One key to outstanding home theater sound is proper amplification. Power is how you bring a movie soundtrack to life. Even though they are aimed at the pro market, Crown offers a collection of new amps - the DCi series - that look to be perfect for the job.
Achieving THX reference levels can be a challenge for even the mightiest AVRs. Advanced systems that use dedicated processors require
external amplification. To that end, Crown offers a series of highly flexible, powerful multi-channel amplifiers. Available in two flavors - 'Network' which features DSP including limiters, EQ and mixing... and 'Analog' because there is no integrated DSP capability. With either option, the new line features a number of configurations to best match the intended application. The DCi Network and Analog lines both come in 2/4/8 channel models rated at 300 and 600 watts/channel, for a grand total of twelve new models.
The new amps boast high efficiency - over 90% - and low power consumption on standby - under 1 watt. An optional
auto-sleep mode turns the amp off if no signal is received for 30 minutes.
At the top of the line is the 8-channel, 600-watt DCi 8/600. Let's use it as an example: The DCi series features bridgeable channel pairs, so configuring a single amplifier to run a 7.1 system couldn't be easier - bridge one channel pair for 1200 watts of power and run the subwoofer(s) off that channel, the rest of the channels get 600 watts of power each (or 300 watts at 8 ohms). That should be enough power to get levels up to THX reference, even in a large HT. Don't need to power a sub? Then you're good to go for amplifying a 9.2 system. Want a souped-up 5.1 rig? Bridge three channel pairs and run LCR off of them (1200 watts/channel), and run the surrounds off the last channel pair.
A headline feature of these new amplifiers is switchable 70/100 volt operation with 1.4/2.0 volt input sensitivity, which can be selected on a per-channel basis. All the models share the same chassis and weigh less that 30 lbs. Availability is Spring 2013 and Crown offers a 3-year, fully transferable warranty on all the new models. The new DCi is a direct replacement for Crown's CTs series so even though pricing has not been announced, it should be in the same range.
“In introducing the DCi Series we had to exceed the benchmarks set by our acclaimed CTs Series, which has established itself as the de facto amplifier standard for installed sound applications,” said Daniel Saenz, business segment manager, install sound, Crown. “It was no easy task, but our new DCi Series offers an entirely new level of unsurpassed performance that will be appreciated by audio professionals worldwide.”
The DriveCore Install series represent the latest in amplifier technology. Based on proprietary and patented Harman DriveCore technology, these amplifiers are the next generation of PWM technology using cutting-edge Class D amplifier topologies.
The DriveCore Install series includes:
100Vrms Direct Drive Operation that is critical in running long speaker runs over smaller wire
Bridgeable Channel Pairs--even in 100 Vrms operation
Next generation Power Factor Corrected Universal Power Supply for maximum efficiency across a variety of voltages
Power saving features to minimize the end users power consumption as much as possible
Install Network amplifiers include:
Network Monitoring and Control via Audio Architect
BLU-Link Digital Audio Transport
Digital Signal Processingsource