JBL Synthesis system now available as separate components

Home cinema owners can now benefit from the enhanced capabilities of the Synthesis SDP-55 Pre/Processor and SDR-35 AVR without having to buy a complete JBL Synthesis system.

UK distributor, Karma-AV, has made the components available individually for high-end home cinema enthusiasts.

The SDP-55 and SDR-35 platforms are based on the acclaimed ARCAM AV40 processor and AVR30 (part of the Harman group of companies) but have been upgraded in important ways by Harman engineers. Keeping the I/Os almost identical, the SDP-55 and SDR-35 use the superior 24-bit/192kHz ESS Sabre 9028 Pro DAC (replacing the 9026), which offers significantly lower noise at -7db/channel.


It also achieves significantly lower levels of distortion through the latest 16-channel audio technologies including 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 3D realism and will enhance any input source from mono up to 15.1, including all Dolby formats.

By including the flagship Multi Sub DIRAC Live bass control (available as an upgrade to ARCAM owners), the SDP-55 and SDR-35 can upgrade a system’s low frequency performance. Using machine learning and AI, it quickly determines the ideal settings for multiple subwoofers and can apply filters automatically, greatly simplifying a procedure that could otherwise take several days to complete.

Dante IP networking capability is featured, which sends uncompressed AV over Ethernet to compatible system components.


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.

Both brand platforms also share Class G power specs (SDR-35 / AVR30), Wi-Fi/Ethernet, RS232 and IR control connectivity, Google Case/UPnP capability, Roon Ready status, Bluetooth aptX HD and the Harman Luxury MusicLife app.

The JBL Synthesis SDP-55 Pre/Processor is available for £5,000 and the SDR-35 AVR is priced at £6,000.