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Power Amplifiers Technology Showcase

Applications for power amplifiers run the gamut from elevator music to brute force in a concert setting. 3/22/2011 8:00 AM Eastern

Power Amplifiers Technology Showcase

Mar 22, 2011 12:00 PM, By Mark Johnson

Applications for power amplifiers run the gamut from elevator music to brute force in a concert setting.




Bogen M600

The cornerstone for any sound-reinforcement system is the power amplifier. Typically they're heavy and can generate a fair amount of heat. Traditionally, amplifiers were necessarily large owing to the fact that some of the required components themselves (transformers, heatsinks, and capacitors) needed to be large to adequately perform their functions. Advancements in technology and design (including switch mode power supplies and Class D output topology) have allowed for reductions in size and weight and have yielded amplifier models with the capability of extremely high output in a relatively lightweight package. This has enabled the development of multichannel designs (four, six, or even eight channels of amplification in one package) to be more practical.

The job of an amp in its most basic form should be "a straight wire with gain," meaning that other than amplifying the input signal nothing else gets changed, with many available models sporting nothing more than an off/on switch and channel attenuation for control. For the most part, that holds true today; however, the addition of digital signal processing (DSP) can greatly increase flexibility and facilitate adding more features to this basic audio building block, including but certainly not limited to loudspeaker processing and system management. Remote control and monitoring of critical functions including temperature and overload are also becoming more desirable, particularly in installations where the amplifier racks are situated farther away from the main control area.

Amps can be used for many types of applications from driving multiple zones in a retail establishment to the brute power behind the main system in a performance venue. We'll be looking at different offerings from the various manufacturers.

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Ashly Audio's Class-H output KLR 4000 delivers 2000W per channel at 2§Ù. The 2RU amplifier features a switch-mode power supply; front forced air vents with removable filters; and LED indicators for power, signal, clip, and protection. Rear-panel controls include a gain switch (1V, 32dB, or 26dB sensitivity), a high-pass filter switch, and a limiter switch.

Atlas Sound offers the CP700 amplifier, which features independent power supplies and rear-mounted stepped attenuators. Output at 4§Ù is 400W. The net weight is 54lbs., and the amplifier is 3RU high.

The BGW X5600 provides 1500W per channel at 4§Ù. Front-panel indicators include LEDs for power, signal, true clip, and protect. A continuously variable fan provides cooling, and the net weight is 62lbs.

The CPA650 commercial power amplifier from Biamp Systems provides 325W per channel into 4§Ù. The amplifier weighs 33lbs., it is 3RU high, and it features passive cooling and barrier strip input terminals. The rear panel allows for mounting of optional autoformers for distributed systems.

Bogen's M600 features 600W per channel at 4§Ù and two input bays accept a variety of optional input modules. The amp offers three operation modes: stereo, dual mono, or 70V mono. The amplifier weight is 46lbs. and takes up 2RU.

Camco Vortex 8 Silver Series

Camco Vortex 8 Silver Series

From the United Kingdom, Camco offers the Vortex 8 Silver Series, which provides 4400W peak power per channel into 2§Ù or 4§Ù. The V8 features a screen user interface with no external knobs or switches and UMAN network control. An optional plug-in DSP card is available for loudspeaker system management.


Power Amplifiers Technology Showcase

Mar 22, 2011 12:00 PM, By Mark Johnson

Applications for power amplifiers run the gamut from elevator music to brute force in a concert setting.




Crest Audio CC 5500

Crest Audio CC 5500

The 47lb. Crest Audio CC 5500 is rated at 1800W per channel into 4§Ù. Voltage gain is selectable between x40 (32dB) and x20 (26dB). Front-panel indicators include automatic clip limiting (ACL), signal, temp, and active. The amplifier is 2RU high.

Crown Audio XTi 6002

Crown Audio XTi 6002

Crown Audio's XTi 6002 features a switch-mode power supply and 29 user-definable presets. System monitoring provides software visibility of AC line voltage and power supply temperature. Output is 2100W per channel into 4§Ù. The amplifier is 2RU high and weighs 24lbs.

Danley Sound Labs manufactures the DSLA series amplifiers. The DSLA 6.5K features twin-tunnel cooling with back-to-front airflow, and its power output is 2200W at 4§Ù. The amplifier is 2RU high and weighs 21.8lbs. Input connectors are XLR, and outputs are Neutrik Speakon and five-way binding posts.

Dynacord Paramus

Dynacord Paramus

The Paramus series contractor line power amplifiers from Dynacord features five models with power output ranging from 160W to 450W per channel into 4§Ù in a 2RU housing. The amps use Phoenix input connectors and include a switchable high-pass filter on each channel.

The CAZ2500 stereo power amplifier from EAW features Class H topology with an output power of 750W per channel into 4§Ù. The amplifier is 2RU high with a net weight of 56.2lbs. Front-panel indicators include signal present, overload, and power.

EAW CAZ2500

EAW CAZ2500

The Class H Electro-Voice CPS 2.12 features Phoenix input and output connectors preprogrammable power on delay, and rear-panel level controls. Its rated output power is 1100W per channel into 4§Ù. A slot is provided for optional crossover and control cards. The 2RU amplifier weighs 39.2lbs.

Electro-Voice CPS 2.12

Electro-Voice CPS 2.12

Extron Electronics' 1RU XPA 2002 provides 200W per channel into a 4§Ù load. The amp is Energy Star qualified and features Extron patented Class D Ripple Suppression (CDRS). The XPA 2002 is convection-cooled and weighs 9.2lbs.

The Titanium Series F1200TS from Face Audio is rated at 1100W at 4§Ù in a 2RU enclosure. Topology is Class G, and the weight is 51lbs. XLR inputs and Speakon and binding post outputs are situated on the rear panel.


Power Amplifiers Technology Showcase

Mar 22, 2011 12:00 PM, By Mark Johnson

Applications for power amplifiers run the gamut from elevator music to brute force in a concert setting.




Lab.gruppen C 88 4

Lab.gruppen C 88:4

The Lab.gruppen C 88:4 4-channel amplifier provides 2100W per channel at 4§Ù. Input connectors are three-pin Phoenix and outputs are barrier strip. Selectable gain via rear panel switches are 23dB, 26dB, 29dB, 32dB, 35dB, 41dB, and 44dB. The amplifier weighs 26.4lbs., and the unit is 2RU high.

Mackie FRS-2800

Mackie FRS-2800

The FRS-2800 from Mackie features Class H topology in a 2RU, 22lb. package. Indicators include signal present, overload, signal meters (-3dB, -6dB, -9dB, -20dB), and power.

Another amp manufacturer from the United Kingdom, MC2 Audio's lineup includes the T3500, which uses complementary Class A/B bipolar outputs for 1850W per channel into 4§Ù. The amplifier features XLR input connectors and 4-pole Speakon output connectors and weighs 49.6lbs.

Peavey IPR 6000 DSP

Peavey IPR 6000 DSP

At the top of the line for Peavey's IPR series is the 6000 DSP, which features Class D topology and DSP-based loudspeaker management including delay, parametric EQ adjustable fourth-order Linkwitz-Riley crossover, and adjustable fourth-order high-pass filters. A setup wizard aids with DSP configuration.

The Powersoft Digam K20 features a switch-mode power supply and Class D output topology. The power ratings for the K20 are 5200W per channel at 4§Ù, and the net weight is 26.5lbs. A front-panel LCD screen provides control and monitoring of the amplifier status.

QSC Audio PowerLight 3 Series PL380

QSC Audio PowerLight 3 Series PL380

QSC Audio's PowerLight 3 Series PL380 is also a Class D amplifier with a switch-mode power supply. Input gains are selectable between 26dB, 32dB, and 1.2V. A dataport provides connectivity for DSP and control. Power at 4§Ù is 2500W, and the unit's net weight is 24lbs.


Power Amplifiers Technology Showcase

Mar 22, 2011 12:00 PM, By Mark Johnson

Applications for power amplifiers run the gamut from elevator music to brute force in a concert setting.




Rane MA 4

Rane MA 4

The MA 4 multichannel amplifier from Rane is a 4-channel, 1RU, 8lb. device that provides 100W per channel. Input is via balanced Euroblock connectors. The MA 4 features switchable soft-knee compression and downward expander.

Samson PG3800

Samson PG3800

Weighing in at 45.2lbs, the Samson PG3800 provides 900W per channel at 4§Ù. Inputs are electronically balanced XLR and 1/4in. TRS connectors. Back-panel controls include 12dB-per-octave LF filter and a limiter. Output is via Speakon connectors, or five-way binding posts.

The Stewart Audio World 1.6 professional power amplifier features a switch mode power supply and Class H amplifier design. Output is 550W at 4§Ù, and the amplifier weighs 17lbs. and is 2RU high. Input connectors are XLR or 1/4in. and barrier strip.

Technomad PowerChiton 4

Technomad PowerChiton 4

Designed for outdoor installation the weatherproof, monoblock Technomad PowerChiton 4 provides 1800W at 4§Ù. Networking options include Ethernet/IP, RF, and twisted pair. Mounting options include flange, pole, or speaker mount.

TOA Electronics offers the multichannel DA-550F with 550W per channel at 4§Ù. The 4-channel amp weighs 19.4lbs. and is 2RU high. Each channel of the Class D amplifier has its own independent power supply.

Yamaha's XP7000 features XLR and Euroblock inputs and output power is rated at 950W into a 4§Ù load. Input gain is selectable between +4dBu, 26dB, and 32dB. Also included is an interface for remote monitoring and control. The XP7000 can also be used to drive 70V lines (stereo).

Yamaha XP7000

Yamaha XP7000

The AP6040 amplifier from Yorkville Sound is rated at 2000W per channel at 4§Ù. The AP6040 weighs in at 66.1lbs. and is 3RU tall. A user-defeatable peak limiter is available on the rear panel.


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