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Down4Sound JP95 Car Amplifier Review

Rate this car amplifier:

  • 1. Waste of money (piggy bank panther)

    Votes: 40 25.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 81 50.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 31 19.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 8 5.0%

  • Total voters
    160

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Down4Sound JP95 4/1 channel car audio amplifier. It is on kind loan from a member and is on sale for $250.
Down4Sound JP95  5 Channel Amplifier Car Audio Amplifier Review.jpg

This is a massive amplifier with incredibly beefy terminals and many features. I am shocked that it sells for just $250.

I configured the amplifier for 4 channel use and defeated all the filters I could. Alas, it seems the main channels always have a high pass with a minimum of 20 Hz (see measurements). Testing is focused on Channels 1 and 2.

Power was provided by a custom Lithium back with capacity of 300 amp hour and peak current above that. Lab supply was used to augment the battery bank as needed (I checked and it had little impact on measurements).

Down4Sound JP95 Amplifier Measurements
As usual, we start with our 5 watts test into 4 ohm load:
Down4Sound JP95  5 Channel Amplifier Car Audio Amplifier Measurement.png


Distortion is actually kind of reasonable at -92 dB. It is the noise that is the problem, taking SINAD way down to just 71 dB or so. Average for all amplifiers (almost all home systems) is about 80 dB so this is below average by our standards. You can see the poor residual noise in SNR test:
Down4Sound JP95  5 Channel Amplifier Car Audio Amplifier SNR Measurement.png

Fortunately at full power, you almost approach CD's 16 bit dynamic range. Just be careful about using sensitive tweeters with this as you are likely to hear a hiss.

Frequency response shows typical budget class D implementation load (speaker) impedance dependency:
Down4Sound JP95  5 Channel Amplifier Car Audio Amplifier Frequency Response Measurement.png

Even at 1 KHz there is an effect so you better EQ your system and dial that out. As noted, there is bass roll off which I guess is fine if you are using a sub with this anyway.

Distortion is actually the best at our 1 kHz test tone above. Below and above, it rises significantly:
Down4Sound JP95  5 Channel Amplifier Car Audio Amplifier Multitone Measurement.png


Resulting in very poor showing at 19 & 20 kHz:
Down4Sound JP95  5 Channel Amplifier Car Audio Amplifier 19 20 kHz intermodulation distortion ...png


Crosstalk is very bad as well:
Down4Sound JP95  5 Channel Amplifier Car Audio Amplifier crosstalk Measurement.png


We can see the high noise floor again in our power sweep:
Down4Sound JP95  5 Channel Amplifier Car Audio Amplifier power 4 ohm Measurement.png


Usually I measure clipping at very conservative points in the graph. Here I gave it the benefit of doubt to get the 122 watts. If I go by 1% THD, we get less power:
Down4Sound JP95  5 Channel Amplifier Car Audio Amplifier Max and Peak power 4 ohm Measurement.png


Same issues with 8 ohm:
Down4Sound JP95  5 Channel Amplifier Car Audio Amplifier power 8 ohm Measurement.png


Sweeping frequencies we see that the transfer function is quite odd at times:
Down4Sound JP95  5 Channel Amplifier Car Audio Amplifier power 4 ohm vs frequency Measurement.png


Finally, the amp needed a couple of minutes to stabilize:
Down4Sound JP95  5 Channel Amplifier Car Audio Amplifier Warm Up Measurement.png


Conclusions
Objective measurements can best be translated into: "it could be worse" given the mess that goes on in car audio world. Normally this would raise my ire but at $250, it is really hard to complain about such a stout, 4 channel amplifier with a ton of functionality.

Personally I can't recommend the Down4Sound JP95 amplifier. But your mileage may vary if cost, features and good cooling is high priority for you.

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

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

Doodski

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Hi @amirm. Did you by chance meter the total current draw of this class D car amp? If so what was it? :D
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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Hi @amirm. Did you by chance meter the total current draw of this class D car amp? If so what was it? :D
I tried to look at the current meter but it was not giving reliable results seeing how the sweep goes step by step and shuts down in between.

It has some crazy 160 amp fuse so peak current must be high.
 

staticV3

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Here I gave it the benefit of doubt to get the 122 watts. If I go by 1% THD, we get less power:
That doesn't make much sense.

In your sweep graph, you have marked 122W at 0.12% THD+N:
Down4Sound JP95  5 Channel Amplifier Car Audio Amplifier power 4 ohm Measurement (1).png

How come that when you raise the threshold to 1% THD, power suddenly drops to 100W?
Down4Sound JP95  5 Channel Amplifier Car Audio Amplifier Max and Peak power 4 ohm Measurement.png

Your sweep shows that the DUT can do ~135W at 1% THD+N.

Changing that to THD should allow for more power, as noise no longer contributes, not less.
 
Last edited:

Doodski

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I tried to look at the current meter but it was not giving reliable results seeing how the sweep goes step by step and shuts down in between.

It has some crazy 160 amp fuse so peak current must be high.
Yes, it is craZY! LoL... I just love big car amps. :D
 

Doodski

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Forced perspective can have a tendency to play tricks on one's perceptions. Do you really believe that that guy's hands are as big as his head?
Hehe... I become enthusiastic with all that colorful beautiful anodizing, the large specification figures and the cool factor of the type of design used for making this sort of device. His hands size was not anywhere @ the front of my mind. Plus realizing car amps can get veryyy large made me not doubt the apparent size of this Down 4 Sound JP95 car amp.
 
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My previous BMW 7 series had a 12-channel DSP amplifier as part of the upgrade package. It caught fire (the amplifier), as they had a problem where the aluminum case would oxidize and expand, thus touching the solder pads on the circuit board’s underside. I can appreciate that people enjoy car audio enhancements, but I never cared for car audio again, nor BMW.

Kind of a shame, as I used to like this type of thing. I had a nice install in a sports coupe also at the time.

Anyway, I voted for the Postman Panther. It comes up short, in my opinion, but does the job.
 
Last edited:

lewdish

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I dont think its good but i think its passable for what it is.
 

Chrise36

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That doesn't make much sense.

In your sweep graph, you have marked 122W at 0.12% THD+N:
View attachment 358378

How come that when you raise the threshold to 1% THD, power suddenly drops to 100W?
View attachment 358377

Your sweep shows that the DUT can do ~135W at 1% THD+N.

Changing that to THD should allow for more power, as noise no longer contributes, not less.
It actually made more than 160(x 4) on the amp dyno at 8 ohm and 250 at 4 ohm.
 

Roland68

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The car audio sector has changed extremely since the 80s and 90s. Back then it was still about good sound and inconspicuous/hidden installations. In my car, no one could see the Alpine system with CD changer, 4 x Seas mid/low and tweeter, Harman/Kardon CA260 and ProtoVision amplifier, Altec Lansing ALC10 - active crossover and 12" Cervin Vega subwoofer.
Today it seems to be more about fancy internals and performance that you can't use while someone is in the car.
But in exchange you get every dent pushed out of the body.
 

fordiebianco

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In today's world where all audio electronics seem to be integrated behind a large screen, do you still need a third party amplifier? Or would that only fit into your eighties' Suzuki?
 
Last edited:

Matias

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So many years went by since I bought my Alpine PDX-V9 and things have not evolved much I see. Except for price. But still.

 

AndreaT

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I wonder what the noise-level is in a car. I guess very good performance are wasted in a car compared to ones living room. Does an amp for a car have to be better than this?
It is surprisingly high: most cars at 70 mph read between low 60 to 75 dB, not counting the noise from the traffic around you
 

AudioSceptic

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Down4Sound JP95 4/1 channel car audio amplifier. It is on kind loan from a member and is on sale for $250.
View attachment 358359
This is a massive amplifier with incredibly beefy terminals and many features. I am shocked that it sells for just $250.

I configured the amplifier for 4 channel use and defeated all the filters I could. Alas, it seems the main channels always have a high pass with a minimum of 20 Hz (see measurements). Testing is focused on Channels 1 and 2.

Power was provided by a custom Lithium back with capacity of 300 amp hour and peak current above that. Lab supply was used to augment the battery bank as needed (I checked and it had little impact on measurements).

Down4Sound JP95 Amplifier Measurements
As usual, we start with our 5 watts test into 4 ohm load:
View attachment 358360

Distortion is actually kind of reasonable at -92 dB. It is the noise that is the problem, taking SINAD way down to just 71 dB or so. Average for all amplifiers (almost all home systems) is about 80 dB so this is below average by our standards. You can see the poor residual noise in SNR test:
View attachment 358361
Fortunately at full power, you almost approach CD's 16 bit dynamic range. Just be careful about using sensitive tweeters with this as you are likely to hear a hiss.

Frequency response shows typical budget class D implementation load (speaker) impedance dependency:
View attachment 358363
Even at 1 KHz there is an effect so you better EQ your system and dial that out. As noted, there is bass roll off which I guess is fine if you are using a sub with this anyway.

Distortion is actually the best at our 1 kHz test tone above. Below and above, it rises significantly:
View attachment 358364

Resulting in very poor showing at 19 & 20 kHz:
View attachment 358365

Crosstalk is very bad as well:
View attachment 358366

We can see the high noise floor again in our power sweep:
View attachment 358368

Usually I measure clipping at very conservative points in the graph. Here I gave it the benefit of doubt to get the 122 watts. If I go by 1% THD, we get less power:
View attachment 358369

Same issues with 8 ohm:
View attachment 358371

Sweeping frequencies we see that the transfer function is quite odd at times:
View attachment 358372

Finally, the amp needed a couple of minutes to stabilize:
View attachment 358373

Conclusions
Objective measurements can best be translated into: "it could be worse" given the mess that goes on in car audio world. Normally this would raise my ire but at $250, it is really hard to complain about such a stout, 4 channel amplifier with a ton of functionality.

Personally I can't recommend the Down4Sound JP95 amplifier. But your mileage may vary if cost, features and good cooling is high priority for you.

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

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
Does -71 dB noise matter in a car?
 
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