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Russound Makes Big Plans For CEDIA Expo

Newmarket, N.H. — Russound will go to the CEDIA Expo with its largest product launch in some years, toting three new multizone controller/amplifiers, eight new custom-install speakers, new amplifiers, and two accessories.

Compared to previous models, three new controllers in the MCA series add digital inputs and the Linux OS, which speeds up keypad response time and delivers faster refresh rates on displays.

All three are Russound’s first controllers with a built-in support for the company’s own Bluetooth extender, which uses up to 300 feet of CAT 5 cable to extend Bluetooth range to a location where the user would typically use a phone or tablet as a Bluetooth source.

The top model, the eight-source eight-zone MCA-88X, distributes connected local sources such as media servers but also distributes networked sources and embedded streaming services.

The accessories and speakers ship in the fourth quarter, followed in the first quarter by the multizone controllers and the amps. Prices were unavailable.

The MCA-88X controller incorporates digital 12×40-watt (all channels driven) amp to amplify six of eight zones. It can be controlled from up to eight in-wall keypads and touchscreens. Key features include subzone capability, fixed/variable line-level outputs, a port for the company’s Bluetooth extender, full system control from the company’s iOS and Android apps, four digital inputs (three coaxial and one optical), and built-in serial and IP control. New functions include alarm and sleep timers, a home theater trigger, and ability to designate source eight as a third-party paging or phone system.

The MCA-88 and MCA-66 controller/amplifiers offer the same upgrades as the MCA-88X but lacks networking capability. The former is an eight-source/eight-zone controller amp with six-zone 12×40-watt amplification and eight fixed/variable line outputs.

The MCA-66 is a six-source, six-zone version with six-zone 12×20-watt amplification and two fixed/variable line outputs. Both models are expandable by cascading up to six controllers to create a maximum of 48 zones and 36 zones, respectively.

In speakers, the company will launch eight Acclaim series models with bezel-less design, choice of round or square grilles, and shallower mounting depths than before, thanks to an inverted motor design and thin but powerful neodymium N40 woofer magnets. The two-way speakers are available with 6- and 8-inch woofers, and some feature angled woofer in a low-diffraction baffle to direct audio to specific listening areas.

The angled-woofer models are the only such models that fit into standard 2×4 walls or in any ceiling space where depth is limited by plumbing, ductwork, conduit and other obstructions, the company said. One Acclaim speaker is only 2.75-inches-deep, making it suitable for MDU installs.

A new triple-dog design accommodates ceiling materials from 0.25 to 1.4 inches. All 6-inch speakers have the same cut-out dimensions and grille sizes so that speakers can be upgraded even after the holes are cut and the grilles are painted, the company said.

All models feature curved tweeter bridge for wide dispersion, and all tweeters can be adjusted up to 15 degrees in different directions without diffraction occurring.

A center-channel adjustment switch in one model overcomes the sonic drawbacks of placing a speaker where it looks best but doesn’t sound best, the company noted.

Amplifier details were unavailable, but one will be the first in a series designed to improve the sound quality of a TV.

As for accessories, the company will launch an ALT-126R impedance-matching in-wall volume control. Its front-face multiplier settings allow for impedance matching of up to 16 pairs of speakers, eliminating the need for speaker selectors and other impedance-matching products, the company said.

Another accessory is the EZB-8 speaker terminal block to connect up to eight pairs of speakers to a single stereo amplifier. It’s tailored for use with impedance-matching volume controls.