In a word, Yes!
Traditional camping generators run at a constant speed, no matter what level of power consumption you're using. The output of traditional AC generators is either a square wave in inexpensive units or a modified sine wave in more expensive units with wave shaping circuitry. Traditional camping generators usually have minimal sound proofing, often limited to a muffler and forest service approved spark arrestor resulting in sound levels in excess of 70db. Keep in mind that decibel is a logarithmic scale and the perceived sound level DOUBLES for every 3db measured, so 70db is 16 times louder than 58db.
The term Inverter Generator applies to a class of generators which have an onboard computer controlled DC-AC inverter that senses what you have plugged into the outlets and automatically adjusts the engine speed only to the level you need to give you quality power. To help ensure consistent power at any speed, the generator produces DC power, and the computer controlled on-board inverter converts it to high-quality AC output.
This process not only helps maintain steady, super-accurate power, but it also cleans the power output quality to a level that is similar to what you experience in your home, protecting sensitive electronic devices and appliances. The Inverter Generator uses it's computer-controlled technology to continuously adjust engine speed to your power needs. This combined with its premium muffler and sound reduction enclosure create a much quieter generator, typically under 58db at 20 feet.
All this additional design and features included in Inverter Generators explains the additional cost to you. DebW got a real deal (steal) on the Lifan 3300, that is why I assumed it was a traditional camping generator (which Lifan does make), I should have checked ... my mistake. If you check your Yamaha and I believe Honda Inverter Generators you will find that they are made in PRC (China) like just about everything these days.
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