The wait is finally over for dealers that have been eagerly awaiting SpeakerCraft’s Nirv Digital Media system. First displayed at CEDIA 2009, SpeakerCraft is finally shipping the system to select dealers.
Nirv is designed to deliver any analog/digital content up to 1080p resolution along with multi-channel audio, control, metadata, and intercom to any room in a home or office over a single Cat-5 cable. The company has also worked extensively with dealers to work on the best methods for installing and programming the system, allowing it to be programmed via the OSD programming tool and using the pioneering Nirv Wand controller. Nirv accommodates up to 256 sources and 256 zones and is fully compliant with HDCP.
Besides Nirv, SpeakerCraft unveiled two new speaker lines, Profile and Seamless. “Profile is the best-looking line of speakers we’ve ever created,” said Jeremy Burkhardt, the company’s president. “They barely even look like speakers.”
Profile is a line of flangeless loudspeakers for both in-wall and in-ceiling applications. The speakers install like current models but feature neodymium magnets for attaching the grille. The speaker also features a large enough “lip” to cover any drywall cutting mistakes. The Profile series launches with 43 in-wall and in-ceiling models with grille options that are “a rad solution for integrators as they look great and reduce the cost of doing business as you only stock one product and then attach the grille,” according to Burkhardt.
Seamless is an “invisible series” designed to be heard and not seen. These speakers disappear behind paint, plaster, wallpaper, and stucco while still offering terrific sound. The square drivers utilize the entire surface area of the speaker, delivering sound as good as SpeakerCraft’s other architectural speakers. They also feature a faster installation process when compared to other manufacturer’s “invisible” speakers. Burkhadt stated that, “The top one percent [income bracket] has changed some of their buying habits,” and these models will offer installers a new option for adding differentiation to their high-end customers. The Seamless line launches with two models, the Full-Range 1 and the Subwoofer.
Burkardt also implored dealers to embrace the variety of colors available — black, red, white, yellow, and silver — on the Roots subwoofers. “With some disappearing speakers in the ceiling and a yellow or red subwoofer on the floor that can match their Monet or Picasso,” dealers have a different way of selling and showcasing speakers as a design element.
The company also launched two new digital Vital series multi-channel amplifiers, the 12-channel x 50-watt 1250 and the eight-channel x 50 watt 850. Burkhadt stressed the energy and heat savings of these new digital models, which still provide the punch and dynamics for which the company’s amplifiers are known.
Also new is a commercial 70-volt amplifier which is in direct response to repeated dealer requests. The 170V is ideal for meeting dealers’ hotel, restaurant, and other commercial installation needs and features a 6 x 60-watt amplifier.
Finally Burkardt commented, “Business has never been tougher for the dealers out on the show floor,” but he affirmed SpeakerCraft’s support of their dealers and representatives. “Half of the reps that SpeakerCraft uses have been with the company since the beginning—for 18 years. That is a lot of knowledge. We fully support our rep model and appreciate everything they do for us and we’re behind our dealers and our reps 100 percent.”