The custom channel's growing influence will prompt suppliers at this month's CEDIA Expo to equip more audio components, including receivers and CD changers, with multiple connectors for integration into multiroom systems and complex home theater installs.
Integration will also go on inside audio components as suppliers combine receivers with DVD players and receivers with digital-cable tuners.
Other audio-component launches at the Expo will include:
- more combination SACD/DVD-AV players and changers (see story below).
- a greater selection of receivers with Dolby Digital EX and video-input/output conversion.
- and companies such as NAD and Rotel unveiling their first products with proprietary technologies to deliver a 7.1-channel soundfield.
CEDIA will also be the site of the largest rollout to date of THX Ultra2-certified products, THX said. The products include the first-ever THX-certified powered subs from Velodyne.
Here are the details on some of the new products:
Adcom: Two DD EX/DTS ES preamp processors and four multichannel amps are due. Two amps are five-channel models (at 125 and 250 wpc, respectively), and two are the brand's first seven-channel amps (at 125 and 250 wpc, respectively). Details were unavailable.
Classe: Two surround processors and the company's first tuner in years will be displayed. The second-generation SSP30 processor, like its predecessor, features THX EX processing but adds Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS Neo:6, and DTS ES Discrete and Matrix. It's available at $3,000.
The second processor is the THX Ultra-certified SSP-60, targeted to retail for about $5,500 by the end of September. It adds separate audio and video signal paths, component-video switching, back-panel IR ports and RS-232. It ships in October at a targeted $1,400.
The company will exhibit in the Equity booth as part of Equity's commitment to buy Classe. Equity markets the Rotel electronics and B&W speaker brands.
Fosgate Audionics: The Rockford Fosgate division's first preamp/controller with Dolby Digital EX and DTS ES is the $2,995-suggested FAPT-1. It's also the brand's first new preamp/controller since the brand's acquisition from Harman International.
Also new is the FAA1000.5 modular amplifier, which consists of five removable 200-watt amp modules at a suggested $2,799.
JVC: The company's third THX-certified receiver will be its first Ultra2-certified model. Two of the receiver's seven amp channels can be directed for second-zone use. Compared to JVC's other THX-certified receivers, this one adds DTS ES, DTS 96/24, and Dolby Pro Logic II. Other features are DTS Neo:6 and 35MHz component inputs and outputs. It ships in December at a suggested $1,999.
Motorola: Shown at CES, the DCP501 Home Theater System is a 5.1-channel DVD-receiver with built-in interactive digital-cable tuner and 5x100-watt (at 1kHz) Class T digital amplification. It features single-disc DVD, DD and DTS decoding, Dolby Pro Logic II, and expansion port for connection to a Motorola cable-HD decoder. It supports cable-based interactive services such as video on demand, interactive program guides and Internet access.
NAD: On tap are the company's first two DD EX and DTS ES-equipped receivers, first DVD-receiver and first NAD-branded remotes available separately from NAD components.
The L70 DVD-receiver, due November at a suggested $999, features DD/DTS and Dolby Pro Logic II decoding, 5x45-watt amp, DVD-Video playback and MP3-CD playback. NAD's proprietary Enhanced Ambience Receiver System (EARS) technology extracts natural ambience from two-channel recordings and redirects it to the surround channels.
The two DD EX/DTS ES receivers are the $899-suggested T752, which is available, and $1,299 T762, due in October. Both incorporate a proprietary 7.1 matrix technology to deliver 7.1-channel playback of DVDs encoded with DD EX and DTS-ES. Both offer Dolby Pro Logic II, EARS, Radio Data System, learning remote, and custom features including IR inputs and outputs and 12-volt input and output triggers.
The 752 features 5x80-watt amp, rated continuously with all channels driven simultaneously. The 762 adds RS-232, HDCD and 6x100-watt six-channel amp.
Parasound: As part of its step-up Halo series, the company has launched the $3,000 JC1 monoblock amp, rated at 800 watts into 8 ohms and 1,200 watts into 2 ohms. It operates in pure Class A up to 25 watts, then switches to Class AB for loud passages and big bass transients. Frequency response is 2Hz-120kHz.
Rotel: A five-disc CD changer equipped with multiple custom-install connections is planned along with the company's first receiver with DD EX decoding.
The $699-suggested RCC-1055 CD changer is the company's first to be equipped with 12-volt trigger output, RS-232 port, and IR repeater port. It features HDCD decoding and ships in October. The company is in the process of including 12-volt triggers and RS 232 in all new products as they are released.
The $1,299-suggested RSX1055 receiver features HDCD, DD EX, DTS ES Discrete and Matrix, Rotel's XS 7.1-channel format, DPL II, and DTS Neo:6 decoding. The company said it was able to add DD EX quickly because all of its designs are now software upgradeable via a computer port.
Yamaha: The company will expand its selection of receivers equipped with DD EX, composite-to-S-Video conversion and two-zone AV capability.
The $1,599-suggested RX-V3300, due in October, offers DD EX, DTS ES Discrete and Matrix, DTS 96/24, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS Neo:6, and a wider range of Cinema DSP programs than the model it replaces. Other features include Silent Cinema to reproduce surround sound through regular headphones, 12-volt triggers, RS-232, 60MHz component-video ins and outs, and two-way Video Conversion which converts composite to S and S to composite. It's rated at 6x130 watts into 8 ohms plus 2x25 watts, which can be assigned to two front-effects channels or to a second-zone stereo.
Two other new receivers — the $999-suggested RX-V2300 and $799 RX-V1300 —are due in September and August, respectively. They offer the V3300's surround and DSP modes, including Silent Cinema. They also offer second-audio-zone capability but feature six-channel amps (6x110 and 6x100 watts, respectively). The 2300 adds second-zone video, RS-232 and the ability to assign two of its six channels for second-zone use.
For additional details, see expanded coverage on www.TWICE .com