If you have decided to go with passive speakers, choosing an amplifier that will work well with your systems is one of the most important decisions you can make. An amplifier brings the music from your console to the speakers, so without it, there is no music. Below are some things to consider when deciding which amplifier to buy.
Power vs. Class D
There are two basic types of amplifiers to consider when you begin shopping. The first kind is a power amp. These amplify the sound leaving your console, which makes it powerful enough for your speakers to project. These have input and output lines, a volume control, and meters that display sound levels. Some DJs decide to go with power amps because of the wide range of price ranges and power levels available. The other type of amplifier is a Class D amp. These are considered to be one of the top DJ amplifiers. Because of how the transistors in these amps work, they are able to increase the mid and bass output while minimizing power loss, making it more efficient on the whole than a power amp. They are also smaller and more compact, making them ideal for going on tour or traveling to gigs.
Matching Amplifiers to Speakers
The general rule of thumb when purchasing an amplifier is to choose one between 1.5 and 2.6 times the continuous power of the speakers. If you go too much less than this, your sound can suffer due to just not having enough power to pump it out, but too much more and you can damage the speakers. This is especially important with subwoofer amps, as an amp can easily damage the speaker with too much power. You may also want to consider buying two smaller amps instead of one large one; this can allow you to continue performing even if one of your amplifiers becomes damaged.
There are two things to look at to determine the power rating of an amplifier. The first is ohms: DJ amplifiers are available in 4, 8, or 16 ohms of resistance, and this must match the ohms of the speaker for them to be able to work well together. The other thing you will need to look at will be the RMS. The RMS rating tells you how much power the amplifier has, which must also be matched to the speakers.
The other big thing that you will need to consider when looking at purchasing an amplifier is features. Every brand and model of amplifier is slightly different, and once you know which type and power rating you need, the features and specifications will be what sets them apart. You may want to check to see what temperatures the amplifier can operate at, and look at models with fans and heat sinks if you may be performing in hot venues. Some amplifiers also offer the ability to bridge two channels together onto one load, so look at those if you think you may want to do that. If you travel, you may also want to look at how heavy each amp is, as a lighter amp could make your life on the road a lot easier.