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.
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