New Products Set For CEDIA Expo

The annual Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) Expo is increasingly the debut venue for manufacturers of home theater equipment.

This year's show, slated for the Indianapolis Convention Center September 8–12, will include plenty of fascinating high-performance gear. Among the new product announcements issued to the press are a new NAD integrated DVD surround sound receiver, Boston Acoustics loudspeakers, and two new PSB subwoofers.

NAD's L 73 DVD surround sound receiver is said to offer the same level of performance associated with the company's full-size separates in an elegant, compact design. The sleek silver L 73 supports playback of DVD -Video, DVD-Audio, VCD, CD, CD-R, CD-RW, and MP-3 disks. The integrated MP-3 decoder is capable of delivering more than 10 hours of music from a single MP-3 encoded CD-R, and the DVD section features progressive scan via the component video output. An additional component video input accepts a feed from a high definition satellite or other set-top box.

The L 73 automatically detects and decodes DTS or Dolby Digital bitstreams, as well as decoding Dolby ProLogic II, Dolby Virtual Speaker and Dolby Headphone are included. NAD's proprietary "EARS" (enhanced ambience recovery system) uses DSP technology to extract the natural ambience in a stereo recording and redirect it to the surround channels, creating a warm natural reverberant effect without any artificiality. The L 73 delivers 45Wpc with all five channels driven simultaneously into 8 ohms. A line-level output connects to a powered subwoofer. Excellent specs are found throughout, in both analog and digital stages.

In addition to the integrated tuner and DVD/CD player an extra six-channel source can be connected, allowing for a total of six possible sources, including two digital inputs (one optical, one coaxial) for extra sources. For a digital connection to a CD recorder or other digital recording device, the L 73 features an optical digital output. The HTR-L 73 learning remote is part of the package. The L 73 will retail for $999 and be available in the fourth quarter of 2004. CEDIA Expo attendees can see it at booth #314 at the Indianapolis Convention Center.

Boston Acoustics, Inc. will introduce a unique 3-in-1 loudspeaker at CEDIA Expo. The P400 high performance slim theater speaker is a three-channel solution delivering impressive surround sound for left, center, and right channels from a single thin chassis designed to perfectly complement a 42" or larger plasma or LCD television or monitor, a DLP rear-projection console, or a traditional screen. It can be wall-mounted below or above a display, set on top of the display with a supplied foot, or on a table or credenza with an optional stand. It can even be set up to share a swivel bracket with a plasma TV so that all three channels of the front sound stage pivot with the TV. The P400's chassis is magnetically shielded, allowing it to be placed directly next to a TV or monitor without causing picture distortion. The $1500 P400 is the flagship loudspeaker for Boston Acoustics' new P4 series speakers.

Also being introduced at CEDIA Expo is Boston Acoustics' versatile Bravo II loudspeaker, a "compact multi-purpose, high-performance loudspeaker whose unique design allows it to fit discreetly almost anywhere within a home, including corners, ceilings and other tight locations. A successor to the original, very popular Bravo, the Bravo II has been engineered to serve as a multi-purpose speaker ideal for any audio application requiring the speaker to blend into its surroundings. The speaker's quarter-cylinder, wedge-shaped housing contains one four" woofer and a one" aluminum dome tweeter. An adaptable mounting bracket allows it be placed in a wide variety of locations for optimum sound quality and three-dimensional imaging. When a pair is placed vertically in the corners of a room, the Bravo II is said to "create a surprisingly wide sonic window," ideal for rear/surround applications in a home theater system. Price is $250 each, available now in black, white or silver from authorized Boston Acoustics dealers.

PSB's new SubSonic 8 and SubSonic 9 are the latest additions to the Ontario company's roster of high-value products. The new powered subwoofers expand PSB's SubSonic Series of subwoofers to a total of six models. The SubSonic 9 compliments PSB's top-of-the-line Platinum Series, approaching the performance of the SubSonic 10 in a more moderately sized cabinet. The SubSonic 9's sound quality is said to be "identical to the SubSonic 10" with "output capability is only a little shy of the stupendous levels achievable by the 10. " The SubSonic 8 is a step up from the SubSonic 6i subwoofer and can be used with Platinum and Image Series systems.

Both subwoofer models have dual 10" woofers using a dual opposing woofer design, one that cancels the opposite direction force exerted by a single woofer. The result is no energy loss, due to the elimination of these forces as they interact with the cabinet. An efficient Class H amplifier delivers 400W of continuous output to the SubSonic 9 and 325W of continuous output to the SubSonic 8.

The $1599 SubSonic 9, available later this year, uses a new sophisticated electronic EQ for flatter response. A flared low-turbulence port gives strong output with very low noise and distortion. The $1099 SubSonic 8, available now, has carefully applied equalization for wide, flat frequency response. A flared (front and rear) wide-diameter port insures pure bass output with no spurious noises. Either model will "sufficiently deliver high impact bass and subsonics," states a pre-Expo press release.