ep series amps, too old? - AVS Forum
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DIY Speakers and Subs > ep series amps, too old?
Shadow Hunter's Avatar Shadow Hunter 04:10 PM 01-30-2012
Looking at building my own sub. I see some EP amps for sale, looking at an ep2500 for example, used of course. I see them typically around $230-$300. At this point are they maybe too old, like a fox body mustang.
Should I really be looking at a much lower powered inuke1000 with DSP, or with a feedback destroyer or maybe down the road getting a minidsp am I better off picking up one of this powerful ep2500s and not worrying about it breaking down? Thoughts?

N8DOGG's Avatar N8DOGG 04:15 PM 01-30-2012
They are not to old. The ep4000 is the same unit with different badges and they ause the exact same parts. Amps are not like other audio EQ, age generally don't mean anything.
DS-21's Avatar DS-21 05:25 PM 01-30-2012
They're fine. Some of the newer inexpensive Class D pro amps (e.g. Peavey IPR, Crown XLS DriveCore, Behringer iNuke) are more energy-efficient, but the Berry's are fine.
vitaminbass's Avatar vitaminbass 05:33 PM 01-30-2012
careful what you pay for a used one...a new one is 250-300 last time i looked if you shop a little
Jinjuku's Avatar Jinjuku 06:11 PM 01-30-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by vitaminbass View Post

careful what you pay for a used one...a new one is 250-300 last time i looked if you shop a little

Agree with you there. With the current affordability of something like the Behringer NU3000DSP (620 watts per channel at 4 ohms) for $399. Well the $250 that people want for an EP2500 is just amazing in two respects. One that they ask that much and two that they seemingly find buyers. The NU3000 basic model is $299.

Every time I see a 15 year old 200 WPC at 4 ohm Mackie, QSC, Crest etc on Craigslist for $325 I get a chuckle.
Shadow Hunter's Avatar Shadow Hunter 06:58 PM 01-30-2012
This is great info! I am not knocking the EP series one bit, but I am leaning more towards the inuke series now.
Drisco Z71's Avatar Drisco Z71 08:23 PM 01-30-2012
You can get used EP2500's for $200 all day long on guitar centers website. If you wait for a deal to come along you can do even better, I think mine was $170 in perfect condition. Guitar center is a used amp goldmine that few home theater guys seem to know of.
Shadow Hunter's Avatar Shadow Hunter 09:03 PM 01-30-2012
Ill keep checking the site, see if more used ones come in. Sadly right now the lowest price I see for one is $300.
DS-21's Avatar DS-21 09:12 PM 01-30-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjuku View Post

Agree with you there. With the current affordability of something like the Behringer NU3000DSP (620 watts per channel at 4 ohms) for $399. Well the $250 that people want for an EP2500 is just amazing in two respects. One that they ask that much and two that they seemingly find buyers. The NU3000 basic model is $299.

Have there been any bench tests of the iNuke line, though?

Do they do close to what they say they do?

The EP line is a known quantity.

Also, the recent KC blind subwoofer test indicated that the NU3000 doesn't have as much headroom as a Dayton SA1000.

Admittedly, the SA1000 is not a bad amp at all. Chuck's test of its predecessor HPSA1000R notwithstanding, I've had two independent sources who have measured them tell me that they're good for ~750W/4Ω continuous, ~950W/4Ω for a little while, and ~1.8kW/4Ω burst.

But that suggests to me that the iNukes might be less than meets the eye. I.e. iNuke 3000 ≈ IPR1600.
michael hurd's Avatar michael hurd 09:41 PM 01-30-2012
On Behringer's website page for the INuke DSP3K, there is a link to a .PDF German Pro Sound review of the amp. [Tools4Music] The file is too big to attach here.

Voltages are mentioned, but I don't read German..... you may be able to translate with Google or some other tool.
michael hurd's Avatar michael hurd 10:00 PM 01-30-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

They're fine. Some of the newer inexpensive Class D pro amps (e.g. Peavey IPR, Crown XLS DriveCore, Behringer iNuke) are more energy-efficient, but the Berry's are fine.

Not quite sure the idle dissipation ( where the amp is operating most of the time ) of a class D is as efficient as an AB or class H amp...... so calling it energy-efficient is kind of a misnomer.

According to Wiki, class D efficiency is around 50% at low power levels, and 90% or so above 1/4 power.

Anyone have a kill-a-watt to measure idle usage?
Archaea's Avatar Archaea 10:23 PM 01-30-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

Have there been any bench tests of the iNuke line, though?

Do they do close to what they say they do?

The EP line is a known quantity.

Also, the recent KC blind subwoofer test indicated that the NU3000 doesn't have as much headroom as a Dayton SA1000.

Admittedly, the SA1000 is not a bad amp at all. Chuck's test of its predecessor HPSA1000R notwithstanding, I've had two independent sources who have measured them tell me that they're good for ~750W/4Ω continuous, ~950W/4Ω for a little while, and ~1.8kW/4Ω burst.

But that suggests to me that the iNukes might be less than meets the eye. I.e. iNuke 3000 ≈ IPR1600.

That's very debatable...and I don't believe it true myself. The 8ohm rating of the Inuke dsp 3000 is weak even by the manufactorers stats, but I listened to both Dayton amp and Inuke amp on the CHT subs on Sunday following the meet and the Inuke was significantly more powerful and bass heavy (as it should be with a +4 boost to 20hz on the DSP). The Dayton also likely would have shut itself off during the audition material we used from what I've heard.

I have both an Inuke DSP 3000 and EP4000 and the difference in max spl before clipping is fairly minimal - I'd guess a dB or two tops. I decided I liked the Inuke DSP 3000 better because the DSP is really quite a fantastic tool on the Inuke.

That said the EP4000 is a known quantity and a great amp for the money too.
Drisco Z71's Avatar Drisco Z71 10:28 PM 01-30-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Hunter View Post

Ill keep checking the site, see if more used ones come in. Sadly right now the lowest price I see for one is $300.

click the used tab, they currently have 6 EP2500's listed for $200 or less.
paulspencer's Avatar paulspencer 11:00 PM 01-30-2012
I saw an Inuke the other day in a music shop. I could not believe how light it was, it could be lifted with one finger. Photos of the interior left me wondering where the heatsink is. I'm having a hard time getting my head around the idea that is could be even slightly comparable to Europower.

What are the Inuke fans like?

I'd like to see some tests done.
Archaea's Avatar Archaea 11:10 PM 01-30-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulspencer View Post

I saw an Inuke the other day in a music shop. I could not believe how light it was, it could be lifted with one finger. Photos of the interior left me wondering where the heatsink is. I'm having a hard time getting my head around the idea that is could be even slightly comparable to Europower.

What are the Inuke fans like?

I'd like to see some tests done.


Here's my comparison.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1375633

The Inuke fan is roughly on par with the EP4000 fan noise - stock for stock - if anything the Inuke fan is a little quieter, but it ramps up to crazy mode with a demanding load, thought it slows down nearly immediately after the load is reduced. I felt the need to replace my EP4000 fan, but not the Inuke fan. The fan isn't silent by any means, but when you put it in your equipment rack the inuke's stock fan is tolerable. On the EP4000, I didn't think the stock fan was quite as tolerable.

here is a thread with a few owner's opinions on the inuke and a couple foreign test links.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1359039
Looneybomber's Avatar Looneybomber 11:27 PM 01-30-2012
For subwoofer use, the EP2500 is fine. The new Class D amps with their SMPS's are more efficient, but if used for mains, or any other full range speaker, I would stay with the EP's and their class-h topology. The EP2500 is a good sounding amp and is what I use for my L/R's.
Mrkazador's Avatar Mrkazador 02:40 AM 01-31-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drisco Z71 View Post

click the used tab, they currently have 6 EP2500's listed for $200 or less.

I don't see it either... Only one for $299.

There is an IPR 1600 for $200.
coctostan's Avatar coctostan 06:18 AM 01-31-2012
I usually suggest the EP2500/4000 in sub threads because it is a tested and vetted known quantity at a good price. I know exactly what kind of power it will do at different loads and I don't have to estimate based on manufacturer's specs.

The iNuke's are probably nice amps, but I don't have measured specs. I heard something about a test but I haven't seen it. It could be better or it could be worse.

Of course, the integrated DSP can be a very nice feature.
Jinjuku's Avatar Jinjuku 07:23 AM 01-31-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drisco Z71 View Post

You can get used EP2500's for $200 all day long on guitar centers website. If you wait for a deal to come along you can do even better, I think mine was $170 in perfect condition. Guitar center is a used amp goldmine that few home theater guys seem to know of.

++ That. Picked up a Behringer FBD 1124 for $39. $10 for the additional warranty and $13 shipped. Still just $62.

Craigslist and Amazon can be your friend. The Crown XLS 602D I purchased was $129 DELIVERED

Given the prices of current Crown, Peavey, Behringer Class D stuff I can't see myself paying above the $150 mark for an EP2500/4000.
Shadow Hunter's Avatar Shadow Hunter 08:28 AM 01-31-2012
:O. If I could get a ep2500 for $150 I would pay that right now!

Sidenote, you guys a great, I am loving all of this info!!!
Shadow Hunter's Avatar Shadow Hunter 08:40 AM 01-31-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Hunter View Post

:O. If I could get a ep2500 for $150 I would pay that right now!

Sidenote, you guys a great, I am loving all of this info!!!

Lol, duh, I see it now. Hard to see while on my phone.
wth718's Avatar wth718 08:57 AM 01-31-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Hunter View Post

Lol, duh, I see it now. Hard to see while on my phone.

I'm glad you do, cuz I still don't. The only one I could find was a factory restock for 299.


Edit:

I found it.
Jinjuku's Avatar Jinjuku 10:53 AM 01-31-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Hunter View Post

:O. If I could get a ep2500 for $150 I would pay that right now!

Sidenote, you guys a great, I am loving all of this info!!!

There is a current classified that makes my point. It's an EP2000 and it's $175 and split the shipping. Or you can get the IPR 1600 used from GC for $200.

Sorry but it's a no brainer considering that you can at least purchase a warranty from GC.

I wouldn't pay a penny above $125 for the EP2000.
smokarz's Avatar smokarz 11:11 AM 01-31-2012
i purchased a used EP2500 from GC last year for roughly 170. did the fan mod, and it still work perfectly.

these things are not gonna die unless you abuse it with a hammer.
Archaea's Avatar Archaea 11:59 AM 01-31-2012
I killed a one month old ep4000 with a modified fan with my cap pair (2ohm*) playing dubstep at clip light tapping levels. It took less than 10 minutes. Bellied up and won't turn on ever again.
FOH's Avatar FOH 12:29 PM 01-31-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

I killed a one month old ep4000 with a modified fan with my cap pair (2ohm*) playing dubstep at clip light tapping levels. It took less than 10 minutes. Bellied up and won't turn on ever again.

Well, yeah, Dubstep @2ohm, @clipping is bad enough! Then, take away it's ability to thermally dissipate!

On the previous topic; yes, we do need better verification of the INuke's actual measured performance, 'vis-Ã*-vis' the EP4k,... etc. The value however, seems very high.
DS-21's Avatar DS-21 09:36 AM 02-01-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by michael hurd View Post

On Behringer's website page for the INuke DSP3K, there is a link to a .PDF German Pro Sound review of the amp. [Tools4Music] The file is too big to attach here.

Voltages are mentioned, but I don't read German..... you may be able to translate with Google or some other tool.

Dankesehr! Ich habe diesem Test irgendwie noch nicht angeschaut.

Does this magazine do a lot of amp tests? Its archives are available with an online subscription of 15EUR.

But to the Berry iNuke, their power measurements were 20ms bursts at 1Kz, and they got 2x465W/8Ω, 2x870W/4Ω, and into 2Ω the protection kicked in to limit output to 2x900W after 3 seconds.

Into an 8Ω load, it does show a low-end rolloff. Maybe half a dB at 20Hz, and -2dB at 10Hz. For those who care about such things.

The Input sensitivity came out to .85V (~35.5dB gain), which makes the non-DSP variant a good pairing with the unbalanced miniDSP.

They also measured the IPR-1600 it seems. An interesting line: "Die Endstufe zeigt dabei eine ebenso konstante zeitliche Leistungsabgabe wie die Peavey IPR-1600." (The amp has similar continuous power output as the IPR-1600.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by michael hurd View Post

Not quite sure the idle dissipation ( where the amp is operating most of the time ) of a class D is as efficient as an AB or class H amp...... so calling it energy-efficient is kind of a misnomer. According to Wiki, class D efficiency is around 50% at low power levels, and 90% or so above 1/4 power.

While your number strikes me as in the right ballpark, I disagree with your interpretation of it. I think you're drawing an inference from incomplete data.

While I don't know of any relevant published data for home amplifiers, here are some representative data from car amp tests that I think should translate to home/pro amps.

Class D:
Maximum Efficiency at full 4 ohm power per ch: 83.0%
Maximum Efficiency at full 2 ohm power per ch: 75.8%
Efficiency at 10 watts per channel, 4 ohms: 60.4%
Idle Current: 1.5A

Class AB:
Maximum Efficiency at full 4 ohm power per ch: 60.8%
Maximum Efficiency at full 2 ohm power per ch.: 50.2%
Efficiency at 10 watts per channel, 4 ohms: 21.7%
Idle Current: 0.9A

(Links are to the first available test reports I could find numbers for max power efficiency, low power efficiency, and idle current. Neither amp was cherry-picked as an exceptionally good or bad example of its type, though it may in fact be so and I just don't know it. I've never used either one.)

I couldn't quickly find the same numbers for a class G/H amp.

These measurements, which are consistent with what I remember reading previously in older reviews, show that the class D amps have, if anything, a greater relative efficiency advantage at low power than at high power.

True, here the Class D amp does have significantly higher idle current. I don't know what to make of that, though I suspect (without any basis beyond intuition, admittedly) that the fact that the Class D amp example is ~twice as powerful as the class AB amp example has something to do with it. For comparison, here is a class H car amp that's similarly powerful to the class D amp above. The measured idle current is likewise similar. However, unless one keeps her/his amps on all the time (as opposed to triggering them to turn on upon use, and turn off when one is done) I'm not sure idle current is especially important. Especially if one runs the subs high enough that they are always going to be playing a little bit. If the subs are crossed under 40Hz or so, then idle current is a bigger factor.

Also, as a piece of anecdotal evidence, the only AVR I've seen (which means there may be others, but I don't know about them) that advertised meeting the EPA's Energy Star requirements was Panasonic's old line with the TI (nee TacT) PurePath Class D chip-amps. Perhaps no other makers submitted their products, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by michael hurd View Post

Anyone have a kill-a-watt to measure idle usage?

I think Noah Katz did on his IPR-3000, and thought the results were a bit high.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

That's very debatable...and I don't believe it true myself.

Thanks for the clarification. I didn't read the thread too closely, but I should go back to see if I read what I thought I read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

The 8ohm rating of the Inuke dsp 3000 is weak even by the manufactorers stats,

Not sure what that means. One would expect an amp with a great power-supply to be close to the theoretical ideal of doubling power (i.e. the same voltage output) with every halving of impedance. At any rate, 400+W/8Ω is in my mind pretty darned good power for ~300 USD.
Archaea's Avatar Archaea 10:02 AM 02-01-2012
DS-21, yeah you're right that the 8 ohm power is right where it should be in line with four and two ohm on the inuke. Touché.

The ep4000 claims an 8 ohm rating of 750 watts per channel (vs 440 watts per channel) which was my thought when I made the post that the inuke 8 ohm was weak.
michael hurd's Avatar michael hurd 09:43 PM 02-01-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post


Does this magazine do a lot of amp tests? Its archives are available with an online subscription of 15EUR.

But to the Berry iNuke, their power measurements were 20ms bursts at 1Kz, and they got 2x465W/8Ω, 2x870W/4Ω, and into 2Ω the protection kicked in to limit output to 2x900W after 3 seconds.

Into an 8Ω load, it does show a low-end rolloff. Maybe half a dB at 20Hz, and -2dB at 10Hz. For those who care about such things.

The Input sensitivity came out to .85V (~35.5dB gain), which makes the non-DSP variant a good pairing with the unbalanced miniDSP.

They also measured the IPR-1600 it seems. An interesting line: "Die Endstufe zeigt dabei eine ebenso konstante zeitliche Leistungsabgabe wie die Peavey IPR-1600." (The amp has similar continuous power output as the IPR-1600.)



While your number strikes me as in the right ballpark, I disagree with your interpretation of it. I think you're drawing an inference from incomplete data.

While I don't know of any relevant published data for home amplifiers, here are some representative data from car amp tests that I think should translate to home/pro amps.

Class D:
Maximum Efficiency at full 4 ohm power per ch: 83.0%
Maximum Efficiency at full 2 ohm power per ch: 75.8%
Efficiency at 10 watts per channel, 4 ohms: 60.4%
Idle Current: 1.5A

Class AB:
Maximum Efficiency at full 4 ohm power per ch: 60.8%
Maximum Efficiency at full 2 ohm power per ch.: 50.2%
Efficiency at 10 watts per channel, 4 ohms: 21.7%
Idle Current: 0.9A

(Links are to the first available test reports I could find numbers for max power efficiency, low power efficiency, and idle current. Neither amp was cherry-picked as an exceptionally good or bad example of its type, though it may in fact be so and I just don't know it. I've never used either one.)

I couldn't quickly find the same numbers for a class G/H amp.

These measurements, which are consistent with what I remember reading previously in older reviews, show that the class D amps have, if anything, a greater relative efficiency advantage at low power than at high power.

True, here the Class D amp does have significantly higher idle current. I don't know what to make of that, though I suspect (without any basis beyond intuition, admittedly) that the fact that the Class D amp example is ~twice as powerful as the class AB amp example has something to do with it. For comparison, here is a class H car amp that's similarly powerful to the class D amp above. The measured idle current is likewise similar. However, unless one keeps her/his amps on all the time (as opposed to triggering them to turn on upon use, and turn off when one is done) I'm not sure idle current is especially important. Especially if one runs the subs high enough that they are always going to be playing a little bit. If the subs are crossed under 40Hz or so, then idle current is a bigger factor.

Also, as a piece of anecdotal evidence, the only AVR I've seen (which means there may be others, but I don't know about them) that advertised meeting the EPA's Energy Star requirements was Panasonic's old line with the TI (nee TacT) PurePath Class D chip-amps. Perhaps no other makers submitted their products, though.



I think Noah Katz did on his IPR-3000, and thought the results were a bit high.



Thanks for the clarification. I didn't read the thread too closely, but I should go back to see if I read what I thought I read.



Not sure what that means. One would expect an amp with a great power-supply to be close to the theoretical ideal of doubling power (i.e. the same voltage output) with every halving of impedance. At any rate, 400+W/8Ω is in my mind pretty darned good power for ~300 USD.

I have no idea how many amplifiers they test for the magazine, just noted the test when I was browsing the webpage for the amp. 15 euros works out to about $20 Canadian, not bad at all if you can read and interpret the magazine.

The numbers I pulled up were from Wikipedia, and are by no means comprehensive results. Class D idle current appears to be higher from what I have read, as well as 'low power' efficiency.

Yes, I did infer that without a lot of research, it is as you say, "incomplete".

On another note, I believe it was Mark Seaton that did a bit of a duty cycle analysis for 'typical' home theater subwoofer usage. Let me see if I can dig up the post. Basically, it boiled down to that we only need full power for a small percentage of the time, and most of the time it was low power or no signal.

Some of us are atypical though....
tesseract67's Avatar tesseract67 07:34 PM 02-04-2012
The iNUKE NU3000DSP has been tested, results showing 315 watts per channel @ 1000 Hz (stereo) and 230 watts a side @ 40 Hz. Both ratings into an 8 ohm load.

At the KC GTG, the Berry amp was run without the limiter on. This, combined with the 4 dB boost @ 20 Hz led to heavy clipping, I believe.

It did sound pretty good with the DSP boosting the bottom, at least until the amp ran out of gas.
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