Swan Song for Thiel: Total Liquidation Has Begun

Thiel TM3 in the auction

The long sad saga of Thiel is just about over for good. Having entered bankruptcy in October 2018, an auction house has finally been selected and started the process of liquidating all that remains of the former Nashville, Tenn-based Thiel…including Thiel Loudspeakers, Aurora by Thiel wireless music systems, and detritus from the Aurora Studio live streaming music studio.

Hot deal – cold brand: The Thiel liquidation…

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Buyers Slammed the Door on Sales of New Single-Family Housing

Home Designs from Homma

The latest data from the Census Bureau shows that sales of new single-family housing in April dropped to a rate of 673,000 on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. This level is down a substantial 6.9% from the adjusted rate for March of 723,000 houses sold.

See more on this drop in sales of new housing

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AudioControl CEO on Fox Biz Network Says Tariffs are Trouble

AudioControl CEO Alex Camara on the Fox Business Network

Alex Camara, CEO of Seattle-based specialty electronics manufacturer AudioControl, was featured Friday on a segment on the Fox Business Network (FBN) talking the real impact of tariffs on American manufacturers. In the wake of the move by the Trump administration pushing a dramatically increased 25% tariff on a wide range of Chinese goods, Camara explained to FBN anchor Liz Claman the true impact these tariffs have on his business…and ultimately the American consumer.

See Camara explain how tariffs are trouble…

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Control4 Smart Home OS 3 – Making Complicated Installations as Simple as a Smartphone

Control4 Smart Home OS 3

Control4 announced today an all-new and improved operating system for Control4 installations that they call Smart Home OS 3. OS 3 is designed to be an easy unifier of the many devices in consumers’ installations, offer a robust infrastructure, give consumers choice & simplicity, maintain privacy, and – critical for integrators – enables professional support. It is their most tested and intuitive user experience that is as simple to use as a smartphone.

See more on the experience upgrade that Control4’s OS 3 offers users…

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KB Home Shows Concept Home with Smart Home & Wellness Technologies

KB Home, one of the largest home builders in America, has unveiled a concept home of the future they call KB Home ProjeKt: Where tomorrow Lives, that features both smart home and integrated health and wellness technologies. Originally shown at this years Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, KB is announcing that many of the features of this futuristic home is available now at a new community in Irvine, CA called Genoa at Orchard Hills.

See more on KB Homes new concept…

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The Techy Side of AudioControl You Probably Don’t Even Know

AudioControl Logo

Many years ago, I worked at a audio specialty retailer in East Lansing, Michigan. As audio specialists, we not only sold and serviced some of the finest audio brands around, but we also sold test gear for users and pros to use to test and fine tune their systems. And one of the brands we sold that offered high quality testing products was AudioControl, who along with their line of graphic equalizers also offered things like spectrum analyzers with calibrated microphones.

They still sell testing gear and now will be showing their latest iOS-based digital test measurement solutions at InfoComm 2019.

Learn more about AudioControl’s test gear…

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April Residential Housing Construction Starts are Up and Down

The latest data from the US Census Bureau shows a pretty nice increase in April residential housing construction starts – a key economic data for the custom integration industry. According to the report, overall housing starts came in at 1,235,000 units on a seasonally adjusted annual rate. This is 5.7% above the revised March rate of 1,168,000…and yet is it also down.

How can starts be both up and down? Read on…

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Multi-Decade Member & Respected ‘CEDIA Fellow,’ Renounces His Membership

Says Organization is On the Wrong Path;  Announces the Launch of a New Venture

Fred Ampel in Fox sound truck

Fred Ampel, a long time, multi-decade member of CEDIA, a regular trainer at multiple CEDIA Expos, and a “CEDIA Fellow” has renounced his membership in the organization. In a Skype interview with Strata-gee, he shared his view that the organization has changed in ways that are counter to his view of the type of education that they should be providing to the membership. As a result, he feels forced to develop a new alternative program outside of the trade association.

See why Ampel left CEDIA & what he’s planning…

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Sound United to Acquire Onkyo’s Audio Division

Sound United logo

We seem to be in a week of big deals. First, we learned that SnapAV had acquired Control4, then we learned that the original founder of Paradigm has acquired back the Paradigm, Anthem, and Martin Logan brands from the private equity company that had bought the company from him some time back. Now we learn that Sound United, owner of Denon, Marantz, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, HEOS, Classé, and Boston Acoustics has entered into an agreement with Onkyo Corp. to purchase Onkyo’s premier lineup of brands, including: Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer and Pioneer Elite.

But does Sound United’s purchase of Onkyo make sense?…

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