Amplifier current draw from battery -- Dual vs Polk Class D


Jan 2, 2012
Holland, MI
I've been playing with my new hand held digital meter which has the clamp feature that reads DC current (non-contact). I'm testing two different Class D 2-channel amps that are competing for a spot on my boat (outside cockpit). The first is the Dual XPR-84D which is CEA rated at 80Wx2 at 4 ohms and 120Wx2 at 2 ohms at 1% THD. The other is a Polk PAD2000.2 which is conservatively rated at 125Wx2 at 4 ohms and 250x2 at 2 ohms at 0.1% THD. I plan to drive four full range speakers with the amp, which include a pair of Morel Maximo 6x9 in sealed boxes and a pair of Sonance Moderno M-6 4 ohm 2-way outdoor speakers. Not only will I be playing music while moving, but also when the engines are shut down and just anchored in the water, possibly for hours at a time. Using my new meter, I discovered that at "idle" with the amps turned on but no music playing, the Dual pulls around 0.7 amps and the Polk pulls 1.25 amps. At sound what I would call high sound levels (beyond what my 58 year old ears care to withstand for very long if it were inside of a car), the current on the Dual spikes to just over 2 amps and the Polk is just over 3 amps. Doing the math, at 13 volts, that's 26 and 39 watts respectively, which is way under what both amps are rated. Those numbers are input amps, so output amps would be even less due to inherent amp designs. Since I'm not powering a subwoofer, it seems that even the Dual is more than enough power. At this point I'm leaning toward keeping the Dual and returning the Polk, since there's no way I can use that much power, and the extra current draw will reduce listening time when anchored. It also seems that the Polk is slightly "brighter" musically, but since I can't A-B them directly, it may be subjective. I will say that I'm quite impressed with both of them, especially for their physical size, and the Polk is just a monster.

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