Power AmplifiersIf your go-to amplifiers don’t include some of the new breed of power mentioned below, you owe it to your clients to take a look. 4/02/2013 8:10 AM Eastern
Apr 2, 2013 12:10 PM, By Mike McIntyre
There was a time when power amplifiers were measured by weight, meaning bigger and heavier indicated more power; a time when 1,000W amplifiers were nearly impossible because of the amount of power it would take to make them work. Well, those days are over. Power is getting smarter, lighter, and more efficient every day. If your go-to amplifiers don’t include some of the new breed of power mentioned below, you owe it to your clients to take a look.
Ashly Audio’s Networkable-enabled amplifiers (ne series) allow instant access to a power amplifier or a rack of power amplifiers from anywhere in the world. With different configurations such as: CobraNet, digital inputs and outputs, or microphone pre inputs (multichannels only). Users may also add the Protea digital processor to the power amplifier platform. Ashly’s ne series power amplifiers are engineered with an energy-efficient switching power supply mated to a Class D amplifier design.
Pêma is a Protea-equipped matrix amplifier from Ashly, either 4-channel or 8-channel at 250W or 125W per channel. Pêma is a matrix mixer. All Pêma models have a full 8-in by 8-out matrix mixer, where any input can be assigned to any output or outputs. Pêma is a digital signal processor. In addition to the full Protea suite of DSP settings, there are four new features to Pêma—gain-sharing automatic microphone mixing, an automatic feedback suppressor, ambient noise detection and adjustment, and a realtime clock with an event scheduler. Pêma is more than 80 percent energy efficient out of the box.
Small and compact, and engineered for efficiency and reliability, the Atlas Sound PA60G amplifier is an excellent choice for paging or background music (BGM) systems, small to medium speech privacy systems, and any applications where distributed audio is required. It provides 60W into a 70.7V/100V line and has a balanced line-level input via Phoenix connector and a summing unbalanced RCA input. Output is to 70.7/100V speaker lines via a Phoenix connector. Additional features include status LEDs, removable level controls with set-it-and-forget-it security cover, and a global (100VAC-240VAC) power supply.
The Audio Authority SonaFlex SF-16M is a unique blend of premium, 2-channel amplification, matrix distribution, flexible input options, signal processing, and open control capability. Designed and assembled in the U.S. with the custom installer in mind, the SF-16M gives you a different solution to common residential and commercial distributed audio applications. Simplified switching of popular consumer audio sources such as an iPod, AppleTV, and BluRay player can be located near the listener and connected via Cat-5 to the FlexPort audio inputs. The SF-16M uses Sound Scenes, which are system-wide snap-shots of all volume and source settings. Up to 10 Sound Scenes can be stored and recalled. For installations with multiple SF-16M’s linked together, additional system-wide Sound Scenes can be stored and recalled across all units.
The light-as-a-feather iNuke powers amps by Behringer weigh little thanks to high-density Class-D technology and ultra-efficient switch-mode power supplies. Using transistors with extremely high slew rates and optimizing other parts of the circuitry, these amps react instantly to the most demanding electronic bass impulses. And because they are more efficient than conventional designs, they don’t require the massive heat sinks and heavy toroid transformers typically associated with their conventional Class-D counterparts. The front-panel controls and indicators provide the system’s state of being quickly and simply. All channels feature positive-detent gain controls with signal LEDs that light when a signal is present, as well as clip LEDs to indicate when the signal is distorted and the input signal needs to be reduced. The rear panel has combo XLR and 1/4in. TRS input connectors and professional twist-lock speaker sockets. The rear panel houses switches that enable iNuke amps to work in either dual mono, stereo, or mono bridge mode. A built-in crossover switch enables the amp to operate in biamp mode, sending low-frequency content to passive subwoofers, while the high-frequency output is channeled to full-range loudspeakers.
The iNuke DSP series amplifiers have built-in DSP and 24-bit/96kHz converters to ensure signal integrity with an extremely broad dynamic range. DSP functions include a sophisticated delay for delay-line loudspeakers, crossover, EQ (eight parametric, two dynamic), and dynamics processing with lockable security settings. A convenient front-panel LCD display allows you to setup and make adjustments directly at the amplifier, without the need for a PC. All iNuke DSP models can be set up, controlled, and monitored via the front-panel USB connector. iNuke models include NU1000, NU3000, NU6000, NU4-6000, and NU12000. The DSP models include NU1000DSP, NU3000DSP, NU6000DSP, and NU12000DSP. All models feature a limited three-year warranty, ultra-efficient switch-mode power supply for noise-free audio, superior transient response, and low power consumption. They also feature Zero-Attack limiters offering maximum output level with reliable overload protection. Independent DC, LF, and thermal overload protection on each channel automatically protects the amplifier and speakers without shutting down the show.
Apr 2, 2013 12:10 PM, By Mike McIntyre
Carvin’s DCM-L series is an amp that delivers great sound and reliability, ultra-light weight, models from 200W to 3800W, and made-in-the-U.S.A. quality. Each amp is Audio Precision tested, which includes a burn-in under full load to assure reliability and specs. The DCM3000L is 15lbs. and features ultra-low THD at 0.03 percent at 8Ω, soft-start power-up that prevents tripping AC breakers, Speaker Guard that protects from harmful DC, shock-proof SMT reliability, and a three-year warranty. The Class A/B linear topology features high current bipolar output devices that reduce distortion to a near theoretical zero limit while delivering high slew rate performance. Five high-ratio 6063-T5 flow-through aluminum heat sinks remove heat fast with multispeed fans that run quiet under 2Ω loads. Air is pulled from the rear and exhausted to the front to keep the rear of the rack cool. The accessory group features recessed front controls with status indicators that won’t get bumped or easily moved. A rear ground lift switch eliminates ground loops. A parallel input switch eliminates the Y adapter typically used for paralleling channels. The mono bridge switch delivers the full power of the amp (both channels) into one output. The limiters are available at the push of a button to help control peaks protecting your drivers. Connecting is done with balanced XLR and 1/4in. TRS inputs.
The Crest Audio Pro-Lite 2.0 power amplifier features a lightweight, efficient design with high power and stable performance. It is designed with an advanced, high-speed Class-D design with a switch-mode power supply that reduces weight while increasing reliability, thermal efficiency, and output power in parallel, stereo, and bridged modes. It boasts two channels with independent, fourth-order 100Hz crossovers and power ratings of 540W per channel at 4Ω stereo (up to 2,000 watts bridged at 4Ω) at just 11.6lbs. The onboard protection suite includes Crest Audio’s proprietary Automatic Clip Limiting (ACL) circuitry, which prevents the amplifier from sending potentially damaging clipped signals to the loudspeakers, as well as DC, temp, signal, and active safeguards, all referenced on the front panel with LED indicators. The Pro-Lite series is backed by a free five-year extended warranty.
Crown’s new DriveCore install series of amplifiers are based on proprietary technology and feature digital audio transport via Harman’s proprietary BLU-Link, balanced analog inputs, and a priority router that allows for the specifying of a primary input and automatic switching to the other input if audio is lost. HiQnet protocol over standard TCP/IP provides for better monitoring, control, and audio manipulation, as well as allows the Audio Architect software and powered by Crown app to work with DCi amplifiers. DSP capabilities include LevelMax limiters, input/output EQ, delay, matrix mixer, and speaker-line monitoring. Power points of 300W or 600W in 2-, 4-, and 8-channel configurations are possible in a 2RU form factor. They also feature direct drive constant voltage using either 70Vrms or 100Vrms. Highly efficient internal cooling fans provide airflow to the most heat-generating parts.
New to Electro-Voice’s CPS line are the multi-channel amplifiers CPS 4.5, CPS 4.10, and CPS 8.5. They offer 4- and 8-channel independent Class-D Variable Load Drive (VLD) amplifier blocks, each one capable of delivering up to 500W and 1,000W into Low-Z or High-Z loads. Each channel can be configured individually for maximum power output intoeither 2Ω, 4Ω, 70V, or 100V networks without involvement of any output transformers. In addition to low current consumption and heat dissipation, these amplifiers provide remote standby switching with just 5W consumption in standby mode. An optional remote-control module RCM-810 provides control and supervision features via IRIS-Net, including monitoring of amplifier status and realtime load supervision. In addition, via RCM-810, the variable load drive characteristics can be set for maximum power output into any load between 2Ω and 10Ω, in steps of 0.1Ω. Other features include rear-mounted attenuators, switchable 50Hz high-pass filter (Hi-Z mode), complete protection: thermal, overload, shorts, HF, DC, back-EMF, inrush current, Phoenix-type input and output connections, remote power-on/off contact, programmable power-on delay settings, and front-to-rear fans.
Extron’s XPA 4002 and XPA 4002-70V are the newest additions to the XTRA series of high-power, multi-channel power amplifiers. Both XPA 4002 models are now available, together with the XPA 2002 high-impedance models, XPA 2003C, and XPA 2004. The XPA 4002 and XPA 4002-70V deliver two channels of 400Wrms for low impedance and 70V speaker systems. Possible applications are large environments such as auditoriums, convention centers, and houses of worship for powering a large quantity of high-impedance distributed speakers, high-powered speaker cabinets, or paging horns. They feature a highly efficient, advanced Class-D design with patented CDRS (Class D Ripple Suppression) technology that provides a smooth, clean audio waveform and an improvement in signal fidelity over conventional Class-D amplifier designs. XTRA series power amplifiers are housed in a compact 1RU, convection-cooled full-rack width enclosure, and do not require fans for cooling, making them great for installation in racks as well as enclosures with limited space and ventilation.
Lab.gruppen’s new E series amplifiers are built upon the company’s amplifier platform IntelliDrive Energy-Efficient Amplifier (IDEEA). For operating efficiency, the E series uses a new high-headroom universal power supply accepting any mains voltage from 70V to 265V at 50Hz or 60Hz. The Class D output stage is highly efficient (above 90 percent), while the inherently bridged topology allows up to twice the rated power output on one channel when the other channel is unused or driving a low-power application. Each channel has a two-position switch that sets the output for driving either low impedance or high impedance (70V) loudspeaker systems, with a +4dBu sensitivity regardless of load type. E series amplifiers are designed for ease of installation and reliable service, with notable features including a 50Hz high-pass filter (switchable per channel), inputs and outputs on detachable Phoenix-type screw terminals, and a temperature-controlled fan that turns off for low-level signals. Comprehensive circuit protection and fault indication are also included. E Series amplifier models include E4:2 – 400W, E8:2 – 800W, and E12:2 – 1,200W.
Apr 2, 2013 12:10 PM, By Mike McIntyre
Adding to the range of Martin Audio MA series amplifiers is the new MA2.0. At 1RU and 16lbs. this amplifier offers performance in a compact, lightweight, and cost-effective package. Delivering up to 1000W per channel (4Ω) this amplifier provides the power that will meet the requirements of small to medium-sized applications such as stage monitors and installed and portable sound reinforcement. With clip limiting, DC, VHF, and thermal and AC protection built in as standard, this new addition to the MA range of amplifiers is fully featured to meet the most demanding situations. Features include advanced Class-D output stage, switch-mode power supply, low inrush current, built-in clip limiters, variable speed cooling fan, comprehensive front-panel indicators, and fully protected circuitry.
From Nady Systems, the SPA 1400 is a high-powered roadworthy amplifier in a compact 2RU chassis. Full operating features include user-defeatable clip limiter; switchable 30Hz low-cut filter; balanced XLR and ¼in. TRS inputs; detent volume controls; stereo (dual-channel, parallel-input, or bridged mono operating models) with selector switch; binding post and Neutrik SpeakOn outputs; and ground-lift switch. Advanced safety/reliability features include soft-start turn on; noise-free on/off; built-in DC offset; independent DC and thermal overload protection on each channel; short circuit and speaker protection; DC servo operation; and built-in current limiter. This amplifier also has parallel outputs for daisy-chaining amps and a ~115V (60Hz)/~230V (50Hz) AC select switch. For cooling, it has continuously variable speed fan with back-to-front air flow. It has output ratings of 2x 500W RMS at 4Ω and 2x 800W RMS at 2Ω, and bridge mono ratings of 1000W at 8Ω and1400W @ 4Ω.
The 100W per channel, the 4-channel Rane MA 4 amplifier achieves exceptional power density and reliability in a space saving 1RU, 19in. rackmount chassis weighing only 8lbs. A universal-voltage switching power supply provides superb power factor, reducing peak currents to 1/3 compared to non-power-factor-corrected supplies. Unique features including constant load power, built-in automatic redundancy switching, and advanced dynamics control, qualify the MA 4 for the most demanding fixed installation applications.
The FLX Platform is a new versatile 1/2RU networked amplifier from Stewart Audio. This compact package contains more than 300W of power output in various channel configurations and impedances. At the middle of the platform is a robust, internal full function DSP that is designed to solve a multitude of audio problems in just one box. The channel count varies from one to four channels, and the DSP allows further configuration via bridging, routing, EQ, filters, and limiters. The RVC and RS-232 control allow volume control from a wide range of devices. In addition, the FLX platform has an optional factory-installed Dante or CobraNet card with two channels of networked audio. Models include: FLX80-4 (80Wx4 at 4Ω), FLX80-4 70V (80Wx4 at 70V/100V), FLX160-2 70V (160Wx2 at 70V/100V), and FLX320-1 70V (320Wx1 at 70V/100V).
TOA’s AV-20D introduces a new entry in small amps for plenum use. The AV-20D features an ultra-compact design with a flexible compliment of inputs, power configuration, and control options. Carrying both UL2043 and Energy Star 2.0 certification, the AV-20D also features micro Class-D amplification, bass and treble control, input signal present indicators, and a remote volume control port.
A fusion of Yamaha power, DSP, and network technologies, the DSP-enabled TXn series provides benefits like saving rack space or eliminating cabling. Truly versatile: Not only is the TXn flexible in its I/O formats, but voltage gain/ sensitivity can be adjusted in 0.1dB steps. Detailed control and monitoring parameters not found in conventional amplifiers are now available from a remote location. A combination of analog inputs and card slot inputs provide failsafe signal redundancy. The ultra-low latency AES/EBU card’s “THRU” output is designed to send signal even in case of power failure on the amplifier. All TXn models incorporate a 24-bit ADDA 96-kHz DSP engine. In addition to basic amplifier control and status monitoring, there is ample DSP power built in to provide extensive speaker processing capabilities that can make external processors unnecessary in most applications. Onboard DSP parameters and functions can be accessed directly through the LCD and button interface provided on the front panel of the amplifier, or via Yamaha’s amplifier control software running on a computer connected via Ethernet.