Part One here.
Part two here.
There were plenty of new introductions everywhere, especially at the Lenbrook booth. The company’s Joe de Jesus showed me around starting with the new high-performance CS AIC 860, angled in-ceiling speaker, perfect for home theater applications. The CS AIC 860 features frameless magnetic grilles with invisible scrims for a seamless look. Both round and square grilles are provided and installation looked easy with the simple mounting system, using heavy duty doglegs. Cutting templates are included and optional pre-construction brackets and back cans are also available.
Joe de Jesus shows off the sleek PSB PWM2 LCR on-wall speakers
Next up was the new nine-channel flagship NAD T 778 Reference AVR in a low-profile, 3U rack-mount chassis that’s design allows integrators to effect remote diagnostics, and it features improvements in heat management.
Then we were on to the PSB PWM2 LCR on-wall speaker. Less than 4” deep, its slim profile allows the speaker to hug the wall with clean and simple lines that would look great in any space. The three-way design incorporates newly-designed drivers and cabinet design: a 1” titanium dome tweeter, two 3” midrange and two 4” woofers, both with carbon fiber cones.
Commented Joe de Jesus, “Following up on our long-time success of the PSB W1 on-wall, the PWM2 was conceived based on direct feedback from the CI marketplace. Whether as part of a complete on-wall system, a basic TV application or as an on-wall center channel solution with floor standing speakers.” Also among the new products was the DALI Katch One 10-driver soundbar, that is equally at home on a wall or tabletop. Look for my Q&A on this unique speaker in the month’s ahead.
Tributaries’ Joe Perfito showed off his new Clarus AQUA Mark II Cables. Clarus is the high-end audio cable brand that is a “sister” company to Tributaries A/V cables, and introduced new versions of their popular AQUA Cables.
Tributaries’ Joe Perfito with the new Clarus AQUA Mark II Cables
The new AQUA Mark II balanced audio, single-ended RCA audio and speaker cables feature a multi-gauge design using three different shaped insulated ultra-low distortion PCOCC conductors. Said Joe Perfito, “Even more exciting is the new patented ‘Spring-Tension’ Spade Lugs. Most high-end speaker binding posts that are designed for use with spade lugs are difficult to tighten by hand. The Clarus Solution is a one-piece construction that reduces transmission resistance and improves signal flow while the spring tension ensures a long-lasting, high-integrity connection.”
The Legrand / AV booth was really hopping. For Middle Atlantic Rack Mount Systems the Forward Family of toolless rack options was very intriguing. Patrick Kittredge showed me around and said, “When we asked installers where they spend a majority of their time and where they experience the biggest challenges, they told us it was inside the rack.” The Forward toolless family concentrates on lighting, cable management and power brackets, blank and vent panels, small device mounting clamps and a pre-installed UPS base. More about all of these in my future Q&A.
Patrick Kittredge highlights the Middle Atlantic Forward Family of toolless rack options
For Nuvo, the Pro-Series audio players (NV-P5200, P5100 and P5050) are offered as a direct-dealer exclusive. Also on view was a new family of eight-inch passive subs and matching digital amplifiers. Spotlighted for smaller installations was the NV-SUBIC8 in-ceiling sub with infinite baffle design, featuring a round magnetic grille with a square grille available as an option.
Bill Boyer of MantelMount showed off the company’s very sleek MM860 motorized TV mount. The automated robotic mount lowers and swivels simultaneously in one fluid, barely audible movement.
Bill Boyer of MantelMount showed off the company’s very sleek MM860 motorized TV mount
Among the TV mount’s features is the power-sensing technology that detects when the TV is turned on and automatically lowers it to a favorite preset, providing automation even without a control system.
For televisions mounted above a fireplace, the MM860’s Temperature-Sensing Monitor automatically returns the television to its home position if an unsafe temperature is detected, a standard feature that is present with or without a home automation system. It works regardless of programming or home automation; it is simply built into the mount. When recessed, the mount’s lifting arm and electronics are completely concealed in the raised position. Beautifully designed.
Powershades’ Jason Turner highlighted such Powershades features as: a PoE motor for window shades that plugs Into a 5 watt PoE switch. Commented Jason, “We don’t need the high powered stuff. We are also showcasing regular RF product, open roll and fascia and have announced our partnerships with RTI, Control4 and Elan. We also have a cloud based dashboard offering complete shading automation of a property without third party control.”
Powershades’ Jason Turner with the company’s motorized window treatments
At AudioControl, Alex Camara showed off the G4 Series Amplifiers
(5 and 7-channel versions). All AudioControl amplifiers are built on AudioControl’s Class H topology, for power and clarity without generating excessive heat. The new models all share the sleek design to the recently unveiled 4/3/2-channel Avalon G4, providing an advanced theater amplifier lineup engineered for every system architecture; from a fully immersive Dolby Atmos system to a 5.1 or 7.1 system configuration.
AudioControl’s Alex Camara with the RS subwoofer amplifiers and the G4 Series amplifiers
Said Alex Camara, “We will be adding a new smart software feature to our multi-zone Director Series and CM Series amplifier lineup that will be called SDS switching (Signal Detecting Switch). Unlike any other multi-zone amplifier solution, the SDS feature will enable users to seamlessly interact with voice command agents, doorbells, paging systems and more. Integrators will be able to customize the functionality to suit each client by defining which zones are part of the designated group that will respond to the SDS input, related input volume levels for each zone, and more.”