Controlling generators

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In yesterday’s post, I covered damping factor: how it’s calculated, how it impacts woofers, and why we want it to be as high as possible. A high damping factor is a result of the low impedance of an amplifier and connecting cable. The lower the combined impedances the higher the damping factor and the greater the control of the woofer.

Woofers lacking control sound flabby and ill defined. For tight and taught bass we want as much control as possible.

One thing we did not cover is the fact that speakers generate their own energy. This unwanted energy, referred to as inductive kickback, is the result of the many coils in a loudspeaker. If you remember my video Coal to Coltrane, where I explain in rather a lot of detail how coils move when energy is applied and how they generate energy when moved, you’ll remember that unlike most components in a speaker the reactive ones can stress an amplifier out.

So not only does the power amplifier need to have low impedance to control the speaker, it also needs to absorb and ignore unwanted energy kicked back.

So, amps have a tough job when it comes to making music.

Tomorrow we’ll start looking at how these same amps have similar requirements when they’re used in a regenerator.