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amplifier power

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Phil P, Nov 26, 2002.

  1. Phil P

    Phil P Active Member

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    Is it "bad" or can you have too powerful an amplifier? For example, a speaker that recommends a maximum of 300 watts and you have a 450watt rated amplifier. Bad for the speakers? I've heard it is better to have too much power than too little power for speakers. However, can too much power be detrimental to your speakers?
     
  2. Khoa Tran

    Khoa Tran Well-Known Member

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    I doubt having too much power will damage your speakers unless you play them at insane levels....
     
  3. Lyden

    Lyden Well-Known Member

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    hmm curious would a 100watt amp damage speaakers that say 5-200watt recomended amplifire? and really who makes low end 200watt per chanel recivers?
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Well-Known Member

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    This section of the HTF Primer and FAQ may answer your question.
    In truth, for movies your receiver is only putting out about 5 watts per channel for normial dialog & low background music.
     
  5. AaronBatiuk

    AaronBatiuk Well-Known Member

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  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Well-Known Member

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    I found this story on Usenet and some may find it amusing. I think you'll know which way to go after reading it [​IMG]
     
  7. Phil P

    Phil P Active Member

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    Optimally then, should you get an amp whose power rating is higher than the maximal recommended power handling of your speakers? If so, then how much higher? Optimally, how powerful an amp should you get for a 4 ohm speaker whose minimum recommended power is 100 watts and maximum recommended power handling is 300 watts?
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Well-Known Member

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    you need to come back with a bit more information...speaker efficiencies, room size, listening tendencies such as are you constantly listening at ear splitting levels or are your needs more modest...got a subwoofer...stuff like that [​IMG]
     
  9. Phil P

    Phil P Active Member

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    how about speaker sensitivity of 90, 4ohm impedence, 22x15x7.5 foot room with acoustical paneling, reference level loud and sometimes louder, and have a sub?
     
  10. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Well-Known Member

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    more power's not going to kill you and having it provides things like peace of mind, the ability to handle wide program material, future speaker choices, if there are any, tend to be non-issues as your amp can handle lower sensitivities with ease. As you're probably aware, the actual effective efficiency of a speaker is about 2 or so dB higher when played in a room. To continue, each doubling of power means your speaker will play 3 db louder. 2 watts gives you about 95, 4 watts gives 98, 8 watts gives 101...etc. I'd say if you had an amp or receiver that did around 200 watts, you'd probably be in good shape given the size of your room.
     
  11. Phil P

    Phil P Active Member

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    What if I changed the speakers to 8 ohm, 50 to 500 watt handling, with 91dB efficiency and left everything else the same? Also, should you have less powerful amplifiers for your surrounds as the surround speaker max handlings are generally less, or match the same amplifier power rating across the board?
     
  12. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Well-Known Member

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    i don't see where my earlier 'ballpark' answer would change signficicantly based upon your parameters. More likely than not, when you go to separate amps, they'll handle 8 or 4 ohms easily. 2 ohms can be problematical for some. Regarding your rear channels, you're correct that they require less power so if you went with say something like 200 wpc up front (including center channel), than the rears would be adequately handled by say 100 or so. If you're looking for a hard and fast # for wpc then I'm afraid there isn't any. to give you a little perspective on relating to dB from a practical perspective,

    180 dB: Rocket at take-off
    140 dB: Jet engine at take-off
    120 dB: Rock band
    110 dB: Loud thunder
    90 dB: City traffic
    80 dB: Loud radio
    60 dB: Ordinary conversation
    30 dB: Very soft whisper

    You won't go wrong more power but generally speaking you'll have to be prepared to pay for that headroom. Good luck.
     
  13. Phil P

    Phil P Active Member

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    Thanks for all the input.
     
  14. David Berry

    David Berry Well-Known Member

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    Chu,

    Good input with respect to the story. Kept me smiling throughout the read.

    Phil,

    As people have said, having a higher rated amp than what the speaker manufacturer calls for is not going to fry your speakers upon turning it on. The limiting factor for most people is that the cost gets high fast when purchasing good high output amps.
     
  15. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Well-Known Member

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    wouldn't you just love to pull that off at some snot-nose audio 'emporium'?? i sure would [​IMG]
     

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