B&W Speaker Wattage Rating: DO I care?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff Keene, Aug 15, 2001.

  1. Jeff Keene

    Jeff Keene Supporting Actor

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    Hi --
    I have had this question for some time. I'm looking at the B&W CDM NT Series (I'm looking at a lot of speakers, actually) and notice that their wattage rating is 120W (For the CDM1NT). I had been considering the B&K 7270 to drive whatever speakers I end up with, but this has a rating of 200wpc.
    How important is this? I obviously don't want to "over-power my speakers", but have heard often that distortion hurts more than power. I have also been told that the increase in wattage will provide "overhead", but I don't know what that means.
    I currently have a Denon 4800 which provides 125 W. I would stick with this, but have been convinced that a separate amp would sound better. Should I look for one in the 120 Watt range or what?
    Thanks.
     
  2. Joseph Kim

    Joseph Kim Agent

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    Jeff,
    I'm running my Nautilus 805's with a Rotel RB-1080, which is 200 watts. The 805's are rated at 120. Having too much power doesn't hurt, not having enough does.
    joe
     
  3. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Quality issues aside, 100W and 500W amps will provide the same amount of volume whether you're pumping out %w or 20W or what have you until you reach 100W output. And with most speakers if you're running at 100W for awhile, your ears are going to be hurting. An amp with more power has more headroom, which typically means it can respond better to rapid changes in volume and handle high peaks. There's more to an amp then just wattage, and there's more reasons a higher rating is better, but that should be sufficient for this discussion.
    I believe the 120W rating on the speaker means it can sustain having 120W shoved into it for a while without a problem.
    What's really important is if the amp can maintain high output with all channels driven across a full range signal. In some cases (although I don't think it happens that much anymore) manufacturers their wattage with one channel driven into one frequency range, whereas a good manufacturer will specify across the full range with at least two channels driven.
    B&K makes good stuff, and I'd trust their rating to be fairly accurate. Likewise B&W is also good, and these probably will work together well, and you should have no fear about blowing them. Just don't crank the amp to full and leave it there, cause that will hurt a lot more than the speakers.
     
  4. Ryan_D

    Ryan_D Agent

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    Jeff,
    I think you should go with the HTM1 just to be safe. [​IMG]
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  5. Walt Meger

    Walt Meger Auditioning

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    I am driving my N804s with a Rotel 1090(380x2 @ 8ohms) and couldn't believe the improvement from the 120w/channel amp I was using. You can't have too much good clean power.
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  6. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

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    I second Walt's statement. Good clean power is crucial to get the most out of B&Ws, in general. I do not believe you will have a problem. Also, those speaks will be rather sensitive to placement.
    --Steve
     
  7. Jeff Keene

    Jeff Keene Supporting Actor

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    Overhead, headroom, head-dress, what's the difference... [​IMG]
    HTM-1 just to be safe? I'll try, but I doubt that passes committee. I've been lobbying for funds for awhile now, and can't push too far. But I like the sound of this advice.
    Anyway, thanks everyone for the responses. And not just because it was exactly what I wanted to hear.
     
  8. MannyE

    MannyE Stunt Coordinator

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    And just to make you feel even better....I ran two minimus 7s (older teeny tiny Radio Shack speakers) rated at 40 watts each at very high volumes with my Outlaw 750/Ref 30 combo (I was making sure there wasn't anything wrong with the amp after a "spirited" party goer blew the DefTechs by turning the volume all the way up)
    they played loud and suprisingly well for what they are (10 year old 30 dollar speakers) but came through just fine with the 165 WPC Outlaw making music through them.
    As far as what's worse...distortion will destroy your speakers faster than you can say, "And the total comes to 750 dollars, Mr. Elgarresta". It took about two seconds to fry all the voice coils in my DefTech BP2002's with the same Outlaw amp (they are rated at 450 watts).
     
  9. Jeff Keene

    Jeff Keene Supporting Actor

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    OUCH. I'm thinking the "spirited" one would be a "spirit" right about now.
    Not that I'm violent... [​IMG]
     
  10. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

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    In response to your heading - in a word, no.
    As others have stated, a lot of clean power is a good thing, and can make little speakers very happy. For years I ran B&W DM100's with an Acurus A250 (250 watts/channel).
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