Everyone seems to want power, power and more power these days. Shockingly, I am not talking about politicians; I am talking about engineers and their large touring amplifiers.
In today’s market of high-power applications, engineers like line arrays and subs that can produce low end powerful enough to rattle your very digestive tract. That fact lends itself to an ever-increasing variety of manufacturers seeking to fill that never-ending power void. Now, Yamaha — with 30 years of experience in amplifier technology — has stepped up with its first offering for large touring amp business: the Tn Series.
The big questions are these: Will Yamaha stand out amid all the others with something “new?” Does a world that is moving to be more “green” need more power hungry amps? [Of course it does. — Ed.]
Yamaha Commercial Audio has released three new amps for its Tn line: the T5n, T4n and the T3n — “T” is for touring, “n” is for networkable, and the power handling is 5k watts, 4.4k watts and 3.8k watts for the 5, 4, 3 models respectively at 2 ohms. Each Tn is a 2U dual channel amp with a frequency response of 20 Hz - 20 kHz and total harmonic distortion and noise of <0.1 percent. Damping factor is rated at 800 at 8 ohms at 1 kHz. Input gain is selectable from 32dB or 26dB. The back panel features XLR and EuroBlock inputs, as well as binding posts and Neutrik NL4 Speakons for the outputs. The front panel features a power switch, channel gain knobs and indicator lights for temp, protection, remote access, clip, signal and mute.
The Tn Series, like most other amps, can be configured for stereo, parallel or bridged operation. Also, the Tn Series is certified at 2 ohms by UL. With the new EEEngine (Energy Efficient Engine) amp drive technology, Yamaha claims a 50-percent reduction in power consumption and heat compared to conventional amplifiers; this amp does come with and require a L5-30 30-amp twist lock for the AC power. The true shining star of the EEEngine is its use in the conversion aspect of the power processing. The Tn Series of amplifiers realizes efficiency that matches Class D without compromising the sound quality of Class AB, accomplished by utilizing the power consumption and heat generation to make the amp more efficient with a greater topography and sound.
The networking aspects of these amps utilize two RJ45 connectors and a set of amplifier ID dipswitches for capability. The Yamaha ACU-16C amp control unit is required to network this amp with other Yamaha amps. It then becomes possible to network via CobraNet with the additional purchase of a Yamaha NHB32-C network hub/bridge; you can also send the audio inputs to your network over said Cobra-Net using the 16-channel DA converter housed in the ACU-126C. Yamaha backs the Tn Series with a five-year warranty.
5,000 watts @ 2 ohms; lightweight; class D operation
Yamaha | 714-522-9011 | www.yamahaca.com
- Sonically amazing
- Stable 2ø drive
- Low heat, efficiency
The Yamaha T5n is sonically an “out of the park” hit. Overall, a well respected amp with great possibilityI was sent two T5n amps ($3,799 each) to work with for a few months. First thing I noticed when I pulled the amps from their boxes was the 30-amp power connector. I thought this was going to be a less power hungry monster, as that is still a burden imposed.
The next thing was the weight. The T5n weighs in at 14 kg., about 31 lbs. — not real heavy but not the lightest amp, either.
With that aside, I sent them out for my engineers to fire things up and see what happens.
A common use for these amps would be in line array and sub applications, so I sent them out with some EAW KF730s and SB850 subs. The T5n performed wonderfully and sounded amazing. I was very impressed with the tonal quality of the amps and the efficiency in the reproduction. The amps also remained cool on hot outdoor shows and the fans were quiet in their operation. The latter helps a lot in this town due to the large number of “talking head” events we do; it can be extremely embarrassing when the audience can hear the amp fans running over the mics on the podium.
We also worked on a demo/shootout of some different speaker manufacturers in our shop for a couple of prospective clients. Our senior engineer Brian Bednar and I felt that the T5n would be the perfect match for some NEXO PS10 and PS15 cabinets. The amps performed very well under the stresses we put them through and the Yamaha/NEXO amp/cabinet combination sounded wonderful (and personally, I think the best); however, the client’s decision was still unknown to me at the time of this review.
Most of the engineers who the used the amps seemed to like them as a standalone sub amp rack due to their clean sound and “beef” in comparison to some other higher powered amps. The comments that I received from my staff were all favorable.
In my personal usage I thought the T5n had decent power and good sonic qualities yet really missed when it came to the networking factor. You have to buy two different external pieces of gear (from Yamaha) to network everything together. I was not sent the networking components so I was not able to test these features. I do think that some amplifier manufacturer needs to step up and allow their amps to be networked for management and control via standard IP addressing — use a DHCP hub/router and that is all. I mean, if I can do this with the new RF microphones systems why can’t I do it with my amps?
Yamaha has made its mark by always being on top of the market and producing quality products that have become industry standards. The T5n is an amp that is right on the cutting edge and at a price point that will bring quality to the club/touring market. I don’t know that I will start to see it on upcoming riders, but I do know I won’t be shocked if I do. As far as the Tn being a newer, “greener,” less power hungry and more efficient amp is concerned, only time will tell. But if it has spurred a new way of thinking, then hopefully others will step up and follow suit.