Silk_Press_Release - Audio Design Associates

Richard D. Stoerger
Audio Design Associates, Inc.
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WHITE PLAINS, New York (September 7, 2001) - Audio Design Associates, Inc. (ADA) announced that it
has unveiled a radically new multi-channel multi-room system, Silk, at the CEDIA Expo, taking place in Indianapolis,
Indiana. Silk is where the home meets the theater. A single chassis features design options that extend from running twentyfour stereo rooms to six home theater zones, or any where in between. Based in part on ADA’s award winning Rhapsody
System (Best Audio Product – 2000 CEDIA Expo, Design & Innovation Award – 2001 CES), the Silk brings the switching
and preamplification features of the Rhapsody, into a smaller, more affordable chassis.
“With Rhapsody, our goal was to design a system that was truly the end-all in custom installation,” states Albert G.
Langella, ADA’s President, CEO and Chief Design Engineer. “Rhapsody has limitless switching configurations, everything
from composite video to RGBHV. For audio, Rhapsody was the first system to focus on digital audio switching which
permitted us to preamplify audio not just in two channels, but also in 7.1 surround sound. But Rhapsody is very expensive
and is only intended for the most advanced custom installations. Silk, takes the features of Rhapsody and combines them
into a single chassis aimed at the $75K-$100K (complete) installation.”
Silk features a unique card frame chassis that has a front panel touch screen for setup and control. Unlike most any
other touch screen, the one in the Silk is actually overlaid on a full VGA display running off of a self-contained flash-based
PC operating on Windows CE. This extremely functional PC, complete with Internet Explorer, has no moving hard-drive
(nearly eliminating crashes), boots quickly, and measures only a few inches in thickness. As such, there is plenty of room in
the Silk chassis for a combination of three different card modules. The Silk Audio I/O Module features eight analog stereo
inputs complete with three independent analog-to-digital converters. There are also seven digital coax inputs. The output
stage features three analog stereo outputs (for recording) and three zones of digital audio output. These feed to the Quartet
Preamplifier Card Modules. Up to two Audio I/O Modules can be used per Silk chassis. The Silk Video I/O Card Module
features comprehensive video switching with eight composite video inputs, seven S-Video inputs, and four
VGA/RGBHV/HDTV video inputs. There are three independent zones of composite and S-Video output as well as four
independent zones of VGA/RGBHV/HDTV video output. No more than one Video I/O is used per Silk.
The third card used in the Silk is the Quartet Preamplifier Card Module. This card, measuring only 0.9 inches in
width is in fact a full-blown Dolby Digital, Pro Logic II, THX Ultra, THX EX, DTS ES, DTS Neo 6, 7.1 surround sound
decoder. Featuring the powerful DSP featured in the Rhapsody, Cinema Reference Mach II, and Cinema Rhapsody Mach II,
the Quartet Card is considered by many industry insiders to be the most advanced DSP engine on the market. Each Quartet
Card features a single digital coax input (from the Audio I/O Module) and eight analog audio outputs typically used for (sub,
center, left, right, left surround, right surround, left back surround, and right back surround). In addition to a host of custom
and proprietary modes, the Quartet Card features tone controls, advanced balance controls, several volume control options as
well as enhanced bass management. “We are so pleased with the acoustics of our new DSP engine, that we have employed it
across the board in all of our surround sound technology” states Richard D. Stoerger, Vice President and C.O.O.
The Quartet Card has a second operational mode called Quad Mode. In Quad Mode, the card switches from being a
7.1 surround sound processor to being a zone-card with four independent room outputs. Here the eight RCA analog outputs
deliver audio in stereo pairs to four rooms. Each room features a preamplifier with enhanced control of volume, bass, treble,
balance, mono/stereo mixing and muting. Furthermore, when running in Quad mode, every detail of a multi-channel
recording down-mixes completely to even a mono channel. This is the finishing touch on a system that combines multiple
home theaters, multi-room multi-channel concert hall sound, or simple two channel multi-room audio, all in one chassis. Up
to six Quartet Cards, regardless of operating mode, can be incorporated into a single Silk System and multiple Silk Chassis
(up to eight) can be included in any one home.
In its most basic configuration, a Silk with a single Audio I/O Card, one Video I/O card and one Quartet
Preamplifier Card becomes the ultimate home theater preamplifier. Consider the most advanced front panel touch screen, a
preamplifier with unparalleled features and sound, and in addition to audio, composite video, S-Video, and
VGA/RGBHV/HDTV video for the main room, also multiple recording/zone outputs for digital audio, analog audio,
composite and S-Video, as well as VGA/RGBHV/HTDV. This configuration, at under $15,000 represents the state-of-the-
art in home theater. By adding one or two more Quartet Cards, Silk can drive three home theaters; or two home theaters and
one multi-channel concert hall, one home theater and two concert halls; or one theater, one concert hall, and one more zone
with four rooms. By adding another Audio I/O card and three more Quartet Cards (six total), you can drive three home
theaters and three concert halls, two home theater, two concert halls, and two more zones with eight rooms, a complete
house. Many homes feature two theaters, leaving room for four more zones running sixteen rooms. Naturally, there are
dozens of options in between.
An important feature set that Silk brings to the table is multi-channel multi-room music playback. ADA has been
explaining over the past year, that “Stereo is dead, it just doesn’t know it yet.” This is more true today than a year ago as the
business side of the recording industry it trying to grapple with MP3 and the Internet. Since 1996, the musicians, recording
artists, engineers, and producers have been embracing the wonders of recording in multi-channel surround sound. For them,
the creative palette has been expanded by means of playing back music in not just stereo but 5.1 sound. Record labels were
initially slow in bringing this format to market but now has the benefit of DVD’s wide acceptance. Coupled with the
industries concern for controlling the distribution of their products in light of the expansion of high-speed Internet access,
the future of multi-channel music is insured to be successful. Silk is designed to take advantage of the future of music today.
Rooms that have a video display become instant ultimate home theaters. Rooms void of video can become concert halls.
Rooms that cannot support more than two speakers can enjoy all of the multiple audio channels down-mixed to perfection in
stereo. Best of all, Silk’s card frame architecture permits the end user to expand the system over time.
Chuck Kittelson, ADA’s Director of Sales explains, “Most installations require two theater rooms, either the family
and playroom or family room and master bedroom. That leaves four card slots open for other areas. Given the time many
people now spend in their extravagant kitchens (today they are entertaining areas), they are perfect for surround music. The
outdoor zone is also ideal as many of our dealers are already running multiple speaker pairs outside; they are just driving
them in stereo. Now they can sound like an outdoor amphitheater. With two theaters and two concert zones, the Silk can
still run another eight rooms in stereo. That is exciting and our dealers love Silk’s flexibility and sound.”
Headquartered in White Plains, New York, ADA has been the undisputed leader in the fields of high-end home
theater and multi-room technology since 1977.
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