Many CEDIA demos are exercises in maximalist presentation, with 11 or more channels creating 3D immersive audio. But this year, Pro Audio Technology decided to take a different approach. The company assembled a simple 5.2 system that is the most affordable it offers. With a price tag of approximately $13,000—that includes SCRS-25im speakers plus DMA-1508B amplification and DSP processing.

According to company founder Paul Hales, even though this system is compact and represents the entry level for Pro Audio Technology's product line, it is still able to reach cinematic reference levels in a sizable home theater space. A demonstration that included scenes from Guardians of the Galaxy 2 confirmed that this basic rig can deliver a surround-sound experience that fully engages the listener.

The DMA-1508B amp is so compact, at first I did not recognize it as an amp at all.

While the new speaker is intriguing, and sounded great in the comparatively controlled environment of a CEDIA soundroom, of equal interest is the new amplifier shown (and used) by Pro Audio Technology. It is a single rack unit high (1U) powerhouse that's so compact, you might not even recognize it as an amp. But it certainly did not lack output or finesse; the demo had plenty of impact with great detail rendition.

The amp allows for flexible configuration. Inside the DMA-1508B's slim chassis are two 300-watt channels and six 100-watt channels. Each pair of 100-watt channels can be bridged to create a 300-watt channel, allowing this  amp  to be deployed in any of the following configurations: 3x 300W + 4x 100W, or 4x 300W + 2x 100W, or for a maximum power, 5x 300W.

Audio amplifiers would not be very useful without speakers to run. To that end, the new SCRS-25im from Pro Audio Technology is a sweet design, one that I think will be very appealing to home theater buffs who want a compact, low profile, high-performance speaker.

The SCRS-25im speakers were music to my ears, I found them easy to listen to. They possessed all the qualities needed for home theater excellence; they are neutral, fast, detailed, image well, and since subwoofers take care of the deep bass, they have plenty of dynamic range. Consequently, they can deliver a proper reference level listening experience.

The new speaker design uses the same components as a Pro Audio Technology’s SCRS-25ica in ceiling  speaker.  Each speaker features  dual 5 ″ long-throw woofers paired with a 3/4″ horn-loaded compression driver tweeter. Pro Audio cites a low-frequency sensitivity of 96  dB/W/m  and a high-frequency sensitivity of 109 dB/W/m. and requency response is specified as 80 Hz to 18 kHz.

The Pro Audio Technology demo was most interesting because it begs the question if the same money spent on (for example) a 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos system based on a mainstream AVR and consumer speakers would offer a better experience, or if the benefits of high sensitivity and more power on tap in this pro audio inspired system outweighs those added speakers. I can't answer the question, but it certainly did enter my mind.

The discussion thread can be found here: