Originally Posted by Klipschster
2Manville: I'm surprised that JL Audio has to hide behind "marketing ploys..."The "2500 watt" figure is based on the rail voltage of the amplifier referenced to the nominal driver impedance (3 ohms) ".
What is the actual continues power of your amp? 1000 watts? 150 watts? After all, you are not the only company that uses class D amps. Regardless of the number, I'm very happy with the performance of my f113, but without the marketing BS.
Further more, I was somewhat suprised that when Canadian Customs called JL Audio to inquire if the parts were made in USA, and the official response by JL Audio was that it "only assembles the subs" in US. So that begs the question where are the speakers, amp, etc. made? And again, I will say, that f113 blew me away, regardless were it was made. But fact are facts...no? Can you enlighten us?
Klipschter... I understand where you're coming from... let me see if I can explain your points one by one.
Amplifier power is always stated into a resistive load and this is generally based on the nominal impedance of the expected speaker load. If you were to buy a stand-alone amplifier that could do what the Fathom f113's amplifier can do, it would need to be able to produce 2500 watts into a 3 ohm resistive load. The fact that the actual driver impedance varies is not unique to the Fathom, it is a common and well-understood behavior of any loudspeaker... a "3 ohm" speaker in a box might have an impedance of 40 ohms or more at resonance, for example. As you move higher or lower in the bass range the impedance decreases in a sealed enclosure.
The fact is that the Fathom's amplifier can comfortably produce 2500W into 3 ohms for a fairly long period of time (several seconds), although not forever and ever because it would overheat if asked to do so for more than a minute or so. At very low frequencies (sub 20 Hz) the amplifier can in fact be called upon to produce power of that magnitude in typical use... and that power is needed in order to get the low frequency extension with high output that the product is capable of. By accounting for the duty cycle demanded by HT or music program material and by balancing the amplifier's needs relative to the actual impedance of the system, we can manage heat and current draw without having to dial back dynamic capability. The "short-term" RMS power I'm referring to should not be confused with "peak power" which is good for only fractions of a second.
Once again, if you were building a Fathom-like product with an outboard amp... it would need to be a 2500W amplifier into 3 ohms, just like the Fathom's amp, in order to deliver the performance of a Fathom... that's why we refer to it that way.
As for the origin of the Fathom, it is quite an international collaboration (as are most audio products nowadays). The drivers are manufactured in Miramar, Florida with components parts sourced in the U.S. and overseas (things like magnets and baskets, for example). The amplifier and processor modules are manufactured overseas. All final assembly and testing is done in Miramar, Florida. In order to qualify as "MADE IN USA" it has to be 51% American parts by value, which is not the case. This is why it is labeled "Manufactured in USA with Imported and Domestic Components" and why Canadian Customs gave you that response. We file our origin documentation following the letter of the law and do not play games with labeling, never have. There are very few speaker or electronic products that meet "MADE IN USA" standards nowadays. One could write a whole book about why that is the case, but I'll leave it at that for now.
JL Audio, Inc.