JBL Synthesis pre/pro and AVR go solo for system builders

posted on Thursday, 22nd April 2021 by Steve May

High-end  home cinema  Karma-av 

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The JBL Synthesis SDP-55 Pre/Processor and SDR-35 AV receiver are now available to integrators and system builders as separate components, says distributor Karma-AV.

There’s no longer a need to buy an entire JBL Synthesis system to access them. The components will be available through JBL Synthesis dealers.

The SDP-55 and SDR-35 platforms are based on the ARCAM AV40 processor and AVR30 but have been upgraded in important ways by Harman engineers. While connectivity is largely identical, the SDP-55 and SDR-35 use a step-up 24-bit /192 kHz ESS Sabre 9028 Pro DAC (replacing the 9026), which boasts significantly lower noise (THD+N) at -7db/channel.

These reduced levels of distortion are exploited by a varities of cutting-edge 16-channel audio technologies, including Harman’s exclusive Logic 16 processing. This proprietary up-mixer has its roots in Lexicon’s trademark Logic 7 mode.

Logic 16 provides a heightened sense of 3D realism from any source, from mono upwards.

SDR-35 JBL Synthesis

The SDP-55 and SDR-35 also offer the opportunity to upgrade a system’s low frequency performance by onboarding the flagship ‘Multi Sub’ DIRAC Live bass control (available to ARCAM owners at additional cost). It uses machine learning and AI to quickly determine the ideal settings for multiple subwoofers and can apply filters automatically, greatly simplifying a procedure that could otherwise take several days to complete.

These JBL Synthesis models are equipped with Dante IP networking capability, which sends uncompressed AV over Ethernet to compatible system components. Outside large-scale residential AV networking, involving multiple inputs and outputs over longer distances, the most obvious application for cinema system builders would be the use of inexpensive CAT cable between the SDP-55 and compatible Synthesis SDA-7120 7 channel and SDA-2200 2 channel Class G amplifiers, rather than more extravagantly priced traditional interconnects.

Other features include 16-channel Dolby ATMOS, DTS:X, Auro 3D, IMAX Enhanced audio modes and support for Dolby Vision, HLG, HDR10, HDR10+ and 3D video formats, via HDMI 2.0b inputs.

The brand platforms also share Class G power specs (SDR-35/ AVR30), Wi-Fi and Ethernet, RS232 and IR control connectivity, Google Cast/UPnP capability, Roon Ready status, Bluetooth aptX HD and the Harman Luxury MusicLife app.

The JBL Synthesis SDP-55 Pre/Processor retails for £5000, the JBL Synthesis SDR-35 AVR £6000.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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