I recently sat down with Joe de Jesus, Product Manager, Custom Integration Products Lenbrook, about the evolving role of the custom integrator and the company’s extensive new product offerings debuting at CEDIA EXPO in Denver.
MJ: How do you see the role of the CI Dealer evolving? And what is Lenbrook doing to help them in that evolution?
JdJ: The idea of what defines CI is constantly being redefined. End users have access to a seemingly endless number of DIY home automation solutions which are often interpreted as elements of CI. Like many other industries, access to certain technologies in the marketplace can have an erosive effect as commoditization starts to eat away at features and services which had been unachievable by the average person less than a decade ago.
The successful CI company prospers by offering certain characteristics which go beyond the technological. The system designer’s know-how, the intellectual property aspect of their solution is not something which can be purchased over the counter. The artisanal nature of the fit and finish is not easily quantifiable. The ability to offer a level of refinement which goes beyond the customer’s expectations is what will allow our industry to flourish. Lenbrook has chosen to offer the CI dealer a level of quality and performance which was normally relegated to the purist audio segment. Our dealers will be able to offer a high performance solution which can blend into a CI design.
Simply put, the brands we build and represent have been making great sound for decades. We have done so at various price points in both the two-channel as well as the home theater market. Bringing the same level of sophistication and affinity to the CI market is a very achievable and natural progression. We are doing so, in full recognition that the CI world has its own needs and benchmarks.
We are deeply focused on viewing our products through the eyes of the system designer, the project manager and the installer, as well as their clients. The CI company must be able to offer viable and compelling solutions to the homeowner, the architect, the builder and the interior designer. This wide-ranging group have their own very specific needs and criteria. Making sure that all the boxes are checked for everyone involved is quite the task.
A product needs to offer the system designer a wide range of solutions with the least number of limits. It needs to be easy and predictable to install in the field. It needs to be either as unobtrusive as possible or have an aesthetic appeal conducive with today’s home décor. Even the level of product support and documentation is a major factor as to whether a product is considered for install. The list goes on. That being said, at the very core of what we offer are the same things that have made our brands successful over the years; a passion for offering the best possible sound to our customers.
All of these elements need to be addressed in order to be a good partner to the CI dealer, but the high quality of our sound is what will set us apart from the rest. We believe that CI sensibilities and outstanding sonic performance are not mutually exclusive.
MJ: What new products do you plan to introduce at the upcoming CEDIA EXPO in Denver?
JdJ: This is a big year for Lenbrook and CEDIA is our biggest North American event. Between NAD and PSB, we are debuting nine new products.
NAD will be introducing two new network distribution amplifiers (CI 8-120 DSP, CI8-150 DSP), which is a first for us. In addition, we will be showcasing our new Home Theater receiver the NAD T 778 at $2,999.
PSB has added an angled in-ceiling speaker solution to the existing Custom Sound Series. We have had considerable demand for architectural subwoofer solutions from our dealers. As a result, we will be presenting three architectural subwoofer models which will offer the system designer a great variety of install solutions. To power up these new subwoofers, we have created a subwoofer amplifier which can run up to two of the new models at a time, in a sleek 1U rack space.
Last but not least, we will be introducing the first of a series of performance wall mount solutions to follow in the footsteps of the Imagine W1 & W3. The PWM2 will offer tremendous sonic performance in a category where we see tremendous growth, in both the domestic as well as the international market.
We hope everyone stops by to see us at CEDIA in Booth 2520!