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Author Topic: Higher dampening factor for folded horn subs?  (Read 10537 times)

Riley Casey

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Re: Higher dampening factor for folded horn subs?
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2016, 02:23:54 pm »

A high damping factor can be a very valuable attribute of a power amp trying to control large mass cone speakers at large excursions.  The moment you connect a   subwoofer loaded with three paralleled 18s to a power amp 100 ft away with a single pair of 12 gauge wires with NL2 connectors it stops being a topic for discussion.

Luke Geis

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Re: Higher dampening factor for folded horn subs?
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2016, 08:27:56 pm »

JR is absolutely right. If I had two amps with identical specs, and the only one that was different was the DF, I would go with the one that has the highest.

Lets not negate that it is better to have more of it. The question is the application your employed for and is it practical? If I have no choice but to run cable 100', then it won't matter what the DF is. If I can keep the amps sitting right next to the speakers, I have opportunity to tune the car for better performance. While I won't say that a DF of 200 at the speaker is 2X better than 100, if it follows most things in audio it will take a doubling if not 10 fold the amount to get a usable and distinct difference. The current standard that anything better than a DF of 20 supports that notion I think? I would imagine that you would need a DF of at least 40 - 60 to notice a measurable difference? I just shoot to keep it above 20 no matter what unless it's just not possible.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Higher dampening factor for folded horn subs?
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2016, 10:43:06 pm »

JR is absolutely right. If I had two amps with identical specs, and the only one that was different was the DF, I would go with the one that has the highest.


Assuming all the other specs were equal and measured under the same conditions (today often they are NOT)

To be honest-I have not looked at the damping factor in a couple of decades. 

In my opinion there are more important things to consider.

As JR says-any decent quality amp will have a "good enough" damping factor.

Here is my opinion of where the "Fascination for damping factor" came about.

Years ago, the amps with the best damping factor were also the highest quality-with stiffer power supplies.

So people associated this "tighter sound" to the damping factor.

Yes it made sense-until you started doing the math of the ACTUAL damping of everything hooked to the amp.

Once you do that-it is pretty much a non issue.
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Ivan Beaver
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Higher dampening factor for folded horn subs?
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2016, 10:14:49 am »

JR is absolutely right. If I had two amps with identical specs, and the only one that was different was the DF, I would go with the one that has the highest.

Lets not negate that it is better to have more of it. The question is the application your employed for and is it practical? If I have no choice but to run cable 100', then it won't matter what the DF is. If I can keep the amps sitting right next to the speakers, I have opportunity to tune the car for better performance. While I won't say that a DF of 200 at the speaker is 2X better than 100, if it follows most things in audio it will take a doubling if not 10 fold the amount to get a usable and distinct difference. The current standard that anything better than a DF of 20 supports that notion I think? I would imagine that you would need a DF of at least 40 - 60 to notice a measurable difference? I just shoot to keep it above 20 no matter what unless it's just not possible.
I shouldn't argue when people say I'm right, but i can quibble.

The audibility of DF is kind of like distortion. If 0.01% THD is inaudible, making it 0.001% or 0.00001% will not make an audible improvement while it may influence sales. DF is similar, so don't expect to hear an audible difference past 20x or so even with very short wires. I recall one listening test decades ago where we targeted DF and it was extremely subtle, not a major audible effect and somewhat dependent on the cabinet (impedance vs frequency).

Note: Peavey designed guitar amps with variable DF to A) mimic old tube guitar amps high output Z, and B) because they could. In the case of guitar amps it increased speaker/cabinet resonance interactions.   

I need to repeat my preference for powered cabinets, precisely because they don't specify DF.  8)

JR
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Higher dampening factor for folded horn subs?
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2016, 10:28:19 am »

Assuming all the other specs were equal and measured under the same conditions (today often they are NOT)

To be honest-I have not looked at the damping factor in a couple of decades. 

In my opinion there are more important things to consider.

As JR says-any decent quality amp will have a "good enough" damping factor.

Here is my opinion of where the "Fascination for damping factor" came about.

Years ago, the amps with the best damping factor were also the highest quality-with stiffer power supplies.

So people associated this "tighter sound" to the damping factor.
I was working in those trenches trying to market power amps and while I won't name names there was one company guilty of promoting DF as more significant that it really is, in advertising. Consumers love simple answers to complex problems so rewarded that company with market share. I don't know whether the chicken or the egg came first. I suspect some amp engineer decided to see how good he could make DF in his latest amp (something design engineers do to amuse themselves) and then some marketing type discovered that number was better than others. So he could use it to differentiate his amp from the competition on paper (the best way). The market embraced the concept and he told engineering to keep up the DF arms race.   
Quote
Yes it made sense-until you started doing the math of the ACTUAL damping of everything hooked to the amp.

Once you do that-it is pretty much a non issue.
Consumers don't do math....but love having some spec or feature they can brag about to each other. The Peavey customers were remarkably sensible (or completely ignorant) about this, so we got off the carousel after one model.

JR
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Higher dampening factor for folded horn subs?
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2016, 12:52:49 pm »

   Consumers don't do math....but love having some spec or feature they can brag about to each other.
This statement goes WAAYYY  WAY further than the damping factor discussion.

And I would add that no only do they no do the math-they don't understand what they are talking about-much less actually check to see if what they are being told is the truth. 

The "simple numbers" are for simple minds.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Higher dampening factor for folded horn subs?
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2016, 06:19:55 pm »

This statement goes WAAYYY  WAY further than the damping factor discussion.

And I would add that no only do they no do the math-they don't understand what they are talking about-much less actually check to see if what they are being told is the truth. 

The "simple numbers" are for simple minds.

I'll see your Damping Factor and raise you a Slew Rate.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Higher dampening factor for folded horn subs?
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2016, 08:04:27 pm »

I'll see your Damping Factor and raise you a Slew Rate.
And I call with distortion :)
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Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Luke Geis

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Re: Higher dampening factor for folded horn subs?
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2016, 09:52:37 pm »

total harmonic destruction......
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David Morison

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Re: Higher dampening factor for folded horn subs?
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2016, 08:19:00 am »

   Consumers don't do math....but love having some spec or feature they can brag about to each other. The Peavey customers were remarkably sensible (or completely ignorant) about this, so we got off the carousel after one model.

JR

And the fun part is trying to tell which...  ;)
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Re: Higher dampening factor for folded horn subs?
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2016, 08:19:00 am »


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