So I saw LadyAda released a new amplifier:http://www.adafruit.com/products/1552
But her comments in the video confused me. I have a 3W amplifier on my boards. And I would in no way refer to it as "loud". More like "any quieter than this and I might as well not bother, so why the hell is almost every speaker 8 ohms?"
In a quiet room, 3W is okay... but not awesome. And definitely nowhere near earsplitting volume. Hell, even 15W isn't earsplitting. Standing close to a 20W? Okay now you can say that hurts your ears.
So what's she on about here? Specifically, what's this about gain?
My understanding of how amplifiers work is this... Assuming I have the input set up properly, if I input +2.5V then the amp outputs 5V. Into a 4 ohm speaker that gives me 2-3W. I'm not sure of the exact amount. Furthermore, my DAC will output 2.5v if the sample I input to it is at the maximum value.
Given this.... assuming I am inputting audio data where the volume has already been maxed out... By maximizing the peaks, and possibly applying some compression... What would a 24DB do for me except to create horrible clipping on my output? I'm not even sure what 24B boost means in terms of how much the voltage is increased, but since the amp would be limited to a 5V output, a boost to the input when the input is already telling it to go to 5V is not desirable. Cause then when you're telling it to go to 2.5v it's going to boost that as high as it can go as well and that's where your clipping comes from.
So am I missing something here? Am I right that this boost is only useful if the input voltage is low, due to how the dac or input to the amp is configured or due to the sound file itself? Cause if so I don't see how that translates to a measly 3W amp hurting your ears. Unless maybe she's talking about if you're wearing headphones?