The Vanco BAV4250 offers good audio and matrix options while leaving room for development of both the interface and DSP functionality
Vanco is continuing to develop products for the commercial, or light commercial, market. Known within the CEDIA channel as the creators of HDMI, control, and now AV over IP, Vanco bought Beale Street audio in 2017 and is leveraging that knowledge base for new products.
The latest is the 1000W, 4-channel amplifier, the BAV4250. The basic specs are listed below. When we first took the amplifier out of the box the initial reaction is there is a fair amount of power in a one rack unit device. The front LED provides basic functionality like matrixing audio. It’s when you get to the rear of the box that it becomes clear this is not a typical residential product.
Phoenix connectors supply both the inputs and the output. The BAV4250 is built and designed for permanent installations in light commercial or hospitality systems. The other part that was a nice surprise was the presence of a DSP. This is not a full blown, stand-alone DSP system, but it’s a nice addition that gives dealers the ability to route and adjust audio, provide filtering, and get feedback. The Command strings for third-party control are also very well documented and won’t take a programmer all day to input one command.
We connected the BAV4250 to two sets of Beale Street speakers: the TIC 651 and IC6-B. The source for our demonstration was an iPod for background music and DVD player replicating a sporting event. Once the system was powered on we ran through the web interface to control the various outputs, switching between sources and the four different speakers/channels.
The overall quality of the audio coming out of the BAV4250 was acceptable, especially for a bar or restaurant setting. There was consistent VU feedback on one of the channels. With nothing plugged into the inputs, or outputs, channel two showed audio levels at roughly 30%. When the speakers were plugged in there was no noticeable audio, but the VU meter continued to show presence of audio. There was no noticeable reason, but it did not affect the performance.
The DSP is very basic. There is very little chance a tech will get lost inside the interface. Providing an EQ and matrix gives the amplifier a value add. However, you won’t purchase this for the DSP, especially if you have experience with stand-alone DSPs on the market.
Ease of Deployment
There is not a great deal to mess up here. The biggest hurdle is making sure the settings on the amplifier matches that of your speakers (4/8 ohm or 70/100v). From the time you take it out of the box until you turn it on should be about 20 minutes including wiring. Once the BAV4250 is turned on, follow the basic instructions to verify the network settings and you are good to go.
Overall the Vanco BAV4250 is a solid amplifier. The quality of audio is fairly good as is the matrix options. It would be great to see further development of both the interface and functionality of the DSP. That would add some cost to the list price of around $1,500 but would be worth it to both the customer and the dealer in the long run.
3.5 out of 4 stars
Specs of the Vanco BAV4250:
- 1000W 4 channel amplifier
- 250W per channel
- 4 balanced/unbalanced inputs
- 4 output channels
- Selectable 4/8 ohm or 70/100V output
- IP control
- Browser-based DSP
- DSP incudes filters, parametric EQ
- Matrix mode for easy routing of audio