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14.4 VDC versus 12.6 VDC

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Joined: December 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posted: January 16, 2006 at 6:59 AM / IP Logged  

I had a quick question.  In power ratings for amplifiers, sometimes there are two listings for power output, 14.4 VDC and 12.6 VDC.  How does one get to the 14.4?, and if you wouldn't mind explaining VDC in a laymans terms.  Also are there benifits to running your amp at 12.6 VDC versus 14.4 VDC.

Thanks in advance,


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Joined: January 24, 2004
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Posted: January 16, 2006 at 8:27 AM / IP Logged  

Your amplifier is supplied with whatever voltage your car is providing at the time.  The car's power plant is what runs everything electrical;  the amplifier transforms some of that power into useable power for the sound system.  It uses the car's electrical DC input to produce AC output to the speakers.

The power plant basically consists of the alternator / voltage regulator and the battery.  12.6 volts DC (direct current) is the voltage of the battery at rest.  But when the car is running, the power is supplied by the alternator.  It provides a higher voltage to run everything electrical and also charges the battery back to full capacity.  Example:  I can measure 13.9 volts at the amplifier when my car is running.

Do some reading about Ohm's Law to see why amplifier output ratings differ using these two different input voltage standards.  You will find that P (power) is the result of I (amperage, or current) times E (voltage)...P = I * E.

A great reference:

Build the box so that it performs well in the worst case scenario and, in return, it will reward you at all times.

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