JBL Synthesis SDP-55 processor and SDR-35 AVR now available separately

Standing apart from similar Arcam devices

by Andy Bassett

AV enthusiasts can now purchase the JBL Synthesis SDP-55 processor and SDR-35 AV receiver as separate devices, meaning more choice and greater flexibility when creating an AV setup.

Although hardware  separates available from AV manufacturers are often designed to work best with their brand siblings from a features, aesthetic and integration perspective, that’s not always in the best interest of the purchaser who may have valid reasons for splashing hard earned  cash on AV devices from a range of suppliers and manufacturers. 

WIth this in mind, customers no longer have 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 these components are now available individually to the UK’s home cinema system builders through JBL Synthesis dealers.  

JBL Synthesis SDP-55 processor and SDR-35 AVR now available separately
JBL Synthesis SDR-35 

The SDP-55 and SDR-35 are based on the ARCAM AV40 processor and AVR30 respectively (the UK manufacturer being a co-brand under the Harman group umbrella) but have had a number of upgrades to help differentiate them.

Firstly, both JBL Synthesis components replace the Sabre 9026 DAC and use the superior 24-bit /192 kHz ESS Sabre 9028 Pro DAC which delivers lower noise (THD+N) at -7db/channel. Additionally, Harman’s Logic 16 processing has been exclusively included which leverages a proprietary up-mixer to produce a heightened sense of  three dimensional realism that will enhance any input source from mono up to 15.1, including all Dolby formats.

Both the SDP-55 and SDR-35 bring the flagship ‘Multi Sub’ DIRAC Live bass control on board to improve a system’s low frequency performance. This uses machine learning and AI to determine the ideal settings for multiple subwoofers and can automatically apply filters for a quick and easy set up. DIRAC Live bass control is only available on the ARCAM equivalents for an additional outlay.

Moreover, for more ambitious installations, included Dante IP networking capability can send uncompressed AV over Ethernet to compatible system components. 

JBL Synthesis SDP-55 processor and SDR-35 AVR now available separately
JBL Synthesis SDP-55 - rear connections

Otherwise, the SDP-55 processor and SDR-35 AVR are broadly similar to their ARCAM counterparts with 16-channel Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro 3D, IMAX Enhanced audio modes, support for 4K, 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. 

Available from distributor Karma-AV from April 2021, the JBL Synthesis SDP-55 Pre/Processor has an RRP of £5000 while the SDR-35 AVR will cost £6000.

Source: JBL Synthesis press release
Image Source: JBL Synthesis

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