LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD: Protect Consumers Through Stringent Amplifier Rating Standards

full?d=1613146614.png

(February 12, 2021) Recently, an AV NIRVANA member privately reached out to us with a simple request: help spread the word. Following a few clicks and some quick reading, we saw an immediate need to amplify a strong and respected voice in the AV world... that being the voice of Audioholics founder Gene DellaSala. DellaSala has shed light on an important consumer protection in audio that outlines standards manufacturers must follow when reporting published power ratings. There's a possibility this protection could lapse and not be renewed.

Every ten years, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reviews a standing rule called "FTC Trade Regulation Rule Relating to Power Output Claims for Amplifiers Utilized in Home Entertainment Products." This "Amplifier Rule" is currently open for consideration and comments by enthusiasts and US citizens, just like you and me. As DellaSala strongly states: "Ideally, we would like to see the Amplifier Rule not only maintained but actively enforced and possibly improved upon for the modern age."

Audioholics has published an informative article about the history of the Amplifier Rule, with suggestions of how the rule can be improved. You can read that article here. If you'd like your voice heard, please follow this link to regulations.gov and click "comment now" on the upper right portion of the website. Comments can be left until February 16, 2021, so time is certainly of the essence.

Many thanks to Gene for bringing this important issue to the forefront. He's been a consistent vocal advocate for honest amp ratings, and is the perfect person to lead the charge for a sensible, consumer-friendly solution. If you choose to let the government hear your voice, leave a comment below and encourage other enthusiasts to do the same.
 

Comments

Todd Anderson

Editor / Senior Admin
Staff member
Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
6,486
Location
Balt/Wash Metro
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
StormAudio ISP.24 MK2
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-5
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
Denon X8500H
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
OPPO UDP-203, Panasonic UB9000
Front Speakers
GoldenEar Technology Triton One.R
Center Channel Speaker
GoldenEar Technology SuperCenter Reference
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Front, Top Mid-Front)
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Middle, Top Rear)
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC NX7
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Streaming Subscriptions
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
(I'm throwing my voice into the mix, btw!)
 

Sonnie

Senior Admin
Staff member
Joined
Apr 2, 2017
Messages
3,480
Location
Alabama
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Monolith HTP-1 Processor
Main Amp
Benchmark Media AHB2 Monoblocks
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA-Eleven
Computer Audio
Intel NUC w/ Roon ROCK
DAC
miniDSP SHD (Two-Channel Only)
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Panasonic UB9000 4K UHD Player (for movies only)
Front Speakers
MartinLogan Renaissance ESL 15A
Center Channel Speaker
MartinLogan Focus C-18
Front Wide Speakers
MartinLogan Classic ESL 9
Surround Speakers
MartinLogan EFX Surrounds
Surround Back Speakers
MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL
Front Height Speakers
MartinLogan EM-IC
Rear Height Speakers
MartinLogan EM-IC
Subwoofers
SVS SB16-Ultra x4 (music) + PB16-Ultra x2 (movies)
Video Display Device
Epson 6050
Screen
Elite 128" Screen
Remote Control
Universal MX-890
Streaming Equipment
Roku Ultra
Streaming Subscriptions
Lifetime Roon Subscription
Tidal
qobuz
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Satellite System
Dish Joey 4K
I was very brief as I didn't see the need to just repeat what most everyone else was stating. I think it will keep manufacturers somewhat honest, although I think the good ones will be honest either way. Plus a lot of guys out there are testing the specs... if it ain't right, manufacturers will be called out and shamed.
 

Nordo

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2019
Messages
47
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon AVR X1500H
Additional Amp
Sub amp - Behringer EP2500
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Panasoic BD35
Front Speakers
DIY
Center Channel Speaker
DIY
Surround Speakers
DIY
Surround Back Speakers
DIY
Front Height Speakers
-
Rear Height Speakers
-
Subwoofers
Four 15" infinite baffle drivers
Other Speakers or Equipment
HTPC (windows 10 with Kodi)
Video Display Device
Epson EMP-TW2000 projector
Screen
Matt white "blockout" curtain liner
Done.
I followed Gene's recommendations for multi-channel HT receivers.
And keep the 2 ch amps as per current regs.
 

Head_Unit

Registered
Joined
Dec 17, 2020
Messages
3
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon AVR-X3600H
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Oppo UDP-203
Front Speakers
Focal 936
Center Channel Speaker
Focal CC900
Surround Speakers
Focal SR900
Subwoofers
SVS SB-2000 Pro
Video Display Device
LG OLED
My views are that
(a) unless the FTC actually does some enforcement then the rules do not matter
(b) I am going to argue for totally prohibiting ANY ratings (excluding small print) which are not continuous, 20-20k (or maybe 40-20k?) and <=1% distortion. Yeah, some legitimate companies put a peak power rating which might be believable, but so what, that can be put in smaller print that cognoscenti can read. I'm more concerned about snuffing out "3000 watt" $100 hogwash, so irritating. And takes in the ignorant through no fault of their own.
(c) And extending same to autosound/boats etc.
(d) The business about multi channels driven...ya know, why NOT require all channels driven? OK, you can't get that much power out of the wall. Maybe that would be a revolution in its own right. Otherwise, sorry I think the 18% or whatever is half-assed. All channels or just two. If someone actually made a receiver whose power didn't droop as more channels were driven, they could add such a rating as a competitive advantage, just as some rate for 4 ohms and some don't.
(e) I'm also not convinced that this conventional wisdom that all channels are never driven at once is true. I've sure attended some movies where it seemed like they were! Hard data is lacking in this area, unless I've just missed it. Certainly I find it weird that AVRs are somehow excused for drooping their power in a manner which would surely be held up as shoddy in outboard amps. And I'd rather have an AVR that could really do say 7x90 instead of 2x140 drooping to 7x60 or whatever. Even if not clipped, I suspect the better regulated amp could sound better when approaching clipping, and maybe at lower levels besides.
 

Todd Anderson

Editor / Senior Admin
Staff member
Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
6,486
Location
Balt/Wash Metro
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
StormAudio ISP.24 MK2
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-5
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
Denon X8500H
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
OPPO UDP-203, Panasonic UB9000
Front Speakers
GoldenEar Technology Triton One.R
Center Channel Speaker
GoldenEar Technology SuperCenter Reference
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Front, Top Mid-Front)
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Middle, Top Rear)
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC NX7
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Streaming Subscriptions
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
My views are that
(a) unless the FTC actually does some enforcement then the rules do not matter
(b) I am going to argue for totally prohibiting ANY ratings (excluding small print) which are not continuous, 20-20k (or maybe 40-20k?) and <=1% distortion. Yeah, some legitimate companies put a peak power rating which might be believable, but so what, that can be put in smaller print that cognoscenti can read. I'm more concerned about snuffing out "3000 watt" $100 hogwash, so irritating. And takes in the ignorant through no fault of their own.
(c) And extending same to autosound/boats etc.
(d) The business about multi channels driven...ya know, why NOT require all channels driven? OK, you can't get that much power out of the wall. Maybe that would be a revolution in its own right. Otherwise, sorry I think the 18% or whatever is half-assed. All channels or just two. If someone actually made a receiver whose power didn't droop as more channels were driven, they could add such a rating as a competitive advantage, just as some rate for 4 ohms and some don't.
(e) I'm also not convinced that this conventional wisdom that all channels are never driven at once is true. I've sure attended some movies where it seemed like they were! Hard data is lacking in this area, unless I've just missed it. Certainly I find it weird that AVRs are somehow excused for drooping their power in a manner which would surely be held up as shoddy in outboard amps. And I'd rather have an AVR that could really do say 7x90 instead of 2x140 drooping to 7x60 or whatever. Even if not clipped, I suspect the better regulated amp could sound better when approaching clipping, and maybe at lower levels besides.
Agree with you 100% on "a." Although, I do believe it's better to have some standards as opposed to none. But enforcement of some kind would be nice.

As for "e," I've often wondered this as well. If anything, one could argue that channels outside of the front aren't asked to carry that much of the audio load when it appears that all channels are being driven. But, it would be nice to have an accurate rating. The real question becomes how much power does your speaker deployment actually need to recreate clean accurate sound at levels you desire? I suspect that most AVRs from big names in the market (even if specs are over stated) can drive the vast majority of systems out there. Could be wrong about that, tho.
 

jdubs75

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
167
Location
Illinois
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Marantz AV7705
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen3
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Oppo BDP-103D
Front Speakers
Revel PerformaBe F228Be
Center Channel Speaker
Revel PerformaBe C426Be
Surround Speakers
Atlantic Technology IC-8.3s
Surround Back Speakers
Atlantic Technology IC-8.3s
Subwoofers
JTR CAPTIVATOR 2400ULF
Video Display Device
Sony VPL-HW55ES
Screen
Stewart StudioTek 130 G3 123"
Remote Control
Logitech Harmony Elite
Streaming Equipment
Amazon 4K Firestick, Sony PS4
Streaming Subscriptions
Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+
Other Equipment
Furman AC-215A, Monster MP HTS 5100
My comments have been submitted.
 

Head_Unit

Registered
Joined
Dec 17, 2020
Messages
3
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon AVR-X3600H
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Oppo UDP-203
Front Speakers
Focal 936
Center Channel Speaker
Focal CC900
Surround Speakers
Focal SR900
Subwoofers
SVS SB-2000 Pro
Video Display Device
LG OLED
If anything, one could argue that channels outside of the front aren't asked to carry that much of the audio load when it appears that all channels are being driven.
Well, that's the question, isn't it? I wish there were some actual data about this, but I'm certainly not set up to take it. Someone once posted that "well those big explosions and all are mostly in the subwoofers, however more recent investigations (at ASR??) have shown that the highpass filtering while reducing power actually still uses a lot of voltage swing.

I suspect that most AVRs from big names in the market (even if specs are over stated) can drive the vast majority of systems out there.
I'd agree, rephrasing as "most AVRs will drive most people's systems loud enough for them." I would guess most people just don't play movies all that loud. Then you have some folks who really blast at theatre level or more, and most AVRs are probably NOT enough, unless they are running horn-loaded speakers.
 
Top Bottom