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Old 1st August 2007, 02:26 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default sound quality comparison

ill tell you what i know.. just spare some expertise with me

i am looking for the best sound quality for my dollar and i dont have the amplifier design wisdom to make the factual choice

i have read about damping factor and i want to make sure i have more then what average amps have.. this is a spec i decided i would experiment with next

i also read about mosfet output vs bipolar output
the readings i came across said mosfets arent as linear as bipolar outputs
so ive been looking for bipolar output amplifiers

i have been trying to gather whatever info i can find.. but usually when i come across knowledgable people they are deep into discussion and i have no clue what they are talking about

im trying to buy the best amplifier based on facts of quality
it seems i have been reading advice from teenagers for far too long
i cant find any facts about todays car audio amplifiers.. only speculations

so with what i have gathered i have taken note of the following amps

precision power A800/2:

'class AB Darlington-configured complementary bipolar output stages driven by massive MOSFET power supplies.'

Signal to Noise Ratio: >88dB
Damping Factor: >1000

phoenix gold xenon with triple darlington output stage:

Signal to Noise Ratio: >100dB
Damping Factor: not mentioned

after searching the forum i have read a thread about phoenix golds xenon amps but nothing that compares these two amps or the damping spec im interested in

please help me
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Old 1st August 2007, 03:40 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Chicago
High "damping factor" values do not reflect the quality of an amplifier; most modern amplifiers have very small source impedance, but vary in quality. In my opinion the use of negative feedback in the amplifier design (high damping factor) is a sign of poor quality.
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Old 1st August 2007, 06:01 PM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Northern California
I run a Xenon 200.4 and for the money it cost me I have been very satisfied, I had a MAC-431 in before the Xenon. The Xenon over-powered the MAC by a mile and a half and I never gets near its clipping level, so I also stay closer to its linear range so it sounds sweet for what it is.
My MAC sits at the end on my bench at my shop waiting for the day when I get the urge to dump it, as it was Way over-priced and it sounded like XXXX compared to the Xenon.
So I looked inside to find cheap Sanyo STK modules driving the output stage. If I had only known I would have never spent the money on it. My opinion is that its nothing more that a Sanyo Fisher home amp with a very expensive piece of glass placed on it.

My first car system was old school 3 PPI 2150M's way back, They served me well, but since 92 I have run nothing but Phoenix Gold. It works, and it works well. My bass amps are 15 years old and have never failed < 2 each MS-275's each bridged into a single 12>. It rocks my Suburban, so it will fill most any other vehicle out there.

PPI has had a long service history and is now owned and operated by Directed Electronics So its not the old school PPI we all grew up with.

I would suggest that you call PG on there 800 number and contact them with your question if damping factor is your forte of need i am sure they will be helpful.....
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Old 1st August 2007, 07:12 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2007
In loudspeaker systems, the value of the damping factor between a particular loudspeaker and amplifier, describes the ability of the amplifier to control undesirable movement of the speaker cone near the resonant frequency of the speaker system. It is usually used in the context of low frequency driver behavior, and specially so in the case of electro-dynamic drivers which use a magnetic motor to generate the forces which move the diaphragm.

your talking to me with in-depth knowledge of amplifier design
i have already said i dont know in-depth amplifier design

and you didnt post anything that answered my question

i dont want opinions.. i want facts
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Old 2nd August 2007, 08:30 AM   #5
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Northern California
Give PG a call they always answer, ask for Phil he can find out for you. He's been there for years and he knows the right engineer to ask to get your info. Or go to the PG forum and ask Eerin he had 15 years with them. Maybe Roland will be online he is presently a product engineer with them.

I might not know the number, but I do know who to ask, and where they are, Come on by the PG forum, or call PG at 800.950.1449
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Old 2nd August 2007, 09:06 AM   #6
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Louisiana
The damping factor isn't much of an issue. Take an amplifier with a DF of 500. If you have a 4 ohm load and 5 feet of 14g speaker wire, the effective DF drops to ~120. Longer runs of wire and/or smaller wire make the effective DF drop even more.

Alone, DF is not an indicator of quality.

Also... You can't trust all of the published specs. Unless all of the amplifiers were tested in precisely the same way using precisely the same standards, you can't rely on them for comparison.

Bad silver:
Negative feedback is a fact of life in amplifier design. Unless you want to spend thousands on an amplifier that's MUCH larger than a standard amplifier, you have to use negative feedback. NFB makes low distortion possible with affordable amplifiers.

Can you find out if PG amps are still 'manufactured' in the US (including board production - population, soldering, testing...)? Mounting a Chinese or Korean manufactured board in a heatsink doesn't count as US made.
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Old 3rd August 2007, 03:43 AM   #7
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Northern California
Hi Perry, I do know for a fact that the Xenon line was all offshore made, but due to some offshore issues Testing was performed here in Oregon.
The last US built products were the Titanium product lines, the Tantrum, and XS lines. pretty much everything after these are offshore in origin.
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