1967 Crown International DC 300 Power Amplifier

In many ways, the 1967 introduction of the AB+B-class DC 300 ushered in the era of the modern, high power amplifier.
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In many ways, the 1967 introduction of the AB+B-class DC 300 ushered in the era of the modern, high power amplifier. Offering 340 watts/channel (at 4 ohms), this 4-rackspace, 40-pound beast came in at less than the "magic" $1/watt price point, based on its original $685 retail. And with its rock-solid construction, and internal thermal and V-I protection modes, the DC 300 was the ideal solution for high-end consumers, high-SPL studio monitors and live sound systems coming into vogue with the summer of love. (Click here to download a vintage DC300 datasheet.)

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Crown's DC 300 arrived in 1967—just in time for the Summer of Love.

Yet through it all, someone at Crown has always maintained a sense of humor. The original service manual for the DC 300 is entitled "300 Watts and a Cloud of Smoke" and its introduction includes advice such as "try to avoid going to sleep while reading the rest of this manual."

Years later, a DC 300 was immortalized in a magazine ad that showed the unit half-submerged in a muddy field, based on a real story: (Click here to download a copy of the DC 300A ad.)

"In the early evening of September 17, 1973, Jay Barth was at the wheel of a 22-foot utility truck that was loaded with sound equipment. Just north of Benton Harbor, Mich., an oncoming car crossed the center line; fortunately, Jay steered clear of the impending collision. Unfortunately, a soft shoulder caused the truck to roll two and one half times. Exit several DC 300As through the metal roof of the truck's cargo area. The airborne DC 300As finally came to rest—scattered about in a muddy field, where they remained partially submerged for four and a half hours. Jay miraculously, escaped injury; the amplifiers apparently had not. Unbelievably, after a short time under a blow dryer, all the amps worked perfectly and are still going strong. The rest—and the truck—is history."

Even today, some 40 years after their original introduction, many DC 300s are still used in professional audio applications, a testament to Crown reliability.