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Demo of the month: Powersoft Quattrocanali series

Ahead of today’s launch of Powersoft’s new Quattrocanali amplifier series at ISE 2017, Duncan Proctor visited the company’s Florence HQ for a presentation and demo.

Powersoft has been carefully adding to its amplifier line-up over the last few years, developing the install arm to stand alongside its strong touring offering. This latest product launch for fixed installs completes the set, adding a four-channel series to its current two and eight-channel models and filling a gap in the company’s portfolio for small to medium sized applications.

This new line has been designed and pitched to open up a number of new markets and allow the manufacturer to meet the needs of a broader range of customers, while also correcting the perception by some of Powersoft being synonymous with high power applications. Furthermore, the company will be well placed to take advantage of strong growth throughout the installation market with an attractive range of potential verticals from hospitality to sporting venues all looking to upgrade sound systems and considering ROI and performance and not just identifying the cheapest available option.

The Quattrocanali series consists of three models: 4804, 2404, and 1204. They are available in standard versions and also with DSP+Dante to form a complete solution, and potentially as part of a larger Dante network. The flexibility of the platform means it is suitable for a wide variety of environments including bars and restaurants, as well as retail outlets and fitness centres. In addition, mission critical security applications can benefit from the reliable system architecture of each amp. Both DSP+Dante and non-DSP versions offer channel and master volume control, with DSP+Dante versions also having in-depth control via the Armonía software and featuring four Dante input channels.

Each model benefits from Powersoft’s switch-mode power supply with power factor correction, as well as smart rail management and bridgeable switch mode fixed frequency Class D output circuit topology, all within a compact 1RU form factor. The 1204 in particular, which features 300W per channel, is seen as the model to open up new opportunities in applications such as leisure venues and retail spaces, where the priority is audio quality and ease of use.

Three application examples referenced during the presentation included a paging installation scheme in a shop, a classroom with zoned Lo-Z loudspeakers, and a Hi-Z loudspeaker bar application. While the channel count is limited, Quattrocanali is still able to provide the flexibility to work with both Hi-Z and Lo-Z systems. It can also save the customer money on the installation – as a complete solution there is less auxiliary equipment needed. Other advantages from the perspective of an integrator include the scalability of the platform and the competitive price point it has been positioned.

Software update

Armonía software provides the user with remote access to all the amplifier functions from a decentralised location, reducing the need for personnel on station. The latest update (2.9) of the Armonía Pro Audio Suite accompanies the launch of the Quattrocanali amps. It now has an enhanced operator view to improve ease of use, and can be exported to tablets, mobile devices, and can also be accessed via a web app. Powersoft is aiming to simplify the user experience and help different levels of staff manage increasingly complex sound system designs. The customisable software enables system designers and operators to have remote control and monitoring of all Powersoft products – the library includes all Powersoft amplifiers from the last 20 years. It also has on-line or off-line system setup and tuning, real-time management and monitoring of all vital functions from a remote PC via a single GUI. The fully-customisable interface integrates all devices in one screen, so that everything can be monitored easily.

Additional features include damping control and limiters, Active DampingControl provides compensation of speaker wire losses and Powersoft’s TruePower limiter keeps amplifier output power to safe levels depending on the varying load impedance over frequency. The new access manager feature allows the administrator to set permissions (guest and admin) to allow two levels of access so while everyone can monitor the system only administrators can alter settings.

Also revealed during the visit was the launch of a Duecanali 1604 amplifier in both standard and Dante networked versions, to supplement the current models in the two-channel series. The 1604 is expected to be selected mostly to add to existing systems, but it is also aimed at larger two-channel install applications. The amplifier is able to drive low impedance loads and 70V/100V distributed lines selectable per channel. It also provides more than 16 different possible output configurations including Lo-Z, Hi-Z, bridge mode, and parallel mode.

Powersoft has modified its manufacturing process opening a new assembly line specifically for the Quattrocanali series, which means they are able to ship all the new models immediately.

Picture: Chiara Benedettini