Car Audio Amps vs. Guitar Amps - Jemsite
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2003, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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Car Audio Amps vs. Guitar Amps

I go into the local car-audio store and I see amps that are like 1000 watts and up. I think a 50 watt gutiar amp is LOUD...what's the deal with these 1000 watt amps that are relatively small? Car audio systems really aren't THAT loud compared to certain guitar amps all > 100 watts. If you had a car stereo 1000 watt amp driving a 4 x 12" cab and and A/B'ed it with a Marshall 100 watt, which one would be louder?

I know RMS measurements have something to do with this probably, but still, the gap between 100 watts and 1000 is big...
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-30-2003, 01:23 PM
 
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Think about it... all those 1,000 watt amps are really meant for pushing sub frequencies, which you don't really FEEL until much higher volumes. If you go look at bass amps, 1,000 watts is no big deal.

I had more too say, but I'm too tired, sorry.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-31-2003, 02:33 PM
 
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hahaha, nice.

It also has to do with the fact that a car audio amplifier is solid state, while most good amps are tube: a solid state amplifier can't be driven into distortion without sounding like absolute crap. A tube amplifier, howver, only comes into its own when it's driven into distortion. A solid state power amp, properly designed, won't begin to clip even when it's driven at 100% power. Tube amps, on the other hand, will start to take on tube coloration at, say, 30%. Makes a bit of a difference.

-D
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-31-2003, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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So in terms of sheer volume and/or audibal volume, which would be louder?

/me likes loud!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-31-2003, 03:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEMavenger
So in terms of sheer volume and/or audibal volume, which would be louder?

/me likes loud!
Tube. No question.

-D
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-31-2003, 03:16 PM
 
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Weeeeeeell, a REALLY high wattage solid state system is probably louder than a low-wattage tube one... But I've seen high-fidelity audio power amps rated at 1/2 a watt that can still put out some SERIOUS clean power, so it's probably more complicated than my limited understanding has it at.

-D
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-31-2003, 09:36 PM
 
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Also, the car audio industry is notorious for exaggerating numbers to the point of ridicularity. Basically, in home audio, amps have to be rated a specific way - watts per channel, with all channels driven, within a stated frequency range and THD percentage. Car amps don't have the same restrictions, IIRC, so you'll see ratings of TOTAL watts at a single frequency, at some insane THD level (like 10%). If you have a real amp putting out 1000 watts continuously, 1) you'll need new ears, as the dB level in a small enclosed space like a car will destroy them in short order, and 2) you'll need a new alternator pretty soon. ;-)
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-31-2003, 11:23 PM
 
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Don't forget that car audio is generally run at 4ohms. Home audio is 8ohms. 1000 watt amp out of a car stereo would be 500watts in a home application. Which if you just look at wattage, is right on with loudness.

Also, many amps are pretty much on with the wattage. Several companies under rate their amps.

There is also the challange in car audio of having consistant power. Seeing as you're working with 12 volts and usually 80amps out of a factory alternator if you're lucky.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-01-2003, 08:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay ratkowski
Don't forget that car audio is generally run at 4ohms. Home audio is 8ohms. 1000 watt amp out of a car stereo would be 500watts in a home application. Which if you just look at wattage, is right on with loudness.

Also, many amps are pretty much on with the wattage. Several companies under rate their amps.

There is also the challange in car audio of having consistant power. Seeing as you're working with 12 volts and usually 80amps out of a factory alternator if you're lucky.
True about the 4 ohms. Makes using car speakers in the ceiling as surrounds a P.I.T.A. If ratings are more accurate these days, that's very cool. They weren't several years ago, but maybe I'm on outdated info.
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bass amp , power amp , power amps , solid state amp , solid state power amp , tube amp , tube amps

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