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Phoenix Gold Ti1500.1 Amplifier
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Regular readers will recall a very common problem technicians have when measuring the power of many Class D amplifiers. All Class D amplifiers have “carrier noise” in their output signal, which is caused by the high frequency, square “carrier” waveforms used to generate the audio output. While this noise is well above any audible frequencies, (typically 50-80kHz) it is measured by test equipment, and is easily seen on an oscilloscope.

In the case of the Ti1500.1, the amplifier had quite a bit of this high frequency noise on its outputs, which did show up in my measurements. But, fear not, because this noise is well above the audible spectrum, and most certainly higher than any subwoofer could ever reproduce, for daily use it’s simply not a problem. That is, until you attempt to measure power using a standard distortion/noise specification as a limit. The industry standard is 1.0%, but this limit is difficult for many Class D amplifiers to stay below, because of the high frequency noise they generate.

As a result, I chose not to use the usual 1.0% THD limit, instead selecting the point at which the amplifier begins to clip, which is a more realistic real world indication of the power limits of the amp in the normal application.

With that said, the Ti1500.1 is a very good performing amplifier, and makes gobs of power. The controls and filters worked precisely as advertised, and because of the excellent efficiency in the design, even after repeated power tests at high current levels, the amplifier did not overheat. The over and under voltage protection worked perfectly, and so did the short circuit protection when I shorted the outputs at over 500 watts of power. I put the Ti1500.1 through its paces and actually tried to break it, but it handled everything I threw at it in stride, so all indications are it will be dead reliable in your car.

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If the Ti1500.1 is any indication, the Phoenix Gold brand is ready for a rebirth and is doing the legacy of 20 years ago proud. Just like the old M series of the 1990’s, the performance is strong, and the fit and finish is excellent.

And don’t think for a minute the new owners of the brand are only paying lip service to those legacy products. When I was poking around inside the Ti1500.1, I found a little text that reads; “I love the smell of burnt voice coils in the morning.” Rumor has it that similar scripts will be found in other models as well.


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