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The FTC may consider dropping the Amplifier Rule.

Nice. I don't pretend to understand the full details, but clear specifications are really helpful and it's great (unusual) to see standards being firmed up instead of watered down.
 
However, as a side effect it may increase product pricing.


JSmith

Hopefully it does increase pricing. Consumers will get used to paying a little more for quality, built to be driven harder, for longer.
 
Why? It might increase prices to make better performance of the gear. That is not a bad thing.

Exactly. Race to the bottom tactics and high fidelity equipment are mutually exclusive concepts if you ask me.
 
However, as a side effect it may increase product pricing.


JSmith
No one wants to pay more ,it would be crazy.
But cost has to be estimated through time.

There's not only a race to bottom there's also a race for new,shiny little stuff which leads people having multiple devices for the same purpose with absolutely no audible benefit.
We hear people having 3 DAC,multiple little amps,etc.

Having a decent device doesn't have to be really-really expensive,just decent,honest from a company that honors regulations,after-sale,etc.
It will be cheaper through time.
 
However, as a side effect it may increase product pricing.


JSmith

It may ... or it may not. The Rule is not about forcing change in manufacturing. The Rule is about honesty. No manufacturer need change anything about their product, they simply need to advertise it honestly.
Basically, the Rule is identical to the FDA Nutrition Facts Label. It gives consumers a reasonable idea of what they are buying. Neither the FTC Rule nor the FDA Rule are total and ironclad safeguards against deceit; crooks are too clever for that. But they both give us a bulwark against the most egregious dishonesty.

In the end, it's about different consumers with different needs being able to read specs and avoid equipment from the marketplace that doesn't satisfy their disparate requirements.

Jim
 
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It may ... or it may not. The Rule is not about forcing change in manufacturing. The Rule is about honesty. No manufacturer need change anything about their product, they simply need to advertise it honestly.
Basically, the Rule is identical to the FDA Nutrition Facts Label. It gives consumers a reasonable idea of what they are buying. Neither the FTC Rule nor the FDA Rule are total and ironclad safeguards against deceit; crooks are too clever for that. But they both give us a bulwark against the most egregious dishonesty.

In the end, it's about different consumers with different needs being able to read specs and avoid equipment from the marketplace that doesn't satisfy their disparate requirements.

Jim
Any “new” regulations will likely be seen as an opportunity to increase prices and increase profits. COVID was an opportunity and this will be too for some manufacturers.
 
It may ... or it may not. The Rule is not about forcing change in manufacturing. The Rule is about honesty. No manufacturer need change anything about their product, they simply need to advertise it honestly.
Basically, the Rule is identical to the FDA Nutrition Facts Label. It gives consumers a reasonable idea of what they are buying. Neither the FTC Rule nor the FDA Rule are total and ironclad safeguards against deceit; crooks are too clever for that. But they both give us a bulwark against the most egregious dishonesty.

In the end, it's about different consumers with different needs being able to read specs and avoid equipment from the marketplace that doesn't satisfy their disparate requirements.

Jim
The power rating rule forces amplifier manufacturers to design their products to a specific metric. My problem with the 5 minutes test with single frequency sine waves is that it has next to zero relationship with actual consumer use cases. If my use case is to listen to high dynamic range recordings but at a reasonable (non-hearing-health-hazardous) average listening level, what I want is high short term power, say 200 W @ 8 ohms. With this rule, my choice will be limited to amplifiers that can continuously output 200 W @ 8 ohms, since there is no incentive for manufacturers to make amplifiers that fit this use case, and will cost me more.

Case in point: This is going to be problematic for some of ASR's favorite amplifier providers such as Buckeye Amps. Buckeye will have to significantly reduce the power output ratings of their products to comply with the FTC rule. I have not seen many Buckeye Amps owners complaining that Buckeye products' power output capabilities fell short of their expectations. The FTC rule will make them less attractive to most buyers.

To retain their currently "inflated" power ratings, Buckeye will have to redesign the heat management part of their amplifiers, which adds cost but without real benefits to most of their buyers, as they seem to be already quite satisfied.

My guess the cheapest/easiest solution is to add temperature controlled fans to the amps (which will still require major redesigns). If their current users are fine with their amps right now, the fans should never need to be turned on during normal use.
 
Yay!!
 
The power rating rule forces amplifier manufacturers to design their products to a specific metric. My problem with the 5 minutes test with single frequency sine waves is that it has next to zero relationship with actual consumer use cases. If my use case is to listen to high dynamic range recordings but at a reasonable (non-hearing-health-hazardous) average listening level, what I want is high short term power, say 200 W @ 8 ohms. With this rule, my choice will be limited to amplifiers that can continuously output 200 W @ 8 ohms, since there is no incentive for manufacturers to make amplifiers that fit this use case, and will cost me more.

Case in point: This is going to be problematic for some of ASR's favorite amplifier providers such as Buckeye Amps. Buckeye will have to significantly reduce the power output ratings of their products to comply with the FTC rule. I have not seen many Buckeye Amps owners complaining that Buckeye products' power output capabilities fell short of their expectations. The FTC rule will make them less attractive to most buyers.

To retain their currently "inflated" power ratings, Buckeye will have to redesign the heat management part of their amplifiers, which adds cost but without real benefits to most of their buyers, as they seem to be already quite satisfied.

My guess the cheapest/easiest solution is to add temperature controlled fans to the amps (which will still require major redesigns). If their current users are fine with their amps right now, the fans should never need to be turned on during normal use.

buckeye amp can advertise the output based on 5 minutes and still include the much higher dynamic output for shorter durations of his choice, or follow the standard that NAD and Yamaha has been doing for years.
 
The power rating rule forces amplifier manufacturers to design their products to a specific metric. My problem with the 5 minutes test with single frequency sine waves is that it has next to zero relationship with actual consumer use cases. If my use case is to listen to high dynamic range recordings but at a reasonable (non-hearing-health-hazardous) average listening level, what I want is high short term power, say 200 W @ 8 ohms. With this rule, my choice will be limited to amplifiers that can continuously output 200 W @ 8 ohms, since there is no incentive for manufacturers to make amplifiers that fit this use case, and will cost me more.

Case in point: This is going to be problematic for some of ASR's favorite amplifier providers such as Buckeye Amps. Buckeye will have to significantly reduce the power output ratings of their products to comply with the FTC rule. I have not seen many Buckeye Amps owners complaining that Buckeye products' power output capabilities fell short of their expectations. The FTC rule will make them less attractive to most buyers.

To retain their currently "inflated" power ratings, Buckeye will have to redesign the heat management part of their amplifiers, which adds cost but without real benefits to most of their buyers, as they seem to be already quite satisfied.

My guess the cheapest/easiest solution is to add temperature controlled fans to the amps (which will still require major redesigns). If their current users are fine with their amps right now, the fans should never need to be turned on during normal use.

As Jim said, @Buckeye Amps doesn't need to change a thing with his builds if he doesn't want to. But he will be required to advertise any power ratings in accordance with FTC requirements or face the consequences of non-compliance- whatever they are. His amps will survive a full power 5 minute test, but they certainly won't produce the THD levels he claims at all powers and at all frequencies. Those figures will likely need to be 'adjusted'.

If he has to reduce the power output numbers to comply, that's a good thing. If his THD numbers suddenly get worse because he has to cover the entire 20-20kHz bandwidth at 250mW to full rated power, that's the way of it.

Right now, his specifications being advertised are these for an ET7040a monoblock:
1720649419852.png

and this:
1720649476562.png

Obviously, none of those "specifications" wil be acceptable going forward...

It's all about consumers being able to make fair comparisons and not potentially be decieved by cherry picked "best case" numbers. I've been harping on about this for years and we were finally given an opportunity to make submissions or comments to the FTC. They listened. And for anyone complaining it's not fair- did you bother to get off your a## and write a submisson or make a comment? There was only ONE comment out of 550 commenters that wanted the rule scrapped. All the rest wanted it retained...

His main power output claim will need to be like these below:

Note the main claim bolded and sized greater than the optional (extra claims).
Note the load, the bandwidth, the distortion and the claimed power output for 2 loads (4/8R).

From 1988- compliant in 2024:
1720648641664.png


from 1989, compliant in 2024:

1720648820491.png
 
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buckeye amp can advertise the output based on 5 minutes and still include the much higher dynamic output for shorter durations of his choice, or follow the standard that NAD and Yamaha has been doing for years.

Exactly. NAD did this 40 years ago with the 2200 "powertracker" power amplifier and complied with regulations, but made a whole song and dance about high dynamic power.

1720649880491.png
 
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Is that all you put in your submission to the FTC, three and a half years ago when they asked for public comments?
I don't care enough to. By how the industry has been doing in the last decade or so, they don't either.
 
By how the industry has been doing in the last decade or so, they don't either.

Unfortunately, this is true. Much of the industry - particularly tube amps - has flouted the FTC rule, mostly because there has been no price to pay for doing so. This new rule will go much the same way unless there are some teeth to the enforcement.

We'll see .......

Jim
 
Note dynamic power actually is specified by (at least) a couple of standards bodies, the IHF and EIA. IHF is (was) a 20 ms burst, not sure about EIA, and do not know if they have changed over the years. The IHF spec was meant to counter the ridiculous "dynamic peak music power" insanity of the time, wherein you had cheap junk capable of (literally) a few watts continuous claiming hundred of watts "peak music power". I think the EIA spec is similar and came along later, but not my day job, and a long time ago when I took the IHF tests to be "certified" as an audio consultant, so I could be wrong. But at least when you read EIA or IHF dynamic power it actually has a defined test protocol behind it. I do not know if either was rolled into the FTC specs; again, just not something I have followed.
 
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