Frequently Asked Questions - Amplifiers

How is an AMTC amplifier different from one I can buy at Best Buy?
First, an AMTC amplifier, like most commercial-grade amplifiers, uses completely different technology than a consumer-grade amplifier, with 70/100 volt speaker outputs. This allows speakers to be connected in "daisy-chain" fashion. Consumer-grade amplifiers require that each speaker be wired directly to the amplifier, making installation much more difficult and expensive (copper speaker wire isn't cheap). Equally important, consumer-grade amplifiers typically allow connection of only one or two pairs of speakers, which is insufficient for all but the smallest of businesses. Connecting more speakers than the amplifier is designed for reduces the impedance of the speaker load, causing amplifier failure. Our amplifier technology allows connection of many speakers, limited only by the output capacity of the amplifier. Second, consumer-grade amplifiers are designed for occasional, short-term use. Most businesses run an amplifier every day for the entire business day. Many leave them on 24/7. AMTC amplifiers are designed to endure this kind of duty. Consumer-grade amplifiers aren't. (81)
How do I know what size amplifier I need?
It's simple math. Simply add up the wattage tap settings (see speaker FAQs) for the speakers you want to power, and select an amplifier with at least that rating (you can always select an amplifier with more output capacity than you need, just not less) . AMTC amplifiers are rated for their "continuous" output capacity, so you don't need to leave any "buffer" (your total speaker load in watts can equal the rated output capacity of the amplifier). Many amplifiers, even commercial-grade amplifiers, are rated for their "peak" output capacity . This means they can handle intermittent loads in the rated amount, but can't handle that level of load on a continuous basis. Thus, an amplifier rated at 350 watts peak might be able to handle a continuous load of only 200 watts. (82)
If I exceed my amplifier's rated output capacity, will it blow up?
It's important to select an amplifier with an output capacity at least as large as the total speaker load. However, most AMTC amplifiers incorporate sophisticated overload thermal protection circuitry. If your speaker load exceeds the output capacity of the amplifier, it will begin to overheat, triggering the amplifier to shut down before it's components are damaged. (83)
Can I use multiple music sources, such as an AMTC digital media player and an iPod?
Most AMTC amplifiers are "mixer" amplifiers, meaning they have connections for multiple input sources. The specifications page for each AMTC amplifier found at discloses the number of input connections. (84)
Can I connect a microphone to an AMTC amplifier?
Most AMTC amplifiers have input connections for one or more microphones. The specifications page for each AMTC amplifier found at discloses the number of microphone inputs. (85)
If I try to use a microphone while music is playing, will people be able to hear me?
If an AMTC amplifier has a microphone input, it incorporates a sophisticated "interrupt" feature which will mute or reduce the level of music so that the microphone input may be heard. When the microphone input stops (you stop talking), the music is restored to the original level. (86)
How do I decide between wiring my system using 70 or 100 volts?
Generally, 100 volts is used only when there is a very long distance between the amplifier and the last speaker in the daisy chain, generally over 250 feet. Speakers are more efficient at 70 volts than at 100 volts, meaning that a desired volume will be achieved using less power, enabling more speakers to be powered by the amplifier. (143)
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