JBL SDP-55 Pre-Pro and SDR-35 AVR at CES 2020
Although this hardware debuted at CEDIA 2019, my first opportunity to demo the latest processor and AVR from JBL Synthesis coincided with CES 2020. JBL put on a complete home theater demo using JBL Synthesis in-wall and in-ceiling speakers along with the SDP-55 Pre-Pro handling the processing. As I've come to expect, the end result was a top-tier audio experience.
While the demo used the SDP-55, to me the more interesting device is the SDR-35 AVR. This is not your typical AV receiver, it is an IMAX Enhanced AVR featuring Class G amplification for seven of its sixteen channels. Class G is a design that provides pure Class A power most of the time, except during dynamic peaks that require more juice. The "2 channels driven" spec for this AVR is : 20Hz - 20kHz, <0.02% THD, 120W (8 ohms) / 200W ( 4 ohms). This unit, and the SDP-55, implement Dirac Live room correction.
In this instance, I gave the entire demo a "Best of CES 2020" nod, with a focus on the SDP-55 Pre-Pro and SDR-35 AVR that deserve a lot of credit for making the demo sound like a proper Synthesis system without the five-figure price tag usually associated with that sort of sound.
Specs & Support
Best in class audio and video signal integrity and processing, as well as uncompromised Class G amplification, ensure exceptional transparency even with the most demanding program material. An audiophile-grade 24Bit / 192kHz ESS Sabre Pro DAC, combined with Dirac Live room equalization and the exceptional dynamics and low distortion of Class G amplification ensure pristine sound for music and movies. The Harman proprietary Logic 16 up mixer allows content to envelop the listener with a rich and natural three dimensional sound, no matter the source format.
Your Content Your Way
Many high-end AVR’s exclude real world everyday conveniences for the end-user. The SDR35 provides a variety of ways to experience content whether using an elaborate network media server over Ethernet or Wi-Fi or simply streaming directly from your tablet or phone via Bluetooth with aptX™ HD. You can source content from a smart TV with high-resolution audio via eARC, utilize Chromecast® built-in and Apple® AirPlay 2™. Use the Harman Luxury MusicLife™ app to play your own music library from a computer or NAS drive, or play directly from a USB flash drive. There’s even a DAB/FM antenna for OTA radio!
Advanced circuitry and decades of know-how ensure the 4K "Ultra HD" video signal is perfectly clear and rock solid. The video stages are designed to harness the latest technology and deliver the best quality formats including Dolby Vision™, HLG, HDR10, HDR10+, HDMI2.0b with HDCP2.2, and 3D video capabilities built-in.
The JBL Synthesis SDR-35 is an IMAX Enhanced-certified AV receiver and features DTS:X immersive audio decoding that is optimized to properly reproduce the full dynamic range of IMAX theatrical sound mixes available in IMAX Enhanced content. With meticulous adjustments modeled on the IMAX theatrical sound system, this proprietary IMAX audio mix is translated for home theater environments and exclusively delivered using a special variant of the DTS:X CODEC technology to deliver the IMAX signature sound experience in the home.
A More Dramatic TV Experience
Dolby Vision™ is superior HDR. Using the same underlying technology as the most advanced movie theatres, Dolby Vision enables an enhanced image through superior content and smarter TV display performance.
The JBL Synthesis SDR-35 leverages the 24bit /192 kHz ESS® Sabre 9028 Pro featuring 114dB dynamic range and -100 THD+N in and out, for A/D and D/A conversion. The analog circuitry on the input and output stages is optimized for unequaled dynamic range, ultra-low distortion, and unmatched audio clarity. Carefully designed anti - jitter circuitry and ultra-clean power supplies are incorporated to ensure all audio paths, including HDMI, are uncompromised.
Class G Amplification - The Best of Both Worlds
Class G offers greater efficiency and transparency, with less wasted heat energy than class A. Like a hybrid car engine, Class G implements multiple power supplies. The first power supply runs in pure Class A, which has no crossover distortion. If a dynamic signal is received that goes beyond the capability of this first power supply, the secondary supply is gradually incorporated up to full rated power output as required. This efficient design means additional power is only used when required. Modern high-speed silicon allows this switch to take place well beyond the audio bandwidth. Multiple output devices within the amplifier ensure your listening experience is powerful, dynamic and crystal clear.
With 15.1 decoding, 9.1.6 preamp outputs, plus seven channels of amplification, independent Zone 2 combined with RS232, Ethernet and app control, the SDR-35 offers exceptional versatility. Four of the sixteen channels allow independent volume and delay settings for added configuration options. Independent volume control for the subwoofers allow fine-tuning, and front panel headphone and aux (3.5mm) jacks add convenience. The JBL Synthesis Control app enables complete control of the SDR-35 with an Android or iOS device. Flexible configuration, including Dante, IP, IR, and RS232 control and a Zone 2 with high-resolution audio, 4K video, IR, triggers, and power option, make the SDR-35 an outstanding choice for a broad range of applications.
The JBL Synthesis SDR-35 includes Dante, an uncompressed, multi-channel digital media networking technology, with near-zero latency and synchronization. All 16 channels of 24 bit / 192k processed audio, plus Zone 2 (18 channels total) can be routed to any Dante enabled receiving device over a standard network. Dante does away with heavy, expensive analog or multicore cabling, replacing it with low-cost, easily-available CAT5e, CAT6 for a simple, lightweight, and economical solution. Dante is easy to set up and compatible with JBL Synthesis Dante enabled amplifiers as well as a wide selection of third-party Dante-enabled audio products. Dante integrates media and control for your entire system over a single, standard IP network. The applications are endless.
JBL has a rich history in professional digital audio processing, with products found in the vast majority of world-class recording studios. This pedigree is evident in the proprietary Logic16 up mixer, which produces astonishing natural three-dimensional sound. Designed by HARMAN® research scientists and engineers, Logic16 provides a listening experience that will make you feel like you are in the concert hall or on the set. This subtlety is achieved without the sense of psycho-acoustic processing or effects. Logic 16 will up-mix any input source from mono up to 15.1, including all Dolby formats.
Luxurious Industrial Design
The modern industrial design exudes luxury. The half-inch thick anodized aluminum fascia with bead blasted accents and solid glass display makes a distinguished statement. A sturdy 2” aluminum knob performs volume control and data entry with a smooth and steady feel while the geometric button array keeps the lines clean and functionality simple. Front panel menu options are served up on full-color OLED display.
Designed for the Integrator
The JBL Synthesis SDR-35 is designed for a broad range of CI applications. With an available rack mount kit, Dante, eArc and in internal Java-based configuration page, and range of control options, the install, set up, calibration and user experience is better than ever.
Immersive High Resolution Sound: 16 Channels of discrete high resolution processing with 4 user configurable channels enable a plethora of set up options for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X3D, Auro 3D Immersive Surround Sound Applications.
Dante Network Audio: All 16 channels of processed audio, plus Zone 2 can be routed on a single CAT5e, CAT6 cable over a standard network. Dante is easy to set up and compatible with Dante enabled JBL Synthesis amplifiers.
IMAX Enhanced: IMAX Enhanced-certified AV receiver and features DTS:X immersive audio decoding that is optimized to properly reproduce the full dynamic range of IMAX theatrical sound mixes available in IMAX Enhanced content.
Network and Bluetooth Streaming: Control your favorite content over Ethernet or Wi-Fi, via Chromecast built-in, Apple AirPlay 2, Roon, the Harman Luxury MusicLife app, play directly from a USB flash drive, or stream via Bluetooth with aptX HD.
Class G Amplification: Like a hybrid car engine, Class G implements multiple power supplies. The first power supply runs in pure Class A, which has no crossover distortion. If a dynamic signal is received that goes beyond the threshold of this first power supply, the secondary supply is gradually incorporated as required.
Cinematic Video Experience: Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDMI2.0a with HDCP2.2, 4K "Ultra HD" as well as 3D video capabilities are built-in.
Designed for the Integrator: With an available rack mount kit, Dante, eARC and in internal Java-based configuration page, Dirac Live, IP, IR RS232 and iOS and Android App control the install, set up, and calibration has never been easier.
Logic 16: Logic 16 will up-mix any input source from mono up to 15.1, including all Dolby formats with natural astonishing 3D sound. In addition Dolby, DTS Neural:X, and Auro 3D upmixers are on board.
Editor, AVS Forum
Last edited by imagic; 01-20-2020 at 10:29 AM.