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Subwoofer amplifiers

When it comes to powering your sub, you can choose between a Subwoofer amplifier or a Professional amp
Subwoofer amplifiers come with high and low level inputs and crossovers, whereas Professional amps can provide more power

Most subwoofer amplifiers like to have both channels driven, so a Y-Cable or adapter can help
Most also come with +4dB or +6dB boost at 35hz, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your application
For the US market, the subwoofer amplifiers sold by Parts Express can be modified to adjust the boost characteristics
The amps sold by Jaycar appear the same, but internally are different enough to mean that the US instructions for modification can't be used. Instead, see the links to Joe Rasmussen's instructions for modifying the 240w and 350w amps.

This page details amps available in Australia, so prices are in $AUD and include GST.
If you're a builder in the UK, check out the range of 50w - 500w amps available from BK Electronics.

 

Subwoofer Amplifiers:
Jaycar | Altronics | Stones Audio | Hypex
Professional Amps:
Behringer

 

Jaycar Subwoofer Amplifiers

80 watt Jaycar : AA0503

80W amp
This amp has been discontinued.
Listing retained because this amp was used in projects detailed elsewhere on this site

 

150 watt Jaycar: AA0507

600W Amp
150W amp at Jaycar - $149 (25th August 2010)
In 2008, this model replaced the earlier 150w amp that was used in the Sidewinder
You may also wish to check out the 150w Altronics

 

240 watt Jaycar : AA0501

This amp has been discontinued.
Listing retained because this amp was used in projects detailed elsewhere on this site
This amp can have it's boost circuitry modified using these instructions

 

350 watt Jaycar : AA0508

350W Amp
This amp is listed in the 2008 printed catalog, but not shown in the current online version. You may need to go to the Stones Audio version shown in the section below.
This amp can have it's boost circuitry modified using these instructions

 

600 watt Jaycar : AA0509

600W Amp
600W amp at Jaycar - $299 (25th August 2010)
There is not a lot of info listed for this new amp.
The frequency response also seems to preclude its use as a serious HT sub amp, although it should be good for music!

 

Altronics subwoofer amplifiers

150 watt Altronics

150w Altronics amp
150W subwoofer amplifier at Altronics $179 Australian (25th August 2010)

 

Stones Audio subwoofer amplifiers

The Stones Audio site has descriptions of their upgraded subwoofer amplifiers, but no pricing. Purchasers are directed to WES Components who act as retailer for the products

200 watt : S200W

200W Amp
Description of 200w amp at Stones Audio
Price needs to be obtained via WES enquiry as it is not listed on either the Stones site or the WES site
A recent email from Sean Farrow (Aug 2010) indicates that if you can arrange a trade account with WES, this unit can be had for $195 + p/h

400 watt : SS400W

400W Amp
Upgraded version of Jaycar 350W amp. Reported to have larger power supply capacitors
Description of 400w amp at Stones Audio
Price needs to be obtained via WES enquiry as it is not listed on either the Stones site or the WES site
A forum member was quoted $359 in Nov 2007

 

Audiomarketplace amplifiers

The DS series are state of the art Class D plate amplifier modules for active subwoofer use manufactured by Hypex in The Netherlands.

Hypex DS2.0 Plate Amplifier

Hypex DS2.0 at AudioMarketPlace $299 incl. GST (25th August 2010)

 

Hypex DS4.0 Plate Amplifier

Hypex DS4.0 at AudioMarketPlace $439 incl. GST (25th August 2010)

 

Hypex DS8.0 Plate Amplifier

Hypex DS8.0 at AudioMarketPlace $749 incl. GST (25th August 2010)

 

Behringer Professional Amps

Behringer Europower
amps provide an affordable source of high power
In Australia, the Behringer equipment can be purchased online from StoreDJ or DJ Warehouse with significant savings

Signal level

The signal level used in professional gear is higher than that used in consumer equipment by around 12dB. If your source is an AV amp, you can overcome this discrepancy by using a Cleanbox. As a bonus, it will convert the unbalanced RCA type connection to balanced XLR as used in the pro gear.

Noise issues

A downside to the EP1500 and EP2500 models is that they're fan cooled, which is noisy.
If you're unable to mount them away from the listening area, you might consider fitting a quieter Panaflow fan as discussed here
I couldn't find the Panaflow fans in Australia, but did find a Papst 8414 NGL which runs at the required 24V
At $49.20 + GST it's expensive, but may be worth it to some. It's available from RSAustralia.com who have have Trade Counters in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth. Use the search box on their site to find RS Stock Number 299-1403
I'm not sure if the Pabst is any quieter than the standard fan but this FAN Noise shootout gave the thumbs-up to the 8412 NGL which is the 12V version

Another approach is to fit a resistor to slow the fan as discussed here - use 100ohm 10watt. May need to reduce to 50 ohm if there is any problem with the fan starting

 

Behringer Reference Amplifier A500

A500 amplifier
A500 at Behringer
A500 at DJ Warehouse - $295 incl.postage (25th August 2010)
A500 at StoreDJ - $309 incl. postage (25th August 2010)
Review at The Audio Critic

I recently got an email from a reader expressing concern about the A500. Here's what he had to say...

....If it clips, damping factor drops to zero and the cone goes out of control (potentially). The result can be a feedback loop, much like in a PA scenario. I've seen it happen recently with sub drivers running open baffle. They got caught in a feedback loop and one note just kept playing on and on and on. We shut it down in a rush, we would have soon seen burnt out voice coils. Tempting to use this amp due to the price. I have it for mids in an active setup, but would never use it for subs. Plate amps or pro amps would be the ticket.

I've not had direct experience with these amps, so can't say how valid his concerns are. Probably wouldn't hurt to bear it in mind though if you're looking for around 400-500w.

 

Behringer Europower 1500 ... discontinued model

EP1500
EP1500 at Behringer
EP1500 at StoreDJ - Sale price $509 incl. postage (25th August 2010)

 

Behringer Europower 2000

EP2000
EP2000 at Behringer
EP2000 at DJ Warehouse - $475 incl. postage (25th August 2010)
EP2000 at StoreDJ - $489 incl. postage (25th August 2010)

This is the replacement for the EP1500.

 

Behringer Europower 2500

EP2500
EP2500 at Behringer
EP2500 at StoreDJ - $729 incl. postage (25th August 2010) - listed as unavailable

Here are some EP2500 tips at AVSForum on setting up an EP2500

 

Behringer Europower 4000

EP4000
EP4000 at Behringer
EP4000 at DJ Warehouse - $545 incl. shipping (25th August 2010)
EP4000 at StoreDJ - $569 incl. postage (25th August 2010)

This is the replacement for the EP2500. Same weight, same 34dB gain, and according to this thread at AVSForum, both good for about 2000w bridged into 4ohms.

 

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