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Hifonics amplifier power ratings explained

 

Gold Member
Username: Nd4spd18

Philadelphia, PA

Post Number: 9440
Registered: Jul-06
Some people just don't seem to get it so I think this deserves a detailed explination.

Power ratings in watts specify how much power an amplifier can produce before it exceeds a specified amount of distortion (clipping). The accepted industry standard is 1% total harmonic distortion, and most amplifiers are rated equal to or less than this.

Now, hifonics "cheats" by not specifing at what distortion level their power ratings are obtained.

Power ratings are essentially useless without a THD rating also. As power output increases so does distortion. So without a THD rating, a company could rate their amplifier at say 50% distorion, or something rediculous like that, and make the amplifier appear to produce WAY more power than it is actually able. And while they are not lying technically, the power at that level would be horriably distored, not "clean" at all.

Now for everyone who has been b!tching about an actual bench test to prove this. Here are the results of a CA&E mag bench test of an XX-Goliath which claims 5000w @ 1 ohm:

TEST RESULTS
OUTPUT POWER @ 1%THD,
100Hz, 14.4 Volts
Mono @ 4 ohms 1,708 watts
Mono @ 2 ohms 3,062 watts
Mono @ 1 ohm 4,696 watts
OUTPUT POWER @ 1%THD,
100Hz, 12.5 VOLTS
Mono @ 4 ohms 1,237 watts
Mono @ 2 ohms 2,223 watts
Mono @ 1 ohm 3,512 watts
Distortion at rated power,
100Hz, 14.4 volts 0.1% @ any impedance

http://www.caraudiomag.com/testreports/ 0608_cae_hifonics_xx_goliath_amplifier/power_charts.html

The author also notes why the acutal output is less than claimed:

"When I began to measure power levels, I found the power at 1.0% THD+N was a little lower than quoted in the specifications. After double checking all my measurements, I realized that Hifonics does not qualify their power figures with a distortion limit. By letting the amp run a little into clipping, I could get the claimed power from it, but at distortion levels around 2% to 5%."

As shown by that test the XX amps are somewhat overrated. The brutus and lower lines are even more.
 

Gold Member
Username: Frkkevin

Team DLSSuperNatural...

Post Number: 6127
Registered: Nov-05
From my reading most Hifonics amps are 10% over-rated.

People just don't realize you get what you pay for.. Yes they are rated well and cheaper. But now compare the cost of that amp to other companies that actually post a true rms at 1% distortion on 14.4v or 12.5v.. The cost difference alone shows you what you are getting yourself into.

Don't go cheap, save and buy quality. Or at least expect that what you are getting will not do rated power or have the near build quality of something else rated the same but more expensive.

Now this may not be true with everything, but it is for the most part.
 

Gold Member
Username: Th3pwn3r

I compensate...

Post Number: 9165
Registered: Jul-06
A test means nothing for a comparison if the test is done differently than the way the manufacturer does their test. That's the only way you can say if something is over-rated or not. The test would have to be done exactly the same with no variance in between.
 

Gold Member
Username: Th3pwn3r

I compensate...

Post Number: 9166
Registered: Jul-06
I think we need some Team Maxxsonics members in here :-)
 

Gold Member
Username: Deadrabit

Marionville, MO

Post Number: 1240
Registered: Jun-07
the maxxsonics would have nothing to say. hahaha
 

Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Raccoon City, MI USA

Post Number: 12254
Registered: Dec-03
The other thing Hifonics has been known for in regards to misleading power ratings, is the use of unregulated power supplies, with a stated power output for the amplifier measured at 16VDC as opposed to the more accepted 12 or 14.4VDC.

There are many ways to mislead uneducated consumers.

Yet another, even with a THD rating stated, is that THD can be measured in a number of ways, including the use of a narrow band frequency range or a burst as opposed to sustained output for measurement.

In the end, you need to have a thorough understanding of the numbers you read, and ALL of the information has to be stated, correctly, by the manufacturer, or you may as well ignore them all together.

Also, instead of using the typical "xxx watts RMS) ratings, stick to CEA ratings, as they are a more strictly controlled means of comparing two brands of product.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nd4spd18

Philadelphia, PA

Post Number: 9442
Registered: Jul-06
^^^^^ very good point I forgot to bring up




When dealing with brand name products CEA ratings are the best way to be sure the ratings you're looking at are accurate.

But if you're dealing with an "underground" company like AQ or RD with a good rep then you can be reasonable sure their ratings are fairly accurate. And small inconsistencies shouldn't be a problem since you should always use an amplifier that can produce more power than you will actually use...... it's hugely inaccurate ratings like hifonics's to beware of.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nd4spd18

Philadelphia, PA

Post Number: 9445
Registered: Jul-06
Rob doesn't get it either.


Their ratings may be perfectly accurate in that the amp produces 5000w @ X% THD. Problem is they don't tell you what X is. Anything over 1% is considered too much distortion/clipping, and they are clearly using some level higher than that to come up with their power ratings.




All of this is a practice designed to deceive consumers and sell more products, since it appears that you are getting more for less money. And that is one of the biggest problems in the car audio world right now.
 

Gold Member
Username: Redliner

Wilmington, Ma

Post Number: 4840
Registered: Jun-05
which is why someone should buy my rd 1750's they actually do there rated power and are great amps.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nd4spd18

Philadelphia, PA

Post Number: 9446
Registered: Jul-06
No offense to anyone but please keep OT stuff out of this thread and keep it on topic. I want to bookmark this for all the times in the future when people ask about hifonics ratings.
 

Gold Member
Username: Andrew571

Stillwater/Edmond, Oklahoma USA

Post Number: 2182
Registered: Oct-05
Good explanation, MS.


Something useful on E??????? amazing!
 

Gold Member
Username: Tatonka

-[Team Audible Insanity]-

Post Number: 2601
Registered: Mar-07
M.S. makes a good post! w00t

AQ really did a good job coming out with a real 1200rms amp around the same price as a Hifonics 1206d.
 

Gold Member
Username: Frkkevin

Team DLSSuperNatural...

Post Number: 6128
Registered: Nov-05
AQ amps are made in Korea right?
 

Gold Member
Username: Nd4spd18

Philadelphia, PA

Post Number: 9449
Registered: Jul-06
Yes they did. The AQ 1200 actually uses the same board as the hifonics 1606.... but obviously better quality components.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Insearchofbass

Post Number: 11156
Registered: Jun-04
Good post.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Raccoon City, MI USA

Post Number: 12259
Registered: Dec-03
If you want a better understanding of amplifiers, here's a page on how they work:
http://www.glasswolf.net/papers/amplifiers.html

Another even better site that goes into more detail, would be BCAE1.com
 

Gold Member
Username: Southernrebel

Monroe, Louisiana Team Audible...

Post Number: 7198
Registered: Mar-04

quote:

Yes they did. The AQ 1200 actually uses the same board as the hifonics 1606.... but obviously better quality components.




nope.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nd4spd18

Philadelphia, PA

Post Number: 9452
Registered: Jul-06
It is the same board as one of maxxsonics's amps..... I thought it was the 1606 but maybe not.

This amp, I can't tell the model from the pic just the maxxsonics logo:

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x60/get_er_dun90/GEDC0191.jpg


The AQ:

http://www.ddaudio.com/aq/AQ1200D_Guts.htm
 

Gold Member
Username: Nd4spd18

Philadelphia, PA

Post Number: 9453
Registered: Jul-06
BTW there is a TON of good info on Glasswolfs site as well as bcae1. If anyone wants to learn more about car audio or just electronics in general I suggest reading those sites.
 

Silver Member
Username: Imalik

15 FI BL9.1=Boom, New Jersey Jerzee Playa

Post Number: 641
Registered: May-06
Is the Hifonics 1608 same as AQ 1200
like the RD 1750 is same as Sundown 1500
 

Bronze Member
Username: M0nstar

Toledo, OH U.S.

Post Number: 57
Registered: Dec-08
glasswolf, post your site again, i clicked it to see what i tlooked like and it didn't work.
 

Gold Member
Username: Livin_loud

COD4 Addict

Post Number: 2854
Registered: Jan-06
^or go to glasswolf.net and search for it...
 

Platinum Member
Username: Glasswolf

Raccoon City, MI USA

Post Number: 12268
Registered: Dec-03
www.glasswolf.net under the "tech papers" section of the left menu.
I recently rewrote the site so links changed from what they were a while back, and I gave up the old wickedcases domain so its just glasswolf net now.
 

Gold Member
Username: Tatonka

-[Team Audible Insanity]-

Post Number: 2607
Registered: Mar-07

quote:

like the RD 1750 is same as Sundown 1500




Nope. The 1750 is a little more beefed up than the 1500.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jason420

PIMP CITY, GA USA

Post Number: 36
Registered: Jun-08
i have Hifonics 2608d i gave 375 shipped so how much clean watts do i have
 

Gold Member
Username: Southernrebel

Monroe, Louisiana Team Audible...

Post Number: 7201
Registered: Mar-04
prolly ~2-2.2kw...if your electrical system can keep up.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nd4spd18

Philadelphia, PA

Post Number: 9454
Registered: Jul-06
So anyone want to try and ID that maxxsonics amp? Would be nice to know what it is......
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