London-based Lode Audio is aiming for its high-quality multiroom audio systems to be the biggest UK import to the U.S. since the Beatles. Well, at least for the custom installation market. The company is making its products are available to custom installers across North America, with distribution deals signed with several rep firms and and distributors.
Lode Audio has a solid marketshare already among both commercial and residential CI integrators in the UK and Europe. The company’s product range, which includes the four-zone LA4 and single-zone LA1 audio players, all feature high-end DACs capable of High-Resolution Audio playback.
All of the company’s products are compatible with the leading music streaming services (including TIDAL and Deezer) along with network-stored content and Airplay, while also offering full integration with automation control platforms such as Crestron, AMX, Control4, RTI and Command Fusion.
The company has set in place several distribution/rep deals across North America, including:
- Advanced Territory Management — Canada
- Fielder Marketing — Northern California
- Performance Plus Marketing — Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas
- Innovative Marketing and Consulting — Las Vegas, Arizona, El Paso
- Sutherland AV — Pacific Northwest (Oregon Washington and Alaska)
There will be further announcements soon, according to the company, as Lode appoints additional partners to provide regional coverage and support to the market.
Mark Fielder, president of Fielder Marketing, says, “Fielder Marketing is proud to include Lode Audio in our elite mix of AV offerings. We’ve dedicated our company to representing the best audio and video manufacturers in the industry, so adding Lode Audio to our lineup is the perfect fit.”
Andy Oates of Lode Audio adds, “For a UK design and manufacturing company, North America is clearly a huge opportunity – especially with the maturity in the market within the CI business. It is crucial to us that we go with the right agents and we are very proud to be working with many of the most trusted and respected names in the business. We are very excited about the opportunities in front of us and will look to support our new US partners closely as they wave the Lode flag across North America.”
Real CI Integration
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 group-able audio (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 little setup other than selecting and signing into the integrated music streaming service, whereby one login gives access to every zone within the system.
Lode Audio products are controlled by the company’s proprietary IP protocol, removing 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. The app has been designed to integrate seamlessly with third-party apps, offering full app-in-app functionality.
Lode Audio products also offer total integration with third-party automation platforms. The latest Crestron Media Player driver, Control4 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.
Internal DACs, Fan-less Design
Dedicated to re-introducing high-quality audio performance to the CI market, Lode Audio has spent considerable time developing the audio circuitry of its products. The system has internal audio circuits featuring DACs capable of high-resolution music file playback and medical-grade power supplies.
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 aluminum for heat distribution.