Multizone Gets XStream: Russound Announces Evolutionary MCA-88X Streaming Multizone Controller Amplifier
The Multi-Room Company, UK exclusive distributor for whole-house audio market innovator Russound, is introducing the MCA-88X Streaming Multizone Controller Digital Amplifier. A perfect blending of the company’s popular MCA-Series products and the recently introduced XStream X5 Wireless Controller Streamer, the evolutionary MCA-88X is an eight source, eight zone controller with built-in XStream Technology that streams content from Spotify, the cloud, home network, tablets and phones—all from a single component.
Scalable up to 48 zones by combining multiple controllers, the MCA-88X is part of Russound’s next generation of controllers delivering super-fast response time, an array of digital inputs, and quicker configuration. The unit offers plentiful options to fit the distributed audio needs of most residential and light commercial environments. In addition to its analogue, digital, and paging sources, the new MCA-88X is also Bluetooth compatible. This enables use of Russound’s BTC-1X Bluetooth Extender to wirelessly connect portable media players, smartphones, and similar devices, located anywhere in a home to the MCA-88X.
The built-in streaming module provides access to Spotify Connect, which is included with the MyRussound control app, and the MCA-88X’s Tunein and vTuner functions make thousands of internet radio stations available. Music can also be streamed directly from iOS devices using Apple AirPlay and from a network attached storage system over the local area network. The unit also features full system control via the My Russound app on both Android and IOS mobile devices, and is fully compatibility with Russound’s advanced keypads and touchscreens.
Engineered for maximum expandability of both zones and components, the MCA-88X features six zones of cool-running, high quality digital amplification at a powerful 40 watts per channel, all channels driven, and offers maximum integration flexibility with fixed/variable line-level outputs for outboard amplification, wireless expansion using the X5 Streamer or X1 series products and subzone use for up to eight zones per chassis. Installers will find the same superior standard features they’ve come to expect from Russound – including custom audio settings, party modes, do not disturb, and source/zone linking – plus new functions like alarm and/or phone system.
Configuration of the MCA-88X is via the new Web Config system, an on-board hosted web page that is used for basic configuration and firmware updates. To simplify the process required on site, Web Config also allows the installer to configure and update the controller using a smartphone or tablet.
The MCA-88X is included in the new Russound Certified Installer programme, meaning the products will ship “locked” and require a certified Russound installation professional to unlock them via the internet, in order to ensure consumers receive the benefits of working with certified installation professionals.
Mike Bonnette, The Multi-Room Company’s product director, commented, “The MCA-88X is designed to give our customers exactly what they asked for: total integration with mobile devices, keypads, apps and operating systems without sacrificing seamless multi-room operability. The MCA-88X delivers this experience flawlessly. What’s equally important is that all content can now be streamed wirelessly from a single component with absolute digital clarity. That fact sets the MCA-88X apart from all other controllers.”
The Multi-Room Company premieres products from Cabasse, Parasound and Heed at the National Audio Show
At this weekend’s National Audio Show, The Multi-Room Company will be presenting the UK show premieres of key new products from three of its high quality audio brands, with the Cabasse Murano, Cabasse Surf, Cabasse Stream, Parasound Hint and Heed Elixir on demonstration.
The new high-end stand mount speaker from Cabasse, the Murano, paired with the Parasound Halo integrated amplifier, the Hint, will be on loan to Russ Andrews Accessories who will be using the pairing in the company’s room. Murano is the smallest full range speaker in the Artis high-end series and benefits from innovations initially developed for the reference La Sphère. The co-axial midrange tweeter and technologies incorporated in the woofer, combine to generate the best possible sound quality and performance for a speaker of its size. The Parasound Hint is packed full of features, including a high-resolution DSD DAC; MM/MC phono stage; balanced XLRs; analogue bass management and 160-watts per channel of John Curl designed amplifier topology. The Hint is the perfect choice for two channel and home cinema enthusiasts wanting the performance of a pre-power combination from a single product and will partner superbly with the Cabasse Murano.
The Cabasse Stream AMP and its partnering Surf loudspeakers will join the Heed Elixir integrated amplifier as part of the equipment used by AudioQuest in its “Computer Audio Demystified” seminar sessions. The Stream AMP and Surf combination is a simple and very cost effective streamer, amplifier and speaker combination that opens up the world of Deezer, Spotify, internet radio and network stored audio in a compact and easy to use package. It will take centre stage in the seminar presentations as Nick Allen from AudioQuest demonstrates how to put together a streaming audio system.
Heed’s new integrated amplifier, the Elixir, will also be used by Nick to demonstrate how to integrate a stand-alone streamer, the Cabasse Stream Source, into an existing hi-fi system.The Elixir is a compact five-input integrated amplifier with built-in phono stage and dedicated headphone amplifier, that is designed to provide the renowned Heed sound quality in a one-box solution.
Mike Bonette, product director for The Multi-Room Company, comments, “We are very pleased to be able to unveil a plethora of new products at the National Audio Show. In addition to the static display of Cabasse, Parasound and Heed in the Clarity Alliance Showcase, we’ve worked with our colleagues from Russ Andrews and AudioQuest to provide opportunities for show visitors to hear some of these amazing products.” He continues, “We look forward to meeting the music lovers and audiophiles at the show and getting the chance to talk about the brands and the new products. And don’t forget to visit the ‘Queen: The Studio Collection’ presentation where our Parasound JC3+ phono stage will be used for this UK exclusive playback of the new box set.”
The National Audio Show takes place on 19-20 September at Whittlebury Hall, Whittlebury, nr Towcester, Northamptonshire, NN12 8QH. Tickets from https://www.chestergroup.org/nationalaudioshow/2015
12 channels of high quality amplification with the Parasound ZoneMaster 1250 from The Multi-Room Company
Parasound, distributed exclusively in the UK by The Multi-Room Company Ltd., has introduced the ZoneMaster 1250, a powerful, high quality, 12-channel amplifier that is ideal for custom installers building multi-room audio and modular home cinema systems, especially Dolby Atmos.
This versatile, efficient and bridgeable power amplifier uses a Class AB input stage and premium Class D power stage to achieve a sonic performance consistent with Parasound's audiophile heritage and to meet the demand for quality and dependability from industry professionals.
With six independent oversized power supplies the Parasound ZoneMaster 1250 is stabile into 2 ohm loads enabling total output power in excess of 1200 watts RMS with all channels driven. Each channel is rated at 50 watts into 8 ohms, or 90 watts into 4 ohms, and channel pairs can be bridged to provide 6 x 160 watts or 6 x 200 watts with 8 or 4 ohm speakers. It has the potential to bi-amp speakers with up to 400 watts per speaker. The combination of high power and low impedance stability allows for A and B speaker outputs for each channel providing easy connection of up to 24 speakers, and its 2U chassis saves precious rack space and the cost of additional amplifiers.
For applications throughout a home, the Parasound ZoneMaster 1250 can easily drive three high power premium stereo systems with 200 watts per channel, six stereo zones, or 24 in-wall or ceiling speakers for music in every room of the house. It is also a great fit for home cinema, where this single component can be used in combinations of bridged and unbridged channels to easily drive a full home cinema system of significant scale. The 1250 is ideally suited for driving the individual modules of the new Dolby Atmos cinema system.
There are independent line inputs and level controls for each channel and two Bus inputs with looping outputs, plus a speaker-level input that can be routed to any zone. In addition, to give custom installers even greater flexibility, there are independent 12-volt and audio triggers with looping 12-volt trigger outputs for each zone, and a global 12-volt trigger.
Detachable Phoenix-style speaker connectors accept up to 12-gauge wire. Rack mounting hardware is included in the box. The Model 1250 offers exceptionally "green" power consumption with 0.5 watt standby power consumption to meet Energy Star and European Union specifications.
"In terms of sound quality, build quality, and configuration options, the ZoneMaster Model 1250 is a game-changer in a category populated by cheaply built IC chip amplifiers," says The Multi-Room Company’s product director, Mike Bonnette. "It is as useful for distributed audio as it is for home cinema, where it could augment an AV receiver with 3 x 200 watts plus 4 x 90 watts or as a terrific single-chassis amplifier solution for Dolby Atmos insllations.”
Available exclusively in the UK from The Multi-Room Company, Cabasse is launching the ZEF 13/13tr and the ZEF 17/17tr speakers. Designed by the sea at the Cabasse Acoustic Center, the ZEF range is the ideal solution for high quality sound reproduction in outdoor conditions or more sedate indoor surroundings.
The famous reliability of the technical solutions developed by the Cabasse Research and Development department is a guarantee for longevity. The quality of the components involved offers a maximum sound pressure and a low frequency extension not normally expected from such a tiny volume, with a respect of timbres and a sound stage most hi-fi loudspeakers would be proud to claim.
The 2-way ZEF 13 and ZEF 17 contain almost identical features, with Cabasse's DOM25 tweeter and their 13T15AW midrange woofer in the ZEF 13, although the ZEF with the 17T15AW midrange woofer has the capability to produce a wider frequency range. Both give exceptionally true performance due to these superior parts and design, typical of Cabasse but unusual for this more 'ultilitarian' type of speaker.
This product is designed to be used inside or outside, providing the same high quality sound in either placement. The ZEF speakers are available in black or white and the come with a wall-mounting bracket. Additionally, for more flexible placement there is a dedicated 'ball bracket' available.
The TR version is the more commercialised speaker in the range, and is fitted with a transformer and a power switch for 100V or 70V high impedance mode. This allows the speaker to work over long distances while retaining the same high performance and sound quality.
The Multi-Room Company is delighted to reveal the winner of its recent Facebook “Win a Cabasse Stream Source” competition is James Shannon of Acoustic Streams based in Penzance.
Matt Statham, sales manager for The Multi-Room Company visited James at his prestigious showroom, situated near the southern Cornwall coast, to present the prize.
The Cabasse Stream Source allows installers to take advantage of Cabasse’s renowned streaming technology through a hi-fi or distributed audio system, such as the Russound products, also distributed by The Multi-Room Company. The diminutive Stream Source is just 4cm x 23cm x 14cm (H W D) in size and enables wifi or ethernet accessto streaming music services such as Spotify and Deezer, plus internet radio and Bluetooth connectivity. High quality digital to analogue converters take the digital signal from the network in file formats from MP3 to 96kHz FLAC and present them in the best possible quality for playback through the existing speakers. The Bluetooth connection, via NFC, with smartphones or tablets using the APTX codec enables high quality reproduction of the music stored on the device. Similarly, embedded DLNA software enables the music on any directly connected USB drive to be instantly made available across the network to any other DLNA compatible devices. Control is via the Stream CONTROL app available for iOS or Android.
Pictured is Matt Statham (left), with Acoustic Streams’ James Shannon receiving his Stream Source.
For more details on the Cabasse Stream range please click HERE
Russound introduces the Russound Certified Installer programme to help protect installers and consumers
Russound, the number one brand for installed multi-room audio, has announced a new product feature designed to ensure consumers receive the benefits of working with certified installation professionals and, at the same time, drastically reducing unauthorised online and grey import sales of its products.
The Russound Certified Installer (RCI) programme comes into effect with the launch of the company’s new line of multi-zone controllers (MCA-66i, MCA-88i & MCA-88x), with additional products added as they come to market. The products will ship “locked”, requiring a certified Russound installation professional to unlock them via the Internet in order for them to be functional. Products are tracked through unique ID numbers that will be paired with the installers who performed the installations. No customer information is entered or shared as part of the process.
The programme is open to Russound installers who buy the company’s products through all authorised sales channels, such as The Multi-Room Company in the UK. Installers wishing to participate in the programme should contact The Multi-Room Company for further details, those who receive training on the MCA range of products will automatically be enrolled.
“Unauthorised online sales are a problem for all manufacturers and installation specialists who want to make sure customers are getting the best performance and value from our products,” said Charlie Porritt, CEO, Russound. “The new Russound Certified Installer programme is a simple, highly effective procedure for making sure that only a sanctioned Russound installer can activate one of our new controllers. It’s our way of protecting both installers and consumers.”
Mike Bonnette, product director for The Multi-Room Company adds, “As a company, Russound has been committed to fighting unauthorised sales for many years and the introduction of the RCI programme is to be welcomed as a firm way of ensuring only approved installers can supply the products.” He continues, “Multi-room audio can be complicated to install and commission and so needs to be installed by properly trained personnel, otherwise the consumer will suffer.”
For training and certification courses - please contact your area manager, or us directly on +44 (0)1242 511133, or simply via our contact page
Russound introduces the MCA-66i and MCA-88i digital multi-zone controllers for increased expandability and audio quality
Exclusively from The Multi-Room Company, the Russound MCA-66i and MCA-88i controllers bring digital amplification and connectivity to the multi-room audio environment. The three digital inputs, reliable Bluetooth streaming, updated IR codes for control of any source and the ability to expand to six linked controllers, creating an integrated system with up to 48 zones, will satisfy the requirements of even the most demanding installation.
True to Russound’s audio roots, the MCA-88i is a high-fidelity, high power amplifier, that enables users to listen to any of eight sources in eight independent zones. The unit has a full complement of inputs, including eight analogue, three digital, one paging and one Bluetooth. There are eight fixed or variable outputs for expanding, integrating and upgrading zones.
For more compact installations, the MCA-66i is the perfect choice, with six sources feeding to up to six zones, and a similarly impressive array of input choices. The MCA-66i has two fixed or variable outputs for the expansion, integration and upgrading of zones and both models are controllable using Russound keypads, the TS3 touchscreen, or the My Russound App for iOS and Android.
For larger installations, both models are easily expandable by cascading up to six controllers in sequence, up to a maximum of 48 zones for the MCA-88i or 36 zones for the MCA-66i.
State of the art processors have been employed in the MCA-66i and 88i, to provide a faster response time when receiving commands and updating metadata to Russound keypads and the popular My Russound App. Local streaming of content from Bluetooth devices is possible thanks to the Russound BTC-1X Bluetooth Extender which overcomes the limitations of Bluetooth reach by positioning the receiver outside the rack or equipment cupboard.
Linking a Russound DMS3.1 Digital Media Streamer to either model provides customers with access to today’s most popular streaming sources, including Spotify, Apple AirPlay and internet radio. All MCA series products are fully Ethernet enabled, allowing for IP-based features and control and the built-in RIO (Russound I/O) communication protocol in the MCA series also delivers bi-directional communication and integration via LAN Ethernet connection.
The launch of the new MCA range also sees the introduction of the Russound Certified Installer (RCI). The products will ship “locked”, requiring a certified Russound installation professional to unlock them via the Internet in order to become functional. The RCI programme is designed to drastically reduce unauthorised online or grey import sales of Russound products, while ensuring that consumers receive the benefits of working with trained and certified installation professionals.
“Russound has done it again with the MCA-66i and MCA-88i, just like they did previously with the MCA-C3 and C5 products.” Says Mike Bonnette, product director at The Multi-Room Company. “These new products represent the latest and finest evolution to a multizone controller line that integrates every innovation and technology driving whole-house audio now and in the foreseeable future. Our customers are going to love the MCA-66i and MCA-88i for the expandability and installation ease and these products embody a truly comprehensive line, to which installers can confidently commit their resources and present to their clients.”
The Multi-Room Company, exclusive distributor for Russound, is introducing the KNX-RIO-1 gateway device that allows KNX panels and keypads to operate Russound controller amplifiers that support Russound’s RIO open IP protocol, to enable integration of distributed audio of up to 16 zones, including the latest in streaming media sources, throughout the entire home.
The Russound KNX-RIO-1 is installed on 35mm DIN rails and is powered by the power supply for the DIN rail via standard KNX Bus connections. It can be easily configured in the standard KNX ETS Software program to perform a number of control functions, including basic Zone control and basic Source control. Two LED lights both red and green indicate connection status and programming download status. The KNX-RIO-1 also supports metadata feedback for devices that display metadata, e.g. Russound Streamers and KNX keypads and panels.
Connected via its Ethernet connection to the home LAN, the KNX-RIO-1 gateway allows installers to create a link between a KNX system and a network-connected Russound distributed audio system. This delivers an effortless, unified operation of up to a two-controller, 16-zone system using a single KNX-RIO-1 module. Designed for use with Russound MCA-series controllers — including the MCA-66i, MCA-88i, and MCA-88X (as well as the XStream X5) — KNX installers have a powerful new tool in the KNX-RIO-1.
“The KNX standard and the RIO protocol confirm how interoperability can improve the work of our installation partners, and the enjoyment of their customers,” noted Mike Bonnette, product director at The Multi-Room Company. “By creating a communications link between the two with the KNX-RIO-1, Russound has successfully integrated the best technologies available for seamless whole-house audio configuration and control.”
The Multi-Room Company will be using the forthcoming Essential Install Live Show to unveil the latest additions to its portfolio of class leading multi-room and audio products, when it presents French loudspeaker and streaming audio brand Cabasse and Parasound electronics from the USA.
Cabasse is one of the world’s most respected manufacturers of loudspeakers, with over 60 years experience at the forefront of technical and acoustic innovation, perfecting the design and production of point source coaxial drive units and digital signal processing.
The Cabasse range addresses customer requirements with a unique technology and three distinctive design approaches: traditional, lifestyle and custom install. Common to all is the company’s coaxial technology, developed for the reproduction of natural timbres with a wide, stable and full soundstage. The large sweet spot exhibited by the coaxial driver makes them ideal for custom installation and home cinema use.
In addition to showcasing the loudspeakers, The Multi-Room Company will also be demonstrating the Stream range, which provide high resolution streaming capabilities in a variety of form factors: Stream 1 - a stand alone powered speaker; Stream Source - add-on for existing systems; Stream 3 - a 2.1 sub-sat for use with a TV; Stream AMP - a self contained streamer/amplifier. All products offer whole house connectivity, Spotify, Deezer, DLNA, NFC Bluetooth, vTuner, synchronised party-mode. The Stream range also answers the installers perennial frustration of low margins on streaming products by offering the same margin enjoyed across other electronics.
Bringing an American flavour to the show is the Parasound range of high performance electronics. The San Francisco company manufactures a comprehensive range of preamplifiers, power amps, DACs, high performance multi-channel amplifiers and multi-zone amps for custom installation use. The product range is split into three sub brands, all of which are available via The Multi-Room Company: Halo, New Classic and Z Custom, the latter of which includes the popular half-width, slim line, Zdac and Zamp Quattro.
The company’s products are well regarded throughout the high-end home cinema and hi-fi sectors, receiving many glowing reviews and are much sought after by music and movie lovers across the world. The THX certification of many of the company’s products, including the John Curl designed A21, A31 and A51 two, three and five channel power amplifiers, makes them particularly suitable for critical multi-channel applications. As such they are specified by many of the world’s top film production companies and post production studios and are the perfect choice for home cinema installations where the customer wants to experience exactly what the movie-makers experienced.
Mike Bonnette, product director for The Multi-Room Company, says, “This year at Essential Install Live we couldn’t be more excited than to be able to introduce the fantastic products from Cabasse and Parasound. Both brands have superb worldwide reputations and will provide the perfect solutions for the custom installers visiting the show.” He concludes, “We’ll be on hand throughout the two days to introduce visitors to the products, explain the technologies and unique attributes and help installers specify the right products for their customers’ needs. We look forward to meeting many existing and new clients.”
Visitors to The Multi-Room Company’s stand (no. 25) will also be able to enter a competition to win a pair of Cabasse custom installation speakers.
Win a Cabasse Stream Source to experience its high-res streaming, Spotify and an instant DLNA server
To celebrate the addition of the Cabasse range of loudspeakers and streaming products to The Multi-Room Company’s portfolio we are giving you the opportunity to win the new Stream Source high fidelity wireless music streamer, to try it for yourself and see why it will be a must have for your installations.
Cabasse, France based manufacturer of loudspeakers, has been designing and building cutting edge speakers since 1950. Introducing some of the first active speakers and perfecting the concept of the coaxial drive unit in a way that overcomes the disadvantages of traditional coaxial ‘tweeter in the middle of the cone’ design – making them perfect for custom installation and home cinema use.
As a result of the company’s recent ownership by the AwoX group, another French business that was at the heart of the development of DLNA technology, Cabasse has created a range of streaming audio products that take its audio and acoustic excellence and combine them with the very latest in streaming technology.
The diminutive stand-alone Stream Source is pebble shaped and just 4cm x 23cm x 14cm (H W D) in size. Beautifully crafted as a visually stunning piece, it brings the connectivity to the main audio system in the house. High quality digital to analogue converters take the digital signal from the NAS (network attached storage) drives in file formats from MP3 to 96kHz high resolution FLAC and presents them in the best possible quality to the hi-fi or distributed audio system for playback through the speakers. Instant NFC Bluetooth connectivity is possible with smartphones or tablets using the APTX codec for higher quality reproduction of the music stored on the device.
And to act as the streaming hub of a domestic installation, the Stream Source also contains DLNA server technology that enables the music on any directly connected USB drive to be instantly made available across the network, for playback via Smart TVs and other compatible renderers.
All Cabasse streaming products are compatible with MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, AIFF, ALAC and FLAC file formats and contain both the vTuner module, for access to thousands of internet radio stations and also Spotify and Deezer support for instant access to millions of online songs. The intuitive and free Cabasse StreamCONTROL app for iOS and Android enables easy access and navigation of your desired audio.
Introducing the products, Mike Bonnette, product director for The Multi-Room Company comments, “The addition of the Stream range allows our installer customers to provide top quality streaming audio solutions to end users in a very simple to install and use package. And with proper margins, far higher than those offered on many other brands, the installer can confidently specify the Cabasse streamers in the knowledge that not only are they installing a robust and high quality product, but they are not reducing the overall margin of the installation.
“The only way to really see how well these products work is, of course, to try one. That is why we have launched a competition on our facebook page to win a Stream Source and I would urge all of our customers to enter. The lucky winner will be able to see for themselves just how simple the product is to install and how good it sounds. And for everyone else, we’ll happily pay you a visit with the entire Cabasse Stream range so you can experience it and start specifying it for your customers’ installations.”
Russound, distributed exclusively in the UK by The Multi-Room Company, is introducing the next generation of its ubiquitous multi-channel amplifier line. The D-Series is a completely custom-built solution that has all the great features of the popular R-Series amps in a much more refined platform and with all the efficiency of Class D amplification.
For nearly 50 years Russound has been designing equipment to fit the installers’ needs and its multi-channel amplifiers have been the mainstay of many installations. The new D-Series has been designed from the ground-up to offer the features custom installation professionals demand while offering a lighter weight, smaller chassis and more efficient Class D power.
The feature-rich design is ideal for the demands of distributed audio systems and comes in two variants: the 8 zone, 16 channel, D1650 and 4 zone, 8 channel, D850.
The D1650’s 16 channels are arranged in stereo pairs to provide discreet 50 watt per channel amplification and custom configurations for each of 8 zones. Each channel may be bridged to provide 8 mono channels with 160 watts. Bridging is independent for each channel, enabling a mixture of 160 watt and 50 watt channels – ideal for Dolby Atmos installations where seven high power channels and two lower powered channels may be required.
Like its larger sibling, the D850 is fitted with the option to individually select inputs for each zone from local line inputs or a global bus input with input /output triggers for all zones. Local inputs also feature advanced input/output triggers and auto sensing on/off, which allow each channel to operate on demand, reducing power usage and eliminating any potential for residual hum from the speakers that are not being used.
The D-Series amplifiers all have the same well regarded Russound sound quality and installer-friendly features customers have come to expect. Ultra-low distortion output (relatively unheard of in other multi-zone amplifiers) allows for clean, undistorted audio even at high listening volumes. A robust protection circuit provides efficient, safe and reliable operation under extreme conditions and protects each amplifier output channel.
Mike Bonnette, The Multi-Room Company’s product director, says, “Russound’s R-Series amps have been hugely popular with installers for many years. Now with the introduction of the D-Series the performance has moved up a notch and they come with all the benefits of class D amplification, plus they are lighter and take up less room, making them an even more obvious choice for the installer.” He continues, “Russound has always been known for its fantastic value for money, packed full of essential and innovative features for the installers and also offering really great audio performance. We feel sure they are going to be a hit with our customers.”
The D-Series will be available in the UK in mid June 2015.
The Multi-Room Company Ltd. has been appointed by Cabasse, France’s most innovative loudspeaker manufacturer, as the exclusive UK distributor for its entire range of custom installation, home cinema and hi-fi loudspeakers, plus its growing range of streaming products. Effective immediately, this new arrangement will provide an enhanced customer experience for Cabasse’s existing customers and open up new business opportunities for The Multi-Room Company and its client base.
Based in Brittany, Cabasse has been manufacturing loudspeakers since 1950, when Georges Cabasse, a descendent of five generations of Luthiers who made their first violin in 1740, produced his first loudspeaker. Since then the company has been at the forefront of technical and acoustic innovation, perfecting the design and production of point source coaxial drive units and digital signal processing.
The Cabasse loudspeaker range addresses customer requirements with a unique technology and three distinctive design approaches: traditional boxes, lifestyle and custom install. Common to all variants, regardless of aesthetics, is the company’s coaxial driver technology, which was developed for the reproduction of natural timbres that are neutral and transparent with a wide, stable and full soundstage. The large sweet spot exhibited by the coaxial driver makes them ideal for custom installation and home cinema use, where multiple listening positions are common, but also high-end two channel systems as epitomised by the iconic flagship product, La Sphère.
Also being made available via The Multi-Room Company is the recently announced Stream range of wireless music streamers, which bring high resolution streaming capabilities to the customer in a variety of form factors: stand alone powered speakers, a streamer add-on for existing hi-fi systems, a 2.1 sub sat for use with a TV and a self contained streamer/amplifier. Controlled via the Cabasse StreamCONTROL app (iOS and Android), the Stream range offers whole house connectivity, Spotify, Deezer, DLNA compatibility for streaming from a NAS drive, NFC Bluetooth, vTuner internet radio and synchronised party-mode playback.
Mike Bonnette, product director for The Multi-Room Company, is pleased to welcome Cabasse into the company’s portfolio, “The addition of this incredible range of products provides our customers with a solution for all eventualities, whether they are specifying a compact 5.1 system, a full-scale installed home cinema, a high-end two channel hi-fi, or want to stream wirelessly throughout the house.” He continues, “The size of the range is topped only by its quality; everything from the entry level bookshelf speaker, right up to the flagship model, via the in-wall products, conforms to Cabasse’s stringent music reproduction standards. We feel sure our customers are going to be thrilled to be able to specify these amazing speakers and we’re very excited by the new business opportunities it presents to us.”
Parasound, the highly respected electronics brand, has appointed The Multi-Room Company Ltd. as exclusive UK distributor. This new arrangement, effective immediately, will provide an enhanced service offering for its existing customers and open up opportunities for additional business across the entire range of custom installation, home cinema, hi-fi and professional audio products.
San Francisco based Parasound manufactures a comprehensive range of preamplifiers, power amps, DACs, high performance multi-channel amplifiers and multi-zone amps for custom installation use. The product range is split into three sub brands, all of which will be available via The Multi-Room Company: Halo, New Classic and Z Custom, the latter of which includes the popular half width, slim line, Zdac and Zamp.
The company’s products are well regarded throughout the hi-fi and high-end home cinema sectors, receiving many glowing reviews and are much sought after by music and movie lovers across the world. A longstanding collaboration with the respected circuit designer John Curl has produced some legendary products such as the JC2BP preamplifier and JC1 mono power amplifier, both of which find favour with high-end hi-fi enthusiasts and professional recording studios. The THX certification of many of the company’s products, including the JC1, plus the A31 and A51 three and five channel power amplifiers, makes them particularly suitable for critical multi-channel studio applications and as such they are specified by many of the world’s top film production companies and post production studios.
The addition of Parasound to The Multi-Room Company’s portfolio significantly improves the options for its customers, providing new solutions within custom installation and home cinema and complementing the other products it offers. Existing Parasound customers will see a determined focus on the brand and levels of personal support, from The Multi-Room Company’s technical and sales personnel, that retailers and specifiers of such products deserve.
Mike Bonnette, product director for The Multi-Room Company, comments, “We are very pleased to be appointed as distributors for such a prestigious brand. The benefits presented by products of the calibre of Parasound will be extremely valuable to our customers and will open up new opportunities in the variety and scale of installations they can undertake.” He continues, “With such a comprehensive range of products we are able to service the hi-fi, home cinema, custom installation, recording studio and film post production markets, providing solutions for a huge breadth of situations. We look forward to introducing our customers to these fantastic products over the coming months.”
My Russound app updated with Spotify Connect® for X5 & DMS-3.1
Russound, innovators in whole house audio systems, distributed in the UK exclusively by The Multi-Room Company, has announced the addition of Spotify to its MyRussound app; bringing the much sought after benefits of Spotify to users of its DMS3.1 streamer and XStream X5 all in one streamer, amplifier and room controller.
To coincide with the addition of Spotify, the company has overhauled the user interface of its MyRussound app, making it much more intuitive and user-friendly and has also made the iOS and Android versions available free of charge. Enhancements to the look and feel include the provision of a slider bar volume control in place of the buttons, support for 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios, Smart TV control features and press and hold functionality for source control screens.
Using Spotify with the DMS3.1 and XStream X5 requires the latest firmware for these devices, but once installed streaming music from the popular Spotify Premium service is simplicity itself. As Spotify Connect streams music directly from the Spotify servers, instead of from the tablet or smart phone, the music can continue to play even if the tablet/phone is disconnected from the Russound system or network. Spotify control is also available directly from the Russound TS-3 touchscreen and MDK keypad which can be used to control content on the X5 or DMS3.1.
Russound’s recently introduced X5 is an Apple AirPlay equipped streamer, amplifier and room controller, in one small but powerful device that creates a decentralised Ethernet/Wi-Fi-enabled networked audio system and improved TV sound solution; bringing all the benefits of streaming services to consumers, plus the ability for installers to give customers a more cohesive and consistent user experience.
The X5 features digital inputs, digital streaming, AirPlay, digital amplification at 50 watts per channel and a high-end DAC to deliver better quality audio performance than is traditionally associated with consumer focused streaming devices. Music from a NAS drive can be streamed to the X5 and also listened to throughout the home by linking multiple X5 units. The X5 can support local Bluetooth streaming of audio content from smart phones, tablets and laptops through its optional external receiver.
By connecting the digital output of a TV to the X5, sound quality from the flat panel can be dramatically improved and control of the connected TV, BD player, SKY box and other PVR has been made simple thanks to the X5’s IR learning capability for sources and compatibility with the My Russound App, making X5 a simple one box solution for all the consumer’s audio needs. XStream seamlessly connects with existing wired or wireless home networks and up to 16 X5 zones can be installed, with four rooms of audio streamed in sync at high-resolution 24bit/192kHz.
Mike Bonnette, The Multi-Room Company’s product director says, “With the addition of the very popular Spotify service, the X5 (and DMS-3.1) is now the product that our installer customers and their customers have been waiting for. Superb audio quality and the ability to listen to internet radio, networked music collections and to get better sound from TVs, while controlling the operation of the TV, Blu-ray and Sky box from the app have always been very desirable functions. But now, Spotify takes it up a gear and we are very excited to be able to bring this complete one-box audio solution to the UK – we know it’s going to be really popular.”
Distributor of home entertainment and custom installation solutions, The Multi-Room Company, is pleased to announce the addition of the Earthquake brand of subwoofers to its portfolio of products; satisfying customer requirements for a compact but high performance subwoofer for home cinema installations.
Earthquake, founded over 27 years ago, produces a variety of high quality audio products that have impressed audiophiles across the world, winning many prestigious awards for sound quality, performance, value and features. Granted numerous design patents by the United States Patent Office, many of Earthquake’s designs have revolutionised the audio industry.
Engineered by audiophiles for audiophiles, Earthquake subwoofers are meticulously crafted to reproduce the low frequencies with absolute precision, power and authority. Used in serious systems, the compact but powerful subwoofers are designed to bring the home cinema experience to life without intruding on the environment.
After considered auditioning and evaluation, The Multi-Room Company has chosen a number of models from Earthquake’s extensive range as the core offerings for its customers. From the diminutive, but high performance FF6.5 front-firing 150 watt sub, to the 600 watt MiniMe P12 with its 12” powered driver and 12” S.L.A.P.S. passive radiator, the range provides the custom installer with a solution for any installation.
Mike Bonnette, product director for The Multi-Room Company, says, “Our customers have been asking us for a compact but high powerful subwoofer solution that does more than just shakes the floor. We evaluated a number of options and the decision to work with Earthquake was unanimous – the output of these remarkably small subwoofers has to be heard to be believed.” He continues, “We are convinced that our customers and their customers will see, hear and feel the huge improvements that adding an Earthquake sub to their systems will make.”
The Multi-Room Company, distributor of products from Atlantic Technology, Yamaha and Earthquake Sound has created a number of dedicated Dolby Atmos packages, to bring the full Atmos experience to end users, whatever the size and scale of the installation required.
With speakers from THX Certified home cinema specialists Atlantic Technology, subwoofers from Earthquake and Atmos electronics from Yamaha, the three packages created by the product specialists at The Multi-Room Company cater for differing customer requirements.
The flagship 7.2.4 package is centred on the top of the range Yamaha RXA3040 AV amplifier, its MX-A5000 11 channel power amplifier and the BDA1040 Blu-ray player. Front left, right and centre channel speaker duties are performed by the THX Ultra 2 Atlantic Technology IWTS-30 loudspeakers, which features a rotatable mid/tweeter unit to maintain correct dispersion regardless of horizontal or vertical positioning. Four IWTS-30 SR speakers, also THX Ultra, are used for the surround and rear channels and four in-ceiling IC8.3 Tri-mode™ 8” speakers make up the .4 requirements of Dolby Atmos. Considerable low frequency energy is provided by two Earthquake Mini Me P12 subwoofers, each boasting a 12” powered driver, 12” passive radiator, 600 watts of digital amplification and a low frequency response down to 18Hz. This package is available for a retail price of under £16,000.
The second package provides a cost effective 7.1.2 custom installation solution using the Yamaha RXA2040 Dolby Atmos AV amplifier and BDS677 Blu-ray player coupled to Atlantic Technology’s THX Ultra 2 IWTS-155 left, centre, right speakers and four IWTS 14SR surround speakers. Two 6” diameter in-ceiling speakers, the IC6.3 Tri-mode™ model, are utilised for the .2 channels. Earthquake’s Mini Me P10 subwoofer, with its 600 watt amplifier, 10” bass driver and 10” passive radiator provides substantial low frequency reinforcement. Package 2 has a retail price of £7,800.
Package three is a £6,600 retail priced 5.1.4 system aimed at the user who wants a stand-alone solution that doesn’t require any structural work to be done to the room. Four Atlantic Technology THX Select Certified 4400LR floorstanding speakers provide the front left, right and rear channels, with the centre channel duties handled by the dedicated 4400C. The .4 channels are catered for by the new Atlantic Technology 44DA Dolby Atmos upward firing speakers. Low frequency effects are given the Earthquake treatment, courtesy of the Mini Me P10, subwoofer and Yamaha’s RXA2040 Dolby Atmos AV amplifier and BDS677 Blu-ray provide the signal processing and high definition image.
Mike Bonnette, The Multi-Room Company’s product director, who configured the packages in conjunction with the company’s home cinema specialist Matt Statham says, “Our unique product offering of Atlantic Technology, Earthquake and Yamaha puts us in a position to create Dolby Atmos home cinema packages that provide solutions for a number of end user requirements. With these three packages we have catered for most customer needs, from the retro-fit solution, that doesn’t need any structural alterations, right up to the THX specification flagship offering.” He continues, “Dolby Atmos is the latest must-have for home cinema enthusiasts and movie lovers and we are confident that in conjunction with our retailers and installers we have catered for their needs.”
The Multi-Room Company Enhances Its Support For Key Digital’s Compass Control System With A Dedicated Technical Consultant
Key Digital UK distributor, The Multi-Room Company, has appointed a dedicated technical consultant to oversee all aspects of the iPad based Compass Control® system, to bring a more attentive service to its installer customers.
Former Multi-Room Company sales manager for Key Digital products, Ben Hillman, has formed a consultancy business as a Compass programmer and will be providing a service on behalf of The Multi-Room Company to all its Key Digital customers. Ben, who has gained extensive knowledge of all aspects of the comprehensive Compass Control system during his period working with the brand, will provide long term programming for existing systems, where additions or changes are required, and undertake new commissions and training of the company’s customers.
Mike Bonnette, product director for The Multi-Room Company, comments, “We have re-structured the sales function for Key Digital products and separated it from the technical and programming aspects in order to provide a much more clearly defined and focused service for our installers. Ben has an immense amount of knowledge about the Compass system, having worked very closely with Key Digital ever since the platform was developed, and his skills are such that our Compass customers are going to benefit enormously from having him concentrate on the configuration and programming of the system.”
He continues, “Sales of Key Digital’s superb range of HD matrix switchers and distribution products will remain in-house and will be overseen by our sales manager Matt Statham. We are confident that this re-organisation will be to the benefit of all Key Digital users in the UK.”
New Russound Acclaim Speaker Line Incorporate Design Improvements to Maximise Performance and Installer Benefits
Whole-house audio innovator Russound, distributed exclusively in the UK by The Multi-Room Company, has introduced updates to the successful Acclaim custom install speaker collection. The eight brand-new models feature a distinct new designer-inspired edgeless bezel design, easy-install magnetic grilles, acoustic refinements and are priced to help installers deliver optimal performance for their customers - whatever the application.
Acclaim Speakers are engineered to fit virtually any installation environment while delivering peak performance. The signature edgeless magnetic grilles attach securely using an array of 12 Neodymium magnets and are offered in both round and square shapes to blend into any decor. All models feature a time saving and vibration free triple dog-leg fixing, which accommodate a wide range of ceiling materials from 6mm to 35mm thick, allowing installers to finish jobs quickly while guaranteeing the solid grip that high fidelity sound demands.
The new line is based on two different audio applications. The Performance Series can be used for almost all installations, from single room designs to whole house systems. The High Resolution Series is designed for critical listening areas where a higher fidelity solution is required. Both offer choices of two-way designs with either a flat, non-angled woofer (RSF models) or angled (RSA models) in a low-diffraction baffle that can help direct audio to key listening areas.
The Acclaim models were designed with ultra-light Neodymium magnets that weigh up to 92% less than typical woofers, while maintaining the same performance characteristics. These acoustic attributes allow for a shallower design, making the RSA models the only angled woofers available that fit into a standard stud wall, or in any ceiling space where the full depth is not available due to plumbing, ductwork, conduit or any other unforeseen obstruction.
All 6” versions utilise the same cut-out dimension and grille sizes, allowing for easy upgrades to any Acclaim model, even after the drywall has been cut and the grilles custom-painted. The two new 8” models give installers the flexibility to step up to a larger speaker size when needed, with the same aesthetic appeal of the edgeless grille design.
All models incorporate a curved tweeter bridge for wide dispersion and all tweeters can be adjusted multi-directionally up to 15°. The woofer cones range from pure polypropylene to custom polypropylene-mica and polypropylene-carbon fibre blends. The acoustically matched designs allow installers to mix and match from either the Performance or the High Resolution Series speakers, with the confidence that audiophiles and homeowners will be pleased with the result.
In addition to the shallow depth of the entire range, when an installation has even tighter restrictions, the new RSF-635 can be installed in a space that is as shallow as 69mm, while maintaining its high quality audio performance thanks to and advanced thin, lightweight inverted Neodymium N40 magnet structure.
Among other key features found in the new selection is the centre channel adjustment switch found in the High Resolution RSA-635. Ideal for overcoming the limitations of placing a speaker in the ideal aesthetic position instead of the ideal acoustic position, the centre channel adjustment switch allows important tweaks to be made to improve intelligibility of entertainment dialogue.
“Installers and integrators have come to rely on the Acclaim speakers for their versatility, quality, performance and value,” said Mike Bonnette, product director at The Multi-Room Company. “Ongoing use of the highest quality drivers, advanced crossover networks, and elegant designs guarantee the best possible audio reproduction. Our trade partners and resellers will find that the latest enhancements will make their work easier, and in turn, their customers even happier with exceptional value for money and performance.
Compass Control® Technology Now Compatible with Sonos Products. New Bi-directional driver gives integrators a plug-and-play solution.
Key Digital, distributed in the UK by The Multi-Room Company, has announced that Sonos products are now compatible with Compass Control, bringing users simple touch control of their distributed multi-room audio as part of their whole house control system.
Key Digital has developed a driver and a pre-configured GUI template for its Compass Control system, the first fully integrated major control system built from the ground up to use Apple's iOS devices as its backbone, to interface with Sonos products. Now Compass Control users can use any of their Sonos products with just a touch of a button. The addition of Sonos continues Key Digital’s mission of expanding the Compass Control driver library every day to bring the best quality and product selection to its users.
Sonos products allow customers to have access to their music library or connect to their music streaming services. Products compatible with the Compass Control system are: Play:1, Play:3, Play:5, Playbar, Sub, Connect:AMP, and Connect. Using the Compass Control app, Sonos users will have all the features they had with their Sonos controller they were previously using on their smartphone or tablet.
Ben Hillman, The Multi-Room Company’s Key Digital expert, says, “Sonos is one of the most popular consumer focused multi-room audio solutions available and many of our installer customers are called upon to install systems as part of larger whole house projects. Now with the addition of fully immersed control via Compass the Sonos system can truly be part of the installation and not a stand alone system that sits alongside the rest of the technology.” He concludes, “I feel sure that this will enhance the end-users’ experience and provide additional revenue generation opportunities for installers.”