September 05, 2008 by Steven Castle
Have music through your house and save money? We’d go for that. Knoll Systems, maker of energy-efficient Eco-System multiroom amplifiers, will turn out an economy-minded four-source, four-zone controller and amplifier the company says will be the first in its line to qualify for an Energy Star rating.
The GSZ44 controller/amp will use less than 1 watt in standby mode to qualify for Energy Star. It’s a smaller version of the GSZ67 seven-source, six-zone amp. The Eco-System amps shut off unused channels when they are not in use, saving a considerable amount of electricity. The 8-channel class A/B amplifier produces 30 watts per channel at 8 ohms and 35 watts per channel at 4 ohms.
According to Knoll Systems, a comparable amplifier without the Eco-System circuit uses about 14 times (40 watts) as much power while idling in standby. By comparison, the GSZ44 with Eco-System uses under 2 watts while idling.
Knoll Systems’ Kevin Knoll says the Eco-System amps can turn back on the channels in 8 millisesonds, and the company avoided thumps and clicks that can accompany an amplified channel turning on by regulating the power supply.
The GSZ44 comes complete with four keypads, a controller amplifier and is also expandable by daisy-chaining two or more together to make larger systems. The complete package retails at $999.
“I think what our industry should strive for is energy efficiency,” Knoll says. He says the company’s technology could possibly be used in a multichannel home theater to turn off surround channels when they aren’t used, for example. Hmmmmm ...
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Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates
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