Amplifiers: To Meet Needs, Learn About Linearity, Gain

Designed to inherently work better at some frequencies than others, there is no power amplifier that is perfect for every application.

Amplifiers: To Meet Needs, Learn About Linearity, Gain
According to attributes, power amplifiers are classified alphabetically, usually A through D, or more specifically Class A through Class D, indicating whether an amplifier is optimized for efficiency, linearity or a compromise between the two.
Amplifiers: To Meet Needs, Learn About Linearity, Gain
According to attributes, power amplifiers are classified alphabetically, usually A through D, or more specifically Class A through Class D, indicating whether an amplifier is optimized for efficiency, linearity or a compromise between the two.

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When seeking to find the right budget-friendly and high-quality amplifier to serve the needs for your church, there are a few solid options to consider.
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Class C have higher efficiency, but the output quality is poor. Class A power amplifiers tend to deliver a more musical sound, while Class C amplifiers are better suited for speech only – such as a warehouse public address system. With Class D technology, those type of amplifiers are becoming increasingly utilized, since they offer more power, with notably less weight, particularly those that are Class A.

Some of the most respected loudspeaker manufacturers have become very active in proprietary power amplifier designs. The power amplifiers designed by these brands are made to be used exclusively with specific models of their brand of loud speakers and are fully programmable. In addition, there are some loudspeaker manufacturers that have power amplifiers built into their loudspeaker enclosure. This is a very convenient design, although it does make for a very heavy loudspeaker (or floor monitor). It’s extremely beneficial to have the amplifier so easily accessible for maintenance and troubleshooting, as opposed to an amp room that is set up in a remote location.

As always, I intentionally avoid mentioning any particular manufacturer, so as not to appear to endorse one amplifier manufacturer over another.

Again, I hope I’ve offered enough information so that an informed decision can be reached when you’re in the market for an amplifier to match your loudspeakers.

Please keep in mind that there are many more aspects to consider that were not covered in this article, such as the mode in which the power amplifier will be used (bridged, to perhaps power sub woofer speakers, or not), wattage, ohms, impedance, types of connectors, etc.

The most important consideration to remember is that the power amplifier must match your loudspeaker, in that the power handling limits of the loudspeaker are not exceeded, or you will risk damaging the loudspeaker.




More About Kirk Denson
Kirk Denson is the Director of Audio and Technical Production at the House of Hope Worship Center, located in Chicago. Kirk is a veteran of the music industry, as a concert touring sound engineer, and also the film industry, as a sound designer and editor with a desire to give back to the community by way of his ministry work as the Founder and Executive Director of the MEMa studio. .
Get in Touch: kirk@kirkdenson.com    More by Kirk Denson

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, September-October 2017
The September-October 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a glance at a Granger Community Church, and their recent install of a Lawo audio mixing console system.


Article Topics

Technology · Audio · Team Management · Budgeting · Boost · Class A · Class D · Efficiency · Frequencies · Gain · All Topics

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