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Thread: Damping factor

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    Default Damping factor

    I decided to look up "damping factor" to try and learn something about it. My Belles Amp has a damping factor greater than 2,000 which is high compared to most other amps so I wanted to see what the deal is and here is what I found. Maybe some of you will find it interesting, maybe not.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damping_factor

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    Damping factor rocks, but it's only part of the equation.
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

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    Tom, are you not attending the festivities?
    Michael ;)
    In the beginning, all knowledge was new!

    NORTH of 60

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    Quote Originally Posted by treitz3 View Post
    Damping factor rocks, but it's only part of the equation.
    Hi Tom,
    Please explain if you can. I am trying to learn about this "stuff" as I build my system. One of the things I just learned and I hope its accurate is that my amp controls my drivers really well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by janmike View Post
    Tom, are you not attending the festivities?
    Leaving in about 6 or 7 hours. Sad to hear that you will not be there this time.
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

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    Quote Originally Posted by treitz3 View Post
    Leaving in about 6 or 7 hours. Sad to hear that you will not be there this time.
    Safe trip and enjoy.

    Thanks, there will be others I'm sure. Maybe next year.
    Michael ;)
    In the beginning, all knowledge was new!

    NORTH of 60

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    Drew, "Q", current capabilities of the amp and available power, clean/dirty power and many other factors like surface area all have a play in how damping factor can effect the end result as to what hits your ears.

    To keep it simple, the damping factor plays a very important part in reproduction. That said, it's only one of many parts that make the end result accurate.
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

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    High damping factors are usually found in big SS amps with multiple output devices.The paralleling of the output transistors reduces the output impedance which in turn increases the DF.However once the resistance of the speaker cable is included in the loop the seemingly big number is dramatically reduced.While damping factor is important there is a point of diminishing returns and some claim a DF in the 30-50 neighborhood is adequate.

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    Do not know much abt technical stuff but the higher damping factor is always better and it has something to do with more dynamic and tigher and deeper bass. Now , you guys can mock me and I am going to get some good sleep dreaming abt the new Norah Jones' look. Hot chick.
    Last edited by anhchungdoan; 11-06-2009 at 11:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NJPOLKER View Post
    I decided to look up "damping factor" to try and learn something about it. My Belles Amp has a damping factor greater than 2,000 which is high compared to most other amps so I wanted to see what the deal is and here is what I found. Maybe some of you will find it interesting, maybe not.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damping_factor
    Try google this : Damping factor by Ben Blish. Food for thought. Good night.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GV#27 View Post
    High damping factors ....

    Great answer. One other factor is speakers are not fixed resistive loads. Impedance of the woofer dances throughout the frequency range, so real world damping numbers would bounce up and down.
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    Another reading for you from Crown.
    Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by anhchungdoan View Post
    Another reading for you from Crown.
    So it would seem that very high damping factors would be more important for larger, full-range speakers with large woofers. Lower DF would probably be fine for bookshelf speaks. (or at least that's what I got from the paper)

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    Damping factor is nothing more than the ratio of the load impedance to the output impedance of the amplifier. "Modern" amplifiers tend to have gobs of NFB to give them very low damping factors (but there's more to life than damping factors -- the cure can be worse than the disease).

    The other factor, of course, is that the load impedance isn't fixed (unless you "listen" to resistors instead of real-world loudspeakers) -- damping factor isn't really even a constant.

    Near the top of my list of useless specifications. YMMV, of course.
    all the best,
    mrh

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    Quote Originally Posted by LessisNevermore View Post
    So it would seem that very high damping factors would be more important for larger, full-range speakers with large woofers. Lower DF would probably be fine for bookshelf speaks. (or at least that's what I got from the paper)
    If you don't take into account the real world speaker maybe this could, but isn't, a reasonable guess. The problem that I don't see mentioned, even in that pretty good first paper, is that in modern drivers there has been a rush to win the number war. In this case the power handling and magnet weight war.

    What we've wound up with is speakers that in many cases are highly over damped. The note of the kick drum just can't finish it's movement accurately. You get a very driving initial thump that's very pleasing. But the natural decay is GONE!

    Listen to the real thing or close your eyes and remember how the real thing sounds, then listen to the popular but incorrect sharp thump that modern speaker/amplifiers designs give. Very pleasing chest thump but very often highly inaccurate! And yes, I agree, the feedback is a big player in this!

    The overdampened design is yet another reason the idea of lower resistance, bigger conductor speaker wire can lead to an "improvement" that is unfortunately musically incorrect! Higher dampening numbers is extremely misleading!

    CoolJazz

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    Quote Originally Posted by NJPOLKER View Post
    I decided to look up "damping factor" to try and learn something about it. My Belles Amp has a damping factor greater than 2,000 which is high compared to most other amps so I wanted to see what the deal is and here is what I found. Maybe some of you will find it interesting, maybe not.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damping_factor

    Is it the amp that will not only double the power but will jump 4 times in power when bridge in mono ? If it is you have a gem on your hands. I have listened to one of the Belles amp driving a pair of Magnapan a while back and I was impressed. I would keep the amp as a good collection even if I do not use it anymore.
    Last edited by anhchungdoan; 11-07-2009 at 10:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoolJazz View Post
    feedback is a big player in this!
    Yeah increasing feedback will increase the DF and there are those designers that contend that high levels of NFB will also impact sound quality in a negative way.

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    My ears tell me I have the right AMP and from what I have read so far it may just be perfect to dive my SRSII's. High current, high power and a damping factor of greater than 2,000 - these speakers love current and probably need great driver control. I am currently, no pun, running Audioquest Mammoths which are as big as a garden hose, high quality copper and if I read correctly excellent insulation.

    Some spec's on the Belles 350a
    Power at 8 ohms is 250 watts and at 4 ohms 500 watts and 1,000 watts in mono-block configuration.

    Frequency response -0.2 to 100,000 Hz
    Distortion-Less than 0.1 at rated power
    Damping factor- Over 2,000
    Peak Current- Over 64 amperes
    Input sensitivity-1.98 volts for rated power
    Input Impedance-50,000 ohms
    Hum and noise >100db
    Gain 21 voltage ratio or 2.44db
    Power rating 120vac 10.0a fuse

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    Quote Originally Posted by NJPOLKER View Post
    My ears tell me I have the right AMP and from what I have read so far it may just be perfect to dive my SRSII's. High current, high power and a damping factor of greater than 2,000 - these speakers love current and probably need great driver control. I am currently, no pun, running Audioquest Mammoths which are as big as a garden hose, high quality copper and if I read correctly excellent insulation.

    Some spec's on the Belles 350a
    Power at 8 ohms is 250 watts and at 4 ohms 500 watts and 1,000 watts in mono-block configuration.

    Frequency response -0.2 to 100,000 Hz
    Distortion-Less than 0.1 at rated power
    Damping factor- Over 2,000
    Peak Current- Over 64 amperes
    Input sensitivity-1.98 volts for rated power
    Input Impedance-50,000 ohms
    Hum and noise >100db
    Gain 21 voltage ratio or 2.44db
    Power rating 120vac 10.0a fuse
    I have heard the Belles amps ( don't remember the model) configurated in mono driving the big Magnapan at the Audio Concept in Houston some 10/15 years ago, if memory serves me well, I loved them but I could not afford them back then.

    Too bad, Audio Concept went out of business few months ago and there is no dealer in town carries them. Do not mind to try them again with the LFT 8a planar speakers.:)

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