Mounting Options in One Box Provides Installing Dealers Lots of Flexibility at Time of Installation

Proficient ONE IR Kit

Proficient Audio today announced what may be the most versatile, compact and discreet IR receiver kit ever offered: Proficient ONE, which will be on display at the Core Brands CEDIA Booth #350. The principal feature is it that it has several multiple mounting options. One of the main options is for use with slim-bezel flat-panel TVs. Because the sensor is so much smaller than previous designs, it’s an ideal solution for any room with a flat-panel TV.

Proficient ONE includes all the hardware needed for surface, flat-panel TV, flush-mount and tabletop mounting. The sensor simply snaps into the different mounts. Because all hardware for all mounting options is included, the dealer does not need to stock multiple IR kit SKUs, and the installer does not need to carry multiple types of IR kits in the field.

The Proficient ONE IR Kit contains two dual-head IR emitters, a mono mini to mini cable for direct connect and an IR router to control up to five components. This new IR Kit can easily be expanded to control additional components or expand to multi-room.

IR kits like the Proficient ONE are essential for creating custom-installed A/V systems, because they allow the installer to hide most of the equipment in a cabinet or closet. The IR sensor picks up commands from a remote control and then relays them to equipment that’s hidden out of sight. The A/V equipment works as if it were right in front of the user, but only the IR sensor is visible.

“Proficient ONE gives installers everything they could want in one IR Kit,” Core Brands’ Keith Marshall said. “The tiny sensor is designed to blend in beautifully with flat-panel TVs and the newest TVs that barely have any bezel at all. The modular design allows the installer to decide what type of mount to use on-site, so they don’t have to worry about packing the right kind of IR kit for the job. And with the dual-head emitter cables, Proficient ONE is usually all you need even for very large home theater and multi-room audio/video jobs.”

Proficient ONE is available now at a MAP of $299.

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Large Revamp Brings Designer-Friendly Thin-Bezel Design

The new Protege Series includes 31 models of architectural speakers and subwoofers, all with a Thin-Bezel design that eliminates the wide plastic flange that surrounds most ceiling and inwall speakers. The look is sleeker and much more nuanced, allowing the speakers to blend in better in walls and ceilings – and to please homeowners and interior designers.

To make transitioning to Protege as easy as possible for systems integrators and custom installers, Proficient’s engineers adapted each model in the new series from an existing design. The acoustical and electrical engineering is identical to that of the originals, only the look has changed. Where an installer might have previously specified a C640, the Protege Series C641 can now be specified with no change in performance or installation.

The Proficient Protege product line includes every type of flush-mount speaker a system integrator might need for residential installations: eighteen in-ceiling speakers, ten in-wall speakers, two in-wall subwoofers and an in-ceiling subwoofer. Every home application can now benefit from the clean new look, whether it’s a dining room using Proficient’s affordable C625TT single-point stereo in-ceiling speaker, a custom home theater using the brand’s IW655 top-of-the-line dual- 6 ½” inwall LCR speaker or IWS85 dual 8” inwall subwoofer or anything in between for that matter.

“The Thin-Bezel design has become popular in the residential custom-installation market and we knew our dealers would love it,” Core Brands’ Keith Marshall said. “But we didn’t want them to have to get used to new models, especially since they like our signature sound so much already. That’s why we created Protege as an adaptation of our existing speaker line. There’s nothing new for the dealer to learn. The installation procedure is basically the same, and even the model numbers are barely changed. So with practically no effort, our dealers can get a much nicer look in their installations. We think they’re going to readily adapt to it and we are quite confident that their customers will too.”

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Large Revamp Brings Designer-Friendly Look to Brand

Core Brands will be showcasing the biggest product line change to Proficient at ISE 2014. The new Proficient Protege Series includes 31 models of architectural speakers and subwoofers, all with a Thin-Bezel design that eliminates the wide plastic flange that surrounds most ceiling and inwall speakers. The look is sleeker and much more nuanced, allowing the speakers to blend in better in ceilings and walls – and to please homebuyers, homeowners and interior designers

To make transitioning to Protege as easy as possible for systems integrators and custom installers, Core Brands engineers adapted each model in the new series from the existing design. Only the cosmetics of the speakers were changed, not the acoustical design. Proficient Protege sounds, performs and installs the same as Proficient’s legacy in-ceiling and in-wall speakers. This is great for the end user because there’s no sacrifice in sound quality, and even better for our dealers because they don’t have to familiarize themselves with a whole new line of product.

The Proficient Protege product line includes every type of flush-mount speaker a system integrator might need for residential installations: eighteen in-ceiling speakers, ten in-wall speakers, two in-wall subwoofers and an in-ceiling subwoofer. Every home application can now benefit from the clean new look, whether it’s a dining room using Proficient’s affordable C625TT dual voice coil, twin tweeter in-ceiling speaker, a custom home theater using the brand’s IW655 top-of-the-line dual 6½” inwall LCR speaker or IWS85 dual 8” inwall subwoofer or anything in between for that matter.

“The Thin-Bezel design has become popular in the custom-installation market and we knew our dealers would love it,” Core Brands’ Keith Marshall said. “But we didn’t want them to have to get used to new models, especially since they like our signature sound so much already. That’s why we created Proficient Protege as an adaptation of our existing speaker line. There’s nothing new for the dealer to learn. The installation procedure is basically the same, and even the model numbers are barely changed. So with practically no effort, our dealers can get a much nicer look in their installations. We think they’re going to readily adapt to it and we are quite confident that their customers will too.”

To experience the new Proficient Protege speakers and other new products, visit the Core Brands stand 1-P22 at ISE 2014. Proficient Protege is shipping immediately.

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Three New High Performance Subs Plus Mono Amp/Crossover

Architectural Subwoofers
With the release of three new subwoofer models designed for in-wall or in-ceiling mounting, Proficient Audio is making it easier to get powerful bass without sacrificing any floor space.

The new models are the $625 IWS82 in-wall sub, the $500 IWS100 in-wall sub and the $375 ICS10 in-ceiling subwoofer. All are designed for use with Proficient’s $500 M3 180-watt subwoofer amplifier/crossover.

Proficient Audio president Keith Marshall notes, “For years, our IWS10 in-wall subwoofer has been popular with homeowners who want high-powered, high-quality bass but don’t have room for a large subwoofer. So we decided to expand the category. These new subs will give homeowners more options, and make it easier to install two or even four subwoofers for those who want true state-of-the-art bass.

“By designing these architectural subs for use with the M3 amplifier, we made them just as easy to install as our other in-wall and in-ceiling speakers,” Marshall adds. “There’s no need to run AC power to the subwoofers, so you don’t have to call in an electrician. Just run the wire back to the equipment rack, same as you would with any other in-wall or in-ceiling speakers, and connect it to the M3.”

The IWS82 is Proficient’s top-of-the-line architectural subwoofer. The dual 8” sub employs long-excursion graphite woofers with a power handling capacity of 200 watts. The system has a frequency response range of 30 to 120 Hz. The IWS82’s compact design makes it easy retrofit into existing homes.

The IWS100 in-wall subwoofer features an inverted motor design—the magnet is inside the speaker cone instead of behind it. This design allows the big, 10” long-excursion treated paper cone woofer to fit into a standard wall space. Frequency response is rated at 36 to 150 Hz. The IWS100 is tuned to the optional BB-IWS10 MDF back box for use in new construction.

The ICS10 in-ceiling subwoofer is certainly one of the least conspicuous subwoofers available. It mounts entirely in the ceiling, so it doesn’t affect wall décor or furniture. It uses a 10” long-excursion graphite cone with a ferrite magnet motor. Capable of handling up to 175 watts, the ICS10 has a frequency response of 30 to 120 Hz. With an installed depth of 6½”, the ICS10 easily fits any ceiling cavity.

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Core Brands said this week that its Proficient brand is now shipping its new Protege Series, which includes 28 models of architectural speakers and three architectural subwoofers.

The Proficient Protege, the company said, includes 18 ceiling speakers, 10 inwall speakers, two inwall subwoofers and a ceiling subwoofer.

“The Thin-Bezel design has become popular in the residential custom-installation market and we knew our dealers would love it,” Core Brands’ Keith Marshall said in a statement.

“But we didn’t want them to have to get used to new models, especially since they like our signature sound so much already. That’s why we created Protege as an adaptation of our existing speaker line. There’s nothing new for the dealer to learn. The installation procedure is basically the same, and even the model numbers have barely changed.”

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Petaluma, Calif. – Proficient Audio has begun shipping the final models in its redesigned 31-SKU Protégé series of custom-install speakers, which now feature a thin-bezel design to blend in better with walls and ceilings.

Each speaker in the updated series offers the same acoustical and electrical designs as its predecessor and installs like its predecessor, but the new versions eliminate the visible flange around the grille. The brand chose this route so dealers wouldn’t have to get used to new models, “especially since they like our signature sound so much already,” said Keith Marshall, senior VP of channel management at Core Brands. “There’s nothing new for the dealer to learn.” The installation procedure is basically the same, and the model numbers are almost the same as before, he explained.

The lineup consists of 18 in-ceiling speakers, 10 in-wall speakers, two in-wall subwoofersand a ceiling subwoofer. The speakers include a single-point stereo ceiling speaker, an in-wall LCR with dual 6.5-inch woofers, and a subwoofer with dual 8-inch drivers.

The speakers feature magnets molded into the back side of the front baffle to ensure the magnets don’t fall off, the company said. Many suppliers of thin-bezel speakers glue magnets to the front of the baffle, but sometimes the magnets become un-glued, Proficient said. As a result, a gap opens between the wall and the grille, and sometimes the grille falls off.

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2.1 System, Powered Subwoofer & Sound Bar Designed to Bring Great Sound to Any Room in Any Home

Today Proficient Audio introduced three new compact loudspeaker systems designed to bring high-quality sound to places in the home where there’s not enough space for a typical audio system. The new models include the $600 GS2.1 subwoofer/satellite minisystem and the $300 GS6 compact subwoofer.

“Most of the Proficient line is focused on home theaters, media rooms and multiroom sound systems,” Proficient Audio president Keith Marshall said. “Many of our customers have asked us if we could deliver the same sound quality in smaller spaces, such as offices and bedrooms. These new speakers are designed to do just that. They use the same quality components found in the rest of the line, but scaled down to suit smaller environments.”

GS2.1 Sub/Sat System

GS2.1 Sub/Sat System

As its name implies, the GS2.1 is a 2.1 three-piece system, with a pair of compact satellite speakers matched to a powered subwoofer. This system is ideal for spaces where full-range, high-quality sound is desired but space is at a premium, such as offices, bedrooms, dorm rooms or small media rooms.

Each satellite has a 3½” midrange/woofer and a 1-inch tweeter. The drivers and crossover networks are carefully engineered to blend perfectly, allowing the satellites to deliver exceptionally natural sound, especially in the critical midrange frequencies. Bosses are provided to accept wall mount brackets from many of the popular brands.

The included subwoofer houses all the amplification needed for the system, including a 30-watt amp for the sub itself and two 10-watt amps for the satellites. The subwoofer features a 6½” pulp-composite driver in a MDF cabinet. There are two control knobs: one to set the volume of the entire system, and one to adjust the subwoofer level. This arrangement makes it easy to balance the bass to suit the listener’s taste or the acoustics of the room.

The homeowner never needs to turn the system on or off. The system turns on automatically when it senses an incoming audio signal, and shuts itself off when no audio signal has been received for 5 minutes. A sophisticated limiter/compressor circuit protects the amp and drivers from overloads, so there’s no need to worry when you crank the system up.

The GS2.1 is shipping now with an MSRP of $600.

GS6 6½” Compact Subwoofer

GS6 6½” Compact Subwoofer

The GS6 adds extra bass in places where a full-size subwoofer might not normally fit, such as under a desktop or in a small bedroom. It blends perfectly with any small speaker system, whether stereo, 5.1 or 7.1.

The subwoofer has a 30-watt built-in amplifier and a 6½” pulp-composite driver. Although it measures only 10 inches on its longest side, the GS6 delivers deep bass down to 35 Hz. A sophisticated limiter/compressor protects the amp and driver from overloads, and a 3.5mm audio input makes it easy to interface the GS6 with computers and portable audio devices.

The GS6 is shipping now with an MSRP of $300.

 

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“In addition to its TV sound improvement capabilities, the new Max TV MT2 from Proficient Audio also includes Bluetooth wireless connectivity”

MaxTV™ High-Performance TV Speaker
There are many reasons why the home audio market is experiencing a resurgence. In the home theater category or media system category, soundbar speaker products are as popular as they ever been and as the category matures it is also becoming more diversified.

Back in September, the California-based audio manufacturer Proficient Audio announced its latest speaker solution the new MaxTV MT2 which is designed for placement underneath a flat-panel television. When it introduced the MaxTV the company explained that a vast majority of flat-panel televisions are placed on stands and not mounted on a wall. Proficient theorizes the MaxTV provides the majority of users who are placing TVs on a stand with an audio upgrade that is easy to implement. “It’s rare to find a TV with good sound, and I’ve never heard one with great sound. It’s no wonder [why the sound from a TV is substandard] … the limited space available inside a TV cabinet has been a barrier to good on-board TV sound for years. Now with today’s flat- panels [TVs] it would be difficult for TV designers to even consider great sound in a TV as a goal,” says Loren Maldoon of Proficient Audio. “The only real way to get high quality TV sound today is with an outboard solution, but for many situations a full-blown home theater sound system isn’t practical. A lot of soundbars just don’t begin to make it to the level we would consider acceptable. So we approached the challenge from a whole new direction. We asked, what if we designed a sound system that was a platform for the display? The answer was Proficient Max TV. Our first TV speaker, the MT2 is perfect for people who want great sound but don’t want to fill their room with speakers and electronics.”

Maldoon points out that Proficient’s design goals for the MT2 include vocal clarity, along with the ability to reproduce content without any coloration or limited dynamics. To bolster the product’s versatility he adds the MaxTV also incorporates digital sound processing (DSP) and Bluetooth connectivity to enable devices like an iPad or iPhone to connect wirelessly to the speaker system. “In creating the MaxTV our design and engineering team set up performance goals, focusing on voice intelligibility, dynamic range and tonal accuracy,” he says. “This is important for movies and TV, and is also essential for music listeners. Given this approach, the MT2 really sounds great with music program material too, and in addition, there is a selectable DSP to enhance the sound field.”

Internally, the MaxTV incorporates four 2.5-inch midrange drivers and two 1-inch soft-dome tweeters, mounted in a midrange/tweeter/midrange array, and two 5 1/4-inch downward-firing woofers that reside each in their own tuned and vented enclosures. These drivers are driven by four 20-watt RMS digital amplifiers set up in a two-channel, bi-amplified configuration. The 5 1/4-inch woofers each have their own 20-watt amps, and an on-board limiter protects the the woofers from clipping. Proficient says the MaxTV can support TVs that weigh up to 160 pounds.

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­”The MaxTV MT2 is an ex­pert when it comes to im­pres­sive sound in a tiny pack­age. We loved some of the de­sign touch­es, like the mag­net­ic re­mov­able speak­er grills”

MaxTV™ High-Performance TV Speaker
The phrase “sound bar” has a mixed rep­u­ta­tion. But it’s not a dirty word or a slur- in fact, though the cat­e­go­ry might not seem sexy, it’s im­proved re­mark­ably over the past few years. Though still con­strained by the laws of physics- boom­ing sound usu­al­ly re­quires big­ger space- new ma­te­ri­als and tech­nolo­gies con­tin­ue to al­low im­prove­ments. Just like your head­phones and ear­buds have got­ten bet­ter and less ex­pen­sive, so have sound bars, all-in-one so­lu­tions that make home the­ater-qual­i­ty sound sim­ple and easy.

The Pro­fi­cient MaxTV MT2 is the lat­est and great­est mod­el from an au­dio com­pa­ny that spe­cial­izes in some pret­ty high-end au­dio­phile-grade equip­ment. This cab­i­net com­bines two sub­woofers, two tweet­ers and four mid-ranges in a pack­age that is, re­mark­ably, on­ly four inch­es high. Wide enough to ac­co­ma­date most tele­vi­sions with­out look­ing too over­whelm­ing or be­ing dwarfed, it’s per­fect for mod­ern flat pan­el TVs. Many folks buy a nice tele­vi­sion and re­ly on the built-in speak­ers, which al­ways sound ane­mic. The dif­fer­ence is amaz­ing, and well worth the price- we def­i­nite­ly rec­om­mend sav­ing a bit of mon­ey or opt­ing for a small­er screen- and putting some of the sav­ings to­wards the au­dio. Your ears will thank you.

Set­up is sim­ple, since pret­ty much any TV has a few out­put op­tions, and the MaxTV MT2 ac­cepts ei­ther dig­i­tal or ana­log con­nec­tions. We placed it un­der our Sam­sung 40-inch LCD and test­ed it with a va­ri­ety of sources, in­clud­ing Blu-Ray movies via a PS3, re­cent games like Dis­hon­ored, and tele­vi­sion as well. We used op­ti­cal con­nec­tions, but RCA and coax are al­so avail­able. The re­mote is small and cred­it-card sized, and there aren’t a lot of ex­tra­ne­ous op­tions- but you can ad­just tre­ble and bass set­tings as well as turn the sim­u­lat­ed sur­round on or off. We gen­er­al­ly left it on- it helps boost the mids with­out any no­tice­able dis­tor­tion- but on some mu­sic we turned it off for a more nat­u­ral, warmer tone. There aren’t any oth­er modes- we didn’t miss them though.

If you don’t have room for mul­ti­ple speak­ers, or don’t want to snake ca­bles around and wor­ry about place­ment, sound bars are def­i­nite­ly the way to go. Ex­plo­sions sound im­pres­sive- we were blown away while watch­ing the 007 flick Quan­tum of So­lace, and were al­so sat­is­fied with DTS and Dol­by sound tests like those on Pixar films such as Rata­touille that we use to check out the sound­stage. We had to sit a bit back from the unit to get the full ef­fect- close up and you won’t feel the sur­round; gamers es­pe­cial­ly might miss the pin­point ac­cu­ra­cy that comes with a true 5.1 sys­tem. But in a larg­er room, the unit has enough pow­er to fill it and make plen­ty of beau­ti­ful noise, 80 watts in to­tal.

More than Pro­fi­cient, the MaxTV MT2 is an ex­pert when it comes to im­pres­sive sound in a tiny pack­age. We loved some of the de­sign touch­es, like the mag­net­ic re­mov­able speak­er grills. And the in­clu­sion of Blue­tooth is a pret­ty great ad­di­tion- you can con­nect your smart­phone, lap­top, or tablet and play Pan­do­ra or your mu­sic col­lec­tion from your mo­bile de­vice, wire­less­ly. As with most new­er Blue­tooth sys­tems, pair­ing takes on­ly a mo­ment, and range is de­cent- but your re­sults will def­i­nite­ly de­pend a bit on mu­sic bi­trates; Spo­ti­fy stream­ing sound­ed pret­ty flat and life­less. At $600 and avail­able now, pri­mar­i­ly on­line, we wouldn’t buy it sim­ply for that ca­pa­bil­i­ty but it’s a tasty cher­ry on the top of the best sound bar we’ve seen. Save your­self some A/V has­sles this hol­i­day sea­son, and get a small, slick unit that is per­fect for the bed­room or apart­ment.

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