brackets. All are available in 8-ohm versions for the home or in 70-volt versions for commercial applications.

DVD/VCR HTiB Arriving

Santa Clara, Calif.— SONICblue introduced its first Rio-brand HTiB system, which it believes could be the industry's first to incorporate DVD/VCR combination. It's available exclusively through Best Buy. SONICblue continues to offer Go Video-branded DVD-equipped HTiBs. The $499-suggested HT2030 features an all-in-one DVD/VCR-receiver with five two-way satellite speakers, and a passive subwoofer.

Sanyo, iBiquity Deal

Columbia, Md.— iBiquity Digital said Sanyo has become the latest company to license its digital HD Radio technology for AM and FM receivers. Sanyo will incorporate HD Radio in 2004 in home, aftermarket car and OEM products.


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