Sonic Frontiers to Move into HT Market

Known for ultra-high-quality analog and digital audio electronics, Sonic Frontiers will soon enter the home-theater market. The Oakville, Ontario company announced its intentions less than two months after being acquired by the Lenbrook Group, which also owns PSB. In addition, Sonic Frontiers recently joined the growing group of companies represented by public-relations firm JB Stanton Communications, Inc.

Seven of the company's products are currently listed as Stereophile Recommended Components, including the Line-1 and Line-2 vacuum-tube preamplifiers and the Anthem AMP-1 and Power 2 tube-based power amps.

Sonic Frontiers will depart from its tube-amplification tradition in the new line of home-theater products. High-power multichannel audio precludes the use of tubes, explains CEO Chris Johnson. "In home theater, high power is an absolute requirement, but sonic 'ultra-refinement' is so low on the priority list as to be undesirable in view of the cost," he says.

"Moreover," Johnson continues, "heat is the enemy of all electronics, particularly within the constraints of custom-installed home-theater setups. With five channels of tubes, this would be a most difficult issue to overcome and still deliver the power necessary to satisfy the highly dynamic source material of the medium. So we can't imagine trying to stay with tubes in home theater, which is a product format we've been studying for some time." No release date for home-theater products was available at the time of the announcement.

Along with PSB and Sonic Frontiers, the Lenbrook Group markets NAD Electronics in North America. Also, it is the Canadian marketing partner for Marantz, Bang & Olufsen of Denmark, and mobile radio company Power Wave Technologies of Irvine, California.