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Discussion Starter #1
CEA Certified Amplifiers

Can you really believe the advertised power specs of an amplifier if it is CEA certified?

I just find that it good to be true that you can get an actual certified 3000w amp for $109 new. Then again, I used to think the sun rose and set on JL Audio, too.

Honestly tho, I think advertising peak power is shady at best.. but advertising false RMS power should be downright illegal!

If CEA is just another ******** marketing ploy, how do you even go about finding what the true power rating of an amp is these days.. just back to how much it costs or what?
 

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I always look at RMS rated power at 4 ohms first. Then I see how the amp carries power through to the lower ohm ranges.
So in your example 750 wrms is the "real" rating to me. While $109 is a ridiculously low price even for a big metal heat sinked box, the whims of the market make it so I guess.

Note also that I believe CEA compliant power ratings are at 1% THD, which is obviusly significantly higher than some older amp that may say 100 WRMS at .01% THD. This isn't necessarily a terrible thing, 1% THD is not the end of the world and the point is that it makes comparison between CEA amps more uniform. I myself do tend to prefer an amp that has a CEA rating because it means they are at least trying to match up in some uniform way, although I have no idea if "CEA" or any organization really polices these stats, I would assume its just a specification and companies can still fudge. Don't imagine a world where they are required to send a chain of custody proofed assembly line amp to a lab full of white coated personnel conducting rigorous electrical testing using constantly calibrated equipment ! That's just a little too much to hope for ha ha
 
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Discussion Starter #3
I do the exact opposite, I look at the impedance.. not for how many watts but for the stability. I agree with you on the white coats and lab.. but do they do anything at all? Did you notice on that first amp listed, the peak power rating is the same as the RMS rating @1ohm.. WTF??

The only amps where that is even theoretically possible is when the amp uses a regulated power supply (ie JL Slash) where you get XXXXw at 4ohm - 1.5ohm... and this amp clearly is not regulated.

Back in the early 90s when I cut my teeth on car audio, one of the best ways to judge the quality of an amp was by it's weight and the basic assumption was ~$2/w. Of course, I realize times have changed, and now their are 1000w amps you can just about put your pocket.

Yet the question remains.. how does one even go about shopping for amps these days with all the ******** ratings?
 

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The first thing I look for is the RMS rating, then onboard fuse rating if available. I then do the math and compare those numbers by a standard amplifier class efficiency rating. If the numbers are entirely off, I keep looking, and if the numbers are close, I investigate further.

I can tell you this Amp is not putting out anywhere near the RMS power advertised. With an onboard fusing of 60 amps multiplied by 14 volts, that's the total power of 840 watts (sure, the fuse rating doesn't tell the whole story, and the Amp could be putting out more power, but 1500 watts or 3000 is far fetched), cut the power in half for a class AB amplifier you get 420 watts RMS. For companies that pull this type of crap, I cut the power in half again ( I call this cut the bullshtt RMS reduction), bringing to a total of 210 watts of RMS power.
I have bought amps with these unbelievable RMS power ratings for little to no money, but I kept my expectations real using the method I mentioned above.

I ran this amplifier Pyle - PDGA440 - Marine and Waterproof - Vehicle Amplifiers - On the Road - Vehicle Amplifiers for 4 years problem-free, despite the unbelievable RMS rating, at best I probably got 35-40 watts x4, which was good enough for my needs. Surprisingly it survived a JBL GTO 751ez, which I purchased simultaneously but took a crap within a year. Its warranty replacement was the JBL club 5501, which the car audio thieves stole but left the Pyle. Guess it was too cheap for them, lol. Oh, I still own the Amp to this day
 

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60 amp total fuse on that thing and 4 gauge wire for a class AB will not do 3000 watts, 1500 watts, and maybe not even 750 watts RMS.

Good luck with that. Budget Gem or bust only got 212 watts into 4 ohms with that POS, lol.
 
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You can fudge the CEA ratings.... Massive Audios amps some make power at 4 ohms the CEA standard... but fail to make rated power at 2 ohms... My Rockford t400x4ad's (which are still amazing by the way but not perfect) have a signal noise CEA rated of 90db but 3rd party testing shows only 78db.... Yikes...

So the 4 ohm RMS ratings are the only numbers that seem to be legit on CEA ratings... Signal to noise... obviously can be fudged somehow... and 2 ohm ratings are not part of the CEA test so they are also out the window...

Rockford fosgates RMS numbers are almost always higher than the CEA ratings as far as watts... the signal to noise apparently is not as important for them to tell the truth...

Manufacturers send amps off to be certified so theres also the chance that they send a "Good sample" for testing and sell inferior ones to the public...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok. So is it safe to assume that the official consensus at diymobileaudio.com is:

CEA AMPLIFIER RATINGS: COMPLETE AND UTTER ********.
 

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The original CEA-2006 standard only specified an amplifier has to make rated power at 4 ohms. Since CEA-2006 there have been numerous changes and updates to the standard. I think the current one is CTA-2006-c.

No longer is it just that they have to make rated power at 4 ohms, but now they must make rated power at every load the amplifier is rated for and the output must be able to be sustained for a full minute. While I'm sure some companies will continue to try and manipulate the newest rating standard , it'll continue to change in an attempt to prevent such. In time, there may come a point when all ratings are true, but I have a feeling very few, if any of us, will live that long.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The original CEA-2006 standard only specified an amplifier has to make rated power at 4 ohms. Since CEA-2006 there have been numerous changes and updates to the standard. I think the current one is CTA-2006-c.

No longer is it just that they have to make rated power at 4 ohms, but now they must make rated power at every load the amplifier is rated for and the output must be able to be sustained for a full minute. While I'm sure some companies will continue to try and manipulate the newest rating standard , it'll continue to change in an attempt to prevent such. In time, there may come a point when all ratings are true, but I have a feeling very few, if any of us, will live that long.
A full minute? That's like 1/3 of your typical song before it hits the thermal cutoff or turns into a pile of molten lava! LOL

And I agree.. unless your a 10yo we will probably never see that day!

Honestly, if I were an attorney.. just think about the money you could make with class action lawsuit open to anybody who has EVER bought ANY amp that does NOT put out advertised power! We're talking BILLIONS of dollars!
 

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A full minute? That's like 1/3 of your typical song before it hits the thermal cutoff or turns into a pile of molten lava! LOL

And I agree.. unless your a 10yo we will probably never see that day!

Honestly, if I were an attorney.. just think about the money you could make with class action lawsuit open to anybody who has EVER bought ANY amp that does NOT put out advertised power! We're talking BILLIONS of dollars!
Music is dynamic, so with a proper installation and tune, there's no reason for the amp to be operating at it's max rating for anywhere close to 1 minute.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Music is dynamic, so with a proper installation and tune, there's no reason for the amp to be operating at it's max rating for anywhere close to 1 minute.
I would have to agree with that in general.. but that may not be so true depending upon the type of music you listen to.
 

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Not disagreeing with anyone, just posting what I've seen.


"A new and more rigorous standard for rating car audio amplifiers has been approved by the Vehicle Technology Division of the Consumer Technology Association, according to CE Outlook.

The new CTA 2006-C standard requires that suppliers testing their amplifiers maintain a power level of a minute or more in achieving their power output. With the earlier CEA 2006-B standard, they could hit the power level for only a few seconds, as long as they reached it.

The new standard aims to more closely replicate real-life usage of an amplifier.

It has yet to be determined if the standard will allow for self-certification or if third-party testing will be required."
 

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Not disagreeing with anyone, just posting what I've seen.


"A new and more rigorous standard for rating car audio amplifiers has been approved by the Vehicle Technology Division of the Consumer Technology Association, according to CE Outlook.

The new CTA 2006-C standard requires that suppliers testing their amplifiers maintain a power level of a minute or more in achieving their power output. With the earlier CEA 2006-B standard, they could hit the power level for only a few seconds, as long as they reached it.

The new standard aims to more closely replicate real-life usage of an amplifier.

It has yet to be determined if the standard will allow for self-certification or if third-party testing will be required."
Self-Certification? Is that some sort of joke or something? I mean I could take a **** in a tin box and self-certify it as 1000000000000w LOL
 
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