Gear Hall

Being a custom installer is no easy feat. More often than not, the job involves problem-solving and figuring out a way to make a square peg fit in a round hole. Fortunately, the manufacturers that support the world of custom installation have produced a lot of terrific products to make these possible.

To recognize these achievements, CEDIA (Custom Electronics Design & Installation Association) - the Grand Poobah of all things custom - has created a Product Hall of Fame to "track the progression of product development and technology." Judging from the first 8 components inducted, CEDIA clearly selected a worthy list of gear that's played major roles in advancing the world of custom.

The Product Hall of Fame Showcase will be introduced at the 2009 CEDIA EXPO, corresponding with CEDIA's 20th anniversary. All inducted products will be on display every year at EXPO.

Without further ado, the inductees are . . .

Audio Design Associates, System 56 Audio Design Associates (ADA) has been around 30 years, which is pretty much forever in custom installation time. During those three decades, they've created many products that have made it easier to enjoy music throughout your home. System 56 was ADA's first multi-source, multi-zone system, and this all-in-one solution paved the way for families everywhere to enjoy their music while simultaneously avoiding the music of others.

Audio Control, SA-3050 Taming acoustical problems in a room can be a real bear. Sure you can just throw in an EQ and wing it in the classic 'V' formation, but that's no way to get reliable results. For that you need to measure, and that generally requires very expensive professional grade calibration mics and software. Besides just looking frickin' cool, Audio Control's SA-3050 Real Time Spectrum Analyzer allowed installers and users to accurately measure response in the room, then confidently make the right adjustments.

Crestron Electronics, SmarTouch STS System A huge part of custom installation is system control, and few controllers have been as influential as Crestron's SmarTouch STS. This two-piece control system used radio frequency to communicate and control gear behind cabinetry or in other rooms, and the touchpanel gave installers the ability to customize the look and design of the remote to suit the client's needs and tastes.

JBL Synthesis, JBL Synthesis One Ultimately, watching movies at home should imitate the theatrical experience. And what better way to start the replication process then by using the same speaker systems found in most commercial cinemas? With speakers, amplification and equalization all part of the package, JBL's Synthesis systems bring high-end Hollywood performance and staggeringly loud SPL's home.