31 January 2011

POWER - Which Watts are Which?

By Yorkville Audio
Images extracted from: http://affordableaudio.biz/

Amplifier power ratings these days tend to be in watts expressed as "continuous average" or "burst average" or "peak" or "music power" or "continuous music power", etc. In the old days, the nomenclature was "RMS" which stands for "root mean square" and reflects the results of a test for the amp's long-term, continuous output capability.

Other, more modern tests tend to net fairly similar results but are more complex and require more sophisticated equipment. Two ratings which are worth looking for are Continuous Average Power and Burst Average Power.

The first rating will be similar to what an RMS test would net and the second one will be higher, reflecting the amplifier's ability to repeatedly produce clean peaks which last for at least one complete wavelength.