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110 RMS vs. 225 watt speakers. Trouble?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Micah, May 12, 2002.

  1. Micah

    Micah Member

    Apr 29, 2002
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    One more question. My Denon 3802 is rated for 110 watts RMS per channel, my ND310's are rated up to 225 watts. I have read in a couple of other posts that too little power is more of a concern than too much power when matching receiver and speakers. Also, the other JBL's I am thinking of getting (s26II's) are rated well over 110 watts.
    Am I headed for trouble here? I find it hard to believe that the Denon, which is a fairly expensive unit, will not be able to provide adeqaute power to the ND310's and S26II's, which are all great speakers (IMHO) but are by no stretch "high end".
    What am I missing here? I don't understand impedance ratings and RMS power and OHM's etc. etc. very well yet, can y'all help me?
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 1999
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    FYI: Forum rules state that you are not to list your equipment in your signature.

    The power rating of the speakers is basically irrelevant. It is nothing more than the MAXIMUM CONTINOUS power delivery they can handle. This rating is not a recommendation for how much power they should be receiving, nor does it mean that it must be matched to the amplifier's power output ie; if an amp delivers 100wpc, that does not mean that a speaker that says 80wpc will not be able to handle the output because an amp does not deliver it's rated power continuously anyway, as the load will vary depending on the material being played. Movies are not typically bombarding you with heavy effects scenes for the entire movie.

    If anything, damage is more likely to occur from an underpowered amp, and in this case, I don't think the 3802 will have a problem.

    Your setup should be just fine. Just because they can take that much power, doesn't mean you need that much to drive them.
  3. Greg_R

    Greg_R Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2000
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    Portland, OR
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    You will only need that power during passages with very loud transients. It is during these peaks that your amp could clip (which in turn may damage your speakers). Your speakers have a sensitivity of 91dB/W/1m. Since a doubling of power equals a 3dB increase...

    1W = 91dB

    2W = 94dB

    4W = 97dB

    8W = 100dB

    16W = 103dB

    32W = 106dB

    64W = 109dB

    128W = 112dB

    256W = 115dB

    Since a DD track played at reference volumes won't exceed 105dB, you'll only need 32W to hit that level (at 1 meter). This is why efficient speakers are good! BTW, you'll loose some of this output if you sit further away. At any rate, your receiver is more than adequate!
  4. Ten_Smith

    Ten_Smith Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2001
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    I too had been puzzled about the statement that if you were under-powered you will damage your speakers. I guess what people really mean when they say this is you are more likely to push a weaker amp into clipping and thus damage your speakers.

    Provided you kept your music/sound track quiet enough, your under-powered amp would not do this.

    Many user do not consider the power of their amp when setting volume levels. Further many are not aware of what clipping is or what it sounds like and so don't detect it when it happens. Thus a weaker amp is more likely to clip and damage speakers.
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 1998
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    Neil Joseph
    You are correct that too little power can be harmful to your speakers but by too little power, think more in the region of 10 watts and under. The real problem arises when the power is not "clean" especially clipped power, as this produces harmonics that are harmful when the volume is cranked up. Your situation is fine.

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