Originally Posted by David Analog
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.
David, don't take this fine distinction out of context....but I love you man!!! Please tell me you did not sign a non-compete. I hope you're still on a retainer at Earmark and I think you deserve to get paid for every reply you've posted on every forum. Many members would still be fumbling for answers if it wasn't for your precise and expert knowledge. I posted a question on this forum a few days ago asking if anyone could recommend a reputable and expert marine audio installer in the South Florida area...NOT A SINGLE RESPONSE! Are you kidding me??? Fort Lauderdale is considered to be the boating capitol of the world! Everyone has a boat down here...I see a lucrative business opportunity. I think you should step out of retirement and be part of a phenominal business opportunity in South Florida....where it's summer all year long. PM me....I really think we should talk.