Who's Delivering Bass Management Boxes

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Here's what companies are doing to deliver bass management for multichannel SACD and DVD-Audio:

Kenwood: The DV4900 400+3 DVD-A/V changer and the five-disc DV5700, will incorporate bass management for DVD-Audio and for Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks on DVD-Video discs so that consumers can choose their bass-management settings once to apply to all DVD disc types. The changers ship in August at a suggested $1,500 and $1,200, respectively.

M&K: An outboard bass-management box designed for studio mixing has been sold in limited quantities to consumers, but a new model that simplifies operation for consumers will be available around the end of May for a retail between $349 and $399. The Bass Station Mini is only about 6x1.5x5 inches and uses the fixed 80Hz crossover point favored by THX.

Outlaw Audio: The Durham, N.C., company, which sells its products direct to consumers only through its Web site (outlawaudio.com), will offer a deluxe component-size bass-management system in June or July for less than $400. Called the ICBM (Integrated Controlled Bass Manager), it features five switchable crossover points at 40Hz, 60Hz, 80Hz, 100Hz or 120Hz to "cover virtually every speaker," a spokesman said. It can redirect bass to stereo subs or a single mono sub, and it's said to feature 340 precision components to pass through the audio signal "with virtually no audible degradation," a spokesman said.

Philips: The SACD-1000 multichannel-SACD/DVD-Video player shipped in March without bass management at a suggested $2,000.

The company previously announced plans for July deliveries of a $699-suggested multichannel-SACD/DVD-Video player, but that's been delayed until January 2002 to add such features as bass management and progressive-scan output, said R. Steven Jean, DVD marketing director. That model will be called the DVD962 and will retain the $699 price.

Simultaneous with the DVD962 launch, Philips will launch the SACD 900 SACD/DVD-Video player, which will lack progressive output, but retain bass management, at a suggested $499.

Sony: Sony's first multichannel SACD players, introduced at CES and a subsequent dealer show, all feature on-board bass management for multichannel SACD discs, a spokesman said.


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