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Do amp makers in different countries really measure their power ratings differently?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Golem II, Jun 21, 2002.

  1. Golem II

    Golem II

    Jan 4, 2002
    Macon, GA, USA
    I've heard from some people on this board that amp makers outside the US (trace elliot, EBS, etc.) have different "standards" for measuring the power ratings of their amps, meaning a 350 watt EBS amp puts out a lot more power than a 350 watt SWR amp. Is there any truth to this rumor? If so, should one take care when mixing amp and cab brands, so they don't overpower a "300 watt" American cabinet with a similarly rated European amp? Does anyone know what the proper equation would be to convert European power ratings to American and vice-versa?

    Edited a typo
  2. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Well, one thing you should keep in mind is that wattage does not necessarily translate to loudness. There are a number of factors that contribute to the loudness of an amp, many of which have nothing to do with wattage.
  3. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Uh, to answer the question *a little more directly* :), I don't think there's a definite standard either way.

    The first thing you want to see is RMS - that indicates the continuous power output, not some sort of "peak". Then, however, that needs to be qualified with a max distortion level (THD - less than 1% is fine, most amps (especially solid-state) it might be .001% at 99.9 watts and 10% at 100 watts because clipping has started) and a frequency range - some rate it at just 1kHz, others across the whole 20-20kHz spectrum.

    Other than that, "watts", "RMS", "THD", and "Hz" all mean the same thing no matter what continent you're on. There's nothing like SAE vs. DIN horsepower going on here.

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