CEDIA 2019: AudioControl Flexes Its Muscles – Many New Models, All with a Dramatic New Design

AudioControl's booth at CEDIA Expo 2019 - side view
AudioControl’s 2019 CEDIA Expo booth [Click to enlarge]

AudioControl flexed its muscles this year at the 2019 CEDIA Expo – launching the greatest number of new products ever in the company’s history. But not only that, the company surprised us with an entirely new industrial design across a wide swath of products that is sleek, savvy, and exciting.

See AudioControl’s dramatic Expo showing…

Weeks ago, AudioControl announced that at the then-upcoming 2019 CEDIA Expo, they would be unveiling the most new products ever in the company’s history. It sounded, frankly, a little bit like hyperbole…the kind of stuff that those of us in the media get all the time as a show is approaching. But in the case of AudioControl…they weren’t kidding.

At their Expo booth earlier this month, I saw display after display filled with many new models…all wrapped in a sexy new industrial design. You can see more of the details on these new models in my post here…

AudioControl booth, front view
Front view of AudioControl’s booth at the 2019 CEDIA Expo [Click to enlarge]

When AudioControl Entered the AV Receiver Segment

I’ve been following AudioControl now for a few years, and have been impressed by some of the initiatives launched by owner Alex Camara and his entire AudioControl team. Several years back, Alex told me the company was planning to enter the home theater AV receiver category.

A stack of subwoofer and home theater amplifiers
An impressive stack of amplifiers including, RS500 & RS1000 subwoofer amps, Avalon G4 home theater amp, Pantages G4 home theater amp, and Savoy G4 home theater amp [Click to enlarge]

I was openly skeptical…asking, “Are you sure you want to do that?” Before then, the company competed against a highly fragmented group of competitors offering a wide variety of black box solutions. AudioControl had a strong reputation on the automotive electronics side, but were still working on building their residential street cred. Entering the AV receiver business opened themselves up to an entirely new class of competitor – not the least of which was strong product offerings from a roster of Japanese brands…as well as high quality products from a select few other American-based specialty suppliers.

Here is the flip side of the amp stack in the previous photo. If you ask me, this is as nice looking as the front panel. Clean layout, plenty of space to plug/unplug, balanced/unbalanced inputs, and signal sensing indicators…well done! [Click to enlarge]

Built a Program Optimized for Integrators

But AudioControl was smart, designing high quality products that were priced profitably and clearly targeted at the integration channel. Little by little, they grew their share of the segment…and are now better positioned than most of their competitors to continue to grow their share of the market.

“We now have a strong foothold in the home theater business. We have products that offer Roon endpoints, whatever streaming service you want, WiFi & Bluetooth, all channels are assignable…and we’ve done a total redesign with an all new silicon platform.”

Alex Camara, CEO of AudioControl at CEDIA Expo 2019
A hot home theater stack made up of the Maestro X7/Pantages G4 preamp/processor & amp stack [Click to enlarge]

Camara went on to note that they are a fully supportive supplier to the custom integration channel – with super clean distribution. They have no retail, no distributors, and no internet sales of AudioControl products – three important “no’s” for custom integrators who are looking to support lines that offer protected margins.

AudioControl's Concert XR8 home theater receiver
Concert XR8 home theater receiver, front and back [Click to enlarge]

An Amazing Number of New Products with an Attractive All-New Design

When I visited the AudioControl booth at CEDIA Expo 2019, I was quite blown away by the breadth of the launch of new models – all with a new, savvy industrial design. This design is sleek, professional, but with a slim backlit blue accent line that looks great. My photos here don’t really do it justice as I only had enough time to grab a few shots. For those of you who know photography – to shoot photos of black boxes that are properly exposed, you have to go with a more open aperture and longer exposure.

AudioControl's popular
AudioControl’s popular “The Director” Network Matrix Amplifier, the 4800 on top, the 6800 on the bottom. Among other things, the unit is preprogrammed with speaker profiles from speaker brands in their “Sound Partners” program [Click to enlarge]

This makes the backlit blue accent stripe in AudioControl’s new industrial design look a little too prominent in my photos. Also, the color is not consistent. This is the fault of my photography…NOT their design, which is really very attractive.

The Director web-based software interface which is all new and recently updated
This is the browser-based software interface for The Director. This user interface has been completely upgraded to a simpler and easier-to-use design. Camara told me that they worked with a group of actual users to improve the design [Click to enlarge]

New Home Theater AV Receivers, Preamp/Processors, Amps & More

The roster of products the company rolled out at this this Expo included new home theater AV receivers (with immersive surround), new home theater preamp/processors, new home theater amplifiers, new subwoofer amplifiers, and more. It was an impressive launch – all with a new silicon platform and industrial design. [Again, you can get more details on these specific new models by following this link…]

For a specialty supplier like AudioControl, this is a lot of new products and a lot of upfront investment. But from what I saw, it looks like it will totally pay off in the long run.

See more on AudioControl and its new line of products by visiting: www.audiocontrol.com.

About Ted

A sales and marketing specialist - primarily in the technology industry - I've experienced a sort of "circle of life" in business. I've been a mass merchant retailer, a specialty retailer, a specialty manufacturer, a large volume manufacturer, a distributor, and even represented sales representatives. Now the owner of a marketing company that works with a variety of businesses on improving their strategic marketing and business development - I analyze issues from all angles to develop holistic solutions.

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