What’s the latest with SpeakerCraft?
2014 marks the huge refocus on SpeakerCraft at Core Brands. We have several exciting launches this year, from speakers to amps to multi-room audio control, and they will all debut at CEDIA. Let’s start with the new MRA chassis; the SpeakerCraft MZC-664 is a six-source, six-zone controller delivering 240 watts of total power. It’s designed to easily expand to 12-zones when paired with a second MZC-664. Plus, its software is built on the rock-solid ELAN control platform so it benefits from the ease-of-installation for which ELAN is famous.
In power amplifiers, we’re bringing out a whole new line, from 50, 100 and 150 watt stereo amps to 12 and 16 channel amps with 30 and 50 watts per channel respectively. These share the same industrial design with the MZV-664 and together they deliver a branded audio distribution solution.
For speakers, we’re in the largest design refresh in the brand’s history. The new AIM series we are debuting at CEDIA will have three distinct new technology enhancements, each building upon SpeakerCraft’s legendary innovation performance.
Key benefits to the homeowner:
Again, let’s start with the MZC-664; this multi-zone controller addresses audio distribution in a way that’s really easy for end users. While we’ll have touchpads and keypad controls, the entire system can be controlled by a smart-phone or tablet, devices the consumers are already using. This make a very simple lifestyle integration. The amplifiers place power where it’s needed for any system, large or small. And of course, the new AIM speakers will be the best performing speakers SpeakerCraft has ever produced.
Key benefits to the integrator:
The integrators will appreciate the ease of installation that the MZC-664 offers. Set-up and installation time are reduced to a fraction of other multi-room systems with the MZC’664’s wizard-based configurator. The full line of amps simplifies the dealer’s message to customers with a single-brand high-performance story. With five amps to choose from, the dealer can easily fit the right solution for each client. And they all share a common front panel ID with the MZC-664, so they look great in the rack together.
We’re really excited about the new AIM line that will debut at CEDIA. Our technology and design enhancements are creating some key differentiators that will deliver better directed and more isolated sound that our dealers’ customers will appreciate. I must hold back on details right now, but do come see us at CEDIA. These will really blow you away.
What does SpeakerCraft and CORE Brands do to support their dealer/integrators?
We have two main goals to not just support but actually delight our Dealers. The first is to develop really compelling new products that deliver real benefits to dealers and end-users. This has been my total focus since coming to Core Brands in February and the engineering team shares my commitment. For the dealers, these new product benefits are two-fold: easier to install and easier to sell. The MZC-664 ease-of-install is a great example of the former. By making better products at competitive prices, we make it easier for our dealers to sell great SpeakerCraft systems to their customers.
The second area of dealer support is in our multi-brand programs that make it more profitable to work with multiple brands from Core Brands. It’s part of the Core Brands promise to Dealers, but the multi-brand opportunity has very practical benefits for their customers as well. I mean, why would you not recommend to your client that their new SpeakerCraft amps or multi-zone controller be protected by a Panamax or Furman power conditioner?
Future trends in this category?
Audio will continue to be at the heart of most home entertainment systems, but the delivery tools will continue to evolve. Multi-tasking devices like smart-phones and tablets will become more common as control devices, which is why we’re integrating their support into the MZC-664. Our focus is always on how we can make audio a better experience for our dealers and the customers.
Lot’s more, and lots of which I can’t discuss yet. The team here is super-committed and we’re all focused on making SpeakerCraft the absolute best it can be.