Originally Posted by imyourmaster
David, talking about regulated vs unregulated amps...The same tech at JL that advised me against a series/parallel configuration on a jl 750/1 (because he said it creates an unbalanced distribution of power between the speakers in series) also told me that an unregulated amp would be a better choice for driving 4 tower speakers. I swear I'm not making this up. I love my current JL setup and have nothing but praise for the product. Hi reasoning was that a regulated amp would draw a battery down quicker whereas an unregulated amp would simply put out less and less power as the battery draws down. What is your thoughts on this?
The efficiency of an unregulated and regulated amplifier of the same Class D topology are exactly the same. The regulated amplifier will deliver more power to the speakers with a lower supply voltage while the unregulated amplifier will deliver less and less power as the voltage continues to sag. Anything that delivers more output power with the same efficiency pulls more supply current. Period. Here's how silly this issue is......if you want to pull the identical current and generate the same power as the unregulated amplifier as the voltage falls off then TURN DOWN THE VOLUME JUST A PINCH.
I could understand his point when applied to a boat back in the day of the inefficent Class AB Slash amplifiers that were strictly regulated. But with the overriding Class D efficiency of 60% higher, the arguement has no real merit today.
The reason you want strictly regulated is beyond power alone. Yes, a strictly regulated amplifier is built with a power supply that is about 30% more robust. But the real benny is sound quality and headroom. When you sit at rest for a long duration and the voltage is at 12.0 versus 13.5 while running, many have experienced the sound going 'thin' and losing its 'punch'. Not so with a strictly regulated amplifier. Also, how is a fine amplifier supposed to maintain optimum performance with the solid state components operated off a supply that is deviating by +/- 10%. That's not exactly within tolerance.
If you are running the system at voltages below 11.8 V you are abusing your deep cycle batteries. Consumer deep cycle batteries don't like cycles below 50% capacity.
Don't take a fine distinction out of context. It's just one element in the big marine audio picture.