Newest 12V Amplifier Standard

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CTA 2006-D Amp Standard

Last year, the Consumer Technology Association approved a new standard for amplifiers. It is launching a new logo to accompany the standard. The first supplier to get approval under the program is Dual Electronics. (See more on these Dual amplifiers here).

Alpine Electronics has also submitted new amplifiers for approval under the new standard and many other companies are expected to follow suit.

The latest amplifier standard ratified by the CTA is ANSI/CTA-2006-D.  It adds methods for determining maximum power ratings.  The ratings are measured at a specific distortion level and the supplier then reports the continuous power rating as well as the maximum dynamic power, said Dave Wilson, CTA VP Technology & Standards.  These new requirements were approved last spring.

“The new standard describes a way to measure maximum dynamic power, where the old one didn’t. Under the old standard it was left up to product makers to decide how they would measure and report “max power.” Our old standard was silent on the subject,” added Wilson.

“With the new standard  we have standardized a maximum dynamic power measurement. The goal is to make it so consumers can compare both continuous power and maximum dynamic power between amplifiers and know that the numbers they’re comparing were obtained using the same methods for both amplifiers. We’re not trying to put the focus on maximum over continuous, we’re simply adding a standard method for determining maximum dynamic power.”

The Continuous Power measurement is measured over a period of 15 seconds. (RMS still applies). The Maximum Dynamic Power measurement is over a period of at least 2.5 seconds.

Amplifiers which follow the new standard and get tested by a third-party laboratory are eligible to use the new CTA-2006-D logo (shown above).

“Within this year  I think a lot of companies will strive to achieve this certification. They will promote it on their website and the carton box.  I also think it’s incumbent on the retail community to promote it,” said Mike Anderson of Alpine and Chairman of the CTA Vehicle Technology Division.

The new standard and accompanying logo program is expected to help weed out misrepresentation to the consumer.

Anderson added, “It sets a standard, a benchmark on the accurate reporting of measured electrical specifications so that consumers can be assured of what the amplifier really has under the hood.”

Aron Demers of VOXX, outgoing Chairman of the Vehicle Technology Div. added,  “The hope is that retailers will give preference to those brands that adopt the standard and logo program and consumers will eventually prefer products with the logo.”

Board members of the CTA’s Vehicle Technologies Division include Tony Frangiosa, InstallerNet; Aron Demers, VOXX; Avesh Thukral, Best Buy; Bryan Schmitt, Mobile Solutions; Carl Mathews, Crutchfield; Christopher Andrews, Pratt Miller; Claudio Martinez, Xperi; Derek Pace, Certified Sounds; Erin Spring, Goodyear; Jackie Erickson, Magna Intl; James Braun, Dual; Jim Warren, Elite Distributor Alliance; Johnathan Ivey, MiTek; Mark Karnes, Cedar; Marko Mandaric, Bmmpr; Michael Maddux, Verizon; Mike Anderson, Alpine; Paul Pirro, Tint World; Rick Kojan, Sony; Ron Freeman, ISS; Scott Caswell, JVCKENWOOD; Scott Forst, AAMP; and Todd Goodnight, PassTime.



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  1. The public perceives RMS as contentious power (real power). The real meaning behind RMS is in this case (although factual) secondary. Once lower THD standards where dropped quality became secondary.

  2. Only a VERY small percentage of customers have cared about CEA2006 ratings. I don’t see this changing anything.

  3. While Soundcrafters doesn’t need documentation to advise our clients of present amplifier ratings, once published and in place, it simply fortifies those retailers who have that need to. Mr. Anderson is spot on; we, as the connection to the end user, bear the responsibility to promote these criteria.

  4. I read with interest this comment – The Continuous Power measurement is measured over a period of 15 seconds. (RMS still applies). There is NO such thing as “RMS” watts.
    Wattage is RMS volts x RMS amps [or RMS volts squared divided by impedance] and Root Mean Square x Root Mean Square cannot equal Root Mean Square.
    It is the same as saying the Square Root of 2 multiplied by the Square Root of 2 is equal to the Square Root of 2. This is mathematically incorrect. The square root of 2 = 1.414 and if you multiply 1.414 x 1.414 you get just the number “2”! There is no square root involved.
    The importers of Chinese amps will continue to write non sense about their cloned amplifiers. They will also continue to write stuff of how they spent “x” years developing their latest copied and pasted amplifier “designs”.
    It is a shame that nobody speaks out against the untruths in the 12v industry. I have done this for many years but to no avail. The lying simply continues and unfortunately the gullible public swallows all.

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