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Thread: Damping factor

  1. #1

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    Default Damping factor

    Ok, I read somewhere that the damping factor affects (effects? Idunno) the abillity of an amp to put out the same ammount of power on consecutive bass hits. if this is true, the amp I just purchased has a damping factor of greater than 50... which i know isn't that great. Now the greater than fifty, is that at maximum wattage because I will only be running this amp at half its rated wattage and double it's minimum ohmage load. Does this mean that the damping factor would be better than that fifty number or does the volume I am running the amp at make no difference in damping. Lemme know all knowledgable polksters.
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    http://www.milbert.com/articles/DampingFactor.bdc

    You can search any forum around and find an argument for and against this "factor". Personally, I don't care....here's a start for you.
    Last edited by dorokusai; 11-15-2005 at 10:49 PM.

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    I see it like this. Yes, a 1000 damping factor is better than a 100 but you cant hear a difference above 20 or so anyway so what does it matter. Its a marketing thing. If Brand X amp rates 50 damping and Brand Y rates 1000 most would think the Brand Y amp is a better amp.
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    hehe, that was a nice reading, thanks for that. But i have had some amplifiers that just sound like garbage I guess I am just kinda skittish. Heres a list of amplifiers I didn't like, all connected properly, all driven the hell outta too.

    Some tsunami class d amp that put out 1231 watts rms (supposedly same board as some big lanzar vibe amp)
    Profile California 1200sx, I had this on two polk dx 10's and I didn't like it very much
    Sony xm-d1300p5

    i had these all on subs I really like in other people's cars but never liked once I got these amps on them...

    I am just hoping my directed 1500d doesn't dissapoint me like these did. And only running it at 2 ohms instead of its rated 1 and going about 100 watts under its rated rms output I was hoping it would make it sound better. Is there any truth to that, does running an amp at a lower volume than it was made for make it sound any better if at both volumes it doesn't clip?
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    I don't know about your questions, but...

    You have it right with 'affects'. Affect is the verb. Effect is the result. Effects are what happen when a process is affected.

    Just to clear that up.

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    well, every amp is built on the same principle, its the execution that makes the difference. :)
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    humm... damping factor won't affect the amount of power on successive bass hits, but it could concievable affect the definition of each hit - that is, whether it's a long,messy burp or several short bumps (the latter being the ideal)... and doubling your resistance doubles the damping factor, so if it's rated at 50 at 1 ohm, you've got 100 at 2 ohms... it's likely, though, unless stated otherwise, that the damping factor is measured at 4 ohms...
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    the higher the damping factor, the greater the output impedance of the amplifier... the better quality the amplifier (in most cases). complex impedances (that's kind of a double negative, but you get the idea) are dependant upon frequency, and output impedance is normally rated at 1k Hz. Higher or lower, it'll change. Not necessarily a lot, but it'll change.

    To keep you "plenty within safe range", most quality amplifiers will post damping factors of greater than or equal to 200. I was flaming pissed when MTX dropped down to "greater than 100" on class D models. 1,000 or 1,500 damping factors are not necessary, but do sometimes indicate more efficient amplifiers. Anything around or above 200 is peachy... below 100 is not something that I would purchase. DEI / Viper / ORION / PPI / etc etc -- all the "viper stuff" - is "50 or better" --- one of the main reasons I won't even bother with DEI's stuff... the other is the ungodly slew rate of 5 v / us ... *vomit*.

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    I wish manufacturers would just post detailed specs on each amp. Like damping at certain frequencies and everything else. I'm sure they have the tools to do it and I think it would be a good competitive step for a company to do... but maybe someday when i'm all growd up and I gets my own company :)

    oh, and thanks audiobliss for the grammar lesson, I am just starting college up now that I am 21 and I graduated when I was 16, so it's been a while for me.
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    how'd you manage to graduate at 16? i was impressed with myself for doing it near the end of 17! :p
    It's not good, very fundamentally simply not good. - geolemon

    "Its not good enough until we have real-time fearmongering. I want my fear mongered as it happens." - Shizelbs

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    i couldve graduated at 16 if i chose not to play sports...f that. Ill take football over graduating early anyday
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    Damping factor doesn't mean much since most amps have a decent enough damping factor and everyone likes to measure it differently (pre CEA2006), so the numbers don't mean much.

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    hey engineer-guy, how reliable is that cea-2006 stuff? should i care? (i.e. is it like the 'thx' label on home stuff, looks cool but doesn't matter?)
    It's not good, very fundamentally simply not good. - geolemon

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    Im all for CEA.

    Dont think tho that a 50x2 CEA certified amp makes 50x2, all the CEA sticker means is that it makes AT LEAST 50x2.

    Really the only specs I worry about are power ratings so I can more closely match the amp to my components. Pretty much all amps on the market are going to have inaudible noise specs and such.
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    I agree that this new standard is a great thing for car audio.

    Even tho it may be "at least" -- that's still a whole lot better than "maybe" or "on a good day".

    It's a standard - it doesn't have to be nail biting strict, just strict enough that you can compare equipment knowing that you have accurate information. You still have to use common sense, but the standard is a great thing.
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    Agreed. I dont mind that its "at least" making that power, this way you know youre getting at least the wattage you paid for. That better than some Alphasonik or Power Accoustik amp that barely, if at all, makes its 12V rating at 14V!
    polkaudio sound quality competitor since 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by neomagus00
    hey engineer-guy, how reliable is that cea-2006 stuff? should i care? (i.e. is it like the 'thx' label on home stuff, looks cool but doesn't matter?)
    THX is more of a "does your product meet certain specs?" while CEA2006 is more of a "let's strip a bunch of variables so you can properly compare amp X and amp Y" without a ton of education on the subject. CEA2006 is a good thing, even with a couple loop holes, such as the ability to put 1000000000000000000W peak on the box or amp, just not in the little area designated for CEA2006.

    Focus on the specs and its a good thing. Now there needs to be one for measuring speakers.

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    I think they should outlaw peak or max ratings alltogether.
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    well it depends on how "peak" and "max" are used... peak shouldn't be used because by definition it's a function of rms output (actually the other way around, but it's directly related, no if's and's or butt's about it)... max has been substituted for peak, and visa-versa, that's a misnomer. I see no reason why speakers should not have a "rms" rating, and if the mfg chooses to list it then a "max" rating as well. the max would be burst power handling, at a certain frequency or over a certain bandwidth - and for a certain amount of time (obviously small). amplifiers should have nothing but rms OR peak output ratings - lets say rms because it is what has been commonly accepted within electronics for various good reaons, but they should not have "max" ratings at all, since a max rating for any piece of equipment would be that which it can handle or put out for only a brief time - subject to thermal or mechanical breakdown... such a situation really would not occur in an amplifier. it's limited by its power supply and its internal gain parameters... even in a worst case scenario, you're still limited by the power supply --- so look at it as a square wave (or severely clipped sine wave), that's useless... and won't exceed Ppeak = Vpeak^2/Zdriver.
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