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Kenwood's springtime surprises; audio business beautifying product schedule, organization at its dealer meeting this week

Kenwood U.S.A. Corp's item introductions at its three-day event reflect the company's plans in the home as well as (ideal automobile audio speakers with bass) markets. The firm, which is expecting income to double in FY 1992, is introducing personal stereos as well as portable cd players. Kenwood made a decision to slow development of Digital Compact Cassette tools but will continue with research on MiniDisc items.

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Audio business beautifying item lineup, organization at its supplier meeting this week

LONG BEACH, Cal.-- Kenwood U.S.A. Corp. will do a little springtime housekeeping this week, brightening a new generation of audio items as well as improving its management rankings.

Kenwood's three-day company program, which starts today in LaJolla, Cal., will certainly be a lot more business-oriented than previous gatherings. The business claimed it will turn out a multitude of new items in the home and (best cars and truck speakers sections, offer a brand-new corporate-structure (see related story), and also describe its worldwide positioning strategies to the virtually 200 suppliers anticipated to participate in.

Kenwood's fiscal year finishes March 31, and also the audio side of the business is anticipated to show double-digit earnings gains for '92, with autosound up between 18 percent and 20 percent, execs claimed.

" We're thrilled concerning things going on with the company," stated Joe Richter, president of the home and also mobile audio teams.

Bill Cowdrey, elderly vice president of sales, added, "We have actually gotten on a warm touch because 1980."

Kenwood is wanting to continue that touch with a brand-new generation of items covering the audio range-- from THX items for home-theater systems to brand-new CD offerings and also upgrades.

Yet no MiniDisc or Digital Compact Cassette. Kenwood has actually made a decision to hand down MD or DCC, although it has the capability to generate the brand-new digital audio media. Cowdrey said Kenwood is servicing future MD products, consisting of a 5-disc in-dash MD changer (slated for 1994 intro), and Richer said an MD residence gamer attached to a tiny system may appear in the 4th quarter of '93.

" Currently we're disappointing anything at the program in either format," Richter stated. "It's feasible that late fall we could present the MD gamer, and I say that type of tongue-in-cheek. It could be so late in the autumn that we would wait for January.

" MD is what we're working on today," he added. "None of us right here want to get in any format battles, however all our efforts lag MD."

Cowdrey added that MD seems better for the vehicle, mostly since the 2.5-inch disc provides better adaptability than tape. "We're type of placing DCC on the back burner and focusing efforts on MD, although it will certainly be next year prior to we present any kind of item in that location," he claimed.

But as lengthy as CD-related items remain to drive the house as well as autosound categories, the business need not hurry to market any kind of MD or DCC item, executives agreed.

" CD is still the significant thriving force in mobile items, it truly gas our service," Cowdrey claimed. "It's generating the most customers as well as creating a lot of outer sales, upgrade audio speakers and amps."

" I still believe there are going to be a lot of CDs sold, a great deal of receivers as well as shelf systems," Richter said.

On the home front, Kenwood is preparing to supply what Richter calls the "toughest line we have actually ever before had" of personal stereos and also portable CD gamers.

A new line of cassette decks, mini systems and CD changers, consisting of a 6 +1 piece that can be interfaced with a computer system, is additionally being unwrapped. Pricing for some home items had not been validated at press time.

Kenwood is positioning its brand-new wares as value-driven items that use high quality at appealing rate indicate dealerships and consumers alike. An instance of that, the firm said, is its shelf systems, which for the second straight year won the Accuracy Honor for customer complete satisfaction. Kenwood also won the honor for its cassette decks.

" Kenwood took a setting in shelf systems as well as persevered which was that we can't [make] anything better at this specific cost factor," Richter claimed. "We have excellent product, priced relatively. We work real hard to treat everybody rather."

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Emphasizes of the home sound introduction include the KRX-593 system-- a receiver with cassette deck that integrates a digital synthesizer receiver and also discrete power amplifier circuitry.

Kenwood will certainly unveil 2 separate lines of mini system components featuring amplifier/turner/graphic equalizers, as well as a cassette deck, the X-MB3, a 6 +1 CD changer that provides double automobile reverse systems.

CD gamers are widespread in Kenwood's brand-new lineup. The DP-R4450 5-disc rotating changer offers a variety of functions, and will certainly be offered in April at a recommended retail price is $279.

3 of the new CD products entail 6 disc publications plus a solitary cabinet. The functions differ rather on the designs, which range from the $299 DP-M5550 to the $379 DP-M7750. All systems ship in April.

The first-rate A/V element is the KR-V8050 A/V receiver boasting 120 W per channel (2 network stereo mode), 75 W per network front as well as center, as well as 20 W per network border. It additionally has Dolby Pro Reasoning surround as well as Dolby 3 stereo. It has a recommended retail of $599 and will certainly be readily available in mid-March. The step down models have varying degrees of power outcome, as well as are priced from $499 to $299. They will certainly be delivering in between mid-March and also April.

Kenwood officials are proclaiming their supplier show as truth introduction of the House THX-certified electronics package it first reported at Winter CES. The items, consisting of an A/V controller/tuner and a power amplifier at a suggested market price of regarding $1,900, will be delivering in the April/May period. "This is where we reveal it to our dealers up close and personal," Richter said.

The Kenwood parts can be integrated with Home THX-certified audio speaker systems, encompassing the front, border as well as speaker devices.

The elements have actually been under growth for two years, and Richter claimed the retail launch will be inspected to make sure that suppliers properly demonstrate the elements.

Kenwood will unveil a line of new receivers offered at "unbelievable cost points," Richter said. Amongst the products will certainly be a Dolby Pro Reasoning receiver at $349, about $50 less than the recommended market price of in 2014's system.

Kenwood's mobile division will sound off at the dealer show, with CD-based items leading the attack.

The highlighted in-dash CD design is a 10-disc CD changer with controller/FM interface that retails for $539; the KDC-C601FM will be readily available in May and also is promoted by Kenwood as the tiniest autosound CD changer in the industry. An action down version, the KDC-C601, will certainly be shipping in March at a retail of $430.

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In addition to three new in-dash single CD players, Kenwood is re-doing its entire DIN line. It will certainly offer next-generation versions on every item, with its theft deterrent faceplate (TDF) feature readily available.

Cowdrey stated the business will certainly introduce the market's very first dual-illumination TDF, a negative/positive eco-friendly and also amber display that changes the illumination depending upon the amount of existing light.

Kenwood will also show a series of multichannel amplifiers valued from $220 to $530, two power amps, plus a tube-design bass speaker and also hatchback audio speaker.