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POWER AMP COMPARISON - Why is my 550 watt Hafler louder than my 830 watt Crown?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by um... yeah, Jun 5, 2003.

  1. I recently purchased a lovely new power amp, a Hafler P4000, and have been making some basic comparisons between that, and my other amp (for sale, by the way). Both amps were bridged and ran through a 4x10 cabinet; the specs indicate 550 watts bridged @ 8 ohms for the Hafler P4000, and 830 watts bridged @ 8 ohms for the Crown Powertech 2.1. Using the levels as a guide, to my ears, the Hafler sounds almost twice as loud as the Crown, even though it's rated output is much less.

    the question is why do some amps have a higher output than others, if wattage is not a factor, then what is? Help me out here people.:confused:
  2. My first guess is that the input sensitivity isn't equal on both amps.
  3. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    The gain on them is different. Just because one is more powerful, it doesn't mean it can't possibly be made less "loud" than the less powerful amp.

    Look at it this way: you have a 1-gallon jug and a 2-gallon jug. You put 2 quarts of water into the 1-gallon jug and 1 quart into the 2-gallon. Which one is holding more water?

    The more powerful amp can go louder before it clips, though. If you want to make a real comparison, match them up so they're at equal gains and see which one hits its limits first.
  4. Thanks Bob, somehow i knew the explanation was a simple one, I've been playing for 18 years, and it still amazes me how much I don't know about my gear.:rolleyes:
  5. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    A wise man once said "what's faster? A Porsche driven at 30mph or a toyota driven at 60mph?".

    Run em both till the clip light comes on occasionally. The 830w amp should have more volume.
  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    If it was REALLY twice as loud it would be putting out TEN TIMES the wattage. I think you are exaggerating a bit :D

    Continuous wattage ratings do not tell you how the amp will respond under a dynamic load (i.e. MUSIC).
  7. Well, maybe a little ;) ...

    Anyway, sonically speaking, the Hafler is completely transparent, no colouration whatsoever. It's actually designed for critical listening in a studio, but by gum it sounds wicked with my F-2B. No problems live, so far, but it does get very hot and needs good ventilation, because it's convection cooled. And it's quiet, too. I would recommend this power amp to anyone who's nuts about their tone, it's definitely for devoties of deep, rich and clean.
    Where as the Crown is definitely a rock n' roll machine, with pronounced mids, and a huge, muscular bottom end; a real gigging machine.
  8. i have a phonic max 2600..
    it puts out 500 watt rms @8 ohm per side..or 750 watts rms @4ohm per side..or bridged 1500 watts rms @8ohm...it is not recomended to run bridged into a 4 ohm load..
    so far i have been runnig it just off one side into my 410, which is 8 ohms..my 15 blew up long ago, so i have jsut been using the 410 by itself.
    but i am still not getting the volume i need, when gigging i am getting a limeter light flash a bit (i spose thats the same as a clip light)..
    so i am considering running it bridged into my cab..but i am scared, thats a lot of power for one 410 to have on tap...but i think my poweramp has a fairly high sensitivity as i run the same pre amp that is in the 300 and 600 watt heads..and they may only be on 4..but when i gig, my pre is set so that the signal light is on occasionly when i hit a note hard...my pre amp master is on like 6 or 7 and my power amps gain is full..i might be using heaps more power but it seems no louder..
    so should i bridge it or leave it how it is??
    i dunno if i can trust myself to be sensible with my gains when i have that much power on tap, i don't wanna hurt my 410..i saved long and hard for it..
  9. Like others have said, the real difference will be how much power are they producing at or just before clipping, not how far you have to turn up the pre-amp gain to get a certain amount of volume. The other real issue is just how much audible difference is there between 550 and 830 watts. If my understanding of watts, power, and acoustical energy is correct, only about 2 db. That is barely audible anyway.

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