SparkleShark
David Lee,

I am super impressed with your systems engineering approach with BASS BOSS. I was exposed to your systems through some friends in the Burning Man music and engineering community.

I do systems engineering with electric mutant vehicles and an important part of that includes sound engineering. I have been pushing the limits of battery powered sound systems in harsh environments for several years now and it's been extremely frustrating to work off audio equipment manufacturer's engineering "specifications". The live sound industry for all its faults appears to be significantly better than the car audio industry in this regard. The conundrum is that the car audio world is where you find DC capable equipment while the pro audio world is all AC. So I have been forced to use inverters to achieve well engineered sound, and while that works, it's added complexity and cost that should be unnecessary. It's cost I would rather allocate to better sound equipment like Bass Boss rather than expensive inverters.

So you seem like an excellent person to ask about the long standing itch I've had to ditch the inverter and run proaudio directly off DC battery voltage. I typically run 48VDC systems (40V-58V depending on battery state of charge) but that is primarily because high power inverters are available for that.

So my question is: how would one adapt your systems to run off DC voltage? Since I'm not necessarily tied to 48VDC, what would the ideal DC voltage supply be to power BASS BOSS amplifiers?

Ultimately I think this affects a lot of people in the Burning Man sound community and elsewhere. Even if the ultimate source of power is from generators, it has been my experience that a battery stage is better suited to handle the instantaneous power demands of sound reproduction. Skipping the 5%-15% power loss through the inverter stage is just an added benefit for battery capacity.

Thank you for any insight you may have,
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David Lee
Thanks, I'm glad to hear you like the gear! 

You're right about the losses and costs of inverters but unfortunately the approach to engineering an amp to run on 120-240V AC is different from what's best for running on DC. There are 2 ways to go about running a system: Build it to run on DC using premium automotive amplifiers or build it to run on AC using premium professional amplifiers.  Most amplifiers are optimized to run on low-voltage DC or designed for higher voltage AC.  

The trouble with higher voltage DC isn't that it's not better, just that its not practical. There simply isn't enough demand for these products to make building them cost-effective.  The cost of big inverters is still relatively reasonable and the cost of 120V generators is also very reasonable. The benefit of using professional 120-240V amplification is that the system components can be used in any environment on the grid or with a generator, not just where the high-voltage DC supply is available. A high-voltage DC supply is currently an expensive and heavy option. Maybe Elon Musk and the electric car industry will change that but in the here and now, it's only cost effective to look at the available options.  The automotive, computer and electrical supply industries bring massive resources to bear in those areas and consequently lower the cost to manufacture those items.  Going a different way means giving up the cost benefits associated with manufacturing at a higher volume.  

In short, the cost in dollars and amps to run inverters or generators is currently lower than the cost to develop or adapt amplifiers to run on high-voltage DC.  Let's hope that changes with improvements in battery, photovoltaic and potential new technologies! 
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