Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by brooklynbassguy, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. brooklynbassguy

    brooklynbassguy Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2004
    maplewood, nj, usa
    There are some newer power amps on the market such as the Crown CT series that have damping factors greater than 3000. Where as my PLX is only greater than 500. Is this a good thing for the cabs we're using? What does it all mean?
  2. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    Damping factor is SUPPOSED to be indicative of how well the amp controls the speaker.

    That depends on the speaker acting as a generator, and the amp acting as a "load" on the output of that "generator". That is how energy is pulled out of the moving cone to slow it down.

    The limit on how fast energy is pulled out (and the cone stopped), is resistance in the circuit.

    The damping factor has to do with the amplifier's contribution to the total circuit resistance. The higher the factor, the lower the amp's output impedance, and theoretically the better damped the speaker is.

    A damping factor of 3000 means that the amplifier "output impedance" (not the minimum load) is less than the resistance of a foot of 16 ga wire..... in other words, it is so low as to be fairly meaningless, since you will use more than a foot of wire....

    But then there is the issue of the speaker being "mostly resistance", so that the net resistance in a 4 ohm speaker hooked up to an amp is likely to be about 3.4 ohms or so. Most of that is voice coil resistance, which you can't do anything about.

    Now, if someone told you that you could use their amplifier and reduce the total resistance from 3.4000 ohms to 3.3800 ohms, (about a half percent) would you be excited?

    Didn't think so.

    As long as the damping factor is over around 50 or so, you almost surely won't notice any difference if it were changed to be higher still.

    In fact, a higher damping factor MAY indicate a design with high internal feedback, and resulting potential sonic issues of a different sort (high frequency performance and certain distortion types). Or it may not..... depends on the design.
  3. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    It means that a check for 50¢ is on the way to you for correctly saying "damping" and not "dampening". :p