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Studio Amplifiers

Before I begin the story of the manufacturers of amplifiers, I would like to bust a myth related to the term "studio amplifiers". It is possible to meet a few more names for such devices: monitor amplifier, control amplifier, linear amplifier. Unfortunately, many people "fall" to such terms, while reading many praises on the products at the manufacturer sites. Even people who have great experience in the field of professional audio sector do not notice very obvious things. No matter that the PA monitoring at the modern market was introduced with few producers, studio amplifiers have been there for a long time. The main difference from regular professional amplifier is that the studio amplifiers do not make noise while working, because they have passive cooling and have very compact dimensions. They sound like Hi-Fi amplifier and are designed to work with low-cost passive monitors or Hi-Fi speakers instead of studio. Usually no more than 100 watts which is enough for the average room, but without reserve power you can forget about the proper reproduction of sound peaks in films (explosions, gunfire, etc.). However, passive monitors have various levels of quality. For example, the Event will work well with any of these amps, but for passive Dynaudio it would be enough. Even more surprising is the price which is usually 150-350 Euros. Personally, I call such amplifiers "amplifiers up to 400 Euros". It is quite clear that the studio sound for that kind of money you cannot have. And do not forget that in countries where such amplifiers are manufactured, their price is much lower.

But no matter that, in the modern world the term-studio amplifier was turned into that and I was telling you about it before. Well-known and proven brands do exist nowadays and some new are appearing too. First it is legendary and at the same time practically unknown the French amplifiers JMF. Remember - the True brands are never advertised. Previously published under the brand JDF and proudly worn on its casings an Ultra Monitor amplifier label. From the moment they appeared till now, these are probably the best studio amplifiers. These units operate in the most expensive recording studios with passive monitors of the same company or the Kinoshita Company. One should not forget the model of amplifier that is not manufactured anymore and that is Company Crown Studio Reference. The main difference, besides low noise, distortion and wide dynamic range, is damping factor 20 000 (twenty thousand!). Such a high indicator dumping factors provides great control over the loudspeakers, especially at low frequencies. This list is finalized with the Bryston Company, whose amplifiers the company RMS is using. They are installed in most of studies, which use passive monitors or PA. These are the only amplifiers that have found their place in the studio monitoring systems since the foundation of the company Bryston. Today, all over the world the concept of studio-quality amplifier is almost always associated with the Bryston Company.

The next class represents the amplifier manufacturers, whose products probably have a slightly lower sound quality compared with the first group and a very similar quality if you make a comparison among them. The most famous company in this category is the English company MC2, whose amplifiers have considerable technical characteristics and are used with such monitors such are Quested and Dynaudio. We can add here companies like ATC, Chevin, Sonic Frontiers, Electrocompaniet ...

Another group represents the Russian manufacturers of amplifiers like Sakevich, Neva Audio, Filigrane. Brand Sakevich is most common among domestic sound directors because of its low price. Very well known also in the west is Neva Audio. Their amplifiers are used by Philip Newell that creates the first-class recording studios around the world. In his project he is using its own PA-based monitors JBL and TAD, and since the early nineties he is using amplifiers Neva Audio. He ends a list with Filegrane, about which there is very little information, but which got higher grades from the sound director than the brand Sakevich.

Those are probably all manufacturers of real studio amplifiers that exist in our time. I would like to clarify something, and that is no matter the fact that amplifier is active device and that greatly affects the sound quality compared with the source of signal at the same time it has a minor effect on sound than any other sound driver. So, if you do not use top-grade components in the design of PA system, you can certainly use simple professional amplifiers, and if you do not need high sound pressure you can even use home amplifiers, which often have less distortion. Professional amplifiers have a huge reserve of strength, and you can see the models that have 0.01% distortion. The amplifiers used in movie theaters have THX certificate. Yet, It is also an excellent replacement for"studio amplifiers up to 400 Euros", if you are using passive monitors of higher level or high-quality Hi-Fi speakers.

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