rom its beginnings in a converted chicken coop in Elkhart, Indiana to its current status as one of the most respected manufacturers of power amplifiers for audio professionals, Crown has remained committed to building rugged gear that can stand up to heavy use on the road or in the studio.
Founded by Elkhart minister Clarence C. Moore in 1947 as International Radio and Electronics Corporation, the company's modest beginnings were in building customized heavy-duty reel-to-reel tape recorders for use by missionaries abroad.
Within two years, Moore had obtained a patent for a new tape recorder with a built-in power amplifier for public address use, followed closely by compact loudspeakers as accessories. By the end of the 1950s, they had begun making standalone tube power amps and, by the early '60s, had developed a solid-state amplifier design. The DC300, introduced in 1967, was the first amp to use Class AB+B circuitry, enabling it to provide a then-unheard-of 150 watts per channel. The DC300 was, in many ways, Crown's breakthrough product, as it was quickly adopted by both theater owners and commercial sound system designers, due to its ability to easily power their constant voltage speaker systems without the problems associated with the transformers that had previously been required. It has been called "a classic that really ushered in and defined the era of the modern power amplifier," by George Peterson, executive editor of Mix magazine.
Not content to rest on their laurels, Crown has continued to develop new technology over the years, continually advancing the state-of-the-art for power amplification and sound reinforcement. As sound systems have grown larger, the need has developed for higher and higher power levels in amplifiers, and Crown has heeded to call, making amps capable of delivering up to 7000 watts of power in bridged mode. Today, as a part of Harman International, Crown not only provides power amps under their own brand, but also works with other Harman companies, like JBL, to provide hybrid solutions for sound reinforcement and studio use.