February 02, 2009
| by Robert Archer
If you’re not an audiophile, then $10,000 may seem like a lot of money for a whole-house music system. But if you want the best audio quality in every room of the house, then a $10k system is a bargain – considering you can get it from Audio Design Associates (ADA), a leader in high-performance multiroom audio.
ADA’s new, Suite 8300, Suite 8400, and Suite 8500 are eight-zone systems (expandable to 16) that can distribute up to six audio sources throughout the house. They include HD Radio and XM Satellite tuners, as well as built-in equalization to optimize the sound for each zone.
The products, ranging from $5,000 to $7,000, can be mixed and matched with any of ADA’s keypads, touchpads and add-ons like digital tuners and iPod docks to create a complete whole-house audio system for less than $10,000 – or much more if you want to spring for additional ADA goodies.
The products differ in their integration capabilities and bells and whistles. On the top-of-the-line Suite 8500, for example, you get a front-panel touchscreen, expansion options, paging capabilities, and a slew of integration features.
But all of the products are alike when it comes to ADA’s famed sound quality.
Tech notes from the ADA press release:
Each receiver has a feature set for a specific type of installation and ADA customer. All three receivers do share the same basic features beginning with two premium digital tuners – either FM/AM HD Radio, Sirius or XM Satellite Radio (select any two). In addition to the two tuners, there are six additional audio inputs. Each of the eight zones has both preamplified line-level audio outputs and amplified speaker-level audio. While ADA’s multi-room preamplifier features electronic equalization that specifically enhances the sound of architectural speakers, the high-current power amplifier ensures deep, rich bass even when playing music at conversational volume levels. The amplifiers current-limiting design also make it stable to 4 Ohms per zone while doubling the power output per channel when two-pairs of speakers are used in a zone.
“Absolutely, our systems are capable of playing to ‘party’ volume levels but the real trick behind the Suite 8000 Series is getting the sound to be amazing at everyday volume levels when our customers are dining, relaxing, doing housework, and entertaining.” notes Albert Langella, ADA’s president and chief design engineer. “With over thirty-years under my belt, I know this economy and I can tell you that people who invest in a multi-room system want value. The Suite 8000 Series multi-room receivers are by far the best sounding distributed audio receivers by a long shot. I made certain they would be.”
ADA says the multiroom systems will ship Feb. 16.
- Suite 8300 — $4,999
- Suite 8400 — $5,999
- Suite 8500 — $6,999
Bob is a dedicated audiophile who has been writing about A/V for Electronic House sister publication CE Pro since 2000.