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S/N Ratio: Deciding Factor?

 

New member
Username: Brooks

Tampa, Fl USA

Post Number: 9
Registered: Nov-04
In earlier threads someone suggested to me that I need a S/N ratio of 100 or greater when powering comps. Is this an absolute rule? Some of the more "respected" amps on this forum don't have ratios that high (entry level Zapco, JBL). Thanks for everyone's help thus far!
 

Silver Member
Username: Carguy

Post Number: 235
Registered: Nov-04
Hey Nile, that depends on your application. Will you be using the amp for pleasure listening or for comps? If not entering contests, you don't need that high S/N ratio. If you could afford one though, get it. My amp is Audiobahn and it is >100 S/N ratio.
 

New member
Username: Brooks

Tampa, Fl USA

Post Number: 10
Registered: Nov-04
Thanks, Isaac. Nah, no competitions in my future, simply pleasure listening. I do consider myself a discerning listener with a decent ear. Will I notice the difference? I listen mostly to alt. country stuff (Wilco, Steve Earle, Uncle Tupelo) but occasionally I have to indulge my 37 year old teenage angst with punk and metal.
 

Silver Member
Username: Carguy

Post Number: 239
Registered: Nov-04
Well unless you're going to compare an amp that's S/N ratio 75 with S/N ratio of >100, you won't be able to tell much difference. I think most fall around 92.
However, a speaker's quality will make much more impact on what you hear.
 

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

NorthWest, Michigan USA

Post Number: 5836
Registered: Dec-03
reference links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signal-to-noise_ratio

signal-to-noise ratio (SNR):

The ratio of the amplitude of the desired signal to the amplitude of noise signals at a given point in time.

SNR is expressed as 20 times the logarithm of the amplitude ratio, or 10 times the logarithm of the power ratio.

SNR is usually expressed in decibels (dB) and in terms of peak values for impulse noise and root-mean-square (RMS) values for random noise. In defining or specifying the SNR, both the signal and noise should be characterized, e.g., peak-signal-to-peak-noise ratio, in order to avoid ambiguity.

The SNR of car amplifiers today is below the threshold of human hearing, so this emasurement is of little use when comparing amplifiers. Factors such as slew rate, damping factor, and power supply voltage are more important in determining the quality of an amp.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Brooks

Tampa, Fl USA

Post Number: 11
Registered: Nov-04
Thanks, Glass. Boy that explanation sure cleared it up for me!! But you opened a whole new can of worms. I kind of understand power supply voltage importance, but why slew rate and damping factor? I see them listed on spec sheets, but ignorance precludes me from understanding why. I know, I could research this myself and not bother the kind folks on this forum, but then why would this forum exist!! Maybe I should stick to "Dude it rocks".
 

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

NorthWest, Michigan USA

Post Number: 5845
Registered: Dec-03
http://www.wickedcases.com/caraudio/amplifiers.html
http://www.wickedcases.com/caraudio/ampspecs.html

ask and ye shall receive.
the second link is much shorter, and easier to read. may want to start there, then dive into that first one.
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