My test: Populus Audio 3500.1 - Car Audio Classifieds!
Car Audio Classifieds!  

Go Back   Car Audio Classifieds! > Car Audio Help & Discussion > Testing & Scientific Data Discussion

Testing & Scientific Data Discussion Results from Speaker and amplifier Testing


LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-06-2014, 06:54 AM
TaylorFade's Avatar
SPL Retard
Activity Longevity
0/20 18/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssss12327
Location: Louisiana
Thanks: 265
Thanked 2,855 Times in 1,641 Posts
iTrader: (67)
Feedback Score: 67 reviews
Default My test: Populus Audio 3500.1

I know what you're thinking. Because I was thinking it too...

WTF is a Populus?

Well, Populus Audio is a start up by some guys just like you and me. Regular dudes that want to bring bitchin', high quality amps to market at fair prices. Sounds noble. If they're serious about the amps and the prices, that is. From their Facebook, their motto is "For the People, by the People." Or something like that. And as a matter of fact, the model name of this amp is the "TPA3500". That being, "The People's Amp".

After some digging, it seems I knew one of the guys involved already. That's cool. And, it turns out, I'm pretty darn familiar with the buildhouse they're using. And you probably are too. They're making no secret of the fact that their amps are from the Korean powerhouse Zenon. And how much did you say these were selling for? $630? Oh... we might have something here. Let's see what we the People are getting...

Introducing the Populus Audio TPA3500.1

Rated- 875w @ 4 ohms and 12.8v
1,750w @ 2 ohms and 12.8v
3500w @ 1 ohm and 12.8v

Price - TBD but the preorder is $650ish

First impressions... holy crap this thing is sexy. I friggin LOVE this sink for some reason. It's so damn clean. After talking with the guys at Populus, I found out that it's just a proto sink. I told them not to change a damn thing. It's polished but not shiny. It has a slight curve to the surface and I believe the logo will be engraved in the aluminum.

The end caps are plastic and double as the mounting feet. Not the first time I've seen this arrangement so I assume it's fine. It's probably also less expensive than other methods and that's cool with me. Overall, this amp isn't as heavy as some other amps in its class, but I still get a good feeling from it. It still *seems* sturdy and well built. It just doesn't have as much heat sink as others since it's not ribbed and not as thick as we're used to.

Pots are plastic. I'm ok with it because if this really is a "people's amp", that's probably what I'd use too. Keep costs down on bells and whistles and use the money where it counts. I assume the "BR" RCA's are for strapping although it lacks a switch we're used to seeing.

Dual power and grounds. Crazy. One set of speaker outs. Ugh. Well, whatever. I guess I can live with it or get some Toolmaker thingys. Set screws are Phillips head. Again... that's ok. They've grown on me by now.

I'm sorry for these pics. They're upside down and rotated. I realize it's very off-putting.

Guts. I'm told that this is Zenon's very latest offering and that this amp doesn't share a board with anything that you're already familiar with. Yet. Holy hell my bench is a mess.

So enough with the window shopping. Let's get to it. Unfortunately due to my schedule, my time with the amp ran out before I could get "clamps" and SPL testing done. So, for now, resistive testing only will have to suffice.

Unloaded. 72v. That's a lot of voltage.

5 ohm resistive. You'll notice that the AC voltage is higher here than in the unloaded pic. That's because I set it at 13.8v and this is at 14.4v. It wasn't until after my testing was done that I found out the amp was rated at 12.8v so I was trying to get the amp at 14.4v.

That's 1,065w @ 5 ohms & 14.4v with 83% efficiency.

I went straight to 1 ohm. Sorry, I know y'all were just DYING to see what it did at 2 ohms.

3,550 @ 1 ohm and 12.8v. Amperage draw measured but not pictured. 73% efficient at 1 ohm and 12.8v.

4,225w @ 1 ohm and 14.3v.

Did I mention that it's 18v stable? Bonus. I wasn't set up for 18v, so I ran it up as high as I safely could. The scope looks a little wonky here because it's auto-ranging and it was switching between ranges.

5,270w @ 1 ohm and 15.9v

Rated - 875w @ 4 & 12.8v. Did 1,065 @ 5 and 14.4.
Rated - 3500w @ 1 & 12.8v. Did 3,550w @ 1 & 12.8v
Bonus round - 5,200+ at 15.9v.

That's just lovely. It warms the cockles of my heart when an amp makes rated at 12v. It being 18v stable is just gravy.

Ok. Well, that's my time with the Populus TPA3500. And honestly... I was a bit sad that my time with it was done. I developed a little crush on the amp. Between the price, the performance and the look of it, I really like this amp. A lot. Obviously this isn't a durability test and it takes a lot of time and some serious beatdowns for an amp to really earn my trust, but since I know the buildhouse, I am pretty confident in the durability. Which, as most of you know, is the most important thing to me. When the next batch comes in, one of these amps will definitely be mine.

From what I understand, they offer an 1800w and a 100w x 4 also. I *believe* they are bringing a 6500w to market too, but you'll have to ask them about that. I'm not sure if they have a website, but if you're interested in this amp- and I don't blame you if you are, you can hit them up on FB. Tell 'em ol' T-Fade sent ya.
4x world champ
4x world record holder

Welcome to the world of SPL.

Where nothing makes any fucking sense.
Music and movies are art. Audio is a science.
- Floyd E. Toole
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to TaylorFade For This Useful Post:
150orbetter (03-06-2014), B-Shot (03-06-2014), cjvue (03-06-2014), dr3wzrdroid1 (03-16-2014), Haelmuscle (03-07-2014), regizzle (03-06-2014)
Sponsored Links
Old 03-06-2014, 07:06 AM
djscrubb's Avatar
Captain $hit disturber
Activity Longevity
0/20 17/20
Today Posts
0/11 sssss2332
Location: Pembina ND
Thanks: 232
Thanked 221 Times in 196 Posts
iTrader: (20)
Feedback Score: 20 reviews

Damn tfade I read they were sending you the amp. Figured it was just a marketing ploy. Smart ppl as always thanks for the test man
Sometimes I just want to drive my shit into a shop and hand them a fistful of money and be like... "Here. Do this shit."
I have zero problems with people having a shop or other enthusiast do their build. But it's a little disrespectful they take credit for it and/or don't correct people when they assume the owner did the work. Happens all the time.
4 zv4 18:2 ct7k: c pillar wall(not sealed off)156.11:
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-06-2014, 08:20 AM
IS300IAdeathRow's Avatar
Elite Member
Activity Longevity
0/20 16/20
Today Posts
0/11 sssss3693
Location: New York
Age: 35
Thanks: 385
Thanked 259 Times in 217 Posts
iTrader: (42)
Feedback Score: 42 reviews

Seems pretty promising, beefcake guts to it too.
2013 Toyota Highlander
Build to come.....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-06-2014, 08:23 AM
jigsizzle's Avatar
Jet Life
Activity Longevity
0/20 14/20
Today Posts
0/11 sssss2274
Location: Tulsa
Thanks: 120
Thanked 204 Times in 187 Posts
iTrader: (14)
Feedback Score: 14 reviews

Looks great...

Sent From Oklahoma
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-06-2014, 09:04 AM
Elite Member
Activity Longevity
0/20 14/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssssss767
Location: illinois
Thanks: 75
Thanked 71 Times in 57 Posts
iTrader: (0)
Feedback Score: 0 reviews

Thanks for another great job T. Be sure to let us know when you have more time with this bad boy.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-06-2014, 09:24 AM
massivespl's Avatar
Elite Member
Activity Longevity
0/20 17/20
Today Posts
0/11 sssss8409
Location: michigan
Thanks: 410
Thanked 735 Times in 568 Posts
iTrader: (39)
Feedback Score: 39 reviews

sweet. nice looking amp
C-pillar flat wall best score: 158.6db
1 vital power 700.1 @ .33ohm
4 NSV3 18s
8 pwx crescendo 10s
Quad excessive amperage 350alts
4 juicebox 3100s
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-06-2014, 09:46 AM
xnewbx's Avatar
Elite Member
Activity Longevity
0/20 13/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssssss985
Location: missouri
Age: 26
Thanks: 100
Thanked 59 Times in 46 Posts
iTrader: (3)
Feedback Score: 3 reviews

Pre order price is good. Wonder what the typical cost is.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-06-2014, 09:54 AM
Beatdown337's Avatar
Elite Member
Activity Longevity
0/20 19/20
Today Posts
0/11 sssss1535
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
Thanks: 43
Thanked 59 Times in 45 Posts
iTrader: (3)
Feedback Score: 3 reviews

I like what im seeing here. Im one of those guys who couldn't care less what the heatsink looks like. Guts look beastly
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-06-2014, 09:59 AM
FLAstrongman's Avatar
Elite Member
Activity Longevity
0/20 17/20
Today Posts
0/11 sssss1156
Location: Ft Myers FL
Thanks: 76
Thanked 64 Times in 47 Posts
iTrader: (21)
Feedback Score: 21 reviews

hurry up and ship me this amp already lol
Custom box builds for FL:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Refs: diyma-sold to:Mazda3SQ dude CACO- Sold to: Ajax_6154, brandonb1029, TeejayBee, xx-wade-xx, traded with: papito FLSPL- Bought from:98chevySPL, JBLCAMRY, traded with:97montecarlo, thumpenranger
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-06-2014, 10:22 AM
CACO Member
Activity Longevity
0/20 12/20
Today Posts
0/11 ssssss122
Location: north carolina
Thanks: 2
Thanked 18 Times in 11 Posts
iTrader: (2)
Feedback Score: 2 reviews

I don't know... Another $700-800 3500W amp... do we really need another lol? Thank you very much for the testing though.

I would like to see someone really break the mold and offer that amp at a $500 (or lower) price. It will happen eventually, just a matter of who does it first (remember how much the Punch 200 or Orion HCCA cost in 1996 for just a couple hundred watts lol). I always hold out hope that one of these new companies will be the one to force the change.

Nice looking amp though
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to ncochran For This Useful Post:
art1618 (03-06-2014), macsdad (03-06-2014), ryanm1987 (03-06-2014)
Sponsored Links


Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Car Audio Classifieds! forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Where you live
Level of Car Audio Knowledge
What's your level of car audio?


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Populus Audio tacomaguy1 General Car Audio Discussion & Questions 57 02-25-2014 03:04 AM
My test: Incriminator Audio 80.1 TaylorFade Testing & Scientific Data Discussion 144 01-06-2014 10:27 AM
[FOUND] WTB: Aq 3500, 3500.1, saz 3500 Zooook Wanting to Buy (WTB) 30 02-09-2011 11:41 PM
6 iraggi alts 1000amp load test&single 380 test 98HOEONSIXEZ Car Audio Videos 21 06-11-2010 10:24 AM

» Amps
American Bass
ARC Audio
Audio Art
Audio Gods
Boston Acoustics
Cascade (CAE)
CDT Audio
Cerwin Vega
Clif Designs
Critical Mass
DB Drive
DC Audio
DC Power
Digital Designs
Elemental Designs
Fi Car Audio
Fix My Speaker
Ground Zero
Image Dynamics
JL Audio
Knu Konceptz
Kole Audio
Kove Audio
Lightning Audio
Linear Power
MA Audio
Massive Audio
MB Quart
Mobile Authority
Niche Audio
O2 Audio
Ohio Generator
Oxygen Audio
OZ Audio
PG Audio
Phase Linear
Phoenix Gold
Power Acoustik
Precision Power
RE AUdio
Rockford Fosgate
SPL Dynamics
Sundown Audio
Swiss Audio
TC Sounds
TREO Engineering
US Acoustics
US Amps
Zed Audio
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Amp Guts
amplifier, amp guts, ampguts, car audio classifieds, speakers and subs for sale with listings of 12 volt sound systems. Security systems for sale for aftermarket car audio equipment with amplifier and amps for sale
Car Audio Forum
car audio forum, moble audio, car stereo, wholesale car audio, 12 volt, with, amplifier, amp, subwoofer, sound quality, buy car audio, and sell automotive stereo systems for cars
Car Audio Sound Quality Forum
Sound QUality science based car audio forum, amplifier, subs and speaker design, fabrication help, sound systems forum, aftermarket car audio website for sound quality.
Car Stereo Forum
DIYMA car audio stereo forum for 12 volt car audio subwoofer and amplifier systems that have sound quality with wholesale car audio products.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:07 AM.

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.