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Amidst the noisy strum and bang of last month's NAMM Show, Crown quietly reconfirmed its commitment to the commercial audio market through the launch of its new, high-value 135MA and 160MA mixer-amplifiers. Capable of providing both eight-ohm and constant-voltage outputs (70V and 100V), the 135MA and 160MA are easily configurable for a variety of uses, including paging, background music, music-on-hold, security use, and safety/evacuation announcements.

Each housed in a highly compact half-rack-space chassis, the 135MA is equipped with three inputs and a 35W amplifier output, while the 160MA provides four inputs and a 60W amplifier output. Both models provide priority muting, which can be voice-activated or triggered via an external switch, and are compatible with microphones requiring phantom power.

"Not even the best business plan can outlast the rock-solid reliability of our most compact commercial amplifier ever," says Phil McPhee, Crown Vertical Market Manager, Commercial Sound. "Delivering the legendary Crown sound and quality at a very attractive price, the 135MA and 160MA offer music-on-hold, voice-activated paging and preamp outputs, making them ideal solutions for nearly any commercial or industrial environment. Throw in our three-year, no-fault warranty and it's easy to understand why Crown makes good business sense."

The front panel of each model comprises a rotary input volume knob and green signal/clip LED for every channel, rotary output volume knob with green (signal) and red (clip) LEDs, recessed pots for bass and treble adjustment, and a power switch with accompanying blue LED. The back panel includes a balanced Phoenix-type mic/line input with threshold control, several line-level RCA input jack pairs (two for 135MA, three for 160MA), a telephone/MOH output with level control, a preamp output, screw-terminal speaker outputs, and a detachable IEC power cord. A DIP switch panel is also provided for fast, easy configuration.

Convection cooled, the new mixer-amplifiers feature sophisticated protection mechanisms, including current limiting, over-temperature thermal cutout, and DC-fault load protection. The units are also protected against turn-on/turn-off "thumps."

Shipping in February, the 135MA features a $199 MSRP ($159 MAP) with the 160MA set at $325 ($269). At these prices, the new Crown Commercial Audio units are destined to soon be seen everywhere from schools, hospitals, fitness facilities and houses of worship to restaurants, retail stores, factories, offices and many other similar environments.

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