Electric and Hybrid Car Audio Upgrades from Audison
Electric and Hybrid Car Audio Upgrades from Audison – Smart Power Management
Small, compact, flexible and stacked full with technology, there is no doubt that the Audison Prima range of amplifiers lead the way in the world of OEM integrated aftermarket products. The Audison Prima 8.9bit pictured above sits at the pinnacle of this market, featuring everything you need to make a car sound better than any standard or so called factory “upgrade” system available.
Its secrets are many fold and enormous attention to detail has gone into developing a Hi-Fi quality amplifier that is smaller than a sandwich box, easy to install and as flexible as you like. With 8-channels of amplification plus a subwoofer output to feed an additional amplifier if required the on board DSP allows infinite tweaks to be made to set a system up to a customer’s preference.
On paper the amplifier is not the most powerful featuring as it does, 8 X 35 WRMS channels. However, the power is entirely clean with no hint of audible distortion and its bridging possibilities allow an installer to run speakers actively and each channel is perfectly happy running into 2 Ohms which increases the output to 65 WRMS. The amplification is class D, sometimes know as “digital” although much care needs to be taken when using such words! Suffice it to say, the amplifying circuits are built to be extremely efficient in a drive to reduce the physical size of the product. This is often determined by the heat dissipation requirements which is inextricably linked to current draw, which is what interests us most here. A trend toward smaller, easier to hide amplifiers has been driven by customers who want everything hidden away these days.
Electric and hybrid vehicles are being promoted with many benefits such as free charging, free airport parking and other nice add-ons to incentivise people to spend a large amount of money to enter this market. Fortunately for us, they all still sound terrible as more effort goes into the fluffy dice than into the “infotainment” system as usual. But how to upgrade without adding extra burden on the battery and charging circuitry? In the case of the Prima 8.9bit, a very clever power monitoring and limiting system has been developed to ensure that enormous power spikes are evened out. Audison engineers have developed a system where the input levels to the amplifier are monitored for large transients. These are predicted by monitoring the trend in the music. The premise is that a large bass impulse will cause the amplifier to draw a huge amount of power to reproduce it. By limiting it fractionally, the huge spike is levelled out somewhat so that the resultant current draw is at an acceptable level for the standard factory wiring. This process is extremely sophisticated and took many months of design and development work to get right. The motivation was not just to develop an amplifier suitable for use in an electric vehicle however. The core purpose was to aid with installation. The technical innovation in the power supply of this amplifier means that it can be powered directly from the original head unit connector rather than requiring a separate power supply to be run from the vehicle battery. With the addition of specially developed wiring looms, the installation can be made literally plug and play without danger of compromising or damaging the vehicle’s original wiring.
In practice, although effectively limiting spikes and therefore theoretically affecting the dynamic range of the amplifier, it is very difficult to hear a difference in performance between an amplifier limited to 10 amps of instantaneous current draw and one that is wired directly to the vehicle battery, on most forms of music. As with all good features, there is scope for your installer to set the maximum current draw by simply connecting a PC which they will do anyway to set up the on-board signal processing. Furthermore, if you wish to unleash the full potential of the amplifier then the amplifier can be powered directly from the ancillary battery of the vehicle.
Although a cursory understanding of the technology can aide when choosing equipment for your vehicle, it is always necessary at some point to put your trust in those who install equipment into many types of vehicle everyday. They will know what will work best for your own requirements.
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