About

From its humble beginnings in 1947, Crown International has grown to become one of the world's largest and most respected manufacturers of power amplifiers and microphones for professional audio markets.

Crown’s history traces back to 1947 and an Elkhart, Indiana minister named Clarence C. Moore (1904-1979). Moore, a longtime radio enthusiast, had spent the early part of the ’40s in Quito, Ecuador working for HCJB, a non-profit Christian broadcasting and engineering group.

Following his return to the United States, he felt the desire to supply Christian broadcasters like HCJB with quality electronic products. As a result, Moore founded International Radio and Electronics Corporation (IREC) in 1947 and converted a former chicken coop into the budding manufacturer’s first production facility.

The company’s early reputation was built on a family of rugged and compact open-reel tape recorders designed to operate reliably when used by missionaries in remote, often-primitive regions of the world. After modifying and distributing several existing models (Magnecord, Recordio, Pentron and Crestwood) for the first couple of years, Moore obtained a patent in 1949 for a groundbreaking invention: the world’s first tape recorder with a built-in power amplifier (15 watts).

Eventually, Moore’s wife and co-founder, Ruby (deceased 2002), suggested that ‘International Radio and Electronics Corporation’ was too long a name for the company. Since IREC had by this point produced vacuum tube tape recorders branded ‘Royal’ and ‘Imperial’, in addition to the fact that the emblem on those products was a fancy crown, she felt that the company should simply be called Crown.

Her husband agreed, and, in the ’60s, the company’s name was changed to ‘Crown International, a division of International Radio and Electronics Corporation’. Finally, in 1975, the stockholders voted to change the name of the corporation to Crown International, Inc.

In the 1960s, the introduction of the DC300 high-powered, solid-state amplifier offering 150 watts per channel at eight ohms and AB+B circuitry moved Crown into a leadership position in worldwide power amplifier markets. Well over 30 years later, many DC300s are still being used in professional audio applications.

In the 1970s, Crown launched the PSA-2 Power Amplifier with a built-in computer to maximize performance of its output transistors. Product diversification began with the introduction of the still-popular line of Pressure Zone Microphones (PZM) and TEF audio analyzer.

With the implementation of Grounded Bridge circuitry in the ’80s, Crown offered an innovation providing lower distortion, less thermal stress, higher acoustic output, greater reliability, superior power density and audio quality, Grounded Bridge circuitry was integral to the engineering of the Macro-Tech and Micro-Tech amplifier lines.

The 1990s found Crown developing computer-controlled audio systems with the IQ System. In 1997, the company added another new milestone in audio technology with the introduction of the K2 amplifier featuring Balanced Current Amplifier circuitry offering innovative thermal and energy efficiencies.

Acquired by Harman International in March of 2000, Crown has continued to move forward, producing numerous innovative designs, including The CTs Series amplifier line for the installed sound markets, Crown’s next-generation IQ System, now called IQ Network, and the I-Tech Series touring amplifiers, the world’s most advanced professional amplifier and representing the pinnacle of their over 30 years of amplifier leadership. These products and more embody the reliability and innovativeness that have long been the manufacturer’s hallmarks. Crown today continues to delight its customers with products that consistently exceed both specifications and expectations, even on the most demanding tours and installations.

Crown International Senior VP of R&D Gerald Stanley, who originally joined the company in 1964 as a tape recorder line technician and amplifier design engineer, comments on Crown’s success over the years. “In an era of cookbook designs and buggy software, it would seem that the most basic lessons of history have been forgotten,” he says. “Crown’s recipe is simple: design, build and service each product as if you were the customer. This approach not only drives the product to excellence, it drives the people to be the best that they can be.”

 

1947
Founders Ruby and Clarence Moore establish International Radio and Electronics Corporation modifying and distributing high-quality tape recorders (Magnecord, Recordio, Pentron, and Crestwood) for rugged environments.

Transistor invented at Bell Labs.

Bing Crosby "White Christmas"

Clarance Moore
   
1950
Introduction of worlds first tape recorder with built-in power amplifier. Tone control circuitry further enhances this unit designed for PA system use.

Nat King Cole "Mona Lisa"

 
   
1950s
Crowns line of vacuum tube tape recorders includes the Standard, Imperial, Broadcast, Prince, and Royal.
   
1953
A three-motor electromagnetic braking mechanism revolutionizes the tape recorder industry. Clarence Moore obtains patent the following year.
Speakers are designed and manufactured as accessories to tape recorders.

Tony Bennett "Rags to Riches"

   
1955
Tape recorder production grows and expands.


Bill Haley and the Comets "Rock Around the Clock"
   
1958
The Royal makes its appearance as Crown's first stereo, 2channel, tape recorder.

Elvis Presley "Don't"
 
   
1959
Crowns tape recorders take on a new rack-mount design with the introduction of the Crown Prince.
Crown introduces standalone vacuum tube amplifiers including the A15 and A30.

Miles Davis "Kind of Blue"
   
1960-61
Crown tape recorder improvements include separate electronic and transport sections, push button and relay control, and remote control 
capabilities.
The Gold Crown Stereo X recorder includes several innovations in component electronics.

Patsy Cline "Crazy"
   
1962-63
The first solid state, professional quality tape recorder is invented at Crown.

The Beach Boys "Surfin' USA"
 
   
1964
Crowns first solid state amplifier, the SA 20-20, is an industry first, low-profile unit (1 3/4 inches high).

The Beatles "She Loves You"
   
1967
Crown raises the bar once more with the introduction of the DC-300 amplifier. It is the worlds first reliable, solid-state, high-power amplifier. Rated conservatively at 150 watts per channel, the amplifier features extremely low distortion and noise. Two years after its introduction, High Fidelity magazine calls it the worlds best stereo amplifier.

Jimmy Hendrix "Purple Haze"
   
1968
The Pro 800 Series tape recorders feature a logic-controlled transport.

Marvin Gaye "I Heard It Through The Grapevine"
   
1970
The new IC-150 pre-amp and D-150 amplifier feature exceptional sound quality.

James Taylor "Fire and Rain"
   
1971
The grounded bridge amplifier is invented at Crown. Prototypes, however, are destroyed in another significant event of 1971.

Rod Stewart "Maggie May"
 
   
Thanksgiving Day, 1971
Fire destroys over 60% of the Crown facility and the remainder of the plant is severely damaged. $1 million of uninsured inventory destroyed. 
Production resumes within 6 weeks with the D-60 amplifier.
   
1972
A new Crown plant emerges over the ashes of the former structure.
Introduction of the M600/M2000 amplifier, another industry first (2000 watts mono into 8 ohms), using the patented grounded-bridge circuit.

Led Zeppelin "Stairway to Heaven"
   
1975
International Radio and Electronics Corporation becomes Crown International, Inc. 

KC & the Sunshine Band "That's the Way (I Like It)"
   
1976
The patented EQ-2 synergistic equalizer is added to the Crown product family.

Boston "More than a Feeling"
 
   
1977 
Crown gracefully ends production of its tape recorder products.
Introduction of DL-2 controller, revolutionizing preamplification with digitally controlled modular systems, computer interface capabilities, and 
patented phono circuitry.
The IOC (Input-Output-Comparitor) circuit instantly indicates amplifier overload conditions.

Eagles "Hotel California"
 
   
1978 
The newly introduced D-75 amplifier is combined with the RTA2 (real-time analyzer) to create a compact, accurate, and easy-to-use 
instrument for acoustical analysis. 

Bee-Gees "Stayin' Alive"
   
1979 
Patented SA2 is the worlds first power amplifier to use a built-in computer to maximize transistor performance.
The newly introduced FM ONE tuner is a design winner at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Police "Roxanne"
   
1980 
Crown begins microphone manufacturing with the introduction of the PZM (Pressure Zone Microphone) family of microphones.

Pink Floyd "The Wall"
   
1981
FM TWO replaces FM ONE with a low-profile, digital-tuning design. 

Diana Ross and Lionel Richie "Endless Love"
 
   
1982 
Development of Delta Omega power amplifier. The patented design allows an operator to compensate for speaker cabling effects that normally reduce usable power.

Van Halen "Pretty Woman"
 
   
1984 
Micro-Tech family of amplifiers brings patented Grounded Bridge and Junction Temperature Simulation technologies to the audio world. PIP modules also provide input flexibility.

Cyndi Lauper "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"
   
1986 
The PCC-160, an advanced directional boundary microphone, is launched.

Peter Gabriel "Sledgehammer"
   
1987 
GLM (great little mics) line of miniature microphones is developed for recording use: radio, TV, and motion pictures.
A new line of hand-held microphones, the CM300 Differoid, is patented.
The ultimate amplifier, MA10000, provides 10,000 watts of power. First application, to provide power for 465 speakers at the Indianapolis 500 Motor Speedway.

U2 "Joshua Tree"
   
1988 
The IQ-2000 System allows computer monitoring and control of up to 200 remote power amplifiers.

Michael Jackson "Man in the Mirror" 
 
   
1989 
Com-Tech amps for fixed installations debut with direct 70-volt operation.
The Patented SASS microphone becomes the first new stereo recording system since WWII.
The Macro Reference amp provides exceptional sonic performance for the studio market.

Tom Petty "Runnin' Down a Dream"
   
1991 
MPX-6 and SMX-6 mixers expand the IQ System family of products.

Scorpions "Wind of Change"
   
1992 
MA-5000VZ amplifier featuring the Variable Impedance (VZ) bi-level power supply added to the Macro-Tech Series, quickly becoming the 
touring standard for Sub cabinets.
Development of PZM-11 and PCC-170SW microphones.

Boyz II Men "End of the Road"
   
1993 
Introduction of the CM311, a head-worn microphone. First created for country music star, Garth Brooks.

Stone Temple Pilots "Plush" 
   
1995 
CM-700 studio condenser microphone earns rave reviews from both critics and users.

Hootie & the Blowfish "Let Her Cry"

   
1996
A new 46,000 square foot facilities addition expands the production capacity.

The revolutionary K2 amplifier is the star of the NAMM show, offering 1270 watts mono output from a 
chassis only 3 inches high, and with no cooling fan.

The Wallflowers "6th Avenue Heartache"

   
1998
CE1000 and CE2000 offer outstanding performance at an affordable price

Faith Hill "This Kiss"
   
1999
The IQ-PIP-USP2, Crown's second-generation DSP-based amplifier module, provides amazing power and flexibility with an extensive list of features.

Santana "Smooth"

   
2000
Crown becomes a member of the Harman International family of Pro Audio companies.

CE4000 expands the CE Series, Crown's most cost efficient amplifier yet.

IQ-USM 810 digital mixer/digital processor is an eight-input, ten-output, all digital "system in a box."

Creed "With Arms Wide Open"

   
2001
Crown's IQ-PIP-USP2/CN, when added to a PIP2 amp, creates the industry's first CobraNet-compatible amplifier.

Janet Jackson "All for You"

   
2002
Crown reinvents it's IQ System and ships the world's first solution for transporting networked audio control and digital audio via a single 100 Mb Ethernet network connection. 

CTs Series introduced as the new flagship Installed Sound amplifier.

The new XLS Series sets sales records for Crown.

Avril Lavigne "Complicated"

   

2004
Crown launches their new flagship amplifier line for the tour sound and corporate PA markets, the I-Tech Series. The world's most advanced power amplifier, I-Tech represents the pinnacle of Crown's over 50 years of leadership to date, encorporating a host of advanced technologies.

OutKast "Hey Ya!"

   

2005
Crown introduces more new products than in any single year in it's history to date, including a new line of high-value products geared for the commercial audio market, the Commercial Audio Series. The line includes amplifiers, amplifier-mixers and pre-amplifier mixers. The Commercial Audio Series earns Crown their third-straight Technical Excellence & Creativity (TEC) Award in the Amplifier Technology category.

Kelly Clarkson "Since U Been Gone"

   

2006
Crown launches significant new amplifer lines, including the XTi Series for portable PA, the CDi Series for installed sound, and the DSi Series for cinema. XTi becomes the most successful new product launch in Crown history.

Red Hot Chili Peppers "Dani California"

 

   

2009

The I-Tech HD Series is introduced: the 5000, 9000, and 12000 models continue this legacy.

Black Eyed Peas "I Gotta Feeling"

ITHD
   

2010

The XLS DriveCore™ Series is introduced with the 1000, 1500, 2000, and 2500 models.

Ke$ha "Tik Tok"

XLS DriveCore Series
   

2011

The XTi2 Series is introduced with the 1002, 2002, 4002, and 6002 models.

Adele "Rolling In The Deep"

XTi2 Series
   

2012

The legacy continues with the new I-Tech 4x3500HD four channel model.

Gotye feat. Kimbra "Somebody that I Used To Know"

ITHD4
   

2013

The new DriveCore™ Install Series is introduced.

Robin Thicke feat. T.I. "Blurred Lines"

DriveCore Install Series
 

   

The Crown Audio Truck

Crown Truck

 

Since 1993, the Crown Truck has toured North America, performing demos and training sessions for both skilled and novice users of Crown Audio products. Logging nearly 50,000 miles a year, this "training school on wheels" has been seen at every major Audio Industry trade show and has made an appearance in nearly all of the lower 48 states and across Canada through its ten-year history.

In 2002, the second-generation Crown Truck hit the road, featuring a new, larger trailer. The new trailer provides a more spacious and comfortable interior, along with a built-in conference room among other amenities.

Offering complete, self-contained training and demonstration facilities within its well-outfitted trailer, the Crown Truck features an array of products from Crown's full amplifier and microphone lines, as well as working components for demonstration of Crown's IQ Network, Crown's computer-control audio system. The truck's controlled environment provides a unique opportunity for hands-on training of the full line of Crown audio products.

Extensive training and demo sessions have been held at a variety of locations: places of worship,  music stores, schools, stadiums, theme parks, arenas and more. For the upcoming year, the truck's touring schedule includes several multi-state treks, with stops from coast to coast.

To request a Crown Truck demonstration in your area, contact your local Crown Representative.