No longer do you need to buy an entire JBL Synthesis system to benefit from the enhanced capabilities of the Synthesis SDP-55 Pre/Processor and SDR-35 AVR. As the UK’s exclusive distributor of the legendary high-end home theatre systems, Karma-AV is delighted to be making these components available individually to the UK’s home cinema system builders through JBL Synthesis dealers.

The SDP-55 and SDR-35 platforms are based on the acclaimed ARCAM AV40 processor and AVR30 (the UK brand being part of the Harman group of companies) but have been upgraded in important ways by Harman engineers. While the I/Os are broadly identical, the SDP-55 and SDR-35 use the superior 24-bit /192 kHz ESS® Sabre 9028 Pro DAC (replacing the 9026), which offers significantly lower noise (THD+N) at -7db/channel. The reduced levels of distortion aboard the Synthesis designs are exploited by the latest 16-channel audio technologies, including, exclusively, Harman’s Logic 16 processing: a proprietary up-mixer with roots in Lexicon’s famous Logic 7 mode. Logic 16 provides a heightened sense of 3-dimensional realism and will enhance any input source from mono up to 15.1, including all Dolby formats.

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 as a $500 upgrade). 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.

In addition, the 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 traditionally more industrial, exotically priced interconnects.

In other respects, the JBL Synthesis and ARCAM models are similar, sharing comprehensive audio and video processing including 16-channel Dolby ATMOS, DTS:X, Auro 3D, IMAX Enhanced audio modes and 4K “Ultra HD”, Dolby Vision, HLG, HDR10, HDR10+ and 3D video formats with HDMI 2.0b/HDCP 2.2 capability. The brand platforms also share Class G power specs (SDR-35/ AVR30), Wi-Fi/Ethernet, RS232 and IR control connectivity, Google Cast/UPnP capability, Roon Ready status, Bluetooth aptX HD and the Harman Luxury MusicLife app.


JBL Synthesis SDP-55 Pre/Processor: £5000

JBL Synthesis SDR-35 AVR: £6000

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