Yorkville’s A4.4 ($1,499) pushes this growing Canadian company into the professional touring market. This is its first high-output, lightweight, switching power supply amplifier.
Product PointsApplications: Live sound, sound reinforcement, club installation
Key Features: Two-channel, 1,200 watts at 4 ohms, switching power supply
Contact: Yorkville Sound at 716-297-2920, Web Site
The result of two and a half years of research and development, the A4.4 is a “power factor corrected” (PFC) switching power supply amplifier that delivers 1,200W per channel at 4 ohms. It weighs in at only 25 pounds. Frequency response is 20 Hz to 20 kHz, +/- 1 dB with THD from 20 Hz to 20 kHz at 4 ohms being less than 0.1 percent. Crosstalk is rated at -60 dB in the same frequency range.
The front panel boasts power, protect, activity and clip LEDs. All knobs and handles are recessed for easy transportation. The back panel features Speakon and binding post outputs as well as balanced XLR and 1/4-inch TRS inputs. The peak limiter, subsonic filter, mono/stereo/bridge mode and ground lift switches are also mounted on the back panel. Cooling is provided via a variable speed fan, pulling air from front to back with a serviceable filter at the front panel. The amp’s own protection provides for DC, load and thermal shutdown. As with all Audiopro amplifiers, the A4.4 is backed by Yorkville’s standard two-year (even if you break it) transferable warranty. The A4.4 takes up only two rack spaces.
First thing I noticed as I was opening the box was just how light the amp was. At 25 pounds I was amazed at the amount of strength I would hear out of it later. While connecting it for a run-through, I found the Speakon connectors were mounted upside down so that the B output was difficult to remove without lifting the amp for access to the Speakon latch. Another disadvantage is the lack of input meters per channel. Yorkville does not recommend the unit for ohm loads under four; however, it handles a two-ohm load very well. Using a Mackie 1404 mixer, a Sony XE400 CD player, two EAW KF300 speakers, two EAW SB250 subwoofers, a Shure SM 58 and a Shure Beta 58 microphone, and Steely Dan’s Two Against Nature CD. It drove both the sub and high cabinet very well. I was pleased to not hear the fan noise that usually emanates from most other amplifiers of this size, a surprising bonus for those of us who work in the corporate arena.
All that aside, on the truck and off to the show. First up I operated the A4.4 in a monitor set-up and drove two EAW SM500s per side from of it. It worked flawlessly providing all the gain needed in full range mode. The 15-inch speaker felt quite happy with the 1,200 watts being sent to it. The band was very happy including the half-deaf singer who was standing in front of the wedges.
I used the amp up for a good 12 hours straight and it hung in there perfectly. This was especially nice considering the power for the show was coming off a generator three storeys beneath me. By the time the power feeder was run up to me I was only reading 106 volts, per leg, at the distro. The power-factor-corrected switching power supply held up to AC input voltages as low as 90 volts. This can save your night at that club gig with the hideous wall power; or in this situation, a tent on a roof, a cover band, and a precarious generator.
Next show was a live auction. For anyone who has never worked one of these delights it is basically 4 to 5 mics at 120dB with people shouting. Rock and roll talking heads, as I like to call it.
As with most of these corporate shows that take place in hotel ballrooms across the country, set up time can be limited. As was the case with this, the ballroom had been overbooked so with little time to fool around with different setups I threw the A4.4 at its task. I used the A4.4 to drive my EAW JF100 front fills – three per side. This was my chance to see just what kind of power the A4.4 could really muster. Well, it killed them. No, not the cabinets the people in front. (No one was hurt during the operation of this amp) I ended up dialing the amp back a quarter of the way to accommodate the sheer dB level at the front set of dinner tables. It is never good to get complaints from the high dollar tables. After that the A4.4 ran fearlessly all night at amazing dB levels and crystal clear clarity. Needless to say I was quiet pleased; and so was the client.
Overall, Yorkville’s Audiopro A4.4 held up with surprising agility in any situation thrown at it. It is a remarkable value for the $1,499 price tag. Yorkville has made a huge, well-footed leap into the switching power supply amplifier market.
Mackie 1402, Yamaha 01V consoles; Sony XE-400 CD player; EAW KF 300, SM500, JF100 speakers, EAW SB250 subwoofers; Shure SM-58, Beta 58, Crown CM311 microphones.