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AB Class Live Power Amplifiers

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  1. Behringer EP2000 EUROPOWER Power Amp
    Top Rated
    $24999.00
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  2. Cerwin-Vega CV-900 Power Amplifier
    $2990.00
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  3. QSC RMX1450a Power Amplifier
    $52999.00
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  4. QSC RMX850a Power Amplifier
    $39999.00
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  5. Cerwin-Vega CV-1800 Power Amplifier
    $3990.00
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Understanding the difference between AB-class live power amplifiers and their ancestors means learning a little bit about how they work. The simplest (and in many eyes the best-sounding) amplifiers are A-class, which use a single transistor in their main circuit, handling the whole sound wave. This means they need to bias their input voltage to not have the speaker cone off-center when no power is going into the amp, and that requires the amp to consume power constantly, making its efficiency as low as 25%. The result is an amp that cooks the rack, dumping three-quarters of the power it consumes as heat!

Adding a second transistor gives us a B-class amplifier, which fixes the efficiency problem by giving the peaks of the sound wave to one transistor, and the troughs to the second. But that leads to a new issue: a slight lag called "crossover distortion" when switching from one transistor to the other. To fix this, engineers add a little bit of voltage bias back into the circuit. The result is an AB-class amplifier, delivering most of the sound quality of an A-class amp along with most of the efficiency of a B-class. For those of us in need of high-performance amplification that won't roast itself in the process of doing its job, these are the sweet spot.

Since amplifiers are a tried-and-tested technology that's had lots of time to be refined, you won't find a huge difference between the core functions of any two models. So making the best choice for your needs often comes down to the feature set, power level, and even brand loyalty. Some AB-class live power amplifiers well-suited to an average setup would be the Cerwin-Vega CV-900 Power Amplifier and the QSC RMX850a Power Amplifier - but if you need even more power than that, check out the Cerwin-Vega CV-1800 Power Amplifier and the Behringer EP2000 EUROPOWER Power Amp. There's no right or wrong amp to pick; it's all a matter of deciding which one works for you.
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