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The Mother-Lode

The Mother-Lode

Published: Thursday, February 08, 2018
UK-based CI kit producer Lode Audio, has used this year's ISE over in Amsterdam (booth 5-R34 for those still there) to debut the flagship LA4-D music server and educate top-tier Custom Integrators on the company’s platform and its significant advantages over the numerous mid-market alternatives.

“We are thrilled to bring the highly anticipated LA4-D to ISE,” says Lode Audio co-founder Alex Miller. “We showed the prototype at CEDIA in September and found our conversations with some of the best Custom Integrators around the world extremely helpful in refining the design and capabilities of the LA4-D. Lode Audio is dedicated to the CI channel and interested in working with the best integrators. Clients ask for Sonos because they’ve never been shown a music server platform that sounds better and is as intuitive to use. It’s time they heard and experienced what they’ve been missing.”

A snapshot of the many features contained in the new LA4-D 4-zone music server:

• Per Zone Outputs: 1x Coaxial SPDIF, 1x Optical SPDIF, 1x Analogue Stereo RCA Pair
• Analogue outputs use 32-bit Burr Brown DACs
• All outputs are simultaneously active for every zone, offering highly flexible installation options
• Volume pass-through feature enable the control of 3rd party amps via Lode apps (requires control system integration with amplifier and Lode)
• Reduced power consumption from 35W to 15W without compromising on CPU power, still offering renowned Lode Audio lightning fast end-user performance
• Same single billet milled chassis with new feet design to better sit on a shelf
• New front panel “LED off” feature when not required

The LA4-D joins the existing LA4 and LA1 music servers which each offer analogue RCA outputs for use in systems where only those outputs are required.

Adds co-founder, Ed Stark: “Lode continues to hear from Custom Installers around the world and across market sectors that they’re fed up with consumer-grade streaming products that are unreliable, offer poor control system integration and bad end-user experiences, low margin, and in the end, unimpressive sound. Lode is attacking from every angle and we welcome a conversation and demonstration opportunity with CI guys ready to hear how Lode is putting the “custom” back into CI. We are confident that once you understand our differentiation on all fronts, you’re never going to specify anything else.”

Built on Lode Audio’s patented LodeNetÔ, all Lode Audio products can be used as a standalone unit or integrated with other Lode Audio products to offer up to 64 zones without the need for complicated network components. Thanks to Lode’s audio over IP protocol LodeNet, this is all achieved without the issues of interference, latency and outages experienced by many wireless-based audio systems. Whether being used in residential, commercial, hospitality or marine, Lode Audio offers the ideal music server for any application.

Crucial to the success of any CI product is reliability and control. Developed over a four-year period, the Lode Audio music server range is built around the company’s patented LodeNet audio distribution protocol. LodeNet is a low-latency digital matrix that offers up to 64 zones of groupable audio streams (each with Apple Airplay compatibility) for synchronous playback without the need of a hardware matrix. Lode Audio products automatically log on to the LodeNet matrix as soon as they are powered up, therefore requiring very little setup other than selecting and signing into any of the integrated market-leading music streaming providers, whereby one login gives access to every zone within the system.

Lode Audio products are controlled by the company’s proprietary IP protocol, removing any of the conflicts and time delays associated with more traditional UPnP-based devices. Offering full wireless control via iOS and Android apps, control latency is negligible, whilst full browse control, super-quick cover art population, gesture swipe, single/grouped room control and full room lock control (allowing the user to see and control only one chosen room within a larger system natively) are standard. Significantly, the app has been designed to integrate seamlessly with third-party apps, offering full app-in-app functionality, enhancing the user experience.

Unlike other audio server products already available, Lode Audio products also offer total integration with third-party automation platforms. The latest Crestron Media Player driver, Control 4 driver update and Command Fusion integration driver offer extended features, including dynamic browse and queue functions, as well as cover-art integration with a quick response time of background image change when tracks are skipped.

To enhance reliability and reduce physical and electrical noise, all Lode Audio products have fan-less designs. With the scourge of all CI products housed within equipment racks being heat dissipation, Lode Audio products are built in the UK to medical-grade specifications and feature chassis honed from single billets of aluminium for perfect heat distribution.

With the Lode Audio product range, installers finally have a dedicated music source that has been built for the application yet will deliver the performance desired by even the most ardent audiophiles and music enthusiasts.
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