Marathon and Cerwin Vega actual output? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 93 Old 12-22-2012, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
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I've done a bunch of digging but haven't run across anyone who has bench tested either of these 2 amps. Can anyone enlighten me as to their actual specs.

I'm looking at either running 2 EP4000's or one of these. I can get more power out of the Vega as I can hook up 3 subs per channel at 2.67 ohms, as opposed to a 6ohm load bridged on an each EP4000.

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post #2 of 93 Old 12-22-2012, 10:14 PM
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just reduce by 50% and that's about correct.
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post #3 of 93 Old 12-23-2012, 07:26 AM
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The ep4000 is based on the rmx2450 which is a 2400w amp. The 5000 and 5050 are based on the ca18 which is a 5000w amp and has been tested as such. One channel of these should be = to a bridged ep4k.
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post #4 of 93 Old 12-23-2012, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricci View Post

The ep4000 is based on the rmx2450 which is a 2400w amp. The 5000 and 5050 are based on the ca18 which is a 5000w amp and has been tested as such. One channel of these should be = to a bridged ep4k.

Thanks Ricci.

That's more than I figure they'd put out. That would be a healthy improvement over the dual EP4000 then, and would allow me some headroom. The 2.67 load is close to the 6ohm bridged, so it should be splitting hairs there. I think I'll return my most recently purchased 4000 and order either the CV or Marathon depending on which one I can find cheaper.

Or I'll say screw it and go with 3 EP4000's which would put out 950 per driver. That might border on overkill in a 2100cf room, but when has that stopped any of us. biggrin.gif

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post #5 of 93 Old 12-23-2012, 09:39 AM
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using multiple amps also keeps you up and running should one amp fail. just a thought.

which one is cheaper for you. 3 EP4K's or 1 CV5000/Marathon 5050? not sure if you already have one EP4K

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post #6 of 93 Old 12-23-2012, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian6751 View Post

using multiple amps also keeps you up and running should one amp fail. just a thought.
which one is cheaper for you. 3 EP4K's or 1 CV5000/Marathon 5050? not sure if you already have one EP4K

It's pretty close to a wash really, with the single amp being a hair less if going with 3 4000's or a hair more if going with 2. If I go with 2 4000's it's 550. Three would be 809.00. The CV is floating around between 750-800.

I currently have one 4000 which I just purchased. I can either add one or two more, or return it and grab a CV instead.

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post #7 of 93 Old 12-23-2012, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bass addict View Post

It's pretty close to a wash really, with the single amp being a hair less if going with 3 4000's or a hair more if going with 2. If I go with 2 4000's it's 550. Three would be 809.00. The CV is floating around between 750-800.
I currently have one 4000 which I just purchased. I can either add one or two more, or return it and grab a CV instead.

$802.86 if your a PRIME memeber actually LOL.

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-EP4000-Professional-Accelerated-Technology/dp/B001U5JFNM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356285583&sr=8-1&keywords=ep4000

hmmm. more power. redundancy. easy upgrade path. same price. i would think 3 EP4K's would be a better choice.

EDIT: not to mention a normal 4ohm load

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post #8 of 93 Old 12-23-2012, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian6751 View Post

$802.86 if your a PRIME memeber actually LOL.
http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-EP4000-Professional-Accelerated-Technology/dp/B001U5JFNM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356285583&sr=8-1&keywords=ep4000
hmmm. more power. redundancy. easy upgrade path. same price. i would think 3 EP4K's would be a better choice.
EDIT: not to mention a normal 4ohm load

True, but I bought one already at the 275 price, lol.

The only other issue with 3 4000's is a little extra wiring pain. Seeing as I will have 3 per cab, I will have to get creative with wiring one from each cab together for a 4ohm load.

If I wasn't so against having them in front of my screen wall I'd go that route. 2 dual opposed behind the screen, and 2 a few feet forward on each side of the stage.

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post #9 of 93 Old 12-23-2012, 02:19 PM
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Ok. Didnt know you were doing three per cab. That does make wiring more complicated.

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post #10 of 93 Old 12-24-2012, 07:05 AM
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On the flip side of the coin a single amp takes up less space, weighs less, less outlets and wiring and will have less fan noise. Simpler to setup.

There are advantages both ways and both can work. Good luck.
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post #11 of 93 Old 01-10-2013, 08:04 PM
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I purchased four of the cv 5000. If you check my other posts you will find they are WAY BETTER BUILD, than the marathon ma 5050. Much more solid base on a good power supply. Marathon has a very small output transformer in comparison, and they only put 120000 capacitance in the amplifier. CV 5000 has 180000 per side. vs marathon, 120000 total. I got mine for 675 each plus 90.00 shipping which is not bad seeing as its harder to find a deal in Canada. I suggest making an offer with authorized dealer, sonic fiber.

Best to buy a couple and use them in mono if your pushing monster subs like the lms 5400 etc. I got lots of cv 2800 here too. The problem with the behringer is you just need so many of them for big projects. Although they are cheap at 300 each , One cerwin vega is a much better deal than two ep 4000. You can never have enough power when it comes to bass.

A Good amplifier requires a adequate power supply, It does not matter what the amplifier is capable of if the power supply will not provide the power required. Most amplifiers have under rated power supplies. It is up to you to make sure you get the ones that are
least under rated if at all.
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post #12 of 93 Old 01-10-2013, 09:45 PM
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"Marathon has a very small output transformer in comparison, and they only put 120000 capacitance in the amplifier. CV 5000 has 180000 per side. vs marathon, 120000 total."

same voltage on the capacitors in both amps?

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post #13 of 93 Old 03-26-2013, 11:48 AM
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bump?

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post #14 of 93 Old 03-26-2013, 11:55 AM
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Won't a IPR-3000 bridged output almost 3kw at 4ohm? That would be more than a ep4k, or a single channel of one of those monsters mentioned above?
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post #15 of 93 Old 05-11-2013, 03:10 AM
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I haven't opened the amps in a while. However I thought we all knew that absolute voltage of the capacitor is not a factor as long as the series connections etc used
to adjust voltage are adequate for the power supply and amplifier board. One can use 80 volt capacitor on a 40 volt requirement but not vice versa, and one can use series as well as parallel connections to adjust the absolute voltage of the entire capacitor banks.

What does matter is the absolute microfarad capacitance. This will determine if the amplifier will have the necessary juice to push the power loads. Too low capacitance and you no longer can smooth the flow of the final conversion from AC to DC.

The cerwin vega cv 5000 has 24 capacitors at a 55 volt rating, and are obviously series wired upward to handle more voltage. Total microfarads of 180000 per side as each is 150000 uf. The marathon I believe has 80 volt capactors and I believe these are also series wired upwards to handle more voltage. Only 60000 microfarad per side. It would be my guess the marathon is series and parallel wired to 120 volt, (80 times 3 divided by 2), and the cerwin vega to 110 volt.

According to now deceased electrical engineer Randy Sloan the bare minimum requirement is 10000 uf per 100 watts. So the 1200 watt marathon ma 5050 should have at least 120000 uf per side, to put out its 1200 watt rating.

A Good amplifier requires a adequate power supply, It does not matter what the amplifier is capable of if the power supply will not provide the power required. Most amplifiers have under rated power supplies. It is up to you to make sure you get the ones that are
least under rated if at all.
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post #16 of 93 Old 05-11-2013, 03:22 AM
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This amplifier still boast weighing in at 77 Lbs, however the entire amplifier with the double shipping carton included, only weighs 66 pound, and unpacked your down to only 60 lbs. I have seen people boasting about the 77 lb weight and saying what a monster. No effort has been made by marathon to make the correction. 25 lbs is almost a 50 percent heavier amplifier when comparing the CV 5000.

Before the CV 5000 The marathon ma 5050 was the cheapest low price point heavy hitter power amp. However now we have the cv 5000.(2009) Yes their was the American audio and its cheaper than a rmx 5050 but not exactly low price point.

Being that the toroidial transformer is the most expensive part of the entire amplifier, I believe marathon has reduced the size over the years to make more money and not bother changing the specifications advertised. The marathon used to have 20 output transistors per side, they reduced this to 18. The power supply is inadequate in any event, and I must say they suck for service, and forget about getting parts.

A Good amplifier requires a adequate power supply, It does not matter what the amplifier is capable of if the power supply will not provide the power required. Most amplifiers have under rated power supplies. It is up to you to make sure you get the ones that are
least under rated if at all.
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post #17 of 93 Old 05-11-2013, 04:31 AM
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"I thought we all knew that absolute voltage of the capacitor is not a factor..."

my impression was that the maximum amount of charge that could be stored in a capacitor was a function of its voltage rating and it capacitance and to the extent that caps cost money in proportion to the total charge stored, they would be configured such that they were operated at close to capacity.

or put another way, knowing just the capacitance doesn't inform how much charge is actually on hand.

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post #18 of 93 Old 05-12-2013, 01:50 AM
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Actually the Capacitance is the holding capacity and determines how much charge it will hold rated in microfarads. The voltage is just how much volts can pass threw the cap before it blows up. If you exceeded the voltage on a cap it would be toast in short order. The more capacitance you have the smoother the flow, the less ripple etc. All these high power amps like this are series wired in the caps for sure to take above 100 volts. Im sure an electrican can give us the exact voltage needed for 1100 or 1200 watts. I tried to find the math but can't seem to see it.

Most smaller amplifiers do not require any series and parallel connections as you only need under 40 to 80 volts to feed the amplifier boards. Amplifiers like these require series connections to get the voltage up. 80 volts in itself is not enough voltage to get the huge power these amps put out. You definitely got to go over a hundred volts

Not enough capacitance and your power supply can't supply the load to the amplifier boards, Not enough volts and im sure the cap will blow in less than a minute unless it is series wired upwards with other caps. IN the series wiring the voltage changes upwards, two 55 watt caps in series will take 110 volts, Two 80 watt caps in parallel will take 40 volts, in series 160 etc.

A Good amplifier requires a adequate power supply, It does not matter what the amplifier is capable of if the power supply will not provide the power required. Most amplifiers have under rated power supplies. It is up to you to make sure you get the ones that are
least under rated if at all.
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post #19 of 93 Old 05-12-2013, 02:17 AM
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This is how I understand the power amplifier to be.....

The power transformer (toroid) converts the alternating ac current to dc power......

However the dc power at this point is still alternating like the ac power did. The waves on the ocean need to be smoothed.

The capacitor accepts the voltage from the toroidal transformer leads, and charges up the low point of the wave to meet the high point on the wave.

Now we have a nice flat smooth ocean of power ready for the amplifier boards.

The caps must be wired to accept the voltage passing from the transformer, to the amplifier boards, as its not getting there till it goes threw the caps

The caps must have enough capacitance to charge the low points of the alternating dc current if you wish, so the flow is smooth, constant direct current.

Most quality issues don't apply to caps here. If the amplifier is designed properly it will have a good pssr, or power supply rejection ratio, so that no noise
from the power supply effects the amplifier boards.

Quality of caps makes a difference on the amplifier boards, and is the only way they get some consumer gear to .003 distortion ratio.

A Good amplifier requires a adequate power supply, It does not matter what the amplifier is capable of if the power supply will not provide the power required. Most amplifiers have under rated power supplies. It is up to you to make sure you get the ones that are
least under rated if at all.
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post #20 of 93 Old 05-12-2013, 03:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnplayerson View Post

I purchased four of the cv 5000. If you check my other posts you will find they are WAY BETTER BUILD, than the marathon ma 5050. Much more solid base on a good power supply. Marathon has a very small output transformer in comparison, and they only put 120000 capacitance in the amplifier. CV 5000 has 180000 per side. vs marathon, 120000 total. I got mine for 675 each plus 90.00 shipping which is not bad seeing as its harder to find a deal in Canada. I suggest making an offer with authorized dealer, sonic fiber.

Best to buy a couple and use them in mono if your pushing monster subs like the lms 5400 etc. I got lots of cv 2800 here too. The problem with the behringer is you just need so many of them for big projects. Although they are cheap at 300 each , One cerwin vega is a much better deal than two ep 4000. You can never have enough power when it comes to bass.

These look very similar to the MA5050s, as both of their designs are a rip of the CA18. I cannot comment on actual performance of the CV, but I was not very happy with the marathons. If they manage to stay on when sending a signal <20hz, it would be an improvement.
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post #21 of 93 Old 05-12-2013, 04:05 AM
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Most quality issues don't apply to caps here. If the amplifier is designed properly it will have a good pssr, or power supply rejection ratio, so that no noise
from the power supply effects the amplifier boards.

Quality of caps makes a difference on the amplifier boards, and is the only way they get some consumer gear to .003 distortion ratio.[/quote]


This is why high end manufacturers do not like Randy Sloan. He states the fact that as long as the DESIGN OF THE AMPLIFIER IS GOOD, (nothing to do with quality here design only) the amplifier will have a good power supply rejection ratio, as such no noise from the power supply will be heard from the amplifier boards.

Now you could spend 4000.00 on that so called power amp with top of the line capacitors in the power supply, However, if the amplifier design is proper , its power supply rejection ratio, rejects all the noise if any in the power supply. To put it short, you just spend a bundle on top of the line capacitors, to remove noise, and you probably succeeded in removing that noise, but you just removed noise that the power amplifier boards were never going to hear. A few grand out the window.

As far as copying is concerned , all these unregulated supply amplifiers have been the same for years. Only thing that has changed is increased power capability. No such thing as copying each other anymore.

A Good amplifier requires a adequate power supply, It does not matter what the amplifier is capable of if the power supply will not provide the power required. Most amplifiers have under rated power supplies. It is up to you to make sure you get the ones that are
least under rated if at all.
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post #22 of 93 Old 05-12-2013, 07:03 AM
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http://soundforums.net/junior-varsity/5567-crest-repair-center-needed.html

One of the funniest, threads I have read. It's a long one, try not to laugh too hard lol. Crest fans may want to skip:))smile.gif

A Good amplifier requires a adequate power supply, It does not matter what the amplifier is capable of if the power supply will not provide the power required. Most amplifiers have under rated power supplies. It is up to you to make sure you get the ones that are
least under rated if at all.
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post #23 of 93 Old 05-12-2013, 09:33 AM
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In the other thread and here, some things I'd like to comment on:

1) "...how much smaller (physical size) the Marathon is stacked with the CV..." Both amps a 3RU and virtually identical in physical size.

2) " ...the CV tested out WAY better..." But, you show no test results in the real world of your own environment (source, room size, signal chain, Speclab graphs, FR graphs, peak meter reading, etc.). So, what the heck does way better mean?

3) You show the opened CV but not the MA when the MA is sitting right there. Can you do a side-by-side?

4) As John (LTD) points out the energy stored in a capacitor is proportional to the capacitance and to the square of the voltage across the capacitor, so if your comparison is of just the number of caps with no additional info, the comparison is useless.

5) "... most quality issues don't relate to caps...pssr... noise..." This is patently false. Capacitance reservoir requirements are proportional to frequency, rising as frequency decreases. Since both amps are directed at the pro sound market, they use the age-old 20-20k Hz spec, and many, of course, cheat that requirement in their low end amps. So, the only way to tell if the cap reservoir is up to HT subwoofer standards (depending on the subwoofer system used) is to test it using actual program source.

I did just that with the AA V6001, Marathon MA-5050 and an FP9000 clone.

I started with WOTW in my 3500 cubes room, subs at 4M from the mic (measurement system flat to 4 Hz) and system calibrated flat, FR at (+/-) 3dB 3-120 Hz.

The AA was 1st and it immediately died. It was sent off for repair and the comparo was delayed until it was returned. This AA amp was tested by Chas, but it died during testing as well, he sent it out for repair, it was returned to me because Chas didn't want a repeat. It was returned to me severely damaged by UPS and AA sent me another amp. It also immediately died with the same scenario and program source, so I pitched it into the amplifier crap pile in my attic space and never looked at it again. The AA amp is 90-95#, IIRC, showing that looks and weight are irrelevant. It may be the cat's meow for >30 Hz (dub step, kick drum, whatever), but it's useles as the power plant of a full BW HT subwoofer... end of discussion.

I then proceeded with the test using the MA-5050. It blew an on-board fuse. I replaced the fuse and tried again. It again blew a fuse. After seeing that the amp could not handle reference playback of <6 Hz source, I selected a scene that had relatively little <10 Hz but with strong 10 Hz and up, from The Hulk.



There are nuances that give a slight edge to the clone with this scene, but they are inaudible differences. I tested a dozen scenes from various soundtracks this way as well as a battery of other tests and the results were similar. The difference was that the clone handled every scene that the AA and Marathon couldn't because it's cap reservoir was able to supply and the amp boards could handle the transient current (signal) without errant spiking at ULF. This is no doubt because the clone employs a regulated SMPS with PFC, so its cap res ('only 27,000 uf, consisting of 10 x 2700 uf @ 200V) is plenty to warrant its 2 Hz FR and the AA and Marathon were not likewise up to their 5 Hz FR. At least the Marathon popped a fuse and was otherwise not harmed whereas the AA just died.

This basically means that I could report my findings regarding my 3500 cubes room playing the most difficult program source at calibrated reference level comparing the 3 amplifiers in the same system, which I probably did (it's been a few years).

If I had instead just said that the Marathon was WAY better than the AA but the clones beat them both by a mile, or some such rhetoric, some people might take that and run with it but the more savvy posters would have taken me to task.

I found the MA-5050 to be well worth the price paid for the reasons Josh brought up, with the caveat that it requires a HPF in the signal chain if full output playback is required and, actually in most folks systems the signal chain is sufficiently rolled of <10 Hz that is shouldn't be a problem. I also considered the additional current which is probably what cooked the AA and caused the MA fuse to pop from plugging into a dedicated 30A line. This result would most probably have been different in a 20A or 15A outlet.

This doesn't address any changes MA has made to the amp, nor does it address the CV amp or any differences between it and the MA, but I have to question the whole way better thing, is all.

Pop the lids and snap a side-by-side. Set up a test with mic or meter in the same place, calibrated the same, differing source, etc. Otherwise, I'm with the OP, still searching for that sort of test result with the CV amp.
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post #24 of 93 Old 05-12-2013, 10:37 AM
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"Capacitance reservoir requirements are proportional to frequency, rising as frequency decreases."

because with a long wave there is a large area under the curve where full power is essentially being pulled as though the amp were almost in clipping? as contrasted with higher frequencies, such as 50hz, where the max peak/dips of the wave lasts only a couple milliseconds? or is it something else?

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post #25 of 93 Old 05-12-2013, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bossobass View Post

This doesn't address any changes MA has made to the amp, nor does it address the CV amp or any differences between it and the MA, but I have to question the whole way better thing, is all.

Comparing our anecdotes about the MA5050, it became obvious they had performed a redesign somewhere along the way. Mine would trip anytime there was significant content under 20hz and reset after a few seconds, no fuses blown. They added protection, but instead of a limiter, its just oh SHI!T turn off.
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post #26 of 93 Old 05-13-2013, 09:25 AM
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There are lots of pictures of the marathon already available on the internet. It is not my plan to be a service , only trying to save some people some money and get them a better amp. I got them both here.

If you want to argue with electrical engineer randy slone about capacitance and capacitors, as well as amplifier power supply rejection ratio, unfortunaty he is deceased. With good amplifier design only, high grade capacitors only remove noise that would otherwise be rejected by the amplifier boards. They only need to be wired to handle the highest voltage given out by the transformer leads. You can make them wired to 1000 volt, still only the transformer rating will pass threw them.
Capacitance determines the ability of the capacitors to smooth properly at all levels of voltage. MR Slone recommends 10000 uf minimum per 100 watts, and that is his minimum recommendation.

The marathon amplifier is only 60 lbs. where does common sense tell you the extra 25 lbs is? That is a lot of weight. I can tell you right now most of the difference is in the transformer, which always is the heaviest part of amplification. The caps don't weight anything. I would guess 5 lbs in the case.

60000 uf per side in the marathon is half what randy sloan recommends and is inadequate to smooth the flow to full power. If you want to question it go ahead, but most audiophiles want more capacitance.

A Good amplifier requires a adequate power supply, It does not matter what the amplifier is capable of if the power supply will not provide the power required. Most amplifiers have under rated power supplies. It is up to you to make sure you get the ones that are
least under rated if at all.
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post #27 of 93 Old 05-13-2013, 09:54 AM
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NOTNYT. I am using all my amplifiers for subwoofer duty. I probably never ran into your problem because I was using both in bridge mode. However I was having the same problem in a way yet. I had to raise my low cut off to 30 hz on my driverack, because there was too much uncontrolled cone motion. The four alpines were waving in the wind and it wasn't to the beat of the music. This problem disappeared with the cerwin vega amps and I can now go as low as I want too.

A Good amplifier requires a adequate power supply, It does not matter what the amplifier is capable of if the power supply will not provide the power required. Most amplifiers have under rated power supplies. It is up to you to make sure you get the ones that are
least under rated if at all.
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post #28 of 93 Old 05-13-2013, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnplayerson View Post

NOTNYT. I am using all my amplifiers for subwoofer duty. I probably never ran into your problem because I was using both in bridge mode. However I was having the same problem in a way yet. I had to raise my low cut off to 30 hz on my driverack, because there was too much uncontrolled cone motion. The four alpines were waving in the wind and it wasn't to the beat of the music. This problem disappeared with the cerwin vega amps and I can now go as low as I want too.

I tested in bridge as well, the MA5050 has low frequency protection that would disable output for a few seconds.
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post #29 of 93 Old 05-13-2013, 01:20 PM
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I've gotta Marathon 5050 currently driving 2 ported subs without issue. Was looking to make use of it bridged 8ohms driving 2 sealed FTW 21s. Am I likely to have issue in ulf territory?
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post #30 of 93 Old 05-13-2013, 01:22 PM
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I have a feeling what we think low frequencies should be are not the same as others when saying the amps are better or not.

Just for reference we want single digit frequencies.
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