CEDIA 2009 Day Three

Emerging technology was also a theme at this CEDIA, even apart from the various 3D video schemes. RoomEQ is, of course, not a new concept and Audyssey treated us to an introduction and demonstration of their new Subwoofer Equalizer that uses the AudysseyPro software and of DSX, their technology for adding additional channels (for width and height) to the standard 5.1 and 7.1 configurations. I have a Subwoofer Equalizer in house now and hope to report on it shortly. In addition, DSX has made its appearance in a new generation of preamp-processors (and AVRs) from Denon, Onkyo, and Integra, so I am planning on experimenting with that, as well, using one of the new Integra processors, the all-inclusive DHC 80.1 ($2300).

Aside from Audyssey, there were other EQs at CEDIA for me to talk about. It seems that, at long last, the Sherwood R972 AVR is beginning to ship. Production samples were on the floor and demonstrated, again, how its Trinnov Optimizer can virtually re-map speaker positions and create a balanced and equalized sound field from markedly asymmetrical and, even, bone-headed setups (like the one shown in the photo).

Trinnov processing is also making an appearance in ADA's line of preamp-processors. More known in the custom-install business, ADA has been bold in developing an $8k stand-alone adaptation of the $13k+ professional version (to be available soon) and is collaborating with Trinnov to develop a module to be installed, eventually, in their pre-pros.

Another technical demonstration of interest came from Focus Enhancements, a semiconductor and OEM company who demonstrated a wireless system for multichannel with 24-bit/96kHz and 7.1-channel capability. The big issues here are, in addition to the traditional ones of noise and distortion, the necessity for short transit times (to keep up with the video) and the reduction of interchannel time differences into the nanosecond range. The setup was done with the cooperation of Aperion Loudspeakers who provided prototypes of self-powered speakers with wireless ability. In practical terms, this system virtually eliminates speaker setup errors by assigning speakers to channels and setting levels/distances automatically and more swiftly than anything else I have seen. The accompanying picture shows what looks like very standard speakers but they are, in fact wireless!

Speaking of speakers, again, Atlantic Technology in collaboration with Solus/Clements showed a neat little prototype of a speaker based on what they term H-PAS (Hybrid Pressure Acceleration System). I couldn't really follow the explanation of how it works but the system is passive and results in high-output bass extension with small drivers and a small enclosure. The demo speaker had a dome tweeter and two 4.5" non-exotic drivers in a 1.4 cubic foot enclosure—Atlantic's Peter Tribeman and Phillip Clements are provided for scale—yet it produces bass down to 29Hz at 105dB. Nicely finished production models with 6.5" cone drivers are expected by spring 2010 at a price around $2000/pair. These speakers could make waves.

Finally, in what is probably the snazziest speaker packaging yet seen, Burmester has teamed up with Porsche to create a clean-sounding and powerful in-car audio system for the new Panamera 4-door. I sat in the front and, later, in the back seat of this awesome chariot and experienced tactile bass impact and decent imaging although the program material was chosen for maximum gut effects. What is really needed is a loan to Stereophile (and to me) for a more extended evaluation and, amazingly, this seems a real possibility. (Of course, editor John Atkinson will probably want to steal it away for many miles, oops, days of measurements.)