Russound ComPoint Intercom System Page 2

The Short Form

Price $2,056 as tested / russound.com / 866-222-6997
Snapshot
A terrific intercom solution that not only looks cool but works with virtually any audio system
Plus
•Cool, compact design •Integrates with virtually any audio system •Single-gang ISSP speaker simplifies adding intercom zones •Easily installed by DIY-ers
Minus
•Pricey by intercom standards
Key Features
System as tested (4 zones) •ISH1 Hub ($398) •(2) ISK2 Advanced Keypads ($330 each) •(2) ISK1 Basic Keypads ($260 each) •(2) ISSP Speakers ($40 each) •ISK3 Door Station ($238) •ISDR1 Door Strike Release Module ($90) •ISPS Power Supply ($70) •Page to all zones at once or directly to a single location •One hub handles as many as 6 intercom zones; system expandable to 6 hubs, 36 zones •Supports 2 door stations •Works with virtually any audio distribution system •Convenient do-not-disturb and zone-monitoring features •Paging volume independently adjustable by zone
SETUP Do you ever stop to wonder how we functioned before Cat-5 cabling came onto the scene? Sure, my 4-month-old daughter, Lauryn, will probably snicker at our primitive Cat-5 ways one day as she uses dad's outdated cabling to play "lasso the cat," but for now, it is the wonder wire that can do it all. Fortunately, Cat-5 is part of nearly every manufacturer's structured-wiring solution, and it is also the wiring backbone for ComPoint. Unfortunately, since the ComPoint system requires all of a Cat-5 cable's eight conductors, you'll need to have a spare run in place if your audio system also uses Cat-5 cabling for data or control commands.

ComPoint's heart is the ISH1 Hub ($398), which can support up to six intercom zones and two door stations. The hub has a small footprint (6.4 inches wide x 5.1 high x 1.8 deep) that could easily install in a structured-wiring panel or reside discreetly in the back of an audio rack. For large systems, a Link In/Out port is provided, enabling six ISH1s to be linked together to create a total of 36 intercom zones. Each hub requires its own 15-volt, 3.5-ampere regulated DC power supply, designated the ISPS ($70 each). The hub has DIP switches for selecting one of seven tubular chime notes for either door station, as well as a volume control for setting overall doorbell chime volume.

Each intercom zone requires a keypad controller, and Russound offers two options: the Basic ISK1 ($260) or the Advanced ISK2 ($330). Both keypads are single-gang Decora style and come in five color choices (white, almond, bone, brown, and black) to satisfy nearly any décor. Each offers selectable green or amber backlighting. The Basic pad has only buttons labeled 1-6 for communicating directly with zones, limiting its use to single-hub systems. The Advanced keypad has a five-character display that shows any of 65 pre-built labels to identify each intercom zone in the system.

Since Russound touts this as an intercom system for music lovers, you would expect it to work with distributed audio systems, and boy, does it! In fact, the ComPoint is compatible with any audio system except those using active (self-powered) loudspeakers, such as the IP-based Polk LC265i-IP. And, truthfully, if you've gone to the trouble and expense of installing self-powered speakers throughout your home, you're probably not in the market for an intercom anyhow. Just have Jeeves answer the door and do your bidding.

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