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Thread: What is damping factor?

  1. #1
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    sheltering in place
    So we cheated and we lied and we tested,
    and we never failed to fail, it was the easiest thing to do

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Tell that to your loudspeaker that has a woofer inductor in the passive crossover with typically 0.5 ohms dc resistance (JBL).

    So the damping factor is 16! The output impedance of either a value amp for a SS amp becomes irrelevant.

    This invariably means the bass reflex system will be sub optimal as the added DCR effectively raises the Q of the system. The result is a rise in the bass below 100 hertz. The cure is a much larger enclosure.

    Perhaps the lesser know ill is the effect at bass frequencies where the bass reflex system has 2 impedance peaks and a null equal to the DCR of the driver plus inductor and the amp output impedance between the peaks. What you get is a bumpy voltage drive around 100 hertz followed by a dip in the voltage drive.

    Its no surprise bi amping sounds better because your amp is directly connected to the driver. No inductor and not biamp switch. People still persist in spending lots of money on luxurious integrated amplifiers following a favourable review.

    JBL has been bi amping studio monitors since in the introduction of the 4350 in the early 1970's.

  3. #3
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Hi Seawolf,

    The reopening of an old debate or can of worms? For many years Crown's amp business and marketing has been built around the concept of high damping factor amplifiers, along with its "magic" on a speaker's low frequencies (see 1rst para. of Crown add below). A number of Crown fans/owners here may have some difficulty with Ohm's position on this...

    In any case, both George Augspurger (JBL) and Floyd E. Toole, among others, have written about this in the past and came to similar conclusions as Ohm. These two papers can easily be found on the Web with Google:

    - George Augspurger, The Damping Factor Debate, Electronics World, Jan. 1967, P. 46-47. (copyrighted)

    - Floyd Toole, Damping, Damping Factor, And Damn Nonsense, AudioScene Canada, Feb. 1975, P. 16-17.

    BTW have you lost the habit of changing your Avatar pic? Seems overdue for an update maybe? Regards,


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