switchmode power amplifier
renowned MC2 sonic performance and build quality
Class AB design with switching power supply for low weight
Power Reduction Circuitry
Full DC and short-circuit protection
Bridge/mono operation
The AQ-3 is a lightweight switchmode four-channel power amplifier designed to give the best performance from the smaller loudspeakers
within the EM Acoustics product range.
Designed by MC2 Audio, the AQ-3 is a Class-AB amplifier, which utilisies proprietary current-driven output stage technology to give
exceptional transient response. The resonant power supply has a very large power reservoir, which allows the AQ-3 to deliver high
transients without any perceptible “bass sag”. This, along with the aluminium chassis construction are the keys to the very low weight,
which makes the AQ-3 as ideal for touring applications as it is for fixed installations.
The AQ-3 is ideal for powering the smaller products within the EM Acoustics range. The AQ-3 features automatic impedance sensing and
changes the output power accordingly. The AQ-3 features optical limiters, linked to the output current monitors and power supply which
keep mains input and output currents within safe operating limits at all times, whilst maintaining the transparent sonic performance
required. The inbuilt Power Reduction Control is also tied into these limiters – as well as the power supply, and continually monitors these
as well as load, temperature and other operating parameters. Activated via recessed switches on the rear panel, the PRC effectively
reduces the available power output from the amplifier. This allows the user to set the AQ-3 to have a maximum power below its rated
output, ensuring the best possible match to a wide variety of different loudspeakers and improving overall system reliability.
The front panel for the AQ-3 carries the AC mains power switch and indicator LED, as well as a simple and intuitive set of indicators. 5segement LED meters show audio signal presence and level (-24dB, -12dB, -6dB, -3dB and limit). Indicators for channel input link, PRC
activation and audio protection are provided. Each channel also has a multi-detent analogue level control allowing precise signal level
settings when in use. Amplifier protection is also an area where the AQ-3 delivers completely. A soft-start sequence with complete inrush
protection means the AQ-3 powers up completely muted, and then gradually fades the input up to the previous level. A comprehensive
diagnostic circuit constantly monitors load, temperature and other parameters and automatically adjusts the power supply if overheating or
any other problems occur. Output short circuit and DC output are also protected – and the AQ-3 will only require a manual restart if
output short circuits occur.
The AQ-3 is built around a 2U all-metal chassis, which provides a roadworthy package whilst keeping the weight low. Handles are included
within the front 5mm thick fascia panel. A rackmount kit is also supplied to enable the amplifier to be secured at the rear for additional
stability. Low-noise variable speed fans are fitted to the AQ-3 (cooling is from front to rear), along with a reticulated foam dust filter which
can easily be removed for cleaning. The rear panel houses the Neutrik XLR input connectors, along with output connectors on SpeakONTM
NL4. The captive AC mains power cable is also presented on the rear panel, along with the recessed switches for input signal link (link A-B,
link B-C, link C-D) and the PRC controls for each pair of channels.
As a final touch, the output connectors for channels A & C carry other channels on pins 2+/2- - channel A carries channel B on its second
set of pins, and channel C carries channel D. This enables simple and swift bi-amp wiring if required.
Amplifier class & channels :
Output Power :
Gain/Sensitivity :
Frequency Response :
Power Consumption :
Input Impedance :
Input CMRR :
Damping Factor :
Signal-to-noise Ratio :
Signal Limiters :
Protection :
Dimensions (HxWxD) :
Net Weight :
Shipping Weight :
AB, 4 channels
725W/ch @ 8 ohms, 750W/ch @ 4 ohms
1500W @ 8 ohms (bridged)
(Measured with continuous sine wave @ 1kHz)
<0.008% @ 1kHz, <0.03% 20Hz - 20kHz (measured @ 1dB below max output power)
26 / 31 / 32dB, Sensitivity for maximum power +11 / 6 / 5dBu
20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.3dB
2.7A nominal @ 240V, 5.4A nominal @ 120V (with 4 ohm load)
20k ohms (active balanced)
> 60dB
400 (8 ohms / 1kHz)
Better than 105dB (unweighted, 22Hz - 22kHz)
Operate at maximum power to prevent signal clipping
Output short circuit, DC output, over-temperature, mains in-rush control
88 (3.5) x 482 (18.9) x 428 (16.8) mm (ins)
AQ-3 Datasheet v1.0 Jan 2013
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