Damping factor from an power amplifier

P

pinifinina

Audioholic Intern
Hi everyone,

I need someone to educate me on what damping factor does in a power amplifier. From my research it is the ability to control the speaker's driver movement, the higher the damping factor the better the control of the speaker's driver, is this correct?

What puzzles me is that I see a great degree of damping factor variation from very expensive power amplifier manufacture's spec sheet. For example, the new Anthem MCA Gen 2 amp has damping factor of 300 (according to its spec sheet), Hegel C5 series amp cost over $10K Australian dollar has a damping factor of >2000 (more than the Anthem as it cost more so make sense), but McIntosh power amps (like the MC255, MC257, and MC205 etc) only has a damping factor of >140? Something this expensive (cost more than $16K in Australian dollar) only has a damping of 140?? Yes I see the ">" sign, but why >140 and not like the Hegel >2000?

I am missing something here correct? I know Anthem and Hegel are class AB and McIntosh is solid state, is this the reason why?

Thank you guys.
 
Last edited:
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Hi everyone,

I need someone to educate me on what damping factor does in a power amplifier. From my research it is the ability to control the speaker's driver movement, the higher the damping factor the better the control of the speaker's driver, is this correct?

What puzzles me is that I see a great degree of damping factor variation from very expensive power amplifier manufacture's spec sheet. For example, the new Anthem MCA Gen 2 amp has damping factor of 300 (according to its spec sheet), Hegel C5 series amp cost over $10K Australian dollar has a damping factor of >2000 (more than the Anthem as it cost more so make sense), but McIntosh power amps (like the MC255, MC257, and MC205 etc) only has a damping factor of >140? Something this expensive (cost more than $16K in Australian dollar) only has a damping of 140?? Yes I see the ">" sign, but why >140 and not like the Hegel >2000?

I am missing something here correct? I know Anthem and Hegel are class AB and McIntosh is solid state, is this the reason why?

Thank you guys.
The damping factor specs are just not a parameter of concern for any decently designed Solid State amp. In general, this spec can be safely ignored.

A "high damping factor" simply tells you that the amp's Output Impedance (Zout) is "very low". And, a very low output impedance is a given for a modern Solid State amp. Old tube amps are a different story, and the DF becomes relevant.

Those Mac likely have the lower DF numbers due to the Mac Auto-Formers on the outputs.
 

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