Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association
With well over 30 years of experience, Panamax's outstanding five new EX power conditioners, the M5500-EX, M5300-EX, M5100-EX, M4300-EX
and entirely new M5400-EX rounds up the companies power solutions ($1000, $550, $350, and $250, and $750 respectively). The EMI/RFI noise filtration capabilities vary by model ranging from Level 2 for the M4300-EX to Level 6 for the M5500-EX. The family's contemporary styling features silver highlights on a black chassis complemented by blue power status indicator lights. In addition, Panamax offers an optional silver bezel to allow the product to seamlessly blend with other silver A/V components. The M5100-EX features a blue LED voltmeter, while the M5300-EX, M5400-EX and M5500-EX showcase digital voltmeters with blue readouts. Additionally, the M5400-EX and M5500-EX also feature a digital ammeter. All models feature high-current for amplifiers and powered subwoofers. Panamax's patent-pending Automatic Voltage Monitoring Circuitry (AVM) constantly monitors the AC line voltage for unsafe voltage conditions and will automatically disconnect the equipment to protect it from damage. Once the voltage returns to a safe level, the power will automatically be reconnected. Top-of-the-range M5500-EX features Level 6 noise filtration with five isolated outlet banks for digital components, two banks for analog components, and one bank for high current equipment.
Sennheiser debuted their RS 130 and RS 140 wireless headphones ($170 and $220 respectively). The RS 130 and RS 140 have advanced FM radio-frequency communications for freedom of movement throughout the home while an integrated charger within the base-station keeps the headsets freshly charged. The RS 130 is an open-backed headphone optimized for TV-sound and home-theater reproduction as well as music listening. Sennheiser's RS 140 is a closed-back system engineered for maximum output on music and TV-audio alike, with unique features to enhance intelligibility. RS 140 also exploits a unique Sennheiser-designed switchable compression system that enhances intelligibility on dialog and announcers, as well as a new balance control for independent left/right-channel level adjustment.
Rotel now offers a 7-channel, 100 watt per
channel amplifier that is a mere 2 inches high! The new RMB-1077 power amplifier ($2,500) boasts a super-slim
rack mountable design for multi-room or multi-channel systems. Said to be the key to the unit, RMB-1077's has two proprietary technologies. Rotel's Controlled
Oscillation Modulation (COM) insures power efficiency, stability, and effectiveness from a switching-type digital power supply. Rotel's
Multivariable Enhanced Cascade Control (MECC) circuit topology creates a 'smart'
amplifier in which the power supply and the actual amplifying circuits work cooperatively
to boost efficiency to a most impressive 90 percent.
Dolby Laboratory was touting their new Dolby Digital Plus system said to be the next advancement in high quality audio. This new encoding/decoding scheme features upwards of 7.1 channels and supports multiple programs in a single encoded bitstream. It also outputs a
digital stream that is backwards compatible for older Dolby Digital systems. Bit-rate performance of up to 6 Mbps (limited to 3 Mbps
on HD DVD and 1.7 Mbps on Blu-ray Disc) is a marked improvement over the previous system. New interactive mixing and streaming capability and support for HDMITM (v.1.3) interface, the new single-cable digital connection for high-definition audio and video, is part of Dolby Digital Plus. The system is mandatory audio for HD DVD and optional Blu-ray Disc. Digital bit rates are <320 kbps for 5.1-channel audio. As a comparison, old Dolby Digital was 1 to 5.1 channels with a data rate from 96 to 640kbs while Dolby Digital Plus handles from 1 to 13.1 channels at bit rates from 30kbs to 6Mbs. S/PDIF was used for the older system and the Plus handles HDMI v1.1, yet is indeed backwards compatible to the older S/PDIF.
Carver Digital introduced the
company's M-Series highly efficient stereo amplifiers. The M1200.2, M700.2 and M300.2 ($2,199, $1,899 and $1,699 respectively) combine high
performance and low-noise TriPath technology. Power handling capabilities vary from 300 watts per channel in the M1200.2, to 225 watts per channel for the M700.2, to 95 watts per channel in the M300.2. High-efficiency spread spectrum switching amplifier technology utilizing TriPath technology is
claimed to minimize the noise commonly associated with switching amplifier stages. A
high current linear power supply and rear-panel switches for bridged and parallel mono, ground lift and level bypass are also included. The input stage utilizes THAT
Corporation's 1200P balanced line receiver together with Burr-Brown amplification stages plus other premium parts to insure signal integrity.
The rear panel boasts sturdy gold plated inputs and hefty loudspeaker binding
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