Damping factor

Hi folks,

Bass response question:

Does the damping factor (control?) of an amp have any effect on that of a dedicated subwoofer amp connected via variable line out? 

Or am I hearing something different?

My office system has a Hegel H 190 and a pair of Magnepan LRSs. The variable line out on the Hegel is connected to a dedicated subwoofer amp which powers 4 subwoofers.

I got back a Michael Yee Audio PA-1 SS 100wpc amp from Michael Yee sent in for repairs and some mods to the high end frequency response.

Over the holidays, I swapped out the Hegel and hooked up the PA-1 using a Bryston BP26 preamp. Variable line outs to the subwoofer amp. Same source (basic streaming from laptop)

After listening for just a few minutes, the first thing I heard was a noticeable difference in the bass response. 

At anything above low level listening, it seemed fuller and more enveloping. But not as tight (fast?). 

At anything above moderate levels, I had to get up and slightly reduce gain on the subwoofer amp.

Swapped the Hegel back in, listened for a few days then switched back to the Bryston/PA-1. 

Is this because the Hegel and PA-1 have very different damping factors that affect the subwoofer amp?

I tend to enjoy the difference depending on what's playing. 

Can't tell if there is an overall preference yet.

Just curious about what is behind this difference.


Thanks everyone!




It sounds like your subwoofer amplifier hasn't changed, so you're wondering why the sound of the bass has changed so dramatically.

The digital processing of the signal will different between the Hegal and Brysten which is what I assume the low level connections to the subwoofer amps are connected to.  Also, the upper bass response does have a sonic impact to the overall sound and I'm sure that's also a factor.