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Title 16Chapter ISubchapter D → Part 432

Title 16: Commercial Practices


§432.1   Scope.
§432.2   Required disclosures.
§432.3   Standard test conditions.
§432.4   Optional disclosures.
§432.5   Prohibited disclosures.
§432.6   Liability for violation.

Authority: 38 Stat. 717, as amended; (15 U.S.C. 41-58).

Source: 39 FR 15387, May 3, 1974, unless otherwise noted.

§432.1   Scope.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, this part shall apply whenever any power output (in watts or otherwise), power band or power frequency response, or distortion capability or characteristic is represented, either expressly or by implication, in connection with the advertising, sale, or offering for sale, in commerce as “commerce” is defined in the Federal Trade Commission Act, of sound power amplification equipment manufactured or sold for home entertainment purposes, such as for example, radios, record and tape players, radio-phonograph and/or tape combinations, component audio amplifiers, self-powered speakers for computers, multimedia systems and sound systems, and the like.

(b) Representations shall be exempt from this part if all representations of performance characteristics referred to in paragraph (a) of this section clearly and conspicuously disclose a manufacturer's rated power output and that rated output does not exceed two (2) watts (per channel or total).

(c) It is an unfair method of competition and an unfair or deceptive act or practice within the meaning of section 5(a)(1) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45(a)(1)) to violate any applicable provision of this part.

[39 FR 15387, May 3, 1974, as amended at 63 FR 37235, July 9, 1998]

§432.2   Required disclosures.

(a) Whenever any direct or indirect representation is made of the power output, power band or power frequency response, or distortion characteristics of sound power amplification equipment, the following disclosure shall be made clearly, conspicuously, and more prominently than any other representations or disclosures permitted under this part: The manufacturer's rated minimum sine wave continuous average power output, in watts, per channel (if the equipment is designed to amplify two or more channels simultaneously) at an impedance of 8 ohms, or, if the amplifier is not designed for an 8-ohm impedance, at the impedance for which the amplifier is primarily designed, measured with all associated channels fully driven to rated per channel power. Provided, however, when measuring maximum per channel output of self-powered combination speaker systems that employ two or more amplifiers dedicated to different portions of the audio frequency spectrum, such as those incorporated into combination subwoofer-satellite speaker systems, only those channels dedicated to the same audio frequency spectrum should be considered associated channels that need be fully driven simultaneously to rated per channel power.

(b) In addition, whenever any direct or indirect representation is made of the power output, power band or power frequency response, or distortion characteristics of sound power amplification equipment in any product brochure or manufacturer specification sheet, the following disclosures also shall be made clearly, conspicuously, and more prominently than any other representations or disclosures permitted under this part:

(1) The manufacturer's rated power band or power frequency response, in Hertz (Hz), for the rated power output required to be disclosed in paragraph (a) of this section; and

(2) The manufacturer's rated percentage of maximum total harmonic distortion at any power level from 250 mW to the rated power output, and its corresponding rated power band or power frequency response.

[65 FR 81239, Dec. 22, 2000]

§432.3   Standard test conditions.

For purposes of performing the tests necessary to make the disclosures required under §432.2 of this part:

(a) The power line voltage shall be 120 volts AC (230 volts when the equipment is made for foreign sale or use, unless a different nameplate rating is permanently affixed to the product by the manufacturer in which event the latter figure would control), RMS, using a sinusoidal wave containing less than 2 percent total harmonic content. In the case of equipment designed for battery operation only, tests shall be made with the battery power supply for which the particular equipment is designed and such test voltage must be disclosed under the required disclosures of §432.2 of this part. If capable of both AC and DC battery operation, testing shall be with AC line operation;

(b) The AC power line frequency for domestic equipment shall be 60 Hz and 50 Hz for equipment made for foreign sale or use;

(c) The amplifier shall be preconditioned by simultaneously operating all channels at one-eighth of rated power output for one hour using a sinusoidal wave at a frequency of 1,000 Hz; provided, however, that for amplifiers utilized as a component in a self-powered subwoofer system, the sinusoidal wave used as a preconditioning signal may be any frequency within the amplifier's intended operating bandwidth that will allow the amplifier to be driven to one-eighth of rated power for one hour;

(d) The preconditioning and testing shall be in still air and an ambient temperature of at least 77 °F (25 °C);

(e) Rated power shall be obtainable at all frequencies within the rated power band without exceeding the rated maximum percentage of total harmonic distortion after input signals at said frequencies have been continuously applied at full rated power for not less than five (5) minutes at the amplifier's auxiliary input, or if not provided, at the phono input.

(f) At all times during warm-up and testing, tone loudness-contour and other controls shall be preset for the flattest response.

[39 FR 15387, May 3, 1974, as amended at 65 FR 81240, Dec. 22, 2000]

§432.4   Optional disclosures.

Other operating characteristics and technical specifications not required in §432.2 of this part may be disclosed: Provided:

(a) That any other power output is rated by the manufacturer, is expressed in minimum watts per channel, and such power output representation(s) complies with the provisions of §432.2 of this part; except that if a peak or other instantaneous power rating, such as music power or peak power, is represented under this section, the maximum percentage of total harmonic distortion (see §432.2(d) of this part) may be disclosed only at such rated output: And provided further,

(b) That all disclosures or representations made under this section are less conspicuously, and prominently made than the disclosures required in §432.2 of this part; and

(c) The rating and testing methods or standards used in determining such representations are disclosed, and well known and generally recognized by the industry at the time the representations or disclosures are made, are neither intended nor likely to deceive or confuse the consumers and are not otherwise likely to frustrate the purpose of this part.

Note 1: For the purpose of paragraph (b) of this section, optional disclosures will not be considered less prominent if they are either bold faced or are more than two-thirds the height of the disclosures required by §432.2.

Note 2: Use of the asterisk in effecting any of the disclosures required by §432.2 and permitted by §432.4 shall not be deemed conspicuous disclosure.

[39 FR 15387, May 3, 1974; 39 FR 17838, May 21, 1974]

§432.5   Prohibited disclosures.

No performance characteristics to which this part applies shall be represented or disclosed if they are not obtainable as represented or disclosed when the equipment is operated by the consumer in the usual and normal manner without the use of extraneous aids.

§432.6   Liability for violation.

If the manufacturer or, in the case of foreign made products, the importer or domestic sales representative of a foreign manufacturer, of any product covered by this part furnishes the information required or permitted under this part, then any other seller of the product shall not be deemed to be in violation of §432.5 of this part due to his reliance upon or transmittal of the written representations of the manufacturer or importer if such seller has been furnished by the manufacturer, importer, or sales representative a written certification attesting to the accuracy of the representations to which this part applies: And provided further, That such seller is without actual knowledge of the violation contained in said written certification.

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