What is damping factor?

April 12, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

13 comments on “What is damping factor?”

    1. Or counterbalancing the drunk “spilly talker” with something extremely rigid like a time out drunk cage made of an aluminum die cast. 😉

    2. I told this story before but for more recent readers….when i was young my brother used to like to drop water filled balloons from my bedroom window. My hi-fi stood in front of the window. You can guess what’s coming next. One of the balloons burst soaking mainly the amp. I really wasn’t pleased. Fortunately after a thorough drying it still worked perfectly. It was a Trio 2002 integrated and I considered it my first proper amplifier. I wasn’t sure what had happened to it but was pleased to discover it under a pile of ‘stuff’ the other day. I wonder if it sounds any more liquid?

    3. Or the recipient shirt absorption factor of the drunk girl crying at the party over some random insignificant occurrence. There was always one….

      So we dated for a year or so…
      This gal could actually convert red wine directly into tears without passing through virtually any other bodily organ.
      Oh, I KNOW dampening factor…..

      We had a Carver Cube amp at one of our UBC Mixer parties back in 83, the cube would heat up & cut out – no good for dancing so we suspended it above a bucket of ice. Ice tends to melt, drunk dancing folk tend to wobble, I think you can guess the outcome.

  1. If the amount of feedback correlates with the damping factor it is hardly to understand that some manufacturers of audiophile power amps claim that zero feedback is a must for best sound quality.

    1. It’s generally overall or global negative feedback that audiophile designers apply sparingly. Local negative feedback around a single transistor or tube is unavoidable, particularly when overall feedback is reduced. For example, a transistor output stage is commonly in a compound emitter follower configuration, and this has a huge amount of local feedback built in to it. If a designer can make each stage linear, then the need for large amounts of overall feedback is reduced. Some people say this results in a better-sounding amplifier. An amplifier that has no feedback at all (either local or global) is likely to measure and sound really bad.

    2. Indeed and that’s always a tricky balance in a power amplifier. It’s true that relying more on local loops sounds better than a massive global loop, yet without the global loop there’s not much in the way of damping. There are other tricks in the book since damping factor is output impedance and feedback’s not the only way to get there.

      1. I have a pair of Genesis M60 power amps that list output impedance as 4 ohm and 8 ohm which is the speaker taps. How then do you calculate damping factor or is it calculated differently for tube amplifiers?

        1. Good afternoon Melstir!
          In a single ended amp, you have almost no negative feedback.
          But in a push pull amp, it’s anywhere between 15 to 45% of negative feedback.This will give you a damping factor of 0.1 inside of a 20watt tube amp.
          But sometimes, when you go up higher in power output, that number also goes up too as well.
          But the real trick is, to get the noise floor as low as you can go with it.
          It’s easier to pull that trick inside of a transistor amp then it is to pull that trick in a tube amp.
          Because most transistor amps, only have one transformer in them.
          But inside of a tube amp, you have two or more transformers.
          And, it’s very tricky to deal with the electro magnetic fields.

  2. I must say the the die cast housings on the AC regenerators are absolute quality. P3 Stellar along with my Cyrus CD i have some serious dampers with there housings. A thing of beauty.

  3. So . . . why does Bob Carver state: “The Amazing Line Source is at its best when driven from a source impedance of one ohm or greater.” I’m using my BHK monos, but am I missing something???

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