how can I tell if I have too much power running through my speakers...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ben hunt, Jul 18, 2002.

  1. ben hunt

    ben hunt Stunt Coordinator

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    I have Axiom m60ti's for mains and a 3802 for a receiver. At what point is there too much power going through the speakers.

    I doubt my 3802 will tax the speakers that much but what if I added a nice amp for some extra power? At what point is my power source too much for my speakers and how do I tell when I get to this point?
     
  2. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    When the speakers start to sound bad. Better to have too much power rather than too little power.

    If you ask an amp to provide more power than it can, it will clip which is very bad for the speaker. If the amp has more power than the speaker can use, as you turn it up, you'll start to pass what the speaker is capable of, resulting in compression and all sorts of other things that will make the speaker sound aweful.
     
  3. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    When the speakers melt, catch fire, or explode, you've got too much power into them.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    distortion, drivers "popping", turning it up louder doesn't really raise the volume, etc.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  6. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    The best indicator is the cops. If they respond to your neighbor's complaints and agree with them, you are using too much power. Bleeding ears is another good indicator.

    I think the reality here is that Ben may be confused about power ratings for speakers and amps. When you are listening at moderate levels, no matter what type of speaker or reciever you are using, you only use a few watts. Look at your speaker specs and find the effeciency rating, it will probably be something around 90dB/1 watt/1 meter. What that means is given 1 watt of power the volume will be 90dB when measured 1 meter from the speaker (if I remember everything right). To increase it 3dB requires doubling the power, so 96dB would take 4 watts and so on. There are some other variables, but as you can see it really doesn't take much power to get decent volume.

    One thing though, just cause it doesn't take a lot of power means better amps are a waste of money. The better the amp is, the better the sound is, plus it can handle rapid changes in volume better.

    In short, that Denon and those speakers is probably a good match and you aren't going to damage anything unless you crank the volume full up or play Britney Spears crap.
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  8. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Well John, we could get into quite a complex discussion of this, don't forget the distance to the speaker and the room effects, but its probably not that important for this discussion. He asked if he had too much power, not enough. The whole thing about speakers rated for 100 watts and amps that are rated for 120 watts and so on often confuses people. They think that the 120 is being delivered all the time.
     

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