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D'AMORE E660.5 Car Amplifier Review

Rate this car amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 38 31.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 68 57.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 10 8.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 3 2.5%

  • Total voters
    119
But I would gladly take good podcast recommendations!
I listen to AmpHour for engineering topics in the car. And Twit for latest tech news/discussions.
 
As a funny aside, there is nothing about how to wire this amp in the manual as if to say, "if you don't know how to wire this, you are not our customer!" :)
Since you have tested/reviewed more than just a few automotive audio products, I am guessing you've done the grunt-work with car audio DIY/mods, previously.

I started back in early '70s, stuffing speakers and home made amps into a 1973 Dodge Tradesman300 van, that was our party, concert and camping machine in college.
That was before the DIN form-factor, thus the SOTA Ampex Tuner/Cassette deck was installed overhead in a hidden compartment.
 
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Since you have tested/reviewed more than just a few automotive audio products, I am guessing you've done the grunt-work with car audio DIY/mods, previously.
I used to repair them in late 1970s and early 1980s so pretty familiar with the domain.

FYI there is another amplifier coming from a special manufacturer! ;) :)
 
I dont know much about car audio but 299 for 5 channels with 50w seems like good value even if sinad isnt great? I guess we will know when more car amps are measured
 
As a funny aside, there is nothing about how to wire this amp in the manual as if to say, "if you don't know how to wire this, you are not our customer!" :)
To be fair, there are many variables.
Honestly if you need a manual for this prolly best to become an installers customer.

I DIY my car audio and any finished car system of anything remotely high quality is not for the faint of heart.
 
This is a review and detailed measurements of the D'Amore E660.5 5-channel automotive amplifier. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $299.
View attachment 331786
The E660.5 seems well built and as you can see, is in a rather large enclosure. I suspect that will let it run cool. In testing it did not even get warm. Power terminals are designed well with angled hex screws that bite wires quite well.

Company designer used to be at Fostex and currently builds a line of test instruments for automotive amplifiers so I expect good performance.

Note that my instrumentation is limited to 2 channels and that is what I tested. Power source is a custom Lithium battery bank with 100 Ah capacity (instantaneous power of hundred of amps). I was charging the bank as I was testing the amp so you will see rising voltage notations in the testing (ranging from 13.4 to 13.8 volts).

Note 2: I thought the amp model number was E400.4 throughout the testing. I put in the right model name on the graphs but the audio precision cursors still say E400.4.

D'Amore E660.5 Amplifier Measurements
As usual we start with our dashboard of 5 watts into 4 ohm load:
View attachment 331787
Distortion is composed of broad set of spikes around -88 dB. Those combined with noise knock SINAD down good bit, placing the amplifier in "fair" category:
View attachment 331788

We see that reflected in noise performance:
View attachment 331789

Frequency response shows the expected load dependency for this class D amplifier:
View attachment 331790
Better run some sweeps and correct for that with EQ if you are sensitive to high frequencies.

Crosstalk is worse than average:
View attachment 331791
But good enough for the application.

Multitone test shows increased intermodulation distortion at both ends of the audio spectrum:

View attachment 331792

19 & 20 kHz focus at the upper end showing rather disappointing results:
View attachment 331793

Amplifier meets its specifications in power:
View attachment 331794

View attachment 331795

And at 2 ohm (one channel driven)
View attachment 331796
At 8 ohm, we have very little power:
View attachment 331797

Sweeping at other frequencies shows quite a bit of non-linearities at high frequencies but all calms down by 1 kHz:

View attachment 331798

Conclusions
Starting with good news, it is nice to see company meeting its power specifications. Likely had no choice as they make the so called "Amp Dyno" for measuring amplifier power. But since that instrument doesn't measure noise and distortion, these areas clearly have not had much attention although they are far from being terrible. I think the key reason to get this amplifier is for its overbuilt cooling and reliability that may bring. Audio performance is not where it is at.

I can't recommend the D'Amore E660.5 amplifier. Company needs to do better to get my attention.

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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

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Probably OK for use in a car, but seems a bit pricey.

I wonder, does a DC feed 12-14 V, with high current availability, make it easier or not to make a good performing amp?
 
Thank you @amirm, for the review.
Unfortunately, every time you post a review of automotive audio products, I start thinking that I really "should" upgrade my audio system but, it is NOT as simple as throwing a 5channel amp inside my cabin and it's a finished task.:(
I would have to de-gut my whole car and do it properly by replacing/adding cables, dynamat, amps, caps, head-end, speakers, controls, etc......:mad:
I guess it would take me at least a few months and to the cost of probably $2500+ in parts.

Is it possible to modify automotive audio systems that are so integrally interconnected to the whole car electronics (not per se for EVs) for any vehicle manufactured in the last 6 years??
MercedesBenz has been using 48V systems in their cars for years, but I do not to what extent...
A stock system in a higher end car or even some optional systems on mid priced cars already are often excellent. Some truly so.
Upgrading is often for folks like myself with my base model 2020 and 2007 Honda CR-Vs.
It likely will not cost $2500(using PartsExpress and Madisound drivers), it will take awhile especially if learning best practices and going for something really decent.
 
I wonder, does a DC feed 12-14 V, with high current availability, make it easier or not to make a good performing amp?
I am not understanding your question. Are you asking about my testing? If so, I have a monster lithium battery I have built which I use to power car audio gear. It easily provides hundreds of amps if needed. Voltage was 13.4 to 13.8 volts so at the top scale of what an alternator would provide. The power specs for these amps usually is achieved using the highest voltage they can get away with.
 
To get that Higher consistent voltage in car audio one needs an upgraded alternator, big three upgrade under the hood and bigger battery banks. They go crazy in car audio with 400 amp Alternators and lithium banks that span the rear of the car.
 
To get that Higher consistent voltage in car audio one needs an upgraded alternator, big three upgrade under the hood and bigger battery banks. They go crazy in car audio with 400 amp Alternators and lithium banks that span the rear of the car.
Not often anymore. Only in high SPL systems.
Normal hifi based systems using class d just don't use anything. Class d is really awesome for car audio.
Plus a lot of car audio snake oil as well. Ridiculous stuff out there
 
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Class D has come along way. I'm running a JL HD 1200/1 amp and my alternator is only 100 amps (2024 Camry). My lights don't dim when a hard bass note hits, but I see the voltage drop to 13.
 
Mazda had this in the 90’s with their Millenia sedan.

You can find it in a number of luxury cars today.



Meyer Sound has their Constellation system which reportedly is used to provide this kind of room treatment along with enhancing whatever you want musically. I think the noise reduction element isn’t as reliable though, since they still use passive room treatment

It’s funny, the 2012 time frame of the article was right after my company gave up on developing a similar system. I remember reading that article and thinking they cracked the nut that we had not been able to—we were trying to assemble a system using as much off the shelf technology as possible as we did not want to expend R&D on bespoke hardware and software thinking that the ROI going down that road would not be worth it.
 
If you find a good car audio system, then it is worth to buy a car.
No. Look at this, my pleasure every morning.
IMG_20231103_082901.jpg
 

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A stock system in a higher end car or even some optional systems on mid priced cars already are often excellent. Some truly so.
Upgrading is often for folks like myself with my base model 2020 and 2007 Honda CR-Vs.
It likely will not cost $2500(using PartsExpress and Madisound drivers), it will take awhile especially if learning best practices and going for something really decent.
I have a non burmaster w205 c class and the sound system was truly awful. It was made up of 4 100mm drivers and a single 6.5 inch driver. No tweeters and no true Subwoofer. It sound terrible and distortion was very audible at high volumes.

Most manufactures use very cheap speakers and just use dsp to fix their issues. This to most people sounds good.

Obviously there some expectations like volvo used to have a dynoaudio integration that sounded incredible and measured well. Lexus are also known to have actual good sound systems in their cars.

Alot manufacturers get these fancy names like burmaster as a sponsership deal. Bascialy just pay to use the name. When you actually take apart the burmaster system it's just the same crappy speakers but more of them and slightly better tuning....
 
I am not understanding your question. Are you asking about my testing? If so, I have a monster lithium battery I have built which I use to power car audio gear. It easily provides hundreds of amps if needed. Voltage was 13.4 to 13.8 volts so at the top scale of what an alternator would provide. The power specs for these amps usually is achieved using the highest voltage they can get away with.
No, I'm asking if a DC power supply at 12-14 V from a car battery is easier to design for than mains AC at 110-240 V. I'm not asking about your testing.
 
The thing with car audio is that they need to withstand a lot of abuse. I know people in the custom car bussiness down here that tried to implement Hypex boards in their builds, but the big temp difference inside a car (can go from -20°C to +70°C) and the vibrations of driving (especially with the notorious bad roads in Belgium) killed those boards very fast. So they went back to proven durable amp systems that are less in audio quality, but survive those conditions.
Bad roads? Try the UK, where wheels and suspensions get damaged on a regular basis. I'm surprised that so much of the wiring keeps working.
 
Most manufactures use very cheap speakers and just use dsp to fix their issues. This to most people sounds good.

DSP fixes problems no amount of hardware, whatever its quality, can. And that’s why Dirac probably makes more money from car audio than from home hifi. Volvo uses it (at least in its EV’s), and so do Bentley, RR, Nio, BYD and others.
 
IMO this is terrible performance for the price... Measure Helix or Eton Amps/DSP or even Alpine high end amps outperform this at half the price....

Car audio SNIAD should be at a MIN of 80db
I agree. You sit in what is equivalent to a near field listening space. You need higher SNR than most think..
 
I don't have any car since more than 10 years, I use bicycles. So I encourage @amirm to test IEMs.
More than fair comment. I use both, car most of the time since my work commute to work takes a while. Maybe I'll use IEMs while driving since my car OEM system sucks. The only thing is I might get too isolated from the environment and this might lead to some potentially dangerous situation.
 
When actually driving at a consistent speed the noise difference between an ICE and EV is like 1-2dB.
Not when you drive Ford Focus 2liter engine with bad engine mount - this engine is just unbalanced and vibrates a lot.
 
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