Speaker wattage less than receiver's output wattage - bad?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Aaron Gould, May 4, 2004.

  1. Aaron Gould

    Aaron Gould Stunt Coordinator

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    I recently upgraded my theater's receiver, and am moving the old one to our second TV room. The old receiver is an Onkyo TX-DS656, and its manual claims that the speakers must be minimum 85 watts.

    What would happen if I attached, say, a 60W set of speakers to it? Would the speakers blow because they can't handle the extra 25 watts forced into them?
     
  2. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    No, they wouldn't, unless you tried.

    Typically you use between .01 watts and 1. Only if you crank it during a loud scene will the amp throw big numbers. Musical spikes come and go quickly, but I suppose I'd be careful about loudness.

    Good Luck -
     
  3. Aaron Gould

    Aaron Gould Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok thanks... there's a cheap clearance priced speaker set from a local store that's recommended for use on a 60W RMS system, but the Onkyo's manual says 85W RMS minimum, so naturally I'm a little nervous about hooking up these speakers.

    Most of the movies on this system will be dialog-driven (it's my wife's room and TV/stereo setup). She doesn't need big volume like I do. [​IMG]

    I guess we'll pick the speakers up and turn them up sparingly, until we hear audio clipping/cutoffs. That way we'll know where the limit is.
     
  4. Marcel_V

    Marcel_V Stunt Coordinator

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    You are more likely to blow speakers underpowering, rather than overpowering them. The Onkyo probably doesn't actually put out 85W rms anyways, most receivers fib that number.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Clipping happens because the receiver runs out of power to properly drive the speakers, not because the speakers cannot handle the power. IOW, too little power is a bigger problem than too much.

    I think you are misunderstanding the manual (or it is poorly written) - I've NEVER seen a receiver that specified a minimum wattage for speakers. The receiver should be able to drive basically any speaker, though speakers that are more demanding and/or low impedance, may cause it to clip at higher volume. I wouldn't worry about it too much.

    The 656 likely puts out 85w in stereo, but not with all channels driven.
     
  6. Aaron Gould

    Aaron Gould Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's a snapshot of the Onkyo specs page in the manual:

    [c][​IMG][/c]

    I agree that minimum wattage is odd... I can't recall seeing that either.

    We'll be picking up the cheap-o speakers anyway. It's good to know that they'll likely do the job though!
     
  7. Philip>L

    Philip>L Stunt Coordinator

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    I think it means that the amp puts out a minimum of 85 watts when fully driven (so a minimum maximum if you know what I mean... )...

    In other words the max output of the amp is at least 85 watts...

    But that's not the minimum output.
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Yep, that is RMS output, not a speaker requirement. Now, in regards to the speakers, they are unlikely to ever see a full 85w on a continuous, so there should be nothing to worry about [​IMG]
     
  9. Aaron Gould

    Aaron Gould Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the help guys! We've picked up the speakers and will hook them up soon...

    Now all I need to worry about is them sounding like crap. Which is entirely possible for a set of 5 speakers + subwoofer for $350 CDN (discounted to $100 [​IMG])
     
  10. TimZ

    TimZ Agent

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    does Denon fib on their numbers too?
    i just got a 3805 and my speakers are rated to a 100 watts each.
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    It is very rare to see a manufacturer quote their power with all channels driven. Most quote 2ch power.

    Once more: Don't worry about what your speakers max rating is, it is all but irrelevant. Worry about not having enough power to adequately drive them, as that is when damage occurs.
     
  12. TimZ

    TimZ Agent

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    thought so, thanks :)
    3805= 120x7 and thats quoted [​IMG]
     
  13. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Don't be mislead by a quoted 120x7, as Denon is reports their numbers the same way as most. That does not mean with all channels under load at the same time. Despite what it says, that is most likely a 2ch rating. My Marantz is rated at 120x6, but with all channels driven it delivers an actual 92wpc (120x2) and the 3805 is likely similar, which is still plenty.
     

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