Local firm shows off for consumer-electronics buffs

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Startup audio equipment maker Indy Audio Labs is shipping its first finished product and had it certified by THX Ltd., the gold standard in consumer electronics, in time for a major industry trade show this month.

The company’s Acurus A2002 amplifier, now reaching customers, was featured in the THX booth at CEDIA Expo, which was held at the Indiana Convention Center Sept. 7-10.

CEDIA, based in Indianapolis, is the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association. Its annual show attracts all sorts of audio-visual companies, from well-known brands like Pioneer, to those that would be known only to home theater buffs.

Indy Audio Labs’ Acurus and a pricier sister brand, Aragon, fall in the latter category. The brands had a loyal following under Klipsch Group, but they were discontinued. Two former Klipsch engineers, Rick Santiago and Ted Moore, decided to revive them and have been working on high-tech upgrades, such as Web-based controls. The first finished A2002s shipped this month, and other products will go out in October, Santiago said.

At the THX booth, the locally produced amp was on display alongside flat screens that George Lucas himself would deem worthy of displaying “Star Wars.” THX, based in San Rafael, Calif., grew out of Lucas’ effort to upgrade movie theaters so they could deliver all the audio-visual goodies he developed.

THX puts its seal of approval on a number of consumer goods, but not yet headphones or earbuds. That hasn’t stopped Klipsch from pouring its efforts into mobile sound.

In November, the company will roll out a new model of noise-canceling headphones, the Mode M40. Previewed at the expo, the headphones come with finishing touches that conjure images of relaxing with the hi-fi in a paneled den: brown finish, cloth cord wrap and soft leather padding.

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