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Chorus 5200 iBias Class A Five Channel Power Amplifier with Network Connectivity
The five-channel Krell Chorus 5200 home theater and music power amplifier delivers everything an audiophile could desire in sound quality, thanks to exclusive Krell iBias Class A technology. At 8 ohms, the 5200 delivers 200 watts-per-channel of pure musicality to all five channels with incredible dimensionality and an extraordinarily deep and ambient soundstage.
Krell's history is rich with breakthrough Class A amplifiers that have helped build the Krell legacy of offering the best sounding amplifiers available. Audiophiles have always considered Class A technology to be the best sounding operating state for amplifiers. However, despite Class A's unrivaled sound quality, it has fallen out of fashion because of recent demands to reduce power consumption and heat in home electronics products.
The Class A Engineering Challenge
Krell engineering took this challenge and redefined the meaning of high performance power amplifier with the goal of producing unmatched performance, elegant design, and a compelling array of features. The breakthrough was a patent pending circuit delivering Class A operation without the excessive heat and wasted energy of conventional designs, housed in a striking new form factor, and offering network connectivity for control and reporting functions. The sound is open and unconstrained, in a manner that rivals live performance and the true sound of voices and instruments. Music and dialog are reproduced with richness, detail, and startling dynamics.
Class A designs are the most musically accurate circuit topology available. Class A amplifiers do not suffer from the inherent distortions that all Class AB amplifiers experience. In a traditional Class A design, the output transistors conduct full current at all times regardless of the actual demand from the speakers. Often, only a fraction of this power is needed to reproduce an audio signal at normal listening levels. The rest of the power is dissipated through the amplifier’s heat sinks, producing large amounts of wasted heat. With Krell's iBias™ technology, bias is dynamically adjusted, so the output transistors receive exactly as much power as they need – but only that much.
Behind the iBias Class A Breakthrough
Krell's iBias Class A technology allows its latest amplifiers to run in full Class A mode to full power while minimizing heat generation. Previous efforts at using a ‘tracking’ bias, while effective, only measured the incoming signal and set bias levels from this information. But iBias technology significantly elevates the effectiveness of previous designs by calculating bias from the output stage. This seemingly small change in topology results in a dramatic improvement in sound quality, especially midrange richness and purity.
The core of the technology is an innovative, patent pending design for a dynamic intelligent bias circuit. Krell’s iBias Class A circuit directly measures the output current of the amplifier and adjusts the bias to the optimum level. Because iBias Class A measures the output current, the real-time demands of the specific speaker connected to the amp are directly incorporated into the circuit function. In addition, iBias Class A even reduces the bias when the signal is at very low levels, making its operation undetectable by ear and even by standard amplifier measurements.
Optimized Power Supply
Unlike traditional Class A amplifiers, iBias Class A amps have a compact design that allows rack-mounting, making them ideal for custom installation as well as traditional audiophile systems. This convenient form factor is made possible through thermostatically controlled ventilation fans. The fans used are specifically chosen for quiet operation, and operate at the speed required to maintain the ideal internal temperature. They run only during periods of peak energy demand - when the music is at its loudest - so they are inaudible in normal use.
Network Connectivity for Control
The Chorus 5200 includes RJ 45 Ethernet connectivity and an internal web page that is accessible from any smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Network connectivity brings convenience, monitoring, and reporting. Amplifier configuration options include display brightness and timeout. For energy conservation, the amplifiers can be programmed to power off at a preset time of inactivity. Individual channels can be muted and firmware updates can be initiated from the web server.
Once the amplifier is connected to a network router with Internet access, the amplifier's advanced protection systems are now viewable on an Internet-connected device. Excessive current, output DC, fan speeds, short circuit, and overheating are all monitored in real time. If an issue occurs, the fault is displayed on the front panel and reported on the web server interface. Emails will automatically be sent to as many as three email addresses to notify the end user and/or the dealer of the condition.
Core Krell Circuit Technologies
The new iBias circuitry is built on a foundation of core Krell circuit technologies. All signal gain is realized in the current domain using proprietary multiple-output current mirrors with extraordinary open loop linearity. Each amplifier channel uses all discrete components. There are no generic integrated circuits or op amps used anywhere. Gain is distributed among several stages, allowing each to have a large linear operating area.
Audio signal voltages are converted to current at the amplifier input, and the audio signal remains in the current domain throughout the entire amplifier. Current mirrors in the final gain stages use a new output power device that operates at a 73% higher voltage, delivers almost 10% more current, and offers 120 watts of additional power handling capability as compared to other devices. With this combination, the iBias amplifiers may now deliver substantially more power while using a smaller footprint.
Normally used in demanding, high-bandwidth video circuits, these transistors allow the design of gain stages with superb accuracy and very low distortion. The signal path is fully complementary and fully balanced from input to output. Independent complementary pre driver and driver stages for the positive and negative output transistors make the output stages extremely fast and linear. This unique circuit is impervious to low-impedance or reactive loads. It simply drives any loudspeaker with absolute confidence, achieving the very best possible sonic results.
Most amplifiers use coupling capacitors in the signal path to block DC and prevent damaging offset voltages from reaching your speakers. Krell amplifiers are fully direct-coupled, with no capacitors in the audio signal path. This design gives the Krell amplifiers lower internal impedance, which allows firmer, more precise control of your speakers. It also provides flatter, more extended low-frequency response, because coupling capacitors not only block DC but also affect the lowest bass frequencies. Krell employs expensive, nonintrusive DC servos that remove DC without impacting the musical signal. Thus, the iBias Class A amplifiers deliver the full breadth of the music with detail, impact, and space intact.
Everything Audiophiles and Home Theater Fans Could Want
Krell iBias Class A amplifiers are the first to deliver the rich musicality of Class A amplifiers, the uncompromised dynamics of classic Krell amplifiers, and the efficiency and low power consumption of Class G and H amplifiers.
Because the iBias circuit eliminates crossover distortion, the amplifier is able to resolve more of the detail and microdynamics in even the best analog recordings. Simply put, the music breathes. Whether an iBias amplifier is called on to reproduce the extreme dynamic range of high-resolution digital files, the minute intricacies of a 45-rpm, 180-gram vinyl record, or the complexity of today’s latest blockbuster action film, it does so without altering or abating the music in any way.
The iBias amplifiers' unprecedented ability to retrieve the subtlest details gives their sound an incredible dimensionality, with an ambient, broad and extraordinarily deep soundstage. As spacious as the sound is, though, the amplifiers are still able to produce pinpoint stereo imaging if the recording calls for it. It's all the power and control for which Krell has always been famous, with a level of resolution and musicality in the midrange and treble that has simply never been heard before.