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HK Expands Distributed-Audio SKUs

Harman Kardon introduced its first A-Bus-compatible receivers, its first receiver with digital Class D amplification, and other products during CEDIA’s Expo.

All of the receivers are the brand’s first with DD EX and DTS ES.

Three A-Bus receivers feature additional custom features, including RS-232 ports, IR input/output jacks, two-zone capability and assignable amplifier sections. The A-Bus port connects via CAT-5 cable to a remote in-wall amplifier/keypad that will be available from HK in early 2003. In the meantime, consumers can use other brands of A-Bus keypads.

The company entered the distributed-audio arena last year with a basic system consisting of an eight-channel amp controlled by an in-wall keypad.

The three receivers are the 7.1-channel $1,799-suggested AVR 7200, due in the winter; the $1,199 AVR 525 and the $899 AVR 325, due in October. The former two are HK’s first with bass management for connected DVD-Audio and SACD players. The AVR 7200 adds second-zone video to the other two’s second-zone audio.

All three feature Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS Neo:6, Harman International’s Logic 7/7.1/5.1 processing and Harman’s VMAx virtual-surround processing. All feature ultrawide-bandwidth amplification and a three-crossover bass-management system that allows separate bass redirection points to be set for the front left/right, center and surround channels at one of six crossover frequencies. The AVR 7200 and AVR 525 extend this capability to connected DVD-Audio and SACD players.

Other features include wide-bandwidth, HDTV-compatible component video switching and preprogrammed learning remotes.

The compact DPR 1001 receiver, due in the fall at a suggested $1,499, is said to be the industry’s first standalone receiver (vs. DVD-receiver) to incorporate digital amplification. It’s rated at 7×50 watts at 8 ohms.

The 1001 offers all the decoding capabilities of the three aforementioned receivers as well as three-crossover bass management on all inputs, including DVD-Audio and SACD player inputs. The two-zone receiver also features assignable amplifier configuration and wideband component-video switching.

Also at the Expo, the company launched its first separately available speakers, complementing its home theater speaker packages. Two bookshelf models are priced at $249 and $349/pair. The two-way floorstanding tower is $249 each; the two-way center channel is $249, and the 12-inch 150-watt sub is $399. They ship in the fall.