Components Add Sources, Connections - Twice

Components Add Sources, Connections

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LAS VEGAS –

Audio components are connecting with consumers’ changed lifestyles, leveraging new audio sources such as Internet radio and iPods, and connecting to home-control systems.

New products from Teac and Sherwood, for example, feature embedded Internet radio and music streaming from a networked PC. To connect their products to homecontrol systems, Sherwood is launching its first A/V receiver compatible with Control4 home-control systems, and NAD is turning select components into the brains of a Control4 home-control system via a plug-in module.

In an unusual twist, Teac is offering two two-channel components -- a receiver and a CD-receiver – that convert CDs, vinyl, and cassette to MP3 and WMA formats for storage on a USB stick.

Also at the show, two-channel audio remains alive and well with Aaudio Imports, American Sound Works, Cary, Monitor Audio, MartinLogan, NAD, Teac, and many others launching new two-channel components.

Here’s a sampling of what dealers will find. For more details on these and other component-audio launches, see each issue of TWICE CES Show Daily.

Boston Acoustics:

A new series of in-room speakers, called the A series, ships in February. It’s a high-performance entry series said to pay homage to the original A series products launched more than 30 years ago. It represents a step up in price, performance, design and finish compared to the current value-oriented Classic Series, which will be transitioned out in early 2011, a spokesperson said.

The A series consists of three bookshelves, two floorstanding models, one center channel and two subwoofers, and a 5.1 package, all at MAP prices ranging from $139.99 for a bookshelf speaker to $899.99 for the 5.1 package. All feature magnetic grilles, scratch-resistant high-gloss black side panels and soft textured top and baffle.

Cary Audio Design:

A half-dozen high-performance audio components launched here by Cary Audio Design include a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and a combination DAC/integrated amp with tube preamp section and solid-state amplifier section.

Klipsch Group:

The company is entering the wirelesssubwoofer market with the launch of a wireless kit for use with select subwoofers bearing any of its brands. Up to six or more wireless subs can be supported in a house.

MartinLogan:

The company is expanding its selection of non-electrostatic in-room speakers with the launch of the Motion LX series, and it’s launching the first custom speakers to use proprietary Folded Motion tweeters for voice matching with its in-room Folded Motion and electrostatic speakers.

McIntosh:

The MC601 600-watt mono amp 9 into 2-, 4-, and 8-0hm loads) replaces the MC501, offers higher power, and adds such features as input and output jacks to enable bi- and tri-amping using multiple MC601 amps, thermal track output transistors for cooler operation, 8-inch-wide wattmeter, and quad-balanced circuit design. It ships in January. Pricing was unavailable.

Meridian:

The company is showing its latest compact DSP-equipped active speaker, due this month. The $6,000/pair DSP3200 two-way speaker replaces the DSP3100 as the smallest loudspeaker in the Meridian line.

NAD:

The company is expanding its selection of modular components, introducing new upgrade modules for its modular components, and displaying its first iPod-docking music system.

The three newest plug-in Modular Design Construction (MDC) modules include the first to add a Control4 brain to MDC-capable components. The Viso Three Music System, due in the first quarter at a suggested $899, is a 2x50-watt CD-receiver with tethered standalone Applecertified iPod/iPhone dock and USB port.

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