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News

Connected Distribution Appoints Mark Cheffins as Regional Sales Manager

Connected Distribution Strapline Light 300dpiTo support its continued growth strategy, Connected Distribution Ltd. has appointed Mark Cheffins to the position of regional sales manager, to head up business development across the southern region of the UK and to give installers and retailers a dedicated point of contact for the company’s comprehensive product offering.

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Mark joins Connected Distribution after 12 years with AV brand Onkyo, where he held the role of technical product manager, responsible for technical assistance across all Onkyo products distributed in the UK and across the EU. Prior to that he held the role of technical sales manager for the south east of the UK. 

His extensive technical and sales experience with Onkyo was preceded by two years as custom installation specialist with BBG Distribution and five years as head custom installer for Sevenoaks Sound & Vision. Mark is extremely well qualified with diplomas from THX as a video professional, home theatre designer and as a certified technician, all of which we graduated in with distinction. 

Connected Distribution holds the UK distribution rights for several high profile custom installation, home cinema and hi-fi brands including: Russound; Parasound; Pulse-Eight; Cabasse, Atlantic Technology; Earthquake Sound; Yamaha; Sanus and the recently introduced control brand, RTI. 

Cheffin’s proven track record in the high-end custom installation industry, working in a business-to-business environment with installers, specifiers and buyers, and across the hi-fi retail sector, equip him with the knowledge and skills to develop Connected Distribution’s business.  

On joining the business, Mark says, “The opportunity to join a successful business with the longevity and portfolio of Connected Distribution was too good a chance to miss. Its range of brands and the exciting new products being introduced, together the close-knit team’s approach to a personal customer experience, have me feeling very excited about getting stuck in.” He continues, “The opportunities open to the business via its carefully selected brands and loyal customer base are many. And the chance to introduce these cutting-edge products such as the Russound MBX streamers and the hugely powerful RTI control system to potential new customers is a sales manager’s dream. I look forward to meeting customers old and new over the coming months.”

Mike Bonnette, product director for Connected Distribution, adds, “Mark displayed the sort of infectious enthusiasm that is rarely seen in interviews. It is obvious he has a real passion for what he does, namely meeting people and providing the right solutions for their needs, and we are fortunate to have him on board to help us with our very significant business development objectives.”


 

Cabasse launches The Pearl Akoya streaming speaker

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Following the global success of The Pearl wireless streaming loudspeaker released in 2018, Cabasse, the leader in the French high-fidelity acoustics market, introduces the newest member of its streaming audio range, The Pearl Akoya.

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This high definition active and wireless speaker created and developed in Brittany, France, is a concentration of all the technology and expertise that went into making the legendary La Sphère, distilled into an ultra-compact active speaker. With the highest quality materials, as well as luxurious and refined design, The Pearl Akoya creates as much emotion as its ultra-powerful predecessor, The Pearl, with extremely pure sound and without any alteration, colouration or distortion. 

The inventor of the technology behind coaxial speakers, which has helped forge the reputation of the brand for decades, Cabasse has achieved another technological feat with The Pearl Akoya: develop and integrate into a 22cm spherical volume, the most compact tri-axial speaker ever created (bass, midrange and new carbon and neodymium coaxial tweeter). The new drivers take up very little space and deliver maximum power from the 1050 watts RMS amplifiers and a smooth response from 30Hz to 27,000Hz. 

The Pearl Akoya, equipped with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections, is compatible with Cabasse StreamCONTROL multi-room systems, is controllable by voice, and can read all formats of digital audio: ranging from MP3, AAC, WMA to ultra-high definition files such as AIFF, FLAC and ALAC, whether they are stored on external hard drives, computers, via internet radio or the online streaming services available in the StreamCONTROL app (Qobuz, Deezer, Spotify, Napster, Tidal)

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With the power equivalent of a classical orchestra (115 dB) and the acoustic expertise from Cabasse, The Pearl Akoya faithfully respects all the dynamics of the audio sources. Its 17cm woofer offers over 20mm of linear excursion, resulting in the richest level of bass available on the market for a speaker in its category.

As with all speakers from the Cabasse high-end collection, such as La Sphère, this new speaker is equipped with the Cabasse patented automatic calibration system (CRCS) for an optimised acoustic experience, no matter where the speaker is located. Connecting two The Pearl Akoya speakers through a simple Wi-Fi connection, without an additional box or hub, provides a full stereo playback system. It is also possible to listen to television, a CD player, or even a turntable and phono stage through its optical digital or 3.5mm analogue jack inputs. 

The quality of materials and craftsmanship enhance its performance: six layers of lacquer are applied to obtain the depth of finish, which is available in metallic black with pure chromium rings, or pearl white with silver rings. The attention to detail and materials continues with the carbon driver membranes, the aluminium dissipater and driver, the double reinforced casing with buffered finishing and a magnetic grille with the Cabasse logo, making The Pearl Akoya a technological beauty. 

The Pearl Akoya comes with a wireless controller which sports the same high-quality finish, as well as an ergonomically refined design. There is no need to use a smartphone, just simply use the Bluetooth controller, which can be held in the palm of the hand, to easily control the speaker. 

It will be available from November 2019, and includes a custom carrier case, a cloth covered power cable and 3.5mm jack and micro-USB adapters. A stand and wall bracket are also available. 

UK retail price is £1499 inc. VAT

A dedicated stand is available for £299 and a wall bracket for £99


 

Connected Distribution adds big hitters to Stirling Roadshow on 16th October

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Connected Distribution is pleased to announce the addition of two big name speakers for its Scotland Roadshow in Stirling on 16thOctober. Cyrille Vergely from RTI and Pete Baker, representing Russound, will be presenting on their respective brands and available to talk to the Roadshow attendees throughout the day.

This free, one-day event will introduce Scotland based custom installers to the latest technologies from some of the biggest names in audio, video and control systems. They will have the opportunity to learn from the presentations given in the morning, from the likes of RTI, Russound, Yamaha, Pulse-Eight and others, who will be teaching delegates about the latest products from their brands, the technologies behind them and revenue opportunities that they present. There will be interesting and thought-provoking ideas discussed that will be of direct benefit to installers and their customers.

RTI CyrilleVergelyCyrille Vergley is RTI’s dealer experience manager. He has 25 years’ experience in the custom installation industry and is responsible for ensuring an exceptional experience for the company’s dealers across Europe through training, technical support and project design assistance. Based in Paris, Cyrille is making the trip over to Stirling to support Scotland based installers and will be introducing the hugely powerful and versatile RTI platform to them.

PeteBaker TheBIGCorpPete Baker runs The BIG Corp, a US based global full-service sales rep and consulting agency, providing support to the finest brands in consumer electronics. Pete is the EMEA representative for Russound, the leading distributed audio company. He will be talking about the latest developments in high resolution multi-room audio from the brand and also be sharing some of his 30+ years’ experience in successfully selling big name brands during his time as an integrator.

Joining Cyrille and Pete will be other guest speakers from Connected Distribution’s brands, including Kevan Sproston from cable brand Kordz and Sean Emery from Pulse-Eight.

Commenting on the forthcoming event, Connected Distribution’s Mike Bonnette, says, “We are delighted that Cyrille and Pete are making the effort to join us from France and the USA respectively. It is a great coup for us to get these two experts in their fields together at our Stirling Roadshow. The opportunity to hear from these heavyweights in the CI sector is one that we think will appeal to the wider installation community in Scotland and we would like to extend the invitation to attend, and hear from Cyrille, Pete and our other guest speakers, to all of the region’s installers.”

Following the morning’s presentations and lunch, the event will transform into an expo, with products from the brands in the Connected Distribution portfolio on display and available for the attendees to discuss in detail with the representatives from each company.

The Connected Distribution Roadshow takes place at the Stirling Court Hotel, Stirling University from 10am to 4pm on 16thOctober. Any installers interested in attending can reserve a place by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


 

Connected Distribution appointed to supply Kordz cables

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Connected Distribution has announced its appointment as a distributor for the Kordz range of high-quality audio-visual cables, bringing robust and reliable cabling solutions to the custom installation sector.

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Australia based Kordz is a long-standing innovator and manufacturer of HDMI and other AV cables. The company’s extensive experience in design, engineering and manufacturing is the foundation on which it builds products that are robust, offer high quality sound and picture, high-bandwidth, tight bend radius, shallow mounting depth and reliability. These essential attributes for the demanding custom installation channel set the company apart from its competitors.

Mike Bonnette, Connected Distribution’s director says, “The Kordz range of CAT-6, CAT-6A, HDMI, patch-cables, speaker cables and other essentials are the perfect addition to our range of high-quality audio and video products.” Adding, “The CI industry has known for a long time that the quality of cables, particularly over long runs, is a crucial element in the performance of a system. We have witnessed, on numerous occasions, the use of cheap, low grade cables and the problems these cause, which are then rectified by using better quality cable. For this reason, we will be recommending that our customers specify Kordz, as we’ve tested them with high bandwidth signals, and they have been independently certified by major testing houses.”

James Chen, CEO of Kordz commented, “We are over the moon to have secured a channel partnership in the UK with Connected Distribution. With nearly 20 years of custom installation experience and several key brands in their portfolio, they are recognised as a leading value add distributor in the UK residential sector. Our latest HDMI and CAT 6 integration solutions are genuinely pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved in tough installation environments and we look forward to bringing them to market in partnership with Connected Distribution in the UK.”

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Founded in 2003, Kordz manufactures a wide range of cables that cover most applications and situations that the CI professionals come across. These include the R.3 HDMI cables that are 18Gbps tested, THX and DPLD certified for 4K and built to reject electromagnetic interference, making them ideal for use in rack builds, where stray EMI is prevalent and can cause significant problems.  For extremely long cable runs, its PRS3 Active Optical HDMI cables are certified up to 30m for 18.0gbps. 

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Also developed for rack building, the slimline PRO CAT6 patch cables are available in 16 different length variants, from 0.15m to 30m, and are the perfect quick fit solution for wiring busy racks. The company’s CAT6-a F/UTP cable is 10GBaseT compatible and has a CPR declared performance specification, that can usefully be downloaded and filed in the installer’s job file for future reference should any insurance claims require proof of fire rating. 

The Kordz range of cables, connectors, tools and accessories are now in stock at Connected Distribution and available for specification by installers.

Guests at the Connected Distribution Roadshow, held in Reading on 19th September, were the first to hear about the new distribution arrangements and an introduction to the products from Kevan Sproston, Kordz’ product manager. Kevan will be present the forthcoming Roadshows in Stirling on 16th October and Leeds on 31st October.

For more information on the Kordz range please click HERE 


 

Connected Distribution takes the show on the road in Autumn 2019

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Connected Distribution has announced a series of Roadshows for the Autumn of 2019, giving custom installers across the UK the opportunity to experience the company’s portfolio of custom installation products and hear from some of its key suppliers.

Following a successful series of events in 2017, the company feels the time is right, with a plethora of new and innovative products, to stage its popular roadshow events once again. Taking place on 19th September in Reading, 16th October in Stirling and 31st October in Leeds, these day long sessions will be used to introduce the UK’s custom installers to the latest technologies from some of the leading names in electronics manufacturing.

The day will commence with a number of guest speakers from the likes of RTI, Russound, Sanus, Parasound and others, who will be presenting the newest products from these brands and explaining the technology behind them. The added value and revenue opportunities that they present to installers will be explored, with some interesting and hopefully thought-provoking ideas discussed that will be of direct benefit to installers and their customers.

Following lunch, the event will transform into an expo, with example products from all of the brands in the Connected Distribution portfolio on display and available for the attendees to discuss in more detail.

Mike Bonnette, Connected Distribution’s product director, announcing the events says, “We have held very successful roadshows over the past few years and are excited to be repeating them in 2019. A lot of technological developments have taken place since the last time we all got together and many of our suppliers have produced ground-breaking products that offer significant benefits to the installers and their customers alike.” He continues, “The chance to present these all under one roof to our customers and other interested members of the CI industry is one we are looking forward to. We feel sure the opportunities for business growth that they present will be of great interest to all who come along and we look forward to seeing them at one of the three events.”

Any installers interested in attending can reserve a place by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with their preferred venue.


 

New Sanus Full Motion Mounts available from Connected Distribution

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Connected Distribution is pleased to make the new Sanus Advanced Full Motion (S4) Wall Mounts available for the custom installation market in the UK. These next generation TV wall mounts are designed from the ground up, incorporating class-leading engineering and contemporary aesthetics, to provide a sleek, discrete and strong solution for today’s ultra-thin TVs.

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“The Sanus engineers have worked with custom installers to create a range of three brackets which cover all TV sizes from 19” to 90” and fulfil all the requirements for today’s installations,” says Mike Bonnette, Connected Distribution’s product director. “They have re-engineered what a TV wall bracket should be and have designed them with an ultra-strong solid steel frame that provides maximum support for the TV. And with the stylish brushed stainless or black steel decorative covers, which conceal the wall fixing plate, the installation has a beautifully clean appearance to satisfy the most demanding of aesthetics.”

The Sanus VSF716-B2 and VSF716-S2 (in black and stainless respectively) are single arm designs, for TVs 19” - 40” in size. They are designed to carry TVs weighing up to 15.9kg, swivel 90 degrees left and right and sit just 46mm from the wall to accentuate the thin TV panel.

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TVs between 32” and 55” and up to 24.9kg are catered for with the VMF720-B2/S2, which provide 60 degrees of left right swivel. And the largest screens, of up to 57.6kg and 90” diagonal can be mounted using the VLF728-B2/S2. With its very generous extension of 71cm, variable VESA mount and 57 degree left/right swivel, it is one of the most versatile large screen TV mounts available. Its twin arm construction, with hidden cable management that is common to all models, provides security and convenience for the installer and home owner alike.

For more information on the Sanus range click HERE

All models come with a Sanus 10 year limited warranty and are available now from Connected Distribution. 


 

Russound’s new IC Series speakers featuring SwiftLock™ and Easygrip™

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From Connected Distribution, Russound’s exclusive UK distributor, comes the new IC Series of in-ceiling speakers. Incorporating the latest advances in material technologies, they’ve been designed, manufactured and tuned for a hugely rewarding listening experience and an installation that is easy as possible for time challenged installers, thanks to the SwiftLock fixing system.

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The five strong range of products comprises: the IC-610 165mm with polypropylene cone and 19mm pivoting silk tweeter; IC-610T single point stereo variant; IC-620 enhanced performance speaker with injection moulded PP cone and 25mm pivoting silk tweeter; and its larger sibling, the 200mm IC-820. The flagship IC-630 includes an injection-moulded polypropylene cone with vapour deposited titanium, coupled to a pivoting titanium dome tweeter. The IC-630 also includes a +/- 3dB tweeter adjustment switch to enable adjustment for the room's acoustic characteristics.

Russound has re-engineered its speaker range from the ground up, with all five of the new models using advanced integrated baffle/woofer baskets for unmatched rigidity and dampening, and a new inverted parabolic surround to improve the linearity and efficiency of the drive units. 

SwiftLock logoThe IC-620, IC-820, and IC-630 are enhanced with the inclusion of SwiftLock for effortless installation at the push of a button. By pushing the three blue buttons, the spring loaded dog-legs are instantly rotated to clamp down on the ceiling material, automatically allowing for the thickness of the ceiling or wall and securely locking the speaker in place. Quick release of the speaker is a very simple process of using a screwdriver to turn the SwiftLock dog-leg through half a turn to lock it back into place. Russound’s SwiftLock equipped speakers are the most install-friendly products on the market.

With the installers’ needs very much in mind, each speaker includes Easygrip, a tweeter bridge that is specifically designed with the inherent strength to be used as a grip handle. This ingenious solution overcomes the commonly seen situation of weak tweeter bridges breaking under the strain of being used as a handle.

Mike Bonnette, Connected Distribution’s product director, says of the new speakers, “With the IC Series, Russound has once again proven that it is the installers’ friend, producing speakers that not only sound fantastic and are priced very competitively, but also dramatically cut down on installation time and help prevent accidental damage. We are confident that our customers will be delighted with innovations in the products and will wonder how they ever coped without them.”

For more information on the Russound IC Series click HERE


 

Connected Distribution to supply RTI control solutions

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Connected Distribution has today announced its appointment as a distributor for the RTI range of automation and control systems.

The RTI advanced control products for residential and commercial installations provide a comprehensive solution for the custom installer. Its award-winning wired, wireless and app-based products offer total control over entertainment, distributed audio and video, lighting, climate and security. The company’s Integration Designer programming software enables powerful, customised integration of third-party products.

RTI C2K1 Custom Control Kit v1

Mike Bonnette, Connected Distribution’s director says, “We are delighted to add RTI to our portfolio of distributed AV products. This powerful and hugely flexible platform will enable our customers to provide unparalleled personalised system control for their end-user clients.” He continues, “Used in conjunction with the HD video products we supply from Pulse-Eight and our highly regarded audio brands, such as Russound, RTI underlines our offering as the one stop shop for the custom installation sector.”

Used in conjunction with the company’s other brands, including Russound, Yamaha, Pulse-Eight and Parasound, plus loudspeaker solutions from the likes of Cabasse and Atlantic Technology, RTI from Connected Distribution offers a total solution for the market.

The RTI product range will be supported by comprehensive training from Connected Distribution and the UK master distributor, Pulse-Eight.

RTI will be available from 1stJune.

 


 

Connected Distribution at EI Live 2019

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Connected Distribution will be using the UK’s only custom installation show to present new products from its key brands, including Russound, Cabasse and Soundcast and introduce the show visitors to other exciting additions to its range.

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Among the key new product introductions will be the Russound MBX series of streamer/amplifiers. The compact MBX-AMP amplifier and MBX-PRE pre-amplifier are the first of a new generation of streaming products designed to deliver streamed and networked music, internet radio, streaming via Bluetooth, Chromecast or Airplay and local TV sound, right into the customer’s room or as part of a multi-room installation.The range of connectivity options and ability to reproduce high-resolution audio at competitive prices set them apart from their rivals. 

Also launching at EI Live from Russound are the IC series ceiling speakers, which incorporate the latest advances in material technologies and are designed, manufactured and tuned for a highly rewarding listening experience. The range of speaker solutions provide excellent choices in any application - from the budget-minded to audio-purists. Each speaker includes Easygrip™ and the IC-620, IC-820, and IC-630 models include Swiftlock™ for effortless installation at the push of a button – no more screw drivers required. 

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New from French loudspeaker experts Cabasse, The Pearl is an active, high-definition, connected speaker, that concentrates all the expertise and technology from the legendary La Sphère into a compact form. The Pearl has the “je ne sais quoi” that appeals to the most demanding customers looking to acquire a compact and wireless speaker, without compromising on acoustic quality.

The Cabasse Eole 4 is the 4th generation of Europe’s biggest selling home cinema speaker package. It brings all the benefits of Cabasse co-axial drive unit technology to home cinema fans in a stylish new package. Five discreet spherical satellite speakers, featuring new grilles and adaptable mounting bases, plus a new slimline subwoofer make it the installers’ and interior designers’ perfect cinema speaker solution.

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Summer is coming and Soundcast outdoor speakers provide the perfect add-on sale for installers. These Bluetooth, weatherproof, portable high-performance wireless audio speakers deliver the ultimate in sound quality and are designed to work seamlessly with any lifestyle, indoors or out. With five loudspeaker products in the VGX series and a Bluetooth transmitter in the range, there is a product for every application, from a pocket sized portable and fully waterproof speaker to the class-leading flagship outdoor portable.

Full scale cinema installations are the domain of Earthquake. A brand known best for its no-compromise subwoofers, the show visitors will also get to see the carbon drive unit centre channels, line array in-walls and of course the famous subwoofers.

Other products on display from Connected Distribution’s portfolio will include Pulse-Eight HDMI solutions, Atlantic Technology home cinema loudspeakers, Yamaha home cinema and multi-room electronics and Sanus mounting solutions.

See Connected Distribution at EI Live, April 30 - May 1, Farnborough Exhibition Centre

https://www.eiliveshow.com


 

Parasound heads north for the Acoustica Show

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Parasound will be presenting a selection of new products at the Acoustica Hi-Fi Show on 6thand 7thApril in Chester, including the UK show debut for the P6 pre-amplifier and JC5 power amplifier, bringing all the power and poise so cherished by the professional recording industry to the audiophiles of the north west.

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On permanent demonstration at Acoustica, the Parasound products redefine the proposition of value and despite the low prices, compared to comparable performance products, they are the amplifiers of choice for many of the major movie studios, composers, artists, recording engineers and music studios. With Parasound there is no separate "pro" line of products, and nothing is specially modified for the industry insiders. The amplifiers available for use in the home are exactly the same as those that Pixar, Sony and Lucasfilm and many others, for whom money is no object, choose to buy. Visitors to the Acoustica show will find out for themselves why Parasound is so revered.

The P6 pre-amplifier allows audiophiles to seamlessly bridge the analogue and digital divide in these ever-changing multi-format days. On the digital side, new technologies have changed the way audiophiles connect to and enjoy their music, so the P6 features a ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC with USB, optical and coax inputs. The coax and optical accept all sampling rates up to 192 kHz, 24-bit, whilst the USB input is capable of DSD & 384kHz/32-bit PCM. On the analogue stage, with the vinyl resurgence, Parasound has included a genuinely great and adaptable phono stage to accommodate MM & MC cartridges.

Partnering the P6 will be the new A23+ stereo power amplifier, which features 2 x 160 watts into 8 ohms and will be powering the Cabasse Murano Alto loudspeakers. Vinyl duties will be handled by the extremely well reviewed JC3+ phono stage.

Connected Distribution will also be showing off the new Parasound Hint 6 integrated amplifier and the new ZphonoXRM, Parasound’s latest phono preamplifier which combines high performance with unprecedented versatility - and at a price that fills the gap between the popular Zphono and the internationally acclaimed JC 3 Jr. 

Bringing the power to the show will be the colossal JC5 power amplifier, which distils the essence of the top-of-the-line Halo JC 1 monoblock power amplifiers into a single chassis. The design features a high power and ultra-high bias Class A/AB topography capable of delivering 400 watts per channel. The JC5 will be in use in the Bowers & Wilkins room.

“We’re very excited to be taking the Parasound range to the Acoustica Show,” says Mike Bonnette from Connected Distribution. “Acoustica is one of the major Parasound retailers in the UK and is serving the music lovers of the north west very well by combining the amplifiers with top-quality audio streamers, resulting in simply sublime sounds. We are looking forward to sharing this with the show visitors.”

www.acoustica.co.uk

More on the Parasound range HERE


 

Cabasse launches Eole 4 home cinema speakers

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Cabasse UK distributor, Connected Distribution, is excited to announce the availability of the 4th generation of the EOLE 5.1 speaker system, bringing all the benefits of Cabasse co-axial drive unit technology in a stylish new package to home cinema fans so they can get the full experience from their favourite films, TV shows and sporting events.

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The 4th generation of Europe’s biggest selling home speaker package comes with five spherical satellite speakers, featuring new grilles and mounting bases plus a new slimline subwoofer.

Spherical speakers are the perfect design, eliminating cabinet induced diffraction and enabling a very wide dispersion of sound that is perfect for home cinema systems. Each 13cm diameter satellite presents the Cabasse properties of efficiency, power, transparency and stable soundstage from its coaxial driver: a 29mm tweeter dome and a 100mm medium-woofer.

The new style grille fitted to the satellites creates a more refined look, with an improved and more open profile than its predecessor, that brings even more transparency and a better high frequency response.

Also new for Eole 4, each satellite comes with a mounting base which allows users to choose between two configurations during set up, adding a pure and elegant shape to the satellites whether they be installed on walls or located on shelves. The magnetic base makes it possible to position the satellites in all directions, making it possible to focus the speakers for an optimal configuration that harmonises the aesthetics and the acoustics of any room, resulting in an impressively realistic soundstage without being intrusive.

The low frequencies are provided by a newly designed subwoofer – Lipari 21 – with its “Super Slim” format. The subwoofer was designed using the same logic as for the satellite speakers, which guarantees realistic and powerful sound reproduction in a discrete presentation. Practical, lighter and thinner (15x39x39cm) than its predecessor, the Lipari 21 can be placed vertically against a wall or horizontally underneath furniture for an even more discrete installation, without altering the sound from the 21cm woofer. Peak power of 400W provides the maximum in realistic and faithful sound for both home cinema and music.

Eole 4, in black or white, is available now with a UK MSRP of £899 inc. VAT.

Ends.

Read more about Eole 4 HERE

 


 

Russound’s new MBX-PRE and MBX-AMP professional grade streamers

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Russound, distributed by Connected Distribution, is introducing the compact MBX-AMP amplifier and MBX-PRE pre-amplifier, the first of a new generation MBX streaming audio products designed to deliver networked music, internet radio, streaming via Bluetooth, Chromecast or Airplay and local TV sound, right to the customer’s room or multi-room installation.

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The 50 watts-per-channel MBX-AMP is the cornerstone of a distributed audio system, whether centralised or decentralised, for installers who need to offer the most up-to-date streaming solutions to their clients. Its range of connectivity options and ability to reproduce high-resolution audio sets it apart. Wi-Fi and wired Ethernet connections allow for quick, reliable streaming of all network stored music, plus Tidal and Deezer at up to 24bit/192kHz high resolution. In addition to TuneIn, vTuner, UPnP, DLNA and Apple AirPlay, the MBX features built-in Chromecast to play any music (e.g. Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, etc.). With integrated Chromecast, the MBX is compatible with Google Home and can be voice controlled via Google Assistant. Both products can be controlled using the intuitive MyRussound app for iOS and Android and is compatible with the Russound XTS touchscreen.

External audio sources can be connected via an optical digital or analogue input, plus a USB socket makes provision for locally stored music to be played. Each audio input can be distributed to the other MBX players for a true whole-house, multi-room, audio experience. Analogue line level and optical digital outputs permit connection to external amplifiers and distributed audio systems. The MBX-AMP also features a dedicated subwoofer output.

The 21cm x 18cm x 4.5cm MBX-AMP is slim enough to wall mount behind a TV and attractive enough to have on display in a room, the MBX also features an optical digital input to which the TV’s audio output can be connected. Auto sensing of the TV signal when it is switched on overrides the streaming audio connection to the MBX and feeds the sound directly to the connected loudspeakers. An IR input for control via the TV’s remote makes operation simple.

MBX AMP Angle Back

The companion MBX-PRE is a preamplifier version of MBX-AMP. It features all the same connections, streaming services and high-resolution audio capabilities as its sibling, but is designed solely to feed any external amplifier or distributed audio system. Both models feature a 12v trigger output to control additional equipment.

Charlie Porritt, Russound CEO, describes the impact of these new MBX streamers, “While small in size, these new streamers deliver a lot: bringing really helpful additional features, superb performance and fingertip convenience to every TV installation or entertainment zone of our dealers’ installations. Designed and built with the input of many experienced Russound integrators, these robust MBX streamers are more flexible to install, easier for consumers to operate and they perform beautifully.”

Mike Bonnette, Connected Distribution’s Technical Director adds, “Our close working relationship with Russound, over the past 19 years, has been hugely beneficial for the UK based custom installers, in that we have been able to interact directly with the R&D team to offer advice as to the features and benefits that are needed in our market. The MBX series addresses many of the needs of our installers, offering exceptional performance, simplicity of installation, ease of use and huge amounts of flexibility. We are confident they will provide installers with an unbeatable proposition for their clients’ installations.”

More on the MBX series HERE


 

Chest Heart & Stroke Charity benefits from Parasound and Fish Auction


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A Parasound hi-fi system signed by the rock star and platinum-selling artist, Fish, recently sold at auction in aid of Fish’s chosen charity, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, and the lucky winner was able to meet his musical hero during the presentation of the proceeds to the charity.

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Connected Distribution, UK distributor for Parasound, organised the charity auction in conjunction with Fish, who is a Parasound endorsee. The signed Parasound Z Series hi-fi system, comprising: Zpre v.2, Zamp v.3, Zdac v.2 and Zphono was listed for sale on ebay and publicised to the huge fan base via the Fish’s website and social media channels.

Barry Capper, a lifelong lover of Fish’s music, was the winner of the system, which had been bid for by his wife as a surprise Christmas present. Barry was invited to join Fish for the soundcheck at the final date of his European tour in Glasgow, before the presentation of a cheque for £1000 to Lauren Mackenzie of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland. Barry and his family were then able to enjoy the sell-out concert and got a chance to meet up with Fish after the gig.

Mike Bonnette, director of Connected Distribution says, “We were delighted to be able to facilitate this charity auction in conjunction with Fish and the very worthwhile charity, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, to support the amazing work it does with people across the country in helping improve their rehabilitation from stroke, heart attack and breathing conditions.” 

Commenting on the afternoon’s event, Barry said, “Just wanted to say a big thank you to Fish and Connected Distribution for making my year with the surprise presentation onstage before the gig in Glasgow. And for a great night.”

“For any loyal fan, owning something signed by your musical hero is a real coup.” adds Mike Bonnette. “For Barry, it’s not only a genuinely unique souvenir of his favourite musician, but a top flight Parasound hi-fi system that will enhance his enjoyment of Fish’s music for years to come.”

Lauren Mackenzie, assistant fundraiser, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, said, “We were absolutely delighted to be Fish’s chosen charity. This incredible donation will help people in Scotland to rebuild their lives after diagnosis of a chest or heart condition or following a stroke. A huge thank you to Fish and the Capper’s for supporting us and helping to change lives.”

Derek Dick, otherwise known as Fish, is a successful solo artist and the former Marillion frontman and lyricist who fronted the band from 1981 to 1988, during the period of the critically acclaimed and iconic Misplaced Childhood album. Since that time, he has gone on to explore contemporary pop, traditional folk and rock music, releasing over 12 albums and touring the world to a huge and loyal international fan base. 

Fish has chosen Parasound’s exceptionally well-reviewed Halo Integrated amplifier for the main audio system in his home and studio located close to Edinburgh. The Parasound amplifier will enable Fish and his band members to record the forthcoming album, “Weltschmerz”, in their dedicated studio facility and carefully monitor the results before commercial pressings are made.

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More on the Parasound Z Series here

More on Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland here

The Pearl from Cabasse - a new jewel in the acoustic streaming crown


 

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Connected Distribution, exclusive UK distributor of Cabasse, the iconic French loudspeaker brand, announces the launch of The Pearl, an active, high-definition connected speaker, that concentrates all the expertise and technology from the legendary La Sphère into a compact form.

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After three years extensive research and development, its refined and powerful design presents ultra-pure acoustics, faithful to brand signature sound, and perfect reproduction of music. The Pearl has the “je ne sais quoi” that appeals to the most demanding music lovers looking to acquire a compact and wireless speaker, without compromising on acoustic quality.

In keeping with the familiar Cabasse aesthetic, The Pearl’s spherical shape is ideal for spatial coherence and also plays the seduction card with its decorative jewel-like casing that evokes both gentleness and power. Manufactured and finished to the highest standards, the materials chosen for its construction help channel the performance. No fewer than six layers of lacquer were necessary to obtain the best possible finish on the reinforced double-shell cabinets, in either metallic black with pure chromium rings, or pearl white with silver rings. 

As the inventor of coaxial technology, which has forged the reputation of the brand for decades, Cabasse has succeeded in a new technological feat with The Pearl: develop and integrate into a much smaller volume (32cm for The Pearl,compared to 130cm in height for La Sphère), the first compact triaxial loudspeaker. Its brand new 25cm bass driver has a linear excursion of more than 30mm, offering an exceptional level of rich bass, and is coupled with the coaxial midrange and tweeter in Cabasse patented carbon. Exceptional power handling and a wide smooth frequency response from 14Hz to 27kHz, without directivity issues, coloration or distortion, makes it possible to free the music from technical constraints, leaving only the essence of the performance. 

With the sound output equivalent to that of a Formula 1 car (118dB) from its 1600W RMS (3200W peak) amplifiers and Cabasse acoustic expertise, The Pearl successfully reproduces all the purity of sound. For the perfect and fully immersive experience the Cabasse engineers have equipped The Pearl with an automatic calibration system (CRCS) that takes full advantage of the integrated microphone and Cabasse patented technology from the flagship La Sphère.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

For an even more exceptional sound, it is possible to link two Pearl speakers through a simple direct Wi-Fi connection, without then need for an additional box or hub, making it possible to listen to digital audio sources in stereo with unrivaled performance. Connectivity options also permit the use of external sources such as a television, CD player, or even a turntable/phono stage combination via the optical and analogue inputs. Easy to add to any interior decor, thanks to the versatile stands or wall brackets, two Pearls present the music and movies with the precision of a high-end stereo audio system.

The Pearl, with its Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, integrates seamlessly within the Cabasse StreamCONTROL multi-room system and supports MP3, AAC, WMA, AIFF, FLAC and ALAC files including 24bit/192kHz high definition, whether they are stored on USB connected hard disks, networks or computers, internet radio or online music services (Spotify, Qobuz, Napster, Deezer, Tidal). The Pearl is compatible with the Google Assistant and soon Amazon Alexa and permits streaming anywhere in the home of any source connected to the speaker, as well as phones or tablets connected via Bluetooth.

For simplified use, The Pearl is also supplied with a remote control with the same refined finishes and clean, ergonomic design. The Bluetooth connected remote can easily control The Pearl’s volume by rotating the ring, and select the choice of input, operate play and pause and selection of a favourite radio station or music track from the presets.


 

Parasound Charity Auction with Fish

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Connected Distribution, UK distributor for Parasound, is launching a charity auction in conjunction with the well-known rock star and platinum-selling artist, Fish, enabling one lucky person to win a complete system signed by the man himself.

Fish’s chosen charity, Chest Heart Stroke Scotland, will benefit from 100% of the proceeds of the auction which is for a complete Parasound Z Series hi-fi system, comprising: Zpre v.2, Zamp v.3, Zdac v.2 and Zphono.

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The auction goes live on eBay at 9.00pm Monday 24thSeptember, to coincide with Fish’s concert in Leamington Spa, at which fans will be able to pick up information about the auction. It runs for one week, taking in the Festival of Sound, where the complete system will be displayed in the Connected Distribution room, D7 Graves.

Derek Dick, otherwise known as Fish, is a successful solo artist and the former Marillion frontman and lyricist who fronted the band from 1981 to 1988, during the period of the critically acclaimed and iconic Misplaced Childhood album. Since that time, he has gone on to explore contemporary pop, traditional folk and rock music, releasing over 12 albums and touring the world to a huge and loyal international fan base. 

Fish has chosen Parasound’s exceptionally well-reviewed Halo Integrated amplifier for the main audio system in his home and studio located close to Edinburgh. The integration of Parasound amplification will enable Fish and his band members to record the upcoming album, “Weltschmerz”, in their dedicated studio facility and carefully monitor the results before commercial pressings are made.  

Mike Bonnette, director of Connected Distribution, comments, “When we suggested to Fish that we could run a charity auction using some of the Parasound products he immediately agreed and nominated the charity Chest Heart Stroke Scotland. His connection with the charity goes back a while, as his mother used to volunteer in its North Berwick shop and Fish actually performed the opening ceremony when that branch opened.

“We are delighted to be able to assist with money raising for this very worthwhile charity and would urge all Fish and Marillion fans, and lovers of good music and excellent hi-fi to take part in the auction. The system is worth over £1800 and with Fish’s signature is a priceless collector’s item which deserves to do very well in the auction.”

The charity auction runs on eBay from 9pm 24thSeptember until 9pm 1stOctober and can be found by searching for ‘Parasound ZSeries - signed by Fish’ or eBay item number 382562526178.


 

Win tickets to see Fish live in concert

WIN TICKETS TO SEE FISH LIVE IN CONCERT

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To celebrate the endorsement of the Parasound Hint integrated amplifier by legendary rock star, Fish, we're offering three pairs of guest list tickets for his concert on 24th September at Leamington Spa. 

Follow this link https://1.shortstack.com/vlnNh0 to enter the competition. All entries must be in by 18th September and winners will be notified on 19th September.

Fish, is a successful solo artist and the former Marillion frontman and lyricist who fronted the band from 1981 to 1988, during the period of the critically acclaimed and iconic Misplaced Childhood album. Since that time, he has gone on to explore contemporary pop, traditional folk and rock music, releasing over 12 albums and touring the world to a huge and loyal international fan base.

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Fish has chosen Parasound’s exceptionally well-reviewed Halo Integrated amplifier for the main audio system in his home and studio located close to Edinburgh. The integration of Parasound amplification will enable Fish and his band members to record the upcoming album, “Weltschmerz”, in their dedicated studio facility and carefully monitor the results before commercial pressings are made.

More on the Parasound Hint HERE


 

Introducing the Parasound Halo Integrated 6 (Hint 6 to its friends)

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Following on from the success of its first ever integrated amplifier, the Halo Integrated, Parasound has unveiled the Halo Integrated 6 (AKA HINT 6). Upgraded components, more features, more inputs and a cutting-edge volume control join the HINT’s core architecture and John Curl designed 160-watt class A/AB power amplifier stage.

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Named HINT 6 to reflect the pre-amp stage being derived from the forthcoming Parasound P 6 pre-amp, this second iteration HINT remains faithful to the original’s ‘powerful, musical and versatile’ design philosophy as well as its value-engineered price. 

With a 1.1kVa transformer and dual-mono power supply at its heart, the new HINT 6 adds a Burr-Brown analogue resistor ladder volume control with ball-bearing supported aluminium knob. It offers an updated USB input and DAC implementation, and a further improved phono stage with higher gain for lower output cartridges. New convenience features include dimmable display, volume level memory and an additional optical input. 

In addition to the class A/AB power section carried over from the original HINT, the HINT 6 retains the dedicated high-current headphone amplifier, a direct input that bypasses the pre-amp section, 12v trigger and IR integration, and fully balanced XLR in/out connections. Comprehensive analogue bass management and subwoofer control can be engaged for 2.1 systems and the phono stage offers variable loading for MM and MC cartridges. The Hint 6 is supplied with a robust, back-lit remote control.

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Comments Parasound founder and president, Richard Schram: “The HINT receivedoutstanding accoladesfrom audiophile magazines around the world, so we looked carefully at what we could improve without significantly increasing the price. 

“We began by upgrading key parts in the analogue preamp circuitry to achieve exceptional sonic transparency and improved channel separation. On the digital side, we redesigned the ESS-based DAC implementation making it easier to integrate with cutting-edge PCs and music servers. We also thoroughly modernised the volume control, replacing the original’s motorised potentiometer with an electronically switched, pure analogueresistor ladder array to achieve exceptional channel tracking even at low listening levels. John Curl’s circuit topology is timeless, so we carried over the Halo Integrated’s 160-watt, Class A/AB power amplifier stage to the HINT 6.

Finished in the new Halo cosmetic with gold trim and hand-milled aluminium end-caps, the Halo Integrated 6 is available now in silver or black. 

More about the Hint 6 HERE


 

Cabasse and Parasound at Festival of Sound

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Connected Distribution, exclusive UK distributors of high-end hi-fi from Cabasse, Parasound and Heed will be launching a number of new products at Festival of Sound from 28-30 September, London Novotel West, Hammersmith.

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In room D7 Graves on the 2nd Floor of the Novotel London West, show visitors will get the opportunity to experience the latest products from Parasound and Cabasse, including the JC5 stereo power amplifier, JC3 JR phono pre-amplifier and Murano Alto loudspeakers.

The John Curl designed JC5 distils the essence of the top-of-the-line Halo JC 1 monoblock power amplifiers into a single stereo chassis. The design features a high power and ultra-high bias Class A/AB topography capable of delivering 400 watts per channel (8 ohms), or 600 watts per channel into 4 ohms and can also be bridged to mono for 1,200 watts into 8 ohms.

Building on the phenomenal success of the JC3+ phono pre-amp, the JC3 JRboasts a plethora of unrivalled features including 50 to 550 ohm continuously variable MC impedance, mono switch to improve the sound of older vinyl and a Carl Thompson designed circuit board. The JC3 JR specification boasts RIAA accuracy to within 0.2dB, S/N ratio up to 94dB and THD below 0.02%, making it a perfect audiophile choice at an affordable price.

Pre-amplifier duties will be handled by the respected Parasound JC2 BP.

Cabasse’s latest tower speaker, the Murano Alto is a high-end and high-performance loudspeaker that offers a big sound and the benefits of co-axial drive unit technology in a compact slim-line enclosure. Murano Alto uses technology trickled down from the Cabasse flagship products, such as the midrange-tweeter coaxial driver from the Cabasse masterpiece system, l’Océan, and two new designs of honeycomb membrane woofers, developed from La Sphère. The combination of such high-end components into a more compact loudspeaker make it possible for users of the Murano Alto to experience the effortless reproduction of music that Cabasse is famous for.

Mike Bonnette, Connected Distribution’s product director says “The combination of Parasound electronics and Cabasse loudspeakers is one which has been tried and tested across our network of dealers. The three new products from these respected brands, that we’ll be showcasing at Festival of Sound, work brilliantly together and we know the show visitors are going to really enjoy the sonic experience.” He adds, “We’re also working on some musical treats which will complement other attractions at the show. Watch this space and all will be revealed.”

Connected Distribution will be joined in the Graves Suite by equipment rack supplier Quadraspire and source components will be provided by Vertere Acoustics. Cabling will be courtesy of Russ Andrews and Kimber Kable.

More on the Cabasse Murano Alto HERE

More on the Parasound JC5 HERE


 

Introducing the Parasound Halo JC5

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New flagship stereo power amplifier designed by John Curl

Parasound is pleased to announce a new flagship stereo power, the Halo JC5. Designed by the legendary John Curl, the Halo JC5 distils the essence of the top-of-the-line Halo JC 1 monoblock power amplifiers into a single chassis. The design features a high power and ultra-high bias Class A/AB topography capable of delivering 400 watts per channel.

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High bias class A/AB provides 12 watts per channel pure class A power and class AB effortlessly to its 400 watts per channel 8 ohm rating. It can deliver 600 watts per channel into 4 ohms and can be bridged to mono for 1,200 watts into 8 ohms. The output stage employs 24 beta-matched, 15 ampere, 60 MHz bipolar transistors to deliver a formidable peak current of 90 amperes.

The power supply employs a 1.7 kVA shielded toroid power transformer with a premium H18 grade steel core. It has independent secondary windings for its dual-mono power supply. As with the JC 1, input stage B+/B- rails are 10 V above the output stage rails to eliminate distortion caused by voltage sagging when the amp is under load. Independent power supplies for left and right channel input stages employ filter capacitors totalling 8,880 µF. Driver and output stages employ massive Rubicon filter capacitors totalling 132,000 µF.

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The Halo JC 5 is direct-coupled, protected by DC servo circuits to eliminate coupling capacitors, to extend bass response down to 5 Hz. Its balanced inputs use discrete circuits with Neutrik locking XLR connectors. The connecting hardware includes Vampire 24k gold-plated RCA input and loop output jacks. Five-way "propeller" speaker binding posts are custom-manufactured for Parasound by CHK Infinium. They are 24k gold-plated and accept 7-gauge bare wire. 

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Comments Parasound founder and president, Richard Schram: “The new JC 5 is a remarkable amplifier that creates a new sweet spot in our Halo product family. Our customers often tell us they love everything the JC 1 offers while wondering if we could deliver comparable performance in a no-compromise stereo power amplifier, to save them money and space. We challenged John Curl to distil the essence of two JC 1 mono blocks into a single chassis and the result has exceeded everyone's expectations."

Parasound's refined Halo design aesthetic is evident in the JC 5. Slim, hand-milled solid aluminium endcaps with gold highlights amplify its grace and elegance. The JC 5 is available in silver or black. Rack mount hardware for its four rack space chassis is included. The net weight is 33kg.

 The Parasound Halo JC5 is available now in the UK, with an SRP of £6,999.00

Find out more HERE