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View Full Version : My test: PPi phantom 900.4



TaylorFade
01-13-2014, 06:31 AM
Usually I just take the manufacturer's word for it on highs amps, but I just love my little PPi 900.4 and I recommend it all the time so I decided to test it and see if she is really doing the clean power.



This will be short and sweet. I didn't crack it open or take pics of the controls or inputs. You can see closeups of them here... Precision Power PPI P900.4 (p9004) 4-Channel Phantom Car Amplifier (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_38338_Precision-Power-PPI-P900.4.html)



The amp is active capable and claims 145w x 4 channels @ 4 ohms in a tiny footprint. For less than $200. That's an awful lot of amp for the money. Let's check it out.



From the manual...







RMS Power Rating (14.4V):

4 ohms: 145 watts x 4 chan.
2 ohms: 225 watts x 4 chan.
Bridged, 4 ohms: 450 watts x 2 chan.

RMS Power Rating (12V):
4 ohms: 100 watts x 4 chan.
2 ohms: 150 watts x 4 chan.
Bridged, 4 ohms: 300 watts x 2 chan.

Yes... we will be getting to that big bish, but let's test the little one first. That's a PDX-10k, in case you don't recognize it. I also think it's hilarious that this is likely to be someone's setup. That teeny thing on the fronts and that monster on the substage. All SQ and ****.


http://i848.photobucket.com/albums/ab45/taylorfade/Amps/B637820E-5FEF-4F11-8BE5-395A998341A0-3036-0000026168BDFF23_zps87207951.jpg (http://s848.photobucket.com/user/taylorfade/media/Amps/B637820E-5FEF-4F11-8BE5-395A998341A0-3036-0000026168BDFF23_zps87207951.jpg.html)




Setting unloaded. A lot of people feel like this is useless, but I like to see what an amp does unloaded so that's why I always include it. If you just used the DMM SQRT method here, you'd be at ~ 24 and leaving some power on the table. This is also why I advocate the use of a scope. Almost 31v here.


http://i848.photobucket.com/albums/ab45/taylorfade/testing/1BB9574B-B69F-4666-A113-AF0FBCC8A04C-3036-00000263A364C1E6_zpsb47e477f.jpg (http://s848.photobucket.com/user/taylorfade/media/testing/1BB9574B-B69F-4666-A113-AF0FBCC8A04C-3036-00000263A364C1E6_zpsb47e477f.jpg.html)


Sometimes you will see a highs amp tested and see them say, "all channels driven". This is why they say that. This is one channel driven at 5 ohms. This is almost 150w @ 5ohms but only a single channel driven.

http://i848.photobucket.com/albums/ab45/taylorfade/testing/E311505C-CEC0-4FD1-8C67-A19ADD5237FE-3036-00000261716710BD_zps2ac56fc8.jpg (http://s848.photobucket.com/user/taylorfade/media/testing/E311505C-CEC0-4FD1-8C67-A19ADD5237FE-3036-00000261716710BD_zps2ac56fc8.jpg.html)


Now we load down all channels and see what we get.


115w per channel @ 5 ohms and 13.4v. All channels driven. It's a power supply thang. 50A draw measured but not pictured.

http://i848.photobucket.com/albums/ab45/taylorfade/testing/CD304FF9-4574-4DDD-AF9C-F05D15F4AE03-3036-0000026188E14BC9_zpsc7db0376.jpg (http://s848.photobucket.com/user/taylorfade/media/testing/CD304FF9-4574-4DDD-AF9C-F05D15F4AE03-3036-0000026188E14BC9_zpsc7db0376.jpg.html)


Bridged @ 5 ohms front and rear. All channels driven.


340w bridged @ 5ohms and 13.2v. This is also basically what you'd see at 2.5ohms per channel. ~ 170w per channel @ 2.5ohms all channels driven. 70A draw measured but not pictured.

http://i848.photobucket.com/albums/ab45/taylorfade/testing/F223C7CF-05B3-4C06-86E7-FB19E34FEE9B-3036-000002617DCF2C8C_zpsffc2ce7f.jpg (http://s848.photobucket.com/user/taylorfade/media/testing/F223C7CF-05B3-4C06-86E7-FB19E34FEE9B-3036-000002617DCF2C8C_zpsffc2ce7f.jpg.html)


So, yep. She's doing work. Observed efficiency was ~ 75% at 5ohms and 2.5ohms. I'd have liked to see it a little higher at 5 ohms per channel, but at this price point, you really can't complain about much.



Subjectively... I think the little amp sounds great. And I know a lot of people who would agree with me. The amp has a "full" setting that lets you bypass all the filters and that's where I run mine so I can't comment on how the amp sounds using the onboard crossovers. I've had this amp next to several much more expensive amps and I honestly couldn't *hear* a difference. Maybe you can. But if your ears are that good, then maybe you need to spend $1,000 for this much power and make yourself feel better. For my money though... this amp is a fantastic buy.

pickup1
01-13-2014, 07:44 AM
Nice test,always wondered about these amps...

RoYALbLUE08
01-13-2014, 09:01 AM
awersome! i always recommend this amp to everyone on budget builds!

argenis69
01-13-2014, 10:41 AM
Good job, i also wondered.

Slobalt
01-13-2014, 11:03 AM
thank you for the review

CaptainMaximus
01-13-2014, 12:20 PM
Great review

pickup1
01-13-2014, 12:50 PM
Going to sell it now?

AAAAAAA
01-15-2014, 01:47 PM
Great test.
PASMAG also reviewed\benched that model along with it's sibblings from Polk and hertz.

They do rated for sure, great amps.

globalminds_ent
01-15-2014, 02:33 PM
Great test.
PASMAG also reviewed\benched that model along with it's sibblings from Polk and hertz.

They do rated for sure, great amps.

Ppi is a epsilon amp, soundstream, power acoustik, Spl, and ppi

AAAAAAA
01-15-2014, 03:48 PM
Yes and Epsilon rebages just like most everyone else. NVX also has a version. This is not an epsilon design.

Chromatic
01-18-2014, 12:22 AM
Nice. I have the brother to this amp.. The PPI 900.5 -- Which is very, very similar in build to the 900.4 -- Has lower output per channel as it's a full range 5 channel amp that I'm driving four 6.5" mids, four 1" tweeters, and one 10" sub. Which changes the specs to:



900 Watt 5 Channel Amplifier
Channels 5 ch. Class D
RMS Power 4Ω 70x4 & 270x1
RMS Power 2Ω 115x4 & 440x1
RMS Power 4Ω Bridged 230x2 & 440x1


I personally run it at 70w RMS x 4 ,.. and 270w x 1 for the sub -- In my particular setup this has the four Mids/highs at 50% gain setting,.. and the Sub channel at 60% gain.

I can tell if I wanted to push it for more power,.. I could, and it likely wouldn't distort. But I keep it at rated (which I can't find any 12v vs 14.4v power ratings for it like the 900.4 has) -- So I assume these stats are for 14.4v.. But the way it feels/sounds and dials in -- It really seems like these stats 70x4 and 270x1 for the 5 channels are a 12v rating, because there is a significant difference when the car is on vs off when I dial in the amp .. IE: I believe it could be dialed in higher say 80-90 watts x 4 and 300-350wats x 1 without clipping/distortion at 14.4volts (ie: Car on, alternator running.. I have an active voltage gauge going in my vehicle and I run about 14.9v at idle.. and hover right around 15v when driving (alternator spinning faster of course).

But loved the review.. gives me some peace of mind with the amp. Even though I'm running the 900.5 -- I've looked at the guts of both and they are remarkably similar.

Exterior they are nearly identical,.. but of course the 900.5 has the extra sub channel, extra X-over/subsonic and little things like that due to it's design.

Curious -- on the 900.4 you tested.. when you really pushed it for any length of time.. how warm/hot did the amp get? I bought my 900.5 class D because I have it in a non ventilated area.. so needed an amp that would run cooler. I ran it 2 hours yesterday.. and opened the compartment it is in and felt of it.. and it was hot. Not too hot to leave your hand on it indefinitely.. but considerably hot.

Is this normal operation of 2-3 hours of heavy usage? Or with this amp,.. should I be cutting out the compartment door and wiring in a 200-240mm fan to actively cool the area? I'd prefer not to cut up the area if it being hot (not fry an egg hot.. but hot. after several hours) .. is completely within normal operating parameters for the amp.

Thanks for the review.. excellent stuff!!

Jeffdachef
01-18-2014, 08:06 AM
Is this normal operation of 2-3 hours of heavy usage? Or with this amp,.. should I be cutting out the compartment door and wiring in a 200-240mm fan to actively cool the area? I'd prefer not to cut up the area if it being hot (not fry an egg hot.. but hot. after several hours) .. is completely within normal operating parameters for the amp.



PPIs do run pretty hot depending on where you live, my 520 ion gets pretty hot on scorching summer days but haven't even come close to having any problems yet. Seeing how yours is in a closed compartment and its not egg frying hot yet then its a good thing considering its in and enclosed compartment. Go ahead and throw a strong fan in there for peace of mind, its not summer yet but its quickly approaching.

Chromatic
01-22-2014, 03:24 AM
PPIs do run pretty hot depending on where you live, my 520 ion gets pretty hot on scorching summer days but haven't even come close to having any problems yet. Seeing how yours is in a closed compartment and its not egg frying hot yet then its a good thing considering its in and enclosed compartment. Go ahead and throw a strong fan in there for peace of mind, its not summer yet but its quickly approaching.
jeffdachef ;

Yes,.. but still some cold weather left.. Don't remind me of the heat.. I live in the Southeast,.. and 9 months a year we are 90+ with high humidity.. so these 20's now are great, plus the grass is dormant! :D

Anyhow,... I took your advice as I was thinking about it from the first time I felt the amp;.. of installing a cooling fan.. So I had a few new Noctua 120mm large, low RPM, high CFM PWM fans laying around,.. and grabbed one, drilled some intake holes and wired it up via a fused relay at 3amps, and now the compartment is getting constant "fresh" cabin air. I was going to just put a fan inside, but thought if I was going to do it, I might as well maximize the fan and have it pull cooler cabin air.

These fans are literally the best on the market,.. but man they are ugly (made in Germany).. Here's it installed,.. I think I should be good with this flipping on when the headunit does, ya?

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5484/12061615715_f2450be372.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/111739693@N04/12061615715/)

Jeffdachef
01-22-2014, 11:49 AM
looks good, should have enough cool air to keep it moderate temps all around.

SilverSquared
01-25-2014, 07:31 AM
Jeff sent u a PM

Chromatic
01-27-2014, 09:40 PM
looks good, should have enough cool air to keep it moderate temps all around.

Thanks,.. I'm not finished with it "cosmetically" -- On the outside of the door I have about 1/4" holes drilled in a square pattern for intake,.. It doesn't look awful, but it was a temporary solution till the Grill/Vent I ordered comes in. When it arrives, I'm going to drill the holes out entirely, basically cutting a solid square out going on the outside edges of all the holes (which I purposefully drilled about about ~1/2" inside the outer edges of the Fan that is mounted inside the door (as shown) ). Then fabricate on that Grill/Vent I ordered to make it look much cleaner plus the airflow will go up by at least 50 percent.

However, as it functions right now; The amp stays literally *cool* 100% of the time. I repeated the 3 hour DVD "test" with car off, windows up that seemed , for whatever reason, to heat the amp up more than anything (music) or otherwise ever did. After 3 hours of constant usage it wasn't even warm with that fan. It's quite amazing what some airflow coming in from the cabin can do for Amp temps,.. It had to literally reduce the Amp's operating temperature by 40-50 degree's.. which is quite drastic to me.

Judging by my "Hand thermometer" I would say that amp was getting up to 80-90 degree's F. Hot enough to feel VERY warm, but not quite hot enough to be unable to leave your hand on the amp indefinitely (prior to installing the cooling fan). Now then amp can be a bit chilly as Metal will do.

Given the PPI 900.x series Class D amps, are well, Class D -- I assumed they should operate at cool temperatures and even being pressed for hours on end they shouldn't be anymore than lukewarm, not close to being "hot". I now think this is the "intended" design of these amps given with just a cooling fan introduced mine operating at max rated wattage staying so cool.

Again, to the OP, great review -- And to anyone considering PPI 900.x series amps, whether it's this amp the 900.4, 4 channel,.. or the amp I picked up for my needs the 900.5, 5 channel -- I highly recommend them. VERY affordable (My 5 channel was $209) and nice clean power. Pushing 70watts RMS x 4, and 270'ish watts (closer to 300.. x 1 for the single 10" sub) my gains are 40-50% on Front and Rear mids/highs,.. and 60% for the Sub (Which I do have at the absolute maximum this amp is rated for,.. the mids/highs I backed down ever so slightly by 0.25 to 0.5v to ensure absolutely no clipping) and I even pushed this amp at half rated wattage to all speakers just to experiment, and everything still sounded absolutely fantastic with SPL and SQ.

Roland
01-30-2014, 10:34 PM
I drove my Phantom's pretty hard. Summer in the South with no A/C, average 3 hours a day commuting. Many 8 hour one way Fla beach trips, tunes turned UP close to limits widows down. Amps under seats.The only thing i did for better cooling is using long machine bolts as legs to keep the amps 1/2" off the carpet. Great little amp IMO.

Chromatic
01-31-2014, 06:33 AM
I drove my Phantom's pretty hard. Summer in the South with no A/C, average 3 hours a day commuting. Many 8 hour one way Fla beach trips, tunes turned UP close to limits widows down. Amps under seats.The only thing i did for better cooling is using long machine bolts as legs to keep the amps 1/2" off the carpet. Great little amp IMO.

Yeah, I think they are tough.. And I am pretty sure if I left mine "uncooled" (didn't add that extra fan to the amp area) -- It would have survived just fine,.. but it just makes me feel better knowing it's operating very cool... and my summers are 100+ degree's where I live.. So it's going to be a different matter in a few months for this amp.

Glad to hear your experience with it was that it was tough as nails!

wotan
05-28-2014, 02:14 PM
I know this thread is a little old but I wanted to chime in and say that I run a p900.4 and a p600.2 in my boat. I push them hard at 2.5ohms in an unventilated environment and I've never had a problem.

Previously I had some old school kicker A/B amps in there that would get to egg-frying temperatures after a few hours.

The Phantom amps have been famous -- put out more power, smaller package and never seem to get hot enough to go into protect. I love these little guys!

Jshaf
07-30-2014, 11:42 PM
I have this amp and had it installed in my 2011 Camaro SS. it was truly very powerful and didn't have the gains all the way up. only problem was with interference on the radio stations. knocked out all the stations. tried trouble shooting every possibility to no avail. replaced it with an Alpine PDR-F50 and the interference went away. now I have a PPI paper weight.