Bogus power ratings. Beware.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Tone_Terrific, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    I purchased a compact class D bass head, (which shall remain nameless as others are as guilty) to try it as an ultra portable guitar amp (like Quilter).
    I ran it into a cab at about 5.5 ohms.
    Its basic voicing was not guitar oriented but could be tweaked via its EQ to be OK.
    BUT it was called a 200W amp.
    NO WAY was this a 200W amp. Not 100. Not 50. I guessed at 30-ish.

    Stuck it on the bench at 400hz and 5.5 load and measured a bit over 30W.
    ???
    I emailed the manufacturer's service dept. (thanks for the response)

    I was told that this module is what they use (Icepower - 50ASX2SE) 'just like everybody else' and the sales literature may be using peak music power as its rating system.
    The specs are available on the module's supplier's website:
    50ASX2SE ( the amp only uses the single channel version of the module)
    Amplifier Output Power per channel
    (1 % THD+N, 20 Hz – 20 kHz)
    50 W (4 Ω)
    25 W (8 Ω)

    Note the 25W at 8 ohms.
    A very common cab impedance. A very weak bass amp.
    A 200w amp will rock your socks.
    MAYBE you only need 25W in a package under 2 pounds, which is cool.
    Don't expect more.

    If you get a '700w' amp and expect the power of 2 SVTs expect a letdown.
    Try to get service info and check the specs at the source for more accuracy.
    Those 700w modules do exist but might be called '2000w' by some companies.
    :mob
     
  2. Kelly

    Kelly Member

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    It's always been that way with solid state stuff. You have to find the rms rating at the lowest thd they test it at, and hope they're not lying. It's harder to lie about tubes amps.
     
  3. Aaron Mayo

    Aaron Mayo Member

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    That's crazy, very misleading.

    what kind of equipment is involved in testing this out? i have a couple amps i'm curious about.
     
  4. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    I had a Line 6 rated at 50w and 50w. It would nail that rating no problem.
    I have a Yamaha rated at 100W @4ohms and it feels substantial but I have not benched it.
    I have worked on large SS amps that will crank out major power but putting out 1/8 of its 'advertised' power a 8 ohms is pretty sad.
    This was common back in the old days with tube or SS amps but I thought the big name companies had come around.
    Evidently they have slipped to compete with the hyper-rated low budget amps that are available.
     
  5. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    Test load, signal generator, scope to find clipping point and meter.
     
  6. WillLane

    WillLane Member

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    Well, how did they call it a 200W amp? Did they say "200W (peak) amp!" If they did, they aren't technically lying but it is misleading. It's pretty common especially in consumer/prosumer SS equipment; advertising an amplifier/speaker with the peak power handling, with the RMS/Continuous rating wayyyy down on the webpage.

    I take the advertised or in-product-description wattage ratings on SS equipment with a grain of salt, sometimes even as a joke. You'll read something crazy like "2,000W Class D POWAH!" only to find the RMS or continuous something like 500w. The issue is even worse with lower-end guitar/bass SS equipment. 100w might be somewhere in the box, but given crappy porting, crappy cab design, crappy speaker, crappy circuit design, you'll only hear the impact of 10-20w coming out the speaker.

    Looking for RMS/Continuous and SPL ratings and how they measured all of it is important when selecting amps and speakers. It's sad, however, that the general consumer doesn't know what any of that means.
     
    FbIsNotE likes this.
  7. tenchijin2

    tenchijin2 Member

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    This is super common, it's pretty much how all power ratings work and it's almost always in the detailed specs and descriptions.
    In this case 200W is from 2 ohms, 100W per channel.
    Every solid state power amp I've owned has used that kind of rating system, including the Ampeg B2RE bass head I used for years.
     
  8. Axe-Man

    Axe-Man Member

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    The ICEPower modules frequently state wattage much higher then what they actually consume (their consumption is not even closely equal to their output - like they are making wattage from thin air).
     
  9. Faded

    Faded Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the world of bass amps. Sorry you were surprised.
     
  10. Faded

    Faded Supporting Member

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    It’s only misleading to your particular understanding of wattage and amplification.

    Everywhere else it’s a common and accepted unit of measurement. Because it doesn’t scale to an application for which it was unintended to work is not the manufacturers issue.
     
    therhodeo likes this.
  11. Jr Deluxe

    Jr Deluxe Member

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    That's what you get for putting a guitar through a solid state amp. I feel no sympathy.
     
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  12. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    BRB I'm off looking for an appropriate eyeroll gif.
     
  13. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    Note that the manufacturer's own spec verifies the low wattage output.
    They KNOW what they are talking about.
    It's the marketing side that fudges the ratings.
    Think of all those '200' model bass amps out there from Fender, G-K, Ampeg, Traynor, etc.
    Try, or at least check the component sepcs before you buy.
     
  14. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    Not all SS amps are created equal. My MC50 (below) was tested as actually putting out 75W, not 50 (McIntosh was exceptionally conservative in how they advertised their power because of their insistence on very low THD).

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    Neither are tube amps.
    Both messages are difficult to believe for some.
     
  16. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    Oh, I have no trouble believing it. E.g., here are the actual oscilloscope-determined specs for my "advertised as 60W" Reverend Hellhound combo. As you can see, its was, is, and will always be a 40W amp. :)

    Reverend Hellhound
    Electro-Harmonix 6L6EH
    Vac = 120.8

    "60W" power setting:
    V+ = 475V
    Vp = 473V
    Vs = 459V
    Vg = -52.0V
    Ik = 31.0 mA (avg)
    Po = 42W @ 8 ohms at onset of clipping
    40W @ 4 ohms

    "40W" power setting:
    V+ = 477V
    Vp = 475V
    Vs = 462V
    Vg = -52.0V
    Ik = 26.4 mA (avg)
    Po = 39W @ 8 ohms at onset of clipping
    36W @ 4 ohms
     
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  17. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    Marketing wants 60W...add a switch and a label.
     
  18. slayerbear17

    slayerbear17 Member

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    Lol. Some of the cheaper car amplifiers were no different back in the day.

    Boosting 2000 watts, ya right!
     
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  19. WillLane

    WillLane Member

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    Well, given that the average consumer knows very little about wattage and amplification on the tech side of things, I think it's a bit sleazy that manufacturers take advantage of that. You kind of said it yourself: "Because it doesn’t scale to an application for which it was unintended to work is not the manufacturers issue."

    It is the manufacturers issue because peak power handling doesn't scale to this application. It isn't a power rating that is intended to be valuable to the application, at least not as much as the RMS/Continuous values. So it's kind of sleazy that manufacturers prey on lay consumers with this.

    Imagine you were buying a car (I'm not a mechanic but here goes) and the dealer said "the engine can handle the RPMS to get the car up to 200MPH but it can only handle it for half a second so it can't really get to 200MPH". Why even bother advertising it like this except to trap the consumer?

    Having the peak power ratings in the product description is one thing. It's another thing entirely when advertising a 200w peak amp as a 200w amp, in an application where RMS wattage values are much more standard for measuring usability. And yeah, I get it, ever manufacturer does this and one guy posting on the internet isn't going to change anything.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  20. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Supporting Member

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    Except for Quilter.. my mini 101, rated at 50 watts will drive you out of the room at 2o watts...at 8 ohms..amazing amplifier with many tube like qualities....
     

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