Russound Intros Answer CI Efficiency Needs
“We have to be frank: the economic conditions are having an impact on business out there. But there’s always an excitement about what CEDIA Expo brings in new products and new ideas,” said Dave Hanchette, Russound’s vice president of marketing, as a prelude to the showcasing of some of his company’s newest products there.
They address both ends of the pricing spectrum and a litany of installer request and needs, according to Andy Lewis, Russound’s director of product development.
The new offerings include the CA4 four-source/four-zone controller amplifier system, two new speaker ranges and additions to the Sphere-dealer-specific product assortment.
At $1,100, the CA4 is essentially a complete kit that includes the mail controller/amp, four keypads, a remote control and, said Lewis, a unique wall port that can help manage wires well, behind home theater gear. The design allows the installer to add in the controller at the end of any construction processes, circumventing possible damage to the unit at an earlier stage. The 1U-high device is rack-mountable as well, and its digital amplification makes for a compact footprint.
The Acclaim 5 speaker series directly replaces the Contractor and Atmosphere ranges, while the Acclaim 7 series supersedes the top-range Advantage line. Hanchette says Russound “is keeping it simple, under the Russound name. We’ve eliminated the singular sub-brand names, because our customers wanted one or two speaker lines with a broad range of offerings within each. It’s an easier story to tell and it eliminates confusion.” There are 17 in-ceiling and in-wall SKUs in the 7 range and 13 in the 5 range. Benefits in the groupings, said Lewis, include improved transducers, woofers and cones. “Dealers were asking for strengthened mechanical designs and improved toughness and installability,” he explained. The Acclaim 7s use Russound’s patented Twist & Tilt technology and a separate frame assembly – so that, as with the CA4, the installer can add the most expensive part of the speaker much later in the construction process.