What is the CAF?
The CAF is a container for amplifier performance metrics. We at SynAudCon developed it for use in our training programs, but we are happy to offer its use to the audio community in general.
Is the CAF a Standard?
No, but it doesn’t need to be. Most of the specs it contains are described by Standards. We don’t need new methods for testing amplifiers. We need a way to present and interpret the results of the standard tests that we’ve had for decades. The CAF collects all of this information in one place, and allows apples-to-apples comparisons between amplifier makes and models.
Why can’t I compare power ratings from Manufacturer A with those of Manufacturer B?
There are many ways to test amplifiers, which is why it is so difficult to compare various makes and models. The CAF levels the playing field by presenting a basket of Standard tests to be performed on the amplifier, and a freeware data viewer app for viewing the results. CAFViewer™ includes an easy-to-understand data matrix. The tests are well-defined, broadly accepted, and not controversial (mostly!).
Who does the testing?
All CAF testing to date has been performed by Pro Sound Testing, Inc., a sibling of Synergetic Audio Concepts, Inc. We are open to establishing other test sites, so long as the data integrity and CAF process is not compromised.
What about loudspeaker data?
The CAF has a sibling – the Common Loudspeaker Format (CLF). The CLF was established in 2005 and is supported by over 70 manufacturers. The success of the CLF inspired the development of the CAF.
Why would a manufacturer use the CAF?
Simple – to assure that their amplifiers are meaningfully compared with other amplifiers and are properly deployed. Their tech support departments spend valuable time helping designers figure out the answers to amplifier questions. A CAF data file provides the answers. Errors are avoided. Credibility is established and preserved, which means more sales. Support for the CAF says “We’re serious about amplifiers.”