I've always admired Pro Audio Technology's approach to high-end consumer-audio products, which are based on pro-audio designs and components. At CEDIA, the company showed three new products. First, there's the DMA-1508 class-D power amp (seen above), a 1U rack-mount unit that weighs only eight pounds and provides eight channels of amplification (2x300W and 6x100W). Interestingly, pairs of the 100W channels can be bridged into a single 300W channel; for example, you could configure it to provide five channels of 300W each.
Even better, the DMA-1508 is fully programmable by the same SoundTools DSP software used to program the company's larger PMA amps. This allows you to optimize the amp for Pro Audio Technology's speakers and subwoofers as well as compensate for the effect of acoustically transparent projection screens and speakers placed near a wall or other boundary. It also offers eight bands of parametric equalization per channel and independent channel gain and delay. The software was recently updated with new features and a streamlined user interface.
Also introduced at the show was the SCRS-6iw in-wall speaker, which sports a 1" compression driver in an elliptical constant-directivity horn and a 6" woofer with 200W power-handling capacity. The tweeter is spec'd with a high-frequency extension beyond 30 kHz—great for high-res audio—and the speaker can be bi-amped if desired. A slightly smaller version, the SCRS-5iw, has a 3/4" compression tweeter in the same type of horn and a 5" woofer.
The SCRS-6i in-wall design brings pro-quality components to an architectural speaker.
Finally, the LFC-12v is a new passive, ported, in-wall subwoofer with 12" driver and 4" voice coil in a cabinet only 6" deep, 14" wide, and 60" tall, which lets it fit in a standard stud bay. With a sensitivity of 96 dB/W/m, the LFC-12v is optimized to be driven by the DMA-1508 and deliver the dynamics and SPL (up to 117 dB) that the company is famous for.
The LFC-12v in-wall subwoofer offers a big bang in a small space.
Normally, Pro Audio Technology sets up a huge demo system at CEDIA, but this year, the company wanted to show what can be done with more modest components. The front LCR channels were reproduced by three SCRS-6iw speakers mounted behind a Vutec SoundScreen acoustically transparent screen (129" diagonal, 2.35:1, 0.8 gain). The surrounds were two SCRS-5iw speakers, and two LFC-12v subs served up the low end. Amazingly, the entire speaker system was powered by a single DMA-1508. A Digital Projection HIGHlite 330 DLP projector with Panamorph anamorphic lens provided the picture from a Kaleidescape server, and a Datasat RS20i performed the processing duties.
The demo content included clips from Kung Fu Panda and Ratatouille as well as a music video of Michael Buble singing "Fever." It was plenty loud, but not nearly as loud as I remember from last year's demo, which I was very grateful for. The movie soundtracks were crisp and clean with excellent dialog intelligibility and tight bass, and Buble's voice was beautifully rendered. I thought the acoustic bass was a bit bloated in the middle to lower parts of its range, which was especially noticeable when it was just Buble, bass, and drums. When the big band kicked in, the overall sound was clean and powerful—and having played in many such bands, I know that sound very well.
Overall, it was a very impressive demo, particularly in light of the fact that all speakers and subs were powered by a single, 1U power amp. Pro Audio Technology does not publish list prices—that's up to its dealers—but I was told that the entire speaker/amp system in the demo would run about $13,000-16,000. Not bad for sound of that quality!
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