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Help with amp design

billybob

Active Member
My friend is wanting to build his own car sub setup around 1500Watt max.
Im by far no expert and was hoping I could get some knowledge on this subject. Would the wattage be too much to effect car function? What are some good schematics I can study? Class A, AB, or maybe D? He is a beginner, but is willing to learn. Would giant caps be necessary to filter the power consumption?
Thank you,
Ben
 

JimB

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Assuming that the car has a nominal 12v electrical system, 1500W will require a current of 1500/21 = 125 Amps.
That is assuming that the amplifier is 100% efficient, which it will not be, lets be generous and say it is 75% efficient, the current drain on the battery will be about 167 Amps.
Giant caps may just help with the peak currents.

But the real problem that I envisage is:
What will be the sound pressure level inside the car when this is running?
I would advise the use of giant ear defenders, as used by airport ground crew while working near a jet engine which is running.
I see your friends future, it involves severe hearing loss.

JimB
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
My friend is wanting to build his own car sub setup around 1500Watt max.
Im by far no expert and was hoping I could get some knowledge on this subject. Would the wattage be too much to effect car function? What are some good schematics I can study? Class A, AB, or maybe D? He is a beginner, but is willing to learn. Would giant caps be necessary to filter the power consumption?
Thank you,
Ben
If he wants a car amplifier he should buy one - it's cheaper to do that than buy the parts.

You/he should also be aware that the power ratings are entirely imaginary and a '1500W' is probably only 200W per channel, or less.

But as JimB says, it's still plenty loud enough to permanently and seriously damage your hearing, and is a really bad idea!.
 

MacIntoshCZ

Active Member
Assuming that the car has a nominal 12v electrical system, 1500W will require a current of 1500/21 = 125 Amps.
That is assuming that the amplifier is 100% efficient, which it will not be, lets be generous and say it is 75% efficient, the current drain on the battery will be about 167 Amps.
Giant caps may just help with the peak currents.

But the real problem that I envisage is:
What will be the sound pressure level inside the car when this is running?
I would advise the use of giant ear defenders, as used by airport ground crew while working near a jet engine which is running.
I see your friends future, it involves severe hearing loss.

JimB
I though watts on sounds is something else. Its not exactly power. But i newer build amplifier so i can be wrong
 

rjenkinsgb

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I though watts on sounds is something else. Its not exactly power.
Watts RMS out of an amplifier are no different to watts running a heater, it's an exact calculable and measurable figure.

It's the "peak" or "PMP" and such figures that many advertisers use which are totally imaginary.

The big old PC speakers I have on this machine are a good example - they were listed as 100W peak power, but only take 4W input from the mains.
Probably more like 1 - 2W RMS total so 0.5 - 1W each, in reality.

That's how ludicrous and meaningless "peak" figures can be.

(Sound pressure is very different; that's a combination of power, speaker efficiency and distance from the speaker or source).
 

billybob

Active Member
Watts RMS out of an amplifier are no different to watts running a heater, it's an exact calculable and measurable figure.

It's the "peak" or "PMP" and such figures that many advertisers use which are totally imaginary.

The big old PC speakers I have on this machine are a good example - they were listed as 100W peak power, but only take 4W input from the mains.
Probably more like 1 - 2W RMS total so 0.5 - 1W each, in reality.

That's how ludicrous and meaningless "peak" figures can be.

(Sound pressure is very different; that's a combination of power, speaker efficiency and distance from the speaker or source).
I understand that many advertisers label their products at the PMP, but I don’t know if my friend truly understands how loud an RMS of only 100W can be especially inside a car. What are the benefits of a class AB amp vs a D?
 

rjenkinsgb

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Class AB is analog, the power transistors dissipate a good proportion of the total input power; eg a 15W Class AB guitar amp may take 40W input power.

Class D amps are digital, effectively a PWM signal modulated with audio. They are more complex and need filtering on the output to remove the PWM carrier waveform, but can be incredibly efficient, 90% or more even.

With integrated ones most of the complexity is hidden so they can be quite easy to use, if there is a suitable power IC available.
 

billybob

Active Member
Class AB is analog, the power transistors dissipate a good proportion of the total input power; eg a 15W Class AB guitar amp may take 40W input power.

Class D amps are digital, effectively a PWM signal modulated with audio. They are more complex and need filtering on the output to remove the PWM carrier waveform, but can be incredibly efficient, 90% or more even.

With integrated ones most of the complexity is hidden so they can be quite easy to use, if there is a suitable power IC available.
Ok good to know. So AB is not so great because it uses most of the energy as heat while class D does not. Sound quality I heard that AB is better is this true?
 

rjenkinsgb

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
AB generally gives the best results for wide dynamic range, reasonable quality at both low and high volumes.

I get the impression (though I may be wrong) that class D amps lose quality to some extent at low signal levels. I have looked at comparisons in the past but it was specific devices rather than general capabilities.
 

AnalogKid

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
But the real problem that I envisage is:
What will be the sound pressure level inside the car when this is running?
Clearly you don't understand this genre. In this world, 1500 W is a solid B-level effort, but for serious audio you need a 2nd alternator. Had junior engineer for a while, who had worked in an after-market auto accessories shop. Frightening stories.

ak
 

Les Jones

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
It is probably true but it does not matter as it's only purpose is to bring one early deafness and annoy other people. Speakers in the car driven with that power level will probably generate more distortion than the amplifier.

Les.
 

billybob

Active Member
It is probably true but it does not matter as it's only purpose is to bring one early deafness and annoy other people. Speakers in the car driven with that power level will probably generate more distortion than the amplifier.

Les.
I talked him into a 300watt system.
Personally 200RMS is plenty loud.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Ok good to know. So AB is not so great because it uses most of the energy as heat while class D does not. Sound quality I heard that AB is better is this true?
No, class D can be spectacular quality - however, it's usually limited to prevent clipping (which would be bad for class D) - so class AB can sound louder as you can run it into clipping, which sounds louder than clean audio.
 

audioguru

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Here is a large sub-woofer for a car. It is so heavy that it takes a few guys to carry it. It is rated for 4000W and can break all the car's windows and the driver's hearing.
 

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billybob

Active Member
Here is a large sub-woofer for a car. It is so heavy that it takes a few guys to carry it. It is rated for 4000W and can break all the car's windows and the driver's hearing.
Yesir! That is exactly what he needs!
 

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