16 December 2009|
|Rockford Punch Overload PS300-12|
I connected the Punch Overload into my system, and played a couple dozen of my favorite subwoofer evaluation tracks. I have to say, I was expecting a relatively compromised system, simply because it’s quite small, the enclosure is plastic after all, and maybe I’m just used to having a lot more control and adjustability. But to my surprise, the system actually sounded excellent. The ABS enclosure was dead quiet, and I never heard one rattle or creak. This is actually a very good enclosure, and because it’s made of ABS instead of MDF, its lightweight and is immune to moisture problems. As it turns out, the amount of EQ built into the amplifier and the choice of crossover points, combined with the enclosure tuning, and this natural sounding paper cone woofer, all came together exceptionally well. Fast, detailed bass lines from the late great Jaco Pastorius were reproduced with very good clarity and definition. The system plays quite low too, as Don Dorsey’s pipe organ tracks showed. Of course it does give up a little bit of very low frequency output to a sealed system, but what it loses there it more than makes up for in increased output above about 30Hz. Rock and Rap music really make the Punch Overload system shine, and whether you listen to 50 Cent or Keith Urban, the system works very well. Kick drum notes were natural sounding with the batter strike and the resonance reproduced faithfully. I did occasionally wish for a bit more gain in the amplifier, as it seemed to take a fair bit more signal to drive the PS300-12 than my main amplifier. The system didn’t lack power by any means, it just needed more input signal than normal.
On The Bench
Of course while I had things apart, I took the opportunity to measure the amplifiers performance, and I’m happy to report it exceeded all the published specs. The amp developed 319 watts, and distortion was very low at 0.07%. The signal to noise ratio also measured very good at -92dBA referenced to 2V of output. Efficiency was decent too, with a full power efficiency of just over 67% at full 2 ohm power. The Overload system isn’t likely to overload your charging system as it drew a maximum of 33.0 amperes of current at full power.
As I mentioned previously, the electronics in the amp have been massaged to suit this specific application, which is a benefit you don’t get on an amplifier that may have to drive everything from a pair of 4” coaxes to 15” woofers. The amp has a built-in preset EQ curve, as well as a subsonic filter, and a low pass crossover. Because the engineers knew exactly what woofer and enclosure would be used, they could simply design the right settings into the amp, and save everyone the hassle of trying to figure it out for themselves.
The PS300-12 “Punch Overload” system is a great solution for anyone who wants authentic sub-bass performance but is reluctant to either spend a lot of time and money trying to design something themselves, or if you simply need to add a “real woofer” to an otherwise decent sounding system. While not cheap at $799.99, you know you are going to get a system that works properly and you may end up saving money compared to what it could cost if you have to re-do things to get the performance you’re looking for. It’s a good looking and relatively small system that will fit in almost any application. But the best part of it, as it should be, is the way it sounds. My buddy now understands what his OEM system was missing, but with a Rockford Fosgate PS300-12 Overload system in his trunk, he’s now bumpin’ with the best of them.