Power AmplifiersThe power amplifiers available today make those that were top of the line only a few years back look like covered wagons. 3/22/2012 12:18 PM Eastern
Mar 22, 2012 4:18 PM, By Bennett Liles
The power amplifiers available today make those that were top of the line only a few years back look like covered wagons. The trend toward integrated multi-function DSP and speaker management systems has defined a new range of models with a full plate of setup parameters, customization and self-protection features. Those in the survey presented here are typical of the new breed of sophisticated power amps for every application.
Housed in a 2RU chassis with individual front panel input attenuators, the KLR-5000 from Ashly Audio provides 2500W into a 2ohm load and has protection in overcurrent, DC output, chassis temperature and a mains breaker. A variable speed fan pushes cooling air from front to back while front-panel LED indicators show protection/clip, signal presence and power. Input connectors are 3-pin Euroblock, XLR and 1/4in. TRS jacks along with 4-pin Speakon connections for output. The amp can be operated either in stereo, bridged or parallel mono modes and there is a three-position input gain switch for both channels. Using a switch mode power supply, the unit includes a three-position HPF switch with 30Hz, 50Hz and off settings and it features a manual limiter control.
Top of the line in the iNUKE power amplifier series from Behringer, the two-channel iNUKE NU6000DSP puts 3000W into 4ohms from each channel in a Class-D design using a switch-mode power supply. The front panel includes LED indicators for power, clip and signal presence while the rear features combination XLR/TRS input connectors and twist-lock speaker terminals. The built-in DSP section provides delay functions, crossover to allow operation in bi-amp mode, EQ and dynamics processing with lockable security settings. Each channel offers DC, low frequency and thermal overload protection. The front panel gain knobs are illuminated and fully detented. The front panel also features a USB connector through which the amp can be set up, monitored and controlled using Behringer’s remote software.
The newest addition to the Audia line from Biamp Systems, the AudiaFUSION features open architecture DSP in an 8-channel modular amplifier with 16x16 I/O on CobraNet and channel-to-channel failover. The unit is infinitely customizable with each amp card capable of separately programmed output power up to 600W along with 70V, 100V and low impedance outputs. An entire system can be PC configured including mixers, matrixes, EQ, filters, crossovers, dynamics, delays, diagnostics and other features. Parameters that can be monitored through software include heat sink temperature, amp failure, output short, stuck fan rotor, output clipping and impedance min/max threshold in low-impedance mode. Front-panel LEDs show clip, signal presence, peak and various error warnings. There are dual CobraNet ports and the failover modes include individual modules and the entire device.
The Vortex V8 Silver Series from Camco puts 4300W peak power into each of two channels in either 2ohm or 4ohm mode with a hybrid Class-H output stage. All of the local control is done by way of the front-panel display, which automatically adjusts in brightness in response to ambient light levels. LEDs to the left of it indicate signal presence, clip, mode, input and other parameters. The amp has thermal, overcurrent and DC protection with an automatic switch to the analog inputs if the UMAN digital audio network fails. As long as the temperature remains below 40-degrees Celsius the fans operate at their lowest speed and as the temperature rises, the fan speed increases. An optional DSP plug-in card is available.
Mar 22, 2012 4:18 PM, By Bennett Liles
For high power into 2ohm loads from a small package, Crest Audio has introduced the Pro-LITE 3.0 and Pro-LITE 3.0 DSP in a class D design with a switch mode power supply. Each model provides 870W per channel at 4ohms and up to 3150W in bridged mode. The Pro-LITE 3.0 DSP features delays, crossovers, limiters, parametric EQ, HF driver EQ, stereo/mono modes and four parameter presets, which are assignable using the front-panel LED screen. The amplifier also includes a USB port for external preset loading and setup. Both models feature the proprietary ACL Automatic Clip Limiting circuitry. The chassis features XLR through connections, Combi-Neutrik XLR-1/4-in. input connectors and Speakon outputs. Included are two channel-independent fourth order crossovers and on the DSP model there are a high pass filter and lockable level controls.
The Xti 6002 from Crown Audio can put up to 6000W into a 4ohm load in bridged mono mode and to match cooling fan performance to the job, there are three user-defined fan mode controls with normal, early and full speed settings. Limiters allow full control over threshold, attack and release, whereas software enables monitoring of AC line voltage and power supply temperature. Forty-nine of the 50 presets are user definable and the backlit LCD screen on the front panel shows preset and processing status. In addition to the LCD screen other front-panel indications are included for output signal level, output clip, signal ready, temperature and power. Each channel has a loop-through input connection for linking additional amps and a USB type B port connects the amp to a HIQnet network.
Four 1000W channels of amplification in a 2RU chassis are featured by the CPS 4.10 from Electro-voice in a Class-D design with a slot for the optional RCM-810 module, allowing IRIS-Net control and monitoring. The individual channel attenuators are rear-panel mounted and in high impedance mode there is a switchable 50Hz filter. Each channel’s impedance can be selected by IRIS-Net and the unit’s protection includes thermal, overload, shorts, DC, HF, back-EMF and inrush current. The front panel includes LED level indicators for each channel along with power, standby, and IRIS-Net. The unit’s two fans run at a speed determined by the amp’s operating temperature. The amp may be run in low-impedance mode, 70V or 100V mode and a rear-panel switch can be used to set the power-on delay time.
The XPA 4002 from Extron is a 2-channel power amplifier delivering 400W RMS per channel, available in low impedance and 70V versions. The XPA 4002 is an ENERGY STAR qualified amplifier with an Extron exclusive, highly efficient, advanced Class D amplifier design. It also features patented CDRS-Class D Ripple Suppression technology that provides a smooth, clean audio waveform and an improvement in signal fidelity over conventional Class D amplifiers. The XPA 4002 is half the size of comparable amplifiers, conserving rack space and weighing only 9lbs. (4 kg). The exclusive, high efficiency design generates very little heat and allows the amplifier to be convection cooled. The new XPA 4002 model adds to Extron’s first complete family of ENERGY STAR-qualified amplifiers.
Designed by LabGruppen as a complete loudspeaker management system, the PLM 20000Q provides 5000W per channel into 2.3ohms to 3.3ohms in a 2RU chassis weighing only 37lbs. The 4-channel amplifier platform is combined with Lake Processing and Dante networked signal distribution on primary and secondary network connection ports. The unit allows digital output attenuation in 0.25dB steps, while the high brightness front panel LCD display teams with a silicone touchpad for front-panel display mode selection and menu navigation. The system is available with either binding posts or an “embedded patch panel” with Neutrik Speakon connectors (2 x NLT4 and 1 x NLT8). The setup provides intricate control over routing, limiting, EQ, delay and mixing with module outputs individually routable to different output channels.
Mar 22, 2012 4:18 PM, By Bennett Liles
The IPR 3000 DSP from Peavey generates 1450W into each of two channels at 2ohms with an adjustable fourth-order high-pass filter and horn EQ on each channel. The Class-D amp features detented input controls and combination XLR and 1/4in. input connectors. The front panel LCD display allows setting independent assignable crossover points, delay, EQ presets, security lock settings, and other parameters. The unit is housed in a lightweight aluminum chassis weighing only 7.5lbs. and the amplifier is protected against thermal, DC, subsonic, incorrect loads, and under/over voltage with front panel LED indicators for fault conditions. A temperature controlled variable speed 80mm DC fan cools the unit.
An installation amplifier system primarily intended for live music environments, the CMX Series amps from QSC Audio have 1dB recessed and detented gain controls on the front panel and a tamper proof cover for them. The 3RU CMX 2000V sends 2500W into 4ohms and features a class H output section to reduce current draw and heat while all of the CMX Series amps have DC and output short protection. The front panel includes a power indication LED along with signal and clip indicator for each channel. A continuously variable speed fan provides back to front cooling air flow and a 10-position DIP switch on the rear panel is included for additional hardware configuration. The V in the model name designates the ability to directly drive 70V and/or 100V distributed loudspeakers.
The MA-3 multi-channel amplifier from Rane is a 3-channel unit designed for installation in paging systems, foreground music, and background music distribution. Its linear power supply and toroidal transformer allow it to be emission friendly in densely arranged equipment environments. The cooling system uses large aperture openings and low-velocity air to minimize noise while delivering 40W into 8ohms and 60W into 4ohms. Each of the three independent amplifiers has an LED level meter on the front of the rack chassis. The unit includes fast response limiters to handle up to 20dB overdrive levels and the Euroblock output connectors can connect with up to 12-gauge wire. Included are internally adjustable 80Hz high pass filters and the input gain controls are mounted on the rear panel.
With microphone and line level source mixing capability, paging and music on hold capability, the PMM120A from Speco Technologies has 120W RMS output power and it can insert an external processor such as a compressor/limiter or graphic EQ between the preamp output and the mix input stages. The manual muting terminals work on a contact closure to mute mic inputs 2 through 6 and all aux inputs. The amp also has a tape output on an RCA connector for recording and an RCA booster amp output, which is post tone and volume control for additional volume level in larger venues. A single switch selects aux 1 or mic 4 and a similar switch is used to choose aux 3 or mic 6 input. Speaker terminals include low impedance, 25V and 70V outputs.
The CVA100-2 is the first amplifier from Stewart Audio to incorporate a factory installed CobraNet option on an internal daughter card and it delivers 100W into each of its two channels using a half-rack sized chassis. The small amp has some big features including remote volume control and muting and a selectable high-pass filter, while the volume controls are screwdriver adjustable on the rear panel for additional tamper-proof security. The amplifier is class D and the current draw at 1/8 power is 35W. The rated frequency response is 65Hz to 20kHz with .1-percent THD and a signal to noise ratio greater than 90dB. Front-panel LEDs indicate power, signal presence, standby and clip. The body is rugged steel and it relies on convection for cooling.
Yamaha markets the Nexo NXAMP 4X4 with twin DSPs and the voltage and current on the amp’s output is sensed with 24bit converters. The unit delivers 4000W into each of its four outputs and provides a second XLR on each input for linking. The optional network card in the slot on the back adds four digital inputs. The four Speakon output connections use an internal power relay for automatic output assignment and an RS232 port is available for firmware upgrades. The front panel has a 40-character by two-line display for making volume settings and other setup functions while LEDs indicate a range of fault conditions.
The AP6040 is the most powerful amplifier from Yorkville Sound with more than 2000W per channel at 4ohms. The rear panel presents a choice of input connectors with both 1/4in. and XLR while the output terminals are both binding post and Speakon. The 3RU chassis has front to rear cooling flow with variable speed dual fans and twin rotary level controls on the front panel along with DC current, load, thermal and breaker protection. A user defeatable peak limiter is located on the back panel next to the input jacks. The amp can be operated in stereo, mono or bridge mode and the front panel also provides power, protect, activity, and clip LEDs.