Audio Review: Crown Audio I-Tech I-T12000 HD
Jul 7, 2009 12:00 PM, By John McJunkin
A small amplifier that delivers big power and great signal processing.
One DSP operation that’s not facilitated from the front panel is selection of sample rate. That’s because the FIR filter settings need to be recalculated if the sample rate is changed. Luckily, this is easily accomplished by using System Architect software. I would guess that most contractors are familiar with Harman’s application, and in this case, it grants control over pretty much every parameter of the ampincluding input level, muting, channel linking, signal routing, sample rate, CobraNet settings, compression, delay, 16-band fully parametric equalization, crossover filtering, and Crown’s proprietary LevelMax suite of limiters that are intended to prevent catastrophes.
The software also remotely displays information about all the aforementioned controls, along with input and output levels, temperature information, limiting, load impedance, ready status, front-panel security information, and error reporting on thermal, clipping, line voltage, fan status, and continuous load monitoring. The fan monitoring features true tachometer information. The software also allows the user to copy and paste one amp’s parameters to another, and all the amp’s presets and its handy signal generator are managed by the software, as well. Frankly, I can’t think of many good reasons not to take the necessary steps to put your amp(s) under computer control. The System Architect software was developed with customer feedback in mind, and I appreciate this attention to the requirements of users.
The I-Tech series amplifiers feature a global power supply with Crown’s proprietary Power Factor Correction (PFC). Adapters enable the amps to be powered virtually anywhere in the world, with AC ranging from 100V to 240V and at both 50Hz and 60Hz. The amps feature a high degree of common-mode rejection and nicely minimize hum and other RF issues. The interface is friendly and easily navigated, particularly if a computer is used to control these amplifiers with System Architect software. These amps sound greatwith minimal harmonic and intermodulation distortiondue to the high-quality, high-resolution DSPin particular, the FIR filtering, which virtually eliminates the phase distortion of IIR filtering. The front-panel USB slot nicely facilitates transferring presets with a jump drive. This is also the only amplifier with analog, AES/EBU, CobraNet, HiQnet, and Ethernet connectivity, and this makes it versatile when integrating it into existing infrastructure.
Amplifier technology continues to advance, and these amps represent the fifth generation of Class I design. This topology facilitates a lot of power from a small box. Crown has married this amplifier technology with some powerful DSP and control infrastructure and arrived at a truly excellent product.
John McJunkin is principal of Avalon Podcasting in Chandler, Ariz. He has consulted in the development of studios and installations, and he provides high-quality podcast-production services.
- Company: Crown Audio
- Product: I-T12000 HD
- Pros: Powerful amp coupled with excellent DSP and control.
- Cons: None to speak of.
- Applications: Any application that requires a networkable power amp.
- Price: $8,510
- Input sensitivity: 1.28V-8V (in 0.1Vincrements)
- Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz ±0.25dB
- Signal-to-noise ratio: >108dB
- THD: <0.1%
- IMD: <0.35%
- Latency: 1.16ms @ 48kHz, 529µs @ 96kHz
- Damping factor: >5000
- Crosstalk: >80dB
- CMR: >55dB, typically >70dB
- DC output offset: <±3mV
- Input impedance: 20kΩ balanced, 10kΩ balanced
- Load Impedance (dual): 1-2-4-8-16Ω
- Load impedance (bridged mono): 2-4-8Ω
- Dimensions: 19”x3.5”x16.2”
- Weight: 28lbs.
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