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Tech Showcase: Power Amplifiers

Power amplifiers have evolved to become smart and intense in the image of those who design and manufacture them. As channel density and power handling have gotten more efficient, the DSP features of the newer amps has expanded their capability to custom tailor EQ, output balance, delay and other parameters to maximize their performance in a wide range of acoustic environments. Our entries here are typical of a new breed of sound power delivering devices now on the market for installation and touring.

To put just the right balance of sound into multiple zones, the AMX ALR-AMP Alero 8-zone power amp has 16 channels of Class D amplification efficiently arranged in a 1RU case. Providing 40W per channel at 8 ohms, the space saving unit is incredibly versatile in its combinations of sound zoning capability. Power consumption in standby mode is only 0.25W and the cool running amp offers plenty of versatility for rack mounting or free standing installation. The front panel includes power, clip and thermal warning LEDs while the rear side has RCA inputs and captive wire output terminals.

The NX Multi-Mode amplifiers from Ashly Audio offer a huge variety of output power and other operational features. Output modes of low impedance or constant voltage are selectable via rear panel DIP switches and the Ashly EMS (Energy Management System) allows an automatic sleep mode drawing less than 1W. The NX line is offered as three separate amplifier series. The NX series includes 2 or 4 channel models, the NXE series is networkable and the NXP offers networking and DSP. The NX features a switch mode power supply that automatically detects 120VAC or 220VAC.

AtlasIED has designed the new TitanONE T112 smart mainframe power amplifier as a modular system capable of using up to seven TitanONE series power amplifier cards. This provides twelve main channels of amplification, two backup channels, each one with a complete library of DSP filter options. The unit is also networkable with IEDNet+ IPbased system control and digital audio transport via Dante. System monitoring and fault detection work through IED’s SystemAssured supervision while audio levels are automatically adjusted using IED’s patented AlwaysHEAR smart technology.

Aurora’s AS-AMP1 is the perfect solution for applications in which a very small amp is needed with a basic mixing function. This tiny unit also provides a bridge connection, dual-mono and EQ control along with a microphone mixer. In default configuration there are two 20W 4-ohm outputs and the separately controllable mic is mixed to the line output. Its two stereo inputs are switchable by button, remote or RS232 and the volume, bass and treble are also remotely controllable. The amp includes an international power supply and there are LED indicators for power and working status. The mono/stereo/bridge switch is on the back panel and the output connector is captive screw.

The AVB/TSN enabled, networkable, four-channel Tesira 1200.2 amplifier from Biamp Systems features two 1200W power banks. Each of these provides distribution of 1-100% of available power. There is also selectable impedance and delay equalization on each channel as well as an audible locate function on the front panel to validate connected loudspeaker runs. Its software-configurable media interface allows designers to choose the network topology and secure it with IEEE 802.1X authentication. The front panel has LED indicators for power, activity and faults along with additional status indicators for each channel.

Among the M-Class amplifiers from Bogen, the M600 can operate in 4-ohm stereo, dual mono or 70V mono modes as well as three mono power levels and three stereo power levels. The amp has a 2-to-1 mixing function in mono mode and its two input module bays allow versatility with input signal types. The rugged 14 gauge steel chassis with recessed volume control knobs and a snap-on protective cover houses a reliable unit with patented Back-Slope AC voltage stabilization, clip limiters, DC voltage, over-current, and thermal protection circuits.

Crest Audio’s Pro-LITE 7.5 Ultra-Efficient Lightweight High Power Amplifier has a resonant switch-mode power supply and a high speed class D topology. The ACL (Automatic Clip Limiting) circuitry provides protection for loads down to 2 ohms. The amp’s efficiency allows it to operate at cool temperatures so that large heat sinks are not required. The front panel level controls are detented for easy setting and there is Automatic Clip Limiting. The rear panel includes XLR and 1/4in. connections on the inputs and SpeakON terminals for the power outputs.

Intended to complement Avia digital signal processors, the Crestron AMP-4600 is a 4-channel unit providing 600W per channel all in a 1RU case. Each channel is configurable for Lo-Z or Hi-Z operation along with stereo and bridged modes. The Avia Audio Tool software, a Crestron control system, Crestron XiO Cloud service or Crestron Fusion software can be used over a network for remote configuration, monitoring, and control. The internal universal power supply with power factor correction ensures consistent performance with varying line voltages. There are balanced inputs and rear panel input attenuation controls.

Crown Audio has a solution for controlling multiple sound areas with the DCi 8|300DA eight-channel 300W amplifier. The entire DCi Series features high powered DSP, network control/monitoring and support for Dante Domain Manager. The unit can drive 2/4/8/16 ohm, 70V and 100V speaker loads. There are redundant, independent Dante/AES67 ports, LevelMAX limiter, load monitoring, removable air filters and front panel LEDs showing a number of parameters for each of the channels. The HiQnet Audio Architect software allows remote configuration, monitoring, and control of all aspects of the DCi-DA Series amplifiers.

The Denon Professional DN333XAB is a 120W Class D amplifier with dedicated mixing controls for three XLR+1/4-inch combination microphone inputs, two pairs of stereo line level RCA jack inputs and a front-panel 1/8-inch auxiliary input. The unit can connect with smartphones and tablets through its front-panel Bluetooth pairing control with LED status indicator. On the rear panel are detachable Euroblock 70V and 100V outputs with a 4-ohm transformer bypass output. External audio processing can be connected with the RCA line-level send and return connector. The three mic inputs are combination XLR/quarter-inch connectors.

Dynacord’s answer to live multi-channel environments is the TGX20 5000W 4-channel Class D amplifier with fully integrated DSP, FIR Drive technology and OMNEO integration for compatibility with Dante and OCA. On the front panel is a full color touch screen for configuration and control and among the features are 1 factory and 20 user DSP presets. Speaker EQ has 10 filters per channel including low shelving, high shelving, high-pass, low-pass, and All-Pass. There is also a peak anticipation limiter and RMS/ TEMP limiter for each channel.

The Extron NetPA 1001-70V AT fits a lot of power into small spaces with its 100W 70V output and it adds Dante networking capability with its Dante audio to line level output. This can allow the incoming Dante audio to be delivered to additional speaker zones or to a separate audio system. Other features include a defeatable 25-minute auto power-down timer, convection cooled fan-less operation, automatic clip limiter, remote standby port for remotely controlled power-down, high-pass filter and front panel LED indication of input signal presence and protection circuit activation.

Using Crown’s DriveCore Technology, JBL Commercial Series Amplifiers (CSA) support 70V and 100V and include RJ45 connectors for use with JBL CSR-V inwall volume controls. The 2RU design has 300W output and a sleep mode disable function. The illuminated rings on the front panel level control knobs make them easy to see in low light. There is also RS232 control for volume, mute and sleep mode along with bass and treble non-detented potentiometers on each channel. The rear panel features Euroblock input terminals and barrier strips for the output connections. The unit can be expanded and adapted using additional JBL Commercial Series components.

For real heavy duty touring and large installations the Lab gruppen PLM 20K44 SP 20,000W amp provides LAKE digital signal processing and integrated 8×8 channels of dual redundant Dante digital audio networking with AES67 support. If mains voltage drops, the unit has Under-Voltage Limiting (UVL) along with dedicated on-board surveillance and load monitoring for reliable operation. For easy on-site diagnostics and control there is a backlit, white-on-black front panel display with menu navigation buttons. Enhanced cooling is done through 3 front-to-rear airflow fans with temperature control and removable dust filter grilles for increased air circulation.

The VIA5004 4-channel power amplifier from Martin Audio puts 4 x 1250 watts into 2 ohms, or 2 x 2500 watts into 4 ohms bridged circuits for media scale installations and portable power applications. It can also be set up for 3-channel operation. The 2RU case incorporates Vari-speed cooling fans with front-to-back airflow and auto power sensing. The individual level controls on the front panel are accompanied by signal presence, clip limiter and protection circuit LED indicators. The protection circuits allow safe performance in ambient temperatures up to 40°C. The inputs use male and female Neutrik XLR connectors while the output channels use Neutrik Speakon NL4’s.

Providing four fully processable channels and selectable inputs from analog sources as well as digital AES3 and two redundant Dante streams, the Powersoft X4L can also operate on single phase, bi-phase or three phase power at 85 VAC up to 460 VAC without any need of manual selection. Its integrated low latency DSP enables channel mixing and routing capability and the amp can be controlled from a smartphone or tablet through its integration with ArmoníaPlus. Powersoft Green Audio Power technology improves efficiency and minimizes the carbon footprint and the operational costs. There is a 1 GB RAM plus flash memory for snapshots and speaker presets.

The PLD Series from QSC is targeted for portable and production sound system users and it consists of three 4-channel amps, each of which features advanced DSP. All of the PLD Series units can configure their output channels in a wide variety of ways to accommodate a range of speaker setups. This flexibility is accomplished through Flexible Amplifier Summing Technology. For energy saving, the amps offer multi-stage sleep modes and for safe and efficient output there are also RMS and Peak Limiters. The onboard DSP provides four channels of crossover filters, parametric EQ, and alignment delay.

RCF’s QPS 9600 amplifier is a 2RU model that sends up to 4 x 2400 W RMS at 2 Ohms (4800 W RMS bridged at 4 Ohms to speaker systems while its heat sinks and variable speed DC fans keep it cool. On the front panel are LED indicators for signal presence, clipping, protection and temperature. The protection circuits allow it to operate safely at high output levels. The voltage clip limiter settings are made on the rear panel DIP switch section. The amp’s four inputs are XLR and its speaker outputs are on SPEAKON NL4. There are also balanced XLR output terminals.

The RDL (Radio Design Labs) SF-NP40D Network to 40 W Stereo Power Amplifier is part of the SysFlex Series, a family of A/V modules providing complex interface solutions and it converts Dante network audio signals to two 20 W outputs into 8 ohms or 15 W per channel into 4 ohms. Equipped with both thermal and output short-circuit protection, the amp connects a speaker system on detachable terminal block. The SysFlex modules can be installed as rack-mounted, surface-mounted, or free standing units. The SF-NP40D is equipped with a 4/8-ohm switch and LED indicators for power and sync.

Available in three models, the RenkusHeinz SA Series amplifiers enable all Renkus-Heinz loudspeaker models to be freely combined and have full networking capabilities, RHAON II control and monitoring along with connection through a choice of Analog, AES/EBU, or Dante input. They all have native DSP, including delay, equalization and nine preset memories. Other features include Multi-band thermal and peak protection, instant fail-over from Dante to Analog and optional optical fiber connections. A pause in program audio triggers the proprietary amplifier mute. Among the three models, total power ratings range from 625W to 2000W.

The PL260A from Speco Technologies is perfect for multi-zone sound installations where it provides easy front panel control. There are seven front-selectable 70/25V speaker zones with selectable 70/25V switch and for backup power it also has a 24V power input. Each of the five mic inputs includes a phantom power switch and there is a music-on-hold output along with a telephone input. In addition there are three auxiliary inputs using stereo RCA terminals. The amp’s RMS output power is 260W with a maximum of 390W.

TOA Electronics designed the 4-channel DA-550F to put 550W at 4 ohms into each of its four outputs. These output channels can be independently power controlled and the power status, protection and fan operation for each can be monitored. Inputs use an XLR3-31 connector and include removable terminal blocks while the outputs are on M4 screw terminals. An input signal to Channel 1 can be routed to all channels, and the output level adjusted using the input level control for each channel. The rear panel features two RJ45 connectors for remote control and monitoring.

The Yamaha XMV Series of multi-channel amplifiers allow independent DIP switch settings for the impedance of channel pairs and the mute and attenuator values of multiple units can be remotely set using an MTX series matrix processor and computer. The XMV8280-D and XMV8140-D units feature Dante technology and the front panel buttons can be used to select which channel’s settings are changed with the local controls. The front panel also provides a 3-digit 7-segment display that shows information such as the attenuator value of the channel selected by the “SELECT” button. The 2RU XMV 8280D has two 3-speed fans and delivers 250W into each of its eight output channels.




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