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That PPI Atom I tried was "dirty power". To be honest the pair of Italian twins I'm running now are the best amps I've ever run at any price point. They'll pound the hell out of subs just as well as they can run amt tweets. The only other amps I've run that stood out were my old Crossfire VR series amps. Those things were tanks and you could clip them a little before the output got "dirty". More of a slight taper than a brick wall. My PG Xenon amps were "brick wall clippers". As for "clean power", in my opinion an amp made with quality close tolerance parts has a lot better chance of sounding "clean" than an amp made with the cheapest parts money can buy. I've learned the hard way with many products that you can spend your money up front or you can spend it little by little over time until eventually you end up spending enough to have bought what you wanted in the first place several times over. In other words, buy what will fit your needs, save your money for a few more months if needed, and you'll end up appreciating what you got even more. IN NO WAY AM I SAYING THAT HIGHER DOLLAR AMPS ARE ALWAYS BETTER, but if the build quality reflects the price I bet it has a much better chance of doing the power it's rated to do without falling on its face. The biggest gripe I've had with most cheaper amps is they're like an engine without sufficient torque. Can't have one without the other.
 

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The problem with your descriptions is that it's not what the people that use the terms mean. They mean using an amp with "dirty" power will physically harm your speakers. Which is complete bullshit.
 

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The problem with your descriptions is that it's not what the people that use the terms mean. They mean using an amp with "dirty" power will physically harm your speakers. Which is complete bullshit.
good point.

since it's ambiguous and arbitrary the context of the usage, is important.

and an amp that supplies "dirty" power, first has to be identified.


what I think is happening is that a 'dirty' powered amp, is synonymous with a low-priced amp.

and a high priced amp, by association is considered clean power.


and if that's a truism, then we can assume that almost every argument for and against the use of anything but "clean" power, means that we need to separate the good from bad, by price.


which I agree, is bullshit.

Although, I am going to be the first to admit that in a scenario where cost is not a factor, I will choose some very expensive amplifiers given the opportunity.


which may or may not, be relevant.
 

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can we all just agree that the terms dirty and clean power are fucking dumb and should never be used, especially here?
 

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I think if we want to break it down, the use of clean power could be extended to inverters and DC-DC converters.

the idea that a pure sine wave capable product, will make various devices work and some generators/inverters are only capable of modified sine waves, or "dirty power" could also be applied to power supply sections in amplifiers.

some amplifiers will make "clean power" at any feasible impedance, because the power supply regulation allows for it.


and some amplifiers will clip to the tune of sagging rail voltages and out-of-operating value transistors, huge current inrush and whatever else, creates "dirty power" and there are metrics out there that distinguish between the two descriptors.

but for general practice, an alternator/battery system that is not capable of delivering all the current required, could feasibly turn an amp that is capable of egads, gobs of power cleanly, into a dirty power monster.

and that's really where it's at, with all of our systems that tax the electrical *on occasion* and that experience is when "dirty power" happens.

we've all done it haven't we?

dirty power, just say it.

it makes you feel good, right in the gut.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
After some thought, I think "clean power" as used by mobile audio freaks refers to an amp that will make rated power (possible a bit more) while staying at or just under its rated THD spec at the nominal suggested voltage.

While an amp producing "dirty power" might best be described as one that falls short of its rated power before clipping and may still be comparably "dirty" in terms of distortion at most any output level.

Those definitions aren't exact but, I think they may be pretty close for how we define "clean" versus "dirty" power.
 

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Y'all should see under the hood of my truck. Living on a gravel road is half the reason I own a white truck, and silver before that. Never again on black. My HEMI is "dirty power" for sure:laugh:But yeah I do agree that the term "clean power" applies to an amp that can do at or above rated power at or below rated thd. One thing I've learned over the years is if you find an amp(s) that does what you need them to no matter what, DON'T get rid of them.
 

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wow clean-dirty whatever
PPI_GUY said it right a few posts ago
i have ran MANY different amps and i can say power is not power i could hear a audible difference in amp's that are rated the same when i swapped them around (same source unit and speakers)....and i'm sure i'm not the only 1 although it may be other reasons than power output.
 

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I'm old, so my opinion is biased by that. BUT...my opinion is that the whole 'clean power' thing is an artifact from the days of 'boosters' (remember Sparkomatic?) and other ultra junky amp products that were around in the early to mid 80's. Also during this time, there were plenty of very cheap no-name flea market amps that often actually produced orders of magnitude less usable power than was printed on the box. The existence of this stuff made it common for shop types (present company included) to contrast against these when presenting quality stuff as 'clean power.'

Now, I know that this has persisted until today...I have a friend who, right now as I type, is mid-system build in an IS350 he recently bought, and I've heard him use this term probably 40 times in three weeks; and he also used to work in the biz lol.

I try to explain to him that modern electronics are vastly better than 30 years ago, and that it's no longer necessary to spend cubic cash to get a perfectly fine sounding system, but he's not having it.
 

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I also remember those days :D.

I've used this term, as I've had questions regarding my amp's performance. People think because they are less expensive fullrange class d amps, that they somehow produce "less clean" or "not as clean" power. I've had those exact question asked by quite a few different people.

I remember hearing very cheap amps & boosters, as dietDrThunder explained, that didn't sound very good, but that was a long time ago when my understanding of things related to audio was not what it is now.
 
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