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
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.”