Artison introduced the new Art line of line-array speakers. Shown here is the Art 40M, which utilizes 80 0.75" full-range drivers and is said to respond down to 80Hz. 40 of the drivers face the front, the other 40 are angled toward the center; the left-right speaker pair is designed to perform the duties of the center channel, as well. $6000/pair
Artison's new subwoofer, RCC 600, hides in a wall, with four unique drivers that oppose each other with rigidly attached baskets. This allows the reactance forces generated to cancel one another. According to Artison, one RCC 600 provides a bass/sound quality surpassing that of a typical 12-inch subwoofer.
Artison chief Cary Christie describes the processor and amp designed to drive one or two if his new in-wall subs (background and in entry below). Each in-wall sub will cost $1000 and the amp/processor another $1000.
Panasonic announced a new A/V receiver, the SA-BX500 ($799) with three HDMI inputs, a bi-amp/bi-wire capability for its 7.1-channels of 130 watts per channel of amplification, and so-called 7.1-channel Virtual Surround mode in a 5.1-channel system.
We've had a lot to say about various Sony video announcements and events at the show, but they unveiled a new 7.1-channel receiver as well. Its style is similar to that of other recent, but silver-toned Sony AV receiver designs. Features include 120W x 7 channels of amplification, HDMI switching and upconversion of composite, S-Video, and component sources to HDMI, and automated setup. ($800/August).
Atlantic Technology surprised me in its demo with the high quality sound coming from its IWTS-30, THX certified in-wall speakers. Three of them were used across the front, along with four surrounds and two subwoofers. The IWTS-30 ($1375 each) is a three-way system, and the midrange-tweeter array can rotate 90-degrees when horizontal placement is desired or necessary. The same module also tilts to angle the sound slightly to the left and right, when necessary.
If there was a theme to this year's CEDIA EXPO, it would be The Rise of the Soundbar. While these devices are incapable of reproducing the full impact of a 5.1 or 7.1 surround system consisting of discrete speakers and a subwoofer, they are undeniably convenient. And many of them sound better than you might imagine. One such is this fully powered $900 model from Atlantic Technology. The driver configuration is 2-channels, but has internal processing that is said to offer a three or five channel ambient experience from a Dolby Digital or DTS surround source.
Using H-PAS technology, the Atlantic claims extension down to 47Hz without a subwoofer. While there was a trend at the show toward ultra thin soundbars, most of the latter required a subwoofer to go that low. The Atlantic is 6.5-inches deep, and may be wall mounted, shelf-mounted, or positioned on top of your stand-mounted flat panel using special brackets designed for this purpose.
Atlantic Technology was showing a near finished prototype of its H-PAS speaker, first seen in early form at CEDIA. H-PAS stands for Hybrid Pressure Acceleration System, a fancy name for what is claimed to be a breakthrough in bass loading. It combines several speaker technologies, including bass reflex, inverse horn, and transmission line. The system is purely passive;there is no subwoofer hidden in the box and the only drivers in the design are the two 5.25" woofers and soft dome tweeter seen in the photo (which does not do the gloss black design justice).