Greg Hockman (left), partner in Southern California Powersoft representative MacWest Group (Long Beach, Calif.) and Scott Harmala, CTO/vice president, engineering for ATK with Powersoft DIGAM K-10 amplifiers.
Photo: Edward Colver
ATK Audiotek, a high-end audio company based in Valencia, Calif., purchased 450 Powersoft DIGAM K-10 amplifiers, which collectively provide 5 million watts of amplifier power. Each K-10/AESOP (AES Ethernet Simple Open Protocol) offers up to 12,000 watts of power in a single-rackspace unit and is designed for high reliability, crystal clear sound, low power consumption and advanced digital control.
The initial purchase of 450 units completes a unified equipment vision for the future of ATK, which has serviced such events as the Super Bowl, ABC-TV’s Dancing with the Stars, and the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
“We specialize in large, technically difficult special events for television,” says Scott Harmala, VP engineering of ATK Audiotek. “The reason for the massive purchase of Powersoft K-10/AESOPs is because we wanted to implement a unified equipment plan where all the power amplifiers were the same. This follows suit with the other equipment we brought to the field. After extensive testing of several brands, we came to the conclusion that the Powersoft K-10 was at least a generation ahead of anything on the market, bringing amplifier technology to a new level. Since we knew we would most likely be using this equipment over the next 20 years, it had to be the best. We felt confident that Powersoft was head and shoulders above the competition.”
ATK’s engineering staff evaluated the K-10 using a standard bench test, a high-powered and overall listening test, and a test of the network control and DSP functions available for the amplifier.
“When we put the K-10 through its paces for the bench test, we found ourselves shaking our heads wondering if something was wrong with our test equipment,” states Harmala. “We were measuring over 90 percent efficiency at full output and that is unheard of—it’s almost perfect. It is shocking how the company is able to achieve this kind of performance. Powersoft is leading the way with its innovation.”
The K-10 also features an ultra-green efficiency advantage by offering a compact size for equivalent power output over typical amplifier designs. This translates into a dramatic reduction in trucking volume and considerable less weight when racks of amplifiers need to be flown above the stage, as with the Grammy Awards program. The K-10 allows ATK to double the amount of channel density per distribution branch circuit of AC power, making every event easier to accomplish and less expensive to run. The DSP options and scalability, however, sealed the deal for ATK.
“We really like the whole user interface experience with the AESOP network and Audio Suite control software, as well,” explains Harmala. “We are looking to implement the powerful DSP options available for the K-10 to complete the entire purchase package. It is very beneficial to be able to set up the EQ, delay and crossover parameters as stored information within each amplifier. This way, we can remove many of the system installation problems through pre-programming, allowing us more time to focus on the job at hand. You don’t get a second chance with a live event and we have built a strong reputation of delivering perfect sound every time out. We believe that Powersoft will enhance our capability and will help us continue this tradition of excellence into the future.”
“When Powersoft committed its resources to the U.S. market in 2005, ATK was the first to test the DIGAM K Series amplifier,” says Tom Bensen, vice president and director of U.S. operations for Powersoft Advanced Technologies. “The initial report showed that this was the finest amplifier they had ever tested. However, their needs went beyond a single amplifier purchase. They wanted an amplifier that was also a technology platform to help put into place their new systems infrastructure. Keeping true to the Powersoft name, we anticipated this trend in the marketplace and developed our own DSP, the AESOP network, and fully exploited its potential with our new Ethernet-based software platform, Audio Suite. This is why Powersoft was perfect for ATK on every level.”