4 On The Floor: Crown I-Tech 4x3500HD
It’s been a while... but thankfully for those with bad backs, shot legs and a general grumpy unwillingness to lug heavy racks of amplifiers around, a high power 4 channel amplifier is now back in the Crown line up.
As with its 2 channel I-Tech HD brothers, this new addition also features multiple inputs, analogue, AES, VDrive, CobraNet, plus standard TCP/IP networking for monitoring, control and configuration, but of course it does all this across 4 channels.
And that actually is 4 channels, unlike some other manufactures that spring to mind whose 4 channel amplifier is actually 2 input channels to 4 outputs. Not here. Simply 4 channels in and 4 channels out. All separate if you want, or not. Importantly, it’s up to you. 4 inputs, routable to any of the 4 outputs.
Sister Harman company BSS provide the DSP horsepower on this as on all other I-Tech HD amplifiers in the shape of a 4 channel Omnidrive HD series processor featuring 24-bit, 192kHz SHARC ADSP A/D and D/A convertors, plus world class FIR brick wall filters that feature more than 3500 coefficient taps for very high precision filtering and 18 IIR filters including Bessel, Butterworth and Linkwitz-Riley.
Power wise, this amplifier will happily go to 2 ohms and push out up to 3500w per channel. Connections for your speaker load can be either Neutrik Speakon, of which the rear panel features 2 NL4 sockets and a single NL8, or binding posts. You choose, but you can’t have both.
Those 3500w will work just about anywhere too, with a universal 100-240VAC auto ranging power supply with more capacitance that allows maximum energy reserves to be released for high power bursts, fed by a high current Neutrik Powercon mains power connector and all encased in a compact 2RU 13Kg package.
Also, as you have probably spotted, front and centre, a pretty large colour touchscreen, indeed the first such control screen on any amplifier. The UI has been inspired by that found on Harman mixer companies Studer and Soundcraft vistonics equipped digital mixing consoles, such as the Vi6 and Vista 5, making it easy and intuitive to navigate, all based upon customer feedback during product development.
These amplifiers are now included in the latest release of System Architect which you can download FOC from Harman’s HiQnet website. In addition, hook one or a whole rack load of these into a wireless network and you can make use of Crown’s ‘Take Control’ app to suit iPads, iPhones and errr… take control from anywhere in range of the Wi-Fi access point. Cool.
Software to configure, control and carry out firmware updates on these amplifiers, plus a load of other Harman brands within one software suit, System Architect 3 is available to download here.