NAMM 2012: Crown Audio introduces new flagship I-Tech power amplifier

Harman’s Crown Audio has announced the launch of its new flagship I-Tech 4x3500HD DriveCore Series multichannel power amplifier at NAMM 2012.

The four-channel I-Tech 4x3500HD incorporates Crown’s sixth-generation Class I engine with DriveCore technology to deliver 3,500 watts per channel into four or two ohms, as well as offering a host of other features, including a 4.3-inch TFT LCD with capacitive touchscreen, exclusive Harman HiQnet System Architect 2.0 control functionality and Version 5 DSP preset support for JBL Professional’s newly-launched VTX Series V25, plus Vertec Series line array loudspeakers.

Crown’s I-Tech 4x3500HD delivers 1,900 watts per channel into eight ohms, 2,000 watts per channel into four ohms and 4,000 watts into four ohms bridged with all channels driven at full bandwidth, all from an amplifier that measures 2U rack spaces high. This power to size ratio is facilitated by Crown’s exclusive DriveCore amplifier IC chip, which combines the amplifier driver stage with the power output stage (along with additional audio-signal functions), to reduce overall size and power-consumption requirements and ensure energy-efficient operation that conforms to Haman International’s GreenEdge environmental initiative.

DriveCore technology is also designed to give the I-Tech 4x3500HD the ability to better control and quickly recover from high-voltage transients, for accurate reproduction of the input signal and optimum low-frequency response.

With four analogue inputs, four AES3 digital inputs and four AES inputs over VDrive and the ability to select four CobraNet inputs, the I-Tech 4x3500HD aims to address the concerns of audio professionals with regards to the relative lack of inputs and outputs on DSP-enabled power amplifiers. The amplifier also includes SpeakON or banana plug speaker connectors, as well as a Neutrik PowerCON AC input connector to prevent the power cord from coming loose in transit.

The I-Tech 4x3500HD offers more DSP sound-tailoring capability than any other amplifier on the market. Its proprietary BSS OmniDriveHD processing engine employs 32bit/192kHz A/D and D/A converters for audio clarity and the ability to tailor the amplifier’s audio output. Crown’s exclusive linear phase FIR and IIR filters aim to provide optimised loudspeaker crossover points with improved midrange clarity and off-axis loudspeaker response.

The amplifier is compatible with the Harman HiQnet System Architect and JBL HiQnet Performance Manager sound reinforcement system design software. Furthermore, the inclusion of JBL VERTEC Version 5 DSP preset tunings for VERTEC Series loudspeakers interface with the I-Tech 4x3500HD’s FIR filters to increase the loudspeakers’ sound quality and horizontal coverage performance. For enhanced control and monitoring capabilities the amplifier is also compatible with the Powered By Crown iPad/iPhone application.

“The I-Tech 4x3500HD DriveCore Series offers control, connectivity, DSP and system interfacing capabilities that have never been available in a professional high-power multichannel amplifier before,” said Brian Pickowitz, market manager, Tour Sound for Crown. “We designed it entirely without compromise to be the most flexible and useful multichannel amplifier on the market today.”

“The I-Tech 4x3500HD will be an integral part of our turnkey system package for the newly-released, VTX Series V25 flagship fullsize enclosure as well as a powerful, versatile platform that allows VerTec to achieve it’s full performance potential with V5 processing”, added Paul Bauman, senior manager, Tour Sound for JBL Professional.

Incorporating a host of additional features, the I-Tech 4x3500HD includes Crown’s LevelMax limiter technology, which combines the operation of the amplifier’s Peak, Thermal and RMS limiters for more effective protection; a front-panel USB port that enables users to load preset amplifier settings or device files and update firmware.

Power per channel with all channels driven for two seconds is as follows: 1,900W at eight ohms; 2,000W at four ohms; 2,000W at two ohms; 3,800W at eight ohms bridged; 4,000W at four ohms bridged.

The Crown I-Tech 4x3500HD DriveCore Series will be available in February 2012.