ATI's History, Design and Manufacturing Philosophies
The Amplifier Technologies, Inc. team has been designing and manufacturing power amplifiers for almost 50 years.
In their early teens, at the beginning of their long audio friendship, Mike Pontelle and Morris Kessler built amps in Kessler's bedroom. In 1967, Kessler formed SAE and a year later Pontelle became his partner. For almost two decades, they made some of the best known home audio amplifiers.
In the early Seventies, if one wanted the best in solid-state amplification, SAE came to mind. Known then internationally as purveyors of open and musical products, SAE lingers in the minds of audiophiles old enough to remember as a company that really produced. These amps were so popular, they took Japan by storm way before single-ended tube amps became retro-cool in the land of the rising Sun.
Kessler sold SAE in 1988 and Pontelle worked with other audio companies. Then in June of 1994 they became a team again - this time under the banner of Amplifier Technologies, Inc.; - ATI.
Founded on such a heritage, ATI believes their experience in making superb sounding amps is reflected in their current designs.
Their focus on high-end power amplifiers results in total commitment to offering state-of-the-art products to meet the growing needs of today's exploding home theater and audio/video market.
ATI's products are USA designed and built. With their 50,000 square foot manufacturing facility in California, they have total product control and quality assurance as well as being available to provide local and friendly technical assistance to our clients.
For more on the story of Morris Kessler, click here.
At ATI we make heavy-duty amplifiers with proven circuitry, meticulous assembly and rigorous testing designed to deliver state-of-the-art audio for years; all designed by us and built in our own US factory. It's a simple story, "American Muscle built by American muscle."
No Shortcuts, No Compromises
We design, engineer and assemble all ATI products in our 50,000 square foot Southern California factory. Everything is built completely to our specifications and we monitor every aspect of the process ourselves. We're convinced, that our efforts pay off in dependability and sound quality. Our customers agree.
Here's the Beef - Toroidal Transformers
At the heart of any amplifier is the power supply. Its foundation is the power transformer. To assure the highest quality, we wind our own. For the transformer's core we use MOH with magnetic properties that increase efficiency 18% over conventional units. We wind the core two wires at a time, a technique called "bifilar winding" that ensures perfectly symmetrical transformers that maximize efficiency and reduce distortion Each amplifier channel gets not only its own set of transformer windings, but its own rectifier and storage capacitors, thus giving each channel its own separate power supply. Even if the left channel is pushed to the limit by, say, a loud car crash on a movie soundtrack, it does not affect the power available to the other channels.
We house our products in rugged chassis with powder-coated finishes that resist scratches and prevent corrosion. Our hardware is equally durable and rustproof, made from teflon-coated, 18-8 stainless steel. We use inserts instead of threading metal parts, resulting in a stronger unitized chassis.
Because we design our amplifiers for the home as well as the rigorous demands of commercial applications, we use substantial heat sinks for each channel. This results in amplifiers that are absolutely quiet and run as cool as possible. The result: there is no noise to mar the listening experience and the amplifier operates more efficiently for a longer life. Those over-size heat sinks eliminate the need for fans that add noise and introduce dust into the amplifier.
We use double-sided FR-4 glass epoxy circuit boards in all our products. Not only does a double-sided board handle twice the electrical current of a single-sided board, it produces much more solid connections to the components on the board. The solder joints that secure the components to the board over both surfaces of the board, plus the inside of the hole into which the component leads are inserted. As a result, our circuit boards are practically perfect, with nearly zero failures due to bad connections or cold-solder joints. The components we use on our circuit boards also add to the quality of ATI products. To insure that each and every circuit board functions exactly like the last, all of the gain stages in our products employ high-quality metal-film resistors with a 1% tolerance.
Open most multi-channel power amplifiers and you will see a "rat's nest"; dozens of wires running seemingly haphazard throughout the chassis. Open an ATI amplifier and you will see a clean layout with wires wrapped neatly in fiberglass cloth tubing originally developed for the aerospace industry. The tubing protects the wire from both heat and accidental damage.
Chassis-Mounted RCA Jacks
The gold-plated RCA input jacks on our amplifiers are mounted directly to the rear panel and not to the circuit board. While this technique complicates assembly, it results in a more robust connection and the jack cannot be accidentally broken off by the tight-gripping RCA plugs used in some audiophile interconnection cables.
Trouble-Free Circuit Breakers
Our higher power multi-channel amplifiers use magnetic circuit breakers to protect against AC overloads. If the breaker trips, it's a simple matter to reset it. Most amplifiers, however, use fuses for overload protection; if a fuse blows, you must have the proper value available in order to restore power to the amplifier.
ATI amplifiers employ lightning-fast optically-coupled protection circuits that are completely removed from the signal path so they cannot affect the sound quality. These protection circuits sense electrical "shorts" in speakers or wiring and sense electrical "spikes". If triggered, the circuit instantaneously disengages the output, samples the affected circuitry every 10 seconds and automatically restores proper operation when the fault is corrected. This special feature minimizes the chance of your amplifier going out of service just when you've filled your home theater with expectant guests.
ATI offers a number of audio amplifiers that provide different output power and number of channels. From our AT1800 series that output 180 watts per channel, through the AT4000 series that offer 200 watts per channel and up to the flagship AT6000 Signature Series that puts out a whopping 300 watts per channel with all three series offering from 2 to 7 channels. In addition, the AT520NC and AT540NC N-Core Class D amplifiers provide 200 watts per channel (2-8 channels) and 500 watts per channel (2-4 channels) respectively. Visit the Amplifer Selector page to see the various models and configurations. For those who need a multi-room amplifier, the AT6012 offers 12 channels at 60 watts per channel.
For a tour of the ATI factory, click here.