I recently sat down with Joe de Jesus, Product Manager, Custom Integration Products, Lenbrook, about Lenbrook’s focus on the CI channel and how it fits in with the company’s legacy business. Part 1
Maureen Jenson: What is your role at Lenbrook and how long have you been with the company?
Joe de Jesus: I am the product manager for custom integration products for all the Lenbrook brands. I have been with Lenbrook for a little over a year. Prior to my current role, I was active in the CI channel, in both sales and installation, for many years with a number of Canadian audio companies.
My main goal with Lenbrook is to ensure that our products offer all the wonderful merits of our brands (NAD, PSB and Bluesound) which have made them successful in the more traditional audio market, while at the same time have the necessary feature sets and characteristics to make them relevant and desirable in the custom installation market.
MJ: In recent years, Lenbrook has seemed to be focusing more and more on CI with its NAD and PSB brands. Why is that?
JdJ: Lenbrook has witnessed a growing demand for its CI-oriented products over the past several years. So in its simplest form, we are responding to the market. Offerings from PSB, NAD and Bluesound are being employed into install projects at ever increasing rates. It shows that we have something to offer, which is recognized by the CI industry. As a result, Lenbrook has decided to make a major commitment to capitalizing on this growing market and ensuring that we have the necessary complement of products and features to answer our clients’ needs.
MJ: How does the CI business fit in with Lenbrook’s legacy business of high-quality home audio? Is there crossover between the two?
JdJ: Yes, I believe that performance background gives us a strong edge because we have had to cater to an extremely critical and vocal audience. Whether at a relatively entry level price point or at the flagship level, our brands have solidified their place. The question of “How does it sound?” has been successfully answered for years.
The key to our success in the CI channel is that we maintain the same level of sonic performance, but in addition, ensure that we have the necessary feature set and design criteria to satisfy the specific demands of the installer. We believe that there is a strong desire for products that are install friendly, as well as sound like a truly refined audio system.
MJ: Are you leveraging the company’s core technologies for use in the CI channel? If so, how?
JdJ: Absolutely. In the case of NAD, we are emphasizing one of our strongest features, which is our amplifier platforms. NAD has a reputation for rock solid amplification and a tonal balance. That performance seems to shake hands with virtually any speaker it powers. Our clients can expect the same exacting standard. For example, our new CI-120 DSP and CI-150 DSP amplifiers (to be launched at CEDIA 2019) adhere to the same stringent sonic tests as our best traditional amplifiers. That sonic signature is what separates NAD from the rest.
The same can be said for PSB. For decades, Paul Barton has been creating highly regarded speakers based on tried and true acoustic principles. His approach to achieving optimum tonal balance, dispersion, and dynamic range has made PSB a world-renowned speaker brand. Those exact same principles are just as relevant to a whole-home distributed audio installation as they are to a good two-channel system. In the case of in-ceiling applications, PSB’s dispersion characteristics make for a very flexible install with a minimal number of speakers. Installers love that.
Sticking to those core competencies is what enables us to solidify our place in the CI market.
MJ: Early in 2018, Lenbrook became the DALI importer for the U.S. What products do they have for the CI market?
JdJ: DALI’s Phantom series offers a full complement of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers at a wide range of price points. Phantom series carries the traditional DALI sonic signature, but in addition places a strong emphasis on ease of installation and form factor. Dali has created Phantom series to integrate with any of the existing DALI models which gives the system designer a considerable amount of flexibility in putting together a total solution.
This year, DALI will be adding to the Phantom series by introducing two new sealed enclosure LCRs, the IW M-250, and the IW M-375. Dali will also be introducing the Katch One soundbar, which will introduce a new market to what DALI has to offer.
Stay tuned for next week when Joe discusses the evolving role of the custom integrator and the company’s extensive new product offerings debuting at CEDIA EXPO!