...and a watt is a watt. An amplified signal is an amplified signal...most agree that the human ear cannot distinguish different amps of the same actual wattage...Originally posted by HyperBaja
What about those Sony Xplod amps, seem to have most watt/$ value, not sure about the quality per amp though.
However, quality comes into play on a couple points:
1. Internal components- Quality components will mean the amp will last longer (not self-destruct), and make the amp more efficient (less current draw) with less heat buildup.
2. Features- Do you need a crossover; external bass boost, or subsonic filter?
3. Ratings- The higher quality amps have an RMS rating equal to (or in some cases- less than) their actual output.
I think the ratings are most important. If you follow the car audio mags, the overrated amps are generally the ones with the cheaper internal components. If an amp says "3,000 watts" on the outside, but only has a 40 amp fuse, you know something is rotten in Denmark.
For example, let's say you've narrowed you search down to 3 class d amps- the JBL BP1200.1, the Sony XM 1600GD, or the Fosgate 1000BD from www.bsless.com
JBL BP1200.1- a 70%+ efficient amp that puts out around 1,300 watts for $270
Sony XM1600GD- a 65%+ efficient amp that puts out around 900 watts for $246
Fosgate 1000BD- a 65%+ efficient amp that puts out around 1,100 watts for $470
The math is pretty easy to do....but it doesn't take into account whether you are doing it yourself, or paying a dealer (how much support you need). Remember, car audio is like boats- the dealer will most likely try to sell you what they carry.