NuVo Grand Concerto Review Bremerton WA
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NuVo Grand Concerto Review
September 24, 2009 By Brent Butterworth
Music in eight rooms and looks to match the iPod.
The iPod has had the same transformative effect on multiroom audio that the Mac had on computers: Both changed an unfriendly, daunting entity into something the average person could relate to. While many manufacturers have brought the iPod’s basic functionality to their remotes and keypads, few have captured the look and feel.
Count NuVo Technologies among the few who have escaped the black hole of generic white faceplates.
At a glance, NuVo’s new, wireless multiroom remote looks a bit like iPods from a few years ago. Its monochromatic display sits atop a cursor control that resembles the iPod’s famous click wheel. Its gloss-black/matte-silver finish looks like something Apple (or Bang & Olufsen) might have dreamed up. And like the iPod, the NuVo remote conjures lots of entertainment options with just a few motions of your hand.
The $799 NV-WCPS remote is an option for NuVo’s Grand Concerto and Essentia EG6 multiroom audio systems. The remote comes with a charging dock and a receiver that interfaces it with the rest of the system. Additional remotes cost $599 each.
The remote works in any room—even in rooms where the system isn’t hooked up—because it uses radio-frequency transmission rather than infrared.
I recently spent a week using it with a Grand Concerto system set up in three zones (bedroom, kitchen and living room).
The remote’s Zone button brings you to a list where you select the room you want to control. A Menu button calls up a list of control functions. You can select a source device, like a docked iPod, a music server or a radio tuner. You can browse the music on an iPod or music server by artist, album, song, genre, etc. Y
ou can control system functions like a sleep timer and treble and bass controls. And, of course, you can adjust the volume in each zone, and turn each zone (or the whole system) on and off.
Because it has cursor keys instead of a click wheel, the remote works more like the personal music players made by Samsung and SanDisk than like an iPod. Finding the music you want using the cursor and OK buttons is easy. It’s great to be able to walk around the house with a little remote in your pocket, changing the music in seconds whenever the mood strikes and from wherever you happen to be sitting.
The remote does have one quirk, though: The Menu button works as a “back” button when you’re controlling most functions, but not after you’ve selected a tune. So once a tune is playing, you can’t back out to select a different tune or album by that artist—you have to go back to the main menu.
Wisely, NuVo built almost exactly the same control system into its $349 Grand Concerto in-wall keypads. The physical arrangement of the buttons is different, but otherwise, operation is identical.
Like most modern kitchen appliances, the keypads use a capacitive touchpanel instead of ordinary buttons, so they resist dirt and...