Rockford Hints at New Use for Power-Free Amplifiers

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Rockford is exploring a new use for its no-power amp technology introduced last year.

The technology was found in a palm-sized car amplifier that does not require a battery connection for power. Instead the amplifier sits in the door behind each speaker (so you need a pair) drawing the necessary power from the car radio’s amplifier.  The no-power amp, model PM100X1 (100 watts) shipped a year ago at $399/pair, which some retailers found to be too steep.

At the recent SEMA Show,  Senior Director of Electrical Engineering David Baker said said Rockford is considering using the same no-power technology in speakers to create amplified speakers to replace factory speakers.  “You could take out the old speaker, put the new one in and it’s so much louder,” explained Baker.

The “no-power” technology uses what Rockford calls a Freeload system that “converts both the AC and DC output of the source unit’s amplifier into its own DC power supply. Freeload continues to draw power from the source amplifier when power demand of the speaker is below the power output capability of the source amplifier.”

Baker continued, “During times of low power demand, freeload replenishes its power supply reservoir to support speaker power demands that exceed the power output capability of the source amplifier.”

Separately, Rockford launched at the SEMA Show its first Class D amplifier to join its PBR Punch Boosted Rail series.

The new PBR400x4D is 2 ohm stable 4-channel, bridgeable amplifier.  It’s designed especially for motorcycle and UTV applications and is available at $249. Power output is 50 watts RMS x 4 at 4 ohms or 100 watts RMS x 4 at 2 ohms. Or the amplifier can be run at 200 watts RMS x 2 bridged at 4 ohms.

Photo above: PM100X1 “no power” amplifier






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