Audio

TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE: Power Amplifiers

7/16/2017 6:20 PM Eastern
TAKE AWAY

Innovations in features, apps, efficiencies, and economies for power amplifiers were on display at InfoComm this year.

The Ashly Audio NXP Series offers class-D, multichannel amplifiers operating in both 70V/100V lines, as well as different modes (2Ω, 4Ω, and 8Ω). These models are one of three separate amplifier series. Features include Ethernet control using the Protea software; 32-bit SHARC DSP processing at 48kHz or 96kHz sample rates; precision tuning; and a switchmode power supply. When in automatic sleep mode, the amps draw less than 1W of power. The units have selectable 80Hz high-pass filter, are compatible with Dante and CobraNet, and come with the free Ashly Remote app for wireless control.

Available as a 2-channel or 4-channel ClassAB power amplifier, the AtlasIED’s DPA2402 can be configured to deliver 70V/100V plus 4Ω or 8Ω. The unit features DSP control via GUI, remote web monitoring, optional Dante receiver card, four output level knobs on the front panel, and four balanced inputs (expandable to eight). The DPA2402 has a max output of 55V per channel at 8Ω, a total harmonic distortion of 0.03 percent, 110V or 220V operating voltage, as well as 20Hz-20kHz frequency response. These amplifiers are iOS and Android controllable.

The SF-16M from Audio Authority has audio matrix switching, 16 amplified output channels with DSP, 16 analog RCA inputs plus two Cat-5 “FlexPort” inputs, multiple preset scenes, and can be expanded up to 64 output channels. It features a hybrid linear power supply, 96kHz Burr-Brown A/D conversion with 64-times oversampling, and delivers 50W per channel at 8Ω. The classD unit responds to dynamic musical information with power reserve and the analog circuitry quickly accommodates transient peaks due to its floating voltage rail. iOS and Android apps are available.

Biamp System’s new AMP-A460H is a 4-channel, half-rack, class-D power amplifier delivering 60W per channel at either 4Ω or 8Ω. The unit is very quiet without the need for fans, can bridge channels for versatility, and can be used in 70V/100V applications. A high-pass filter, LED indicators for each output channel, and mounting kit is included. The AMP-A460H is perfect for TesiraFORTÉ- equipped conference rooms or applications.

Designed with power MOSFET circuitry and supplied with 125W or 250W of continuous operation, the HTA125A and HTA250A from Bogen have less than 0.5 percent total harmonic distortion. Line bridging can be achieved with optional transformer Model TL100 and the amps can drive 4Ω, 8Ω, 25VCT, and 70V. The HTA series amps are thermally protected for high temperatures and include overload limiting, short circuit protection, and a Slo-Blo fuse. Another preventive measure is that the unit will automatically shut off if there is an overload.

There are four types of power amplifiers in the Bosch Praesideo Series: PRS-1P500, PRS-2P250, PRS-4P125, and LBB 4428/00. Each differ in total output channels: 1, 2, 4, or 8 while all providing 500W. The models can be set to 100V, 70V, or 50V modes plus they have two auxiliary inputs (four for LBB 4428/00). The front display shows VUmetering and the units continually report their status to the network controller for self-monitoring. The amps also have a 48V DC back-up supply and a headphone output.

The Crest Audio Pro-LITE 5.0 features a parallel/bridge/stereo mode switch, Automatic Clip Limiting (ATC), maximum RMS Voltage swing of 105V, and detonated input controls. The class-D amplifier includes dual combination XLR-1/4in. inputs, Speakon outputs, and XLR thru connectors. With a total harmonic distortion level under 0.5 percent, the Pro-LITE 5.0 has three temperature dependent fans to keep from overheating. The unit has two front panel attenuators, a crossover select switch (HPF, Normal, and LPF), and five LEDs per channel.

Crestron’s Avia AMP-8150 is designed to complement the Avia DSP family. It supplies eight channels in a 1RU rack-mountable chassis. Each channel is configurable for Lo-Z or Hi-Z operation, as well as stereo and bridged modes. Network connectivity enables configuration, monitoring, and control via the Avia Audio Tool software, a Crestron control system, or Crestron Fusion. The AMP-8150 is specified at 150W per channel into 4Ω or 8Ω “Lo-Z” loads with support for input signal levels up to +24dBu. Each channel is individually configurable via software for use with “Hi-Z” distributed speaker systems (either 70V or 100V). Adjacent pairs of channels may be configured for stereo or bridged operation. Stereo mode enables remote control of a stereo pair of speakers using a single set of controls. Bridged mode allows two channels to be combined to provide a single channel delivering 300W into 8Ω.

Providing four routable inputs to any output (analog, AES, VDrive, or CobraNet), the I-Tech 4x3500HD DriveCore from Crown Audio brings a front panel USB connector to transfer presets to/from a USB drive to the amp’s DSP. The common-mode rejection eliminates hum and RFI on the inputs, as well as efficiently coupling power to the load for low AC current draw. Its total harmonic distortion is 0.35 percent and the amp can operate at 2Ω, 2.7Ω, 4Ω (bridgeable), and 8Ω (bridgeable). Power ranges from 3500W-7000W.

The Denon Professional DN-508A is a class-D, 8-channel amplifier running at 55W per channel and less than 0.5 percent total harmonic distortion. Setup is fast and easy with eight Eurobloc connections, individual front-panel volume adjustments and signal/ peak indicators for every channel. The DN- 508A can be used with 70V/100V systems at a 4Ω load, has a frequency response of 85Hz-20kHz (at -3dB), a dynamic range of 95dB, and channel separation of 60dB. This product is comparable with the DN-508MX zone mixer.

Coinciding with the company’s 70th anniversary, Dynacord brings two new dual-channel amplifier series to InfoComm—the live L Series and the installed C Series—positioned for sound reinforcement in bars, churches, restaurants, sports facilities, and performing arts centers. Both series have a linear amp design and a goal of bringing pro performance, sophisticated voltage handling, and configuration software to a lower price point. Four different models per series are available, with total power output ranging from 1300W to 3600W at 2Ω. The C Series is also suitable for direct drive applications with 70V/100V speaker lines. With standby power mode, Euroblock connectors, remote power-on, and GPIOs to interface with third-party controls. Onboard DSP includes multi-band PEQs, crossovers, limiters and delay per channel, as well as channel grouping control and finite impulse response features.

From the PA series comes the ElectroVoice PA2250T, a 2-channel power amplifier with loads of 8Ω, 4Ω, or 70V. Key features include: 270W at either 70V or 4Ω, stepped rear level controls, and bridge mode operation of 1x540W at 8Ω. It has a selectable 50Hz or 300Hz HPF for each channel and provides sufficient headroom for wide dynamic range. The PA2250T’s onboard dynamic limiter ensures that the unit will not distort excessively when the output clips. Phoenix type input/output connectors provide easy wiring.

Extron has a dual-channel power amplifier called the MPA 601, which can operate at either 70V/100V modes. Not only is it equipped with RCA and TRS inputs, but the MPA 601 can also mix three inputs together while individually buffering them. The classD unit has a frequency response of 80Hz- 20kHz (+1dB/-3dB), a 80Hz HPF, and a total harmonic distortion less than 0.1 percent. Optional mounting kits are included: a 1U rack shelf, under-desk mount, and pole mount.

Designed for efficiency, the G-Series amplifiers from Galaxy Audio includes XLR/ TRS 1/4in. input jacks and three twist-lock connectors for its outputs. The three models in the series deliver different amounts of power to speakers: the G-440 is 2x145W at 8Ω, the G-880 is 2x240W at 8Ω, and the G-1200 is 2x400W at 8Ω. Each unit comes with two front-panel input controls, two LED signal/ clip/power, limit and Bridge indicators, and a 98dB signalto-noise ratio.

The fanless, lightweight JBL Commercial CSMA1120 power amplifier outputs 120W of power and brings four Euroblock type mic/line input connectors. With independent bass and treble controls on the front panel for each output, the CSMA1120 supports 70V/100V distributed audio systems without needing a separate transformer. The unit provides phantom power, priority muting, configurable output routing, and DriveCore Technology for thermal management. Also, HARMAN is manufacturing the CSMA1120’s space-saving design by going “green” and using 33 percent less energy.

Lab.gruppen’s D Series features 4-channel amplifiers available in three power models: the D 200:4 has 20,000W of total output power, the D 120:4 has 12,000W of total output power, and the D 80:4 has 8,000W of total output power. Their power efficiency allocates equally across the channels plus any channel is capable of delivering up to 5,000W power output. Despite severe voltage drops, the D Series amps contain Under-Voltage Limiting for continuous operation. They can be integrated with Dante and third-party DSP systems.

The portable K20 is the strongest model from Powersoft’s K Series and is ideal for subwoofers and low-frequency devices needing continuous power and lots of headroom. Designed for 2Ω loads, the K20 has a universal switch mode power supply with Power Factor Correction and can be equipped with an optional DSP board. Its 85 percent efficiency allows more output power from the AC mains and the amp comes with full protection circuitry. The unit also provides mono-bridgeable channels, front-torear airflow cooling, and a front panel LCD display for configuration. Powersoft will also bring the Quattrocanali Series to InfoComm, a 1RU, 4-channel, network-capable amplifier for small- to medium-size installations such as bars, restaurants, retail outlets, and fitness centers. The Quattrocanali series also features Powersoft’s trademark switch-mode power supply with power factor correction and can be remotely operated via Powersoft’s web app and Armonìa. Further, the Quattrocanali offers an intuitive third-party control tool for many control systems. A wide range of setup, monitoring, and preset options brings a lot of features and options to small-channel count jobs.

For higher power, the class-D QSC SPA2- 200 2-channel amplifier delivers up to 200W per channel at 4Ω or 8Ω. The two channels can be bridged to provide up to 400W can be switched into 70V/100V direct drive mode for up to 350W. While in 70V/100V mode, a 80Hz high-pass filter is engaged. The SPA2-200 is housed in a 1/2RU chassis with RMS and thermal limiting, as well as protection over current, short circuit, and under/over voltage. It comes with a rack mounting kit to fit two units in a 1RU space.

The 100W per channel, 4-channel MA 4 from Rane excels in music and paging systems, small conference rooms and speech reinforcement applications requiring multiple amps. The amp features remote fault reporting and redundancy switching. The MA 4 provides 100V or 70.7V distribution and each channel has a master or slave DIP switch on the rear panel, a selection of 20Hz/40Hz/60Hz/80Hz high-pass filters, and euro-block connectors to link other amps. Load sensitive limiters prevent clipping with a very low inrush current and the fan speed is controlled by temperature.

The RCF IPS 3700 is a 2-channel power amplifier weighing in at 43lbs. It features independent gain dials, signal, and clip fault LEDs, stereo XLR input and output link, dual mode input sensitivity switch, mono/stereo bridge switch, and Speakon outputs. Due to the fast DC fans, the unit can withstand overheating situations to ensure reliability. The IPS 3700 has a signal to noise ratio of 100dB, less than 0.5 percent total harmonic distortion, and can operate at either 115V/230V.

The class-D HD-PA35 from RDL is a single input audio amplifier that can be used to provide one or more additional zones to a mix from another RDL HD series mixer amp. Driving 4Ω or 8Ω speakers, the 35W amp has an output impedance switch on the rear panel. On the front panel, the HD-PA35 has input gain controls and tone controls for EQ. Included is a compressor/limiter to prevent clipping, LEDs, and thermal/short-circuit protection.

Renkus-Heinz’s new SA Series amplifiers are designed to unite all Renkus-Heinz loudspeakers across unified connectivity and control platforms. Making their debut with the new C and T Series point source loudspeakers, Renkus-Heinz SA Series amplifiers will ultimately enable all Renkus-Heinz loudspeaker models to be freely combined, offering full networking capabilities, RHAON II control and monitoring, and connection via a choice of Analog, AES/EBU, or Dante single or redundant network input. Renkus-Heinz SA Series amplifiers will be available in three models. The SA-625 amplifier outputs 500W + 125W; the SA-1250 outputs 1,000W + 250W; and the SA2000 delivers a total of 2000W. With power to spare, SA Series amplifiers deliver more than enough Wattage to easily drive additional loudspeakers, and all models are equipped with output connections to power external drivers. All SA Series amplifiers are equipped with native DSP, including delay, equalization, multichannel limiting, and noise reduction, with nine available preset memories. Connectivity configurations include Analog input, as well as RHAON II control and monitoring, with networking connectivity in copper and optical formats.

An extremely lightweight power amplifier at 18lbs., the Speco Technologies P500A works in conjunction with a mixer amp or preamp to boost power for larger speaker applications. Its class-D circuitry allows the unit to run cool and with 500W of power, the P500A can handle both 70V and 8Ω speakers. This model features a XLR output, XLR or terminal input, XLR auxiliary output, protect/clip/ signal LEDs, an input gain knob on the front panel, and less than 0.1 percent total harmonic distortion. A built-in rack mount is included.

TOA Electronics developed the 2-channel P-9060DH power amp to deliver 60W per channel while providing 70V line output. The 18lb. unit can not only be used as part of the 9000 series but also as a stand-alone device, making it extremely versatile. With a 225W power consumption, the total harmonic distortion is a slim 0.008 percent. There are two volume knobs, as well as independent protect/ peak/signal LEDs for both channels. A rack mount bracket and removable terminal plug come included.

The Yamaha XM Series 4-channel power amps come with a stereo/parallel/bridge switch on the rear panel and output connections via five-way binding posts. A high-pass filter with selectable a 20Hz/55Hz roll-off is provided along with attenuators and independent indicators for each channel. The XM4180 model can exert 180W per channel while the XM4080 model pumps out 80W per channel. XLR and Euroblock connectors allow for easy and secure setup. Monitor/Remote jacks allow the amp to be controlled and monitored from an external unit.

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