Digital amps for infinite baffle...

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Joel X, Mar 31, 2003.

  1. Joel X

    Joel X Stunt Coordinator

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    I think that digital amps would mate perfectly with an infinite baffle. What models work the best with a sub? Also I don't think the wattage needs to be very high to reach Xmax in IB so they can be smaller units I think. Is there a specific class that works best for a sub?

    I did a search and I haven't found much good info on digitals, it seems that most go for the average joe plate amp, but the efficiency of a PWM type amp is attractive as the number of discrete channels adds up and my electric bill grows...
     
  2. Joel X

    Joel X Stunt Coordinator

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    I am not an expert on digital amps. I started this thread to discuss them since they have some attractive features. As far as I know digital amps are efficient and though they are not highly regarded for full range audio, I don't think they are any detriment to 20-80 Hz. I also am not fond of the heat that all of my audio and video equipment put out especially in the summer and in addition to that when things are in full force I can feel my power meter spinning. To me efficiency is worth something...
     
  3. Dave Milne

    Dave Milne Supporting Actor

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    Joel,
    Digital amps are small and light and often can get away without a fan... all good qualities for sub amps. But the power consumption savings is dubious, at best. Say you've got a 1KW amp: playing music, it will put out an average of about 100W because of the 10:1 peak:average ratio in music (especially bass). If it's a 50% efficient class AB amp (typical), it will also dissipate 100W... compared to a 90% efficient (also typical) digital amp which will dissipate 10W.

    So, that 90W you're throwing away will cost you a little less than a penny per hour (assuming $0.10/KWH electricity cost). Since you live in a warm climate, you can double that number to take into account the cost of running your air conditioner (to move that heat oustide).

    Total = 2 cents per hour. If you use the amp a lot (at full volume), say 6 hours per day, you're up to $3.60 per month.
     
  4. Joel X

    Joel X Stunt Coordinator

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    Just for fun I clamped onto my system. At average listening levels i'm pulling 3.8 amps. I found that you are mostly right since of that only 1.5 is for subs or bass-shakers. My sub and amp are quite small and will only get larger but not out of control due to the inherent efficiency of an infinite baffle. Though my average KWH this month was 19 cents I can see that the amp efficiency side is small piece of the puzzle.

    Is it too early for digital amps, if so when can we expect them to be major players in our home theaters? I have read that they will be a cheaper alternative to analog beasts but perhaps that is not the case yet...
     

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