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Old 16th January 2012, 06:37 PM   #1
JoeDJ is offline JoeDJ  United States
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Default Why are there only low power 2 channel amps?

It seems that high power, over 300w sub amps are commom.
However, finding a 2 channel stereo amp over 50w PC is difficult.

I understand that lows can draw more watts but, so can other freqs, paticularly in transients.

Have the manufactures and general public now become so centered on bass that they no longer care about the rest of the spectrum and dynamic range, etc?

Last edited by JoeDJ; 16th January 2012 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 16th January 2012, 06:58 PM   #2
UrSv is offline UrSv  Sweden
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How do you mean? There are plenty of stereo amps with more than 50 W per channel.
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Old 16th January 2012, 07:02 PM   #3
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Well, first of all I have to say I'm not sure exactly what kinds of amps you're referring to (and it doesn't help that you posted this in "everything else" instead of one of the other amp-specific forums, to give us a clue).

I can find 2-ch amps in the 100~200 watt p/c class in home hifi and car audio without any trouble. There's not one, not ten, but probably 100's and quite possibly 1000 or more possible candidates in the home audio market, for example. So, the question itself puzzles me and makes me wonder where, exactly, you are looking when you search for options.

There are a few available in much higher power ranges, if 200 w/ch/8ohm isn't enough.

There are a few tube amps in the same class, although I would tend to agree that the 60W and under range is far more common. Sound Reinforcement amps abound in high power ranges. Perhaps it's DIY amps you're referring to? They tend to be under 100 wpc for the most part.

But, assuming we accept your premise that they are rare, and to address the second part referring to sub amps, large sub amps in power ratings above 200W ... sometimes well above ... are common recently (the last 10 years); they were not so common only a short while ago.

To a large extent that is because high order distortions, which tend to be a major aspect of overall subjective sound quality, are not really an issue with a crossover-limited sub application since you simply won't hear the amp via the sub at the frequencies where any issue would manifest itself.

Class D amps of extremely high power are very suitable for sub applications and significantly less expensive than classic AB topology; perhaps not so suitable for full range use.

If you expect full range reproduction, I would bet that, crossover removed from the circuit, the sub amps you refer to would not sound that great in the top end, or would not without substantial attention to details, which add to the cost, that can be dismissed as unnecessary with a sub application.

Low frequencies, aside from a prodigious demand for power, are otherwise easy to design for sound quality wise, especially when information above the LF range required can be discarded or crossover-limited.


But, even if not, anlog does bass pretty good, and digital does bottom very well. An illustrative example might be the much maligned CD's 16/44.1 format which has garnered much debate, criticism, and even derision since it's early 80's introduction. Go ahead and read the articles, comments, and even published papers, from any point during the last 30 years.

How often do they criticize the CD for poor bass performance? It's not only rare, it's far more likely that the bass performance will be praised even as the overall sound quality is derided.

More critical mid and high frequency reproduction demands a different approach, which makes easy solutions that work fine in a sub amp much less easy. Although it is probably a gross simplification to say great bass is easy, it's not far from the truth to say getting good bass amplification is easy while the rest of the low end package can be difficult. At higher frequencies the amp's job is more demanding and it's faults or failures more obvious.
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Last edited by Johnny2Bad; 16th January 2012 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 16th January 2012, 07:02 PM   #4
GloBug is offline GloBug  Canada
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Transients are one thing, sustained power at low frequency is another. The power used goes up exponentially when the frequency goes down. Air is not linear, so neither are the wattage's needed.

I find most gear used to have a lack of bass, I think now it is more "flat" which some may consider bass-boosted.

So 300w bass might be a match for ~50wpc, depending on where you cross it over.

Lot's of items these days might rate their items in peak watts, or just lie.
I recently took apart a cheap 250w subwoofer amp,(Audiovox). The actual chip inside was only good for around 45w.
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Old 16th January 2012, 07:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeDJ View Post
[snip] ...
Have the manufactures and general public now become so centered on bass that they no longer care about the rest of the spectrum and dynamic range, etc?
... [snip]
Manufacturers try to make what they think we will buy; they're no plot to destroy HiFi but there's also no plot to turn us all into audiophiles either ... there is just a plot to sell ordinary consumers as much stuff as they can be talked into parting money for, whatever that might be. The easiest way to sell more stuff is to make it cheaper, so expect cheap products cheaply made with cheap intentions. Since you can pack a 100W class D sub amp and a TA2020 making 10 or so wpc into a 2.1 package and call it "120 watts" for about $30, why would you make a higher quality 2x 60 wpc class A/B amp that costs you $200 to manufacture if all you can say is it's "120 watts"? I know which one you'll find on the shelves at Wall-Mart, and so do you.

If people stopped listening to music tomorrow morning, they'd switch to making toasters so fast your head would spin. As long as Wall-Mart can sell it, they will make it.

I don't worry or even think much about what the "general public" wants, buys, or owns, since if as you imply they are clueless or confused about audio today, I can assure you there never was a time when they were not.

Anyone who seeks good sound reproduction is a rare beast today but if you somehow believe that it ever was any different, having been in audio retail 40 years ago, I can assure you it never has been. Crap outsold quality then and it outsells quality today, and it will outsell quality 50 years from now. We're a minority; stop worrying what the general public does.

Also, since you took pains to specify "2-channel" amps, I'm wondering if you know that in the US the power output of a 2-channel component amplifier is regulated by federal law to follow a very specific, and quite stringent, power rating procedure. Misrepresenting the power or failing to specify it in a specific way is literally against the law. Multi-channel amps? No problem, you can say almost anything you want; the manufacturers were able to lobby the gov't so the more stringent 2-channel rules do not apply.

So, be sure the lack of "50W stereo" amps is really a lack of stereo amps and not the result of comparing it to "250W" multichannel receivers, many if not virtually all of which could not legally claim 50 watts p/c if they were to pull three channels out of the chassis.

Televisions? Say whatever you want. Portable Stereos? Say whatever you want. Car Stereo? Say whatever you want. 2-channel home amplifier ... stray from the mandated test procedure and wording of your power output specification and you get the Federal Trade Commission on your ***, who can ban your product from the marketplace, force you to revise you product literature, or fine you.
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Last edited by Johnny2Bad; 16th January 2012 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 16th January 2012, 08:20 PM   #6
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Some 2 channel amps:
Macro-Tech i Series
Crest Audio
All over 1KW per channel.

QSC - CX 2-Channel Amplifiers
BEHRINGER: EPQ1200
All over 100W per channel

Not difficult to find.
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Old 16th January 2012, 08:25 PM   #7
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I've just googled for stereo amps and I've found amps that are 1000W RMS/ Channel.
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Old 16th January 2012, 08:54 PM   #8
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Hi,

Most of the time domestically with decent speakers 50W per channel
is all you need, except for parties, huge rooms or volume freaks.

Its a lot easier to make a quality 50W amplifier at a given (budget)
price point than it is to make a nice sounding 200W amplifier.

And TBH most budget amps reflect most budget speakers limits.

Subs can trade off more bass extension and smaller boxes by
requiring more power, sub power does not need to match
the mains power, SPL capability ideally should be close,
but sub SPL is not directly related to its power rating.

rgds, sreten.
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Old 16th January 2012, 09:27 PM   #9
JoeDJ is offline JoeDJ  United States
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I guess I was not specific enough.

What I was refering to was amps that do not cost the equivelant of a small car.
Also RMS PC X2


Granted, there are qualty, high powered amps out there for thise who can/wish to pay the high price.
However, there are no higher pwered amps that I could find for those on some sort of budget.

If there are mono subs amps of high power that are realtively inexpensive that also contain a pre amp, why are there no inexpensive 2 channel amps also of comparable price, taking into account that it's a two channel amp?
There are inexpensive high powered sub amps, inexpensive multi channel HT amps of high power, but hardly any inexpensive 2 channel amps.
Is 2 channel stereo dying with the general public?

Quote:
Most of the time domestically with decent speakers 50W per channel
is all you need, except for parties, huge rooms or volume freaks
I have been away from high end audio far a while but, when did just adequate volume become the criteria for how much wattage one needs?
Is reseve power for transients and dynamic range, etc no longer a concern?

Also, are less efficient acoustical suspension speakers (with a "tighter" bass) now considered not "decent"?
Back to my OP... is a" boomy" bass now king with the masses?

BTW, I'm a (former) bass player.

Last edited by JoeDJ; 16th January 2012 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 16th January 2012, 09:49 PM   #10
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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With a name like JoeDJ, we would assume you are looking for pro stuff. Wrong?
You didn't specify a price range.

If you know of any small cars that sell new (or slightly used) for $300, please let us know.
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