As of today, July 27th 2015, Midwestspl will be no longer allowing Brazilian designed amplifiers ( Stetsom, Taramp, Sound Digital ) in any of our clamped power classes.
Reason - These amplifiers produce a high RFI noise that affects Termlab.
These amplifiers ( if you want to call them that ) use a different design than a traditional Korean amplifier. Some have said that these amplifiers could be considered "non-audio" and even compared them to how a welder works.
We have tested several of these amplifiers and have had no consistent measurements. One thing that is consistent is these types of amplifiers do not work.
As an organization, we want to make sure that we provide our competitors with the most fair form of competition possible. Allowing these types of amplifiers would not allow this.
We also want as an organization to have the least impact on our competitors. As a committee, we looked at each of our region's competitor base. To our knowledge, very few of these amplifiers are currently being used in Midwestspl. ( 2-3 maybe ). By removing these amplifiers from our power classes, we might upset 1-2 competitors, but we'll make hundreds happy knowing we're making this as fair as possible.
Exactly Which Amplifiers? Stetsom, Taramp and Sound Digital are the major ones. This is not saying that these are the only poorly made amplifiers out there.. ANY amplifier that we feel is unmeasurable will be put into an open / non-power class. Termlab shows us the information we need to determine this. We can also use a Fluke clamp to double check.
Can These Amplifiers Still Be Used? Yes, you may continue using these amplifiers in any of the Midwestspl's unlimited power classes and music classes. Basically any class that does not require the clamping method to determine wattage.
What Happens If An Amplifier Is Unmeasurable? Knowing ahead of time which amplifiers are not allowed is the key. This saves time. During competition if we feel an amplifier is unmeasurable, we'll take some simple steps to determine this.
Can We Just Use Flukes On These Amps? No. The currently Termlab Magnum utilizes a power display screen. Competitors can see each others power in real time on the screen. Using Fluke clamps would not allow your wattage to be shown and would be unfair to the other competitors.
Also, using hand held Flukes is not correct wattage as we've discussed here. Volts X Amps is called VA ( not wattage ). Termlab Magnum uses real time/instantaneous power readings. If a person used hand held Flukes for measuring "wattage", they would be at a disadvantage because the person measuring real time/instantaneous could actually produce more power.
We can however, use a hand held Fluke to compare Fluke amperage vs Termlab amperage if the judging staff needs to verify the legitimacy of an amplifier.
I want to thank those that have tested these amplfiers for us - Mike Ullrich, Justin Morrision, Matt Rennells & Kevin Ecker. These guys have tested over and over and have helped prove that these types of amplifiers do not belong in any power class. Routinely Kevin Ecker has provided us with lots of data in his testing, as well as kept up with other competitors around the world that can not get these amplifiers to work. Kevin has sent us countless screen shots, photos and links to online forums where people have discussed this. Kevin, thanks for your hard work! Because of you this decision wouldn't have been possible.
In conclusion - yes, you may still use these amplifiers, just not in power classes.
Sorry for any inconvenience. We feel this is the best for the organization and its competitors at this time. We will continually research these amplifiers and if there is a way to allow them back into competition where they perform consistently then we will do so.