When it comes to PSB loudspeakers and NAD electronics, audio performance, dependability, and price point has never been an issue. But, according to parent company Lenbrook International’s Custom Installation Product Manager Joe de Jesus, the past 18 months has been about making these great-sounding brands more appealing to the custom integration channel while avoiding the “SKU bloat” that can come from adding too many new models to a line up.
For de Jesus, who has a custom installation background, it’s all about creating great-sound speakers and exceptional amplifiers that can be installed easily and have the necessary aesthetics to make it in the CI world.
“We started with a basic plan, which built on what we already had–some really good architectural product,” de Jesus said. “Then we widened the SKU base a little bit further and made sure it was complementary to what was already built. We already had architectural in-ceiling and in-wall speakers, so we looked at what needed to be added to grow that division a little bit more. On the PSB side, architectural subwoofers were one area of need.
Rather than just coming up with one solution, however, Lenbrook wanted to address situations that designers and installers have to contend with in homes. That led to two PSB in-wall subwoofers (the $899 CS IW Sub 28 and $1,099 CS IW Sub 10), as well as a PSB in-room passive subwoofer (the $1,199 CS IR Sub) that’s designed to be more aesthetically pleasing with a smaller footprint. With those three subwoofers, NAD is also offering a new rack-mounted amplifier ($1,099 CS 500 W) that can be used on any of them.
“With four SKUs, we figured that we can cover the architectural subwoofer category, supplementing the other products that we have, whether that be in-ceiling or in-wall or even a blend with more conventional products,” de Jesus said.
PSB is also adding a new angled in-ceiling speaker ($599 CS AIC 860) to its core of three 6.5-inch and three 8-inch in-ceiling speakers. It’s not the first angled in-ceiling speaker in the PSB lineup, but this new model fits in a round-format frame, using the same pre-construction bracket and back box as the rest of the line. Although it requires an 8-inch round frame, the speaker is only 6.5-inches, reducing the amount of room required in the ceiling (only 5.34 quarter inches deep.)
PSB’s new Performance Wall Mount on-wall “soundbars” will consist of three models to match the most common TV sizes, while providing the big, open, spacious, neutral, and musical sound that the brand considers its hallmark. The first of these to market will be the PWM2, which matches up to 65- and 70-inch TVs.
On the NAD side, Lenbrook is supplementing its amplifier assortment with two new DSP distribution amplifiers (the $2,999 CI 8-120 and $3,999 CI 8-150) that can be calibrated via IP control, at 120 and 150 watts, respectively.
“Now, if there are any problems, you’d be able to mitigate them without rolling a truck–power cycle the amp, do a factory reset, install the calibration. They can even do a remote update if they want to,” de Jesus said. “Even the layout of the back of the unit is much more how an installer dresses an amplifier on a rack.”
All in all, de Jesus said, it’s about “building on what PSB and NAD do best but making sure we had the CI features to make it relevant in the CI world.”