Poweramper PA150
Poweramper offers a stripped-down approach to amplifier design via the two-channel PA150.
Poweramper PA150 Specs

Price & Contact: $419.95; 727-522-5476; www.poweramper.com
All measurements @ 14 volts unless otherwise specified.
Frequency Response (4-ohm IHF Load, 20 Hz to 20 kHz 1 kHz Ref.):
+0.04 dB, –0.14 dB
L/R channel error, max deviation 20 Hz to 20 kHz: N/A
Phase Response (4-ohm IHF Load, 20 Hz to 20 kHz, 1 kHz Ref.):
+14 degrees, –5.4 degrees
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (Below Rated Output, “A” weighted):
–114 dB
Distortion at Rated Output @ 1 kHz: 0.05% @ 300 watts x 1
Output Power (resistive), minimum output 20 Hz to 20 kHz @ 1% THD+N, all channels driven into 4 ohms:
94 watts x 2 @ 14 volts; 79 watts x 2 @ 12.8 volts; 52 watts x 2 @ 10.5 volts
Output Power (resistive), minimum output 20 Hz to 20 kHz @ 1% THD+N, all channels driven into 2 ohms:
152 watts x 2 @ 14 volts; 126 watts x 2 @ 12.8 volts; 82 watts x 2 @ 10.5 volts
Output Power (4-ohm IHF Reactive Load @ 60 Hz to 1% THD+N):
351 watts
Output Power (2-ohm IHF Reactive Load @ 60 Hz to 1% THD+N}:
492 watts
Crosstalk (Referenced to Rated Output, 20 Hz to 20 kHz):
–71 dB
Damping Factor @ 100 Hz, 2 ohms:
Voltage for Rated Output: 151 mV to 3.7 volts
Idle Current Draw:
0.7 amps
Current Draw @ 1/3 Maximum Power: 33.9 amps @ 141.3 watts
Efficiency @ 1/3 Maximum Power: 30%
Power-Up Noise:
7.4 dB SPL
Power-Down Noise: 3 dB SPL

by Brian Smith
The PA150 is a two-channel amplifier with power ratings of 75 watts x 2 or 300 watts x 1 into 4 ohms and 150 watts x 2 or 500 watts x 1 into 2 ohms. The relatively short list of features includes balanced input circuitry, gold-plated connections, and a beautifully polished heat sink. If you yearn for the old days when an amp was just an amp, the PA150 is right up your alley. You won’t find bass boost, internal crossovers, or any of the electronic fluff that have made the modern car audio amplifier so complicated — the PA150 is all amplifier.

The PA150 performed well during its stint on our test bench. It managed to exceed all of its power ratings by a fair margin with the exception of the 2-ohm, 500-watt rating. Driving our 2-ohm reactive load, the PA150 produced 492 watts @ 1% THD+N. In a similar test with a 4-ohm resistive load, the amp produced 500 watts at about 5 percent distortion. Close enough, all in all, to call it a match.

Electrically speaking, this amp is also very quiet. Signal-to-Noise measured –114 dB and turn on/off noises are well into the single digits at 7.4 and 3 dB SPL, respectively. However, when the amp is powered up, there is an audible, mechanical click that comes from within the amp. A relay I would suspect — hardly an issue for most of us.

Overall, this is an impressive package. Many of the amps that we test are designed with an eye towards cutting costs on massive production runs, and on the test bench, it often shows. If you’re going to build an amplifier sans all the BS, it only makes sense to build one that works well and looks good doing it. It’s obvious from the way that this unit looks, feels, and behaves on the bench that, at Poweramper, the bean counters don’t run the design team.

The PA150 has a nice heat sink with lots of surface area. You’d think that this would be standard equipment with any amp, but in car audio, heat sink design has gone the way of the dodo bird.

From the installation perspective, the PA150 is small and uncomplicated and should be a delight to work with. However, it does present one potential for aggravation. Fuse access is through the bottom panel of the amp. This means you’ll be un-installing the amp if you pop one. The fuse access hole is also somewhat small and the fuses are quite close together. My best advice here is to use some type of fuse pulling tool or you’ll likely drop a fuse into the amplifier, like I did.

Connections & Adjustments
Connections to the PA150 are gold-plated and include RCA inputs and 5/16-inch spade receptacles for all power and speaker connections. An input sensitivity adjustment and status LED is provided for each channel.