(click thumbnail)You may be saying, “Wow, another high-powered amp on the market. Ooh — let me run out and buy it now because it’s the best new thing and this reviewer said it was awesome.” (Please note the sarcasm.)
But I will spare you of any hype as I tell you about the new Powersoft K10, an amp that many of you may not be familiar with. However, I am speaking honestly when I say that you need to consider and hear the K10 before buying something else. This isn’t the flash-in-the-pan/fly-by-night amp story you may expect. The K10 is the real deal.
Just like Ferrari and Lamborghini, this little powerhouse comes from Italy. And much like those high-dollar and exotic sports cars, the $8,395 unit packs a large punch in a small, sleek frame. The K10 sits in a 1U rack space and delivers 6,000 watts at 2 ohms per channel at a weight of only 26.4 lbs. Its bandwidth is rated at 5 Hz – 30 kHz at an 8-ohm load with a damping factor of >5000. Slew rate at 8 ohms is rated at 50 V/uS. A-weighed signal-to-noise ratio is >110 dB from 20 Hz to 20 kHz with distortion rated typically at <0.05 percent. The K10 also is equipped with a universal/worldwide operating power supply with Power Factor Correction (PFC) for extremely low main AC input consumption and a wide operation range. You can also set the maximum power output for each channel and the maximum current draw on the mains.
The K10 has optional DSP, putting it in the “majors” of live amplifier options. All speaker processing can be handled at the amp. Its DSP features one of the coolest impedance adjustments to the damping factor (±2 ohms). This only applies to the low-end frequency range (400 Hz and below) to correct for the amount of cable you are using from the amp to your subs, for example … very impressive.
The K10 can also be networked (via an Ethernet option) with other Powersoft amps to be monitored and adjusted in real time with a laptop. The processing keeps a running log of temperature and faults that can also be accessed from the amp network. All of the processor changes can be mapped out and stored on a smart card (Powersoft-proprietary), which is interchangeable from amp to amp. If, perchance, you choose not to use the optional network, each amp can be connected to a laptop running the given Powersoft Remote control software via a RS485 interface on each amp. Finally, all functions can be controlled from the amps front panel menu screen without a laptop.
Powersoft has built a great series of protection circuitry into the K10, including full DC protection against infrasonic signals, VHF (Very High Frequency) protection, Thermal Protection (indicating a warning before the protection process shuts the amp down), AC protection and clip limiters that can be disabled (although that is not recommended). The input gain and sensitivity is user-selectable in the standard European dB steps of 26, 29, 32 and 35 dB. As with any live amp nowadays, the K10 comes with XLR inputs and Neutrik 4-pole Speakon connector on the outputs.
Live reinforcement, permanent installs
1RU; 6,000 watts at 2 ohms per channel; 5 Hz – 30 kHz at an 8-ohm load; PFC power supply; DSP; networkable.
Powersoft Audio USA | 973-785-2005 | www.powersoft.it
- Amazing power
- Great DSP and Network
- One rack space
- Small menu screen on amp
- Network needs to be all CAT5
This is the top racecar of all amps: low, sleek and more torque than you can handle.In Use
I was delivered a big, fully-loaded (with DSP and Network capabilities) K10 for a demo, which equates “beat it up and see what it will do.” Out of the box, I had to put on a power connector (20 amp) Edison since it came with bare wire ends; I understand this, since Powersoft won’t know who will use this amp and with which power source. Outside of that, everything was ready to go. The amp currently networks via USB to CAT5, so I was sent those adapters and the remote software for my PC. The amp looks slick, but since it is only a single rack space the screen is pretty small … I guess you have to give up some things for the size.
The day after I received the amp, I had somewhat of an emergency: I had multiple shows out and was lacking an amp for a simple DJ rig. While it might have been slight overkill, I sent the K10 out to unveil its power for the gig. The amp performed flawlessly, handling the subs with great ease; everyone at the Georgetown University gala were happy.
With this said, I had to take the amp back in the shop and play around with the DSP and Remote control from my laptop. The DSP has everything and more you would need, plus menus navigation is laid out logically. The remote control software is a breeze (once you have network IDs assigned correctly) and truly makes this a system tech’s dream. The fact that you can monitor load and temperature in real time, as well as current draw and usage, makes the K10 its own manager in its own league.
Once I worked up a standard DSP program for my EAW SB850s, I had the chance to test out the impedance adjustment for the cable gauge and length to my subs. So, about 100 feet of 12-gauge wire to my subs was adding about 1.7 ohms to my overall load. With that adjustment made at the amp, I could now accurately monitor the load on the amp and make it work more efficiently. This — along with the peak, power limiting and input sensitivity control — allows the user to set and control proper gain structure and output configurations to have the most efficient power ever.
Powersoft claims this amp (and all of their K Series amps) to be >95-percent efficient. That is a pretty impressive statement that I may not have believed until I heard and saw this amp run quiet and cool on a 20-amp breaker and still provided gut-pounding power. My dual 18-inch subs have never sounded so good; they moved air with power from a 1U amp that sounds better than the “old-tradition” two-space, heavy, obviously-inefficient amp. I only wish I had a full complement of Powersoft amps to test out and to power up a full rig … a goal for another time.
If you are in the market for a powerful, sleek, chest-pounding amp that is fully loaded with all the latest features and runs more efficiently than anything else, the K10 is your amp. The fact that it sits in a single rack space and provides more power than the amps each of us have and use (and does with greater ease and full DSP) means it is truly the top breed, exotic race car of which we all dream.