Matt Shpak

Power Amplifier questions

2 posts in this topic

I recently just bought a Art Studio SLA-1 power amplifier (dual channel 100w) and im currently running two 12 inch subwoofers (bridged) with it... im finding that i dont have enough power to truly "push" the subwoofers.


So my question is; should i upgrade my power amplifier or simply just buy a "powered sub"? 


if your wondering why im not using a powered subwoofer to begin with, its because i have over 10 different car stereo sub woofers (un-powered obviously) and that i thought i should just buy an AC power amp and ill be good to go... but unfortunately i need over 400 watts of power in order to truely "stress" my subs.


 any input on your dealing with this subject would be be greatly appreciated, thanks :P


ps, this is my first post :D so.... hi everybody!! 

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It's a sub, so in reality you can get away with a D class amp and still get decent sound and reasonable performance. Not to 'taint' the whole "car subwoofer" thing, but they're not the best subs, so a D class is not an amp that the speaker is going to show deficiencies with.


The big thing with high powered AC amps is current. To get current into the FET's, you need to convert it to DC. In a car, not such a big deal as the whole thing is DC- you just need to have a big enough alternator and big enough cable. To get high power rectification in AC land needs a big transformer and big capacitors… which means more dollars. This is where Class D comes in which uses switch mode supplies. You get a noisy signal, but as far as bass goes, the noise is above the typical sub level so it all balances out.


The other thing to be careful about is car speakers are typically nominal 4 Ohms. Bridging makes them 2 Ohms. In "hi-fi" land, commonly people run 8 ohm nominal with 4 ohm bridged. Getting a 4 Ohm or 2 Ohm capable amp in Hi-Fi land is a reasonable undertaking - so look to "pro audio" amps. Anything used in nightclub sound will be noisy, but provide you with plenty of drive. E-Bay will have plenty of 400W + into 4 Ohm dual channel amps from InterM and Yamaha (same factory!) for decent coin. Would probably still work out cheaper than a powered sub, and not really any disadvantage sound wise.

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