Connected Distribution is introducing the Parasound ZoneMaster® 4 DAX, the first four-zone DAC for the custom installation industry, to improve the sound quality of multi-zone streaming audio installations.
The Parasound ZoneMaster 4 DAX was designed in response to installers who create multi-zone systems based around streamers such as the Sonos Connect®, Google Chromecast™ Audio, Denon Heos® or Apple Airport Express® and are looking to upgrade their clients’ digital sound quality, while adding connectivity for subwoofers, stereo or mono speakers and system control options.
The 4 DAX is a 1U chassis unit that achieves superior DAC performance by using four premium 192kHz ESS Sabre DACs and four Parasound-designed analogue crossovers with multiple configuration options. Hyperstream™ jitter eliminators provide unmatched audio clarity, free from input clock jitter that can be symptomatic of low cost DACs often used in audio streamers. The 4 DAX's analogue line level audio outputs include full-range stereo, high-pass stereo, full-range mono, high-pass mono and low-pass mono/subwoofer for each of its four zones. This presents the installer with unparalleled flexibility of installation, using large-scale speakers, in-ceiling bass limited speakers or subwoofer/satellite combinations, all in either stereo or mono.
Each zone has optical and coaxial digital inputs, level adjustments for left and right channels and 12V outputs for turning on additional equipment such as amplifiers. Parasound's ZoneMaster line of multi-zone amplifiers has independent 12v trigger outputs for each zone making them perfect companions to the 4 DAX. Using the bus inputs on a Zonemaster multi-channel amplifier and daisy-chaining multiple amps, provides the possibility of an almost limitless number of speakers per zone, underpinning the 4 DAX’s suitability for both simple domestic installations or large scale commercial use.
Previously, installers would have needed four separate DACs and four crossovers, in four separate chassis, taking up precious rack space and making integration with subwoofers and bass limited speakers overly complicated.
"We’re often asked by installers whether it’s possible to make the streaming system the customer has requested sound better?” said Mike Bonnette, product director for Parasound’s UK distributor, Connected Distribution. “Until now the only way has been to use multiple stereo DACs and separate crossovers. With the 4 DAX, the solution is now simple and elegantly contained within a single product. Our customers can now provide the best of both worlds with multi-zone, streaming solutions and hugely improved sound quality, plus it provides a great opportunity to improve their margins.”
Connected Distribution, the Russound UK distributor, is introducing the XZone70V Streaming Audio Amplifier to give installers a powerful product for building business in the light commercial sector.
The first Russound 70v model to be launched, the XZone70V Streaming Audio Amplifier is a high resolution digital media streaming source that enables very long run and multiple speaker installations for commercial environments. Incorporating the company’s XStream technology, the XZone70V provides streaming audio content from the cloud via vTuner, TuneIn and Spotify, from a local network and Apple AirPlay™ devices. Its powerful 70v/100v amplifier provides up to 300 watts of power in a single 1U chassis, making it the perfect solution for commercial installations.
Additional sources can be connected via a rear mounted USB socket for use with a flash drive or external hard drive, and a 3.5mm input jack gives the flexibility to add any other local source to the system.
Essential for commercial installations is the integrated microphone input that automatically senses a signal and pauses the audio stream for paging through the system. Condenser microphone support is easily accessed with a sliding switch on the rear panel, in addition to a mic gain control for easy adjustment of the audio level, and a front panel mic volume level that gives users access to increase speech volume as the environment dictates.
Overcoming the known limitations of 70v line systems, namely the potential for saturation of even the best speaker transformers, and hence distortion, when running low frequencies through them, the XZone70 incorporates a dedicated high pass filter to block these signals. When used in the optional 4-ohm mode, with traditional loudspeakers, the high pass filter is switched out of the circuit to permit the full frequency range to reach the speakers.
Russound has also produced a number of dedicated 70v accessories for use with the XZone70V, including the all-weather AW70V6 speakers and a 50W 70V volume control, which can be used at each speaker location for individual adjustment of level.
“XStream models for the home are proving to be a big hit with installers who want a simple, highly efficient audio streaming solution for projects of any size,” said Mike Bonnette, product director for Connected Distribution. “With the introduction of the 70v version, installers who operate in, or want to get into, light commercial installations can now take advantage of Russound’s powerful streaming technology.”
Connected Distribution is pleased to announce that both Russound and Cabasse have released Control4 drivers for their products, making integration with the popular control platform effortlessly simple and providing additional revenue opportunities for installers.
With the release of the new drivers, the popular Russound range of controller amplifiers, MCA-66, MCA-88 and the streamer equipped MCA-88X, are now controllable by one of the most popular personalised automation and control solutions. This enhancement for the Russound range enables the products to be more easily integrated into whole house solutions where Control4 is used to control lighting, music, video, security etc. For Control4 installers it opens up the opportunity to specify the class-leading Russound multi-room audio products in their systems and bring their clients the seamless and high quality audio solution that Russound is famed for.
In addition to the MCA range of flagship products, the new XZone4 four zone, four streamer multi-room amplifier can also be controlled, as can the legacy products the X5 and DMS3.1 streamers, permitting backwards compatibility with existing installs.
The Cabasse Stream range presents a solution for whole house audio streaming that benefits from high quality audio reproduction, access to the major online streaming services and excellent margins for the installer. The six strong collection of products, which includes the new StreamBASE and StreamBAR soundbase and soundbar, provides instant access to all the music stored on the customer’s network, to internet radio stations and streaming from Deezer, Qobuz, Spotify and Tidal. Multi-room capability is built in to the range, with the simple creation of different zones comprising multiple Stream models.
The new Control4 driver provides two-way control of Cabasse Stream players, via TCP/IP. Discrete preset selection lets the user choose new music from the Control4 interface, as well as control volume level, repeat and shuffle status. Comprehensive metadata feedback to the Control4 interface creates a rich user experience, whilst offering instant synchronisation with other applications. An automatic discovery mechanism makes installation a breeze, and support for play queue management and auxiliary audio inputs completes the package.
Mike Bonnette, product director at Connected Distribution, says, “Our customers have been asking for Control4 drivers for the Russound and Cabasse products for some time so they can use their favourite products in their Control4 installs. So it’s great news that both companies have now released them and the possibilities that this brings are considerable, with installers now more able to mix and match the hardware they want to specify with the control system they have chosen to use.” He continues, ”For the Cabasse range in particular the addition of Control4 makes it a very powerful solution for whole house streaming, with extensive features and a very attractive profit margin when compared to other products.”
Connected Distribution, the Russound UK distributor, is now shipping the A2100 digital amplifier to add high quality, high powered, stereo amplification to any audio system.
Compact in form, but boasting 100w per channel, the A2100 is perfect for adding extra power where needed, or to facilitate the use of additional speakers for large rooms or outdoor zones. The space-saving half-rack size design allows for an easy fit in any equipment rack, and with its installer-friendly integration features, such as signal-sensing power on, the A2100 blends seamlessly into any system and activates automatically with the other devices as needed.
Designed to be stable to 4-ohms, the A2100 can safely be used with two pairs of 8-ohm speakers, or it can be bridged into mono mode with 225 watts output (8-ohm). Buffered line outputs enable multiple A2100 amplifiers to be daisy-chained, permitting almost limitless extension of the audio chain. Flexibility of installation, through numerous connection permutations, makes the A2100 the perfect add-on amplifier for use with multi-room systems. For example, used with a Russound MCA-88X controller amplifier, a single A2100 can power one of the two line level zone outputs of the MCA-88X, with another two A2100s working in bridged mode to power larger speakers in another line level zone. Fine-tuning of the output volume can be adjusted using the rear panel gain control to match the volume to the other speakers in the room.
As a specialist custom installation amplifier, the A2100 features several power-on options - always on, signal-sensing or 12v trigger – to enable it to be integrated into many different scenarios. In always on mode, the A2100 uses just 0.5 watts of power. A 12v trigger output can also be used to control other devices, such as the additional daisy-chained or bridged A2100s. A comprehensive mounting kit is included in the box, which permits single or double unit rack mounting of the 1U high enclosure, or the rack brackets can be used to wall mount the product.
Mike Bonnette, product director for Connected Distribution, says, “Russound has a proud pedigree in quality audio reproduction, having been founded 50 years ago as a hi-fi company. This gives products like the A2100 a significant audio quality advantage over many other products, while retaining the excellent value proposition that the company is famed for.” He continues, “The new amplifier is sure to find many fans in the custom installation sector and the admiration of the quality conscious end-user.”
For more information on the A2100 click HERE
Connected Distribution, exclusive UK distributor for French loudspeaker experts, Cabasse, is introducing the Stream BAR to UK consumers, bringing them better quality TV sound and a world of streaming audio with multi-room capabilities.
The latest product in Cabasse’s acclaimed Stream range, the Stream BAR packs a punch considerably above its weight. With two purposely developed tweeters, four mid/bass units all driven by three-way active amplification with an included 100-watt wireless subwoofer, the high fidelity and power produced is perfect for home cinema and high-resolution audio reproduction.
Connection to the TV is simply made by using the dedicated HDMI Connection. The Stream BAR uses the Audio Return Channel (ARC) functionality for sound and for easy control. This allows the TV remote to be used to select sources connected to the TV and control the volume. The HDMI input can be used to connect a source to the BAR, with video passed to the TV via its HDMI output.
The Stream BAR also features four digital audio connections: Bluetooth AptX for streaming from phones and tablets, WiFi and Ethernet for internet streaming and network audio, USB for local drives and a Dolby Digital Optical S/PDIF input for TV’s or other peripherals. A 3.5mm analogue stereo jack input allows for connection of a portable music player. In these instances the supplied remote control (or dedicated Cabasse AWOX App) is used to select the source.
When connected via ethernet or WiFi to the router, Stream BAR gives instant access to all the music stored on the network, to internet radio stations, and audio streaming from Deezer, Qobuz, Spotify and Tidal. Control is via the intuitive Stream CONTROL app for iOS and Android. The USB connection provides direct access to music stored on a stick or a hard drive to play it on the BAR, or on any Stream device in the home network using the built in DLNA server engine.
Despite its compact size, the output from the Stream BAR is impressive. Cabasse’s engineers have designed sophisticated sound processing, which offers breathtaking 3D effects while preserving the integrity of timbres and the natural sound of voices. Low frequency information is produced by the wireless subwoofer, which connects automatically the first time the system is powered up.
Mike Bonnette, product director for Connected Distribution, says, “Cabasse has done it again with the Stream BAR, taking its superb streaming technology, that gives access to more streaming services than the vast majority of products, and applying it to a stylish design that sounds fantastic. For music lovers and movie fans this is a beautifully simple way of providing a very high quality audio experience that will really enhance their listening experience.”
The Stream BAR has a UK retail price of £899 and will be available early September.
Follow this LINK to learn more about Stream BAR
Connected Distribution, the exclusive Russound UK distributor, is now shipping the XZone4 Four-Stream, Four-Zone Audio System, designed to offer Russound installers a single-box package featuring simple browser-based configuration with a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
The XZone4 is a 1U rack-mountable component offering four independent audio streams that support up to four rooms of audio in a home or business, and can scale up to 16 total audio zones by linking up one or more of the other XStream series products. Russound is one of the few brands in the custom installation channel that builds Apple AirPlay support into all its streaming products and the XZone 4 includes an independent AirPlay stream to each zone.
The new model is part of the company’s expandable XStream series, engineered specifically for custom installation professionals and their clients, who want simple integration and scalability. It works with the MyRussound App for iOS/Android phones and tablets and is also fully compatible with the XTS wall-mounted touchscreen interface, allowing control of up to 16 stereo audio zones in a single installation using any combination of XStream series audio products.
In keeping with other advanced Russound products, XZone4 is included in the Russound Certified Installer (RCI) Programme. “RCI Required” models boast a recently introduced feature designed to drastically reduce unauthorised online sales of the company’s products while ensuring that consumers receive the benefits of working with certified installation professionals. To date, more than 5,000 Russound installers have taken part in the program, including many in the UK.
Mike Bonnette, product director for Connected Distribution, says, “The XZone4 was designed after consultation with custom installers to find out what they needed in a streamer. The feedback was for a simple solution that is scalable, easy to install and configure and that comes with intuitive operation. The XZone4 incorporates their recommendations, with an additional benefit also requested by the company’s customers – ‘keep it off the internet!’ By including it in the Russound Certified Installer Programme they have done just that, securing installer’s skills and helping maintain healthy, competitive margins for them.”
Click HERE for more information on the XZone4
Connected Distribution introduces the Cabasse Murano, the smallest full range speaker in its Artis high-end series. It benefits from innovations initially developed for the reference La Sphère: the co-axial midrange tweeter and specific technologies incorporated in the design of the woofer, combined together to generate the best possible sound quality and performance for a speaker of its size.
The honeycomb dome membrane, borrowed from La Sphère’s woofer, and the powerful long throw motor system enable the 17 cm woofer of Murano to provide clean and deep low frequencies. With 1000W peak power handling, any type of music will be sublime with a pair Muranos, whether listening at low or high levels, in a small or large room. Furthermore, guided by a long voice coil in the 45mm deep air gap of a 4-kilogram oversized motor, the driver gives the bass incredible purity and strength, unexpected from such a small device.
The BC13 co-axial midrange-tweeter is developed from the three-way TC23 which is fitted to the flagships La Sphère and L’Océan. BC13 guarantees a faithful straightforward tonal balance without any auditory strain, for a deep and incredibly realistic soundstage. The new speaker comes fitted with a new aluminium wave-guide specifically designed for optimal sound output.
The Cabasse measuring protocol through the HDSE (Homogeneous Distribution of the Sonic Energy) filters in the anechoic chamber takes into account measurements of the listening axis and at 360° around the speaker for perfect control of the directivity of sound. Whilst the global power output, in keeping with the Cabasse HDSE principle, provides a sound level that is even and constant, whether it direct or reflected.
Available in three different colours, the Murano, in glossy black will shine in any environment, whilst those looking to shake up the scenery will choose the glossy wild cherry. A glossy mahogany finish will suit the more traditionally furnished room.
Christophe Cabasse, marketing and sales director commented, “The Murano was developed to bring the technology and sound performance of the flagship models to consumers wanting a more compact and smaller cabinet.” He concludes, “The Murano’s reproduction totally belies the size of the cabinet and with its range of stunning finishes is sure to fit comfortably into any environment where size if key but performance mustn’t be compromised”.
Learn more about Murano by clicking HERE
Information on the entire Cabasse range is available HERE
Sandown Park, Esher, 6-7 July 2016
Connected Distribution will use the Essential Install Live Show to unveil the latest from its portfolio of class leading multi-room products from Atlantic Technology, Cabasse, Parasound, Pulse-Eight and Russound.
Atlantic Technology is one of the leading producers of high performance loudspeakers specifically designed for use in home theatres. On display will be three new products, including the IC-6 OBA speaker, developed for use with Dolby Atmos®, Auro 3D® and DTS:X® surround systems. For THX certified theatres, Atlantic has introduced the IW-155 LCR, which, with its THX Ultra 2 certification and compact form factor, enables top-level performance in smaller environments to be achieved. The LCR3 is a compact wall mounted speaker for use horizontally or vertically in surround systems that packs a punch far greater than its size would suggest .
Cabasse is one of the world’s most respected manufacturers of loudspeakers and streaming products, with over 60 years experience at the forefront of technical and acoustic innovation, perfecting the design of point source coaxial drive units and digital signal processing. Connected Distribution will be demonstrating the Stream AMP and Surf loudspeakers – a compact all in one audio system that allows access to all the major streaming services and also functions as a multi-room audio system. On display will be a selection of the company’s custom installation speakers, including the three-way coaxial Minorca IW and examples of Cabasse’s famous spherical loudspeakers, the Eole 3 and iO2.
Bringing the American muscle to the show is the Parasound range of high performance electronics – the choice of the major movie production studios. The San Francisco company manufactures a comprehensive range of preamplifiers, power amps, DACs, multi-channel and multi-zone amps for custom installation use. Connected Distribution will be focusing the attention on the new range of Zonemaster amplifiers which offer two, four, six or 12 channels of high quality amplification, perfect for the custom installer.
Pulse-Eight, UK based manufacturer of HD video products, will be demonstrating the new neo:4 Professional HD matrix switcher with its HDCP2.2, HDMI2.0a and Ultra HD Premium compatibility for use with HDR sources and TVs. Exclusive to Pulse-Eight is the intelligent use of CEC (Consumer Electronics Control), inherent within modern HDMI equipped products for selection, routing and control of connected sources using just the standard TV remote. The rest of the comprehensive Pulse-Eight range will also be on display.
Russound is constantly innovating and this year has introduced a number of streaming products into its range of class-leading distributed audio solutions. The top-of-the-range MCA-88X, with built-in streamer, will be joined by the recently released XSource single streamer device - the perfect add on for legacy systems or as a streaming module for new installations. And the show will feature the UK debut of the XZone4 four-stream, four-zone audio system, a complete streaming media solution that gives Russound installers a single-box package that is easy to install via a simple browser based configuration, using a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Mike Bonnette, product director for Connected Distribution, says, “This year at Essential Install Live we couldn’t be more excited than to be able to introduce these fantastic new products from our core suppliers. All the 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. Plus, it’s the first chance to show off our new branding in a bigger scale to the world and we’re really pleased to be able to do this at Essential Install Live.”
Register for the show HERE
Connected Distribution introduces the Ultra HD Premium compatible neo:4 Professional matrix switcher
Connected Distribution, exclusive UK distributor for Pulse-Eight in the custom installation channel, is introducing the neo: 4 Professional HD matrix switcher with HDCP2.2 and HDMI2.0a and Ultra HD Premium compatibility for use with 4K 4:2:2 colour space HDR sources and TVs.
Pulse-Eight’s matrix switchers are designed with leading edge feature sets, ease of installation and simplicity of use. The neo: 4 Professional features four HDMI inputs and four HDBaseT Class B outputs with two mirrored HDMI outputs, for distribution of 4K HDR video signals up to 40m using HDBaseT and 70m for HD video.
Its dynamically generated EDIDs ensure the best video quality for every connected TV and intelligent use of CEC (Consumer Electronics Control), inherent within modern HDMI equipped products, permits selection, routing and control of connected sources via the standard TV remote. The CEC also enables the TV remote to control the volume on the AV amplifier, with a graphical representation on the TV screen. If the source itself does not support CEC, the matrix will still route the video as required and pass back IR signals to the source.
For Sky users “Instant On” is another simplicity feature, pressing the Sky button in any room will turn the TV on and switch the video path to the Sky+ HD box. If there is more than one Sky box connected to the neo it will intelligently detect which Sky+ HD box is not in use and route this to the TV in the room. Instant On and the routing feature can also be configured to work with other media receivers.
Pulse-Eight has developed a comprehensive web based control interface for its range of matrix switchers, which allows simple drag and drop of source selection and routing. The latest version of the interface is further enhanced with a virtual IR remote handset, which can be pulled up on the screen of the tablet/phone/laptop to complement or offer an alternative to using the TV remote. It is also possible to control the neo matrix switchers via many of the popular third party control systems, such as Control 4, Elan g!, Crestron or RTI.
Pulse-Eight has worked to overcome the historic frustration, for customers and installers alike, of time consuming and expensive site visits to fix simple issues by developing a remote monitoring service. The installer can check the performance of the system, diagnose problems that may be occurring and fix many issues remotely. All neo Professional matrix switchers automatically stay in contact with a cloud based system management service, sending status updates hourly. The free-of-charge service automatically alerts both Pulse-Eight and Connected Distribution if the system senses the neo has a problem, so a fix or hardware replacement can be arranged.
Mike Bonnette, product director for Connected Distribution, comments, “Pulse-Eight proves that it is once again working at the forefront of HD technology with the new neo: 4 Professional, by incorporating the very latest HDCP2.2 specification, HDMI 2.0a and compliance with the recently announced Ultra HD Premium standard.” He continues, “Coupled with the remote monitoring, a great new tablet based virtual remote control and the ability for a standard TV remote to be used, it represents a fantastic proposition for the installer and end-user alike.”
Click here for more information on the Pulse-Eight neo: 4 Professional
For more information on the Pulse-Eight range, please click here
Connected Distribution, UK distributor for Cabasse, is pleased to introduce the Stream BASE, a compact unit that sits beneath the screento provide high-fidelity TV sound reproduction and is the only sound base with built-in streaming from online services and network drives.
Audio pioneer, Cabasse, which has been at the forefront of active multi-way hi-fi and pro loudspeaker systems for 60 years, has designed a four-way per channel stereo solution for the Stream BASE. Active filtering technology ensures a spectacular sound quality by individually controlling the dome tweeter, the midrange and the low-midrange units of each channel. A dedicated low frequency channel, fitted with a long throw 13cm woofer firing downwards at 360°, brings substance and realism to the sound effects.
The full emotions of the user’s favourite films are enhanced with the Cabasse holographic sound processing, which enlarges the width and the depth of the sound stage, while dialogue remains clear and effects keep remain forceful. Every tone in the spectrum is rendered with accuracy, from high shrills to rumbling bass, for a spectacular show of sound that immerses the viewer in a rich 3D cinema experience in the comfort of the living room.
In keeping with the other models in the comprehensive Cabasse Stream range, when connected to a home network Stream BASE gives instant access to all of the music stored on the network, to thousands of internet radio stations and to audio streaming from Deezer, Qobuz, Spotify and Tidal. The USB port gives direct access to music stored on USB sticks or hard drives, plays it on the Stream BASE and shares it with any streaming device in your home network, thanks to the built in DLNA server technology. The Bluetooth Aptx function provides an easy and strong connection for smartphones and tablets.
Connection to the TV is via optical or S/PDIF and is Dolby Digital compatible. The USB input and Bluetooth AptX inputs enable external digital sources to be connected and Stream BASE is also equipped with an analogue 3.5mm stereo mini-jack input. Files in a large variety of formats can be played back, including WAV, AIFF, ALAC, FLAC and MP3 and the Stream BASE can reproduce high-resolution audio up to 24bit/96kHz.
Mike Bonnette, Connected Distribution’s product director, says “The Cabasse Stream range has been critically acclaimed as offering outstanding sound quality, class-leading features and great value. And now with the addition of the Stream BASE, the range is further enhanced to offer a solution for customers who want a much better TV experience and want to benefit from all the streaming music services available in one easy to use, compact, package.” He continues, “For end-users, retailers and custom installers, there is a Stream product available to suit every situation and, most importantly, to provide a quality of experience that other brands just can’t match.”
Stream BASE is available now for a UK MSRP of £450 inc. VAT
For more information on the Stream BASE, click HERE
For information on the Cabasse Stream range, click HERE
The Multi-Room Company Ltd. has today announced it has rebranded as Connected Distribution Ltd., unveiling a new brand identity and adopting “Solutions for Home Technology Professionals” as its strapline.
Mike Bonnette, co-director of the business comments, “The rebranding marks the change of senior management and ownership, following the retirement of founder Doug Gale. We have spent considerable time analysing the purpose of the business and identifying the strengths that made The Multi-Room Company a favoured supplier by its customers. What is clearly evident is that one of our major strengths lies in the personal, in-depth service that we offer to our customers. We go the extra mile to make sure they have all the support they need to make their installs run smoothly. When coupled with the excellent relationships we have with our suppliers, who we view far more as partners than mere suppliers, the name Connected Distribution was the obvious choice from the options presented by the branding agency.”
Mission and Values
Stating its mission as: “To be the ‘go to’ company for high quality custom installation and technology solutions”, the directors have identified the core values that will form an inherent part of all its business objectives and operational activities:
- Focus: on our customers, go the extra mile
- Integrity: be real, honest and trustworthy
- Service: do what we do well
- Expertise: know our products
- Quality: providing excellent value for money
- Act Like Owners: be accountable to customers and stakeholders
New brand identity
The new identity created to support the company’s rebrand and modernisation is an important visual reinforcement of the business’ core skills, values and products. It represents the connection between the Supplier Partners, Connected Distribution and the Customer Partners and underlines, through the use of the coloured lines, the connection via cables the products require. Three of the four colours represent a different channel that the company operates in: custom installation (red), home cinema (pink), hi-fi (blue). The yellow will be used on corporate communications to represent the whole company.
The Multi-Room Company, as exclusive UK distributor for the custom installation channel, introduces the state-of-the-art Pulse-Eight neo range of HD matrix switchers, to bring robust, seamless and simple routing and control of multiple HD and Ultra HD video sources.
Pulse-Eight has invested its considerable expertise in developing a "just works" solution to make the installer’s and end-user’s interaction with the products painless. With dynamically generated EDIDs (to ensure the best video quality for every TV), CEC based control, right through to handling software updates for the HDBaseT link, the goal was simple: to provide the best possible video distribution system available.
Simplicity of operation was at the core of the designers’ thinking as they felt existing matrix switchers were far too complicated for end-users and installers to operate. Historically switchers have required either a programmed control system, which is inflexible if equipment changes are made, or a remote control with up to 16 buttons for a 4x4 matrix to cover the 16 combinations of source and room. The end-user focused approach from Pulse-Eight reduces the number of buttons to four, one for each input, as the matrix features Contextual IR to identify from which room the remote is being used.
The ease of operation has been taken a stage further by enabling source selection and control to be managed using a standard TV remote control, a device all consumers are thoroughly familiar with. Through intelligent use of the CEC (Consumer Electronics Control), inherent within modern HDMI equipped products, the neo range of matrix switchers provides source selection at the push of the ‘source’ button and control of its functions using the TV remote. If the source itself does not support CEC, the matrix will still route the video as required and pass back IR signals to the source. The intelligent use of CEC also enables the TV remote to control the volume on the AV amplifier, with a graphical representation on the TV screen.
For Sky users “Instant On” is another simplicity feature, pressing the Sky button in any room will turn the TV on and switch the video path to the Sky+ HD box. If there is more than one Sky box connected to the neo it will intelligently detect which Sky+ HD box is not in use and route this to the TV in the room. Instant On and the routing feature can also be configured to work with other media receivers.
Again in keeping with the mission to make things simple, the neo web interface provides very simple drag and drop selection of sources to TVs. This responsive web app automatically resizes and configures itself whether used on a phone, tablet or laptop. Of course it is also possible to control the neo matrix switchers via many of the popular third party control systems, such as Control 4, Elan g!, Crestron or RTI.
For the installer, one of the most costly and frustrating occurrences is being called back to site to problem solve. All neo Professional matrix switchers automatically stay in contact with a cloud based system management service. A LED on the front of the matrix shows that the monitoring process is functioning and, if necessary, the installer can login to the device and see helpful diagnosis information and fix many problems remotely. This service is provided free of charge and if the system senses the neo has a problem, The Multi-Room Company and/or Pulse-Eight is alerted so a fix or hardware replacement can be arranged.
All neo matrix switchers are compatible with Ultra HD 4K, 1080p and 3D content.The fixed format neo:4 Professional 4x4 matrix features four HDMI inputs and four HDBaseT Class B outputs with two mirrored HDMI outputs. Four power over Ethernet HDBaseT receivers are included, as is bi-directional IR and bi-directional CEC control. The neo:6 Modular and neo:8 Modular are solutions which enable up to 8 input and 8 output modules to be used in a variety of configurations such as HDMI 2.0a and both HDBaseT Lite (Class B) and full HDBaseT (Class A) capability for 70m and 100m cable runs respectively. The larger products also feature the latest HDCP 2.2 specification, support bi-directional RS232/serial for routing/sending control signals to displays or AV Receivers (via the Pro Rx receivers) and, being full HDBaseT, natively support Ethernet connectivity (10/100 Ethernet pass through).
Mike Bonnette, product director for The Multi-Room Company, comments, “Pulse-Eight has worked hard to overcome many of the issues that make HD matrix switchers overly complicated and difficult to use. The company’s very clever harnessing of the powerful control features of CEC and the fact that end-users don’t need to use anything other than their TV remote control, is a beautifully simple solution.” He continues, “For installers, the web based management for off-site monitoring and troubleshooting makes perfect sense, reducing the need for call outs and therefore loss of profit on installs.”
The Multi-Room Company, exclusive distributor for several top custom installation and hi-fi brands, is pleased to announce that its 2016 Expo event will take place on 3rd February at the Best Western Moat House Hotel, Reading.
Starting at 10.30am and running through the day, the event will feature hands-on displays of products from the company’s portfolio, including: Russound, Pulse-Eight, Cabasse, Parasound and others. Presentations will include an introduction to the Pulse-Eight neo range of state-of-the-art HD matrix switchers, HDBaseT extenders and HDMI splitters. Martin Ellis, owner and chief designer of Pulse-Eight will conduct a technical presentation on the products, explaining in detail the very clever use of CEC which makes the neo range the easiest to install and use, with no complicated programming required and the only the TV remote control required to select and control the source equipment.
Mike Bonnette, The Multi-Room Company’s product director, will present the latest additions to the renowned Russound range, including a suite of new streaming products and controller/amplifiers.
There will also be introductions to the Cabasse and Parasound product ranges.
During the day The Multi-Room Company will also be making a very exciting and significant business announcement.
Pulse-Eight, the UK based manufacturer of state-of-the-art video/audio control and distribution systems, has appointed The Multi-Room Company as exclusive UK distributor for the custom installation channel. This new arrangement provides installers with easy access to the full range of robust and reliable HDMI matrix switchers, splitters, extenders and DACs.
Poole based Pulse-Eight develops and manufactures a comprehensive range of HDMI and HDBaseT solutions for the residential and commercial applications. All manufacturing takes place at the company’s Dorset based facility, which permits The Multi-Room Company to offer an unrivalled level of service and back up for the UK custom installation professionals.
Marketed under the neo brand, the company’s products include the fixed format neo:4 HDBaseT 4x4 matrix with Ultra HD routing, control via HDMI-CEC, IP, Serial, web browser and customisable context sensitive IR. The neo:8 is a modular solution which enables up to 8 input and 8 output modules to be used in a variety of configurations such as HDMI 2.0a, 100m and 70m HDBaseT and two systems can be stacked to create larger matrixes. The company also produces a range of neo branded HDMI 2.0a splitters with HDCP 2.2, 70m (Lite) and 100m (Pro) extender balun kits, plus CEC-USB and CEC-HDMI adapters.
Mike Bonnette, product director for The Multi-Room Company, comments, “We are very pleased to be appointed as distributors for these fantastic products from Pulse-Eight. And we are absolutely sure that our existing customers and potential customers are going to see great benefit from specifying neo matrix and extender solutions.” He continues, “Martin Ellis, the company’s MD and his development team, have created some truly unique solutions for control of HDMI signal routing, the power, flexibility yet simplicity of which has to be seen to be believed. We believe it could potentially revolutionise the way in which video routing is controlled and more importantly the manner in which end users interact with the systems installed in their homes.”
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