8 janvier 2004

L'artillerie lourde

La branche High End de Onkyo, qui lancera prochainement quelques grosses nouveautés, n’est pas en reste puisqu’à l’occasion du CES, la marque INTEGRA RESEARCH dévoile trois produits à destination des puristes Home Cinéphiles : un couple Processeur Amplificateur et un lecteur de DVD Universel. 

INTEGRA RESEARCH qui c'était absenté quelques mois du paysage Home Cinéma, reviens en force via la société Onkyo en nous dévoilant tout d'abord le RDC-7.1 un processeur de denière génération. On notera un point important puisque ce dernier né puise ses caractéristiques dans le cahier des charge du futur intégré TX-NR1000 : certification THX Ultra 2, tous les modes audio surrounds sont diposnibles dont le DP2x,et le Virtual speaker. Une connexion à faire pâlir plus d'un passionné avec à la carte du HDMI du iLink, des composantes... Un mode Upconverting vidéo permet également de transformer le signal S-Vidéo en YUV. Une ribambelle de convertisseurs 24 bits/192kHz sont proposés. Bon vous l'aurez compris voilà l'une des grosses nouveautés du moment (Lire le communiqué de presse qui suit…).
Ce nouveau-né qui sera commercialisé courant avril coûtera la bagatelle de 4000 $

En complément la marque propose un nouveau bloc de puissance 7 canaux : Amplification WRAT, 150 watts par canal sous 8 ohms, une certification THX ultra 2, des connections XLR et RCA pour le transfert des signaux en provenance du processeur (lire le communique de presse qui suit). Le RDA-7.1 sera commercialisé en avril au tarif de 5000 $.

Pour finir en beauté INTEGRA RESEARCH complète le couple cité plus haut par un lecteur de DVD Universel le RDV-1.1. Comme pour le reste de la gamme ce dernier né répond à des critères technologiques avant-gardistes, aussi l’heureux propriétaire de cette bête aura le droit à tout ce qui peu se faire de mieux en ce moment : Certification THX Ultra, connexion DVI compatible HDMI, scaler interne, sorties iLink, YUV, BNC, Optiques, Coaxiales, Analogiques (RCA), RS232. Un étage de conversion (24 bits/192kHz)dédié aux formats SACD et DVD-Audio fait également partie de la fête...(lire le communiqué de presse qui suit).
Ce lecteur de DVD Universel coûtera quant à lui 4000$.

Communiqués de presse

Le processeur RDC-7.1
LAS VEGAS, (1/8/04) – Audiophiles, video enthusiasts, and custom installers will soon be able to choose their own ideal combination of features on Integra Research’s build-to-order RDC–7.1 card-based modular audio/video controller. With the help of the dealer and a configuration wizard on Integra Research’s web site, customers will be able to pick and choose among eight different optional modules to create their personal ideal system. This platform will also allow for ongoing upgrades to reflect new technology, program sources, and connection options. The first planned upgrade modules will be introduced in the fall of this year.

There are several important new technologies represented in the initial modules available in April, including HDMI (high definition multimedia interface) for compatibility with the new DVI (digital video interface) components, and iLink (IEEE-1394) for direct digital inputs from DVD-Audio and SACD players. The modular configuration makes forthcoming upgrades as simple as replacing modules and upgrading software.

A few of many possible configurations include: (1) a full-ticket system with all the audio and video options, (2) a high-end multichannel audiophile system for SACD and DVD-Audio with no video options, (3) a videophile system leaving out some audio features, and (4) a custom installer system focusing on networking and multi-room connectivity and perhaps leaving out some of the higher-end features.

The base platform of the Integra Research RDC-7.1 is THX Ultra2 certified and has processing for every surround sound mode offered by THX, Dolby, and DTS. It has a rugged aluminum chassis, with oversized high-current power supply, eight balanced XLR outputs, multichannel RCA preamp outputs, two additional RCA subwoofer outs, three-zone multiroom capability, bidirectional RS-232, plus extensive remote control interface and remote trigger options. The base model includes modules for digital audio, analog audio and iLink.

The included iLink module provides two direct digital inputs for high-resolution SACD and DVD-Audio from iLink-equipped source players such as the Integra Research RDV-1.1. This allows the RCD-7.1’s extensive digital bass management capabilities to be applied to these signals just as they are for all other inputs. iLink also prevents direct digital copying to protect musicians’ intellectual property rights.

The Integra Research RDC-7.1’s fixed digital audio module has six optical and six coaxial digital inputs, and two optical and two coaxial digital outputs. It uses top grade 192 kHz/24-bit Wolfson DACs (digital/analog converters) on all channels for no-compromise sound quality. The module also includes processing for THX Surround EX, Dolby Digital EX and Dolby Pro Logic IIx, and DTS, DTS-ES, DTS Neo:6, and DTS 96/24. Other digital audio features include Dolby Headphone and Dolby Virtual Speaker that create surround sound effects using headphones or two speakers. The fixed analog audio module has nine stereo inputs, a phono input, and five outputs. The inputs are all assignable, and the outputs can be configured for recorders and various multizone options. Both fixed and variable outputs are supported through menu selection.

The optional HDMI module is used to connect to other HDMI equipped components and is compatible with components that use DVI (Digital Video Interface). This module has two HDMI inputs and one output.

The optional video module has three high definition component video inputs and one output as well as six composite and S-video inputs and four assignable outputs. All inputs are upconverted to component video to avoid the need for redundant cables when using older video source devices. Additionally all video inputs sources including 480i component video are upconverted to 480p for HDMI.

The third key option is Integra’s Net-Tune™ Ethernet client receiver module for accessing digital music files over a local PC network (TCP/IP). Net-Tune plays MP3, WMA, and PCM files stored on a PC or Integra NAS-2.3 music server. It also has Internet Radio capability for networks with broadband Internet access. Up to 12 Net-Tune client receivers can independently access the same server simultaneously.

The fourth option is for an extra component video input/output pair with a choice of either RCA or BNC connectors. The fifth option provides a choice between two additional audio input modules. One has dual 7.1 analog inputs and the other has one 7.1 analog and one professional AES/EBU digital input.

An optional radio module includes a high quality AM and FM tuner with discrete tuning and presets station recall supported for multiple zones via IR and RS-232 interfaces. An elegant aluminum faced remote control with a scroll wheel and LCD display provides full control over the receiver and can be set up to control other AV components as well.

The Integra Research RDC-7.1 will be available in April, with a suggested retail base price of $4000.

Amplificateur 7 canaux RDA-7.1
LAS VEGAS, (1/8/04) -- Integra Research has introduced its RDA-7.1 THX Ultra2 seven-channel power amplifier delivering the ultimate in sound quality for home theater and multichannel music. This large, solidly built amplifier is conservatively rated at 150 watts per channel into an 8-ohm load. With a total combined output power exceeding 1000 watts, it is ideal for driving high-performance loudspeakers in a THX Surround EX system. The RDA-7.1 is a highly refined version of the original RDA-7, and it features THX Ultra2 certification, a new power supply bus-bar design for improvedenergy distribution, higher quality speaker connections, and new stabilization feet.

The RDA-7.1 is based on technology developed as a result of a collaborative effort between Integra Research and Balanced Audio Technology (BAT) of Wilmington, Delaware, and its co-founder and chief designer, Victor Khomenko.

The success of this combination is evident in the BAT-designed Integra Research RDA-7.1 amplifier. It boasts over 600 joules ofenergy storage in a beautifully direct, low-feedback, symmetrical circuit with only three gain stages, and it incorporates Wide Range Amplifier Technology (WRAT), as well as professional grade balanced inputs and outputs.

Balanced Audio Technology, which was founded in 1995, is known in the industry for producing a high-end line of superbly engineered, meticulously crafted audio products that recreate music with unmatched fidelity and accuracy. Its success is the result of its clear mission: to reproduce music faithfully and precisely, with arresting presence and without extraneous coloration. Their trademark audio designs feature uncommonly robust power supplies, coupled with elegantly straightforward signal paths, which proved to be very compatible with Integra’s design philosophies.

Even before the arrival of the new wide bandwidth digital audio formats DVD-Audio and SACD, Integra Research’s engineers were absolute believers in the need for wide bandwidth in amplifiers. These formats require an amplifier with a frequency response that covers this range--ideally out to 100 kHz. While achieving this bandwidth figure presents no particular problem, doing so while maintaining optimum values for other critical performance criteria is a serious design challenge, particularly with regard to the dynamic signal-to-noise ratio. Integra Research’s solution to this issue is a set of three refinements in amplifier circuit design that they collectively refer to as WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology).

Victor Khomenko’s first goal was to reduce the amount of negative feedback (NFB) to an absolute minimum and thereby eliminate the effects of counter electromagnetic force from the speakers. The second was to eliminate fluctuations in ground potential through careful layout of the components and by designing the printed circuit boards to avoid open earth loops. The third was to improve the ability of the amplifier to supply high levels of instantaneous current to the load.

The RDA-7.1 architecture is completely based on bipolar transistors and achieves a bandwidth of over 200 kHz. BAT determined that this was the most direct and efficient way of achieving the robust performance required for home theater application.

Another design goal for the RDA-7.1 was to provide balanced inputs. Indeed, within high-end audio, balanced signal transmission has become the de-facto standard for achieving the finest sound reproduction. As the complexity of a system increases, the benefits of balanced signal transmission are even more apparent. Not only does balanced signal transmission provide audibly superior performance, but problems associated with spurious hum/buzz components are usually eliminated.

Of course, for ultimate system versatility, Integra Research RDA-7.1 also has switch-selectable RCA inputs for each channel. There are also 12Volt trigger input and output jacks for remote turn-on. The amplifier chassis features extremely solid construction with rigid aluminum panels, and solid aluminum feet with an integrated stabilizer network.

THX Ultra certification ensures that the RDA-7.1 meets LucasFilm's rigorous requirements for the reproduction of the full theater experience at home. This made the development of the RDA-7.1 even more challenging. Usually, a large amount of feedback is necessary to meet the THX requirement for low distortion. Integra Research took the more difficult approach of simplifying the circuit path of the RDA-7.1 using minimum feedback, while still offering full compliance to the THX specifications.

Balanced Audio Technology worked very closely with the Integra Research engineering team to ensure that the RDA-7.1 would meet the highest standards for industrial design and stunning external beauty. Internally, it has the BAT trademark execution with a perfectly symmetrical layout and impeccable industrial design, with every item is positioned in a way that contributes to a design internal beauty.

The Integra Research RDA-7.1 will be available in April with a suggested retail price of $5000.

Lecteur de DVD Universel RDA-7.1
LAS VEGAS (1/8/04) – Integra Research has announced the THX Ultra-certified RDV-1.1, a high performance universal player that features an incredible array of state of the art circuitry and connectivity options. With digital output capability for high-resolution multichannel audio, as well as DVD-Video, the player provides the highest reproduction quality possible, regardless of the source material or format.

"The incredible advances in home audio and video capabilities over the past five years have caused some serious growing pains for the industry," observed Integra Research product manager Eric Harper. "Until now, the capacity to really exploit the full promise of DVD-A, SACD, and even DVD-Video has been hamstrung by the requirement that signals leave the player in the analog domain. It's like having a Formula 1 race car with a 55 MPH speed limiter on it. With the RDV-1.1, however, every signal can be passed digitally without undue processing, finally removing the last bottleneck to state of the art quality."

The RDV-1.1 features a state of the art low-jitter master clock circuit developed by the professional audio firm, Apogee Electronics, of Santa Monica, CA. This circuit allows the player 's 192 kHz/24-bit Wolfson DACs, combined with Integra Research's exclusive VLSC (Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry), to deliver the highest quality digital conversion available.

For high resolution multichannel SACD and DVD-Audio discs, the RDV-1.1 includes two iLink (IEEE 1394) connections for digital output of high resolution 5.1-channel audio signals. When combined with a compatible processor or receiver, this ability delivers the ultimate in sound reproduction, simplifies bass management duties, and does it all over a single cable. Additionally, there are 7.1-channel analog outputs for consumers wishing to employ the RDV-1.1's high quality internal decoding circuitry. For conventional DVD and CD audio, there are also two coaxial and two optical digital audio outputs. Lastly, for consumers who want the ultimate in two-channel fidelity, there is an AES/EBU balanced digital output that is compatible with many high-end stereo preamplifiers.

For video reproduction, the RDV-1.1 includes a rear-panel HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) connection that delivers digital video information to HDMI- and DVI-equipped HD display devices without degradation of the signal due to unnecessary D/A conversion. The unit features a high quality O-Plus video scaler that is capable of converting any video signal to a variety of customizable HD formats, including 720p or 1080i, for the ultimate video performance available from DVD-Video. Additionally, the scaler can be used with external video sources via the unit's rear-panel component, composite, and S-video inputs.

The player's video circuitry also employs new Analog Devices dual 216 MHz/14-bit video D/A converters, and an advanced four-field Silicon Image deinterlacer with 3:2 pulldown conversion. For analog component video, the need for menu selection of interlaced or progressive scan output is eliminated by the inclusion of dedicated connections for each. There are two BNC progressive scan outputs, and a single RCA interlaced output. Additionally, there are two S-Video and two composite video jacks.

The RDV-1.1 also includes an RS-232 port for compatibility with whole-home control systems, IR in and out jacks, and a 12-volt trigger input. It features extremely solid construction with rigid aluminum chassis, integrated stabilizer network, and solid aluminum feet to reduce vibration for error-free playback. The attractive blue LED display and button illumination includes a four-way dimmer circuit. It includes a backlit preprogrammed/learning remote control for optimum control of all the player's functions.

The Integra Research RDV-1.1 will be available in April at a suggested retail price of $4000.


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