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Old 20th October 2005, 10:13 PM   #1
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Default World record for most powerful amp

Does anyone know the most powerful audio power amp, everything else excluded? I've looked in Guiness and it doesn't say; I've googled it and I get several different manufacturers claiming to have the most powerful amp. I would assume it's a solid state amp (they can usually produce up to thousands of watts), but does anyone have any guesses or ideas?
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Old 20th October 2005, 11:02 PM   #2
Tweeker is offline Tweeker  United States
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Are we restricted to amps that are currently running, and is this audio amps only?
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Old 20th October 2005, 11:12 PM   #3
sss is offline sss  Israel
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there are big amps for PA use ,rock concerts
a heard they get 70Kwatt + (i dont know how many amps)
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Old 20th October 2005, 11:14 PM   #4
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==> Preferably audio amps, does not have to be currently in action (doesn't even have to be available anymore)
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Old 20th October 2005, 11:30 PM   #5
Tweeker is offline Tweeker  United States
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Biggest amp I can think of offhand whos specs arent at all classified is at WLW and is tubes.

Quote:
GE built most of the modules, but RCA put them together, and gave it the historic serial number one. "RCA 1" had a modular design with a lot of built-in redundancy, good for when something blew up, which everyone knew it would. It used the existing 50 kW, unmodulated in class C, for excitation. To this were added three parallel, water-cooled, 167 kW power amplifiers, each with four 100 kW RCA 867 tubes, two to a side in push-pull, making for 12 of these incredibly expensive, five-foot-tall firebottles. Most of this height was the anode's copper heat sink, which fit into a pipelike water jacket.

The huge, high-level modulator was also water-cooled. It could easily make 400 kW audio with both of its largely redundant modules simultaneously cranked to full rock and roll. Fortunately for the survival of civilization, this case was rare. Each module used four more of the biggest tubes made, bringing all of RCA 1's RF and AF output tube complement to twenty, with a total cost of $34,000 in 1930s' depression dollars. Even more mindboggling were the two modulation transformers, one per module, each 37,000 pounds, oil filled, and 10 feet high. It's possible that these two Westinghouse reactors were in fact the world's largest transformers for a brief time - "heavy iron" indeed!
As W8XO it hit a megawatt in World War II.

During the early 60's WLW broadcast in Class AB with a 50 kW 1% max THD output. Takes a heck of alota juice to get 50kW of RF output using Class AB modulated tubes.

I would not be surprised if some of the worlds naval transmitting amps are more powerful. I dont know what the biggest PA amp is.

The biggest amp I have any parts from was a 250kW shortwave VOA amp from Bethany, OH.
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Old 20th October 2005, 11:38 PM   #6
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Powel Crosley, Jr. is seen here, throwing the switch on one of the three filament machines which are part of the 500,000 watt transmitter.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 20th October 2005, 11:55 PM   #7
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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There are high powered systems - like the 400kW one mentioned that were made up of many smaller units running together. And of course huge RF transmitters are everywhere.

Those touring sound systems like oh say the Rolling Stones might use may be 70kW, but that is generally a system made up of racks full of amps.

The largest single unit commercial audio amp I know of was made by Crown, and possibly still is. The MA10k - 10,000 watts into 1/2 ohm. By now there are probably competing units from other brands
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Old 21st October 2005, 12:00 AM   #8
Tweeker is offline Tweeker  United States
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Does sonar equipment count as "audio"? Those 220dB + pings take some juice.

Theres 50kW class D broadcast amps all over, dont see why it couldnt be used for audio if you had one, a suitable load, and really wanted too.
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Old 21st October 2005, 12:06 AM   #9
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Not quite for audio but...
http://www.lds-group.com/group119/Power-Amplifiers

It seems the big 280 kW beast is an array of 8 kW amplifier modules though.
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Old 21st October 2005, 12:31 AM   #10
BWRX is offline BWRX  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Enzo
Those touring sound systems like oh say the Rolling Stones might use may be 70kW, but that is generally a system made up of racks full of amps.

The largest single unit commercial audio amp I know of was made by Crown, and possibly still is. The MA10k - 10,000 watts into 1/2 ohm. By now there are probably competing units from other brands
The company that provided the sound equipment for the latest Stones concert used six Crown MA3600VZ per rack, which means a potential total of 21,600W/rack depending on how they're configured and what they're driving. Not sure how many amp racks they used.

Those MA10000s are beasts. Not just powerful but somewhere around 120lbs and they take up four rack spaces, if I remember correctly. They're fun to move around... I've seen Crest Audio amps that came close to that output but didn't crack the 10kW barrier. Let's just say I didn't enjoy cleaning out any of those amps out after they came back from touring
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