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More Than One Way: Alternatives To High-Voltage Audio Power Distribution
This method is best understood by looking at the workings of a traditional power amplifier
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For large systems, several power supplies can be distributed to keep the distance between them and the loudspeaker/amplifier units at a minimum.

All that remains is to get the electrical signal voltage to all of the “distributed” amplifier/loudspeakers.

Since this is a line level signal, it can be run very long distances without significant degradation.

Finally, if the DC and signal are run through the same multi-conductor cable, installation of such a system is greatly facilitated.

For electronic systems, DC is an ideal way to power things, since almost every unit in a sound system must convert AC to DC in order to work.

In fact, when the AC power standards were established years ago, there were many people, including Thomas Edison, that wanted to use DC distribution. It makes a lot of sense for much of what we use power for.

Advantages:
Short Loudspeaker Lines
Higher Fidelity
Lower Operating Voltages
Conduit is not required in many locals

Disadvantages:
Increased cost over conventional systems
Upgrades are more complex (this is probably an advantage. Ask anyone who has ever had a customer hang a transformerless loudspeaker on their 70 volt line and load it down).
Very high power amplifiers not available

Author’s Note: The technology was actually developed by Richard Heyser of the Jet Propulsion Laboratories in the 1980s.

Pat & Brenda Brown lead SynAudCon, conducting audio seminars and workshops around the world. For more information go to synaudcon.com.


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