AVRak’s new Fatrak component rack is 36” wide – enough for two components to sit side-by-side on each shelf – so the rack can hold the same amount of gear as a 72” tall standard rack. The Fatrak pulls out far enough from the cabinet so that you can swivel the rack for easy access to the cables and wiring that will look like a rat’s nest no matter how hard you try to organize it. The 36” tall model (FT-36) is rated to hold up to 350 pounds of gear. There are also 24” and 30” versions available. Custom heights can be ordered as well. The FT-36 sells for $2,172.
Quiet Solution makes a variety of products designed to keep your home theater room quiet – both inside and out – such as QuietRock drywall panels and QuietWood for floors and the like. Now you can even soundproof the door in your home theater with the company’s QuietHome doors, which are about as heavy and dense as a door you might find on one of the Egyptian pyramids (of course, they didn’t have hinges then). The door ships pre-hung, and the frame includes a foam-like gasket that seals the door when it’s closed. There’s also a gasket the seals the bottom of the door against the threshold. A 2.25” THX certified version is available for $1,995. The 1.75” non-certified version is $1,499, which the company says is up to 50% less than other acoustic doors.
So lighting won’t make your home theater sound better, or will it? No, it really won’t, but it might make you think your home theater sounds better – and even if it doesn’t, it’ll definitely make your room look better. Traxon Technologies is a company that offers just about any kind of colorful – and changeable – lighting products, from strip lights to panels to, well, you name it. The lighting system I saw had a simple, programmable controller that let you change the colors of the lighting as well as program a schedule of color changes. You could even do a disco floor if you wanted to, but I think that definitely would make your home theater sound bad.
The ported cabinet on Leon Speakers’ new A3 Subwoofer is only 4” deep even though it holds an 8” woofer. It can be used as an in-wall, on-wall, or in-room subwoofer and is a great match for the company’s new Horizon 212 single-cabinet LCR that’s only 2” deep. As with all Leon Speakers speakers, the cabinets can be totally customized when it comes to size, finish, color, and etc. The base price of the A3 is $1,195. The Horizon 212 starts at around $1,500.
Let’s say you have a nice home theater system in one end of the room and a powered subwoofer in the other. Everything sounds nice until you plug the subwoofer into the AC outlet next to it, and, viola, your system is now humming a new tune. Unfortunately, it’s not humming the tune you wanted it to.
Not really, but two new power conditioners from PS Audio could keep your electricity from being at fault when it comes to better sound and picture. Sure, you might think AC is just AC, but if you’ve ever been to my house you’d know that minor fluctuations (not to mention major ones) can do some insidious things to electronics gear. PS Audio’s PowerPlay conditioners clean up your power company’s act – and they also are fully configurable, programmable, and controllable over the Internet. The web interface can show you cool stuff like the fluctuations in voltage and noise in the current. They can also let you know of unfortunate electrical goings-on in your home if you’re away. Ideal for the installer crowd here is the fact that the installer can also be notified of problems that might be fixed by accessing the PowerPlay conditioner over the web – instead of making a long, gas guzzling service call. Plan on spending $2,000 or $1,000, and then maybe another $1,000 for the controllable UPS. Shockingly expensive, you say? Not if you consider the sonic and visual benefits plus the long-term reliability and security aspects. I used to dismiss power conditioning as voodoo, but now that I’ve seen how a bad electric mojo can mess with your stuff I’m a believer.
You’ll find more rock-like speakers here at CEDIA than anywhere else in the world. A new one from an old company caught my eye as I was moving through the crowds to get to my next appointment. StereoStone’s Fountain Speaker has a real working water fountain, submersible low-voltage lighting, and an 8” woofer with left and right tweeters. The whole thing ships completely assembled in a single box – without the water, I assume – and sells for $599.95.
If you look closely in this picture of the chaos that immediately followed the Sony press conference, you’ll see…chaos. If you look a little closer, you’ll see some pencil-thin speakers (actually, I think the term they used was “the width of a finger” but I may have been in the middle of a mile-high altitude-induced alcohol-enhanced stupor at the time so it might as easily have been “the width of a fingerling potato”) on display here as part of the BDV-IT1000ES - Sony’s first ES HTiB that includes an integrated Blu-ray Disc player. The main speakers each measure approximately .75-inch wide by 22 inches long, and they’ll come with the rest of the system when it ships in October and you fork over the required $1,999.
Bringing back fond memories of the one misdirected year (1998) when CEDIA held its convention in New Orleans (just after another near-miss storm) and not many conventioneers (including me) made it to many of their appointments or meetings, SpeakerCraft enlisted the aid of some scantily clad acrobatic dancers to catch the attention of the press folks who didn’t go to the Toshiba press conference. (It worked.)